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September 18, 2007, 10:17 PM CT

Less than one-third of women aware of HRT study

Less than one-third of women aware of HRT study
Despite the huge publicity generated by a 2002 study on the potential dangers of hormone treatment for postmenopausal women, new research from the Stanford University School of Medicine observed that only 29 percent of women surveyed knew about the study two years later.

Additionally, the women were able to correctly identify the possible benefits and risks associated with hormone treatment just 40 percent of the time.

Senior author Randall Stafford, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, said the new study points out that the medical profession hasn't yet figured out an effective way of communicating crucial health information to patients.

"This study suggests that we have a flawed mechanism for getting information down to the level of the population," Stafford said. "Eventhough we looked specifically at menopause and hormone treatment, the findings have consequences for a number of other medical issues".

Stafford's results are reported in the September/recent issue of the journal Menopause.

Few research studies have had the impact on public health recommendations as the 2002 results reported by the federally funded Women's Health Initiative, the longest-ever examination of the health of postmenopausal women. One part of WHI focused on hormone treatment, which is used to ease the symptoms of menopause. Hormone treatment also had been widely prescribed for preventive purposes, based partly on earlier findings based on observation suggesting that it helped protect women against heart disease, weak bones and dementia.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


September 18, 2007, 10:14 PM CT

Medication for ADHD may help student outcomes

Medication for ADHD may help student outcomes
In an 18-year-study on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Mayo Clinic scientists observed that therapy with prescription stimulants is linked to improved long-term academic success of children with ADHD. The Mayo Clinic results are the first population-based data to show stimulant drug treatment helps improve long-term school outcomes.

A related Mayo Clinic study reveals that in comparison to children without AD/HD, children with ADHD are at risk for poor long-term school outcomes such as low achievement in reading, absenteeism, repeating a grade, and dropping out of school. Both studies appear in the current edition of the Journal of Development & Behavioral Pediatrics, (http://www.jrnldbp.com).

Nearly 2 million children, or approximately 3 percent to 5 percent of young children in the United States, have ADHD. This disorder affects a childs ability to focus, concentrate and control impulsive behavior (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/adhd.cfm). This disorder is so common that most school classrooms have at least one child with clinically-diagnosed ADHD.

In this study, therapy with stimulant medicine during childhood was linked to more favorable long-term school outcomes, explains William Barbaresi, M.D., Mayo Clinic pediatrician and lead author of the reports.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 18, 2007, 10:00 PM CT

Nurses Describe Dedication, Frustration

Nurses Describe Dedication, Frustration
"We are the bouncers, the bodyguards, the 'shotgun' riders, the overseers, the maƮtre d's, the stewards, the organizers, the managers and leaders for the patient. Often we are the only thing between them and a sentinel event. See us, hear us, feel us".

Welcome to the nurse's world, through the words of those who live there.

This telling reflection on the profession appears in a paper reported in the current issue of Nursing Forum (July-September 2007) titled appropriately "Giving Voice to Registered Nurses' Decisions to Work".

Suzanne S. Dickerson, D.N.S., associate professor in the University at Buffalo School of Nursing, is first author. The paper presents results of an analysis of written responses to an open-ended question contained in a survey that assessed work satisfaction of registered nurses. The study's quantitative results were published in 2006.

Analysis of the comments identified four major themes: competing priorities, balancing priorities, practice deterrents and collegiate support, which encourages nurses to stay in practice.

"Listening to the nurses' voices, it was amazing that in spite of the volume of deterrents to working, they continued to care for their patients," Dickerson said. "One emphasis that was newly apparent was that nurses repeatedly told about their work patterns or trajectory that reflected the need for flexibility to fit family needs."........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 18, 2007, 7:49 PM CT

Eating competence may lower risk of heart disease

Eating competence may lower risk of heart disease
People who are confident, comfortable and flexible with their eating habits may be at a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease than people who are not. Scientists at Penn State suggest that a curriculum that helps people understand their eating habits could prove to be an important medical nutrition treatment.

"We wanted to see if people were at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease if they were not eating competent to begin with," said Barbara Lohse, associate professor of nutritional sciences.

Lohse and her colleagues Sheila G. West, associate professor of biobehavioral health, and Tricia L. Psota, graduate student, measured eating competence among 48 men and women aged 21 to 70, who were at risk for cardiovascular disease. Eating competence, as defined by registered dietitian and mental health professional Ellyn Satter, is a nutritional model termed ecSatter that incorporates processes such as awareness of hunger, appetite and eating enjoyment with the body's biological tendency to maintain a preferred and stable weight.

"This population was already at high risk due to high levels of LDL the bad cholesterol and elevated total cholesterol, but did not have any other type of chronic disease," said Lohse.

Based on their responses to a questionnaire on eating competence, and readings of various biological markers of cardiovascular disease, the scientists observed that participants who were not eating competent were five times more likely to have a LDL greater than the cutoff prescribed by the American Heart Association, and seven times more likely to have levels greater than that for triglyceride.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


September 18, 2007, 7:47 PM CT

Muscle patterns in women and ACL tears

Muscle patterns in women and ACL tears
Research suggests that training programs for females to restore balance between hamstring and quadriceps muscles to better support knee joints could help reduce the disproportionately high number of ACL tears in female athletes.

A new study shows that the amount of preparatory muscle action in the muscles spanning the knee joint previous to landings is linked to knee positions that are considered at risk for ACL rupture, said Riann Palmieri-Smith, lead author and assistant professor at the University of Michigan Division of Kinesiology.

The ACL is one of the four major ligaments of the knee, and women are 2-8 times more likely to tear this ligament than men are while playing the same sport, said Palmieri-Smith.

The U-M research suggests that training programs which promote balanced activity of the inner (medial) and outer (lateral) thigh muscles might help protect the ACL.

This preparatory muscle action helps to control the relationship of the shank relative to the thigh. When the shin bone is positioned outward in comparison to the thigh bone, it results in a knock-kneed posture, Palmieri-Smith said. This position is referred to as knee valgus, and increased knee valgus (more knock kneed) has been shown to be associated with ACL injury risk, said Palmieri-Smith, who is also affiliated with U-M's new Sport Injury Prevention Center.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 18, 2007, 5:23 AM CT

Women, birth defects and use of birth control

Women,  birth defects and use of birth control
Birth defects of thalidomide
Eventhough prescription medications that may increase the risk of birth defects are usually used by women in their childbearing years, only about half receive contraceptive counseling from their health care providers, as per a large-scale study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine published in the Sept. 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

We observed that over the course of a year, one in six women of reproductive age filled a prescription for a medicine labeled by the Food and Drug Administration as increasing the risk of fetal abnormalities, said Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, M.D., assistant professor in the departments of medicine and obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and first study author. Unfortunately, a number of women filling prescriptions that can increase risk of birth defects remain at risk of pregnancy.

Half of pregnancies in the United States are unintended, as per national estimates. While regular use of contraception can prevent unplanned pregnancies, women filling prescriptions that can increase the risk of birth defects are no more likely to use contraception than other women, the study authors note.

For this investigation, Dr. Schwarz and his colleagues studied patient data correlation to all prescriptions filled by 488,175 reproductive-aged women enrolled with a large managed health care plan during 2001. Prescriptions involved drugs considered safe for use in pregnancy and those labeled as posing a fetal risk.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


September 18, 2007, 5:20 AM CT

Can't take my eyes off you: the power of attraction

Can't take my eyes off you: the power of attraction
Whether we are seeking a mate or sizing up a potential rival, good-looking people capture our attention nearly instantaneously and render us temporarily helpless to turn our eyes away from them, as per a new Florida State University study.

Its like magnetism at the level of visual attention, said Jon Maner, an assistant professor of psychology at FSU, who studied the role mating-related motives can play in a psychological phenomenon called attentional adhesion. His findings appear in the recent issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

The paper, Cant Take My Eyes Off You: Attentional Adhesion to Mates and Rivals, is one of the first to show how strongly, quickly and automatically we are attuned to attractive people, he said. FSU graduate students Matthew Gailliot, D. Aaron Rouby and Saul Miller co-authored the study.

In a series of three experiments, Maner and colleagues observed that the study participants, all heterosexual men and women, fixated on highly attractive people within the first half of a second of seeing them. Single folks ogled the opposite sex, of course, but those in committed relationships also checked people out, with one major difference: They were more interested in beautiful people of the same sex.

If were interested in finding a mate, our attention gets quickly and automatically stuck on attractive members of the opposite sex, Maner said. If were jealous and worried about our partner cheating on us, attention gets quickly and automatically stuck on attractive people of our own sex because they are our competitors.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 18, 2007, 5:18 AM CT

Personalized Treatment For Nicotine Addiction

Personalized Treatment For Nicotine Addiction
Whether a smoking-cessation drug will enable you to quit smoking may depend on your genes, as per new genotyping research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). The study, reported in the recent issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry, observed that the enzyme known to metabolize both the smoking cessation drug bupropion and nicotine is highly genetically variable in all ethnicities and influences smoking cessation. This finding is a step toward being able to tailor smoking cessation therapy to individuals based on their unique genetic make-up.

This first study identifies a very common genetic variant (present in anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of world populations) that appears to affect the outcome of smoking cessation therapy, said Rachel Tyndale, Section Head of Pharmacogenetics at CAMH and lead researcher on the study, adding that the results would have to be replicated.

Tyndale and his colleagues performed genotyping on smokers for CYP2B6, a gene known to be highly variable and whose enzyme metabolizes bupropion, nicotine and serotonin. Participants were then provided with either placebo or bupropion therapy for ten weeks and followed up for 6 months.

The research project, supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Institute of Health, observed that 45% of individuals with a specific variant of the gene benefited from bupropion therapy and maintained abstinence longer while doing poorly on placebo, with a 32.5% abstinent rate vs. 14.3%, respectively. In contrast, the 55% with a different variant of the gene (wild type variant) had good abstinences rates on placebo and gained no additional benefit from Bupropion, suggesting no benefit from treating these individuals with Bupropion. Of note, this group was able to quit smoking very well in the absence of an active drug (on placebo).........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


September 18, 2007, 5:04 AM CT

lternate-day fasting: How good is it for your health?

lternate-day fasting: How good is it for your health?
Scientists report that fasting or eating half as much as usual every other day may shrink your fat cells and boost mechanisms that break down fats.

Consuming less calories and increasing physical activity is commonly what people do to lose weight and stay healthy. But some people prefer to adopt a diet which consists of eating as much as they want one day while fasting the next. On each fasting day, these people consume energy-free beverages, tea, coffee, and sugar-free gum and they drink as much water as they need. Eventhough a number of people claim that this diet, called alternate-day fasting (ADF), help them lose weight and improved their health, the effects on health and disease risk of ADF are not clear.

Krista Varady and his colleagues studied the effects of alternate-day fasting on 24 male mice for four weeks. To assess the impact of ADF on the health of the mice, the researchers not only tested mice that followed and didnt follow an ADF diet, but they also studied mice that followed the diet only partially: a group of mice consumed 50 percent of their regular diet every other day (ADF-50%) and another consumed 75 percent of their regular diet every other day (ADF-25%).

The researchers noticed that the mice that followed the complete ADF diet.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 17, 2007, 10:38 PM CT

ER episode impacts viewers' health knowledge and behavior

ER episode impacts viewers' health knowledge and behavior
A new study by scientists at the University of Southern California suggests that some TV may be good for you.

Scientists observed that a storyline on the primetime NBC network drama ER that dealt with teen obesity, high blood pressure and healthy eating habits had a positive impact on the attitudes and behaviors of viewers, especially among men.

The study, reported in the Sept. 14 Journal of Health Communication and now available online, offered scientists a rare opportunity to evaluate the impact of health messages in entertainment, says Thomas W. Valente, Ph.D., associate professor of preventive medicine and member of the Institute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Research (IPR) at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

This study demonstrates the importance of interventions and programs targeted at a population level, says Valente. We have so a number of public heath issues to deal with, we cant restrict ourselves to any one strategy. We have to do everything and anything we can to help people improve their health.

The storyline depicted an African-American teen who is diagnosed with high blood pressure during a visit to the emergency room and is advised to eat more fruits and vegetables and to get more exercise. The story aired over three episodes from April 29 to May 13, 2004.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source



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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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