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February 14, 2006, 11:45 PM CT

Rimonabant Helps To Lose Weight

Rimonabant Helps To Lose Weight
Use of the weight-loss medicine rimonabant produced modest yet sustained weight loss after 2 years, and improved HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as per a research studyin the February 15 issue of JAMA.

Approximately two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, which greatly increases the risk of developing diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease and death from related causes. Scientists think that besides weight loss, obesity management should target improvement in certain cardiometabolic risk factors, which include abnormal cholesterol and glucose (blood sugar) levels and excess weight around the waist, as per background information in the article. Long-term weight management remains a challenge for patients and clinicians.

F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, M.D., of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, and his colleagues evaluated the efficacy and safety of the weight-loss medicine rimonabant in conjunction with diet and exercise in promoting reductions in body weight and waist circumference, long-term weight maintenance, and reduction of cardiometabolic risk factors in obese and higher risk overweight patients. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, conducted from August 2001 to April 2004, included 3,045 adults who were obese (body mass index 30 or greater) or overweight (body mass index greater than 27 and treated or untreated high blood pressure [high blood pressure] or dyslipidemia [abnormal levels of certain lipids and lipoproteins in the blood]). Patients were randomized to receive placebo, 5 mg/d of rimonabant, or 20 mg/d of rimonabant for 1 year. Rimonabant-treated patients were re-randomized to receive placebo or continued to receive the same rimonabant dose while the placebo group continued to receive placebo during year 2.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


February 14, 2006, 11:35 PM CT

Climate Change May Affect Length of Respiratory Infection

Climate Change May Affect Length of Respiratory Infection
Rising global temperatures over the past two decades may be responsible for a shortened season of a serious respiratory illness in the United Kingdom, as per an article in the March 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) can cause especially severe lower respiratory tract infections in infants and young children, sometimes resulting in pneumonia. Like the flu, RSV has a seasonal pattern, infecting the majority of people during autumn and winter.

Author Gavin Donaldson, PhD, of the University College London, examined the relationship between the RSV season and the rise in temperatures in central England from 1981 to 2004, and found that the RSV season ended earlier each year as temperatures increased. The illness season-measured by laboratory isolation of RSV and emergency room admissions due to RSV-was shortened by about three weeks per degree Celsius rise in annual mean daily temperature.

The link between respiratory disease and temperature is mysterious. "People know that there is a relationship, but don't know what's causing it," Dr. Donaldson said. Staying indoors in chilly weather might result in a higher infection rate due to our close proximity to other people. Cold air might enhance viruses' survival or affect our bodies' ability to fight off infection. "It is known that as the temperature gets colder, a lot of respiratory infections increase. There must be some link with the temperature or the season to explain precisely why this is happening," Dr. Donaldson said. However, he added, "there's no clear evidence of what the mechanism is, nor has it been shown that other respiratory illness seasons, like influenza's, have shortened due to climate change".........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


February 14, 2006, 11:23 PM CT

Why Many Foreign-born Women Don't Recieve Rubella Vaccine?

Why Many Foreign-born Women Don't Recieve Rubella Vaccine?
Contrary to federal recommendations, a number of women who are eligible for rubella vaccination are not being immunized after giving birth, a new study of Miami-area hospitals has found.

"Overall, studies have shown that two-thirds or more of women get vaccinated appropriately," said co-author Susan Reef, M.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We found that in this high-risk population, only 21 percent of non-immune women were vaccinated".

Reef and his colleagues from the CDC and the Miami-Dade County Health Department reviewed medical records for 2001 from four Miami birthing hospitals. The majority of births at these hospitals are to women of Hispanic and Haitian origin, a group at high risk for congenital rubella syndrome due to historically low vaccination rates in their native countries.

Vaccination rates were even lower among women who had not been screened for rubella immunity --just 2 percent received vaccinations, as per the study in the latest American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Of the 1,991 women whose medical records were reviewed, 410 were eligible for vaccination, either because they were not immune or because there was no record that they had been screened. Only 44 of these women (11 percent) received postpartum vaccinations.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


February 14, 2006, 11:16 PM CT

Few Effective Treatments For Personality Disorder

Few Effective Treatments For Personality Disorder
No single therapy stands out as particularly effective for borderline personality disorder, a mental illness that can involve self-harm and suicide attempts, as per two new reviews of recent studies.

Borderline personaltiy disorder does appear to respond more strongly to certain kinds of psychological "talk" therapies, British scientists found. However, the therapys that showed the most promise were relatively new and supported by "too few data for confidence," the authors write.

Because both are complex, intensive therapies that require long-term staff training, "we think that such therapys will only be available to a select few patients," said co-author Mark Fenton.

The team, led by Conor Duggan of the University of Nottingham and Clive Adams of the University of Leeds, conducted separate reviews on psychological and drug therapies for boderline personality disorder.

The reviews appear in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

The team analyzed findings from seven studies on structured talking therapies, comprising 262 adult outpatients with either a formal diagnosis or at least three criteria for the boderline personality disorder.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


February 10, 2006, 7:27 PM CT

veggies may protect you from cancer

veggies may protect you from cancer
Need another reason to eat your vegetables? New research shows that some of them contain chemicals that appear to enhance DNA repair in cells, which could lead to protection against cancer development, say Georgetown University Medical Center researchers.

As per a research findings reported in the British Journal of Cancer (published by the research journal Nature) the scientists show that in laboratory tests, a compound called indole-3-carinol (I3C), found in broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, and a chemical called genistein, found in soy beans, can increase the levels of BRCA1 and BRCA2 proteins that repair damaged DNA.

Eventhough the health benefits of eating your vegetables-particularly cruciferous ones, such as broccoli-aren't especially new, this study is one of the first to provide a molecular explanation as to how eating vegetables could cut a person's risk of developing cancer, an association that some population studies have observed, says the study's senior author, Eliot M. Rosen, MD, PhD, professor of oncology, cell biology, and radiation medicine at Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"It is now clear that the function of crucial cancer genes can be influenced by compounds in the things we eat," Rosen says. "Our findings suggest a clear molecular process that would explain the correlation between diet and cancer prevention."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink    Source


February 10, 2006, 6:53 PM CT

Diabetes Control For Chinese-speaking Immigrants

Diabetes Control For Chinese-speaking Immigrants
Health providers helping Chinese-speaking Asian American immigrants with diabetes better control their disease to avoid complications need to do more than just have translators and bilingual staff in hospitals or doctors' offices. While that's a start, these patients also need comprehensive patient education materials written in Chinese and a medical staff thoroughly versed in the customs and cultural issues that may impede their diabetes care, as per a new study by scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center.

The Chinese-speaking immigrants who were surveyed at community health centers in Boston, New York City and Oakland, Calif., were found to have less knowledge of how to manage their diabetes - and generally had a trend toward poor blood glucose control - compared with Asian American immigrants who preferred to speak English, as per William C. Hsu, M.D., who led the pilot study along with his colleagues in Joslin's Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI). But after being given a bilingual diabetes education book, the participants showed improved understanding of their disease and a trend toward improved blood glucose control in laboratory tests.

The study, which appears in the recent issue of the American Diabetes Association's journal, Diabetes Care, is among the first of its kind to explore language barriers to diabetes management among Chinese-speaking immigrant populations.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink    Source


February 9, 2006, 10:26 PM CT

Heat Wrap Therapy Reduces Low Back Pain

Heat Wrap Therapy Reduces Low Back Pain
The use of continuous low-level heat wrap treatment (CLHT) significantly reduces acute low back pain and related disability and improves occupational performance of employees in physically demanding jobs suffering from acute low back pain, as per a Johns Hopkins study reported in the December 2005 issue of The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

"With recent concerns around the safety of oral pain medications, both patients and physicians are considering alternative therapy options for acute low back pain," said Edward J. Bernacki, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the study's principal investigator. "The dramatic relief we see in workers using CLHT shows that this treatment has clear benefits for low back pain and that it plays an important role in pain management. Physicians and other health care providers in an occupational environment can tell patients that CLHT is a safe and effective alternative for treating acute low back plain".

In the study, 43 patients (age 20 to 62) who visited an occupational injury clinic for low back pain were randomized into one of two intervention arms: 18 patients received education regarding back treatment and pain management alone, while 25 received education regarding back treatment and pain management combined with three consecutive days of CLHT for eight hours continuously (ThermaCare- HeatWraps). The heat wrap is a wrap worn over the lower back, under the clothing. It uses an exothermic chemical reaction to deliver a low level of topical heat for at least eight continuous hours. All groups were assessed for measures of pain intensity and pain relief levels four times a day during the three therapy days, followed by measures for pain intensity and pain relief levels obtained in three follow-up visits on days 4, 7, and 14 from the beginning of the therapy. In addition, other measures were obtained and assessed by the Roland-Morris Low Back Disability Questionnaire and the Lifeware Musculoskeletal Abbreviated Assessment Form.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink


February 8, 2006, 10:55 PM CT

Broccoli And Cauliflower For Cancer Protection

Broccoli And Cauliflower For Cancer Protection
Naturally occurring chemicals found in certain vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, can enhance DNA repair in cells, perhaps helping to stop them becoming malignant, as per a report reported in the British Journal of Cancer* today (Tuesday).

The researchers, based at Georgetown University in Washington DC, have shown that a compound called I3C** found in these vegetables, and a chemical called genistein found in soy beans, both increase the levels of vital DNA repair proteins in cancer cells. Eventhough population studies have suggested a link between eating such vegetables and protection against cancer before, this study now puts forward a molecular mechanism on how they might work.

The repair proteins, regulated by genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2, are important for preventing damaged genetic information being passed on to the next generation of cells. If people have a faulty BRCA gene they are at a higher risk of developing some forms of cancer, including breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. Since decreased amounts of the BRCA proteins are seen in cancer cells, higher levels might prevent cancer developing. The ability of I3C and genistein to boost the amount of BRCA proteins could explain their protective effects.

Professor Eliot M. Rosen, senior author of the report, said: "Studies that monitor people┬┐s diets and their health have found links between certain types of food and cancer risk. However, before we can say a food protects against cancer, we have to understand how it does this at a molecular level".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink


February 8, 2006, 10:28 PM CT

Aging Cells In An Aging Body

Aging Cells In An Aging Body
Brown University biologists have uncovered intriguing evidence to support the theory that old cells help make old bodies. In a study of baboons, researchers showed that as these animals age, the number of aging cells in their skin significantly increases.

Over time, cells lose their ability to divide, a state known as replicative senescence. The new research, published in an advanced online edition of Science, is the first to quantify the presence of replicatively senescent cells in any species.

"For 40 years, we've known about replicative senescence," said John Sedivy, a Brown professor of medical science and the senior scientist on the project. "Whether it promotes the aging of our bodies, however, is highly controversial. While it may make intuitive sense, skeptics say 'Show us the evidence.' The first solid evidence is in this study. These initial findings won't settle the debate, but they make a strong case".

Human cells replicate anywhere from 60 to 90 times before senescence sets in, a phenomenon researchers believe is a safeguard against disease. While senescent cells still function, they don't behave the way young cells do - and are associated with skin wrinkles, delayed wound healing, weakened immune system response and age-related diseases such as cancer.........

Posted by: Scott      Permalink    Read more..


February 7, 2006, 10:34 PM CT

Inequality In Recreational Resources Boosts Weight Gain

Inequality In Recreational Resources Boosts Weight Gain
In general, minorities and people with lower incomes have much less access than wealthier people to recreational facilities, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill investigation concludes. The result is that they are less physically active and are more likely to be overweight.

That's not the only reason that people with less money in this country often are less active and too heavy, but it appears to be a key factor, the scientists said. The long-term consequences are poorer health and shorter lives.

In their study of some 20,000 U.S. teens, the scientists explored whether resources available for physical activity were distributed relatively equally across all segments of the population, said Dr. Penny Gordon-Larsen, assistant professor of nutrition, a department jointly housed within UNC's schools of public health and medicine. They particularly wanted to learn whether minority and low-income groups - in which obesity levels are high and exercise levels low - had access to such resources to about the same degree as people in richer communities.

"We expected to find that private, fee facilities would be more common in more affluent areas, but the extent and magnitude of the lack of access in poorer communities was very surprising," Gordon-Larsen said. "Even the types of facilities we think of as most equitably allocated, like YMCAs, public parks and youth organizations, were significantly less common in poorer areas".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink



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Did you know?
Adolescents who suffer physical injuries are vulnerable to emotional distress in the months following their hospitalization, yet almost 40 percent of hospitalized adolescents interviewed for a new study had no source for the follow-up medical care that could diagnose and treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress. These young trauma survivors are at risk for high levels of post-traumatic stress and depressive symptoms, as well as high levels of alcohol use, according to research by researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.

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