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August 21, 2006, 10:09 PM CT

Insulin Resistance May Predict Diabetes

Insulin Resistance May Predict Diabetes
The body's decreased response to insulin beginning as early as age 13 may mean increased cardiovascular disease risk by age 19, as per research reported in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The finding indicates that the prevalence of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk factors and type 2 diabetes (both of which are correlation to obesity and are increasing as today's children reach adulthood) also are correlation to insulin resistance independent from obesity, said Alan R. Sinaiko, M.D., lead author of the study and professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis.

After screening blood pressure, height and weight in more than 12,000 5th through 8th grade students in Minneapolis public schools, 357 students (average age 13) were recruited for the study. Two-hundred twenty-four participants completed the study. The participants were 58 percent male and 83 percent white.

At baseline the children underwent a complete physical examination including measurements of blood pressure, height, weight, percentage of body fat, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides and fasting insulin levels. The students were also categorized by stage of sexual development.

Sinaiko and his colleagues tracked insulin resistance with a series of insulin clamp studies first at age 13, then 15 and again at 19.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

August 21, 2006, 10:06 PM CT

Protein That Protect Breast Cancer Tumors

Protein That Protect Breast Cancer Tumors
About half of women whose breast cancer is treated with standard chemotherapy have their cancer return within five years. Most chemotherapeutic drugs have undesirable side effects, but there has been no way to predict who would benefit and who wouldn't. Fortunately, new research findings at the University of Southern California could change that.

Scientists at the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered a new biological marker in tumors that can help indicate whether a woman's breast cancer will respond to the most usually prescribed chemotherapy drugs.

Amy S. Lee, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, isolated the gene for the GRP78 protein (78-kDA glucose-regulated protein) in 1980. It normally helps protect cells from dying, especially when they are under stress from a lack of glucose. In her current research, Lee finds that breast cancer tumors with high levels of GRP78 are protected from a common chemotherapy regimen based on Adriamycin, a topoisomerase inhibitor. Her findings are published as a "Priority Report" in the August 15 issue of Cancer Research.

"The importance of this study is in its potential to help clinicians who treat cancer," Lee says. "It will help sort out the patients who won't respond to particular therapy regimens and will have a higher chance of cancer recurrence."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

August 21, 2006, 9:56 PM CT

Cost Of Treating Chest Pain In The Average Woman

Cost Of Treating Chest Pain In The Average Woman
Treating chest pain linked to coronary artery disease (CAD) could cost a woman more than $1 million during her lifetime; and even the chest pain linked to mild artery blockage (nonobstructive CAD) could reach $750,000 for an average woman, as per a research studypublished in Circulation.

Chest pain symptoms may be the most important driver of women's cardiovascular healthcare costs, said lead study author Leslee J. Shaw, Ph.D.

"Lifetime healthcare costs can reach $1 million for each woman with heart disease in this country," she said. "The societal burden for coronary artery disease for women with chest pain is expensive and could be responsible for a sizeable portion of U.S. healthcare costs".

Scientists investigated the economic burden of cardiac symptoms on women. Shaw and researchers from the Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) study evaluated data on 883 women who had been referred for coronary angiography and compared data on their health, finances and quality of life for at least five years. Coronary angiography is a specialized X-ray examination of the coronary arteries and is one of the most frequently preformed procedures in women.

Scientists observed that 62 percent of women studied had nonobstructive coronary artery disease defined as blockage less than 50 percent of the artery. Seventeen percent had one coronary artery vessel blocked or narrowed, 11 percent had two vessels narrowed and 10 percent had three vessels affected.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source

August 21, 2006, 9:53 PM CT

Nicotine Withdrawal Begins Quickly

Nicotine Withdrawal Begins Quickly
Smokers who have tried to quit are well aware of the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal: cravings for cigarettes, mood disturbances, appetite increase and sleep problems. However, it had not previously been known when withdrawal symptoms first appear. Thomas H. Brandon, Ph.D., Director of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute's Tobacco Research & Intervention Program and his research team from Moffitt and the University of South Florida study examined this and observed that within 30 minutes, the abstaining smokers reported greater cravings for cigarettes. Results have been reported in the most recent issue of Psychopharmacology, authored by Peter S. Hendricks, Joseph, W. Ditre, and David J. Drobes, and Brandon.

The team brought 50 pack-a-day smokers into the laboratory for four hours of testing. Half the smokers were randomly selected to continue smoking as usual, while the other half were asked to abstain from smoking for the four hours. Every half-hour these participants received a series of tests. Differences between the two groups were considered evidence of nicotine withdrawal.

Within 30 minutes, the abstaining smokers reported greater cravings for cigarettes. By one hour, they reported greater anger. Increases in anxiety, sadness, and difficulty concentrating all appeared within the first three hours. Results also show that in the first half-hour the abstaining smokers already performed more poorly on a task requiring sustained attention, and that their heart rate slowed within the first hour, another withdrawal symptom.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

August 21, 2006, 9:49 PM CT

Major Strategic Breakthrough In Controling The Aids Virus

Major Strategic Breakthrough In Controling The Aids Virus
A team of scientists from the Universit de Montral and the Centre hospitalier de l'Universit de Montral (CHUM) have announced an important breakthrough in fighting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). For the first time, researchers have identified a defect in the immune response to HIV and found a way to correct the flaw. Dr. Rafick-Pierre Skaly, an eminent researcher in cell biology, immunology, and virology, has confirmed the identification of a new therapeutic target (the PD-1 protein) that restores the function of the T cells whose role is to eliminate cells infected with the virus. This constitutes a major breakthrough, opening new prospects for the development of therapeutic strategies for controlling HIV infection. The research findings are published in today's issue of the journal Nature Medicine.

Dr. Skaly explained that "immune system cells made non-functional by HIV can be identified by the presence of a protein that is significantly overexpressed when infected by the virus." In fact, high levels of the protein are linked to a more serious dysfunction. "The most important discovery made in this study arises from the fact that by stimulating this protein, we succeeded in preventing the virus from making immune system cells dysfunctional," he added.

The findings were simultaneously reproduced by two other laboratories the labs headed by Dr. Bruce Walker at Harvard and Dr. Richard Koup at the NIH. "It's a rare occurrence for three teams to work together on attacking a major problem. Up until now, the virus has been more or less invincible. By combining our efforts, we found the missing link that may enable us to defeat the virus," noted Dr. Skaly. Discussions with partners are also underway to translate these research findings into clinical trials, which could start during the coming year.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source

August 21, 2006, 9:20 PM CT

Many Teens Injured On The Job

Many Teens Injured On The Job
A new survey of 6,810 teens showed that more than half of them work, and 514 of them had been injured on the job.

"The findings from this study clearly indicate that work-related injuries among youth are a significant health problem," report Kristina M. Zierold, Ph.D., assistant professor of family and community medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and Henry A. Anderson, M.D., chief medical officer of the Wisconsin Division of Public Health.

Writing in the American Journal of Health Behavior, the authors report that 150 of the teens were injured severely enough that activities at home, work, or school were affected for more than three days, and 97 filed for workers' compensation.

The study, funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, was conducted in Wisconsin while Zierold was an epidemic intelligence service officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Developing programs and strategies to reduce injury must be made a priority," Zierold said.

But training on the job where safety could be stressed often is given by another employee. "This type of training commonly consists of explaining how to do the work and how to work the equipment, without emphasis on safety issues," Zierold said. "In other instances, no training is given at all".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

August 21, 2006, 9:11 PM CT

Ozone forecaster unveiled

Ozone forecaster unveiled
People with asthma or other respiratory problems can breathe a sigh of relief thanks to University of Houston professors who have recently unveiled a forecasting system that provides air quality data on ozone conditions.

With the intent to not only increase public awareness, but also help Texas manage air quality issues, the Institute for Multi-dimensional Air Quality Studies (IMAQS) at UH has been operating an air quality forecasting system for a year that has been tested, fine-tuned and now determined ready for public use. Over the course of this past year, the system has been expanded and improved to serve the entire eastern half of Texas, including the Houston and Dallas metropolitan areas.

"Our ozone forecaster is more localized than others and goes into further detail," said Daewon Byun, director of IMAQS and a professor in UH's geosciences department. "For instance, while the ozone conditions may be rated unhealthy in downtown Houston on a given day, suburbs like Sugar Land and The Woodlands may actually be experiencing a good day that still is safe for outdoor activities in those specific areas. Other days, the opposite is true with downtown-area ozone levels being lower than in certain suburbs." .

By clicking on the local, regional or national maps at, the public can obtain a map view of daily maximum ozone levels color-coded with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) health alert index. Also included are links to animations of a two-day forecast in one-hour increments. These maps and animations can help individuals, particularly those with respiratory problems, plan their day's outside activities. The Web site is updated daily with the most recent 48-hour local, regional and national forecasts, providing graphical analysis of the onset, intensity, duration and area of poor air quality conditions via access to hourly data from 165 East Texas air pollution monitors. The near real-time hourly air pollution and meteorological data, air quality indices and animations from 3-D simulations performed by IMAQS use the EPA's Community Multiscale Air Quality modeling system co-developed by Byun in 1999 while at the EPA before coming to UH.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

August 21, 2006, 9:07 PM CT

Bulls-eye For Antibiotic Target

Bulls-eye For Antibiotic Target
A Purdue University researcher has opened the door for possible antibiotic therapys for a variety of diseases by determining the structure of a protein that controls the starvation response of E. coli.

This research is applicable to the therapy of a number of diseases because that same protein is found in numerous harmful bacteria, including those that cause ulcers, leprosy, food poisoning, whooping cough, meningitis, sexually transmitted diseases, respiratory infections and stomach cancer, said David Sanders, an associate professor of biology. Sanders, who is part of the Markey Center for Structural Biology at Purdue, detailed his research in a paper reported in the Aug. 16 issue of the journal Structure.

"This is an important discovery for the field of antibiotics, which was greatly in need of something new," Sanders said. "The antibiotics available today face a challenge of increasing resistance and failure. This research suggests a whole new approach to combat bacterial infections. In addition, this protein is an excellent antibiotic target because it only exists in bacteria and some plants, which means the therapy will only affect the targeted bacterial cells and will be harmless to human cells".

Sanders and his collaborator, Miriam Hasson, studied the structure of exopolyphosphatase, a protein in E. coli bacteria that functions as an enzyme and catalyzes chemical reactions within the bacteria. This enzyme provides the signal for bacteria to enter starvation mode and limit.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source

August 21, 2006, 9:02 PM CT

Anxiety before surgery complicates recovery in children

Anxiety before surgery complicates recovery in children
Children who are anxious before surgery experience a more painful, slow, and complicated postoperative recovery, as per a Yale School of Medicine study published this month in Pediatrics.

The study is important, said lead author, Zeev Kain, M.D., professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology, Pediatrics, and the Yale Child Study Center, because more than five million children in the United States undergo surgery every year and up to 45 percent experience significant stress and anxiety previous to surgery.

In his five-year study supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Kain and his team recruited 241 children aged five- to 12-years-old who were scheduled to undergo elective tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. The personality characteristics of the children and their parents were assessed before the surgery. All of the children were admitted to a research unit at Yale following the surgery and postoperative pain and analgesic consumption were recorded every hour. After 24 hours in the hospital, the children were discharged and followed up at home for the next 14 days.

The scientists observed that anxious children experienced more problems emerging from anesthesia and significantly more pain both during the hospital stay and over the first three days at home. During home recovery anxious children also consumed significantly more codeine and acetaminophen and had a higher occurence rate of postoperative anxiety and sleep problems.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

August 20, 2006, 9:59 PM CT

Cancer survivors may have suicidal thoughts

Cancer survivors may have suicidal thoughts
A survey of adult survivors of childhood cancers observed that more than one out of eight reported having suicidal thoughts or prior attempts to take their lives a number of years after they were treated, say researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The suicidal symptoms were reported by more than 12 percent -- a greater proportion than had been expected -- of patients seen at a clinic providing care for adult cancer survivors, the scientists write in the August 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The findings should prompt providers at survivor clinics to consider the interaction of physical and emotional factors in their follow-up evaluations of patients, they said.

"Most people are doing fine, but there is a serious concern about the minority of survivors who have thoughts of ending their lives," said Christopher Recklitis, PhD, MPH, a psychology expert and director of research in the Perini Family Survivors' Center at Dana-Farber. He is lead author of the paper.

The senior author is Lisa Diller, MD, chief medical officer of Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Care and clinical director of Pediatric Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children's Hospital Boston.

Prior studies have noted a temporary rise in suicidal thoughts among patients in the months after a cancer diagnosis. The new study is the first to substantiate a significant level of suicidality a number of years or even decades after therapy for childhood cancers, and to suggest a link with physical functioning in the survivorship period.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Archives of health news blog

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