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September 20, 2006, 4:57 AM CT

Higher Suicide Rate Among Women With Breast Implants

Higher Suicide Rate Among Women With Breast Implants
Does women with breast implants have a higher mortality rate? This was the question the researchers were asking, but they came up with a surprising finding. In study that evaluated 24,600 women by the Canadian Public Health Agency and Cancer Care Ontario found that having breast implants does not increase mortality risk. However, the study found that the suicide rate among women with breast implants is 73% higher than in the general population. Researchers have published these findings in a recent issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Reserchers Universit Laval's Jacques Brisson and Louis Latulippe and their colleagues collected data on 17,400 women from the province of Quebec and 7,200 from Ontario who had received breast implants for cosmetic purposes between 1974 and 1989. These women, who had undergone the surgery at an average age of 32, were followed regularly during a 15-year period. The researchers found that a total of 480 women with breast implants died during that period, comparable to the mortality rate of the general population.

Researchers found mortality rate in women with breast implant to be 26% lower than in the control group. Fewer deaths occurred from breast cancer and heart occurred in this group. The researchers say that this lower mortality rate is not the result of the breast augmentation procedure itself, but rather of a double selection bias. "First, a woman must be in relatively good health to undergo breast implant surgery," points out Dr. Brisson. "Also, women who receive breast implants tend to be of higher-than-average socioeconomic status. Thus, women who undergo breast augmentation surgery are more likely to be in better health than the general population".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


September 18, 2006, 9:44 PM CT

CAM For Insomnia Or Trouble Sleeping

CAM For Insomnia Or Trouble Sleeping
A new study reveals that over 1.6 million American adults use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to treat insomnia or trouble sleeping* as per researchers at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), part of the National Institutes of Health. The data came from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2002 the NHIS, an in-person, annual health survey, included over 31,000 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. A CAM supplement to the survey asked about the use of 27 types of CAM therapies, as well as a variety of medical conditions for which CAM may be used, including insomnia or trouble sleeping. Survey results show that over 17 percent of adults reported trouble sleeping or insomnia in the past 12 months. Of those with insomnia or trouble sleeping, 4.5 percent--more than 1.6 million people--used some form of CAM to treat their condition.

"These data offer some new insights regarding the prevalence of insomnia or trouble sleeping in the United States and the types of CAM therapies people use to treat these conditions," said Dr. Margaret A. Chesney, Acting Director of NCCAM. "They will help us develop new research questions regarding the safety and efficacy of the CAM therapies being used."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


September 17, 2006, 10:21 PM CT

Prozac Interferes With Reproduction

Prozac Interferes With Reproduction
Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and North Carolina State University (NCSW) have demonstrated that a usually prescribed antidepressant can interfere with the reproductive cycle of freshwater mussels--at least in a controlled setting. The research, presented this week at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society*, was conducted to better understand the environmental impact of pharmaceuticals in waste water.

More and more studies are turning up evidence of common drugs and their breakdown products in the nation's waterways (see NIST Tech Beat, www.nist.gov/public_affairs/techbeat/tb2005_1222.htm#drugs, raising concerns about potential health impacts for both humans and animals from low-level but continuous exposure to the chemicals. NIST and NCSU scientists at the Hollings Marine Laboratory (Charleston, S.C.) examined the effect of fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) on a native freshwater mussel (Elliptio complanata). Fluoxetine, sold under the trade name ProzacTM, is one of the most heavily prescribed antidepressants in the United States. In humans, it acts to increase the levels of serotonin at nerve synapses, relieving depression and associated illnesses. But for many aquatic species, serotonin moderates the reproductive system--and has been used to artificially induce spawning in bivalves.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


September 14, 2006, 4:58 AM CT

Anemia Body And The Mind

Anemia Body And The Mind
For elderly adults, anemia's trademark loss of oxygen-toting red blood cells has long been associated with fatigue, muscle weakness and other physical ailments. Now scientists at Johns Hopkins have found a relationship between anemia and impaired thinking, too.

"Our work supports the notion that mild anemia may be an independent risk factor for so-called executive-function impairment in elderly adults," says Paulo Chaves, M.D., P.h.D., an assistant professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the lead author of the study. "If further studies confirm that's true, this could mean that correction of anemia in these patients might offer a chance to prevent such a cognitive decline".

Reporting on the research in the recent issue of The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the Hopkins researchers went looking for such an effect because prior studies showed that age-related declines in the brain's so-called executive function - problem solving, planning, assessing dangers, following up on important activities - lead to declines in self-sufficiency.

"Executive function impairment, which happens often before memory loss occurs, may happen early on in the process of becoming unable to carry on with instrumental day-to-day living activities, such as shopping, cooking, taking medications, paying bills, walking, etc.," says Chaves.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


September 13, 2006, 9:01 PM CT

Dieting Female Athletes More Likely to Get Stress Fractures

Dieting Female Athletes More Likely to Get Stress Fractures
Female college athletes on low-calorie diets could be putting themselves at risk for stress fractures, as per new Saint Louis University research published in this month's The American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Scientists studied risk factors for exercise-related leg pain, including stress fractures in women participating in four popular fall sports - cross-country running, field hockey, soccer and volleyball.

Women with "disordered eating," which includes eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia but more generally refers to insufficient caloric intake, were more likely to develop stress fractures as a result of decreased estrogen production, says researcher Mark Reinking, PT, Ph.D., chairman of the department of physical treatment at Saint Louis University's Doisy College of Health Sciences.

"When people expend more calories than they consume, they release fewer hormones, which slows down menstrual cycles. This decreases estrogen in the body, which is responsible for bone development," says Reinking, also chairman of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.

Leg pain is one of the most common problems afflicting athletes, Reinking says.

"It causes people to miss practices and competitions, and I wanted to understand if two people were undergoing the same exercise regime, why only one of them would have leg pain," he says. "It's not as simple as 'Run less' or 'Change your shoes every 300 miles.' It's a complex problem, and you can't prevent something if you don't know what causes it."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


September 13, 2006, 5:06 AM CT

Violence In The Home And Childhood Bullying

Violence In The Home And Childhood Bullying
Children who were exposed to violence in the home engaged in higher levels of physical bullying than youngsters who were not witnesses to such behavior, as per a research studyby scientists from the University of Washington and Indiana University.

The study is one of the first in the United States to specifically examine the association between child exposure to intimate partner violence and involvement in bullying. It also is one of the first to break down bullying into physical aggression (hitting, pushing and other forms outward aggression) and relational aggression (teasing, being mean and ostracizing peers).

Overall, 34 percent of the children studied engaged in bullying and 73 percent reported being the victim of some form of bullying in the prior year. Almost all of the bullies, 97 percent, said they were also victims of bullying.

"Children learn from seeing what their primary caregivers do. They are very attuned and very observant about what goes on in a household," said Dr. Nerissa Bauer, lead author of the study and a former UW pediatrician who is now an assistant professor of pediatrics at Indian and Riley Children's Hospital.

"Parents are very powerful role models and children will mimic the behavior of parents, wanting to be like them. They may believe violence is OK and they can use it with peers. After all, they may think, 'If Daddy can do this, perhaps I can hit this kid to get my way.' When parents engage in violence, children may assume violence is the right way to do things," she said.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


September 13, 2006, 4:53 AM CT

Preventing Epileptic Seizures

Preventing Epileptic Seizures
Scientists at MIT are in the process of developing a device that could detect and prevent epileptic seizures before they become debilitating.

Epilepsy affects about 50 million people worldwide, and while anticonvulsant medications can reduce the frequency of seizures, the drugs are ineffective for as a number of as one in three patients.

The new therapy builds on an existing therapy for epilepsy, the Cyberonics Inc. vagus nerve stimulator (VNS), which is often used in patients who do not respond to drugs. A defibrillator typically implanted under the patient's collar bone stimulates the left vagus nerve about every five minutes, which has been shown to help reduce the frequency and severity of seizures in a number of patients.

The MIT scientists and his colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) seek to improve the therapy by combining it with a detector that measures brain activity to predict when a seizure is about to occur. The new device would sense the oncoming seizure and then activate the VNS, in principle halting the seizure before it becomes manifest.

"Our contribution is the software that decides when to turn the stimulator on," said John Guttag, MIT's Dugald C. Jackson Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Guttag developed the system along with Ali Shoeb, a graduate student in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


September 13, 2006, 4:41 AM CT

Exercise Reduces Colon-cancer Risk

Exercise  Reduces Colon-cancer Risk
Regular, moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise significantly reduces a risk factor linked to the formation of colon polyps and colon cancer in men, as per a research studyled by scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The findings, from the first randomized clinical trial to test the effect of exercise on colon-cancer biomarkers in colon tissue, appear in the recent issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

"In men who met the study's exercise prescription of an hour of aerobic activity per day, six days a week for a year, we saw a substantial decrease in the amount of cellular proliferation in the areas of the colon that are most vulnerable to colon cancer," said lead author Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D., an internist and epidemiologist who directs the Hutchinson Center's Prevention Center. "However, we observed that even four hours or more of exercise weekly was enough to produce a significant benefit," she said.

Specifically, the scientists saw a decrease in the number of actively dividing cells, or cellular proliferation, within the colonic crypts - tiny tube-like indentations in the lining of the colon, or epithelium, which help regulate the absorption of water and nutrients. "A certain amount of cellular proliferation at the bottom part of the crypt is normal. But when these cells start dividing too quickly, they can migrate up the sides of the crypt to the surface and eventually form a polyp," she said. While most polyps are benign, over time some types can become cancerous.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


September 13, 2006, 4:33 AM CT

Black-white IQ Gap Has Narrowed

Black-white IQ Gap Has Narrowed Image courtesy of www.careerplanners.net
In a paper would be reported in the October issure of the journal Psychological Science, William Dickens and James Flynn show that the gap in measured cognitive ability between blacks and whites has narrowed by at least a quarter since 1972. The scientists analyzed nationally representative samples of blacks and whites on four different tests of cognitive ability. On all four tests, blacks show large gains relative to whites with results varying somewhat across the different tests. Pooling the results, the scientists find that blacks have gained an average of.18 IQ points a year on whites from 1972 to 2002 for a total gain of 5.4 IQ points. Further, blacks have gained on whites at all points in the distribution of ability, with gains being only modestly lower for those in the top 10 percent.

These gains in cognitive ability have come during a time when blacks have made notable progress towards social and economic equality in some areas and suggest the possibility that further progress will bring further IQ gains.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


September 13, 2006, 4:25 AM CT

Children's Behavioral And Mental Health Problems

Children's Behavioral And Mental Health Problems
Limited access to services for children and adolescents with behavioral problems or mental illness often leads to inadequate care and therapy based on insufficient scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness, concludes a report by the American Psychological Association (APA) released recently.

As per the report, a product of the APA Working Group on Psychotropic Medications for Children and Adolescents, gaps in the scientific knowledge concerning which therapys work best for specific diagnoses and patients, a dearth of clinicians specifically trained to work with children, cuts in Medicaid funding, and poor reimbursement for mental health services leads to a number of children being treated with medicine despite limited efficacy and safety for their use especially with children.

Research published earlier this year showed a five-fold increase in the use of antipsychotic drugs to treat behavioral and emotional problems in children and adolescents from 1993 to 2002.

"This entire state of affairs is in part correlation to our health care system's failure to provide sufficiently for children, especially in the area of pediatric mental health care," states Ronald T. Brown, PhD, chair of the APA Working Group and Professor of Public Health and Dean at Temple University. "As a result, much of the care provided to children for mental health issues has been limited to medicine even though a number of psychosocial therapys have been found to be effective and some with better risk profiles. Psychosocial therapys, however, can be more labor intensive and more expensive." .........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         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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