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Double Your Quit Rate By Wearing Nicotine Patch
In a study of 96 smokers attempting to quit, 50 percent of those who wore the patch two weeks previous to quitting had stopped at four weeks. Only 23 percent of smokers who wore a placebo patch two weeks previous to quitting had stopped after four weeks. The same pattern appeared to continue for six months, eventhough a number of of the study participants were no longer reachable to verify this trend, said the researchers.
If these findings are confirmed by a larger study currently underway, the scientists said the Food and Drug Administration may need to re-evaluate its current warning against smoking while wearing the nicotine patch. Moreover, said the researchers, such confirmation would lead them to advocate a change in clinical practice in smoking cessation programs, to include use of the patches before cessation.
Results of the study, funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), are reported in the Feb. 1, 2006, issue of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.
The Duke scientists said that wearing a nicotine patch before a smoker attempts to quit provides a steady, consistent source of nicotine that interrupts the rapid reward of inhaling nicotine via cigarettes.........
Posted by: Janet Permalink
February 5, 2006, 10:30 PM CT
Pregnancy With Female Fetus Causes More Asthma Attacks
"This is one of the first and largest studies to investigate the effect of fetal sex on the severity of the mother's asthma, and one of the largest to investigate the effect of fetal sex on any disease of the mother," said senior author Michael B. Bracken, Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine.
The scientists monitored 702 pregnant women throughout southern New England who were trained to assess their lung function for 10-day intervals at selected points in pregnancy. Lung function and a large number of other factors that might influence severity of the mother's asthma were recorded automatically.
Asthma worsened in mothers with either male or female fetuses until about 30 weeks gestation, after which there was an improvement in lung function. However, throughout pregnancy, mothers with a male fetus had 10 percent better lung function.
"This difference due to sex is potentially important but needs to be placed in the context of other factors which have a greater impact on the severity of mother's asthma, including inadequate medical management of asthma symptoms, and whether the mother was a smoker or not," said Bracken, who also co-directs the Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology.........
Posted by: Emily Permalink
February 2, 2006, 10:04 PM CT
Can Snoring Ruin a Marriage?
The Sleep Disorders Center at Rush University Medical Center is conducting a scientific sleep study to evaluate how a husband's sleep apnea impacts the wife's quality of sleep and the couple's marital satisfaction.
"This is a frequent problem within marriages that nobody is paying enough attention to," said Rosalind Cartwright, PhD, founder of the Sleep Disorders Center at Rush. "Couples who struggle with sleep apnea have a high-divorce rate. Can we save marriages by treating sleep apnea? It's a question we hope to answer".
The Married Couples Sleep Study is evaluating 10 couples in which the male has been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. After completing surveys about sleepiness, marriage satisfaction, and quality of life, the couple spends the night in the sleep lab where technicians determine each partner's quality and quantity of sleep. Following two weeks of therapy, the diagnostic tests and surveys are repeated.
"Our early results are showing that the wife's sleep is indeed deprived due to the husband's noisy nights. This is not a mild problem. The lack of sleep for both partners puts a strain on the marriage and creates a hostile and tense situation," said Cartwright.........
Posted by: Janet Permalink
January 23, 2006, 9:41 PM CT
Obesity And Sleep Apnea In Kids
Jennifer Miller, M.DGrowth hormone helps hundreds of children with a rare disorder that causes them to gorge on food, but for some, starting therapy can worsen a dangerous nighttime breathing problem, University of Florida scientists have found.
Sleep apnea disrupts breathing during sleep and is common among morbidly obese children, including those with Prader-Willi syndrome, a disease that compels them to eat nonstop. Scientists say that uncovering how to treat obesity and related problems in children genetically wired to be overweight could help them better battle childhood obesity in general.
Growth hormone has shown to be one of the most effective ways to treat children and adults with Prader-Willi. But UF scientists found that starting therapys can worsen or trigger sleep apnea in obese children exposed to colds, potentially leading to death, as per findings published online recently in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
"Every kid we studied had abnormal sleep at the beginning, before growth hormone," said Dr. Jennifer Miller, a UF assistant professor of pediatrics and the study's lead author. "On growth hormone, most of them got better but not all of them. The ones that got worse tended to be school age. Some of them were just entering school and then they were coming home with upper-respiratory infections.........
Posted by: JoAnn Permalink
January 7, 2006, 2:18 PM CT
Tomato Juice Keeps Emphysema away!
Scientists at Juntendo University School of Medicine first compared the reaction of two mostly similar mouse strains to inhaled cigarette smoke. Since the lungs of one of the mouse strains "naturally" age very quickly, the scientists believed that exposure to inhaled cigarette smoke would induce emphysema in that strain much more quickly than in the other strain. And indeed, they found that after eight weeks of breathing 1.5% tobacco smoke through the nose for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, the test strain, called SAMP1, did develop emphysema, while the control strain, called SAMR1, did not.
50% tomato juice drink "completely prevented" smoke-induced emphysema.
Then, using the same experimental method, but substituting a 50% tomato juice mixture for their regular water supply, the scientists again compared the effect of smoking on the mice. They found that "smoke-induced emphysema was completely prevented by concomitant ingestion of lycopene (a potent antioxidant) given as tomato juice" in SAMP1 mice. They added: "Smoke exposure increased apoptosis and active caspase-3 of airway and alveolar septal cells and reduced VEGF in lung tissues, but tomato juice ingestion significantly reduced apoptosis and increased tissue VEGF level".........
Posted by: Scott Permalink
December 27, 2005
Phase III Clinical Trial on Pleural Mesothelioma
A rare but devastating disease, it is estimated that 2,000 to 3,000 new mesothelioma cases will be diagnosed each year in the United States. Mesothelioma is cancer of the cells found in the mesothelium, which is the protective lining covering most of the internal organs of the body. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma, and it is identified by the presence of malignant cells located in the tissue outside of the lungs and inside of the ribs.
Vorinostat is an experimental drug that is believed to work against cancer cells. When cells become malignant, chemical reactions inside the cancer cell allow those cells to multiply out of control. Vorinostat may stop the growth of tumor cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth.
The principal investigator on the Vorinostat clinical trial at Winship is Dong M. Shin, MD, Professor of Hematology/Oncology and Otolaryngology; Director of Clinical and Translational Cancer Prevention Programs; and Co-Director of the Lung and Aerodigestive Tract Malignancies Program at Emory Winship Cancer Institute. Dr. Shin joined Winship in 2003 after more than 15 years as a faculty member at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
"This is a very important study for this terrible disease," said Dr. Shin. "As a second line treatment, there are currently no options other than this clinical trial."........
December 25, 2005, 10:32 AM CT
Merry Christmas To All Our Readers
Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh........
December 21, 2005
It's never too late to quit smoking
According to the American Cancer Society, smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the United States, accounting for 440,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year. It also causes more than 80 percent of all lung cancers and increases the risk for a number of other types of cancer, including oral, throat pancreatic, uterine, bladder, and kidney cancers.
"Our most effective tool for treating lung cancer is to prevent it from ever happening," explains Bruce E. Johnson, MD, director of the Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
Johnson emphasizes that it is never too late to quit. People who stop and remain a nonsmoker for at least 10 to 20 years can cut their risk of developing lung cancer in half. Even those who quit smoking in their 60s, 70s, and 80s benefit by reducing their risk of dying from a heart attack or from developing lung or head and neck cancer, says Johnson.
Johnson offers the following tips to help people to quit smoking:
First, commit to quit
Tell friends and family
December 20, 2005
Neighborhoods May Affect Asthma
While study findings showed worse health and poorer quality of life among people living in lower-income areas, they also showed poorer lung function among those living in suburbs, where people tended to own newer homes in less densely populated neighborhoods.
The study, conducted by scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, is published in the recent issue of the European Respiratory Journal.
The analysis did not pinpoint exposures that might be linked to these population effects, but most scientists believe water-damaged housing stock, proximity to high traffic flow, industrial pollution, and social environmental stress are key contributors to health problems in poorer neighborhoods. The study raises the possibility that more frequent household pet ownership may be one factor in lower lung function in suburban-related health exposures, eventhough larger backyards with more allergenic plants could be a contributor.
"Our research could be subtitled 'No Man is an Island,'" said Paul Blanc, MD, UCSF professor of occupational and environmental medicine and lead author of the study. "The study findings underscore that asthma is a complex problem that does not simply affect people in isolation."
"Even if individual risk factors such as poor access to medical care can be overcome, different communities have different asthma patterns, and strategies for prevention and therapy must take this into account," he said.
Blanc cites the need for studies to nail down the community-wide physical and social environmental factors that contribute to asthma and poorer respiratory health.........
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Did you know?
The use of a nighttime air pump is the preferred therapy for sleep apnea because of questions about the safety and effectiveness of surgery, according to a new review of previous studies.The reviewers, led by Supriya Sunduram of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in England, conclude that despite widespread use of surgery as a means of improving sleep quality, it should not be recommended because of "uncertainty surrounding its safety, continued effectiveness and inconsistent" results.
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