bladder 2Persistent symptoms characteristic of urinary tract infection (UTI) that do not improve with time or treatment could indicate bladder cancer.

That’s the simple “take-home message” from a first of its kind study of UTI-like symptoms and bladder cancer, according to leadbladder 4 author Kyle Richards, MD, from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The message is for clinicians and applies to both men and women, he told reporters during a press briefing here at the American Urological Association 2015 Annual Meeting.

Awareness is especially important when it comes women, said Dr bladder 3Richards, because bladder cancer is most commonly associated with men.

“A lot of primary care doctors who are initially seeing these symptomatic patients are less aware that bladder cancer is even a possibility in women,” he explained.

And he pointed out that because bladder cancer most commonly presents as blood in the urine, or hematuria, UTI-like symptoms do not always raise suspicion for this cancer.

In their study — the first to look at patients with bladder cancer who present with UTIs — Dr Richards and his blsdder 5colleagues assessed the impact of this presentation on patient outcomes.

They report that diagnoses take longer and outcomes are poorer in men and women who present with UTIs than in men who present with hematuria.

Source: Medscape

birth controlSince its introduction in the 1960s, the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) has been linked to an increased risk of blood clots.

Now a Danish literature review confirms what has been suspected for years: that the so-called fourth-generation OCP doubles the risk of blood clots compared to second-generation OCPs.

The review was conducted by a medical student and a doctor at Aarhus Blood ClotsUniversity Hospital’s Department of Clinical Pharmacology.

They have gathered all the literature in the field and assessed its quality. This has enabled them to say with a high degree of certainty that the fourth-generation OCP is more dangerous in terms of an increased risk of blood clots than the second-generation OCP.

On the one hand, the blood has to flow freely in the veins, but on the other blood clots 2hand, it should also stop a bleeding in case of an injury. It’s a delicate balance. OCPs alter this balance so that the blood will clot more easily, and thereby increases the risk of blood clots.

The study primarily consisted of a comparison of the two generations of pills, but the researchers recommend that people should, whenever possible, stick to the second generation pills.

The problem with contraceptives is that they contain the synthetic estrogen-like hormone Ethinyl estradiol.This hormone increases the risk of blood clots because it increases the formation of clotting factors in the blood.

Source: ScienceNordic

meta 2Roughly a third of U.S. adults have the metabolic syndrome — and nearly half of those aged 60 and older have it — according to a research letter in JAMA.  Researchers evaluated National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2003 through 2012. The metabolic syndrome contributes to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.   Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2006 reported a metabolic syndrome prevalence of 34%.  Understanding updated prevalence trends may be important given the potential effect of the metabolic syndrome and its associated health complications on the aging US population. We investigated meta 3trends in the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome through 2012.  Among the other findings:

  • The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome increased from 2003–2004 to 2007–2008 (from 33% to 36%) and remained stable thereafter.
  • Women were more likely than men to be affected: in 2011–2012, the prevalence was 37% and 33%, respectively.
  • Hispanics had the highest prevalence, at 39% in 2011–2012.
  • The metabolic syndrome was more common among older than younger adults, ranging from 18% for those aged 20–39 years to 47% for those aged 60 and older.

Source: JAMA

A slow-release peppermint oil (IBIBS 2gard) appeared to significantly reduce severe abdominal symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), researchers said here.

At 28 days, the number of severe and unbearable symptoms was reduced by 66% among patients taking peppermint oil compared with a reduction of 42% among patients on placebo, reported Brooks Cash, MD, of the University of South Alabama in Mobile, and colleagues.IBS

When patients with severe or unbearable abdominal pain took peppermint oil, they reported a 79.4% reduction in symptoms while placebo patients reported a 40.2% reduction in symptoms after 4 weeks of therapy, they stated in a poster presentation at the Digestive Disease Week annual meeting.

“I have begun to prescribe this peppermint oil formula for my patients with irritable bowel syndrome,” Cash told MedPage Today. “We had no discontinuations in either the placebo or the active ingredient arm of the trial due to problems with the agents. In fact, we had some patients who, IBS 3after completion of the trial, told me they wanted to continue the treatment. We had a lot of positive feedback from the patients.”

Cash said that, even after 24 hours treatment, treatment with peppermint oil began to show an impact in symptoms. There was a 21% reduction in symptoms with placebo and a 30% reduction in symptoms with peppermint oil, he and colleagues reported.

Source: Medpage Today

osteoHigher fat mass and increased body mass index (BMI) adversely affected hip cartilage in women, while increases in fat-free mass were associated with beneficial cartilage changes at the hip for women and men, according to an Australian community-based study.

After adjusting for age and femoral head bone area, for every 1-unit increase in BMI, there was an associated 26 mm3 reduction in femoral head cartilage volume in women, although no such link was seen in men for BMI and femoral head cartilage volume, reported Flavia M. Cicuttini, MD, of Monash University in Melbourne, in colleagues.

The results “likely represent very early structural joint damage” given that the study population had no clinical hip disease, the investigators osteo 2wrote in Arthritis Research and Therapy.  However, they added that “the mechanisms by which an increased BMI and fat mass adversely affects hip cartilage is unknown. It is possible that deleterious structural changes may in part be due to excessive loading of the hip joint caused by increased body mass. For instance, through altered joint biomechanics, obesity may remodel hip bone. In turn, abnormal bone geometry could act as an intermediary between obesity and cartilage damage.”

Source: Medpage Today

meatMechanically tenderized beef will need to be so labeled by May 2016, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The new labeling requirements cover raw or partially cooked beef products, the FSIS said in a statement.

“This commonsense change will lead to safer meals and fewer foodborne meat 2illnesses,” said USDA Deputy Undersecretary Al Almanza.

Some cuts of beef are tenderized mechanically by piercing them with needles or small blades in order to break up tissue. But the process can introduce pathogens from the surface of the cut to the interior, making proper cooking very important.

The potential presence of pathogens in the interior of these products means meat 3they should be cooked differently than intact cuts, the statements said. “FSIS is finalizing these new labeling requirements because mechanically tenderized products look no different than intact product, but it is important for consumers to know that they need to handle them differently,” the agency said.

Labels must include not only that the meat was mechanically tenderized, but validated cooking instructions as well, including minimum internal temperature, the FSIS said. Since 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received reports of six outbreaks attributable to needle- or blade-tenderized beef products, the statement said.

Source: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

LymeIn 2008, Rachael French, a then-healthy 22-year-old, vacationed with friends in a cabin in the woods near Gaylord, Mich.

On the last day of the trip, while at a local water park, French said she felt the sting of chlorine on an open wound, looked down and noticed a small scab on her thigh. She figured it was a spider bite.

Within hours, she remembers feeling nauseated, sore and exhausted, but chalked it up to having a busy vacation. Things became a bit foggy from lymethere, she said.

When she was admitted to urgent care, French had a 103-degree temperature, was lethargic and in pain all over her body, and had trouble forming sentences.

“The doctor asked if he could look at the bite, and when I showed him I noticed there was a ‘bulls-eye’ ring around the bite, which I hadn’t noticed before,” French said in an email. “It was so large it covered about half of my thigh.”

The doctor removed the scab and showed French where a tick had buried itself into her skin.

lyme 2“Everything happened so fast,” she said. “One minute I’m in a cabin with a few friends having a great time, the next I’m being diagnosed with Lyme disease—an incurable disease.”

Most people will make a full recovery after a course of antibiotics, but between 10 to 20 percent of patients—including French—report lingering symptoms in a condition often called “chronic Lyme disease.”

Source: Scientific American

mammogramFor 2013, screening for these types of cancers either fell behind previous rates or showed no improvement.

Among adults in the age groups recommended for screening, about 1 in 5 women reported not being up-to-date with cervical cancer screening, about 1 in 4 women reported not being up-to-date with breast cancerpap smear screening, and about 2 in 5 adults reported not being up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening.

The report found that colorectal cancer testing was essentially unchanged in 2013 compared with 2010. Pap test use in women age 21-65 years was lower than 2000, and the number of mammography screenings was stagnant, showing very little change from previous years.

colon cancerResearchers reviewed data from the National Health Interview Survey 2013, which is used to monitor progress toward Healthy People 2020 goals for cancer screening based on the most recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines.

The screening data for 2013 show that 58.2 percent of adults age 50-75 years reported being screened for colorectal cancer; 72.6 percent of women age 50-74 had a mammogram; and 80.7 percent of women age 21-65 had a Pap test. All of these percentages are below the Healthy People 2020 targets.

Source: CDC

The Presidential Healthcare Center’s Executive Physicals include cancer screening and tumor marker tracking.

gout 2Gout’s association with a host of vascular events was confirmed in a new study that explored the links between the inflammatory condition and coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, and cerebrovascular events.

Though both men and women with gout were at increased risk for vascular events overall, the association appeared strongest for women. Dr. Lorna Clarson of Keele (England) University and her associates drew these conclusions from a retrospective cohort study of men and women with an incident diagnosis of gout.

Gout, caused by the deposition of uric acid crystals in joints, is characterized by acute flares of intensely painful and inflamed joints. However, the state of hyperuricemia that predisposes goutpatients to acute attacks of gout may precede the first attack by years, and may persist between flares. The proinflammatory course of the natural history of gout has increasingly been recognized as a potential contributor to goutvascular disease.

The precise mechanism by which gout may increase vascular risk has not been identified. Dr. Clarson and associates noted that in addition to the acute and chronic inflammation associated with gout and hyperuricemia, serum uric acid may have a more direct effect on vascular health, as urate crystal deposition on vessel walls may promote vascular damage.

Source: Family Practice News

air pollution 3Air pollution is known to increase the risk for stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders. But now researchers have found it is also linked to premature aging of the brain.

The study, in the May issue of Stroke, used data on 943 men and women over 60 who were participants in a larger health study. Researchers did M.R.I. examinations and gathered data on how close the people lived to major highways. They also used satellite data to measure particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers, or PM 2.5, a form of pollution that easily enters the lungs and bloodstream.air pollution 1

After controlling for health, lifestyle and socioeconomic factors, they found that compared with people exposed to the lowest levels of PM 2.5, those with the highest exposure had a 46 percent increased risk for covert brain infarcts, the brain damage commonly called “silent strokes.”

They also found that each additional two micrograms per cubic meter increase in PM 2.5 was linked to a decrease in cerebral brain volume equivalent to air pollution 2about one year of natural aging.

“We’re seeing an association between air pollution and potentially harmful attacks on the brain,” said the lead author, Elissa H. Wilker, a researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “This helps us to better understand the mechanisms related to air pollution and clinically observed outcomes.”

Source: New York Times

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