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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Obesity in pregnant women may increase children's risk of kidney, urinary tract problems

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 06:11 AM PST

Obesity in a pregnant woman may increase the risk that her children will be born with congenital abnormalities of the kidney and urinary tract, research shows. Congenital abnormalities of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) are diagnosed in up to 1% of pregnancies and account for 20% to 30% of prenatal abnormalities.

Parent intervention best for helping toddlers with autism, study finds

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 06:10 AM PST

For the first time, toddlers with autism have demonstrated significant improvement after intensive intervention by parents rather than clinicians, according to a new study.

Lactose intolerants at lower risk of certain cancers: Study

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:37 AM PST

People with lactose intolerance are at lower risk of suffering from lung, breast and ovarian cancers, according to a new study.

Patients taking significantly fewer medications after weight-loss surgery

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:31 AM PST

Patients with obesity take significantly fewer medications after weight-loss surgery than their non-surgical counterparts, and end up spending 22.4 percent less on drugs for diabetes and heart disease after four years, according to new research.

For some, losing weight after bariaric surgery may be a matter of taste

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:31 AM PST

People with obesity may have an unexpected ally after weight-loss surgery: their tongues. New research finds patients who reported a decrease in taste intensity after bariatric surgery had significantly higher excess weight loss after three months than those whose taste intensity became higher.

Intragastric balloon beats diet, exercise alone for weight loss

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:31 AM PST

After six months, people with intragastric balloons in their stomachs lost more than twice their excess weight, compared to people who tried to lose weight under a medically supervised diet and exercise program alone, according to new research from a randomized clinical trial.

Compared with apes, people's gut bacteria lack diversity, study finds

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 04:21 PM PST

The microbes living in people's guts are much less diverse than those in humans' closest relatives, the African apes, an apparently long evolutionary trend that appears to be speeding up in more modern societies, with possible implications for human health, according to a new study.

Why anesthetics cause prolonged memory loss

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 04:21 PM PST

Researchers have shown why anesthetics can cause long-term memory loss, a discovery that can have serious implications for post-operative patients.

Increased prevalence in autism diagnoses linked to reporting in Denmark

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 04:20 PM PST

About 60 percent of the increase in the observed prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in Danish children appears to be largely due to changes in reporting practices, according to a study.

Higher risk of bleeding in atrial fibrillation patients taking blood thinner dabigatran

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 04:20 PM PST

Patients with atrial fibrillation who take the blood thinner dabigatran are at greater risk for major bleeding and gastrointestinal bleeding than those who take warfarin, according to a new study. The findings, based on Medicare claims data, indicate greater caution is needed when prescribing dabigatran to certain high-risk patients.

How bile acids could fight diabetes

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 04:20 PM PST

A receptor activated by bile acids can reduce fat-tissue inflammation and insulin resistance in obesity-linked diabetes, research has shown. Diabetes develops when the body has problems with insulin, a hormone that regulates sugar levels in the blood. This results either because the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or when the body cannot use insulin efficiently.

Patients with emergency-diagnosed lung cancer report barriers to seeing their GP

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 04:19 PM PST

Many patients whose lung cancer is diagnosed as an emergency in hospital reported difficulties in previously seeing their GP, according to research. The study investigated around 130 patients who were diagnosed with lung cancer after attending as an emergency at one of seven hospitals in south and west London.

Swallowing sponge on a string could replace endoscopy as pre-cancer test

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 04:19 PM PST

Swallowing a sponge on a string could replace traditional endoscopy as an equally effective but less invasive way of diagnosing a condition that can be a forerunner of esophageal cancer. Barrett's Esophagus is usually diagnosed by having a biopsy during an endoscopy. This can be uncomfortable and carries some risks -- and it's not always practical for everyone who has symptoms like reflux and heartburn.

Half of smokers using Liverpool Stop Smoking Services used e-cigs

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 04:19 PM PST

Over half the smokers using the Liverpool Stop Smoking Service have tried electronic cigarettes (51.3 per cent). Of these, nearly half had used them within the past month and are considered current users (45.5 per cent).

Election day: The saddest day of the year?

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 04:10 PM PST

Election Day is difficult for many political candidates. But it's no picnic for their supporters either. A new study shows just how tough election days can be. The study finds that winning elections barely improves the happiness of those from the winning political party.

NSAIDs prevent colon cancer by inducing death of intestinal stem cells that have mutation

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 01:19 PM PST

Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) protect against the development of colorectal cancer by inducing cell suicide pathways in intestinal stem cells that carry a certain mutated and dysfunctional gene, according to a new study.

Putting batteries in a kidsafe coat of armor

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 01:19 PM PST

Researchers have developed a simple 'coat of armor' to encase small batteries, rendering them harmless if they are ever swallowed.

Neuroscientists offer novel insight on brain networks

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 01:19 PM PST

New research offers a different approach for looking at the way the brain operates on a network level, and could eventually lead to new clinical diagnostic criteria for age-related memory disorders.

From HIV to cancer, IL-37 regulates immune system

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 11:23 AM PST

Medical researchers have described the activity of a recently discovered communication molecule of the body's immune system, Interleukin 37 or IL-37. It has been known to limit inflammation and the current study reports its activity in the adaptive immune system: IL-37 inhibits the ability of the immune system to recognize and target new antigens.

'Mild' control of systolic blood pressure in older adults is adequate: 150 is good enough

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 11:23 AM PST

A broad review of the use of medications to reduce blood pressure has confirmed that 'mild' control of systolic pressure is adequate for adults age 65 or older -- in the elderly, there's no clear benefit to more aggressive use of medications to achieve a lower pressure.

Smoking is a pain in the back

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 11:23 AM PST

Smokers are three times more likely than nonsmokers to develop chronic back pain, and dropping the habit may cut their chances of developing this often debilitating condition, researchers report.

Heavy Drinking: Women have higher risk of injury than men, study shows

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 11:23 AM PST

A new study of emergency department patients in 18 countries shows that the risk of injury caused by acute alcohol consumption is higher for women compared with men.

Thirdhand smoke: Toxic airborne pollutants linger long after smoke clears

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 11:23 AM PST

A new study assessing the health effects of thirdhand smoke constituents present in indoor air. Looking at levels of more than 50 volatile organic compounds and airborne particles for 18 hours after smoking had taken place, they found that thirdhand smoke continues to have harmful health impacts for many hours after a cigarette has been extinguished.

Performance measures should include patient actions: Report

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 11:23 AM PST

The actions -- or inaction -- of patients should be considered in programs designed to improve care and patient outcomes, according to a report. The work of doctors and other clinicians is often evaluated based on "performance measures," specific measurable steps that should be taken or avoided in treating patients for specific conditions. For instance, whether aspirin is given within the first 24 hours of a patient arriving at a hospital having a heart attack is an important performance measure.

Increase in use of preventive dental care by Medicaid-enrolled, school-age U.S. children

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 11:22 AM PST

The proportion of US-born, Medicaid-enrolled children in Pennsylvania who utilized preventive dental care rose significantly for children ages 5-10 years from 2005-2010, with marked gains among Latino children, a new report states.

Inexpensive, easy way to filter arsenic from water

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 11:22 AM PST

A quick, cheap and easy way has been developed to filter from water one of the world's most common pollutants: arsenic. Arsenic is one of the most common environmental pollutants, finding its way into drinking water supplies through natural or humanmade sources and affecting millions of people worldwide. It has been shown to cause cancer and new methods to remove arsenic from drinking water and wastewater are urgently needed.

New test shows promise in identifying new drugs to treat lyme disease

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 11:22 AM PST

A test has been developed by researchers which they say will allow them to test thousands of FDA-approved drugs to see if they will work against the bacteria that causes tick-borne Lyme disease.

Most mental health disorders not increasing in children, youth: Large Canadian study

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 09:11 AM PST

Symptoms of mental illness in children and adolescents do not appear to be increasing, according to a large study of Canadian youth. "Popular media tends to perpetuate the idea that the prevalence of mental disorders is increasing," write the authors of a new report. "However, research supporting this position has been inconsistent."

Coenzyme Q10 helps veterans battle gulf war illness symptoms

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 09:10 AM PST

A high quality brand of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) – a compound commonly sold as a dietary supplement – provides health benefits to persons suffering from Gulf War illness symptoms, researchers report.

Perception divide in abortion: Whom we think we know

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 09:10 AM PST

Pro-life Americans are less likely to hear about the abortions women they know have had than are pro-choice Americans, an study shows. The findings point to a previously unexplored divide on the abortion issue: differences in perceptions of those we associate with.

New research reveals what to discuss near life’s end

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 09:10 AM PST

The five most important aspects of care identified by patients are infrequently discussed and concordance between preferred and prescribed goals of care is low.

Even when you're older, you need chaperones: protective genes reduce as we age

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 08:42 AM PST

Aging is the most significant risk factor for developing neurodegenerative diseases, and the risk increases disproportionately with age. Now a team of scientists has uncovered some clues as to why. The researchers are the first to find that the quality of protective genes called molecular chaperones declines dramatically in the brains of older humans, both healthy and not, and that the decline is accelerated even more in humans with neurodegenerative disease.

Dance choreography improves girls' computational skills

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 08:42 AM PST

Blending movement and computer programming supports girls in building computational thinking skills, according to an ongoing study. This is important research, as even with increasing demands for computationally savvy workers, there is a lack of representation among women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields (STEM), the researchers say.

Pain, depression place older adults at risk of delirium following surgery

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 08:41 AM PST

Preoperative pain and depressive symptoms in older adults place them at greater risk of delirium following surgery, new research shows. According to the findings, both pain and depression are independent and interactive risk factors for delirium, suggesting a cumulative effect.

Women with bipolar disorder at 50 percent greater risk of delivering preterm babies

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 08:41 AM PST

Women who have been previously hospitalized for bipolar disorder are nearly twice as likely to have premature babies compared to women without a history of mental illness, according to a new study.

Beliefs about soul, afterlife that we acquire as children stick with us

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 08:41 AM PST

Beliefs about the soul and afterlife, acquired in childhood, tend to stick with us. In a study, 348 undergraduate psychology students were asked about their beliefs concerning the soul and afterlife when they were 10 years old, and now. Their answers gave her the students' explicit beliefs -- that is, what the students said they believed now, and what they remembered believing when they were 10.

Nasal spray vaccine has potential for long-lasting protection from Ebola virus

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 08:41 AM PST

A nasal vaccine in development has been shown to provide long-term protection for non-human primates against the deadly Ebola virus. The Ebola virus is an often fatal illness that is spread among the human population via direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from an infected individual. The current Ebola outbreak in Western Africa is the largest and most complex epidemic since the virus was first discovered in 1976. With a fatality rate currently as high as 70%, officials are declaring this outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

First cancer health literacy tool developed

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 08:41 AM PST

Researchers have developed the first and only tool that can accurately measure cancer health literacy (CHL) and quickly identify patients with limited CHL. This tool has the potential to improve communication and understanding between physicians and patients, which, in turn, could lead to better clinical outcomes.

Biological fat with a sugar attached essential to maintaining brain's supply of stem cells

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 08:41 AM PST

Fat and sugar aren't usually considered healthy staples, but scientists have found that a biological fat with a sugar attached is essential for maintaining the brain's store of stem cells.

More than half of obese patients opt out of bariatric surgical procedure process

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 08:41 AM PST

Researchers are trying to determine why many patients who are referred for a bariatric operation do not ultimately have the procedure performed, despite being in a publicly funded health care program.

Clear new evidence for mind-body connection demonstrated in study

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 08:41 AM PST

For the first time, researchers have shown that practising mindfulness meditation or being involved in a support group has a positive physical impact at the cellular level in breast cancer survivors.

New technology allows medical professionals to step into their patients' shoes

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 08:40 AM PST

A pioneering piece of technology will allow users to experience the world through the eyes of a person with Young-Onset Parkinson's disease- which could revolutionize the way carers and medical staff treat people with the degenerative condition.

School environment affects teacher expectations of their students

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 08:36 AM PST

The school environment in which teachers work is related to their expectations of students, according to a new study. "It is known that low teacher expectations are negatively associated with student achievement and school effectiveness. While we know that expectations are primarily determined by the specific characteristics of teachers, we have shown that the school environment also plays a determining role," says the lead author of the study.

Comprehensive breast center improves quality of care for breast reconstruction

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 08:35 AM PST

After opening a comprehensive breast center (CBC), one hospital achieved significant improvement in key measures of quality of care for women undergoing breast reconstruction, reports a new study.

Migraine linked to defective 'insulation' around nerve fibers, suggests study

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 08:35 AM PST

A new study shows cellular-level changes in nerve structure and function that may contribute to the development of migraine headaches, reports a new study. The findings help to explain why a plastic surgery procedure provides effective pain relief for migraine patients -- and may provide useful clues for developing new approaches to migraine treatment.

Effects of poor eating habits persist even after diet is improved

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 07:23 AM PST

Scientists use mice to show that even after successful treatment of atherosclerosis, including lowering of blood cholesterol and a change in dietary habits, the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle still affect the way the immune system functions.

Lung cancer diagnosed before it is detected by imaging

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 07:23 AM PST

It is possible to detect, in patients at risk of developing lung cancer, early signs of the disease in the form of circulating cancer cells, several months, and in some cases several years, before the cancer becomes detectable by CT scanning, researchers report. This warning could play a key role in early surgical intervention, thereby making it possible to attempt the early eradication of the primary cancer site.

Gender fairness prevails in most fields of academic science

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 07:23 AM PST

A comprehensive new report investigating women's underrepresentation in science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM) fields reveals that, despite many differences between the sexes prior to college -- reflected in occupational preferences, math ability, cultural attitudes, and amount of AP coursework taken, for example -- the playing field eventually levels for women who continue in most of these fields once they earn their PhD.

Nanotubes could serve as 'universal scaffolding' for cell membrane channels

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 07:23 AM PST

A study suggests that single-wall carbon nanotubes could be used as universal scaffolding to help to replicate the properties of cell membrane channels, scientists report. Biological membranes define the functional architecture of living systems: they are selectively permeable, maintain the chemical identity of the cells and intracellular organelles, and regulate the exchange of material between them.

Research partnership key to biodiversity conservation

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 07:23 AM PST

A new policy paper aims to increase awareness among researchers of the High Conservation Value (HCV) approach to safeguarding ecosystems and species. The HCV approach is widely used in sustainable land management schemes to identify important ecosystems and species to conserve, but is little known in academia and the scientific evidence base is lacking.

New Jersey's teen driver decals show sustained link with fewer crashes

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 07:22 AM PST

A new study provides valuable evidence that New Jersey's Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) decal provision is associated with a sustained two-year decline in crash rates among intermediate or probationary teen drivers.

Sixty-five percent of american adults are recommended behavioral weight-loss treatment, study shows

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 07:22 AM PST

Researchers used data from the 2007 - 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to estimate the proportion of adults in the United States recommended for treatment. Data show 131 million American adults – about 65 percent – are recommended for behavioral weight-loss treatment, with 83% of those (or 116 million) also recommended for pharmacotherapy. Another 25% (or 32 million) of adults recommended for both pharmacotherapy and behavioral treatment are also potential candidates for bariatric surgery.

MRSA bugs linked to livestock found in hospitals, study finds

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 06:16 AM PST

Some methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bugs in UK hospitals can be traced back to a type of bacteria found in farm animals, a study suggests. A strain of drug-resistant bacteria carried by some livestock -- the MRSA strain Staphylococcus aureus CC398 -- has also been found in patients, researchers say.

Flu infection has long-ranging effects

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 06:16 AM PST

Flu infection has long-ranging effects beyond the lung that can wreak havoc in the gut and cause gastrointestinal symptoms, according to new research. The study suggests ways to relieve these symptoms without interfering with the body's ability to fight the flu virus in the lung.

Obesity a factor in immunotherapy toxicity

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 06:16 AM PST

Immunotherapy that can be effective against tumors in young, thin mice can be lethal to obese ones, a new study has found. The findings suggest a possible link between body fat and the risk of toxicity from some types of immunotherapy.

Plastic surgery has led to objectification of breasts, according to social scientist

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 05:26 AM PST

An academic blames plastic surgery for the commodification of breasts. The plastic surgery industry continues to grow, and breast augmentations remain a popular procedure as women strive for the perfect body. The ability to buy and sell breasts positions them as a marketable object similar to other fashion items for consumption, according to the expert.

New classification improves risk prediction in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 05:25 AM PST

If chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients with a good or poor prognosis could be identified already at the time of diagnosis, physicians would have better possibilities to adjust their therapeutic and follow-up strategies. Now researchers have discovered a new correlation between specific molecular features of the disease and subgroups of patients with different prognosis.

First Immature form of HIV seen at high resolution surprises researchers

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 05:25 AM PST

The first structure of the immature form of HIV at a high enough resolution has been obtained by researchers, allowing them to pinpoint exactly where each building block sits in the virus. The study reveals that the building blocks of the immature form of HIV are arranged in a surprising way.

Germans born after fall of Berlin Wall suffered from bad parenting

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 05:25 AM PST

Children born in East Germany shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall suffered from poor parenting from "risk loving" mothers and were 40 per cent more likely to commit crimes as adults, according to a new study.

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