Black Women More Likely To Have Vitamin D Deficiency, Bacterial Vaginosis, Study Finds

May 29, 2009

Black women are nearly three times as likely as white women to have a vitamin D deficiency, which is linked with an increased risk of the vaginal infection bacterial vaginosis, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Nutrition, the New York Times reports. Black women likely have lower levels of vitamin D because the higher amount of pigment in their skin prevents the body from absorbing the vitamin.

For the study, researchers led by Lisa Bodnar, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, examined 209 white pregnant women and 260 black pregnant women at a Pittsburgh clinic. More than half of the women had low levels of vitamin D, the study found. Women whose vitamin D levels were 50 nanomoles or less had a 26% increased risk of BV, while women whose vitamin levels were less than 20 nanomoles had a 65% increased risk of the infection. About 52% of black women had the infection, compared with 27% of white women, the study found (Bakalar, New York Times, 5/26). The study found that 93% of women with BV had low vitamin D levels and that BV prevalence decreased as vitamin levels increased.
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Those With Darker Skin Might Be More Susceptible To Nicotine Addiction, Study Finds

May 21, 2009

Blacks and others with darker skin might be at greater risk for tobacco addiction than whites and those with lighter skin because the greater the amount of melanin, the coloring pigment in skin, the more nicotine appears to be stored, according to preliminary findings published in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, the New York Times reports. For the study, lead researcher Gary King, a professor of biobehavioral health at Pennsylvania State University, looked at 150 black smokers and measured their levels of melanin and cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine. They also surveyed the participants to determine the level of their smoking habit.
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Chemotherapy Chosen By More Older Women With Early Stage Breast Cancer

May 16, 2009

A new study examining treatment decision-making by older women with early stage breast cancer shows that 45 percent of women would choose to get chemotherapy after surgery — a figure higher than the national average of women getting the additional treatment.

“This was an unexpected finding,” says the study’s lead investigator, Jeanne Mandelblatt, MD, MPH, associate director for population sciences at GUMC’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor of oncology and medicine at GUMC. “While these numbers are in contrast with the uniformly high use of chemotherapy in younger early-stage breast cancer patients, they suggest that older women are learning more about their disease and may be weighing the risks and benefits more thoroughly.”
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New Women’s Imaging Technique Allows For A More Accurate Diagnosis Of Breast Cancer

April 24, 2009

Breast elastography allows physicians to give a more accurate diagnosis of breast cancer, according to a study performed at Singapore General Hospital in Singapore. Breast elastography is a new technique which looks at the mechanical properties of tissues (relative stiffness) as opposed to conventional ultrasound which looks at the backscatter of transmitted ultrasound waves through tissues.

Ninety-nine women with 110 sonographically visible lesions were evaluated with ultrasound, elastography and combined ultrasound and elastography. 26 lesions were malignant and 84 were benign on histology. “All breast cancers (100%) in the study were diagnosed correctly by elastography alone compared to 88.5% by conventional ultrasound,” said Llewellyn Sim, MD, lead author of the study. “The use of breast elastography alone or combined with ultrasound provides a more accurate diagnosis of breast cancer,” said Dr. Sim.
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More potent steroid and tapering down to less

April 23, 2009


I am having psoriasis since 7 years and under control. I always visit dermatologist once in a mnoth. He prescribes clobetasol with salicylic acid for 2 weeks. Then he would continue it for 2 weeks.

Then he would prescribe mometasone with salicylic acid for 2 weeks followed by another 2 weeks. Then Betamethasone with Salicylic acid for two weeks +another two weeks.

When I asked dermatologist who is very senior and old fellow as to why he keeps on changing creams every month. He told me that he would start with more potent steroid and tapering down to less potent ones so that I may not have side effects of the steriod creams, Is this the correct method

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Global Survey Highlights Need For More Cancer Prevention Campaigns In Australia And New Zealand

February 6, 2009

People in Australia and New Zealand most at risk from some cancers will often downplay their own risk, a global survey today highlighted.

2,130 people from this region were surveyed in 2008 as part of a global survey by Roy Morgan research and Gallup International on behalf of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC).

The global survey titled ‘Cancer Related Beliefs and Behaviour’ involved interviewing over 45, 000 people in 39 countries across the globe during 2008. It is the first study to provide internationally comparable data on perceptions and behaviours about cancer risk factors.
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MR Arthrography Is More Accurate Than MR In Diagnosing Shoulder Tears

January 17, 2009

MR arthrography of the shoulder allows physicians to better identify tears and provides patients with an accurate diagnosis to determine whether or not surgery is needed, according to a study performed at Neuroskeletal Imaging in Merritt Island, Florida.

The study included 150 patients who underwent both 3T MRI and MR arthrography examinations of the shoulder. “We did the study to see if MR, which is noninvasive, works as well as MR arthrography, an invasive procedure that some patients are fearful of having since contrast has to be injected into the shoulder,” said Thomas Magee, MD, lead author of the study. The study found that MR arthrography was more accurate for making a diagnosis. Sensitivity on conventional MRI for anterior labral tears was 83%; for posterior labral tears was 84%; for SLAP tears was 83%; for supraspinatus tendon tears was 92%; and for partial-thickness articular surface tears was 68%. Sensitivity on MR arthrography on the other hand was significantly higher. Sensitivity for anterior labral tears was 98%; for posterior labral tears was 95%; for SLAP tears was 98%; for supraspinatus tendon tears was 100%; and for partial-thickness articular surface tears was 97%. “With MR arthrography we were able to see things with a high degree of accuracy in the shoulder,” said Dr. Magee.
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