February

EcoliFederal researchers have mapped out the percentage of foodborne illnesses associated with specific food groups. The CDC, FDA, and U.S. Department of Agriculture used data on nearly 1000 outbreaks from 1998 to 2012 — with a focus on the most recent 5 years — for four common foodborne pathogens:

-Campylobacter illnesses were most often attributable to dairy (66%), often unpasteurized, and chicken (8%)

-Most Escherichia coli O157 illnesses were caused by beef (46%) and vegetable row crops (36%).salmonella

-Listeria monocytogenes illnesses were often caused by fruits (50%) and dairy (31%).

-Salmonella illnesses came from a wider variety of sources, including seeded vegetables (18%), eggs (12%), fruit (12%), chicken (10%), sprouts (8%), beef (9%), and pork (8%).

Source: New England Journal of Medicine

COPD 2Among its many rewards, eating a healthy diet might help protect against the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, according to a new study.  

Based on more than 120,000 men and women followed for more than a decade, researchers calculate that those who ate a diet highest in whole grains, vegetables and nuts, and lowest in red meats and sugars were up to a third less likely to develop COPD – even if they smoked – than those who ate the worst diet. 

“I think that we need to emphasize the role of diet in respiratory diseases, which is largely unknown by the general audience,” lead author Dr. Raphaëlle Varraso, from the French

National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Villejuif, told Reuters Health in an email. COPD

“Respiratory health and lung function strongly predict general health status and all-cause mortality,” she said.

 COPD is an umbrella term for a group of progressive lung diseases that block the flow of air and cause breathing problems. They include emphysema, chronic bronchitis and some types of asthma.

Source: Reuters

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Supplements 1Last week, the New York State attorney general’s office uncovered another example of what appeared to be widespread fraud in the dietary supplement industry. The office accused four of the country’s biggest retail stores of selling herbal products that in many cases were contaminated or did not contain any of the herb listed on the label.

For many readers, the news raised an urgent question: Which supplements can I trust?

Experts say that there is no guarantee that supplements will do what they say they do, or that they are safe or won’t interact with any medications Supplements 3you may be taking. But there are several steps people can take to give themselves some reassurance that at least some of the supplements they buy actually contain what they advertise on the label – and nothing else.

For one, you can look for products that receive a seal of approval from the United States Pharmacopeial Convention, an independent, nonprofit organization of scientists that sets high standards for medicine, food ingredients and dietary supplements. The United States Pharmacopeia has a voluntary program through which supplement companies can have their Supplements 4products and facilities tested and reviewed.

Companies whose supplements meet the group’s standards – which ensure purity, identity and potency, among other things – are allowed to carry an official “USP Verified” seal on their labels. The group maintains an evolving list of the brands that have received its seal and the places where they can be purchased.

Source: The New York Times

smoking 4Mortality among current smokers is 2 to 3 times as high as that among persons who never smoked. Most of this excess mortality is believed to be explained by 21 common diseases that have been formally established as caused by cigarette smoking and are included in official estimates of smoking-attributable mortality in the United States. However, if smoking causes additional diseases, these official estimates may significantly underestimate the number of deaths attributable to smoking.

We pooled data from five contemporary U.S. cohort studies including 421,378 men and 532,651 women 55 years of age or older. Participants were followed from 2000 through 2011, and relative risks and 95% confidence intervals were estimated with the use of Cox proportional-hazards models adjusted for age, race, educational level, daily alcohol consumption, and cohort.Smoking 2

During the follow-up period, there were 181,377 deaths, including 16,475 among current smokers. Overall, approximately 17% of the excess mortality among current smokers was due to associations with causes that are not currently established as attributable to smoking. These included associations between current smoking and deaths from renal failure, intestinal ischemia, hypertensive heart disease, infections, various respiratory smoking 3diseases, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. Among former smokers, the relative risk for each of these outcomes declined as the number of years since quitting increased.

A substantial portion of the excess mortality among current smokers between 2000 and 2011 was due to associations with diseases that have not been formally established as caused by smoking. These associations should be investigated further and, when appropriate, taken into account when the mortality burden of smoking is investigated.

Source: The New England Journal of Medicine

MMR 3Limited data exists on the safety of MMR vaccine in adults. We reviewed reports of adverse events (AEs) to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) to assess safety in this previously under-studied group.

VAERS is the national spontaneous vaccine safety surveillance system co-administered by CDC and the FDA. We searched the VAERS database for US reports of adults aged 19 years and older who received MMR vaccine from January 1, 2003 to July 31, 2013. We clinically reviewed reports and available medical records for serious AEs, pregnancy reports, and reports for selected pre-specified outcomes.

During this period, VAERS received 3,175 US reports after MMR vaccine in adults. Of these, 168 (5%) were classified as serious, including 7 reports of death. Females accounted for 77% of reports. The most common signs and symptoms for all reports were pyrexia (19%), rash (17%), pain (13%) and arthralgia (13%). We did not detect any new safety findings in empirical Bayesian data mining. We identified 131 reports of MMR vaccine administered to a pregnant woman; the majority of these vaccinations were in the first trimester and in 83 (62%), noMMR 2 AE was reported.

In our review of VAERS data, we did not detect any new or unexpected safety concerns for MMR vaccination in adults. We identified reports of pregnant women exposed to MMR which is a group in whom the vaccine is contraindicated, suggesting the need for continued provider education on vaccine recommendations and screening.

Source: Oxford Journals

Blood pressure 3Isolated systolic hypertension in young and middle-age adults was associated with an increased risk of death from cardiovascular causes later in life, according to a study done over 3 decades.

Men in the study with systolic blood pressure (BP) levels of 140 mmHg or higher and diastolic BP below 90 had a 28% increased risk for death from coronary heart disease compared with men with normal BP (hazard ratio 1.28, 95% CI 1.04-1.58), reported Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, MD, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

In addition, women with isolated systolic hypertension (ISH) had a more than twofold greater death risk (HR 2.12, 95% CI Blook Pressure 21.49-3.01) than women with optimal BP, they wrote in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The findings provide strong evidence that ISH is a clinically meaningful condition in young and middle-age adults and not just pseudo or ‘white-coat’ hypertension, Lloyd-Jones told MedPage Today.

“It is not well supported by science, but there has been a belief by many that elevated systolic and not diastolic blood pressure in younger adults is benign,” he said. “Most previous research hasn’t really examined hypertension by subtype. That’s why we did this study.”

blood pressureISH is defined as a systolic BP of 140 mmHg or greater with a diastolic BP of less than 90 mmHg. It is common in the elderly, but relatively uncommon in younger and middle-age adults, the researchers wrote.

NHANES data suggest that the overall prevalence of ISH among adults in their 20s and 30s has more than doubled in recent decades, from 0.7% between 1988 and 1994 to 1.6% between 1999 and 2004, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty about the clinical consequences of ISH in younger adults.

Source: MedPage Today

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