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Hormone therapy is the first best option for patients with recurrent prostate cancer. Hormone therapies is usually used to block testosterone production in an effort to halt or slow the growth of the tumor. New research suggests that hormone therapy may have its own toll. Hormone therapy may put these men at increased risk for developing insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar levels. This in turn can affect heart health.
Doctors say that hormone therapy may lead to high rate of heart disease in men with prostate cancer as per findings of this research published in the journal Cancer.
Dr. Shehzad Basaria from Johns Hopkins University say that heart disease is one of the most common causes of death in men with prostate cancer. In a study of 53 men with prostate cancer, the researchers found that those treated with hormonal therapy for at least one year were more resistant to the action of insulin, and had higher glucose levels than men who had only received local surgery and or radiation and had normal testosterone levels, and age-matched healthy men with normal testosterone levels.
According to the study, 44 percent of men in the hormone therapy group had blood sugar levels greater than 126, which is among the criteria for the diagnosis of diabetes. In contrast, only about 12 percent of men in the other groups had blood sugar levels this high.
Feb 9, 2006
Eat More Whole Grains To Reduce Risk Of Diabetes
A new study published in the January issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (HNRCA) found that consuming a diet rich in whole-grain foods may lower an elderly person's risk for cardiovascular disease and reduce the onset of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. The term metabolic syndrome is used for a collection of risk factors, puts people at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.
This study was led by Paul Jacques, DSc, director of the Nutritional Epidemiology Program at the HNRCA. Jacques and his colleagues examined the relationship between whole-grain intake and cardiovascular disease risk factors, metabolic syndrome, and the incidence of death due to cardiovascular disease in the elderly.
The study has shown that consuming a high whole-grain diet is likely to have positive metabolic effects in elderly individuals, who are prone to greater insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance.
Researchers showed that, as whole-grain intake increased, fasting blood sugar levels were lower in study subjects. Refined grain intake, on the other hand, was associated with higher fasting blood sugar levels. Elevated fasting blood sugar levels can indicate impaired glucose tolerance and the presence of diabetes. In addition, people who consumed high amounts of refined grains had twice the risk of having metabolic syndrome than those people who consumed the fewest servings of refined grains.
Feb 7, 2006
Eating Less Fat May Not Protect You From Cancer And Heart Disease
Eating less fat is not final solution cancer and heart disease as per findings from a recently published research. This new study has found that eating less fat later in life may not lower the risk of cancer and heart disease among older women. This is a disappointment for those who expected to have a greater benefit from a healthy diet.
These results come from a large study, sponsored by the government. A total of 48,835 women participated in this study. Researchers say that this is not the final decision regarding benefits of low fat diet.
Researchers argue that these women may have started this low-fat diet too late in their life to derive any benefit. Average age of patients participated in the study was 62 years. The researchers also point out that these women did not reduce the intake of fat as much as the diet demanded. Most of these women remained overweight during the course of the study, a major risk factor for cancer and heart problems.
This study, which has lasted eight years, showed no difference in the rate of breast cancer, colon cancer and heart disease among those who ate lower-fat diets and those who didn't.
Heart and cancer specialists said that thy were not very much surprised by the study results since scientific thinking on the role fats play in disease prevention has evolved since this study was designed. That is especially true when it comes to good and bad fats and heart disease.
Feb 6, 2006
Engineered Heart Tissue To Study Irregular Heartbeats
Engineers who have induced heart cells in culture to mimic the properties of the heart have used the tissue to gain new insight into the mechanisms that spawn irregular heart rhythms. Studies of the engineered cardiac tissue revealed that while electric shocks such as those delivered by defibrillators usually stopped aberrant waves, in some cases they cause them to accelerate and multiply.
In their experiments, the researchers sought to understand the characteristics of ventricular tachycardia -- a condition characterized by abnormally fast beating of the heart's pumping chambers. In particular, they sought to understand how such arrhythmia may lead to ventricular fibrillation, in which the heart's electrical activity becomes disordered, causing the ventricles to flutter rather than synchronously beat. As a result, pumping of the blood is inefficient, and death can result within minutes.
In their study, Bursac and his colleagues created a simpler version of cardiac tissue using cells from the heart ventricles of neonatal rats. They transferred the cells into culture dishes on which they had stamped precise patterns of proteins known to support heart tissue growth. The proteins caused the cells to orient themselves, interconnect and grow in a manner that mimics normal heart tissue, Bursac explained.
The team then induced electrical activity in these engineered tissues as would occur in ventricular tachycardia and attempted to halt it with pace-setting pulses.
Jan 31, 2006
Microvascular Syndrome Common In Women
While about 12 million U.S. women are having coronary artery disease about 3 million of them have a condition called coronary microvascular syndrome. Women with this condition have atherosclerotic plaques in the tiniest arteries of their heart, reducing oxygen flow.
Standard techniques of diagnosing heart disease including X-rays of the coronary arteries, or angiography, would not find this problem. Only careful additional tests of coronary blood flow can identify this problem.
Women with this condition might seek medical care because they're unable to perform their normal daily activities. They complain of low energy and shortness of breath, but not necessarily the chest pain experienced by men with coronary artery disease.
In the past, doctors would often attribute such symptoms to neuroticism or depression, especially when angiography revealed nothing unusual, says George Sopko of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, who serves as the project officer for the ongoing WISE study, the journal supplement's focus.
Men get coronary microvascular syndrome, too, but they represent only 20% of cases, says WISE chair C. Noel Bairey Merz, a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. In the USA, more women than men have died of heart disease every year since 1984. Yet, most studies about the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease have been conducted in men, she says.
Jan 31, 2006
Lipitor May Help Bladder Cancer
Lipitor (Atorvastatin) is a commonly used cholesterol-lowering drug. This drug may have activity in bladder cancer as per research findings published in the journal Urology.
This activity of Lipitor was found in the laboratory, and clinical trials are still needed to confirm these results in patients.
To further investigate the effects of atorvastatin (Lipitor), the researchers examined the activity of this cholesterol-lowering drug on two types of cultured human bladder cancer cells. At concentrations comparable to those achievable with oral administration, atorvastatin inhibited cell growth and DNA synthesis in both bladder cancer cell types.
This led to significant cell toxicity, which was demonstrated by DNA fragmentation and induction of cell death. Destruction of up to 70 percent of bladder cancer cells was observed.
Since these drugs are widely used for lowering cholesterol, the safety of this drug has already been established. Based on these new observations, studies may be designed to see if atrovastatin is cancer prevention or cancer treatment capabilities.
Jan 30, 2006
No More Than Two Drinks Per Day
Drinking alcohol may be associated with more cancer risk than it is generally thought. Scientists say that along with smoking alcohol should be considered as a major cancer-inducing factor.
It's true that moderate drinking has been linked to decreased risk of developing heart attacks. But excessive drinking raises the risk of cancer of the mouth, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon and breast. Alcohol may also be linked with cancer of the pancreas and lung.
Dr Paolo Boffetta of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France and colleagues reviewed research into the link between alcohol and cancer, found the more alcohol consumed, the higher the risk of developing cancer.
But they advised people to drink moderately, rather than give up alcohol completely, because of its protective benefits against cardiovascular disease. Researchers said that men and women should limit how much alcohol they drink to reap the benefits but avoid the dangers. The most recent version of the European code against cancer recommends keeping daily consumption to two drinks for men and one for women, Boffetta says.
Jan 25, 2006
No Value In Adding Amino Acids After A Heart Attack
Some physicians believed that adding nutritional supplement with amino acids following a heart attack may improve the chances of surviving a heart attack or decreasing the complications related to a heart attack.
New research is showing that this belief has no scientific backing. This research has shown that use of the amino acid supplement L-arginine following a heart attack does not improve cardiac functions following a heart attack. You can find these results on the latest edition of the Journal of Medical Association.
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.
This 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.
The scientists found that 6 months of L-arginine added to standard postinfarct medications did not reduce noninvasive measures of vascular stiffness, improve ejection fraction, or improve clinical outcomes.
To the contrary, we noted a possible increased risk of death in older patients after infarction while taking L-arginine compared with those taking a placebo, leading to the early termination of the study. These findings have broad public health implications given the increasing availability and use of L-arginine in patients with and without established cardiovascular diseases.
Jan 25, 2006
Fish Oil Good For Heart, But No Help For Cancer
It was widely believed by the scientists and researchers that fish oil may help to prevent some forms of cancer. Fish oil has a known protective effect against heart disease and now it looks like we have to be satisfied with just the heart protective effects of fish oil. This new information on lack of cancer protection of fish oil was released in a review of studies involving more than 700,000 patients.
Researchers combed through the data from 38 different studies that tracked patients for up to 30 years, and came to the conclusion that omega-3 fatty acids that are present in the fish oil has no cancer protective effect. Dr. Catherine MacLean, the lead author and a researcher at the Rand Corp. and Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Healthcare System say that although a few studies found some risk reduction for cancers of the breast, prostate and lung, those studies were relatively small and not definitive.
I Don't think this is going to be the last word on this issue. It has been shown over and over again that plays a key role in causation and prevention of cancer.
These researchers review includes studies that evaluated the effects of fish oil, in both pill form and as food on 11 kinds of cancer, mostly tumors of the breast, colon, lung or prostate. This new study appear in the latest issue of Journal of the American Medical Association
These 38 studies they have evaluated are very different among themselves involving different population groups and different levels of fish oil consumption. This limits the value of this analysis and precludes from making any definite conclusions.
Jan 24, 2006
Teach Your Children Good Eating Habits Early
About 21 million Americans are suffering from diabetes and in addition there are 45 million prediabetics in America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one out of every three children born in the United States will develop this fatal malady during the course of their life.
I know, you are aware of the complications associated with diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, loss of circulation leading to gangrene and amputation of feet, legs and hands. Diabetes damages the nervous system, leaving people in continuous, excruciating pain, and it decreases their immunity, whereby making them more susceptible to infection.
It is important to realize that this killer disease is largely preventable. It is important that you recognize the most important factor that leads to development of diabetes. Obesity is the number one cause for development of diabetes. There is no scarcity for food for people living in America even among low-income groups. The combination of factory-made food loaded with the grease and in combination with lack of exercise is driving millions of Americans in to the no return path of diabetes and heart disease.
Look at the children, at home and at school children are habituated to eating what will make them overweight. Adults play a large role in developing such unhealthy habits in your children. When was the last time you took you children to the high grease fast food chain store? Was it yesterday? Was it day before?
There are regulations in place for advertising in public media in Australia, Canada and England. In the United States, which is the land of free speech our children are exposed to thousands of cunning ads to entice them to embrace into this poor eating habits.
Once children learn such bad eating habits, it's very difficult to change these habits. So it is better to try it now before it's too late. Teach them the values of healthy food and exercise and they will thank you for this.
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About 13 million Americans (about 7 percent of the total population) suffer from coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in American men and women amounting a staggering 20 percent of all causes of death. About half of all deaths related to cardiovascular diseases occur from coronary artery disease. Through this heart watch blog we will have our humble contribution towards making men and women aware of the risks of heart diseases.
Medicineworld.org: Archives of heart-watch-blog
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