What’s the life expectancy of patients when they begin treatment for osteoporosis?
Despite reports that people with osteoporosis have an increased risk of dying prematurely, a new study has found that life expectancy of newly diagnosed and treated osteoporosis patients is in excess of 15 years in women below the age of 75 and in men below the age of 60.
In more detailed analyses, the residual life expectancy after beginning osteoporosis treatment was estimated to be 18.2 years in a 50-year-old man and 7.5 years in a 75-year old man. Estimates in women were 26.4 years and 13.5 years. The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research study included 58,637 patients with osteoporosis and 225,084 age- and gender-matched controls. Information on deaths until the end of 2013 was retrieved, providing a follow-up period of 10 to 17 years.
Addressing the needs of young women with disorders of sex development
Disorders of sex development are lifelong conditions that are usually diagnosed at birth or during adolescence. In a recent study of 13 teenaged girls with disorders of sex development, the girls were guarded and reticent about sharing personal information about their disorder during adolescence, but some of them learned to engage in conversations with more confidence as they moved towards adulthood.
The participants noted that frustrations about their bodily differences and the limitations of their bodies limited physical spontaneity, impacted on their perceived sexual fulfillment, and hindered friendships or the possible formation of intimate partnerships. The young women wanted empathic, sensitive support from knowledgeable health professionals to help them understand their bodies.
Study ties breathing problems, asthma to bone loss
People with asthma-related breathing problems may be at increased risk for bone loss, according to a new study.
The study examined the records of more than 7,000 adults in Seoul, Korea, and found those with a certain characteristic of asthma had significantly lower bone density in a region of their spine than those without asthma symptoms.
The characteristic, called airway hyperresponsiveness, means the airways in the lungs are particularly sensitive, and it doesn’t take much to trigger an asthma attack.
However, both men and women with airway hyperresponsiveness were still in the normal range for overall bone density, on average. And researchers couldn’t say whether the asthma symptoms or the bone loss came first or what linked the two.
Arkansas to appeal ruling on abortion restriction law
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said on Friday he would appeal a federal judge’s decision striking down a state law that bans most abortions starting at 12 weeks of pregnancy, one of the most stringent such statutes in the United States.
U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled last month that the Arkansas law violated the U.S. Supreme Court decision that a woman has the right to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, which medical experts say is around the 23-to-24-week mark
A number of states have recently enacted restrictive bans on abortion, including North Dakota, Arizona and Texas, setting off a round of court battles.
Supreme Court declines to hear new contraception cases
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up preliminary appeals brought by Roman Catholic groups that want an exemption from part of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law requiring employers to provide insurance that covers contraception.
The cases were brought by a series of Roman Catholic-affiliated nonprofit groups based in Washington, D.C., including Catholic University.
The legal issue is different from one involving for-profit companies that also object on religious grounds to the so-called contraception mandate, which was argued before the high court last week.
The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the two cases at this stage means that the federal appeals court in Washington will proceed to decide the issue. If the groups lose, they would have another chance to seek Supreme Court review.
Optimism linked to healthier eating among women
Women with a sunny disposition may also have an easier time adopting healthy habits, according to a new study.
Researchers found that women who were more optimistic were better able to follow healthy eating guidelines, both when they were instructed to do so and when they chose to make changes on their own.
The authors noted that the biggest help for making diet improvements is not necessarily optimism itself, but the skills that tend to go with it.
“It’s not just having a sunny outlook - rather, this is a marker of other things people do,” said Melanie Hingle, a dietician at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She led the new study, which was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Lactation consultants can boost breastfeeding
Having access to even a few hours with a professional specially trained to help women breastfeed may raise the number of women who start breastfeeding and stick with it, according to a new study.
Lactation consultants are certified through the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners and may work in hospitals, offices or public health programs.
Women in the new study who spent an average total of three hours with a lactation consultant were almost three times more likely to start breastfeeding their newborns and to still be breastfeeding three months later.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend exclusive breastfeeding for all babies’ first six months. In reality, at least 25 percent of babies in the U.S. are never breastfed at all, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sexual function dramatically improves in women following bariatric surgery, Penn study finds
The first study to look extensively at sexual function in women who underwent bariatric surgery found that significant improvements in overall sexual function, most reproductive hormones and in psychological status were maintained over two years following surgery. Women reporting the poorest quality of sexual function prior to surgery saw the most dramatic improvements one year after surgery, on par with women who reported the highest quality of sexual function prior to surgery. The new report by researchers with the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania appears in the November 4 edition of JAMA Surgery.
More than half of women who seek bariatric surgery report signs of sexual dysfunction and, consequentially, psychological stress.
“For many people, sex is an important part of quality of life. The massive weight losses typically seen following bariatric surgery are associated with significant improvements in quality of life,” said the study’s lead author David Sarwer, PhD, professor of Psychology in Psychiatry and Surgery in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “This is one of the first studies to show that women also experience improvements in their sexual functioning and satisfaction, as well as significant improvements in their reproductive hormones.”
Researchers followed 106 women with an average Body Mass Index of 44.5 who underwent bariatric surgery (85 had gastric bypass and 21 had gastric banding procedures). Following surgery, the women lost an average of 32.7 percent of their original body weight after the first year, and 33.5 percent at the end of the second year.
Arkansas governor vetoes bill banning abortions at 20 weeks
Democratic Governor Mike Beebe on Tuesday vetoed a bill to ban most abortions in Arkansas at 20 weeks into pregnancy, though state lawmakers can override his decision with a simple majority vote.
The measure, which had been approved by an 80 to 10 vote in the state House and by a 25 to 7 vote in the state Senate, would provide exceptions only in cases of rape, incest or to save a mother’s life. It is one of several bills introduced by Republicans this year seeking to restrict abortion. This is the first time the party has controlled both chambers since the Reconstruction era.
Beebe said in his veto letter that because it “would impose a ban on a woman’s right to choose an elective, nontherapeutic abortion before viability, (the bill), if it became law, would squarely contradict Supreme Court precedent.”
Arkansas currently limits abortions after 25 weeks.
In Vitro Fertilization Less Successful With Alternative Fertility Treatments
Women who are desperately trying to get pregnant might want to avoid complementary and alternative medicine.
The common belief is that it won’t hurt to try alternative fertility treatments before reverting to in vitro fertilization (IVF). But a new study from Denmark finds that the success of IVF treatment is 30% lower among women who have used alternative medicine. The researchers included over 700 IVF users over a 12-month period. Women who had first tried a combination of alternative treatments, such as reflexology, acupuncture, or herbal- and aroma therapy, had significantly lower pregnancy rates after IVF treatment.
Alex Polyakov and Beverley Vollenhoven of the Faculty of 1000 Medicine emphasize the relevance of the study for IVF clinics. “It is important, when discussing IVF treatment with couples, that their use of alternative therapies is also discussed, as this may have a bearing on treatment success.”
House GOP look to reshape birth control debate
House Republican leaders are looking for a way to reshape the debate over the administration’s new rule on birth-control insurance coverage before moving ahead with a bid to nullify the requirement.
Representative Jeff Fortenberry, who has introduced legislation on the issue, acknowledged hesitation by some fellow Republicans to take on the incendiary issue. But he said a delay could give Republicans time to recast the issue as a question of religious freedom rather than women’s rights.
“We’ll keep trying to appropriately frame the debate about this core American principle,” Fortenberry said.
Representative Pete Sessions, who heads the House Republican campaign committee, said party leaders are not backing off. “We’re not hesitant to do anything,” Sessions said. “The successful rain dance has a lot to do with timing.”
Online dating research shows cupid’s arrow is turning digital
Online dating has not only shed its stigma, it has surpassed all forms of matchmaking in the United States other than meeting through friends, according to a new analysis of research on the burgeoning relationship industry.
The digital revolution in romance is a boon to lonely-hearters, providing greater and more convenient access to potential partners, reports the team of psychological scientists who prepared the review. But the industry’s claims to offering a “science-based” approach with sophisticated algorithm-based matching have not been substantiated by independent researchers and, therefore, “should be given little credence,” they conclude.
“Online dating is definitely a new and much needed twist on relationships,” says Harry Reis, one of the five co-authors of the study and professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. Behavioral economics has shown that the dating market for singles in Western society is grossly inefficient, especially once individuals exit high school or college, he explains. “The Internet holds great promise for helping adults form healthy and supportive romantic partnerships, and those relationships are one of the best predictors of emotional and physical health,” says Reis.
Virtual childbirth simulator improves safety of high-risk deliveries
Newly developed computer software combined with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of a fetus may help physicians better assess a woman’s potential for a difficult childbirth. Results of a study using the new software were presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
Because a woman’s birth canal is curved and not much wider than a fetus’s head, a baby must move through the canal in a specific sequence of maneuvers. A failure in the process, such as a head turned the wrong way at the wrong time, can result in dystocia, or difficult labor.
“The mechanics of the human birth canal make for a very complicated delivery process compared to other mammals,” said Olivier Ami, M.D., Ph.D., an obstetrician in the Department of Radiology at Antoine Béclère’s Hospital, Université Paris Sud, France. “We now have computer-simulated childbirth to identify potential problems.”
Using the new software, called PREDIBIRTH, Dr. Ami and a team of researchers processed MR images of 24 pregnant women. The result was a three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction of both the pelvis and the fetus along with 72 possible trajectories of the baby’s head through the birth canal. Based on these simulations, the program scored each mother’s likelihood of a normal birth.
Researcher launches teen contraceptive website
Friends, the mainstream media and the internet, all potentially unreliable sources, continue to be the way America’s young adults find their health information. Research has found that while they trust health professionals and health educators, they often do not turn to them for information, especially when it comes to their sexual health.
In an attempt to provide a reliable and trustworthy source for reproductive health information for teenagers, one physician-researcher at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island has launched the website Ask A Doc RI.
“My thought was to bring the information to where the teenagers are, which is on the internet,” says Vinita Goyal, MD, MPH, of Women & Infants’ Center for Women’s Primary Care. “Ask A Doc RI contains a variety of information on contraception and local clinical resources where youth can seek health care.”
Does driving a Porsche make a man more desirable to women?
New research by faculty at Rice University, the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) and the University of Minnesota finds that men’s conspicuous spending is driven by the desire to have uncommitted romantic flings. And, gentlemen, women can see right through it.
The series of studies, “Peacocks, Porsches and Thorstein Veblen: Conspicuous Consumption as a Sexual Signaling System,” was conducted with nearly 1,000 test subjects and published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
“This research suggests that conspicuous products, such as Porsches, can serve the same function for some men that large and brilliant feathers serve for peacocks,” said Jill Sundie, assistant professor of marketing at UTSA and lead author of the paper.