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Several recent studies have suggested that patients have been unnecessarily exposed to radiation from CT scans or have received excessive amounts, but two new studies published Tuesday in the Archives of Internal Medicine are the first to quantify the extent of exposure and the related risks.
Sitting Effects your Diasease Risk
Health professionals advise that at least 30 minutes of activity at least 5 days a week will counteract health concerns, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity that may result from inactivity. However, new research shows that even if you exercise regularly, if you spend much of the rest of your day sitting, and lying down you may be at greater risk for many diseases.
What the new research shows is that what people when they are not exercising may be even more important than the time they spend actively exercising.
Leftovers are as common as apple pie. Most everyone has favorite foods they love to eat the next day. Some of us however stretch the time period into weeks. Do you know how long your favorite left overs may be good for?
Do you know if your refrigerator is doing its job correctly?
Should you throw moldy bread in the trash, or just trim around the green spot?
Can Sunday's leftovers be Friday's meal?
These are just a few important safety questions that could provide you with some valuble information to protect yourself from many food borne illnesses.
'In principle, if you understand the mechanisms of keeping things repaired, you could keep things going indefinitely,' says Cynthia Kenyon, biochemist at the University of California at San Francisco. In her lab she has increased the life span of tiny worms called Caenorhabditis elegans up to six times their normal lifespan by suppressing a single gene. This regulator gene, named daf-2, in combination with other genes, appears to control an entire cluster of genes that direct aging not only in worms, but in similar genetic pathways in flies, mice and, possibly humans. This is the equivalent of people living for 400 years, and the good news is that the worms stay young for most of their extended lifespans.
Diet it seems is a major contributory factor. An experiment with the worms proves that sugar turns on a genetic sequence that increases the amount of insulin produced by an organism, which in turn causes the body to demand more sugar. This increases damage to cells in the body, speeding up the slow degradation of cells that contribute to aging. Red wine and green tea have been shown to help repair cells and contribute to an increased lifespan.
The most significant finding is that the worms remained vigorous till until the very end of their extended lives. In human terms it would mean that a person would remain young for decades, growing old very slowly. It also suggests a radical new method for treating maladies of aging such as Alzheimer's, Huntington's and some cancers, which might be put off or eliminated if youth is extended. 'Age is the single largest risk factor for an enormous number of diseases,' says Kenyon. 'So if you can essentially postpone aging, then you can have beneficial effects on a whole wide range of disease.'
When asked whether it was possible to be immortal Kenyon says 'I think it might be possible. I'll tell you why. You can think about the life span of a cell being the integral of two vectors in a sense, the force of destruction and the force of prevention, maintenance and repair. In most animals the force of destruction has still got the edge. But why not bump up the genes just a little bit, the maintenance genes. All you have to do is have the maintenance level a little higher. It doesn't have to be much higher. It just has to be a little higher, so that it counterbalances the force of destruction. And don't forget, the germ lineage is immortal. So it's possible at least in principle.'
Research presented at the American Society of Hypertension's Twenty Third Annual Scientific Meeting and Exposition (ASH 2008) shows that even a few hours of exposure to particulate matter (PM), which is not ozone but a component of air pollution emitted from power plants, factories and motor vehicles, among other sources, is responsible for rapidly raising blood pressure and can impair blood vessel function in certain situations within 24 hours.
The effect of particulate matter on blood pressure may explain why air pollution can trigger a large host of cardiovascular events including heart attack, heart failure, other forms of heart disease and stroke. It is also important to understand, since particulate matter is the 13th cause of mortality worldwide.
Good news for women hoping to put some "bang" back into their love life. A new study conducted by the Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center at Texas A&M University, College Station has found that eating watermelon can help make things "rise to the occasion".
Newswise — An analysis of studies involving the use of hemoglobin-based blood substitutes indicates their use is associated with an increased risk of death and heart attack, according to a JAMA study being released early online, and will appear in print in the May 21 issue of JAMA.
The development of a blood substitute—a liquid that has a long shelf-life, does not need refrigeration and does not cause infection—would provide a potentially lifesaving option for surgical and trauma patients with shock from loss of blood, especially in rural areas and military settings. “To date, a large proportion of blood substitutes in development have been hemoglobin-based products [hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying protein in the red blood cells]. Yet randomized controlled trials completed as early as 1996 have raised questions about the safety of these products and have failed to demonstrate clinical benefit. Nonetheless, at least 1 of these products is approved for use outside the United States and new clinical trials are being conducted or planned worldwide,” the authors write.
Charles Natanson, M.D., of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., and colleagues conducted an analysis of previous studies to examine the association between hemoglobin-based blood substitutes (HBBSs) and the risk of heart attack and death in trials using these products in surgical, trauma and stroke patients. The authors searched databases and other sources for randomized controlled trials that included patients age 19 years and older who received HBBSs therapeutically. Sixteen trials that met the authors’ criteria were identified, involving five different products and 3,711 patients.
There were a total of 164 deaths among HBBS-treated patients and 123 deaths among patients in the control groups. Overall, the HBBS products were associated with a 30 percent increased risk of death. There were a total of 59 heart attacks among HBBS-treated patients and 16 heart attacks among patients in the control groups. For these studies combined, there was a 2.7 times increased risk of heart attack among patients receiving HBBSs.
Subgroup analysis of these trials indicated the increased risk was not restricted to a particular HBBS or clinical indication. “The pattern of increased risk demonstrated by a variety of HBBSs across an array of clinical settings argues for a policy whereby any new or existing HBBSs should be subjected to pre-clinical studies in animal models that replicate the known toxicities of HBBSs demonstrated in humans before further clinical trials of this class of product are allowed to proceed,” the authors write.
The researchers also discussed the regulatory process that permitted repeated trials with these agents despite persistent safety concerns.
“Sponsors are required by law to report their results to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a timely fashion after studies are completed, even if they do not publish their findings. However, the data reported by sponsors to the FDA are not made public by the FDA unless the product is approved or an advisory committee is convened to discuss the product. The cumulative mortality analysis … indicates that prompt meta-analyses of the HBBS trials by the FDA most likely would have demonstrated significant risks by 2000. Had the agency placed a moratorium on trials at that point, product-related deaths and [heart attacks] in subsequent trials most likely would have been prevented. However, such data were not available to scientists, the public, institutional review boards, or competing HBBS manufacturers,” the authors write.
Five trials of HBBSs reportedly are ongoing in eight different countries outside the United States and at least one trial is being planned for the U.S.
“The results of all trials of experimental agents conducted in human beings—from phase 1 to phase 4—should be fully and expeditiously disclosed to the scientific and medical communities. The case study detailed here underscores both the scientific inefficiency and the real risks to patients of the current failure to report data promptly.”
Source: JAMA. 2008;299:doi:10.1001/jama.299.19.jrv80007.
Editor’s Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
Editorial: The Future of Clinical Trials Evaluating Blood Substitutes
In an accompanying editorial, Dean A. Fergusson, M.H.A., Ph.D., and Lauralyn McIntyre, M.D., M.Sc., of the Ottawa Health Research Institute and the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine, Ottawa, Canada, write that the timely reporting of all evidence independent of positive or negative findings is not only essential but ethical.
“Natanson et al provide evidence that study results were made public well after the trials had stopped enrollment. Thus, it was not possible for ethics boards to properly review proposed studies because they did not have all available information. Additionally, patients or proxy decision makers were not in a position to make well-informed decisions at the time of providing informed consent. Regardless of whether studies are conducted under the auspices of commercial or academic entities, studies need to be centrally registered and their findings duly reported. Not doing so places patients at unnecessary risk.”
“Based on the findings of Natanson et al and the consistency of these results with pre-clinical evidence of potential toxicity, further phase 3 trials of hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers (HBOCs) should not be conducted. There has been a tremendous amount of resources expended and knowledge gained from the pursuit of HBOCs. This vast body of knowledge should be reviewed critically and systematically, including theoretical constructs, animal studies, mechanistic studies, and early-phase clinical trials before further phase 3 trials are undertaken,” they write. “Until the mechanisms and potential toxicities of HBOC products are better understood, patients cannot be placed at unacceptable risk.”
Smoking from a hookah, or water pipe, is a new fad among college students, and smoking from a hookah is widely perceived to be less harmful and addictive than smoking cigarettes. Yet a number of studies suggest that hookah smoking may be just as addictive and perhaps even more harmful because of the way people smoke while using a water pipe.