Category "Health"

Statins 1A high-dose flu vaccine is one of several standard-dose vaccines approved for adults over 65 in the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone be vaccinated against flu every season from the age of 6 months. Seniors are at particular risk for serious illness and complications from flu, including death.

However, one of the new reports shows that many senior statin users had a significantly reduced immune response to the vaccination, compared with those not taking statins. In the other study, effectiveness at preventing serious respiratory illness was lower among patients taking statins.

One group of researchers analyzed immune response data from an earlier flu vaccine clinical trial conducted during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 flu seasons.Statin 2

They focused on the potential effect of statin use on patients’ initial immune responses after being immunized against flu. The study involved nearly 7,000 adults over the age 65 in four countries, including the US.

Statin users were found to have a significantly reduced immune response to vaccination compared with those not taking statins, as measured by the level of antibodies to the flu vaccine strains in patients’ blood 3 weeks after vaccination.

Source: Medical News Today

A study suggests that physicians may be able to gauge risk by focusing on a patient’s right armMoles

Moles are usually harmless, but they can be used to assess a person’s risk for developing skin cancer. Someone with more than 100 moles across their body, for example, can be at a greater risk for melanoma, according to experts. Now a new study suggests that physicians may not have to look at a patient’s entire body—instead, doctors can focus on the patient’s right arm, where the presence of 11 or more moles moles 2could signal a greater risk of melanoma.

The study, published in the British Journal of Dermatology on Monday, looked at 3,594 twins, and then a larger group of men and women, who all had nurses count how many moles they had on 17 different parts of their body. The researchers found that the number of moles on a person’s right arm was most predictive of their total number of moles on their body. Women with over seven moles on their right arm were nine times more likely to have over 50 moles on their whole body. People with over 11 moles on their right arm were more likely to have over 100 moles on their whole body.

Other areas of the body that stood out as possible predictive regions were above the right elbow, the legs and, for men, the back.

Source: Times

Bladder 1Despite efforts by lawmakers and manufacturers to protect workers and provide safe working environments, the risk of bladder cancer is still rising in certain industries, according to a review published online Oct. 8 in JAMA Oncology.

James Catto, M.B.Ch.B., Ph.D., of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, and colleagues reviewed data from 263 studies involving 31 million people worldwide. The new analysis revealed an increased risk of developing bladder cancer in 42 out of 61 occupational classes, and an increased risk of dying from bladder cancer in 16 out of 40 occupational classes. Those at greatest risk from the malignancy were workers exposed to aromatic amines. Also at high  Bladder 2risk for bladder cancer and death from the disease were those exposed to heavy metals, and diesel and combustion products.

Workers exposed to these potential carcinogens include metal workers, electricians, mechanics, military service members, chimney sweeps, nurses, waiters, aluminum workers, seamen, and oil/petroleum workers, Catto’s team reported. Meanwhile, lower rates of bladder cancer were found in six out of 61 occupational classes, and reduced mortality risk was identified in just two of 40 classes. People working in agriculture were among those with the lowest risk.

“The profile of contemporary occupations with increased bladder cancer risk is broad and differs for Bladder 10incidence and mortality,” the authors write. “Currently the incidence seems to be increasing, and this increase is occurring faster in women than men. Improved detection mechanisms and screening are possible reasons for this. Workers with aromatic amine exposure have the highest incidence, while those exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals have the greatest mortality.”

Source: MPH

Fruit 11Eating more fruits and vegetables can help control weight, but a new study suggests that it depends on which fruits and vegetables you eat.

Researchers recorded diet information for 117,918 men and women in their 30s and 40s at the start of a study and followed them for 24 years, with interviews at four-year intervals.

An overall increase in a daily serving of vegetable or fruit over a four-year period led to less weight gained — 0.25 pounds less for vegetables, and 0.53 pounds for fruit.

Increased intake of berries was linked to a 1.11-pound lower weight gain, and of citrus fruits a 0.27-pound lower gain. Adding a daily serving of tofu or soy was tied to 2.47 pounds less Fruit 10weight gained, and of apples or pears 1.24 pounds less. Carrots and peppers were also linked to smaller gains, but potatoes, peas and corn were not.

The study, in PLOS Medicine, controlled for many health and behavioral variables, including changes in dozens of food and nutrient intakes apart from fruits and vegetables.

The lead author, Monica L. Bertoia, a researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said that Americans’ fruit and vegetable intake was mostly fruit juices and potatoes. But, she said, “There are many fruits and vegetables that may be better choices — apples, pears, berries and nonstarchy vegetables.

Source: New York Times

Aple 4As the autumn season sets in and the crisp air has many people heading to their local cider mills and farmers’ markets, officials with the FDA are reminding consumers about the potential problems that have been associated with drinking juice and cider that have not been pasteurized.

Many local markets will sell packaged juice that was made on site and has not been pasteurized or otherwise processed to ensure its safety. Serious outbreaks of foodborne illness have been linked to these beverages, according to agency officials.

If a product has been untreated, it should be kept refrigerated and carry the following warning label:

“WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and therefore may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened Appleimmune systems.”

However, the FDA does not require warning labels on juice or cider that is fresh-squeezed and sold by the glass such as at apple orchards and roadside stands.

Consumers should follow these steps to help prevent illness associated with untreated juice and cider:

  • Look for the warning label to avoid the purchase of untreated juices. Untreated juice is most likely to be sold in the refrigerated section of a grocery store.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask if unsure if a juice product is treated, if the labeling is unclear, or if the juice or cider is sold by the glass.

Consuming dangerous foodborne bacteria will usually cause illness within 1 to 3 days of Apple 2eating the contaminated food. However, sickness can also occur within 20 minutes or up to 6 weeks later. Symptoms of foodborne illness include: vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and flu-like symptoms

Source: FDA

More intensive management of high blood pressure, below a commonly recommended bloodblood pressure 2 pressure target, significantly reduces rates of cardiovascular disease, and lowers risk of death in a group of adults 50 years and older with high blood pressure. This is according to the initial results of a landmark clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health called the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT). The intervention in this trial, which carefully adjusts the amount or type of blood pressure medication to achieve a target systolic pressure of 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), reduced rates of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and heart failure, as well as stroke, by almost a Blood pressure 1third and the risk of death by almost a quarter, as compared to the target systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg.

“Our results provide important evidence that treating blood pressure to a lower goal in older or high-risk patients can be beneficial and yield better health results overall.”

Lawrence Fine, M.D.
Chief, Clinical Applications and Prevention Branch at NHLBI

“This study provides potentially lifesaving information that will be useful to health care providers as they consider the best treatment options for some of their patients, particularly those over the age of 50,” said Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the primary sponsor of SPRINT. “We are delighted to have blood pressure 3achieved this important milestone in the study in advance of the expected closure date for the SPRINT trial and look forward to quickly communicating the results to help inform patient care and the future development of evidence-based clinical guidelines.”

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems. An estimated 1 in 3 people in the United States has high blood pressure.

The SPRINT study evaluates the benefits of maintaining a new target for systolic blood pressure, the top number in a blood pressure reading, among a group of patients 50 years and older at increased risk for heart disease or who have kidney disease. A systolic pressure of 120 mm Hg, maintained by this more intensive blood pressure intervention, could ultimately help save lives among adults age 50 and older who have a combination of high blood pressure and at least one additional risk factor for heart disease, the investigators say.

The SPRINT study, which began in the fall of 2009, includes more than 9,300 participants age 50 and older, recruited from about 100 medical centers and clinical practices throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. It is the largest study of its kind to date to examine how maintaining systolic blood pressure at a lower than currently recommended level will impact cardiovascular and kidney diseases. NIH stopped the blood pressure intervention earlier than originally planned in order to quickly disseminate the significant preliminary results.

The study population was diverse and included women, racial/ethnic minorities, and the elderly. The investigators point out that the SPRINT study did not include patients with diabetes, prior stroke, or polycystic kidney disease, as other research included those populations.

Source: NIH

Mouse 1Prion diseases are rare conditions similar to those caused by viruses that are caused by misfolded proteins known as prions. The most well-known of these is the neuro-degenerative Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is commonly known for the way it appears in cows as Mad Cow disease. But according to a recent study, multiple system atrophy (MSA), another neurological disorder, can also be classified as a prion disease. The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest there are Mouse 3unseen ways in which MSA can be transmitted, and may even lead to possible treatment options.

First identified in 1960, MSA is an extremely rare condition that impairs the body’s involuntary functions. Its symptoms are similar to those that characterize Parkinson’s disease, including slowed movement and trouble with balance. These symptoms eventually lead to the patient’s death. While the cause of MSA was never fully understood, Kurt Giles, senior author of the recent study, said his team has now “conclusively shown that a new type of prion causes MSA.”

Mouse 2The findings mark the first time in 50 years that a human disease has been found to be caused by a new prion. For the study, the team exposed human MSA tissue to mice, which then went on to experience neurodegeneration. Exposure to brain tissue from these mice could then cause the disease to spread to other mice. The team observed that the culprit was a misfolded version of a protein called alpha-synuclein, which not only allowed the disease to spread from human tissue to mouse, but also to human cell cultures.

Prion diseases are a group of conditions that affect the nervous system in humans and animals. The most common symptoms of prion diseases in humans are impaired brain function and difficulty coordinating movements. These symptoms usually worsen over time and inevitably lead to the patient’s death.

Source: Medical Daily

HEP C 2People infected with the hepatitis C virus are at risk for liver damage, but the results of a new Johns Hopkins study now show the infection may also spell heart trouble.

The findings, described online July 27 in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, emerged from a larger ongoing study of men who have sex with men, many but not all of whom were infected with HIV and followed over time to track risk of infection and disease progression. A subset of the participants had both HIV and hepatitis C, two infections that often occur together.

Even though people infected with HIV are already known to have an elevated risk for heart disease, researchers emphasize their results offer strong evidence that hepatitis C can spark cardiovascular damage independent of HIV.

Specifically, the research found that study participants chronically infected with hepatitis C were more likely to harbor abnormal fat-and-calcium plaques inside their arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis and a common forerunner of heart attacks and strokes.

“We have strong reason to believe that infection with hepatitis C fuels cardiovascular disease, independent of HIV and sets the stage for subsequent cardiovascular trouble,” says study principal investigator Eric Seaberg, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “We believe our HEP C 3findings are relevant to anyone infected with hepatitis C regardless of HIV status.”

Investigators emphasize they don’t know exactly how infection with the hepatitis C virus precipitates the growth of artery-clogging plaque but that their evidence is strong enough to warrant vigilant monitoring for cardiac symptoms among people infected with the virus.

“People infected with hepatitis C are already followed regularly for signs of liver disease, but our findings suggest clinicians who care for them should also assess their overall cardiac risk profile regularly,” says study author Wendy Post, M.D., M.S., professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a cardiologist at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease.

Source: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

The Presidential Healthcare Center provides Hepatitis Screening and Vaccinations.

Every year on July 28th, World Hepatitis Day aims to increase the awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis as aHEP c major global health threat. All types of viral hepatitis can cause inflammation of the liver; however, hepatitis B and C infection can result in a lifelong, chronic infection.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly 400 million people have chronic viral hepatitis worldwide and most of them do not know they are infected. More than 1 million people die each year from causes related to viral hepatitis, commonly cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Hepatitis A:

  • Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus that can cause mild to severe illness but does not lead to chronic infection.
  • Globally, there are an estimated 1.4 million cases of hepatitis A every year.HEP 1
  • The hepatitis A virus is spread by ingestion of contaminated food and water, or through direct contact with an infectious person.

Hepatitis B:

  • Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus that can cause both acute and chronic disease.
  • Globally, there are an estimated 240 million people living with chronic Hepatitis B.
  • The hepatitis B virus is spread through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
  • There is a safe and effective vaccine available to prevent Hepatitis B.
  • The best way to prevent getting infected with Hepatitis B is to get vaccinated.  In the United States, the Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all babies at birth and adults at risk of infection.  HEP 2

Hepatitis C:

  • Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus that can cause both acute and chronic disease.
  • Globally, there are an estimated 130–150 million people living with chronic Hepatitis C.
  • The hepatitis C virus is a bloodborne virus.
  • There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C.

Source: CDC

Fish and chips are seen in a sea front cafe in Blackpool, northern England September 8, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Fish and chips are seen in a sea front cafe in Blackpool, northern England September 8, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Home cooking is still the best way to control the calories, fat, sugar and other nutrients that families consume, a new U.S. study suggests.

Researchers found that eating food from restaurants – whether from fast food places, or better establishments – led to increases in calories, fat and sodium compared to meals made at home.

Public health interventions targeting dining-out behavior in general, rather than just fast food, may be warranted to improve the way Americans’ eat, says the study’s author.fast food 3

Ruopeng An, a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, noted that people have previously equated fast food with junk food.

“But, people don’t know much about the food provided by full-service restaurants and if it is better or healthier fast  food 2compared to fast food or compared to food prepared and consumed at home,” An told Reuters Health.

For his study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, An used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which regularly gathers health and dietary information from a representative sample of the U.S. population.

More than 18,000 adults answered survey questions about what they’d eaten over a two-day period. About a third of participants reported eating fast food on one or both days, and one quarter reported eating full-service restaurant food on at least one day.

Compared to participants who ate food prepared at home, those who visited fast food restaurants consumed an average of 190 more calories per day, 11 grams more fat, 3.5 g more saturated fat, 10 mg extra cholesterol and 300 mg additional sodium.

Source: Reuters

Copyright ©2017: Presidential Healthcare Center