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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > Children's HealthObesity


Metabolic Syndrome Linked to Liver Disease in Obese Teenaged Boys

Children's Health • • ObesitySep 30 09

Researchers studying a large sample of adolescent American boys have found an association between metabolic syndrome, which is a complication of obesity, and elevated liver enzymes that mark potentially serious liver disease.

The link between metabolic syndrome and the suspected liver disease did not appear in adolescent girls, said study leader Rose C. Graham, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. There were ethnic differences among the boys as well, she added, between Hispanic and non-Hispanic males.

The study appears in the October 2009 print edition of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

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“Watchful waiting” often works for prostate cancer

Cancer • • Prostate CancerSep 29 09

New research indicates that over half of men who choose “watchful waiting” as the initial strategy for prostate cancer need no treatment over the long haul.

With “watchful waiting,” patients with early prostate tumors are monitored regularly and only treated if their cancer progresses.

“Patients and doctors should not assume that any/all cancer must be immediately treated,” lead researcher Dr. Martin G. Sanda, from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, told Reuters Health.

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Penn studies point to strategies for reducing painful breast cancer drug side effects

Cancer • • Breast CancerSep 28 09

Aromatase inhibitors, the same drugs that have buoyed long-term survival rates among breast cancer patients, also carry side effects including joint pain so severe that many patients discontinue these lifesaving medicines. New University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine research, however, has uncovered patterns that may help clinicians identify and help women at risk of these symptoms sooner in order to increase their chances of sticking with their treatment regimen. In a study published recently in the journal Cancer, researchers at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center found that estrogen withdrawal may play a role in the onset of joint pain, also known as arthralgia, during treatment: Women who stopped getting their menstrual periods less than five years before starting breast cancer treatment were three times more likely to experience these pains than those who reached menopause more than a decade earlier. In a separate study published in the journal Integrative Cancer Therapies, the Penn researchers found that among women experiencing these symptoms during treatment with aromatase inhibitors (AI), those who received electro-acupuncture – a technique that combines traditional acupuncture with electric stimulation – reported a reduction in joint pain severity and stiffness. Those women also said they suffered less fatigue and anxiety.

“We are fortunate today to have many effective treatments for breast cancer. Unfortunately, many of these treatments have troublesome and debilitating side effects that can last for months or years after treatment, and really harm the quality of life and productivity of women who receive them,” says lead author Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE, an assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health. “These findings are just a first step in our comprehensive research program aimed at understanding the nature of treatment-related symptoms, who is likely to get them, the mechanisms by which they occur, and how best to treat them.”

Toxicity issues and side effects among patients taking aromatase inhibitors – drugs used in post-menopausal women to prevent recurrence of breast cancer following initial treatment, by reducing the amount of estrogen the body makes – lead as many as 20 percent of patients to miss prescription refills or discontinue their therapy altogether. Patients in the new study were taking aromatase inhibitors including Arimidex, Femara or Aromasin.

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Port Wine Stains an Easy Fix

Public HealthSep 28 09

After 56 years of discomfort, embarrassment, and even pain, Maureen Dillon was finally able to go out in public with only one layer of makeup on. She felt beautiful for the first time since adolescence. She jumped in a pool without worrying about her makeup washing off and revealing a strawberry-colored cheek and nose.

Dillon had lived with port wine stains since birth, and they became darker and brought more distress as the years went on.

After dealing with blood vessel clusters and papules, swelling and infections, Dillon’s family doctor sent her to see Jeffrey Orringer, M.D., director of the Cosmetic Dermatology and Laser Center at the University of Michigan Health System. Orringer used lasers that, over eight treatments, removed Dillon’s port wine stains.

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Study Assesses Alcohol Use by Pain Patients

PainSep 28 09

Clinicians treating patients with chronic pain must assess their alcohol use and, if necessary, provide counseling regarding problems associated with mixing alcohol and pain medications, according to a study published in The Journal of Pain, the peer review publication of the American Pain Society.

Researchers from the University of Florida College of Dentistry examined use of alcohol to relieve pain in more than 4,000 adults with tooth pain, jaw or face pain and arthritis. Previous studies have shown that adverse reactions occur when alcohol is mixed with prescription pain medications, especially gastrointestinal disorders and liver problems. Also, studies show alcohol is used often to manage stress, and chronic pain is considered a significant stressor.

The purpose of the study was to document the prevalence of alcohol use for managing pain among community dwelling adults, learn demographic differences in the use of alcohol for pain, and evaluate if the impact of pain and social and economic factors is associated with using alcohol for pain. Study subjects were interviewed by telephone.

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NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Establishes Prostate Cancer Institute

Cancer • • Prostate CancerSep 28 09

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center has established a new Prostate Cancer Institute, dedicated to pursuing aggressive and innovative prostate cancer treatments while providing patient care in a comfortable and compassionate setting. Dr. Ashutosh Tewari, a leading robotic urologic surgeon, has been appointed as its director.

Dr. Tewari is an internationally acclaimed expert on robotic prostatectomy and other minimally invasive robotic surgeries, of which he has performed more than 2,000 in New York. A prolific researcher, he has also written upwards of 200 scientific articles. His clinical interests involve urologic oncology with special emphasis on the care of patients with prostate, bladder and other urological cancers.

“I am proud to have Dr. Tewari lead the Prostate Cancer Institute,” says Dr. Peter Schlegel, professor and chairman of urology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and urologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

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Cost-savings of colorectal cancer screening as treatment costs increase

Cancer • • Colorectal cancerSep 25 09

Investing in some colorectal cancer screening programs could cut future, more expensive treatment costs in half, according to a new study published online September 24 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The only screening program found not to be cost-saving was colonoscopy.

Governments and insurance companies may invest more in colorectal cancer screening programs—some of which have proven to reduce colorectal cancer mortality—if the cost-savings were known, especially as more expensive cancer drugs continue to hit the market.

Iris Lansdorp-Vogelaar, Ph.D., of the Department of Public Health, Eramus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and colleagues used a microsimulation model, known as the MISCAN-Colon model, to assess whether the increasing use of new, very costly drugs would affect treatment savings of colorectal cancer screening.

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Certain cancers more common among HIV patients than non-HIV patients

AIDS/HIV • • CancerSep 25 09

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that non-AIDS-defining malignancies such as anal and lung cancer have become more prevalent among HIV-infected patients than non-HIV patients since the introduction of anti-retroviral therapies in the mid-1990s.

AIDS patients with suppressed immune systems are at higher risk for so-called AIDS-defining malignancies – cancers such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma and cervical carcinoma. Some researchers have speculated, however, that HIV patients are diagnosed with more non-AIDS-defining malignancies simply because anti-retroviral drugs now used enable them to live longer, but the results of the UT Southwestern study suggest that other factors may be at work.

The researchers, using data from more than 100,000 patient records in the U.S. Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, found that when the statistics were adjusted for gender, race/ethnicity and age, HIV-infected patients were 60 percent more likely to have anal, lung, Hodgkin’s, melanoma or liver cancer than patients without HIV. The rate of prostate cancer was similar between the two groups, according to the report.

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Radioiodine Therapy: Managing Side Effects

EndocrinologySep 23 09

“The best way to manage the adverse side effects of radioiodine therapy is to avoid the side effects by limiting radioiodine exposure,” says Stephanie L. Lee, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and director of the Endocrine Clinics and the Thyroid Disease Center, Boston Medical Center of the Boston Medical Center.

Dr Lee will make her presentation at the “Meet the Professor” session Friday September 25 at 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. during the American Thyroid Association’s (ATA) 80th Annual Meeting September 23-27, 2009, held at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.

Dr. Lee will present a case study, review the risks of radioiodine therapy in thyroid cancer including complications in a variety of the body’s systems, and how to prevent long-term complications.

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Prostate cancer patients on hormone therapy at increased risk for various heart diseases

Cancer • • Prostate Cancer • • HeartSep 22 09

Berlin, Germany: New research has found that hormone therapy used to treat men with advanced prostate cancer is associated with an increased chance of developing various heart problems. Some choices of therapy appear, however, to be less risky than others.

Researchers told Europe’s biggest cancer congress, ECCO 15 – ESMO 34 [1], in Berlin today (Tuesday 22 September) that the findings of their study, the largest and most comprehensive to date on the issue, indicate that doctors need to start considering heart-related side effects when they prescribe endocrine therapy for prostate cancer and might want to refer patients to a cardiologist before starting treatment.

A few smaller studies have indicated that some types of hormone therapy increase the risk of coronary heart disease and heart attacks in prostate cancer patients, but others have found no increased risk. This is the first large study to investigate how the broader range of hormone therapies affect a wider range of heart problems and provides for the first time a detailed picture of the impact of each sort of hormone therapy on individual types of heart trouble.

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UAB Experts on H1N1 Influenza

FluSep 21 09

Richard Whitley, M.D.
Whitley, UAB’s Director of Pediatric Infectious Disease, has been tapped by U.S. President Barack Obama to serve on the H1N1 influenza working group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). A professor of pediatrics, microbiology and neurosurgery, Whitley serves as vice-chair of the Department of Pediatrics and as co-director of UAB’s Center for Emerging Infections and Emergency Preparedness. Whitley is also president-elect of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Expertise: Flu-infection projections, government preparedness, drug stockpiling, common-sense prevention and self-care tips for the public.

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Memories of the Way They Used to Be

Public HealthSep 18 09

A team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla have developed a safe strategy for reprogramming cells to a pluripotent state without use of viral vectors or genomic insertions. Their studies reveal that these induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are very similar to human embryonic stem cells, yet maintain a “transcriptional signature.” In essence, these cells retain some memory of the donor cells they once were.

The study, led by UCSD Stem Cell Program researcher Alysson R. Muotri, assistant professor in the Departments of Pediatrics at UCSD and Rady Children’s Hospital and UCSD’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, will be published online in PLoS ONE on September 17.

“Working with neural stem cells, we discovered that a single factor can be used to re-program a human cell into a pluripotent state, one with the ability to differentiate into any type of cell in the body” said Muotri. Traditionally, a combination of four factors was used to create iPSCs, in a technology using viral vectors – viruses with the potential to affect the transcriptional profile of cells, sometimes inducing cell death or tumors.

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Yale team finds mechanism that constructs key brain structure

BrainSep 17 09

Yale University researchers have found a molecular mechanism that allows the proper mixing of neurons during the formation of columns essential for the operation of the cerebral cortex, they report in the Sept. 16 online issue of the journal Nature.

Scientists have known for years that information processing in the cerebral cortex depends upon groupings of neurons that assemble in the shape of vertical columns. If the number and mix of neurons in the column are wrong, severe cognitive problems can result. For instance, malformations of these columns have been implicated in some forms of autism and mental retardation. Scientists, however, have not been able to find the molecular mechanism responsible for this intermixing.

In the Nature paper, a team led by Pasko Rakic, professor and chairman of the Department of Neurobiology and head of the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience, describes one of the molecular mechanisms essential to the organizations of these key structures.

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The wonders of wine

Dieting • • Food & NutritionSep 17 09

A conversation over a glass of wine turned into EUREKA-backed research effort to create new, healthy wine-flavoured products. The German and Spanish partners of project E! 4008 PROVINO say they have invented a way of making powder from by-products of red wine production which could be used in everything from yoghurt and chocolates to creams and face masks.

Two years ago, a group of friends were enjoying a glass of wine in the Mosel region in south-west Germany when their conversation turned to the health benefits which studies attribute to the drink. During the fermentation process of making wine, by-products are left over which are often just discarded as waste and the friends reasoned that since these by-products contain the goodness of wine in an even more concentrated form, and without the alcohol, shouldn’t it be more often used and consumed by humans?

One of the friends was Bernd Diehl, the 48-year-old co-owner of a German chemical analysis company called Spectral Service. He proposed his company develop a method to turn the by-products into a powder preserving as many of the natural, healthy properties of wine as possible - the proteins, B vitamins, minerals and polyphenols, which are thought to prevent heart or circulation diseases, inflammation and thrombosis.

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Health leaders issue recommendations to improve management of atrial fibrillation

HeartSep 16 09

A diverse collaboration of healthcare leaders today released the AF Stat™ Call to Action for Atrial Fibrillation to serve as a roadmap for reducing the burden of atrial fibrillation (AFib) in the United States. The document outlines critical issues surrounding the management of AFib, and recommends priority actions in the areas of policy, management, education and quality.

“For far too long, AFib has flown under the radar of many healthcare professionals, policymakers and the public,” said Senator Bill Frist, M.D., former Senate Majority Leader and health policy advisor for AF Stat. “AFib disproportionately affects Medicare patients, yet the disease’s impact on both individuals and our healthcare system has never been fully defined or prioritized.”

Characterized by an irregular and frequently fast heartbeat, AFib is the most common form of heart arrhythmia. It affects approximately 2.5 million Americans, and its prevalence is expected to increase as the U.S. population ages. AFib is associated with a five-fold increase in risk for stroke ; worsens underlying cardiovascular disease ; and doubles the risk of all-cause mortality .

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