Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Measles infection alert for travellers

This might be a bit late already...

Posted: 02 March 2011

Measles vaccine for young children.
WASHINGTON - US health officials are warning air travellers about possible exposure to measles, after a woman infected with the highly communicable disease traveled in Britain and several US states.

The 27-year-old first travelled from Britain to Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia, just outside the US capital, visiting Washington and the neighboring state of Maryland before flying to Albuquerque, New Mexico after a transfer in Denver, Colorado.

Local and state health officials are now searching for people who may have been exposed to measles during the unidentified woman's extensive travels.

"We have not heard up to now from anyone infected," said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spokesman Jeff Dimond on Tuesday.

The woman experienced measles symptoms after arriving at her final destination, according to the CDC, which noted she had not been vaccinated.

"For measles, we typically contact people who are the row in front, the row behind (three rows total) and also any children... because they may not have been vaccinated yet," said CDC spokeswoman Christine Pearson.

But that procedure was not possible this time because some of the flights were on Southwest Airlines, which has an open seating policy. Instead, authorities are now engaged in a protracted, costly process of contacting all passengers -- about 319 -- on the applicable flights.

Most Americans have been vaccinated against measles or developed natural immunity after getting infected, especially if they were born before 1957.

Health authorities nonetheless worry that newborns and young children not yet vaccinated, along with pregnant women, may be especially vulnerable to the disease, which can cause severe symptoms and even death.

According to the latest CDC figures, 90 per cent of children aged 19 to 35 months were vaccinated against measles in 2009, along with 89 per cent of teenagers aged 13 to 17.

Measles is considered to have been eradicated from the United States, which counts only about 150 cases each year since 1997.

But there are some 10 million cases each year worldwide, and 164,000 deaths, especially among young children in developing countries.

- AFP/rl

Taken from; source article is below:
Measles infection alert for travellers

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Smoking and immobility leads to cancer

Posted: 02 March 2011

PARIS: Two studies released on Wednesday highlighted the risks and benefits of lifestyle choices in combating cancer, showing the dangers of smoking for post-menopausal women and exercise's protective effect on the bowel.

Post-menopausal women who smoke, or who used to smoke, face an up to 16-percent higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who have never smoked, according to a paper published online by the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Women who have been extensively exposed to passive smoking, either as children or in adulthood, could also be at greater risk of breast cancer, it added.

However, this apparent risk does not apply to women who were only moderately exposed to second-hand smoke.

The study covered almost 80,000 US women aged between 50 and 79 who were followed for 10 years.

In a separate investigation published in the British Journal of Cancer, people with an active lifestyle were found to be up to three times less likely to develop large bowel growths, known as polyps, which are often a precursor for cancer.

The conclusion is based on an overview of 20 published studies.

"We've long known that an active lifestyle can protect against bowel cancer, but this study is the first to look at all the available evidence and show that a reduction in bowel polyps is the most likely explanation for this," said lead author Kathleen Wolin of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

"Exercise has many benefits, including boosting the immune system, decreasing inflammation in the bowel and helping to reduce insulin levels - all factors which we know are likely to have an effect on bowel polyp risk."

Half an hour's "moderate" exercise per day - anything that leads to a slight shortage of breath - and maintaining a reasonable weight are keys to reducing the risk of bowel cancer, said Cancer Research UK, which publishes the journal.

- AFP/de

Taken from; source article is below:
Smoking, couch-potato lifestyles boost cancer risks

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New breakthrough in skin cancer research

By Mustafa Shafawi
Posted: 28 February 2011

SINGAPORE: An international team of scientists, including those from the Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) in Singapore, has discovered the reason why a rare skin cancer called multiple self-healing squamous epithelioma (MSSE), heals by itself.

The scientists said understanding how tumours that lack the gene known as TGFBR1 behave will help them predict the clinical effects of drugs that target these cancer-promoting or cancer-inhibiting signals.

But team leader and Executive Director of IMB, Professor Birgit Lane, cautioned that gene is also part of a very important cell signalling system that is essential for many normal processes.

Though it has been implicated in many other cancers before now, she said its function cannot be blocked indiscriminately.

Professor Lane said she hoped the new found knowledge will open a door to new ways of tweaking the cell machinery more selectively in cancer therapy.

MSSE is an extremely rare disease, with only a handful of new cases diagnosed each year.

Taken from; source article is below:
New breakthrough in skin cancer research

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Thailand's move against dengue

This is now from Asia, and proud of it!

Read on...

Posted: 23 February 2011

BANGKOK: Researchers in Thailand say they have developed a prototype vaccine against dengue fever and will conduct further tests with the aim of bringing it to market within a decade.

The vaccine against the mosquito-borne disease was jointly developed by scientists from Thailand's Chiang Mai University, Mahidol University and the government's National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.

"It's the first time in Thailand that we created a prototype vaccine against dengue that has the attributes we wanted," said Associate Professor Nopporn Sithisombat at Chiang Mai University in northern Thailand.

"Our goal is to create a vaccine against dengue fever in children" said Nopporn.

The vaccine has been tested on mice and monkeys. The next stage will be human trials, he said.

Dengue, for which there is no known treatment, causes a severe flu-like illness for most victims that lasts about a week. There are four strains, one of which is potentially lethal.

The Thai team said it had created a hybrid dengue virus that carries genes of all four types.

The developers have struck a licensing agreement with Thai biotech firm BioNet-Asia, which will further develop the vaccine with the aim of releasing the first commercial batch within 10 years, Nopporn said.

Other researchers appear ahead in the race: Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis, announced in November that its dengue vaccine was in the final stage of clinical development.

In Thailand more than 115,000 people were infected and 141 died last year from dengue fever, many of them young people, according to the government.


Taken from; source article is below:
Thailand developing dengue vaccine

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Drink moderately - and be healthy!

Moderation - the key to the right balance that we all seek. Applied to drinking, there is benefit. Is there? Or was it originally intended to be simply moderate drinking, but we overdid it?

Read on...

Posted: 23 February 2011

PARIS: Two medical investigations published on Tuesday have strengthened arguments that modest daily consumption of alcohol is good for the heart and the blood system.

People who drink alcohol in moderate amounts -- equivalent to about one drink a day or less -- are between 14 and 25 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease than counterparts who drink no alcohol at all, they said.

The two papers, published online by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), cast their net over scores of previous studies to give what the authors say is the widest view ever of this issue.

The research, led by William Ghali, a professor at the University of Calgary in Canada, says moderate drinking increases levels of "good" cholesterol in the body, which has a protective effect against heart disease.

Work published in November among middle-aged men in three French cities and Northern Ireland found that binge drinking, long known as a cause of liver damage, is also linked to heart disease.


Taken from; source article is below:
New studies boost heart benefit from moderate drinking

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Global warming and our allergies

2 weeks after Japan was struck by earthquake and tsunami; last Friday, 25th, it was cold during the night in in the morning, then Saturday, it was already warm - at night and in the morning. I wonder if this is still the effect of global warming?

Posted: 22 February 2011

WASHINGTON: Ragweed allergy season in North America has grown two to four weeks longer in recent years because of warmer temperatures and later fall frosts, researchers said.

Northern parts of the United States and Canada have seen the most dramatic rise in allergy season length between 1995 and 2009, said the study to be published in Tuesday's edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The city of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Canada saw the longest pollen season, adding 27 more days in 2009 compared to 1995. Winnipeg, Manitoba saw a 25-day increase during the same period.

Fargo, North Dakota and Minneapolis, Minnesota each saw allergy seasons extend 16 days. But looking further south, Rogers, Arkansas and Georgetown, Texas saw decreases of several says in their pollen seasons.

The study said the starker changes in the northern latitudes were consistent with the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections of more intense warming in areas closer to the Arctic.

"Latitudinal effects on increasing season length were associated primarily with a delay in first frost of the fall season and lengthening of the frost-free period," the study said.

"Overall, these data indicate a significant increase in the length of the ragweed pollen season by as much as 13-27 days at latitudes above 44 degrees north since 1995."

Scientists used pollen measurements from the US National Allergy bureau and Canada's Aerobiology Research Laboratories, combined with data from US weather stations, Environment Canada and the Canadian National Climate Data and Information Archive.

Ragweed allergies, often called hayfever, strike as many as 30 percent of Americans, typically in warmer seasons. Symptoms range from sneezing and sniffling to severe asthma.

The culprit is a family of plants belonging to the genus Ambrosia, whose flowers send off tiny grains of pollen that the body recognises as a threat.


Taken from; source article is below:
Global warming means longer allergy seasons

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stress and Health - two extremes of the scale

A toddler girl cryingImage via WikipediaWhen you are overly stressed, you are low-down unhealthy... so this study finds.

Read on...

Posted by Staff on Feb 23rd, 2011

A new study by the University of Pittsburgh concludes, people’s emotional response may affect how their body reacts to stress.
To reach that conclusion, researchers had participants in the study make a video recorded speech in a laboratory in front of a panel of judges.
The physical responses of the individuals were monitored during the speech, then they were later asked about the emotions they were feeling while making their speech.
Individuals who reported experiencing high levels of anger and anxiety after delivering their speech had greater increases in interleukin-6, compared to the participants who reportedly remained relatively calm. Interleukin-6 is a marker of inflammation.
The researchers said, these findings may explain why some people who experience high levels of stress also experience chronic health problems.
The findings of the study is published in the February issue of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Taken from; source article is below:
New Study Concludes High Stress Levels Linked To Chronic Health Issues

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Seaweed offers clues against malaria

Another article on the illnesses brought about by mosquitoes... the good fight goes on!

Posted: 22 February 2011

WASHINGTON: Seaweed emits a natural chemical response to ward off fungi that would otherwise colonise an injured plant, a process that could help the search for anti-malaria drugs, a US scientist said Monday.

Up to a million people per year die from malaria, which can be caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, and new drugs are needed because the parasite is developing resistance to popular pharmaceuticals.

"There are only a couple of drugs left that are effective against malaria in all areas of the world, so we are hopeful that these molecules will continue to show promise as we develop them further as pharmaceutical leads," said scientist Julia Kubanek, an associate professor at Georgia Tech.

Researchers discovered the class of seaweed defence compounds, known as bromophycolides, by studying 800 species of seaweed off Fiji Island.

One type in particular caught their attention, Callophycus serratus, "because it seemed particularly adept at fighting off microbial infections," said the study presented Monday at an international science conference in Washington.

The molecules appeared in light-colored blotches on certain parts of the seaweed, and were visible with the help of a new technique known as desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry developed at the Georgia Tech's School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

"The alga is marshaling its defences and displaying them in a way that blocks the entry points for microbes that might invade and cause disease," said Kubanek.

"Seaweeds don't have immune responses like humans do. But instead, they have some chemical compounds in their tissues to protect them," she said.

"We can co-opt these chemical processes for human benefit in the form of new treatments for diseases that affect us."

However, more research needs to be done before the process can be turned into a drug for humans, and studies on mice are planned next.

"As with other potential drug compounds, however, the likelihood that this molecule will have just the right chemistry to be useful in humans is relatively small," said the study.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health as part of a long-term study of chemical signalling among organisms in coral reefs.

In January, the World Health Organization launched a global plan to halt the spread of resistance to artemisinin, a key compound of new malaria drugs, warning that not acting would be "catastrophic."

Resistance has emerged in areas on the Cambodia-Thailand border, while a spread to other areas in Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam is suspected.

The WHO said more than 175 million dollars in funding would be required for research and to contain the resistance in these areas.


Taken from; source article is below:
Seaweed offers clues against malaria

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Hope for dengue vaccine formulation

This is hope to have something good on the fight against dengue...

Posted: 18 February 2011

The Aedes aegypti mosquito biting human flesh. (credit: US Department of Agriculture)
SAN JUAN: Promising advances have been made in the testing of possible vaccines to prevent the mosquito-borne dengue virus, which kills 25,000 people every year, researchers said Thursday.

"We have some very exciting leads on different types of vaccines that are in various stages of clinical trial that hopefully can be implemented with a reasonable period of time," said Anthony Fauci, director of the infectious
diseases division of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Regional health researchers met Thursday in the Puerto Rican capital to discuss progress and treatment of dengue, which is transmitted to humans by the female Aedes mosquitoes.

Dengue causes a severe flu-like illness for most victims that lasts about a week. There are four strains, one of which is a potentially lethal type.

Dengue has reemerged in recent years as a serious public health threat in tropical regions.

It killed 1,167 people in Latin America last year. Puerto Rico recorded the largest outbreak in its history with 21,000 cases last year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control. There were 69 cases in the Key West section of the US state of Florida in 2010.

The Philippines recorded more than 730 deaths and Malaysia 134 in 2010, according to figures from the World Health Organization, while India experienced a 20-year high in infections.

Harold Margolis, director of the CDC's dengue center, said he's hopeful that a vaccine would soon be available.

"There's been tremendous progress," he said. "There are a number of vaccines that are now in clinical trials and there's now very exciting information there, so we are finally getting (into the last process) but it can
take a while."

Fauci, from the NIH, added: "We need a better understanding of the relationship between the dengue virus and the vector, mainly the mosquito."

Meanwhile, surveillance is vital.

"The important factor is how good our surveillance is to pick up the disease," Margolis said. "I think right now we know where it is and now we need to be creative with the new tools and research to try to make sure that doesn't go any further."

The infectious diseases division of the NIH spent $45 million in dengue research last year, up from $5 million in 2000.

One theory for the resurgence is global warming, allowing the mosquitoes, and hence dengue fever, to spread.

Drought conditions in some areas also have worsened the outbreak because people have stored water in and near their living areas, creating breeding grounds for mosquitoes that harbour the virus.

Authorities in Sri Lanka were so concerned about dengue last year that they introduced heavy fines for people with standing water on their property, and deployed troops to clean up public places.

The three-day summit in Puerto Rico was hosted by NIH, CDC and the Pan American Health Organization.


Taken from; source article is below:
US researchers hopeful for dengue vaccine

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Overweight - but healthy!

Picture of an Obese Teenager (146kg/322lb) wit...Image via WikipediaI came across this article, and it seems promising. I mean, it goes against the current mentality that being healthy is measured by the appearance of being lean. This article says NO! (or at least, not all the time).

Read on...

From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Mar. 10, 2011

Conventional wisdom about body weight used to be simple: If you carried around extra bulk, you’d be more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, joint problems and a host of other ailments. It was the kind of thinking that pushed overweight Canadians to jump on the treadmill and inspired weight-loss reality shows featuring the morbidly obese.

But a growing number of leading experts in obesity research say that that logic is in drastic need of a makeover, and may need to be thrown out altogether.

The problem, they say, is that the body mass index – the most common method of defining “ideal weight” – is flawed.

Although BMI is widely used by medical professionals to determine whether people are normal, overweight or obese, it is criticized because it can’t differentiate between muscle mass and fat, and can’t easily be applied to different ethic groups with varying body types. BMI also doesn’t account for genetic variations or other differences that help determine a person’s risk of health problems.

In other words, an individual can be overweight or obese on the BMI scale for decades, but never develop cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea or other ailments linked to excess weight. On the other hand, a person who is normal weight and gains a couple pounds could develop Type 2 diabetes.

As awareness grows that the one-size-fits-all approach to weight and health isn’t working, obesity researchers are looking for ways to identify those most at risk for serious problems. But so far there is no consensus on how that should be accomplished.

Some say it will depend on improving BMI so it can be used as a health predictor rather than simply dictating which weight category a person is in.

A study published last week in the journal Obesity argues for a new measurement, the body adiposity index, which is based on hip circumference and height. The researchers, led by Richard Bergman at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, say it can measure body fat more accurately and be applied across ethnicities.

The study has received widespread attention, partly because BAI seems to be better than BMI at determining how much body fat a person has. A BAI measurement is also more easily obtained, because it doesn’t require exact weight as part of the calculation. The study follows previous research that suggested using hip and waist measurements to determine a person’s body fat.

But Robert Ross, a professor at the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University, noted it’s unclear whether the new measure trumps BMI in the most important area: “The question is, does it predict [health] risk factors better than BMI?” he said. “Time will tell.”

Combining BMI with waist measurement is a better way to predict weight-related health problems, says Prof. Ross, who helped create the BMI and waist-circumference tool that’s well recognized by the medical community.
Evidence is growing that people with larger waists are at greater risk of heart disease, stroke and other serious problems. (The general rule for white, sub-Saharan African, Middle Eastern and eastern Mediterranean populations is men whose waists measure more than 102 centimetres, or 40 inches, face increased health risks, while for women the healthy cutoff is 88 centimetres, or 35 inches. Among Asian, south Asian, Malaysian, Chinese, Japanese, South and Central American ethnicities, the cutoff is 90 centimetres, or 35 inches, for adult males and 80 centimetres, or 32 inches, for adult females).

“If that waistline is expanding, and more fat is in the waist, you’re at a greater health risk. It’s not that complicated,” said Prof. Ross, who is also director of the Centre for Obesity Research and Education at Queen’s.
But the BMI and waist-circumference model still doesn’t reconcile the fact that some people who are overweight won’t develop related health problems, while some who are considered to have a healthy weight will.
What seems to unite many researchers is that it’s no longer accurate to say a high BMI score translates into future health problems.

“I think amongst medical clinical experts, this discussion is getting louder and louder,” said medical professor Arya Sharma, chair of obesity research and management at the University of Alberta. “You can find people with BMIs below what is medically defined as obesity who become diabetic. … There’s not just the weight that’s making you sick. It’s also, very often, genetic factors.”

Instead of simply relying on BMI or other measurements, Dr. Sharma said, people who are heavier than average should be monitored for ailments they have or are at risk of developing. That’s an effective way to see who may need medical intervention without telling everyone who is overweight they need to shed the excess pounds, Dr. Sharma said.

It might also be safer. Dr. Sharma noted that many people who lose weight gain it all back, and that the rapidchanges put stress on the body.

To some, the idea that overweight or obese people should be left alone unless they are at clear risk of health issues may sound drastic. But Dr. Sharma’s position reflects the extent to which common thinking about defining “healthy weight” is shifting.

“If you’re healthy, it doesn’t really matter what your weight is,” Dr. Sharma said.

Taken from The Globe and Mail; source article is below:
Excess weight doesn't always equal health risks: experts

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Preventing MedicAid fraud by Smart cards use - proposal

Whether or not the needy ones will be penalized by this move, the problem it may be trying to solve will result in new ones.

But what do I know?

By: Andy Miller
Published: Mar 9, 2011

A Senate panel Wednesday approved a bill authorizing a pilot program that would use smart card technology to verify patients’ identity, in an effort to reduce fraud in Georgia’s Medicaid program.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee, though, dropped a requirement for fingerprint identification of Medicaid patients at a doctor’s office or hospital.
The anti-fraud pilot program, if ultimately approved by the Legislature, would last three to six months and take place in three different areas of the state, yet to be identified. If the pilot cuts average monthly patient costs by at least 5 percent, the program would roll out statewide, according to the new version of Senate Bill 63.
The original bill’s lead sponsor, Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell), told the committee that Georgia last year prosecuted and recovered $26 million in fraud cases. The proposed fraud initiative would add to that, he said, ‘’and would preserve the [Medicaid] program for those who truly need it.’’
The legislation is intended to catch fraud among both patients and medical providers, Albers said. 

A fiscal note on the original bill, from the Department of Audits and Accounts, said the smart card and fingerprinting pilot would cost about $600,000. Some senators on the panel said that money would be better spent in beefing up the current state Medicaid task force on fraud.
That unit ‘’has a track record of finding and prosecuting fraud in the millions [of dollars],’’ said Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta).
Sen. Johnny Grant (R-Milledgeville) said he also would prefer to spend the money ‘’in the existing [fraud] program with proven capability.’’
Grant later sponsored an amended version of the bill that removed the requirement for fingerprinting and left unanswered the question of which technology to use for identification.
A spokeswoman for the agency that runs Texas’ Medicaid program said this week that the state will soon roll out a smart card for Medicaid recipients. But state officials decided not to pursue fingerprint identification after trying it in pilot programs.
Fingerprinting doesn’t work as well for certain occupations and populations, including people with Nigerian backgrounds, experts testified before the Senate panel.
“It’s not a silver bullet,’’ said Darrell Geusz of the Pegasus Program, which connects law enforcement databases. Multiple technologies are needed to ensure reliability, he said. “It’s a logistical nightmare to work with all these providers.’’
The original bill called for a fingerprint device to be located at Medicaid providers’ offices.
The panel cited prosecutions of doctors and companies billing for patients who are deceased or who never received services. The legislators also discussed how much fraud exists on the consumer level, with one patient passing a Medicaid card on to another who is not enrolled.
“We know people are card swapping,’’ said Sen. Tommie Williams (R-Lyons), the president pro tempore of the Senate. A Baxley physician, Dr. James Graham, testified that much card swapping occurs in emergency rooms.
Rick Ward of the Georgia chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, though, said ‘’we don’t see a lot of card swapping’’ in pediatricians’ offices.
And Robert Finlayson, the inspector general of the Department of Community Health, said in the past two and a half years, the agency has found just three substantiated cases of Medicaid card sharing.
Performing financial audits is an effective way to detect overpayments to providers, Finlayson told the Senate panel.
Consumer advocacy groups said the amended bill – without the fingerprinting requirement – was an improvement on the original legislation.
Joann Yoon, associate policy director for child health at Voices for Georgia’s Children, an advocacy group, said she still had concerns about the possible administrative burden on medical providers, and about whether the method of identifying patients that Georgia ultimately chooses would meet federal guidelines.
“A lot will depend on the proposals from vendors, and what criteria the state will use to select a vendor,’’ Yoon said. “It depends on what they decide to pursue.’’

Taken from Georgia Health News; source article is below:
Smart cards pushed to reduce Medicaid fraud
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Early baldness doubles risk of prostate cancer, says study

And it is as if getting bald, being bald is not enough... there is a related illness to it. What's more to come? Or go?

Posted: 18 February 2011

PARIS: Men who start to lose their hair by age 20 - a syndrome known as pattern baldness - are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer later in life, according to a new study.

The findings, published this week in the Annals of Oncology, could help identify men who should be screened early and more often for disease, the researchers said.

Prostate cancer is the commonest non-skin cancer among men worldwide and, after lung tumours, is the second biggest cause of death from cancer among men in the United States and Europe. Most cases occur among men aged in their sixties.

Earlier research has shown that sex hormones called androgens play a key role in the development of both pattern baldness and cancer of the prostate, a walnut-sized gland near the bladder crucial to the male reproductive system.

But the link between the two remained obscure, with at least one study suggesting that premature baldness actually pointed to a reduced risk of cancer.

To probe further, a team of scientists led by Philippe Giraud of Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris asked 669 men - 338 of whom had a history of prostate cancer - how bald they were at ages 20, 30 and 40, using standardised images for reference.

Men who did not start to lose their hair until age 30 or 40 showed no increased risk compared to the control group of developing the dreaded disease.

But for those who had early-onset balding - a condition known to doctors as androgenic alopecia - at age 20, the risk doubled.

Giraud said balding men should not panic. "The fact that a (young) man is losing his hair does not mean that he will have cancer," he said by telephone.

He also cautioned that the results would need to be verified in follow up studies.

But the findings suggest that premature balding could become a useful marker to help doctors screen for the disease, he said.

"Current prostate screening protocols are very controversial because some worry that systematic screening at 50 years old - without taking other criteria into account - will lead to over-treatment," he said.

Many countries have routine screening programmes for men in their middle age.

One of the problems, however, is that the so-called PSA antigen test, now 20 years old, cannot distinguish between low-risk tumours and aggressive lesions that are often fatal.

Antigen levels can also fluctuate according to the individual and may be skewed by prostate inflammation.

One out of two men lose their hair, but of the 50 percent of men who go partially or totally bald, only 10 to 15 percent suffer from androgenic alopecia, Giraud said.

Another study published last year showed that finger patterns could also help identify which men should undergo regular screening.

Men whose index fingers are longer than their ring, or fourth, fingers run a significantly lower risk of prostate cancer, the study found.

- AFP/de

Taken from; source article is below:
Early baldness doubles risk of prostate cancer, says study

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