December 4, 2010

Potential Public Health Problems

1 UC: Electronic Cigarettes Safety Unproven

"The active vapor producing ingredient in electronic cigarettes has also been used in asthma Inhalers since the 1950s, which is inhaled, just like an e-cigarette"
- ECT in the comments

Electronic cigarettes are unsafe, according to researchers at UC, Riverside, who tested five brands and had concerns about quality control and health issues. Their conclusion? They urge that e-cigs be removed from the market until these issues are addressed. E-cigarettes vaporize nicotine and other compounds, unlike tobacco burning cigarettes. "Contrary to the claims of the manufacturers and marketers of e-cigarettes being 'safe,' in fact, virtually nothing is known about the toxicity of the vapors generated by these e-cigarettes. Until we know anything about the potential health risks of the toxins generated upon heating the nicotine-containing content of the e-cigarette cartridges, the 'safety' claims of the manufacturers are dubious at best,” says researcher Kamlesh Asotra.

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Quit Smoking for Better Fracture Healing

Tags: Nicotine, Public Health, Quitting Smoking, Smoking, Electronic Cigarettes, E-Cigarettes, Electronic Nicotine Delivery System, University of California at Riverside, Kamlesh Asotra

Read the Comments (3) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Lower BMI Reduces Death Risk

2 Ideal BMI Identified by NIH: 22.5 to 24.9

"The ideal woman's BMI from the standpoint of attracting men is 20.8. So you need to choose between a longer life, or a better love life."
- Mark in the comments

A body mass index between 20.0 and 24.9 is associated with the lowest risk of death in healthy, non-smoking, non-Hispanic white adults, finds a study from the National Institutes of Health. Researchers pooled data from 19 long-term studies and found that healthy, non-smoking, overweight women were 13 % more likely to die during the study’s follow-up period than were women with a BMI between 22.5 and 24.9. Researchers report a 44 % increase in risk of death for obese women with BMIs of 30 to 34.9. Results were the same for men. Researchers accounted for lifestyle risk factors and came up with similar results, indicating that BMI plays a large role as a risk factor for death. They plan to broaden the range of the study to include other ethnic and racial groups.

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: People with Lower BMI May Soon Get Lap Band

Tags: BMI, Body Mass Index, National Institutes of Health, Obesity, Overweight, Death Risk Factor

Read the Comments (4) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (51%) / No! (49%)

Get Rid of Indoor Air Pollution

3 Breathe Easier Inside Your Home This Winter

"New houses are sealed too tight and it's like living inside a plastic bag. Heat recovery ventilators should be mandatory."
- Boubou in the comments

As we seal cold air out of our homes in the winter, we're also sealing in pollution, say experts. A recent article at MSNBC recommends several ways to make the air inside your home healthier to breathe this winter. Avoiding scented candles this holiday season will help lessen pollution inside your home. Candles with fragrance give off particulates that may aggravate asthma or inflame the respiratory tract. Even worse, allergens like dust may hitch a ride on particulates, making breathing more difficult. Another tip is to change your heating filter every three months, using a filter with a rating of at least 8 on the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). Experts also recommend opening a window in your bedroom for a few minutes each morning and night to replenish oxygen levels.

More at MSNBC | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Facebook Triggers Asthma Attack

Tags: Aggravate Asthma, Asthma Triggers, Particulates, Asthma Risk Factors, Cleaning Air Indoors, Getting Rid of Indoor Air Pollution, Breathing Fresh Air, Scented Candles Bad for You, Dangers of Fragranced Candles, Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, Merv

Read the Comments (2) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

No More Fatty Fundraisers

4 Child Nutrition Bill Could Limit Bake Sales

"Thank you Michelle Obama. You go girl, and let's keep the Twinkies out of the hands of our kids."
- Jass Brewther in the comments

Bake sales and pizza fundraisers could be a thing of the past, or at least less frequent, under the new child nutrition bill on its way to President Obama's desk. If it goes into effect, the legislation would allow the government to limit the types of food sold at fundraisers during school hours, including lunch. The legislation wouldn't apply to events held after school. The bill would also apply to any food sold during school hours, including the cafeteria line and vending machines. According to MSNBC, Sarah Palin and other Republicans have spoken out, saying the bill is an unnecessary intrusion on school fundraisers. Yet, health advocates say fundraisers featuring food at school have gotten out of control, giving kids too many opportunities to buy junk food instead of a balanced meal.

More at MSNBC | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: USDA School Lunch Standards

Tags: Child Nutrition Bill, School Lunch Reform, Sarah Palin, Food Sold at Fundraisers During School, Banning Bake Sales at School, Vending Machines at School, Buying Junk Food at School Lunch

Read the Comments (3) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (50%) / No! (50%)

Thousands Rethinking Routines

5 Getting Used to Weight Watchers PointsPlus

More than 750,000 Weight Watchers members attending weekly meetings and another one million online followers are getting used to new shopping, cooking and eating habits, says New York Times. Under the new system, members' points are determined by a complex formula that takes into account each food item’s mix of fiber, protein, carbs and fat. Plus, most PointsPlus participants are provided more total allowed points, a change which represents "a kind of new math that requires recalculation of what had been ingrained," reports New York Times. Some loyal Weight Watchers members are anxious about the changes, wondering why something that wasn't broken had to be fixed. However, Weight Watchers maintains that the new system, based on the latest research, is even better.

More at New York Times | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Weight Watcher's PointsPlus Formula Unveiled

Tags: New PointsPlus System, Weight Watchers, Changes to Weight Watchers, Getting Used to New Weight Watchers System, How Are Points Calculated in New PointsPlus

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

Both Increase Survival Rates

6 Two Drugs Fight Cancers of the Blood

Two studies show that Zometa and Gleevec increase survival rates in patients with multiple myeloma and Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), respectively. Zometa was compared to clodronic acid, another bisphosphonate. There were three groups in the Gleevec study: those who received it after chemo, individuals who received another round of chemo with Gleevec and those who got chemo and stem cell transplants. Multiple myeloma patients on Zometa had a 12 percent higher survival rate compared to clodronic acid. People with Ph ALL who received Gleevec after chemo had a 34 percent higher survival rate, compared to 25 percent in the chemo plus stem cell transplant group. Survival rates were 48 percent in those who received Gleevec with chemo.

More at Yahoo! HealthDay | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Two New Drugs Beats Gleevec in Treating CML

Tags: Chemotherapy, Gleevec, Zometa, Multiple Myeloma, Philadelphia Chromosome-Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Clondronic Acid, Stem Cell Transplants, Blood Cancers, Cancers of the Blood

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Tooth Decay to Go Away?

7 Tooth Decay Enzyme Understood

Researchers at the University of Groningen analyzed the enzyme glucansucrase from the bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri found in the mouth and gut that breaks down sugars. Sticky sugar chains are produced by the enzyme which the bacteria use to stick to enamel. The bacterium Streptococcus mutans, the main culprit of decay, also produces this enzyme. Once the bacteria are stuck to the teeth, they ferment and release calcium-dissolving acids that lead to cavities. The structure of the enzyme and how it works was determined. Proteins have 3D structures and this enzyme has a unique one and works by splitting sucrose into fructose and glucose, and adds the new glucose to a chain of sugars. Scientists believe it may be possible to add glucansucrase inhibitors to toothpaste, mouthwash and sweets.

More at Science Daily | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Fluoridated Drinking Water Helps Stop Tooth Decay

Tags: Teeth, Tooth Decay, Glucansucrase, Cavities, Enamel, University of Groningen, Mouthwash, Toothpaste, Lactobacillus Reuteri, Streptococcus Mutans

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Other Factors May Link Both

8 Multiple Miscarriages Linked to Heart Attack Risk

A German study showed that woman who had over three miscarriages may increase their risk of heart attack. Looking at the pregnancy history of over 11,500 women in their mid-30s to mid-60s, it was found one in four women reported having one. Even after taking into account factors such as weight, smoking and consumption of alcohol and still found a 500 percent increase in the risk of heart attacks in women who had multiple miscarriages. These results have researchers asking why there appears to be a link. Professor Gordon Smith hypothesized “. . .that there is some common predisposing risk factor for both miscarriage and heart disease. During pregnancy, it is manifested by increased risk of miscarriage, and later in life, it manifests itself as an increase in heart disease risk.”

More at BBC | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Conceiving After Miscarriage Good Idea

Tags: Heart Attacks, Pregnancy, Miscarriage

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

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