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November 27, 2007, 10:13 PM CT

Drinking And Smoking Don't Boost HPV-Related Cancer Risk

Drinking And Smoking Don't Boost HPV-Related Cancer Risk
Heavy smoking and drinking are known to cause head and neck cancer. Infection with human papilloma virus type 16 (HPV16), a common strain of the sexually-transmitted HPV virus, is another known risk factor for head and neck cancer, which affects about 500,000 people each year worldwide.

New Brown University research, however, shows that alcohol and tobacco use doesn't further increase the risk of contracting head and neck cancers for people infected with HPV16. This finding, reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, is the strongest evidence to date that these major cancers have two distinct causes - and may represent two distinct classes of cancer - and would require different prevention and therapy strategies.

Karl Kelsey, M.D., a Brown professor of community health and pathology and laboratory medicine and the director of the Center for Environmental Health and Technology, said the research has public health policy implications.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that girls and young women receive the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer - HPV16 causes about half of all cervical cancer cases - boys and men cannot get the vaccine. An estimated 20 million Americans are currently infected with genital HPV and 50 to 75 percent of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some point in their lives, as per the National Institutes of Health.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 27, 2007, 9:56 PM CT

Decoding Genomes Of Tuberculosis Bacteria

Decoding Genomes Of Tuberculosis Bacteria
An international collaboration led by scientists in the US and South Africa announced Nov. 20 the first genome sequence of an extensively drug resistant (XDR) strain of the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, one associated with more than 50 deaths in a recent tuberculosis (TB) outbreak in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

As part of this work, genomes of multi-drug resistant (MDR) and drug sensitive isolates were also decoded. Initial comparisons of the genome sequences reveal that the drug-resistant and drug-sensitive microbes differ at only a few dozen locations along the four-million-letter DNA code, revealing some known drug resistance genes as well as some additional genes that may also be important to the spread of TB.

The scientists have taken an unusual step of immediately sharing both the genome sequence and their initial analysis far in advance of submitting a scientific paper, in order to accelerate work on drug-resistant TB by scientists around the world.

"Tuberculosis is a major threat to global public health that demands new approaches to disease diagnosis and therapy," said Megan Murray, one of the project's principal investigators, an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. "By looking at the genomes of different strains, we can learn how the tuberculosis microbe outwits current drugs and how new drugs might be designed".........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 27, 2007, 8:48 PM CT

PET scanning for lung cancer staging

PET scanning for lung cancer staging
PET scanner
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a useful diagnostic tool that supports the need for more accurate staging of lung cancer and improved therapy for patients, concludes an extensive systematic review published online today in Journal of National Cancer Institute.

The review conducted by the Lung Cancer Disease Site Group of Cancer Care Ontarios Program in Evidence-Based Care led by a Sunnybrook researcher, Dr. Yee Ung, evaluates the accuracy and utility of 18-fluorodeoxyglucose PET (18FDG-PET) in the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death and early diagnosis provides the best chance for long term survival, says Dr. Ung, chair, Lung Cancer Site Group, Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook. It is our hope this systematic review contributes to clinical guideline discussions exploring the potential of PET as part of standard preoperative work-up - along with computed tomography (CT) - to further enhance assessment of early-stage lung cancer.

While the standard imaging technologies CT provide structural information and defines disease states based on anatomical changes, PET provides complementary information on biochemical processes that may precede gross anatomical changes.

Key findings drawn from the literature review include PET imaging is accurate in differentiating between non-malignant and cancerous lung tumours as small as 1 centimetre. PET was also shown to be more effective for mediastinal (lymph nodes in the centre of the chest) staging in non-small cell lung cancer. Nonetheless, confirmation of PET findings by surgical biopsy remains important. With best available data, the scientists also identified good accuracy in staging extensive versus limited stage small cell lung cancer.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


November 26, 2007, 10:10 PM CT

Burning out? Try logging off

Burning out? Try logging off
You might believe that a long vacation is the way to beat job burnout. But the kind of vacation you have is just as important if not more important than its length, concludes Prof. Dov Eden, an organizational psychology expert from Tel Aviv Universitys Faculty of Management.

The key to a quality vacation, he says, is to put work at a distance. And keep it there.

Using work cell phones and checking company email at the poolside is not a vacation, Prof. Eden says. Persons who do this are shackled to electronic tethers which in my opinion is little different from being in jail.

For the past ten years, Prof. Eden has been studying respite effects, which measure relief from chronic job stress before, during, and after vacations away from the workplace. Electronic connectivity exacts a price from those who stay wired into the office while away from work. It marks the end of true respite relief, says Prof. Eden, and is a cause of chronic job stress.

If I were a manager, I would insist that my employees leave their cell phones at work during vacation and not check their email while away, Prof. Eden warns. In the long run, the employee will be better rested and better able to perform his or her job because true respite affords an opportunity to restore depleted psychological resources.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


November 26, 2007, 10:06 PM CT

Mathematician works to make virtual surgery a reality

Mathematician works to make virtual surgery a reality
A surgeon accidently kills a patient, undoes the error and starts over again. Can mathematics make such science fiction a reality? .

The day is rapidly approaching when your surgeon can practice on your "digital double" a virtual you before performing an actual surgery, as per UCLA mathematician Joseph Teran, who is helping to make virtual surgery a viable technology. The advantages will save lives, he believes.

"You can fail spectacularly with no consequences when you use a simulator and then learn from your mistakes," said Teran, 30, who joined UCLA's mathematics department in July. "If you make errors, you can undo them just as if you're typing in a Word document and you make a mistake, you undo it. Starting over is a big benefit of the simulation.

"Surgical simulation is coming, there is no question about it," he said. "It's a cheaper alternative to cadavers and a safer alternative to patients." .

How would virtual surgery work? .

"The ideal situation would be when patients come in for a procedure, they get scanned and a three-dimensional digital double is generated; I mean a digital double you on the computer, including your internal organs," Teran said. "The surgeon first does surgery on the virtual you. With a simulator, a surgeon can practice a procedure tens or hundreds of times. You could have a patient in a small town scanned while a surgeon hundreds or thousands of miles away practices the surgery. The patient then flies out for the surgery. We have to solve mathematical algorithms so what the surgeon does on the computer mimics real life." .........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


November 26, 2007, 9:51 PM CT

Smoking and depressionr in new mothers

Smoking and depressionr in new mothers
Smoking and depression often go hand-in-hand for new mothers, as per a research studyin the November 2007 issue of Preventive Medicine by Temple University researcher Dr. Robert Whitaker.

"While smoking and depression adversely affect a mother's health, the combination may also affect the health of her child," Whitaker said.

For children, the potential consequences of maternal smoking include sudden infant death, asthma, ear infections and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, while the potential consequences of maternal depression include behavior problems, language delay and childhood depression.

"Giving a mother who smokes the telephone number to a 'quit line' is probably not going to be enough if smoking is helping the mother cope with her symptoms of untreated depression," said Whitaker, a pediatrician and professor of public health at Temple University. "Depression and addiction to tobacco should not be diagnosed or treated in isolation from each other".

The issue is especially troublesome for low-income families.

"Unfortunately, an adequately financed primary-care system for low-income mothers does not exist beyond pregnancy. You can improve the well-being of the child by addressing the health and well-being of the mother. Care of mothers and their children should be better integrated in our healthcare system," Whitaker said.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 26, 2007, 3:55 PM CT

Link Between Obesity, Poor Bone Health

Link Between Obesity, Poor Bone Health
Being overweight is a known risk factor for heart disease, diabetes and a host of other health conditions. Now, a University of Georgia study reported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that obesity may also be bad for bone health.

Scientists conducted advanced three-dimensional bone scans on 115 women ages 18 and 19 with normal (less than 32 percent) and high (greater than 32 percent) body fat. After adjusting for differences in muscle mass surrounding the bone, the scientists observed that the bones of participants with high body fat were 8 to 9 percent weaker than those of normal body fat participants.

"Obesity is an epidemic in this country, and I think this study is critical because it highlights another potential negative health effect that people haven't considered," said co-author of study Richard D. Lewis, professor of foods and nutrition at the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Prior studies on bone health and obesity used a two-dimensional bone densitometer that is usually used in osteoporosis screenings. Lewis explained that a notable shortcoming of the bone densitometer is that it does not take into account bone shape and geometry, which have a substantial influence on bone strength. The new study used a three-dimensional imaging technique that measures both the amount of mineral in the bone and its shape and geometry. The study observed that, surprisingly, normal- and high body-fat young adult females have comparable bone strength in a direct comparison that does not account for muscle mass.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


November 24, 2007, 8:14 AM CT

Age, burden, divorce and heavy tea consumption

Age, burden, divorce and heavy tea consumption
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common disorder with a high incidence rate in adults of 10 - 38%. The diagnosis and therapy of GERD are therefore important because the disease, in addition to the highly disturbing typical symptoms, has a series of known consequences. The presence of GERD may affect patients' quality of life, decrease functional activity, and increase the risk of esophageal carcinoma.

Eventhough a number of researchers have reported the prevalence of erosive esophagitis, the prevalence of non-erosive reflux disease (NERD) has not been investigated in China.

A research article reported in the issue 45 of the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team led by Dr. You-Ming Li analyzed a spectrum of GERD subjects based on presenting symptoms and endoscopic findings.

One conclusion reported by the researchers is that of the 2231 recruited participants, 31.4% were diagnosed as having GERD, 10.6% were NERD patients, while 20.80% had objective findings of reflux esophagitis, including 19.5% patients with grade A or B reflux esophagitis, 0.90% with grade C and 0.40% with grade D.

Another conclusion is that old age, being male, having a moderate working burden, being divorced/widowed and heavy tea consumption remained significant independent risk factors for erosive esophagitis. Routine consumption of greasy food and constipation were considered significant independent risk factors for NERD.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


November 21, 2007, 5:20 AM CT

Asthma link to post-traumatic stress disorder

Asthma link to post-traumatic stress disorder
For the first time, a study by scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, is linking asthma with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among adults. The study of male twins who were veterans of the Vietnam era suggests that the association between asthma and PTSD is not primarily explained by common genetic influences.

The study included 3,065 male twin pairs, who had lived together in childhood, and who had both served on active military duty during the Vietnam War. As per the findings, among all twins, those who suffered from the most PTSD symptoms were 2.3 times as likely to have asthma compared with those who suffered from the least PTSD symptoms.

The study included both identical twins, who share all the same genetic material, and fraternal twins, who share only half of the same genetic material. "If there had been a strong genetic component to the link between asthma and PTSD, the results between these two types of twins would have been different, but we didn't find substantial differences between the two," said lead researcher Renee D. Goodwin, PhD, assistant professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health.

Several other studies have observed a relationship between asthma and other anxiety disorders, Dr. Goodwin noted, yet this study is the first to investigate the link between asthma and PTSD. This new research also confirmed prior findings that linked asthma with a higher risk of depression. "The reason (s) for the association between asthma and mental disorders is not known," she said. "Asthma could increase the risk of anxiety disorders, or anxiety disorders might cause asthma, or there could be common risk factors for both asthma and anxiety disorders. Our study found the association between asthma and PTSD does not appear to be primarily due to a common genetic predisposition".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


November 21, 2007, 5:13 AM CT

Regular Exercise Reduces Risk of Blood Clots

Regular Exercise Reduces Risk of Blood Clots
As per a new study published in Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, regular participation in sports reduces the risk of developing blood clots by 39 percent in women and 22 percent in men.

Scientists from Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands reviewed 7,860 people aged 18-70. Patients who had suffered their first blood clot in a leg vein or lung artery were compared with control subjects who had never experienced blood clots. 31 percent of the patients and 40 percent of the control group participated in sports on a regular basis.

Overall figures for both sexes showed that participating in sports at least once per week, regardless of the type of sport or its intensity, reduced the risk of developing a blood clot in a lung artery by 46 percent and a blood clot in a leg vein by 24 percent.

"Women were shown to be even more likely to reap the benefits of regular sporting activities than men," says F.R. Rosendaal, co-author of the study. "When we excluded women who were pregnant or receiving oral contraceptive or hormone replacement treatment - all possible causes of blood clots - the risk for women was reduced by 55 percent".

The authors note that, while strenuous activity is known to increase the risk of blood clot development in the elderly, regular exercise is also shown to greatly benefit the heart, and that the net effect of elderly sports participation may be positive.........

Posted by: JoAnn      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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