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health 3

maternal diet during pregnancy probably major variable for lifespan

“Minor manipulations of a mother's diet can hugely affect the lifespan of her children, suggests a new study of mice.

“ "At the two extremes we looked at, the dietary changes increased the difference in lifespan by more than 50 per cent," says Susan Ozanne, who performed the research with Nicholas Hales at Cambridge University, UK.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health020204

02.02.2004


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them nasty smoking dummies

Urine tests showed that smokers who cut back by 55 percent to 90 percent reduced NNK [1] by only 27 percent to 51 percent. Even smokers who were able to cut back to just two cigarettes a day reduced their NNK indicator
levels by only 46 percent."

And some other delights of the adult’s dummy.

related material
cigarettes? yukkkkk
US ‘war’ on drugs
estimates of tobacco deaths revised up by 20%
and still the governments wimp out from facing the tobacco touts
Drugs, smoking and addiction

 

NNK is a carcinogen.

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health210104

21.01.2004

related material

cigarettes? yukkkkk

US ‘war’ on drugs

estimates of tobacco deaths revised up by 20%

and still the governments wimp out from facing the tobacco touts

Drugs, smoking and addiction

suppressing dangerous drug over-reaction in the immune system

“A new drug that dampens the body's overzealous immune response to the deadliest strain of flu has shown good results in mice. The approach could hold promise for treating a range respiratory diseases in humans, including the deadly SARS virus, say UK scientists.

“Respiratory viruses like influenza and respiratory syncytial virus can be fatal, and are the third leading cause of death in babies. It is believed that much of the damage they cause results from the body's immune system going into overdrive.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health231003

23.10.2003
 

stroke linked to air pollution

“Particulate matter (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) seem to be the most important pollutants and the effects appear to be stronger on warm days," Yang said.”

related material
further implication of pollution in asthma
does public smoking effect heart rate attacks?

 

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health151003

15.10.2003

related material

further implication of pollution in asthma

does public smoking effect heart rate attacks?

asthma, pollution and ozone

“Children with severe asthma start suffering from symptoms even at what are now considered to be acceptable levels of air pollution, U.S. researchers reported yesterday.”

And more detail—

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health091003

09.10.2003

healthy gums appear to reduce premature births

“The report ... found as much as an 84 percent reduction of premature births [among] women who were less than 35 weeks pregnant [if they] received scaling and root planing [gum hygiene performed by a professional].

“Previous research reported that periodontal infections cause a faster-than-normal increase in the levels of prostaglandin and tumor necrosis factor molecules that induce labor, thus causing premature delivery before the fetus can grow to a normal birth weight. However, this is the first intervention study that offers advice on reducing the risk of premature births with scaling and root planing therapy alone. ”

Oh, by the way, for those who prefer taking pills to doing the right thing:

“...women who were given the antibiotic after scaling and root planing had more preterm births than patients receiving scaling and root planing and a placebo.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health060903

06.09.2003

medics and death

“It is a standing joke among cardiologists that death rates fall during their conferences because fewer of them are out there attempting to cure moribund patients by doing dangerous surgery. The treatment can be worse than the disease.

“That lesson was driven home in Britain during the last doctors' strike in the 1970s. Doom mongers predicted that bodies would pile up in the street, but death rates actually fell.”

“ But the real puzzle is that we do not know what caused the heart disease epidemic, which began in the 1940s and peaked about 1970. Its subsequent fall is equally mysterious. There has been a sharp decline in smoking and limited dietary changes, which account for some of the fall. History will tell how much medicine has contributed, but it is unlikely to be a great deal.”

editorial
It is known that low status causes stress diseases. I note that cause is not mentioned here, I would be most surprised if that has not been examined. I would expect both war-time deprivation and jobs where the workers had little self-choice to be causes of this form of stress, whilst post-war society and the replacement of low-status by more interesting opportunities would reduce this stress.

It is also well known that most life-span improvement has been due to improvements in public health, for instance clean water, not medicine.

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health030903

03.09.2003

too much input, too little output, and getting fat on the cheap

“When cities spread out, so do waistlines and rear ends. For proof, you can visit Charleston, W.Va., or Fort Wayne, Ind.--the U.S. cities with the highest obesity rates, both with less than 3,000 people per square mile. Or you can refer to recent studies published in the American Journal of Public Health and the American Journal of Health Promotion.

“These are the findings of a recent study that conclude that cities where people drive to work, school and the food court at the mall contribute significantly to obesity in America.....”

“ "61% of Americans are overweight or obese, according to the U.S Center for Disease Control.”

But the French get short rations for their money.
Pay more, get less, be less.

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health010903

01.09.2003

progress in lung cancer detection claimed

“The combined use of spiral computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) scanning can reliably detect early lung cancer, suggests research from Italy.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health230803

23.08.2003
 

smoking is a major factor in tuberculosis deaths

“About half the tuberculosis deaths among men in India, which has the world's highest TB toll, are because of smoking, new research indicates.

“TB kills about 1.6 million people a year worldwide, including more than 1 million in Asia, 400,000 in Africa and 100,000 in the Americas and Europe.

“ 'Almost 200,000 people a year in India die from TB because they smoked, and half of the smokers killed by TB are still only in their 30s, 40s or early 50s when they die,'' said the study's leader, Dr. Vendhan Gajalakshmi of the Epidemiological Research Center in Chennai, India.”

Study published originally in the Lancet.

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health160803

16.08.2003

“tens of millions are now thought to be at serious risk from arsenic poisoning”

“people are at serious risk in 17 countries around the world - including China, Vietnam, Argentina and the US, [....] ”

“ In most of these areas, few people drank groundwater until around 20 years ago, when aid agencies began promoting it as a safe reliable source of drinking water to replace surface water contaminated with sewage.

“But rivers leach arsenic from mountains and often deposit it slowly in silts beneath major rivers.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health090803

09.08.2003

chasing ebola with satellites

“They hope to spot particular environmental characteristics associated with infected sites where either dead animals are found or local people have acquired Ebola antibodies.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health190703

19.07.2003

big-headed nuns not as batty

“Head circumference is completely determined by age 12, at which time maximum brain size is attained. However, because education is a lifelong process, it is possible that elderly people can delay or even prevent the onset of dementia by keeping their brains active," Dr. Mortimer said. It is not yet known when in the life course formal education needs to occur for this protection to exist, he added.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health120703

12.07.2003

the fat and the law

“Then Mr. Banzhaf started to hear reports, still unproved, of fast-food practices that echoed some of what he had dealt with in the tobacco world. In tobacco, the allegations were that companies had spiked their products with extra-strength nicotine to make them less resistible. In court, they admitted to using ammonia to enhance the nicotine.

“Mr. Banzhaf, fed information from fast-food insiders, heard that some companies might be changing the cooking temperature of products to increase the amount of fat they absorbed, adding sugar to foods such as french fries where the consumer wouldn't expect it, and spiking their foods with appetite stimulants.

“It galvanized him. While he doesn't write the lawsuits or file them (or make money from them), he acts as their inspiration and sometimes figures out the legal wrinkles behind their wording. Last month, about 120 people interested in taking fat to court gathered in Boston to learn the ropes from him. He chuckled at the number. When the tobacco suits started, they were lucky to get 20 would-be litigants in a room, he said.”

This makes useful background reading.

related material
drugs, smoking and addiction

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health060703

06.07.2003

related material

drugs, smoking
and addiction

 

is the multiple pill a useful public health offset to an evil lifestyle?

“ The pill would combine aspirin, a cholesterol lowering drug, three blood pressure lowering drugs and folic acid.”

Of course, you could eat more wisely and well.

And even do some exercise!

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health290603

29.06.2003

sars threat receding

“"We have seen SARS stopped dead in its tracks," the WHO director-general, Gro Harlem Brundtland, told more than 1,000 international researchers, officials and health experts meeting in Kuala Lumpur to discuss lessons learned from the outbreaks.

“Beijing remains the only place in the world still subject to a WHO travel advisory after a similar warning was removed from Taiwan yesterday.

“And, globally, the number of active probable cases has declined to 573. In late April and early May, they were counted in the thousands.”

Comments from Steyn on Canadian mishandling

“Of nearly 200 nations on the face of this earth, Canada is one of only eight where SARS has killed, and currently ranks third, after China and Singapore, in the number of SARS deaths.”

related material
zoonosis—transfer of viruses from animals to humans

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health190603

19.06.2003

related material

zoonosis – transfer of viruses from animals to humans

manufactured dis-eases, manufactured responses

Drugs and surgery for every discontent.

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health180603

18.06.2003

smoking, adolescents and films

“When followed up one to two years later, 10 per cent of the children had tried smoking. Those in the top quarter of exposure to movie smoking were 2.7 times more likely to have tried a cigarette than those in the lowest quarter of exposure. This effect was independent of other factors that might influence the child's smoking behaviour, such as friends or family smoking.”

“ a previous study by the team showed that children were more likely to smoke if their favourite actor smoked.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health170603

17.06.2003

no end to human foolishness—botox
A lightweight item

“Meanwhile, thousands of adults are botoxing the nerves that allow them to frown. Actors who do so cannot convey anger or fear, and some botoxed mothers complain that their children no longer take their admonitions seriously, accompanied as they are by the mothers' bland expressions.”

[second page not worth opening!]

related material
Telling Lies by Paul Eckman: review

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health110603

11.06.2003

related material

Telling Lies by Paul Eckman: review

 

further implication of pollution in asthma

“NO2 is common but the main sources indoors are gas stoves and, outdoors, traffic pollution.

“ "It drops the lung function and increases the symptoms after a virus infection," said Dr Anoop Chauhan, a pulmonolgist at the hospital. "It can increase symptoms by as much as 200%." ”

Note that with ‘symptoms’ three times greater than without pollution, it is very probable that the problems would not much have been noticed in the absence of the pollution. [ab]

“With up to 150 million people worldwide suffering from asthma and cases expected to rise by 50% every 10 years, Chauhan said the findings reported in The Lancet medical journal could have important public health implications.”

related material
clearing the air: asthma and indoor air exposures
asthma ...

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health090603

09.06.2003

related material

clearing the air: asthma and indoor air exposures

asthma ...

 

nicotine by inhaler—how will the puritans go for this?

“A study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis predicts that smokers might significantly reduce the adverse health effects of their habit if they could switch from cigarettes to inhalers that deliver doses of "clean" nicotine. Cigarette-sized doses of pure nicotine could be delivered using inhalers modelled after those used by people with asthma. The study is published in the June issue of the journal Tobacco Control. Nicotine inhalers, which are not currently available, would deliver doses of nicotine deep into the lungs similar to cigarettes. Researchers expect these inhalers to have the same drug effect as cigarettes and to be just as addictive. But they also predict that inhalers would be safer than cigarettes because they would lack the chemicals in smoke that are most responsible for smoking-related deaths from cancer, emphysema and heart disease. Inhalers also would eliminate the problem of second-hand smoke.”

related material
drugs, smoking and addiction (section on withdrawal)
this should work much better than using patches.

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health310503

31.05.2003

related material

drugs, smoking and addiction (section on withdrawal)

 

another arrow against tb?

“ "If you just use a single drug, resistance against it will soon build up."
“TB kills around two million people each year, and around eight million new cases are diagnosed.
“ More than a third of the world's population is infected with the TB bacterium.”

related material
linezolid antibiotic
bacterial resistance to...

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health270503

27.05.2003

related material

linezolid antibiotic

bacterial resistance to...

headings for proposed WHO tobacco treaty

  • Price and tax measures to be aimed at reducing tobacco consumption
  • Protection from second-hand smoke
  • Allow no false or misleading packaging and labelling
  • Health warnings should account for 30-50 percent of packaging
  • Comprehensive ban on advertising
  • Restrict incentives to purchase,like ‘free’ gifts
  • packets clearly labelled with the country of their intended sale (to allow control of ‘smuggling’)
  • Restrict access to ‘minors’
  • Establish clear criminal and civil liability

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health220503

22.05.2003

new type asthma drug, but could be expensive

“The first drug designed to prevent asthma and potentially shortcut millions of allergy attacks was endorsed yesterday by a panel of experts for the Food and Drug Administration.”

The scale of the problem :

“The condition is on the rise in the United States, affecting an estimated 17 million people. About 60 percent of them have allergic asthma, caused by the body's reaction to an allergen, and about 3 million have moderate to severe cases. Many in that category regularly miss work or school, and frequent emergency rooms.”

The drug is expected to be used for more severe cases until it has been tested further.

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health170503_2

17.05.2003
 

sledge hammer and scalpel:
two approaches in the chemical attack on disease

“The other, and some would argue quicker, approach is to screen chemicals. In the past month, USAMRIID scientists have tested around 120,000 compounds for activity against SARS. Given the urgency of finding a treatment, both approaches should continue. The rational approach, says Baker, "will find leads that we wouldn't necessarily run across using brute force". ”

Also from nature.com

“The average Frenchman consumes more antibiotics each year than any other European; the average Dutchman takes the least. So says a new survey esigned to assess the use of antibiotics and so help to stem the rise of bacterial resistance to them.”

The contrast between the enormous resources now available to track and attack disease, and the irresponsible actions at the lower levels in local surgeries, suggests a need for much greater public education.

While the researchers run to keep up, many ‘doctors’ prescribe complex and powerful weapons against potentially dangerous diseases, as if they were handing out sweets to children. Thus, the ‘doctors’ undermining the work in the laboratories.

Doubtless, the drug companies make a fortune from the sales. However, stopping the French hypochondriacal love affair with drugs may require a sledgehammer!

related material
drugs, smoking and addiction
the hidden collapse of the world’s fish stocks

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health170503

17.05.2003

related
material

drugs, smoking and addiction

the hidden collapse of the world’s fish stocks

zoonosis—transfer of viruses from animals to humans

“China has an unfortunate history of producing new viral strains. Two devastating influenza pandemics, in 1957 and 1968, both originated in China, each killing more than a million people. Experts maintain that outdated farming practices, overpopulation, and even political secrecy may be to blame.”

“ Along the highways, ubiquitous farms are lined up next to each other, with farmers tending their ducks, chickens, and pigs in teeming and cramped quarters. In the city's food stalls, meanwhile, vendors keep their meat—alive and dead—in cages and baskets stacked on top of each other. Customers can choose from a menu of rats, cats, dogs, frogs, snakes, and exotic birds.”

It is probable that HIV (AIDS) also jumped the species barrier under similar conditions. If you are interested, you may want to scan this.

Yet another example, which has not been so devastating (at least for humans), has been ‘mad cow disease’, also known as BSE.

related material
SARS watch 1 SARS watch 2 SARS watch 3

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health110503_2

updated
13.05.2003

related
material

SARS watch 1

SARS watch 2

SARS watch 3

modified virus attacks brain cancer in mice

“A cold virus with extra-gripping power is an efficient weapon against a deadly form of brain cancer, suggests a new report. These anti-tumour microbes have proved so successful in recent mouse experiments that researchers hope to start a clinical trial next year.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health110503

11.05.2003

sars watch 3—what it takes to stop the likes of sars

“It was the nation's first suspected case of severe acute respiratory syndrome, a full month before the World Health Organization would warn the globe about the contagious new disease.

“Luckily, the woman landed at a hospital that had beefed up infection controls...”

related material
SARS watch 1 SARS watch 2

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health090503

09.05.2003

related material

SARS watch 1

SARS watch 2

sars watch 2—fatality rate revised sharply upwards

especially for older targets.

“According to a paper published online today in The Lancet, which examines data from the first nine weeks of Hong Kongs epidemic, the case fatality rate, among those admitted to hospital, in patients 60 years of age and older is estimated to be far higher (43.3%, 95% confidence interval 35.2 to 52.4%) than those below 60 (13.2%, 95% confidence interval 9.8 to 16.8%).”

related material
SARS watch 1 SARS watch 3

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health080503

08.05.2003

related material

SARS watch 1

SARS watch 3

 

sars watch 1—sars: masks strongly block infection

“Wearing a mask can give a person dealing with SARS patients in hospital up to 13 times more protection compared with not wearing one”

“However only surgical masks and N95 masks - designed to block airborne particles - will work. These masks protect the face from droplets coughed out by infected people, which the team believes is the primary mode of spread. Seto says droplets are probably the main mode of transmission of SARS outside hospitals as well. He says the findings confirmed SARS is not spread through the air - if so only the N95 masks would have been protective.”

related material
SARS watch 1 SARS watch 2

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health030503

03.05.2003

related material

SARS watch 1

SARS watch 2

as the global village develops, and the bugs adapt,
technology races to keep up.

“In a bid to stop the alarming global spread of the deadly SARS virus, airports in the Far East have begun using thermal imaging cameras to detect the flushed faces of travellers suffering from a fever.”

Considerable work is progressing in detection technology to sniff out extreme small traces of molecules in the air, and in finding definitive fast tests for diseases.

related material
false positives in Cause, chance and Bayesian statistics.

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health250403_3

25.04.2003

related material

false positives in Cause, chance and Bayesian statistics.

gene therapy approaching fast

“successfully destroyed genetic material that carries disease-causing flaws (mutations), with minimal damage to normal cellular structures.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health250403_2

25.04.2003

fat and cancer strong links found in large-scale study

“Losing weight could prevent one of every six cancer deaths in the United States - more than 90,000 each year, according to a sweeping study that experts say links fat and cancer more convincingly than ever before.

“Researchers spent 16 years evaluating 900,000 people who were cancer-free when the study began in 1982. They concluded that excess weight may account for 14 percent of all cancer deaths in men and 20 percent of those in women.”

Here is a fun fat ratio calculator.

Excess risks of dying from cancer for those in the highest weight categories. (Non-smokers only included, because smoking affects cancer and obesity risks so strongly that any resultant figures would be too heavily skewed to be meaningful.)

Women
Men 
Cancer site Excess risk from obesity Cancer site Excess risk from obesity
Uterus 525% Liver 352%
Kidney 345% Pancreas 161%
Cervix 220% Esophagus 94%
Pancreas 176% Colon or rectum 91%
Esophagus 164% Gallbladder 84%
Gallbladder 113% Kidney 76%
Breast 112% Multiple Myeloma 70%
Lymphoma 95% Lymphoma 49%
Liver 68% Prostrate 34%
Ovary 51%    
Colon or rectum 46%   Sources: American Cancer Society
New England Journal of Medicine
Multiple Myeloma 41%

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health250403

25.04.2003
 

placebo indications with cocaine

“US researchers found that dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with
pleasure, surged before rats pressed a lever to release a dose of cocaine
and even while they were waiting for the hard drug to be delivered.”

N.B. from the coding yak: I had to have this explained to me—
the rats are reacting as if they had taken the drug, although they had not; similarly to those taking a placebo who may respond because they believe they are taking an active chemical.

related material
drugs, smoking and addiction
study suggests a placebo procedure is as effective as arthoroscopy (an operation)
(archived news item)

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health110403

11.04.2003

related material

drugs, smoking and addiction

study suggests a placebo procedure is as effective as arthoroscopy (an operation)
(archived news item)

important new summary of the world cancer situation from WHO

Here is an excellent summary press release.

Here is the World Cancer Report order form ($25)

While this short review comments

“This book has the advantage of putting between two relatively slim covers all of the facts that otherwise amount to a stack of textbooks about 5 feet tall that are relatively dull and difficult to understand.”

“ The World Cancer Report, which aims to provide a scientific basis for government efforts to tackle the disease, provides the first comprehensive global examination of cancer covering the current understanding of its causes, prevention and treatment.

“The U.N. health agency said it hopes the report will highlight for developing countries the dangers they face by adopting unhealthy Western habits that promote cancer.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health040403-2

04.04.2003

flu jabs also lower stroke and heart attacks

“there should be a national program to provide flu shots, noting that the government has launched a smallpox vaccine program without a single case. We have an estimated 20-30,000 deaths due to influenza. We need an organized, national vaccine program each year.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health040403

04.04.2003

does public smoking effect heart rate attacks?

“In the first study of its kind, researchers have found that the number of heart attack victims admitted to a regional hospital dropped by nearly 60 percent during the first six months that a smoke-free ordinance was in effect in the area.”

“this is the first empirical evidence suggesting that smoke-free policies not only protect people from long-term dangers of secondhand smoke, but they also rapidly prevent heart attacks”

“Many important physiological effects of secondhand smoke on cardiovascular function occur within minutes of exposure and are nearly as large as they are for smokers, studies have shown. Within five minutes, the aorta becomes stiffer; within 30 minutes, blood platelets are activated, which makes the blood "stickier" and damages artery linings. In the same time period, the ability of blood vessels to dilate to get more blood to the heart and other organs is reduced. Within two hours of exposure to secondhand smoke, heart rhythm is disturbed, according to a number of studies.”

related material
cigarettes? yukkkkk
US ‘war’ on drugs
estimates of tobacco deaths revised up by 20%

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/health3.htm#health020403

02.04.2003

related material

cigarettes? yukkkkk

US ‘war’ on drugs

estimates of tobacco deaths revised up by 20%


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