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Showing posts from November, 2008

Study Shows Constipation in Children Poses Serious Health Issues

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Researchers at Columbia University have found that constipation in children can pose serious health issues that parallel the cost of treating children with asthma and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The study is scheduled for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics, early 2009.

Gastroenterologists and researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital teamed up to find out the actual cost and use of health care facilities associated with children in the United States who suffer from constipation. The research group collected data from surveys targeting children under age 18 who were treated for constipation over two years (2003-2004), receiving laxatives or a diagnosis of constipation.

The study results showed that constipated children use health care services more than do other children, costing $3.9 billion annually. The hospital group believes constipation in children should receive more attention from public health campaigns.

Study author, Carlo Di Lorenzo, MD, chief of …

How Binge Drinking Leads to Heart Attack

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Heart attack from the formation of atherosclerosis (plaque in the arteries) can follow binge drinking. New research supports the notion that how much alcohol we consume is not as important as our pattern of alcohol consumption. Binge drinking might be an important factor that can lead to heart attack. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as five or more drinks for men, and four or more drinks for women, in two hours.

The current research discovered a direct association between irregular drinking habits and heart attack. Regular alcohol consumption has shown to be beneficial to health (e.g. red wine). Binge drinking can lead to dangerous changes in the lining of the blood vessels that promote inflammation, leading to plaque formation and heart attack.

Research shows that blood cells attack fatty plaque and other foreign substances that inflame the lining of the arteries. When inflammation occurs in the blood vessels, an immune response f…

Increased Resting Heart Rate Predicts Risk of Death

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The number of times your heart beats while at rest may predict your risk of death. A newer study from Dr Xavier Jouven (Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, Paris, France), and colleagues showed that minor increases in resting heart rate bumps up our risk of death by 20%. Conversely, a reduction in heart rate shows a 14% reduced risk of death. The research group studied healthy police officers who had no additional risk of heart disease, studying the men over a five year period.

The scientists are not certain whether their findings can be applied to women or other groups of individuals. Nevertheless, past studies have supported their findings. Past theories include the possibility that increased heart rate induces stress on the walls of the artery and heart, contributing to mortality.

The researchers studied men who were healthy, following them for five years. The study took place between 1967 and 1972 and included 5139 subjects. The authors say "We found that change in HR over 5-ye…

Researchers Discover How Bacteria Become Lethal

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Researchers at Scripps University have discovered how bacteria become lethal. When bacteria enter the body, they are initially harmless. Bicarbonate in our organs and body fluid helps us maintain normal PH, otherwise described as alkalinity or acidity. If normal PH is not maintained, metabolic disturbance occurs that can lead to physical distress and serious illness. Unfortunately, bicarbonate also teams up with bacteria to cause much harm.

The researchers discovered how bacteria become activated to cause death while exploring the lethal effects of Anthrax. Bicarbonate tells the bacteria to attack. Without the help of bicarbonate, which acts as a transport, anthrax bacteria were found to be harmless.The study is published in the November 21 edition of the journal PLoS Pathogens. The findings are significant, because other bacteria, such as E.coli, likely behave in the same fashion.

Scientists have known that bicarbonate plays a key role in activating bacteria after it enters the body. …

Patients develop Superbug MRSA infections after undergoing MRI Scanning

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HAYWARD, California — Nov. 10th, 2008 — The CDC reports that 1.7 million people in the United States each year contract a "Hospital Acquired Infection" and over 100,000 people die each year as a result of these infections. Reports show that in 2005 nearly 19,000 people died from hospital acquired infections. Hospital acquired infections are killing more people each year than AIDS.

Numerous patients have expressed concern about developing so called “superbug” infections that are resistant to conventional antibiotics. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the common superbugs that patients have contracted after undergoing an MRI scan. The most famous of these cases is that of 15 year old honor roll student Nile Moss, who died from an MRSA infection after an outpatient visit to a hospital where he under went an MRI. After leaving the hospital, Nile developed a high temperature and three days after being admitted to the hospital he died. After hearing…

Indoor Pollution Linked to Heart Disease Risk – Are Statins the Answer?

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Researchers have uncovered the role of low-level air pollution on heart health. Studies have shown that EPA standards are not low enough to protect our blood vessels from inflammation leading to heart disease and stroke. CRP blood test levels measure inflammation in the body, and can be controlled with cholesterol lowering medicines, or statins. Elevated CRP levels promote heart attacks.

Taking things a bit further, newer research shows that we can’t seem to escape damage to blood vessels even in the home. Community monitoring stations fall short of measuring the total amount of individual exposure to pollutants that can increase our risk of heart disease.

According to study co-author, Robert Bard, cardiologists need to develop a greater awareness that pollution is contributing to heart disease. The amount of exposure experienced by 65 study participants fitted with pollution-monitoring vests showed that exposure to particulate matter in the home impacted blood flow and systolic blood …

Allergies may Protect from Cancer says Cornell Study

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According to a new study from Cornell University, allergies might be the body’s defense against toxins that can cause cancer. The study raises questions about whether or not we should be quelling allergy symptoms. The research found the greatest correlation between cancers that develop in body tissue exposed to the environment, which includes skin, bladder, colon, mouth, throat, cervix, uterus, lung and gastrointestinal tract cancers. The link weakens when it comes to breast and prostate cancer, myeloma, and myelocytic leukemia – tissues that are less environmentally susceptible. Hives, hay fever, allergies to food and meat, and eczema were strongly associated with lower cancer rates from environmental exposure of body tissues.

Paul Sherman, Cornell professor of neurobiology and behavior, led the Cornell study. Dr. Sherman believes that allergies serve to rid the body of toxins, including those that cause cancer. When we sneeze and cough, it seems possible that the body is ridding it…

Music may Protect from Heart Disease – Study

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According to the results of a new study, listening to music that makes you feel good has a positive effect on the blood vessels. The effects are measureable. We’ve long known that emotion can affect health. Simply enjoying country, classical music, or R&B appears to decrease your chances of heart disease. The benefits may extend to overall health, helping to fight infection and recover from injury.

Researchers found that when we feel joyful, in this case in response to music, the blood vessels dilate, increasing blood flow. The same response occurs when we laugh. Stressful music had the opposite response – the blood vessels narrow, restricting blood flow to the heart and other organs. Michael Miller, M.D., director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center and associate professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine says "We knew that individual people would react differently to different types of music, so in this study, w…

Potassium from Food may Control Blood Pressure

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A new study shows that increasing dietary potassium might keep blood pressure in check - especially in African Americans. Controlling salt intake has been the mainstay recommendation for blood pressure control. The study, from the American Society of Nephrology suggests that getting more potassium may be as important as limiting salt intake. The research is presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 41st Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Susan Hedayati, MD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, and the Dallas VA Medical Center, led the study, which also identified a gene that may have a direct influence on how potassium affects blood pressure.

Data from the Dallas Heart Study was analyzed, involving 3,300 subjects, half of whom were African American. The amount of potassium found in urine samples directly correlated with the incidence of high blood pressure. "The lower the potassium in the urine, h…

Better Health Through Compassion - Bloggers Unite for Refugees

There's no question that we can learn, but can we translate our learning into action? We face disasters, and none of us are immune. Hunger, climate change, and the threat of displacement from war and natural disasters are real. You could easily become a victim.

We are not disempowered. Helping others means learning more about what goes on in the world, and exploring initiatives. It's a matter of personal growth and sharing - and yes, it can help you remain healthier.

Blog Catalog has teamed up with Refugees United to do exactly that.

Creating change in the world means making a conscious effort. It takes compassion and maturity to get involved in helping others. Today's effort is directed at helping refugees.

There are currently an estimated 14 million refugees worldwide. They come from all cultures, and they are our kin. There are many ways to help. Choose just one. We all have the ability to do something positive.

Refugees can't go home - they have no home. They'…

Researchers Find Drug to Reverse Effects of Aging

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According to a report from the University of Virginia Health System, an anti-aging pill may be in the making. During a two year investigation, researchers found they were able to increase muscle mass in healthy senior adults by providing a single daily dose of MK-677, a drug currently under investigation for safety. The scientists plan to explore the potential of the drug for helping improve quality of life for frail seniors.

The study, Published in the November 4, 2008 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, found that MK-677 acted much like the “fountain of youth”. Study participants experienced increased levels of the growth hormones (GH) and insulin-like growth factor I(IGF- I), without serious side effects. The hormone levels were found to be comparable to those of healthy young adults. The result was a 20% increase in muscle mass in the arms and legs of the study participants.

We are living longer, but quality of life is an issue associated with loss of muscle mass, and weakness …

Vitamin D Shown to Activate Immune Fighting Genes

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According to a new study, Vitamin D plays an even bigger role in health than previously thought. Researchers have discovered that Vitamin D activation occurs in the cells that line the lungs, setting off a cascade of events that boosts immunity through the activation of immune fighting genes.

The study, from the University of Iowa, published this month in the Journal of Immunology, shows that epithelial cells in the airways convert Vitamin D to the useful form, 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. The result is more active Vitamin D in the body to fight infection and boost immunity. The study authors say, “Primary epithelial cells generate active vitamin D, which then influences the expression of vitamin D-driven genes that play a major role in host defense”. The research team found that Vitamin D could mediate inflammation caused by infection.

Gary Hunninghake, M.D., Professor of internal medicine, and the study's senior author says, "Controlling inflammation through vitamin D is good …