Thursday, August 26, 2010

Of black leggings and dengue infection susceptibility

Of leggings and dengue - well, it is due to the color, and the complexity of it is that leggings is worn down, not up: usually under the table, not mobile, just stationary, and an easy target for the mosquitoes carrying dengue virus... and so on.

Thailand issues health warning - for black leggings

BANGKOK : The Thai government has warned that a South Korean-inspired fashion craze for black leggings could be putting teenagers at risk of catching potentially deadly dengue fever.

"I'm worried about how people dress, especially teenagers," said Deputy Public Health Minister Phansiri Kulanartsiri, noting that the mosquitoes which transmit the disease are attracted by dark colours.

"The mosquitoes can bite through the leggings' thin fabric, so those who wear them are at greater risk of being infected with dengue."

"It's better to wear light colours and wear pants that can protect against mosquitoes, such as jeans," she said in a statement released Sunday.

Thailand has seen a spike in dengue cases, with 43 deaths and more than 45,000 infections in the first seven months of this year, according to the government. Many of the victims were young people.

- AFP/il

From; source artice is below:Thailand issues health warning - for black leggings

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Bigger waistline, bigger risk (of dying)

Decades have passed, and this one thing hasn't changed: "the shorter your belt, the longer you'll live."

Okay, living or dying depends on many other factors, but belly size is a major one.

Read on...

Bigger waistline, bigger risk of dying

WASHINGTON: The bigger a person's waistline, the more likely they are to die of any cause, regardless of whether they are overweight or not, a study published on Monday says.

Researchers at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta looked at the association between the waistlines of 48,500 men and 56,343 women aged 50 years and older, and death from any illness.

After adjusting for body mass index and other risk factors, the researchers found that men and women with very large waists - 120 centimetres (47 inches) or greater in men, and 110 centimetres (42 inches) or more in women - were around twice as likely to die of any cause as people with smaller waists.

The risk of dying was greater regardless of whether a man or woman was normal weight, overweight or obese, found the study published in the American Medical Association's Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study also found that men and women with very large waists were "more likely than those with smaller waists to be less educated, to have a high BMI (body mass index), to be physically inactive, to be former smokers, and to have a history of cardiovascular disease, cancer or respiratory disease."

Respiratory disease was the most likely cause of death among the very large-girthed, followed by cardiovascular disease and cancer, the study said.

Previous studies have associated large waistlines with heart disease, inflammatory illness, insulin resistance, high blood cholesterol and type two diabetes.

The link between waist circumference and mortality from a host of illnesses "may be because waist circumference is strongly correlated with fat tissue in the viscera - surrounding the organs in the abdomen - which is thought to be more dangerous than fat tissue under the skin," the study said.

"Our results suggest that, regardless of weight, avoiding gains in waist circumference may reduce the risk of premature mortality," the authors of the study said.

- AFP/de

From; source article is below:Bigger waistline, bigger risk of dying

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Serious tensions and headaches

Okay, this might be a localized news, but since we humans have the same physiological make-up, there could be similar or related malady experienced in other places.

Read on..

Over 10% of S'pore population suffer from serious tension headaches, migraine

Associate Professor Lee Kim En
SINGAPORE : People often complain of headache but for some, those headaches can be life-threatening.

Doctors estimate that more than 10 per cent of the population in Singapore suffer from serious tension headaches and migraines.

But while they constitute 95 per cent of headache types, the other five per cent can be fatal, like the sinister headache.

The danger signs to look out for are blurred vision, slurred speech and immobility.

Doctors said such headaches could have been caused by blood clots or tumours in the brain, and require immediate medical attention.

Associate Professor Lee Kim En, Senior Consultant & Head, Neurology, National Neuroscience Institute, said: "We have patients who suffer from migraines and tension headaches, and they have been suffering from headaches for a long time.

"So the reasonable question is, how do they know that this is something dangerous? Most patients know themselves better than the doctors. So the minute they sense a change, or a deviation from the normal pattern, in terms of the character, frequency and intensity, this is in itself a warning sign." - CNA/ms

From; source article is below:Over 10% of S'pore population suffer from serious tension headaches, migraine

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Trying after miscarriage - best time?

I thought that there is some rest period needed after miscarriage up to the next conception? My wife got pregnant after about 2 years after a miscarriage, and that was due to physical fatigue, but more on emotional reasons: Can't just have another baby just like that.

And our 4th baby is actually quite a super. Anyway, I'm not taking the limelight away from the article itself, so here goes.

Read on...

After miscarriage, best to try again soon

PARIS: Women who conceive within six months after a miscarriage have a better chance of a healthy pregnancy without complications compared to women who wait longer, according to a study released on Friday.

They are less likely to have another miscarriage, and are also less likely to experience a caesarean section, deliver prematurely or have low-birth weight babies, the study showed.

The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, are likely to be controversial.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that women who experience a miscarriage should wait at least six months before getting pregnant again, and other medical authorities suggest holding off even longer.

To get a clearer picture, researchers led by Sohinee Bhattacharya at the Aberdeen Maternity Hospital in Scotland reviewed the medical histories of more than 30,000 women in Scotland who had a miscarriage in their first pregnancy and then became pregnant again between 1981 and 2000.

"Our research shows that women who conceive within six months of an initial miscarriage have the best reproductive outcomes and the lowest complication rates in a subsequent pregnancy," they concluded.

"It is unnecessary for women to delay conception after a miscarriage."

The results held true even though the women who conceived within half-a-year were, on average, two years older than the women who waited at least 24 months.

Differences in socioeconomic level did not affect the outcome.

The study pointed out that delays in getting pregnant were perhaps more of a issue in wealthy societies, where women often choose to wait until they are older to have children.

"Women over 35 are more likely to experience difficulties in conceiving and women aged 40 have a 30 percent chance of miscarriage, which rises to 50 percent in those aged 45 or more," the study noted.

An earlier study of more than 250,000 Latin American women found that an interval of six months or less between pregnancies was linked to a higher risk for the mother and the late-stage foetus or newborn, including maternal anaemia, low birth weight and premature delivery in the next pregnancy.

But the study - the basis for the WHO recommendations - did not distinguish between induced abortions and miscarriages, which could have affected the findings, Bhattacharya said.

On average, approximately one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage before the 24th week.

- AFP/de

From; source article is below:After miscarriage, best to try again soon

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Beer and good health

Well, this is already a past event, but it is still recent, and there could be some health benefits that could be gleaned from it, or should I say, "Let's drink to good health!"?

Read on...

Punters drink to good health at British beer festival

LONDON : Beer is good for you and can save you from having to go jogging, organisers insisted at the Great British Beer Festival this week.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), which is behind the giant annual party, said beer had fewer calories than wine, and switching from the grape to the grain could save as many calories as are burned in a half-hour jog.

And CAMRA hope the notion might help their push to get more women supping Britain's national drink.

More than 350,000 pints were to be served up at Earls Court exhibition centre in west London - temporarily the biggest pub in the world, serving more than 60,000 punters.

Among the 500 plus beers available during the five-day festival were some striking names.

They included Reverend Ray, Three Sisters, Milky Way, Punk IPA, Doff Cocker, Mexican Bandit, Dustin Hoffman, Old Legover, Staggering Genius, Gobble, Slovenian Rhapsody, Hip Hop, Village Bike, Old Stoatwobbler and Naked Ladies.

Louise Ashworth, CAMRA head of marketing, said it was time to challenge stale perceptions of beer.

"Swapping a glass of wine for a glass of beer over seven days can actually lose you calories -- equivalent to doing a half-hour jog -- because beer is actually much less fattening than wine," she told AFP.

"Beer can be a very healthy alternative and people should consider swapping.

"The misconception about beer bellies, you don't really hear about wine bellies. It's something of a misnomer or a stereotype."

Melissa Cole, a freelance beer writer and tasting expert, ran a special "girl's guide" to take groups of women through the variety of flavours on offer, from refreshing, golden ales to dark, chocolatey stouts.

"I want to provide an environment where women will learn about beer and won't be patronised," she told AFP.

Cole said female wine drinkers had quite developed palates, opening the way to exploring the world of ale.

"Women are really getting more confidence around beer.

"There is something for everyone. It's not that you don't like real ale, it's just that you haven't met the right one for you yet."

Real ale is fresh beer brewed using traditional ingredients and left to mature in the cask from which it is served, as opposed to lager, pasteurised and then fizzed up.

"Bad lager is the spawn of Satan!" Cole said.

In the cavernous hall, bearded beer fest veterans in faded tee-shirts and 20-somethings alike tasted their way across the rows of pumps.

"I've been picking the ones with the nice names, we've had Honey Buzzard and Golden Spring," said New Zealand teacher Anne Bowler, 26.

"They're nice but I've got to keep going until I find the perfect one. I'm kind of a new convert."

Georgina Hunt, 50, from Wiltshire in southwest England, was drinking real cider.

"It's cloudy, no lumps in it and goes down a treat. It's 11 out of 10. Fantastic. I've had too many, and I'm going to have some more," she said.

None of this modern fizzy cider over ice for her.

"I'm an old biddy, I know: real stuff is great. You get this young, trendy stuff and it's absolutely rubbish."

Kelly Allerston, 28, a legal assistant from San Diego in California, did the "Girl's Guide" course. Her favourite beer was a golden Welsh brew called Ysbrid Y Ddraig.

"I'm not going to attempt to say it," she said, adding: "I quite like the chocolate beers so I might search out some more of those."

German beer writer Sylvia Kopp said the Great British Beer Festival was much better than Munich's famous knees-up.

She said: "What does the Oktoberfest have to do with beer? Nothing! There are only five beers and it's more about quantity than about quality. It's not about tasting."

The festival runs till Saturday.

- AFP/il

From; source article is below:Punters drink to good health at British beer festival

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New heart valve works best

I would tend to agree that, something new is always better - even for replacements.

Am I making sense here? How can a replacement be new?

Anyway, read on...

New heart valve taken from patient works best
PARIS : Replacing the heart's aortic valve with one's own pulmonary valve rather than the same body part from a donor boosts survival and quality of life, according to a study released Tuesday.

Oxygen-rich blood in pumped via the aortic valve to nourish the body, while the pulmonary valve is the gateway for oxygen-depleted blood passing into the lungs.

Defects and disease can create the need for the aortic valve to be replaced, a delicate but standard procedure for more than three decades.

The new valve may be mechanical - which is sturdy but requires life-long medication to prevent blood clots - or a graft, taken either from a cadaver or the living heart's other exit valve, which is subject to less stress.

Earlier studies have not shown one method to be clearly superior to the others.

To compare the non-mechanical options for fixing aortic valves, researchers led by Sir Magdi Yacoub of Imperial College London fitted 108 patients with pulmonary valves removed from their own bodies, and another 108 with aortic valves taken from recently deceased donors.

All surgeries were open-heart.

After ten years, four patients had died in the so-called "autograft" or living valve group, as compared to 15 deaths in the "homograft" group that had been given a donor valve.

The survival rate, in other words, was 97 per cent in the first cohort and 83 per cent in the second.

"Our results support the hypothesis that a living valve implanted in the aortic position can lead to significantly improved clinical outcomes," the
researchers said.

"The quality-of-life scores were also significantly better after the Ross operation," they added, referring to the name of the autograft procedure.

In the Ross technique, the removed pulmonary valve is replaced with the same part from a dead donor.

Yacoub conjectured that for the aortic valve, having one's own tissue somehow helped the body cope with the constant changes in pressure and size.

- AFP/il

From; source article is below:New heart valve taken from patient works best

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Cold cuts causes some other cuts - to us

Processed meats are tasty, but they do more 'processes' than simply making us enjoy them while eating 'em.

It's the chemicals in them that harm us.

Read on.

Cold cuts could cause cancer
WASHINGTON : Red meat is being raked over the coals again.

Already linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, including cancer of the pancreas, red meat was found by a team of US researchers to be a possible cause of bladder cancer, a study published in the journal Cancer said.

For those who can't do without their bacon-cheeseburger, some good news: scientists found no associations between beef, bacon, hamburger, sausage or steak and bladder cancer.

But they did observe a "positive nonlinear association for red meat cold cuts" and bladder cancer, they said.

The culprits in the cold cuts are nitrates and nitrites which are added to meat when it is processed to preserve and enhance colour and flavour.

"Nitrate and nitrite are precursors to N-nitroso compounds (NOCs), which induce tumours in many organs, including the bladder, in multiple animal species," the study says.

For the study, scientists assessed the intake of nitrates, nitrites and other components found in red meat, in some 300,00 men and women aged 50-71 year, in eight US states, and its relation to cancer.

The study participants were followed up for up to eight years. During that time, 854 were diagnosed with cancer of the bladder.

The scientists found that people whose diets were high in nitrites from all sources, not just meats, and people who got a lot of nitrates in their diets from processed meats, like cold cuts, had a 28 to 29 per cent greater chance of developing bladder cancer than those who consumed the lowest amount of either compound.

The scientists also found that people who ate the most red meat were younger, less educated, less physically active, and had lower dietary intake of fruits, vegetable, and vitamins C and E than those consuming the least red meat.

The researchers, led by Dr Amanda Cross of the National Cancer Institute, also found that the biggest carnivores among us were more likely to be non-Hispanic white, current smokers, to have a higher BMI, and to consume more beverages and total energy daily.

- AFP/il

From; source article is below:Cold cuts could cause cancer

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Sleep for 7 hours, at least

At least I know that if you don't get enough sleep, first visible  evidence is your hair and nails getting longer than usual - due to the higher rate of waste disposal the body is doing.

And there is more to getting a good night's sleep.

Read on...

Seven hours the magic number for sleep
WASHINGTON : People who sleep more or fewer than seven hours a day, including naps, are increasing their risk for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, a study published Sunday shows.

Sleeping fewer than five hours a day, including naps, more than doubles the risk of being diagnosed with angina, coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke, the study conducted by researchers at West Virginia University's (WVU) faculty of medicine and published in the journal "Sleep" says.

And sleeping more than seven hours also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, it says.

Study participants who said they slept nine hours or longer a day were one-and-a-half times more likely than seven-hour sleepers to develop cardiovascular disease, the study found.

The most at-risk group was adults under 60 years of age who slept five hours or fewer a night. They increased their risk of developing cardiovascular disease more than threefold compared to people who sleep seven hours.

Women who skimped on sleep, getting five hours or fewer a day, including naps, were more than two-and-a-half times as likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

Short sleep duration was associated with angina, while both sleeping too little and sleeping too much were associated with heart attack and stroke, the study says.

A separate study, also published in "Sleep", showed that an occasional long lie-in can be beneficial for those who can't avoid getting too little sleep.

In that study, David Dinges, who heads the sleep and chronobiology unit at the University of Pennsylvania school of medicine, found that 142 adults whose sleep was severely restricted for five days - as it is for many people during the work week - had slower reaction times and more trouble focusing.

But after a night of recovery sleep, the sleep-deprived study participants' alertness improved significantly, and the greatest improvements were seen in those who were allowed to spend 10 hours in bed after a week with just four hours' sleep a night.

"An additional hour or two of sleep in the morning after a period of chronic partial sleep loss has genuine benefits for continued recovery of behavioral alertness," Dinges said.

In the study about sleep and cardiovascular disease, researchers led by Anoop Shankar, associate professor at WVU's department of community medicine, analyzed data gathered in a national US study in 2005 on more than 30,000 adults.

The results were adjusted for age, sex, race, whether the person smoked or drank, whether they were fat or slim, and whether they were active or a couch potato.

And even when study participants with diabetes, high blood pressure or depression were excluded from the analysis, the strong association between too much or too little sleep and cardiovascular disease remained.

The authors of the WVU study were unable to determine the causal relationship between how long a person sleeps and cardiovascular disease.

But they pointed out that sleep duration affects endocrine and metabolic functions, and sleep deprivation can lead to impaired glucose tolerance, reduced insulin sensitivity and elevated blood pressure, all of which increase the risk of hardening the arteries.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that most adults get about seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

Shankar suggested that doctors screen for changes in sleep duration when assessing patients' risk for cardiovascluar disease, and that public health initiatives consider including a focus on improving sleep quality and quantity.

"Sleep" is a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.

- AFP/il

From; source article is below:
Seven hours the magic number for sleep

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Calcium supplements and heart attacks

And it seems that what we all thought are supplements and helpful - well, this study says otherwise.

Read on...

Calcium supplements linked to heart attacks

PARIS : Ordinary calcium supplements taken by the elderly to strengthen bones may boost the risk of heart attacks, according to a study released Friday.

The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, suggest that the role of calcium in the treatment of osteoporosis should be reconsidered, the researchers said.

Calcium tablets are commonly prescribed to boost skeletal health, but a recent clinical trial suggested they might increase the number of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems in healthy older women.

To investigate further, an international team of researchers led by Ian Reid of the University of Auckland in New Zealand reviewed 11 separate clinical trials involving 12,000 patients.

They found that calcium supplements were associated with about a 30 per cent jump in heart attack risk.

The chances of stroke and mortality also increased to a lesser extent.

The link was consistent across trials and was independent of age, sex, and type of supplement.

While the added risk is modest for any individual, the widespread use of calcium supplements could translate into a significantly larger disease burden across an entire population, the authors warn.

Previous studies have found that upping calcium intake through changes in diet does not increase cardiovascular problems, suggesting that the risks are restricted to supplements.

In a commentary, John Cleland of the University of Hull in Britain and colleagues point out that -- regardless of possible impacts on heart attack rates -- calcium supplements are probably not very efficient in reducing fractures in any case.

- AFP/il

From; source article is below:
Calcium supplements linked to heart attacks

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Beach umbrellas not a big help, no matter their size - study

Well, for the record, I like this one, because the group that made the study is not from US or France, or the usual source of studies or researchs.


Read on...


Beach umbrellas do not block all solar radiation, says study

MADRID: Hiding out under a beach umbrella may offer you far less protection from the sun's armful

ultraviolet radiation than you expect, according to a new study by Spanish researchers.

As much as 34 percent of ultraviolet radiation, found to cause skin cancer and cataracts, reaches the round covered by a beach umbrella, the University of Valencia researchers found.

This is because the umbrellas catch almost all of the direct rays but not the diffused radiation that penetrates through from the sides, according to the research published in the journal Photochemistry and Photobiology this week.

To carry out the study, researchers placed an ultraviolet ray sensor on the base of a blue and white canvas umbrella with a radius of 80 centimetres and a height of 1.5 metres.

"The umbrella intercepts the direct radiation that comes from the sun, but part of the diffused radiation, which makes up approximately 60 percent of the total, reaches the sensor from the sky not covered by the umbrella," study co-author Jose Antonio Martinez-Lozano said.

In addition to the use of umbrellas, doctors recommend people use sun creams, hats and clothing when at the beach to guard against ultraviolet  radiation, and avoid hours when the sun is at its highest.

- AFP/de

From; source article is from below page:
Beach umbrellas do not block all solar radiation, says study

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