November 13, 2012

Too Clean for Their Own Good?

1 Peanut Allergy Hits Teens, Males, Rich Kids

Among the findings of newly reported research on peanut allergy, based on a study of more than 8,300 patients: The incidence of the allergy peaks chronologically between the ages of ten and nineteen, and bottoms out in middle age; in the U.S., the allergy occurs more frequently among men and racial minorities; it effects approximately 400,000 American school children, and while many of them will develop some degree of peanut tolerance as they age, only 20 percent will actually outgrow the allergy. It is also more common among children aged one to nine in families with higher economic status, possibly because they are raised in hygienically cleaner, more insulated environments and develop immune systems that are less hardy and more vulnerable. The allergy’s cause remains unknown.

More at Redorbit.com | Posted 5 years ago by Robert S. Wieder

Tags: Childhood Allergies, Peanut Allergy, Who Has Peanut Allergy, Allergies and Economics, Children with Peanut Allergy

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

Worth a Thousand Words

2 Pics Are More Effective Warning for Smokers

Graphic health warning labels (HWL) are more effective than textual ones, especially in the lower income population where smoking rates are highest and health literacy is lowest. Graphic HWLs were due to be implemented on cigarette packs in 2012 but the tobacco industry, citing the violation of free speech, has successfully litigated against this. For the study, which included 1,000 adult smokers from low and middle income areas, a control group rated 4 text only HWLs while an experimental group rated 9 graphic HWLs. Both groups assessed their reactions for credibility, relevance and effectiveness. Pictorial HWLs proved to be significantly more effective than text only ones for smokers with low health literacy whereas both types of HWLs proved effective in those with high health literacy.

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 5 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Graphic Warnings to Appear on Cigarette Packs

Tags: Cigarettes, Smoking, Warning Labels, Health Warning Labels, Warning Labels on Cigarette Packs, Tobacco Industry, Cigarette Ads, Health Literacy

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

5th Consecutive Year

3 US Preterm Birth Rate Drops

The US preterm birth rate dropped in 2011, the fifth year in a row, to 11.7%, the lowest in ten years, according to the March of Dimes Birth Report Card which compares each state’s preterm birth rate to the March of Dimes goal of lowering the rate to 9.6% by 2020. The decline is attributed to an expansion of successful programs and interventions designed to make infant health a priority. The decline translates to healthier babies and a potential health care savings of $3 billion. The largest decline occurred in babies born between 34 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, although the improvement was across all stages of pregnancy and for all races and ethnicities. Globally, the US ranked 131 out of 184 countries on a May 2012 report on premature birth issued by the March of Dimes.

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 5 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Progesterone Gel Reduces Premature Birth Rates

Tags: March of Dimes, Premature Babies, Preterm Babies, Preterm Birth Rate, March of Dimes Birth Report Card

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

Restful Heart Thanks You

4 Meditation Reduces Deaths in Heart Patients

Heart disease patients may be much less likely to have a heart attack or stroke if they practice Transcendental Meditation, suggest researchers. African Americans with heart disease who participated in Transcendental Meditation were 48 percent less likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack, or die from all causes, compared with African Americans who attended a health education class for more than five years. Those who practiced meditation sat with their eyes closed for 20 minutes twice a day while remaining alert and also allowing their minds and bodies to rest deeply. "It appears that Transcendental Meditation ... turns on the body's own pharmacy — to repair and maintain itself," notes Robert Schneider, M.D., lead researcher. The research is published Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

More at EurekAlert | Posted 5 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Mindfulness Meditation Can Change Brain

Tags: Preventing Heart Attacks, Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, Transcendental Meditation Benefits, Transcendental Meditation Instruction, Transcendental Meditation Studies

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (43%) / No! (57%)

But Not Necessarily Healthier

5 More Options at Fast Food Restaurants

According to a new study from Temple University, the number of options has increased 53 percent at fast food restaurants over the past 14 years. However, even though some of those options include seemingly more healthful foods, such as grilled chicken and oatmeal, there has actually been little change in calorie count from the average meal offered by the top 8 major chains. Side items have dropped slightly in calorie level, likely due to the addition of side salads and smaller portions of foods such as French Fries. Lunch and dinner entrees are still about the same – on average of 453 calories each. In the near future, due to the Affordable Care Act of 2010, consumers will be able to see calorie counts for all items posted at restaurants and food vendors with more than 20 locations.

More at EurekAlert | Posted 5 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Fast Food May Finally Be Getting Smaller, Fast Food Restaurants Plan Changes for 2011

Tags: Calories, Fast Food, Nutrition

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

It's a Bird. . .In the Pharmacy!

6 Problems Found at NECC Affiliate Pharmacy

Unsterile conditions have been found at Ameridose, the compounding pharmacy affiliated with the New England Compounding Center (NECC) which came into the spotlight after a contaminated steroid led to a fungal meningitis outbreak affecting over 400 people and killing more than 32. Ameridose voluntary shut down while NECC was being investigated. Problems included a bird flying around, leaks dripping water and disrepair in rooms that should be sterile. Drug potency tests were not being performed and complaints mostly related to the labor-inducing drug oxytocin, the painkiller fentanyl and the blood thinner heparin were not classified and documented correctly. A company spokesperson said it has been six years since they had contamination problems and they will address all the current issues.

More at Yahoo! Reuters | Posted 5 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Poor Practices and Conditions in MA Pharmacy, Third Massachusetts Pharmacy Shut Down

Tags: Ameridose, Compounding Pharmacies, Drug Contamination, Drug Sterility, The New England Compounding Center

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (51%) / No! (49%)

Head Bumps & Bug Sprays

7 Head Trauma and Pesticides May Up PD Risk

New research links head injuries and pesticide exposure to a significantly higher risk of Parkinson’s disease (PD), a progressive neurological disorder that alters movement, walking and coordination. The study involved 357 people with PD and 754 healthy individuals. Scientists collected data by relying on self-reports of head trauma causing unconsciousness for five minutes or more and home and work addresses determined the distance from pesticides sprayings since 1974. Twelve percent of people knocked unconscious had PD and 47 percent had been exposed to the pesticide paraquat. Each event independently increased the risk, but having both factors tripled it. One theory is that brain injury increases inflammation which compromises the blood-brain barrier, enhancing the pesticide’s effects.

More at Yahoo! Reuters | Posted 5 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Sleep Disorder May Be a Sign of Impending Dementia

Tags: Blood-Brain Barrier, Head Injury, Pesticides, Parkinson, S Disease, Head Trauma, Paraquat

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

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