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Sunday, December 08, 2019

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health news

Below are some medical news released recently in specialized publications, collected by the SMOC Health Care Department.

Continuous, intensive exercise, undertaken for years, has a negative effect on bone acquisition, especially in female adolescents. Two studies conducted at the Greek University of Patras Medical School show the impact of intensive training on growth patterns in young male and female gymnasts. In these athletes, skeletal maturation is delayed by one to two years, and the gymnasts turn out to be both shorter and thinner than age-related peers are. In addition, male and female gymnasts are shorter than their genetically predisposed heights.

Many diseases can become worse at night. As reported in The New York Times, the body's internal cycling of chemicals and hormones causes many diseases to flare up at night. Approximately 75 percent of patients with asthma have difficulty breathing one night a week, and 50 to 60 percent report attacks on three nights a week. Researchers believe that low nighttime levels of Cortisol and Epinephrine may cause constriction of the bronchi, triggering asthma attacks.

The summer months bring warmer weather, longer daylight hours, and more risk for tetanus. According to survey results from the National Gardening Association in the U.S, 40 % of consumers surveyed said they were not immunized against tetanus. Annually, 80 % of gardeners receive tetanus-prone injuries. The bacteria that causes tetanus can be found in dirt, potting soil, and manure, and can enter the body through any simple wound. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA recommends that adults receive a diphtheria-tetanus booster every 10 years.

High consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (e.g., soft drinks and sweetened fruit juices) can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Published in JAMA, a study analyzed data among women in the Nurses' Health Study II from 1991 to 1999. Eating habits, weight, and physical activity were tracked for 91,249 women free of diabetes and other chronic diseases. Researchers found that women who consumed one or more sugar-sweetened beverages a day were twice as likely to develop diabetes as those who drank fewer than one such beverage a month.

Is it possible to reverse obesity with a drug that "starves" fat cells? Researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, have designed a drug that targets and destroys the blood vessels that feed fat cells. When the fat cells die, extra pounds melt away. They experimented this drug on mice. After being fattened up to about twice their usual size, these mice returned to normal weight in just one month-no matter what they ate! More research is needed, and the effects of the drug on humans remain to be explored.

Liposuction may make your tummy flatter, but it does not improve your health. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine evaluated risk factors for diabetes and coronary heart disease in 15 obese women before abdominal liposuction and 10 to 12 weeks after the procedure. Although liposuction decreased the volume of subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue, it did not significantly alter metabolic risk factors for diabetes or coronary heart disease

Health losses from smoking continue to increase, especially in developing countries. A study published in The Lancet indicates that these losses will become even more substantial unless effective interventions and policies are implemented to reduce smoking in men and prevent increases among women. Using lung cancer mortality as an indirect marker for accumulated hazards of smoking, the study estimated that 4.83 million premature deaths were attributable to smoking in 2000 (2.41 million in developing countries and 2.43 million in industrialized countries), with 3.84 million of the deaths occurring in men. Cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer were the leading causes of smoking-related death.

Eating fish lowers the heart-beating rate. Because a high heart-beating rate is associated with an increased risk of sudden death, this discovery may explain the lower risk of sudden death among people who eat fish regularly, according to a study published in Circulation. In a cross-sectional analysis of 9,758 men 50 to 59 years of age, researchers found that eating fish was linked to a decreased heart rate in the men who did not have a history of coronary heart disease. While it is unclear exactly how fish flesh affects the heart rate, researchers point out that long-chain n-3 fatty acids in fish provide cardiovascular benefits and probably help to prevent fatal cardiac events. Eating fish may lower a person's risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. As reported in Family Practice News, 6.5-year follow-up data on patients from the large, randomized Age-Related Eye Disease Study suggest that the risk of macular degeneration is 36 percent lower among persons who eat broiled or baked fish more than once a week compared with persons who ate fish once a month or less. The findings of the follow-up study were presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2004

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found depression to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular death (as well as all-cause mortality) among older women without a history of cardiovascular disease. The Women's Health Initiative Observational Study followed 93,676 postmenopausal women (age range: 50 to 79 years) for an average of 4.1 years. After controlling for multiple clinical, demographic, and risk factor covariates, the study showed a 58 % higher risk of cardiovascular death among women with baseline depression and no history of cardiovascular disease.