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September 17, 2007, 5:13 AM CT

Divorce foretells child's future care for elderly parent

Divorce foretells child's future care for elderly parent
For better or worse, baby boomers approach retirement with more complex marital histories than prior generations. Temple University researcher Adam Davey, Ph.D. has found the impact of these events -- divorces, widowhood, and remarriage can predict if a child will provide more involved care in the future.

A divorce may have happened over 30 years ago, but the changes it caused can have a long lasting effect for the child into adulthood, Davey said. The findings are reported in the recent issue of Advances in Life Course Research.

More specifically, divorce predicted an adult child would be less of involved with day-to-day assistance during the later part of life for the aging parent. These activities include the child helping the parent maintain chores in the home.

Its not the divorce itself that affects the quality of the parent-child relationship, but its what happens afterwards such as geographical separation, said Davey, a gerontologist who studies trends in the baby boomer generation and other aging issues.

Davey analyzed data from 2,087 parents, aged 50 and older, who reported on their 7,019 adult children in the National Survey of Family and Households. Information was collected between 1987 and 1994.

Marital transitions affect families in many ways, Davey said. They can interrupt the relationship of support between a parent and child, and the evidence suggests that the continuity of support by parents and to parents matters.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 14, 2007, 5:15 AM CT

Correlation between GERD and obesity in females

Correlation between GERD and obesity in females
A group of researchers recently discovered an association between being overweightand a disease called gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) in women.

This discovery was reported in the Sept. 14 issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology by a research group led by Dr. Corazziari from the University La Sapienza of Rome. Dr. Corazziari has been a leader in the field of gastroenterology for a long time and published over 200 research articles and 20 professional books. He and his fellow scientists (with Dr. Piretta being the first author of this article) discovered that, compared to average population, overweight and obesity are risk factors for GERD in women and not so much in men.

GERD is a disease with chronic symptoms or mucosal damage produced by the abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus. Heartburn (burning discomfort behind the breastbone) is the major symptom of GERD because the gastric acid gets into esophagus.

It is known that fatty foods produce a prolonged inhibitory effect on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), especially following intra-duodenal lipid perfusion, but this inhibitory effect would appear due to a cholecystokinin-mediated action on LES. An epidemiological study revealed that overweightedness, but not excess fatty food intake, increases the risk of hospitalisation for GERD. Gastric distention following a copious meal also relaxes LER and increases the possibility of GERD.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 12, 2007, 8:19 PM CT

More sick leave given to men by male GPs

More sick leave given to men by male GPs
Male patients are given more certified sick leave by male doctors compared with the amount of sick notes given to females by female doctors, a University of Liverpool study has revealed.

The report, written by primary care experts at the University, indicates that male GPs are more likely to give male patients a larger amount of intermediate sick leave (6-28 weeks) from work compared with female patients certified by female doctors. The study, which is the first of its kind in the UK, is based on a survey of 3,906 patients from nine general practices across Merseyside.

Dr Mark Gabbay from the Universitys Division of Primary Care explained: The evident link between GP gender and consultation outcome could be down to differing assumptions about roles within work for male and female patients and hence capacity for work, between GPs of different gender.

Conversely, the key to gender interaction differences might be found with the patient. Male patients may be more demanding, or better negotiators, when facing a male GP. What is not clear is whether this group do indeed have relatively greater problems, poorer coping skills, or are more sympathetically dealt with by male than female GPs.

Mild mental disorders (MMDs) such as depression and anxiety were the commonest cause of complaint by women, followed by musculoskeletal problems for which males sought a higher proportion of medical attention. The research revealed however, that male patients were granted a longer amount of sick leave for MMDs compared with female patients, by doctors of both genders groups.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 11, 2007, 11:37 PM CT

Aspartame is safe, study says

Aspartame is safe, study says
Looking at more than 500 reports, including toxicological, clinical and epidemiological studies dating from 1970s preclinical work to the latest studies on the high-intensity sweetener, along with use levels and regulations data, an international expert panel from 10 universities and medical schools reviewed the safety of aspartame for people of all ages and with a variety of health conditions. Their study is reported in the recent issue of Critical Reviews in Toxicology.

There have been continued questions in the media and on the internet about the safety of aspartame, said panel member and University of Maryland food and nutrition professor Bernadene Magnuson. Our study is a very comprehensive review of all of the research thats been done on aspartame. Never before has a group with the breadth of experience of this panel looked at this question.



Aspartame


A non-nutritive sweetener, aspartame is approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose, the accepted standard for sweetness. Though aspartame has the same number of calories as sugar on a weight-to-weight basis, it can be added to food or pharmaceuticals at a fraction of what would be needed with sucrose to achieve the same sweetness, with far fewer calories.

Aspartame was discovered by accident in 1965, and since then has become a popular sweetener in more than 6000 food and pharmaceutical products that range from soft drinks to ketchup.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 11, 2007, 11:32 PM CT

Breastfeeding does not protect against asthma, allergies

Breastfeeding does not protect against asthma, allergies
Breastfeeding does not protect children against developing asthma or allergies, says a new study led by McGill University's Dr. Michael Kramer and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The findings were pre-published online September 11 by the British Medical Journal.

Dr. Kramer James McGill Professor of Pediatrics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McGill University and Scientific Director of CIHR's Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health and colleagues followed 13,889 children who had been selected at birth from 31 Belarussian maternity hospitals in the randomized Promotion of the Breastfeeding Intervention Trial (PROBIT). The follow-up took place from December 2002 to April 2005, when the children were 6 years old.

In the survey, a control group of maternity hospitals and affiliated polyclinics was randomized to continue their traditional practices, while those in the experimental group were trained to teach better breastfeeding techniques and to encourage mothers to breastfeed as long and as exclusively as possible. At the end of the trial, the scientists concluded that breastfeeding does not provide any protection against asthma or allergies. "We found, not only was there no protective effect," said Dr. Kramer, "but the results even suggested an increased risk of positive allergic skin tests".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 10, 2007, 9:34 PM CT

Women less likely to change heart-disease risk habits

Women less likely to change heart-disease risk habits
Smoking, eating fattening foods and not getting enough exercise are all lifestyle habits that can lead to poor health and cardiovascular disease - more so if you have a family history. But scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have observed that women don't change these habits as often as men, even when they have relatives with heart disease.

The scientists, reporting in the recent issue of the American Heart Journal, observed that women with a family history of heart disease are less likely than men to change habits such as smoking and infrequent physical activity. They also are more likely to engage in lifestyle choices that increase their risk of heart disease than are women who did not report a history of heart disease.

"A family history of heart disease is as important an indicator of future cardiovascular health in women as it is in men - perhaps more important," said Dr. Amit Khera, assistant professor of internal medicine and senior author of the study. "And yet there is an underappreciation of cardiovascular-disease risk among young women, which may contribute to unfavorable trends in important lifestyle choices such as quitting smoking and increasing physical activity".

Scientists looked at data from more than 2,400 people between the ages of 30 and 50. Family history of premature heart disease was defined as a first-degree relative with history of heart attacks before the age of 50 in men and 55 in women.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 10, 2007, 9:12 PM CT

Adverse drug events reported to the FDA

Adverse drug events reported to the FDA
A new study shows the number of drug-therapy related deaths and injuries reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nearly tripled between 1998 and 2005.

A researcher at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and his colleagues evaluated serious and fatal drug events reported in that eight-year period to the FDA by consumers, health professionals and drug manufacturers, and observed that serious adverse drug events increased 2.6-fold, from about 35,000 to nearly 89,000, and adverse drug-related deaths increased 2.7-fold, from about 5,500 to more than 15,000.

The study is published in the Sept. 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The FDA receives these reports of serious adverse drug events through its Adverse Event Reporting System. Better known to health professionals as MedWatch, this system has been in operation under the same database system since 1998, with consistent regulatory requirements for drug manufacturers.

The study also reported serious events increased four times faster than the total number of outpatient prescriptions during that period.

This marked increase of serious injuries from drug therapy is of great concern, said Curt Furberg, M.D., Ph.D., professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and a co-author of the report. It shows current efforts to ensure the safety of drugs are not adequate, and that physicians and patients are unaware of these risks.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 6, 2007, 10:11 PM CT

Managing Children's Fevers

Managing Children's Fevers
Australian parents need to be educated about managing fever in young children because a number of give medicine incorrectly and often unnecessarily, as per a Queensland University of Technology nursing researcher.

QUT senior research fellow Anne Walsh conducted the first study into how Australian parents' manage childhood fever as part of her PhD. Her results were reported in the latest Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Ms Walsh observed that, of more than 400 Queensland parents surveyed, paracetamol was administered too frequently by 4 per cent and ibuprofen by 32 per cent.

She said the finding that 23 per cent administered ibuprofen every four hours instead of the recommended six- to eight-hourly intervals was disturbing.

Ms Walsh expressed concern at the rise over the past decade of the practice of alternating over-the-counter antipyretic medications such as paracetamol and ibuprofen (in products such as Nurofen).

"This is disturbing because our survey revealed that it was very common for parents to give these medications for mild fever and at too frequent doses," Ms Walsh said.

"Given that such a high percentage of parents are giving ibuprofen too frequently, it may be that they are assuming it is the same as paracetamol which can be given four hourly".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 6, 2007, 10:04 PM CT

Higher social skills are distinctly human

Higher social skills are distinctly human
Esther Herrmann and colleagues compared 105 2-year-old human children, 106 chimpanzees and 32 organutans in a comprehensive battery of physical and social cognitive tests. Credit: Image courtesy of MPI EVAN
Apes bite and try to break a tube to retrieve the food inside while children follow the experimenter's example to get inside the tube to retrieve the prize, showing that even before preschool, toddlers are more sophisticated in their social learning skills than their closest primate relatives, as per a report reported in the 7 recent issue of the journal Science, published by AAAS, the nonprofit science society.

This innate proficiency allows them to excel in both physical and social skills as they begin school and progress through life.

"We compared three species to determine which abilities and skills are distinctly human," explained Esther Herrmann of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Gera number of and lead author of the research paper. Humans differ from their great ape relatives because human brains are about three times the size of the closest primate relatives and humans have language, symbolic math and scientific reasoning.

"Social cognition skills are critical for learning," Herrmann said. The children were much better than the apes in understanding nonverbal communications, imitating another's solution to a problem and understanding the intentions of others," she said.

This is the first comprehensive test comparing social and physical skills of children, chimpanzees and orangutans, Herrmann explained, adding that the findings provide important insight into the evolution of human cognition.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 6, 2007, 9:59 PM CT

Genetic Risk Factor for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus

Genetic Risk Factor for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus
A genetic variation has been identified that increases the risk of two chronic, autoimmune inflammatory diseases: rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus). These research findings result from a long-time collaboration between the Intramural Research Program (IRP) of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and other organizations. NIAMS is part of the National Institutes of Health.

These results appear in the Sept. 6 issue of the New England Journal (NEJM).

"Eventhough both diseases are believed to have a strong genetic component, identifying the relevant genes has been extremely difficult," says study coauthor Elaine Remmers, Ph.D., of the Genetics and Genomics Branch of the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Dr. Remmers and her colleagues tested variants within 13 candidate genes located in a region of chromosome 2, which they had previously linked with RA, for association with disease in large collections of RA and lupus patients and controls. Among the variants were several disease-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) - small differences in DNA sequence that represent the most common genetic variations between individuals - in a large segment of the STAT4 gene. The STAT4 gene encodes a protein that plays an important role in the regulation and activation of certain cells of the immune system.........

Posted by: Mark      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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