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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > ObesityTobacco & Marijuana


Smoking, Obesity’s Toll on Life Span

Obesity • • Tobacco & MarijuanaMar 24 10

Smoking, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and obesity—four preventable risk factors—are robbing years from the lives of Americans.

The new findings—almost five years from men, and just over four years from women—suggest that disparities in these risk factors help explain why some ethnic and socioeconomic groups have lower life expectancies.

“Our results demonstrate that a small number of risk factors for chronic disease account for a noticeable part of the disparities in life expectancy in the U.S., with the largest contributions from smoking and high blood pressure,” say the researchers, led by Majid Ezzati, PhD, an associate professor of International Health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. The findings appear in the journal PLoS Medicine.

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Doctors must collaborate so that patients get full benefit of tamoxifen treatment

Cancer • • Breast CancerMar 24 10

Barcelona, Spain: Recently published research has shown that some breast cancer patients taking tamoxifen may not be getting the full benefit of their treatment because they have also been taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), prescribed drugs that inhibit the effect of an important enzyme. Now researchers have developed a strategy for overcoming this problem, the seventh European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC7) in Barcelona will hear today (Wednesday). Mr. Sean Hopkins, a clinical pharmacy specialist in breast cancer at the Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Centre, Ottawa, Canada, will present his research which shows that changing drug therapy at an early stage can help patients get the full benefit of tamoxifen and aid the effectiveness of their treatment.

Tamoxifen is used both to prevent development of oestrogen-receptor-positive cancer and as a therapy to stop it coming back. Taking medications such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and paroxetine for depression (and in some patients hot flashes), and bupropion (Zyban) for smoking cessation, can inhibit the action of CYP2D6, an enzyme that is related to drug metabolism and response to treatment, and which is crucial to the metabolism of tamoxifen for breast cancer.

Mr. Hopkins and his team set out to investigate how many patients taking hormonal therapy for breast cancer were also being prescribed CYP2D6 inhibitors. Research has shown that up to 25% of breast cancer patients have depressive disorders, and many of them are prescribed SSRIs. Additionally, many patients with cancer try to give up smoking and may use non-nicotine replacement therapies, such as buproprion.

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U.S. Caesarean births hit record high in 2007

Gender: Female • • PregnancyMar 24 10

Nearly 1.4 million babies born in the United States in 2007 were delivered by Caesarean section, a record U.S. high and a larger number than in most other industrialized nations, health officials said on Tuesday.

In 2007, nearly one-third of all births were Caesarean deliveries, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report, noting large rises in all racial, ethnic and age groups over 10 years.

The benefits and risks of Caesarean delivery, which involves major abdominal surgery, have been the subject of intense debate for more than a quarter of a century.

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Obesity tied to poorer colon cancer survival

Cancer • • Colorectal cancer • • ObesityMar 24 10

Obese people are known to have a higher risk of colon cancer. Now, a new study suggests they may have poorer long-term survival odds than their thinner counterparts if they do develop the disease.

The latest findings, reported in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, suggest that excess weight may particularly affect male survivors’ long-term prognosis.

In a study of nearly 4,400 U.S. adults treated for colon cancer, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester found that obese patients were one-quarter to one-third more likely to die over the next eight years than their normal-weight counterparts.

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