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October 26, 2009, 7:45 AM CT

Binge eating trends

Binge eating trends
Existing research shows that rates of binge eating among adult women is virtually identical across race. However, among college age women, it's a different story: Caucasian women are more apt to exhibit binge eating behaviors than African American women, as per a research studypresented at this month's annual scientific meeting of the Obesity Society.

"We are trying to figure out when the diet trajectory changes, and when it is that African-Americans start to exhibit these behaviors. It's important to look at the eating habits of this group as they may contribute to early onset weight gain and obesity," said Melissa Napolitano, clinical psychology expert at the Center for Obesity Research and Education and associate professor of kinesiology in the College of Health Professions.

In the study, 715 female college students completed an on-line survey about health habits, behaviors and attitudes. Each woman self-reported her height and weight. Answers were then in comparison to the Eating Disorder Diagnostic Scale, a questionnaire that is used to diagnose a variety of eating disorders, and the Binge Eating Scale, to gauge the severity of binge eating symptoms.

Binge Eating Disorder is classified by eating amounts of food larger than most people would consider normal within a 2-hour period; a sense of loss of control during these eating periods; eating past the point of feeling comfortably full; and feelings of embarrassment, depression, anxiety or guilt after eating.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 26, 2009, 7:43 AM CT

Obesity, blood pressure and cholesterol

Obesity, blood pressure and cholesterol
Obese patients taking medications to lower their blood pressure and cholesterol levels are less likely to reach recommended targets for these cardiovascular disease risk factors than their normal weight counterparts, as per new research presented at the 2009 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress hosted by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Dr. Vineet Bhan, a resident at the University of Toronto, sought to determine whether there were differences in reaching guideline-recommended targets for blood pressure and cholesterol levels as per body mass index (BMI) in a large number of individuals deemed to be at high risk for heart disease and stroke.

"In Canada, these high risk patients frequently do not reach their blood pressure and cholesterol targets," says Dr. Bhan. "The goal of our study was to see if obesity could be a factor."

He says that other studies have looked at obese individuals in the general population and found they were more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. "This, to our knowledge, is the first study looking at patients with established cardiovascular disease who are on therapy to see how obesity relates to the control of these risk factors," he says.

The study recruited 7,357 high risk patients who had a history of coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, or diabetes plus additional cardiovascular risk factors from nine Canadian provinces. This observational study, based on two outpatient registries, took place from 2001 to 2004, recruiting 95 per cent of the patients from family doctor offices. The registries were led by senior co-author, Dr. Shaun Goodman, and coordinated by the Canadian Heart Research Centre.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


October 26, 2009, 7:41 AM CT

Women do have same the heart attack symptoms as men

Women do have same the heart attack symptoms as men
The gender difference between men and women is a lot smaller than we've been led to believe when it comes to heart attack symptoms, as per a newly released study presented to the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2009, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

"Both the media and some patient educational materials frequently suggest that women experience symptoms of a heart attack very differently from men," says cardiac nurse Martha Mackay, a Canadian Institutes of Health Research clinical research fellow and doctoral student at the UBC School of Nursing. "These findings suggest that this is simply not the case".

Her team's study of 305 consecutive patients undergoing angioplasty − which briefly causes symptoms similar to a heart attack − found no gender differences in rates of chest discomfort or other 'typical' symptoms such as arm discomfort, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, indigestion-like symptoms, and clammy skin.

While both women and men may experience typical or non-typical symptoms, the major difference was that female patients were more likely to have both the classic symptoms of heart attack plus throat, jaw, and neck discomfort.

"Clear educational messages need to be crafted to ensure that both women and healthcare professionals realize the classic symptoms are equally common in men and women," says Mackay.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


October 26, 2009, 7:33 AM CT

Master control switch for regeneration of nerve fibers

Master control switch for regeneration of nerve fibers
Scientists at Children's Hospital Boston report that an enzyme known as Mst3b, previously identified in their lab, is essential for regenerating damaged axons (nerve fibers) in a live animal model, in both the peripheral and central nervous systems. Their findings, published online by Nature Neuroscience on October 25, suggest Mst3b or agents that stimulate it as a possible means of treating stroke, spinal cord damage and traumatic brain injury. Normally, neurons in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) cannot regenerate injured nerve fibers, limiting people's ability to recover from brain or spinal cord injuries.

The study, led by Nina Irwin, PhD and Larry Benowitz, PhD, of the Laboratories for Neuroscience Research in Neurosurgery and the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center at Children's, builds on prior discoveries in the lab. In 2002, they showed that a naturally occurring small molecule, inosine, stimulates axon regeneration, later showing that it helps restore neurological functions in animal models of injury. In 2006, Benowitz and his colleagues reported a previously unknown growth factor, oncomodulin, to have dramatic effects on axon growth.

Investigating the mechanisms of action of inosine and oncomodulin, Irwin and Benowitz discovered that both compounds activate Mst3b, an enzyme that may be a master regulator of a cell-signaling pathway controlling axon growth. Mst3b, a protein kinase, in turn activates signals that switch on the genes necessary for axons to grow.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


October 26, 2009, 7:30 AM CT

Survival after heart attack improves

Survival after heart attack improves
In recent years, women, especially younger women, experienced larger improvements in hospital mortality after myocardial infarction (MI) than men, as per a research studyreported in the Oct. 26, 2009 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine

Over the last decade several studies showed that younger women, but not older ones, are more likely to die in the hospital after MI than age-matched men. A team of Emory University scientists examined whether such mortality differences have declined in recent years.

"We observed that the number of younger women who die in the hospital after a heart attack, compared with men in the same age group, has narrowed over the last few years," says study leader Viola Vaccarino, MD, PhD, professor of medicine (cardiology), and director of the Emory Program in Cardiovascular Outcomes Research and Epidemiology. Vaccarino says changes in patient characteristics and therapys over time accounted in part for the changing mortality trends.

Often referred to as a heart attack, MI occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart is interrupted. This decreased blood supply is usually due to blockage of a coronary artery and if left untreated can cause damage and/or death (infarction) of heart muscle tissue.

The scientists investigated MI mortality trends as per sex and age in five age groups during a 12-year period from 1994 to 2006. The study population included 916,380 MI patients from the National Registry of Myocardial Infarction (NRMI) who had a confirmed diagnosis of MI.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


October 25, 2009, 11:39 PM CT

Promising New Path For Treating Traumas

Promising New Path For Treating Traumas
A discovery by researchers at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation could help save lives threatened by traumatic injuries like those sustained in car crashes or on the battlefield. The work also holds potential for treating severe infectious diseases and diabetes.

In a paper published online today in the advance edition of the scientific journal Nature Medicine, OMRF researcher Charles Esmon, Ph.D., with co-authors Florea Lupu, Ph.D., and Jun Xu, Ph.D., has cast new light on how proteins called histones can enter the bloodstream and begin to kill the lining of blood vessels, resulting in uncontrolled internal bleeding. Building on this work, Esmon and a team of collaborators have discovered an antibody that could counter this deadly process.

"This discovery could open the door to new ways to treat soldiers hurt in IED attacks, gunshot wound victims and people who suffer a traumatic injury," said Esmon, who holds the Lloyd Noble Chair in Cardiovascular Biology at OMRF. "When we realized that histones were so toxic, we immediately went to work looking for a way to stop their destructive tendencies."

Inside the cells, histones perform an important function, keeping DNA coiled and compressed inside the nucleus. But the OMRF scientists observed that when cells become damaged and burst-either through injury, infection or diseases such as diabetes-histones can enter the bloodstream and begin to kill the lining of blood vessels. This results in uncontrolled internal bleeding and fluid build-up in the tissues, which are life-threatening.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 25, 2009, 11:37 PM CT

Suboptimal vitamin D levels in millions of US children

Suboptimal vitamin D levels in millions of US children
Boston, Mass. -- Millions of children in the United States between the ages of 1 and 11 may suffer from suboptimal levels of vitamin D, as per a large nationally representative study reported in the recent issue of Pediatrics, accompanied by an editorial.

The study, led by Jonathan Mansbach, MD, at Children's Hospital Boston, is the most up-to-date analysis of vitamin D levels in U.S. children. It builds on the growing evidence that levels have fallen below what's considered healthy, and that black and Hispanic children are at especially high risk.

Both the optimal amount of vitamin D supplementation and the healthy blood level of vitamin D are under heated debate in the medical community. Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children should have vitamin D levels of at least 50 nmol/L (20 ng/ml). However, other studies in adults suggest that vitamin D levels should be at least 75 nmol/L (30 ng/ml), and possibly 100 nmol/L (40 ng/ml), to lower the risk of heart disease and specific cancers.

Mansbach and collaborators from the University of Colorado Denver and Massachusetts General Hospital used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to look at vitamin D levels in a nationally representative sample of roughly 5,000 children from 2001-2006. Extrapolating to the entire U.S. population, their analysis suggests that roughly 20 percent of all children fell below the recommended 50 nmol/L. Moreover, more than two-thirds of all children had levels below 75 nmol/L, including 80 percent of Hispanic children and 92 percent of non-Hispanic black children.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 22, 2009, 7:22 AM CT

Looking into eyes to find Alzheimer's

Looking into eyes to find Alzheimer's
UCI neuroscientist Zhiqun Tan lead research that found the retinas of mice may mirror the brain ravaged by Alzheimer's disease.
Photo by Daniel A. Anderson / University Communications
The eyes appears to be the windows to the soul, but new research indicates they also may mirror a brain ravaged by Alzheimer's disease.

UC Irvine neuroresearchers have observed that retinas in mice genetically altered to have Alzheimer's undergo changes similar to those that occur in the brain - most notably the accumulation of amyloid plaque lesions.

In addition, the researchers discovered that when Alzheimer's therapies are tested in such mice, retinal changes that result might predict how the therapys will work in humans better than changes in mouse brain tissue.

These findings are key to developing retinal imaging technology that may help diagnose and treat people with Alzheimer's, which afflicts 5.3 million people in the U.S. and is the leading cause of elderly dementia. Brain imaging techniques are being tested, but retinal imaging could be less invasive, less expensive and easier to perform.

"It's important to discover the pathological changes before an Alzheimer's patient dies," said Zhiqun Tan, a UCI neuroscientist leading the research. "Brain tissue isn't transparent, but retinas are. I hope in the future we'll be able to diagnose the disease and track its progress by looking into the eyes".

For a study appearing in the recent issue of The American Journal of Pathology, Tan and his colleagues analyzed the retinas of Alzheimer's mice that had been treated with immunotherapy.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


October 22, 2009, 7:19 AM CT

Obesity prevention efforts in El Paso

Obesity prevention efforts in El Paso
Researchers at the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Advancement of Healthy Living at The University of Texas School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus found that obesity prevention efforts in the El Paso region were the most effective in Texas in decreasing the prevalence of childhood obesity.

Deanna Hoelscher, Ph.D., director of the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, examined regional changes of child obesity from 2000-2002 to 2004-2005, after the implementation of several statewide policies and programs in Texas. The study found a 13 percent decrease in the prevalence of obesity among El Paso 4th graders.

"Data from the El Paso region show us that obesity prevention efforts, when implemented on a broad scale, can be successful," said Hoelscher, professor at the UT School of Public Health. This is one of the first reports of a population-wide decrease in child obesity prevalence levels in 4th grade children in the El Paso region of Texas. Research results from the SPAN (Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition) study are published in the recent issue of Obesity.

The recent national obesity rates have shown no significant changes in child obesity during the last few years, with 16.3 percent of U.S. children ages 2-19 currently classified as obese, according to the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey results. Although a decrease in child obesity was found in smaller controlled studies, according to Hoelscher, the SPAN study is the first to document a regional decrease in the prevalence of child obesity due to implementation of community and school health programs in a 'natural' experiment.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 22, 2009, 7:09 AM CT

Fighting obesity with plant-based foods

Fighting obesity with plant-based foods
The cheeseburger and French fries might look tempting, but eating a serving of broccoli or leafy greens first could help people battle metabolic processes that lead to obesity and heart disease, a new University of Florida study shows.

Eating more plant-based foods, which are rich in substances called phytochemicals, seems to prevent oxidative stress in the body, a process linked to obesity and the onset of disease, as per findings published online in advance of the print edition of the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics

To get enough of these protective phytochemicals, scientists suggest eating plant-based foods such as leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes at the start of a meal. Using what is known as a phytochemical index, which compares the number of calories consumed from plant-based foods compared with the overall number of daily calories, could also help people make sure they remember to get enough phytochemicals during their regular meals and snacks, said Heather K. Vincent, Ph.D., the main author of the paper.

"We need to find a way to encourage people to pull back on fat and eat more foods rich in micronutrients and trace minerals from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and soy," said Vincent, an assistant professor in the UF Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Institute. "Fill your plate with colorful, low-calorie, varied-texture foods derived from plants first. By slowly eating phytochemical-rich foods such as salads with olive oil or fresh-cut fruits before the actual meal, you will likely reduce the overall portion size, fat content and energy intake. In this way, you're ensuring that you get the variety of protective, disease-fighting phytochemicals you need and controlling caloric intake".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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