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Archives Of Health News Blog From Medicineworld.Org

January 16, 2006, 10:54 PM CT

Preferred Method of Treatment for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

Preferred Method of Treatment for Advanced Ovarian Cancer
The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, today issued an announcement encouraging therapy with anticancer drugs via two methods, after surgery, for women with advanced ovary cancer. The combined methods, which deliver drugs into a vein and directly into the abdomen, extend overall survival for women with advanced ovary cancer by about a year.

The clinical announcement to surgeons and other medical professionals who treat women with ovary cancer was made with the support of six professional societies and advocacy groups. The announcement coincides with publication in the New England Journal of Medicine* of the results of a large clinical trial by Deborah Armstrong, M.D., medical oncologist and an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, Md., and her colleagues in an NCI-supported research network known as the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG). This is the eighth trial evaluating the use of chemotherapy delivered into the abdomen for ovary cancer. Together, these trials show a significant improvement in survival for women with advanced ovary cancer.

The two therapy methods are called intravenous, or IV, for chemotherapy delivered into a vein and intraperitoneal, or IP, for chemotherapy delivered into the abdominal, or peritoneal, cavity. The Armstrong trial involved 429 women with stage III ovary cancer who were given chemotherapy following the successful surgical removal of tumors. It compared two therapy regimens: 1) IV paclitaxel followed by IV cisplatin, to 2) IV paclitaxel followed by IP cisplatin and the subsequent administration of IP paclitaxel.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink

January 15, 2006, 5:45 PM CT

Amino Acid Supplement Following A Heart Attack

Amino Acid Supplement Following A Heart Attack
Use of the amino acid supplement L-arginine following a heart attack does not improve certain cardiac functions and measurements and may be associated with an increased risk of death, as per a studyin the January 4 issue of JAMA.

L-arginine is a widely available dietary supplement and is publicized as having benefits for patients with hypertension, angina, heart failure and sexual dysfunction, according to background information in the article. Previous studies suggest that L-arginine has the potential to reduce vascular (blood vessel) stiffness.

Steven P. Schulman, M.D., of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, and his colleagues conducted the Vascular Interaction with Age in Myocardial Infarction (VINTAGE MI) clinical trial to test whether administering L-arginine to patients following a first ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI; a certain pattern on an electrocardiogram following a heart attack) over a 6-month period would decrease vascular stiffness and improve ejection fraction (a measure of how much blood the left ventricle of the heart pumps out with each contraction).

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial included 153 STEMI patients; 77 were 60 years or older. Participants were enrolled from February 2002 to June 2004. Patients were randomly assigned to receive L-arginine (goal dose of 3 g three times a day) or matching placebo for six months.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink

January 15, 2006, 5:34 PM CT

Low-fat Diets And Weight Change

Low-fat Diets And Weight Change
In and accompanying editorial, Michael L. Dansinger, M.D., M.S., of the Tufts-New England Medical Center, and Michael L. Dansinger, M.D., M.S., of the Jean Mayer U.S.D.A. Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, comment on the study by Howard et al.

"Unfortunately, the public has become so entrenched in current obesity prevalence and therapy trends that a number of have come to view lifestyle modification as a mediocre means of preventing and reversing obesity, but this could not be further from the truth. A number of have accepted the belief that living in today's society is incompatible with what is mandatory to apply changes in lifestyle, or even worse-that they barely work. Inadequate lifestyle counseling by physicians might contribute to this perception. However, most able-bodied persons who can find a way to overcome the monumental logistical and psychological barriers that prevent the full application of lifestyle change can reverse obesity within months. It seems simplistic, but a potential solution for the obesity crisis depends directly on finding a means of properly dosing lifestyle change recommendations. The medical profession and society in general have underdosed this potent cure by a long shot."

"Even though the WHI Dietary Modification Trial was not a weight-loss study, the modest weight-loss findings somehow still seem dissatisfying. Much more work needs to be done on the obesity front, including a concerted collective effort focused on developing reliable methods of facilitating high long-term adherence levels to substantial lifestyle efforts-specifically calorie-reduced eating patterns and much more exercise. That is something on which health advocates and popular diet proponents can agree," the authors conclude.

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

January 15, 2006, 5:25 PM CT

Low-fat, High-carbohydrate Diet Does Not Cause Weight Gain

Low-fat, High-carbohydrate Diet Does Not Cause Weight Gain
In a clinical trial of over 48,000 post-menopausal women, a low-fat diet that includes increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is not associated with weight gain over an average of 7.5 years, according to a study in the January 4 issue of JAMA.

The prevalence of obesity in the United States has increased dramatically during the past several decades, according to background information in the article. A number of popular diet books have suggested that increasing obesity may be attributed to the diets recommended for chronic disease prevention by various national health organizations, specifically, diets that are lower in total and saturated fat and high in carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains or fiber-rich foods. Proponents of the popular alternative diets have claimed that the higher proportion of carbohydrates in the standard diets may promote weight gain.

Barbara V. Howard, Ph.D., of the MedStar Research Institute, Washington, D.C., and colleagues examined long-term data on the relationships between weight changes and specific changes in dietary components and macronutrient composition. The data were from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Dietary Modification Trial, which was designed to examine the long-term benefits and risks of a dietary pattern low in fat, with increased vegetable, fruit, and grain intake, on breast and colorectal cancers and cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women. Between 1993 and 1998, 48,835 postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to either a low-fat dietary intervention or self-selected dietary control group. The data included body measurements and nutrient data through August 31, 2004, with an average follow-up of 7.5 years. Forty percent (19,541) of the participants were randomized to the intervention and 60 percent (29,294) to a control group. The intervention included group and individual sessions to promote a decrease in fat intake and increases in vegetable, fruit, and grain consumption and did not include weight loss or caloric restriction goals. The control group received diet-related education materials.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

January 15, 2006, 3:05 PM CT

Hope For Children Facing Immune System Disorders

Children Facing Immune System Disorder
For 11 of Lacey Conners's 12 years of life, she's had to visit a hospital every three weeks for an antibody replacement treatment to treat her primary immunodeficiency (PI). On top of being diagnosed with Crohn's disease and heart disease, Lacey's immune system is unable to adequately produce the specific antibodies needed to fight off infection. With the establishment of the Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic Center for Primary Immunodeficiencies, the Emory Children's Center joins children like Lacey on the front line of the fight against PI disorder.

The new Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic Center for Primary Immunodeficiencies at the Emory Children's Center was made possible by a donation from the Jeffrey Modell Foundation (JMF). The center is the only of its kind in Georgia dedicated to the diagnosis and therapy of patients with PI. Emory was designated as a location for one of 23 Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic Centers worldwide because of its excellence in patient care and research into the complex disorders of PI. To date, physicians at Emory have diagnosed and treated over 250 children living with the disorder.

PI includes more than 120 genetic defects that cause a reduced or absent ability for the immune system to produce specific antibodies to fight off infection. It is often misdiagnosed as common chronic childhood illnesses such as sinus and ear infections, pneumonia, fever, and bronchitis. PI illnesses can range from chronic sinusitis to "bubble boy disease," the common term used to describe severe combined immune deficiency.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

January 15, 2006, 2:55 PM CT

Addressing Expecting Moms Concerns

Addresses Expecting Moms Concerns
Is there an Emory doctor in the house? You can find one each month in the pages of Pregnancy Magazine. Gynecologist Stephen Weiss, MD has been appointed as the publication's resident physician, and uses his expertise to educate readers in a monthly QandA column in the magazine geared toward expecting moms.

Dr. Weiss's first column helped readers sort through questions about breast-feeding, toddler tantrums, and fatigue. His upcoming columns will address issues such as incontinence, labor stages, and exercise.

"This is an ideal opportunity for both Emory and 'Pregnancy Magazine'," says Dr. Weiss, an assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology, Emory University School of Medicine. "I'm honored to be able to help answer the unaddressed questions that women have about pregnancy and the transition into motherhood. I may never see most of the women who read my column in my office, but they'll be aware of the commitment and expertise in women's health the Emory team has to offer."

Below are two examples of questions Dr. Weiss answered from the Pregnancy Magazine (January 2006) readers:.

Q: I have been feeling extreme fatigue as a result to giving birth. Sometime it's hard for me to even hold my baby for long periods of time. How can I get my strength back?.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink

January 15, 2006, 2:46 PM CT

Physicians Who Treat World Travelers

Physicians Who Treat World Travelers
Diseases know no borders, and as international business and personal travel continues to become more common, the borderlines become even more blurred. Physicians who specialize in travel and tropical medicine, like Phyllis E. Kozarsky, MD, professor of medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, now have new data that will help guide their therapy of international travelers.

Data on more than 17,000 ill returning travelers collected through the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network, an established network of International Society of Travel Medicine clinics, show, for the first time, that travelers to different parts of the developing world face varying but significant risks. The study appears in the Jan. 12 issue of "The New England Journal of Medicine."

The Emory TravelWell Clinic, located at Emory Crawford Long Hospital, is part of the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network, and Dr. Kozarsky, the clinic director, is a co-author of the study and a founder of the network.

"This data will not only guide me and my colleagues in travel and tropical medicine, but it will help internal medicine specialists and emergency physicians who may be faced with treating patients who present with unusual or exotic diseases," says Dr. Kozarsky.

"This information gives us a blueprint of what to look for when it comes to diagnosing sick travelers, based on where they have been," says lead author David O. Freedman, MD, director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Travel Medicine Clinic. "Doctors -- travel medicine specialists in particular -- can use the destination-specific differences we've found to guide the diagnosis and therapy of ill travelers, meaning they can order the correct tests and begin the correct treatment while waiting for confirmation."........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink

January 13, 2006, 0:16 AM CT

Alcohol Advertising May Lead To Increased Drinking

Alcohol Advertising May Lead To Increased Drinking
Young people who view more alcohol advertisements tend to drink more alcohol, according to a new study in the recent issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Young people are beginning to drink at an earlier age than ever before and their actions can have consequences ranging from poor grades to alcoholism and car accidents, according to background information in the article. Several studies have found an association between exposure to alcohol advertisements and youth drinking, but have not been able to establish causality, the authors write. The alcohol industry has no federal restrictions on its advertising but is subject to voluntary codes dictating that 70 percent of the audience for their advertisements be adults older than age 21. The authors report that these ads still appear frequently in media aimed at young people.

Leslie B. Snyder, Ph.D., of the University of Connecticut, Storrs, and his colleagues interviewed a random sample of young people aged 15 to 26 years in 24 U.S. media markets four times between 1999 and 2001. The scientists interviewed 1,872 young people in the first wave, 1,173 of the same respondents in the second, 787 in the third and 588 in the fourth.

Young adults who reported viewing more alcohol advertisements on average also reported drinking more alcohol on average-each additional advertisement viewed per month increased the number of drinks consumed by 1 percent. The same percentage increase, 1 percent per advertisement per month, applied to underage drinkers (those younger than age 21) as well.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink

January 13, 2006, 0:07 AM CT

Children's Weight And Neighborhood Safety

Children's Weightand Neighborhood Safety
Children who live in neighborhoods that their parents believe are unsafe are more likely to be overweight than those in neighborhoods perceived as safe, as per a studyin the recent issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Almost 16 percent of 6- to 11-year-old children in the United States are overweight, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of greater than or equal to the 95th percentile of national norms for age and sex, according to background information in the article. Children who are African-American or Hispanic, who watch large amounts of television or who have parents with high BMIs are more likely to be overweight, but little is known about how a child's neighborhood affects his or her risks. Few prior studies have looked specifically at the relationship between neighborhood safety and children's risk of being overweight.

Julie C. Lumeng, M.D., of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his colleagues collected data from 768 children and families participating in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, a study of families in 10 diverse regions of the United States. The parents completed questionnaires that assessed how safe they thought their neighborhoods were at the time their children were in first grade. The ratings were divided into quartiles, with the first quartile perceived as the least safe and the fourth as safest. Their children's height and weight were measured in the laboratory when they were 4 ½ years old and again the spring of their first-grade year in school, when their mean (average) age was 7. BMI was calculated by dividing their weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

January 12, 2006, 11:59 PM CT

Brain Volume And Dementia

Brain Volume And Dementia
Reduced volume, or atrophy, in parts of the brain known as the amygdala and hippocampus may predict which cognitively healthy elderly people will develop dementia over a six-year period, as per a studyin the recent issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New strategies may be able to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia among older adults, according to background information in the article. Accurate methods of identifying which people are at high risk for dementia in old age would help physicians determine who could benefit from these interventions. There is evidence that adults with AD and mild cognitive impairment, a less severe condition that is considered a risk factor for AD, have reduced hippocampal and amygdalar volumes. However, prior research has not addressed whether measuring atrophy using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can predict the onset of AD at an earlier stage, before cognitive symptoms appear.

Tom den Heijer, M.D., Ph.D., of the Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and his colleagues used MRI to assess the brain volumes of 511 dementia-free elderly people who were part of the Rotterdam Study, a large population-based cohort study that began in 1990. They screened the participants for dementia at initial visits in 1995 and 1996 and then in follow-up visits between 1997 and 2003, during which they asked about memory problems and performed extensive neuropsychological testing. The authors also monitored the medical records of all participants. During the follow-up, 35 participants developed dementia and 26 were diagnosed with AD.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink

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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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