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August 31, 2008, 8:18 PM CT

Telmisartan reduces outcome of heart attack or stroke

Telmisartan reduces outcome of heart attack or stroke
Telmisartan
An international study led by Canadian scientists has observed that telmisartan, a medicine used to lower blood pressure, reduced the outcome of cardiovascular death, heart attack or stroke in people who are unable to tolerate a widely available and effective standard therapy.

Dr. Salim Yusuf and Dr. Koon Teo, professors in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University and clinicians at Hamilton Health Sciences, led the study. Today the research results will be published online by The Lancet and presented at this year's European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich, Gera number of.

ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors, are widely used and effective medications used to lower blood pressure. They work by helping to widen blood vessels to improve blood flow. Approximately 20 per cent of patients who could benefit from an ACE inhibitor stop taking it because of cough, kidney problems, swelling or symptomatic low blood pressure.

Telmisartan is a type of angiotensin-receptor blocker, or ARB. Like ACE inhibitors, telmisartan also lowers blood pressure, but works in a different manner. ARBs block the receptor sites in the body for angiotensin II, a naturally occurring hormone that constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


August 31, 2008, 8:15 PM CT

'Superbug' breast infections controllable in nursing mothers

'Superbug' breast infections controllable in nursing mothers
A number of nursing mothers who have been hospitalized for breast abscesses are afflicted with the "superbug" methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, but as per new research by UT Southwestern Medical Center physicians, conservative therapy can deal with the problem.

The study focused on hospitalized women with mastitis, and showed that MRSA was much more likely to be found in those who had both mastitis (an inflammation of the milk glands) and abscesses (pockets of infection).

"The take-home message is that a patient with mastitis does not necessarily need an antibiotic against MRSA," said Dr. George Wendel, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and senior author of the study, which appears in the recent issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. "She will improve with a less specific antibiotic as long as she also empties her breasts, either through feeding or pumping, and if there's an abscess, gets it treated".

The study also showed that if a nursing mother has an abscess, she does not immediately need antibiotics against MRSA, but can be switched to them if tests reveal she has MRSA.

The study was designed to determine which antibiotic therapy is best for severe cases of mastitis, which can be caused by clogged milk ducts with or without infection, and breast abscesses, which are caused by bacterial infections, generally by aureus. There are a number of strains of staph, one of which is MRSA.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


August 27, 2008, 9:13 PM CT

Pregnancy situations have impact on brain development

Pregnancy situations have impact on brain development
Brain development in infants who are born very prematurely is still incomplete. Factors that cause premature birth may have an impact on the development of the premature infant's brain both during pregnancy and later on after birth. A project conducted as part of the Academy of Finland Research Programme on Neuroscience (NEURO) is concerned to study brain growth and development invery premature or low-weight infants.

The central nervous system in small premature infants is highly susceptible to damage as the immature organism tries to adapt to the intensive care environment following release from the intrauterine environment. Researchers working on the PIPARI project at Turku University Central Hospital have followed premature low-weight infants and investigated factors impacting the growth and development of their brain as well as their two-year prognosis from pregnancy onwards. A total of 232 pre-term infants have been followed and in comparison to 246 full-term controls. The children will be followed for a total of six years, from birth through to school age.

The results of the project indicate that the redistribution of foetal blood flow, indicative of placental insufficiency, leads to smaller brain volume in preterm infants at term equivalent age. In this situation the foetus directs a larger proportion of the blood flow to its brain.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


August 27, 2008, 9:11 PM CT

Health risk behaviors and PSA awareness

Health risk behaviors and PSA awareness
As per a research studyconducted at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, health risk behaviors such as smoking and obesity are linked to lower awareness of the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), which could lead to a lower likelihood of undergoing actual prostate cancer screening. Eventhough prior studies have explored predictors of PSA test awareness, this is the first research to focus on health risk behaviors, such as smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, and excessive alcohol consumption. The study findings were published in the recent issue of The Journal of Urology

Awareness of PSA testing is considered an important cognitive precursor of prostate cancer screening and it was found to contribute to differences in prostate cancer screening rates. Earlier studies have suggested that persons who seek out cancer information are more likely to acquire knowledge, demonstrate healthy behaviors, and undergo cancer screening. As per the Mailman School study, a quarter of the men older than 50 years without a history of prostate cancer who were among the population of 7,000 men studied, remain unaware of the PSA test.

"Our primary findings suggested that smoking, physical inactivity and obesity are inversely linked to awareness of the PSA test. These risk behaviors are linked with higher prostate cancer morbidity and mortality," said Firas S. Ahmed, MD, MPH, Mailman School of Public Health, and first author. This finding may be due to a general lack of concern about health maintenance or less interactions with health care providers by smokers, as per Dr. Ahmed.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


August 27, 2008, 9:06 PM CT

Army personnel show increased risk for migraine

Army personnel show increased risk for migraine
Two new studies show that migraine headaches are very common among U.S. military personnel, yet the condition is frequently underdiagnosed. The studies, appearing in Headache, the peer-evaluated journal of the American Headache Society, examine the incidence among soldiers within 10 days of returning from a 1-year combat tour in Iraq , as well as U.S. Army officer trainees.

The U.S. active-duty military population is composed chiefly of young adults, which is the age group at highest risk for migraine. However, the reported rates are higher than those of similar age and gender in the general U.S. population.

The findings show that 19 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq screened positive for migraine and an additional 17 percent screened positive for possible migraine. Soldiers with a positive migraine screen suffered a mean average of 3.1 headache days per month, headache durations of 5.2 hours and 2.4 impaired duty days per month due to headache. Soldiers with migraine contacted 3 months after returning from Iraq had a mean of 5.3 headache days per month.

18 percent of U.S. Army officer trainees experienced migraine headaches over a 1-year period (13.9 percent for males, 31.4 percent for females) and, of those, 50 percent experienced migraines during a 5-week period of intensive military training. Migraine headaches were found to significantly impede training in 4 percent of all cadets during this time. 76 percent of cadets who screened positive for migraine had never been diagnosed.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


August 27, 2008, 9:03 PM CT

Young Type-2 Diabetic Men Suffer Low Testosterone Levels

Young Type-2 Diabetic Men Suffer Low Testosterone Levels
Young men with type 2 diabetes have significantly low levels of testosterone, endocrinologists at the University at Buffalo have found -- a condition that could have a critical effect on their quality of life and on their ability to father children.

This study follows research published earlier by these researchers reporting that one-third of middle-aged men with type 2 diabetes have low testosterone levels, requiring therapy for erectile dysfunction.

"These new findings have several clinical implications besides the impairment of sexual function in these young men," said Paresh Dandona, Ph.D., UB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Medicine and senior author on both studies.

"The lack of testosterone during these critical years may lead to diminished bone mass and the lack of development or lose of skeletal muscle. In addition, these patients may gain more weight (with an average body mass index of 38 they already were obese) and become more insulin resistant.

"Also, patients with low testosterone and type 2 diabetes have been shown to have very high concentrations of C reactive protein," he added, "which increases their risk of developing atherosclerosis and heart disease above and beyond the risk linked to diabetes".

Results of the new study appear in the online edition of Diabetes Care and will be published in an upcoming edition of the journal.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


August 27, 2008, 8:48 PM CT

Black Raspberries Slow Cancer

Black Raspberries Slow Cancer
New research strongly suggests that a mix of preventative agents, such as those found in concentrated black raspberries, may more effectively inhibit cancer development than single agents aimed at shutting down a particular gene.

Scientists at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center examined the effect of freeze-dried black raspberries on genes altered by a chemical carcinogen in an animal model of esophageal cancer.

The carcinogen affected the activity of some 2,200 genes in the animals' esophagus in only one week, but 460 of those genes were restored to normal activity in animals that consumed freeze-dried black raspberry powder as part of their diet during the exposure.

These findings, published in recent issue of the journal Cancer Research, also helped identify 53 genes that may play a fundamental role in early cancer development and may therefore be important targets for chemoprevention agents.

"We have clearly shown that berries, which contain a variety of anticancer compounds, have a genome-wide effect on the expression of genes involved in cancer development," says principal investigator Gary D. Stoner, a professor of pathology, human nutrition and medicine who studies dietary agents for the prevention of esophageal cancer.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


August 27, 2008, 7:25 PM CT

Heart attack patients who stop statin risk death

Heart attack patients who stop statin risk death
Patients discontinuing statin medicine following an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) increase their risk of dying over the next year, say scientists at McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). Their study was published in a recent issue of the European Heart Journal

Using data on British patients who survived an AMI and were still alive three months later, Dr. Stella Daskalopoulou and his colleagues observed that those who discontinued their statin medicine were 88% more likely to die during the following year in comparison to those who had never been on the medication.

"Statins were found to be beneficial drugs," said Dr. Daskalopoulou, of McGill's Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Medicine and the Division of Clinical Epidemiology at the MUHC. "Patients who used statins before an AMI and continued to take them after were 16% less likely to die over the next year than those who never used them. So even if it appears that the statins failed to prevent your AMI, it is beneficial to continue taking them and potentially quite harmful to stop."

The large, population-based cohort study was conducted using UK data to take advantage of the medical records kept in the General Practice Research Database (GPRD), which collects information on the health of more than three million patients across the UK.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


August 27, 2008, 6:57 PM CT

Factors may prevent postpartum smoking relapse

Factors may prevent postpartum smoking relapse
Eventhough a number of women quit smoking during pregnancy to protect their unborn children from the effects of cigarettes, half of them resume the habit within a few months of giving birth.

By shedding light on the factors that enable the other half to put down that cigarette for good, a study by scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill could lead to programs designed to help women quit and stay quit.

As per the study, women with a live-in partner who shared some of the burden of child-rearing were more likely to remain smoke free, while women who were single mothers or who lacked the social and financial resources to deal with being a new parent were more likely to relapse.

"In the future we can look at these and other factors in women who quit smoking during pregnancy to assess who is at low or high risk of relapse," said Carol E. Ripley-Moffitt, MDiv, research associate in UNC's department of family medicine and the study's lead author. "We can then offer more intensive interventions for those at higher risk to address the physical, behavioral and social issues correlation to relapse".

Smoking during pregnancy increases the risks of pregnancy complications, decreased birth weight and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), Ripley-Moffitt said. She noted that the past 15 years have seen a steady decrease in the number of women who smoke while pregnant, in part because of an overall decline in smoking rates among all women of childbearing age and in part because of interventions targeting women during the prenatal period.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


August 25, 2008, 10:33 PM CT

Alcohol consumption can cause too much cell death

Alcohol consumption can cause too much cell death
The initial signs of fetal alcohol syndrome are slight but classic: facial malformations such as a flat and high upper lip, small eye openings and a short nose.

Scientists want to know if those facial clues can help them figure out how much alcohol it takes during what point in development to cause these and other lifelong problems.

They have strong evidence that just a few glasses of wine over an hour in the first few weeks of fetal life, typically before a woman knows she's pregnant, increases cell death. Too few cells are then left to properly form the face and possibly the brain and spinal cord.

"It's well known that when you drink, you get a buzz. But a couple of hours later, that initial impact, at least, is gone," says Dr. Erhard Bieberich, biochemist in the Medical College of Georgia Schools of Medicine and Graduate Studies. "But, your fetus may have experienced irreversible damage".

He thinks the damage results from the death of neural crest cells, versatile cells that travel a lot during development, ultimately helping form bone, cartilage, connective tissue, the heart and more. These cells are in the process of developing at the same time as neural tube cells that form the brain and spinal cord. Consequently, the telltale facial abnormalities in a newborn also may foretell problems with learning, memory, vision, hearing and more.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         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.

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