Rosiglitazone For Type 2 Diabetes Does Not Increase Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease Or Death But Increases Heart Failure And Fractures In Women

June 9, 2009

Using rosiglitazone (Avandia) in combination with standard diabetes treatments (metformin or a sulfonylurea) to lower blood glucose in type 2 diabetics does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or death. However, the study confirms that using rosiglitazone more than doubles the risks of heart failure, and also increases the risk of fractures, mainly in women. The findings of the RECORD study are published in an Article Online First and in an upcoming edition of Read the rest of this entry »


Advanced Image Analysis Can Provide Better Risk Assessment In Hardening Of The Arteries

June 8, 2009

Ultrasound examination of the carotid artery is a patient-friendly and inexpensive method for assessing atherosclerosis and thereby predicting the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Peter Holdfeldt, who recently defended his doctoral thesis at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, has developed new analytical methods for ultrasound images that can provide more reliable and more exact assessments of atherosclerosis.

Cardiovascular diseases brought on by hardening of the arteries are the most common cause of death in the Western world. Hardening of the arteries means a thickening of the walls of blood vessels and the appearance of so-called atherosclerotic plaque, which consist of stored fat, among other things.
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Cancer Risk In Delaying Sex Assignment Surgery

June 2, 2009

An editorial and a case report on Disorders of Sexual Development (DSD) in the Medical Journal of Australia highlight the need for early diagnosis and effective risk management in these rare but potentially life threatening cases.

DSD describes conditions in which patients are born with ambiguous genitalia; DSD were previously described by terms such as ‘intersex’, ‘hermaphroditism’ and ‘testicular feminisation’.

In the editorial, endocrinologists from Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital, Dr Garry Warne and Dr Jacqueline Hewitt, discuss the sometimes contentious management of the disorder, and call for the preparation of separate risk management strategies for individual patients.
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Individuals Genetically At Risk Of Developing Psychological Disorders Also Benefit The Most From Positive Environments

May 31, 2009

Certain individuals have long been regarded as particularly susceptible to developing behavioural and emotional problems when they experience negative environmental conditions, due to the fact that they carry so-called ‘vulnerability genes’. Existing research suggests, for instance, that such ‘genetically vulnerable’ individuals are most likely to become impulsive and hyperactive if their mothers smoked while pregnant, to behave anti-socially if subjected to child abuse, and to become depressed if exposed to many negative life events (e.g., divorce, unemployment). But a new evaluation of existing gene-by-environment interaction (GXE) research highlighting such genetic vulnerability to adversity challenges this traditional interpretation of existing evidence. Research published in Molecular Psychiatry suggests that those carrying ‘vulnerability genes’ are not only more likely than others to be adversely affected by negative experiences but to also benefit more than others from positive environments, making them more malleable or plastic, not just vulnerable. This novel interpretation of old and new findings suggests that ‘vulnerability genes’ might be better conceptualised as ‘plasticity or malleability genes’ because carriers are more affected, for better and for worse, by positive and negative environmental conditions.
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Lifelong Cancer Risk For Patients Treated For Childhood Cancer

May 28, 2009

Childhood cancer survivors have a persistent and high risk for a second primary cancer throughout their lives, according to a new study published in the May 26 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Previous studies established that second primary cancer risk after treatment in childhood is higher than that in the general population, but follow-up was restricted to a few decades and the incidence in long-term survivors was rarely investigated. This study presents data for incidence of second cancers among childhood cancer patients in the Nordic countries over a full age range, from birth to age 79.
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Children Denied Immunizations At Increased Risk Of Whooping Cough

May 27, 2009

Children of parents who refuse vaccines are 23 times more likely to get whooping cough compared to fully immunized children, according to a new study led by a vaccine research team at Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s Institute for Health Research.

The study will appear in the June 2009 issue of the journal Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, this is the first study to use electronic health records to look for immunization refusal and possible pertussis infections, making it the most definitive on the risk of vaccine refusal to date.
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Unvaccinated Children At Higher Risk Of Whooping Cough

May 27, 2009

New research from the US suggests that children whose parents won’t let them be vaccinated are 23 times more likely to get whooping cough compared to children who are fully immunized.

The study was led by a vaccine research team at Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s Institute for Health Research in Denver and was published online in Pediatrics on 26 May.

The researchers wrote that most parents have their children vaccinated, and this has led to a dramatic fall in numbers of children with serious childhood diseases, but despite this, the number of parents who don’t want their children to be vaccinated appears to be rising in the US.
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