August 2014


Active ImageMany will suffer at least one additional ailment, researchers say

Many young adults who survived a childhood malignancy will have at least one severe health problem, according to a report presented here Tuesday at a media briefing of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Survivors of pediatric malignancies are known to have a higher risk of long-term illness, but most studies examining this topic have had incomplete follow-up, used a small study group, or have focused on just one late effect, senior author Dr. Huib N. Caron and colleagues note in the report, which appears in a special June 26 issue of JAMA focusing on chronic diseases of children.

To read the full story The battle isn't over for kids who survive cancer, click here.

Active ImageThe new evidence that eldest children develop higher I.Q.’s than their siblings has intensified the debate over two of the most stubborn questions in social science: What are the family dynamics that enhance intelligence? And can they — and should they — be changed?

The new findings, from a landmark study published Friday, showed that eldest children had a slight but significant edge in I.Q. — an average of three points over the closest sibling. And it found that the difference was not because of biological factors but the psychological interplay of parents and children.

To read the full story Study on I.Q. Prompts Debate on Family Dynamics, click here.

 

Active ImageEating plenty of whole grains can help keep your arteries healthy, potentially warding off heart disease and stroke, a new study shows.

In a diverse group of men and women participating in the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study, those with diets containing the largest amounts of whole grains had the thinnest carotid artery walls and showed the slowest progression in artery wall thickness over a five-year period, lead author Dr. Philip B. Mellen of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and colleagues found.

To read full article Whole Grains Fight Hardening of the Arteries, click here.
Active ImageCommercially available portion control plates and bowls can help obese individuals with type 2 diabetes lose weight and reduce their need for blood sugar-controlling medications, according to a Canadian study published today.

Most cases of type 2 diabetes are directly related to obesity, note investigators, and the obesity epidemic is paralleled by increasing portion sizes in the marketplace.

To read full article Portion Control Dishes Aid Weight Loss: Study, click here.

Active ImageSuccess more likely when bad habits are changed at same time, study says

People who simultaneously attempt to stop smoking, reduce their sodium intake and increase exercise may be more successful than those who try to change these lifestyle factors one at a time, Texas-based researchers report.

Dr. David J. Hyman, of Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, and colleagues came to this conclusion after studying success rates in a publicly funded behavior modification program. The 289 participants were between 45 and 64 years old and two-thirds were women. All were African American, smokers and had high blood pressure.

To read full article Got a Lot of Vices? Try Tackling Them All at Once, click here.
 
Active ImageIt's a question that often prompts a boastful answer or a bashful one: How many sex partners have you had?

Now the federal government says it has authoritative statistics, documenting that men are far more likely to play the field than women.

A new nationwide survey, using high-tech methods to solicit candid answers on sexual activity and illegal drug use, finds that 29 percent of American men report having 15 or more female sexual partners in a lifetime, while only 9 percent of women report having sex with 15 or more men.

To read full article U.S. Survey Tracks Sex Behavior, Illegal Drug Use, click here.
 
Active ImageIn Lab Tests, Red And White Wine Countered Cavity-Causing Bacteria

Even with the alcohol removed, red wine and white wine may fight bacteria that cause cavities, an Italian study shows.

Before you toast the findings, remember that the study was done in test tubes. So it's too soon to count on a glass of wine to chase your cavities away.

To read full article Wine May Curb Cavities, Study Shows, click here.
 

Active ImageStudy Shows Fructose May Increase Heart Risk Factors

Cane sugar has a dark side, a provocative new study shows.

The sweetener we call sugar is actually a double sugar. Half is the sugar called glucose, the body's most basic fuel. The other half is another sugar called fructose. Researchers have suspected that fructose is a bad actor, but the evidence so far has been circumstantial.

To read full article Sugar's Dark Side, click here.
 

Active ImageHospitals See Rise in Drug-Resistant Staph

Fifty-six-year-old Sandi Sampson dusted herself off after falling in her backyard. Her ankle hurt, but she thought the pain would go away on its own.

As days passed, however, she realized that she wouldn't be able to just shrug this one off.
Sampson went to see her doctor, who recommended surgery to replace her ankle. She woke up from the operation believing everything was fine, but the months that followed would prove otherwise.

To read full article Drug-Resistant Bug Becoming More Common, click here.

Editor's Note:

MRSA infections are being seen much more commonly in the medical office. While hospitals are a large part of the problems, one does not have to be hospitalized to be at risk. Any infection that does not respond to simple measures of washing the wound, using hydrogen peroxide and topical antibiotic creams or ointments should be considered suspect and you should see your doctor.



Active ImageLadies, forget the mid-life crisis. Researchers find you should be more worried about having a mid-life stroke. Their results show women between ages 45 and 54 are more than twice as likely as men of the same age to have a stroke.



The investigators aren't sure what's causing this disparity between the sexes but suggest it could be related to increased waist size and coronary artery disease among women in this age group.

"While our analysis shows increased waist size and coronary artery disease are predictors of stroke among women aged 45 to 54, it is not immediately clear why there is a sex disparity in stroke rates among this age group," study author Amytis Towfighi, M.D., from the University of California at Los Angeles, was quoted as saying. Blood pressure and cholesterol levels also rose at higher rates in women as they got older, and could be playing a role as well.

To read the full article Mid-Life Stroke Hits Women Harder Than Men, click here.

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Sand Holes May Collapse Suddenly, Trapping Diggers Inside

Digging sand holes may sound like innocent fun at the beach, but it can be risky and even deadly, according to a new report.

In the past decade, there have been reports of 31 fatalities and 21 nonfatal cases of people submerged in sand when the sand holes they were digging for fun collapsed in on them.

To read the full article Digging Holes in Sand Can Be Dangerous, click here.

Active ImageYounger women who start taking estrogen as soon as they enter menopause may be protected from heart disease, researchers said on Wednesday.

They found that women aged 50 to 59 who took estrogen were 30 percent to 40 percent less likely than women taking placebos to have large amounts of calcified plaque in their arteries -- a widely accepted predictor of heart attack risk.

When women took their estrogen religiously, the risk was 60 percent lower, they reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

To read the full article HRT may prevent heart symptoms in younger women, click here.

To a read another article about this same subject HRT may prevents heart disease, click here.

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Just like lifting weights makes your muscles stronger, working out your brain improves thinking and concentration.

Researchers from Wake Forest University reported results from the first 23 patients in their Brain Fitness in Older Adults study. The "brain training" in the study consisted of either a one-on-one mental fitness program or a group brain exercise program.

In the one-on-one sessions, people (ages 65 to 75) were asked to ignore distracting information. Tasks got harder as the training progressed. In group sessions, patients learned new information relevant to healthy aging and were tested on their ability to apply the new information. Researchers employed functional MRI (fMRI) to visualize blood flow and brain activity to assess how attention training affects brain function. All participants got an fMRI scan while they completed a task that required them to look for target words or numbers while ignoring distracting sounds.

To read the full article Boosting Brain Power in Older Adults, click here.

Active ImageWhen people say "I feel your pain," they do not mean it literally, but certain people really do feel something that appears to be an extreme form of empathy, British researchers said on Sunday.

They said watching someone being touched triggers the same part of the brain as actual touch, and this connection helps explain how we understand what other people are feeling.

People who experience a tactile sense of touch when they see another person being touched -- something called mirror-touch synesthesia -- was first studied in 2005 in one person.

To read the full article Study may explain roots of empathy, click here.

Active ImageIn the treatment of chronic pain and tenderness around the knee cap, or "patella," shockwave therapy seems to be safer and more effective, with lower recurrence rates, than conventional conservative treatments, suggest the results of a new study.

Conservative treatments are recommended for this chronic overuse syndrome, also referred to as patellar tendinopathy, lead author Dr. Ching-Jen Wang told Reuters Health. "However, the recurrent symptoms are high."

To read the full article Shockwave therapy safe, effective for knee injury, click here.

Active ImageIn a recent U.S. survey of asthma patients, more than half reported that their disease is uncontrolled and that they have never received an asthma action plan, according to a report in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

The emphasis of a new draft of U.S. asthma guidelines is better physician and patient education, with a focus on asthma control at each asthma clinic visit, Dr. Stephen P. Peters from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina told Reuters Health. In this effort, physicians need "to partner with patients."

To read the full article Most asthma patients have uncontrolled disease, click here.

Active ImagePeople who are often stressed out or depressed are far more likely to develop memory problems than those with sunnier dispositions, U.S. researchers said on Monday in a finding that sheds light on early predictors of Alzheimer's disease.

They said those who most often are anxious or depressed were 40 times more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, a form of memory loss that is often a transitional stage between normal aging and dementia.

"Not only are these individuals losing cognition, but they are showing many of the changes in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's disease," said Robert Wilson of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

To read the full story Stressed-out types at risk for memory problems, click here.

Active ImageDrug To "Feed" Brain Cells Among Experimental Drugs For Alzheimer's Set For Large-Scale Testing

Drinking a milkshake-style medicine at breakfast seems to feed brain cells starved from Alzheimer's damage, researchers reported Monday. It is one of four promising experimental drugs poised for large-scale testing against the brain-destroying disease.

The milkshake drug, called Ketasyn, is a dramatically different way to approach dementia. It hinges on recent research suggesting diabetic-like changes in brain cells' ability to use sugar for energy play a role in at least some forms of Alzheimer's.

To read the full story Promising Tests For Alzheimer's Patients, click here.

Active ImageSunscreens May Get Better, but Parents Should Limit Child's Exposure Anyway

Shade your kids. Strong new evidence suggests overall sun exposure in childhood, not just burns, is a big key to who later develops deadly skin cancer. The news comes as the government is finishing long-awaited rules to improve sunscreens.

The Food and Drug Administration wants sunscreens to be rated not just for how well they block the ultraviolet-B rays that cause sunburn today's SPF rankings but for how well they protect against deeper-penetrating ultraviolet-A rays that are linked to cancer and wrinkles.

To read the full story Sunscreens May Improve, but Shade Kids, click here.

Active ImageExpert: Taking Care Of Yourself In Your 40s And Earlier Can Forestall Problems Later

Osteoarthritis is a pain in our joints that we'll all get sooner or later, if we live long enough.

But, says one expert, you can delay it a long time if you take care of yourself, especially when you're young.

Osteoarthritis is something people should think about preventing, or at least delaying, when they're still in their 30's and 40's, or even younger, according to Dr. Jason Theodosakis (also known simply as Dr. Theo!), a specialist in sports and preventive medicine, and an assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

To read the full story To Avoid Arthritis, Start When Young, click here.

Active ImageGene Study Traces Ailment To A Defective Immune Signal

Gene studies link celiac disease to a defective immune signal.

Celiac disease is a digestive disease sometimes called celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy. When a person with celiac disease eats wheat or other foods containing gluten, damage to the small intestine results.

It's clear that the disease can be inherited. But it's been hard to identify genetic risk factors.

To read the full story Celiac Disease Clue Found, click here.

Active ImageMost Physicians Agree No Link Exists Between Vaccinations and Autism

Current research suggests no link between sutism and vaccines containing the preservative thimerosal.

Public health experts say skipping necessary shots could expose kids to preventable diseases.

Autism rates continue to climb in the U.S., leading some parents and doctors to believe autism and vaccines are linked.

To read the full story The Vaccine-Autism Link: Facts and Myths, click here.

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Cece Clark's fibroids had gotten so bad that she often had to lie down in the middle of the day. When she got up, it was usually for another trip to the bathroom. "My periods were astoundingly heavy, and pressure on my bladder made me feel like I had to go all the time," she recalls. But after she tried an uncommon ultrasound treatment, everything changed. "The pressure lessened right away," she says. "It was such a physical and emotional relief."

Clark, 50, of Boston is among the roughly 30 to 70 percent of American women between 35 and 50 who have fibroids, or benign uterine tumors. The rate is even higher for African-Americans. Half of these women experience symptoms such as Clark's: heavy or prolonged periods, pressure in the lower abdomen, and a frequent need to urinate. For some, sex is painful.

To read the full story Your guide to fibroid fixes, click here.

Active ImageExperts Say A Dose Of The Body's Own Platelets Can Speed Recovery From Injuries

Jonathan Bornstein has emerged as one of the best young soccer players in the country; he was named rookie of the year in Major League Soccer. But everything changed this spring when he twisted his knee in practice.

"I knew something was wrong, and I knew that I was going to have to take some time to heal," Bornstein says.

Bornstein had suffered a torn ligament in his knee. He would be out of action for six to 10 weeks, CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook reports.

To read the full story Body, Heal Thyself, click here.

Active ImageLow Levels of Male Hormone May be More Dangerous Than Previously Thought

Low testosterone may lead to a greater risk of death, according to a study presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Toronto.

Men with low testosterone had a 33 percent greater death risk over their next 18 years of life compared with men who had higher testosterone, according to the study conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor and colleagues at the University of California at San Diego.

To read the full story Low Testosterone Could Kill You, click here.

Active ImageA diet with liberal servings of fish, nuts and seeds rich in nutrients called omega-3 fatty acids can help lower a person's blood pressure, according to a study released on Monday.

"A large percentage of people between ages 20 and 60 have a rise in blood pressure, and by middle age many have high blood pressure," said Dr. Jeremiah Stamler, professor emeritus of preventive medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, who worked on the study.

To read the full story Omega-3 fatty acids reduce blood pressure: study, click here.

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People who are looking to ease depression may have a new treatment option

Active ImageTrendy wheeled sneakers that let kids zip down sidewalks, across playgrounds and through mall crowds could also send them rolling into emergency rooms on a stretcher, say doctors who blame a rash of injuries on the international craze.

It's called "heeling," named after Heelys, the most popular brand. They're sold in 70 countries and are so hot that their Carrollton, Texas, maker, Heelys Inc., recently landed atop BusinessWeek's annual list of fastest growing companies.

But doctors from Ireland to Singapore have reported treating broken wrists, arms and ankles; dislocated elbows and even cracked skulls in children injured while wearing roller shoes.

To read the full story Kids rolling into the ER on popular sneakers, click here.

Active ImageResearchers Say People With Acanthosis Nigricans Are At High Risk For The Disease

People with the skin condition acanthosis nigricans are at high risk of type 2 diabetes, researchers find.

People with acanthosis nigricans have velvety, brown to black patches of skin on the back of the neck, the armpit, and elbows, and/or the knees. The condition is most common in obese people and in those whose bodies overproduce insulin. Those are two risk factors for diabetes. So does acanthosis nigricans predict diabetes?

To read the full story Skin Condition IDs Type 2 Diabetes, click here.

To read more about acanthosis nigricans, click here.

Active ImageLess Breast Cancer Recurrence for Tamoxifen Patients With Hot Flashes

Lillie Shockney's hot flashes were so miserable they made her think twice about continuing tamoxifen, the anti-estrogen medication that was helping her to survive breast cancer.

"For five years, I had night sweats every other hour, waking up with my pillow wet, and during the daytime I had hot flashes every hour on the hour," the 53-year-old Maryland resident recounted.

To read the full story Hot Flashes Good News for Breast Cancer Survivors, click here.

Active ImageIn a Fast-Paced World, Streamlined Exercise Routines Can Work Wonders

Who has time to work out today?

If you have a family, run your own business, or have a management position in a larger company, finding the time to exercise can be tough. I know -- I have heard it from many of my clients:

"Stefan, if I didn't book my sessions with you, I wouldn't work out."

However, not everyone is in a position to hire a strength and nutritional coach. So what are you going to do?

The answer is to maximize the impact of your workouts in the time you have -- even if it is just 30 minutes!

To read the full story Maximize Your Exercise Regimen -- in 30 Minutes Flat, click here.

Active ImageIn a Fast-Paced World, Streamlined Exercise Routines Can Work Wonders

Who has time to work out today?

If you have a family, run your own business, or have a management position in a larger company, finding the time to exercise can be tough. I know -- I have heard it from many of my clients:

"Stefan, if I didn't book my sessions with you, I wouldn't work out."

However, not everyone is in a position to hire a strength and nutritional coach. So what are you going to do?

The answer is to maximize the impact of your workouts in the time you have -- even if it is just 30 minutes!

To read the full story Maximize Your Exercise Regimen -- in 30 Minutes Flat, click here.

Acanthosis nigricans is a skin disorder characterized by dark, thick, velvety skin in or around body folds and creases. A dark discoloration of the skin most commonly in the area of the neck, groin, arm pits, elbows and in front of the knees. It is most common among people of African descent.It is frequently found in people with diabetes.




What Causes Acanthosis Nigricans?

Acanthosis nigricans can affect otherwise healthy people, or it can be associated with medical problems. Obesity can lead to acanthosis nigricans, as can many endocrine disorders. Acanthosis nigricans can be caused by eating too much of the wrong foods, especially starches and sugars, as this can cause insulin resistance which then results an excessive production insulin and then a an elevated levels of circulating insulin.  Often this occurs secondary to obesity which causes insulin insensitivity.

The most common cause of acanthosis nigricans is insulin resistance, which occurs during type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Some drugs, particularly hormones such as human growth hormone or oral contraceptives ("the pill") can cause acanthosis nigricans. There are however, other causes. It can be familial (genetic), drug-induced, or secondary to a malignancy, lymphoma and particularly cancers of the gastrointestinal or genitourinary tracts . It can be idiopathic, that is, it may have no recognizable cause and frequently found in women who suffer from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.


Signs and Tests

Acanthosis nigricans usually diagnosed simply by looking at a the skin. It is recognized as a drk plaque-like discoloration of the skin. A skin biopsy may be needed in unusual cases. If no clear cause of acanthosis nigricans is obvious, it may be necessary to search for one. Blood tests, and endoscopy, or x-rays may be required to eliminate the possibility of diabetes or cancer as its cause.


 
Treatment

Retin-A, 20% urea, alpha hydroxyacids, and lactic or salicylic acid prescriptions are often prescribed by medical doctors. Everyone with acanthosis nigricans should be screened for diabetes and, although rare, cancer. Controlling blood glucose levels through exercise and diet often improves symptoms.

 Prognosis

Acanthosis nigricans often fades if the cause can be found and treated.

Call your physician if you develop areas of thick, dark, velvety skin.

Active ImageWith the divorce rate hovering right around fifty percent, the task of keeping the spark in marriage alive until your golden anniversary can be a challenge. Couples who are in loving marriages will tell you that it takes a lot of love, respect and work to maintain the spark in marriage. Many of these couples have also indicated that they are friends first and that is what gets them through the hard times.

One of the things that couples in long-term relationships say is the hardest to maintain is the spark in marriage that keeps them connected as a couple. Marriage usually starts out exciting, full of promise and the desire to be together. As time progresses, couples find that real life encroaches on their marriage along with all of its stressors and difficulties. Successful couples will tell you that there is little you can do to maintain the same dream state you had when you were first married - and who would want to? There truly are things that you can do to keep the spark in marriage alive and to help rekindle the flames from time to time.

To read the full story How To Keep The Spark In Your Marriage, click here.

Active ImageCarbohydrate-rich diets are associated with slightly higher blood pressure than diets rich in monounsaturated fats, according to the findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

However, the difference is not enough to justify making recommendations to change the carbohydrate and monounsaturated fat content of the diets to control blood pressure, Dr. Meena Shah and colleagues from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, report

The researchers conducted a review of 10 published studies, also referred to as a "meta-analysis," that compared high-carbohydrate and high-monounsaturated fat diets to better understand their effects on blood pressure.

The results of the authors' mathematical model revealed that the carbohydrate-rich diets led to a significantly higher blood pressure compared with the diets rich in monounsaturated fat.

To read the full story High-carb diet linked to higher blood pressure, click here.

Editor

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Ninety percent of Americans say breakfast is an important part of a healthy diet, but just 49 percent manage to eat breakfast every day, a new survey shows.

And only 11 percent know the amount of calories they should consume daily to maintain a healthy weight, according to the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation's second annual Food & Health Survey. "The only good thing is more people tried to guess than last year," Susan Borra, the president of the Washington, DC-based IFIC Foundation, told Reuters Health.

IFIC commissioned a survey of 1,000 US adults, this March to better understand people's beliefs and behaviors regarding healthy eating. The survey identified a number of "diet disconnects" between what people intend to do and their actual habits, according to Borra and her team.

To read the full story Study spots gaps in Americans' diet and health IQ, click here.

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As more Americans are unable to get health insurance through their work, they often turn to the individual insurance market. Last night we told you how difficult it can be to get individual insurance, with companies turning down people with the most minor of medical problems. CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian takes a closer look at what happens when some people who actually have individual insurance try to collect on an expensive claim.

To read the full story When Health Coverage Doesn't Hold Up, click here.

CBS News Investigates How Individual Health Insurance Providers Can Deny Big Claims

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Roughly half of adults who use herbal supplements do not use them in accordance with "evidence-based" indications, U.S. researchers report.

The findings, which appear in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings for May, stem from more than 30,000 adults who were surveyed regarding their use of herbs.

The six herbs studied and their evidence-based indications were: echinacea for upper respiratory tract infection, garlic for high cholesterol, ginseng for mental performance/diabetes, St. John's wort for depression, soy for high cholesterol/hot flashes, and kava-kava for anxiety.

Overall, 55 percent of subjects used herbs for their appropriate evidence-based indications, results showed. However, for most of the herbs, evidence-based usage rates hovered around 32 percent.

The exceptions were ginseng, with an evidence-based usage rate of just 3.8 percent, and echinacea, by far the most popular herb, with a rate of 68 percent.

Women were more likely than men to use herbs according to their evidence-based indication, as were college-educated individuals. Conversely, people younger than age 60 and black persons were more apt to herbs for things outside their evidence-based indications.

To read the full story Herb enthusiasts often don't follow indications, click here.

Active ImageThink You Drink In Moderation? You May Be Imbibing More Than You Know

It's party time for many people this weekend, and the beer (or margaritas or white wine) will be flowing. But when does drinking that's social and celebratory become an alcoholic "binge"? And could you "accidentally" binge if your host pours with a heavy hand?

An alcoholic binge, according to Dr. Mallika Marshall, is usually defined as four drinks for a woman and five drinks for a man over a two-hour timeframe. And a "drink" is considered to be five ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of a liquor.

But if you're at a restaurant where the drinks come in foot-tall glasses, or the beer is poured from a never-ending pitcher, it's difficult to keep track of how much you've downed, something to consider if you're driving after having "just one" drink.

To read the full story Have You Been Over-Served?, click here.

Active ImageHEALTHBEAT: Poke Holes in a Lung? Research Aims to Ease Breath-Robbing Disease

Poking holes in a lung is usually a bad idea. But dozens of people suffocating from a disease that traps stale air in their lungs are volunteering to try it. The idea: Spark a slow leak in lungs so overinflated that there's not enough room left to take a deep breath, and do so without open surgery.

It's called airway bypass, one of a trio of innovative experiments including squirting a kind of glue into the lungs designed not to cure the lung destroyer that is the nation's No. 4 killer, but to ease breathing during its victims' last years.

To read the full story Research to Ease Breath-Robbing Disease, click here.