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Health Bulletin


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  1. #291
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Vitamin D lowers BP and uplifts mood in women with diabetes

    Vitamin D supplements significantly lowers blood pressure and improves moods of women who have type 2 diabetes and show signs of depression, a new study has found.

    Vitamin D even helped the women lose a few pounds.

    "Vitamin D supplementation potentially is an easy and cost-effective therapy, with minimal side effects," Sue M. Penckofer, PhD, RN, lead author of the study and a professor in the Niehoff School of Nursing, said.

    "Larger, randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the impact of vitamin D supplementation on depression and major cardiovascular risk factors among women with Type 2 diabetes," she said.

    The pilot study included 46 women who were an average age of 55 years, had diabetes an average of 8 years and insufficient blood levels of vitamin D (18 ng/ml). They took a weekly dose (50,000 International Units) of vitamin D. (By comparison, the recommended dietary allowance for women 51 to 70 years is 600 IU per day.)

    After six months, their vitamin D blood levels reached sufficient levels (average 38 ng/ml) and their moods improved significantly.

    Blood pressure also improved, with the upper number decreasing from 140.4 mm Hg to 132.5 mm Hg. And their weight dropped from an average of 226.1 pounds to 223.6 pounds.


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  2. #292
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Even thinking of stress can make you sick

    Researchers have found just thinking about being stressed can make individuals fall seriously ill and even increase the chance of suffering a heart attack.

    It was found, while following more than 7,000 civil servants over a period of up to 18 years, how the increased perception of stress almost doubled the risk of suffering a heart attack.

    The is the first time a link has been discovered between heart disease and people's own view on how stress is affecting their health, Daily Mail reported.

    It suggests the doctors should take a patients' perspective into account when managing stress-related complaints.

    It could also mean that helping patients to unwind can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

    Participants, who had an average age of 49.5, were asked to what extent they felt day-to-day stress had affected their health. Besides taking their medical background into account, they were also asked about personal lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, and exercise.

    Lead author Hermann Nabi, from the Inserm medical research institute in Villejuif, France, said: "We found that the association we observed between an individual's perception of the impact of stress on their health and their risk of a heart attack was independent of biological factors, unhealthy behaviours and other psychological factors.

    "One of the important messages from our findings is that people's perceptions about the impact of stress on their health are likely to be correct."


  3. #293
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    The girl wins against rare disorder

    With acute pain in her shoulders and left elbow, Kirti Krishnan, 13, visited several doctors and underwent numerous tests, but her condition couldn't be diagnosed. Once while discussing with friends, her father heard of Indrajit Agarwal at Paras Hospital in Sushant Lok and since then Kirti has never looked back.

    "I don't believe in prescribing medicines unless necessary. When, I met the patient on 29th May, I performed an X-ray and observed the patient's medical history and various tests to understand the root cause. After which, I diagnosed the patient with Joint hyper mobility syndrome and advised her not to overstretch her hands, maintain an erect posture and not to put pressure on her elbows and arms. Also, I prescribed Calcirole tablets to meet the deficiency of Vitamin D in the joints," said Dr Indrajit Agrawal, senior consultant, HOD- rheumatology, who treated Kirti.

    Joint hypermobility syndrome can be very difficult to live with because it can cause extreme tiredness and long-term pains, say Orthopaedics. "My daughter was suffering from pain in the left hand near elbow since two years and I had consulted every orthopaedic and carried all possible tests. Then a doctor referred me to Dr Indrajit, who advised physiotherapy, vitamins tablets and regular exercises. I also understood that for hyper mobility syndrome, physiotherapy and relaxations are the key-exercises," said Kirti's father, Pawan Sharma. Overstretching of muscles constantly can aggravate the pain in the joints, where the syndrome occurs. Once diagnosed, joint hyper mobility syndrome can be treated using a combination of exercises and physiotherapy.

    "Every month I see around 4 cases of joint hypermobility syndrome and its especially common among females. People with hypermobility are especially fragile and able to move their limbs into positions generally impossible for others. Many people with hypermobile joints do not have any problems or need treatment. However, joint hypermobility can sometimes cause unpleasant symptoms, such as joint pain, back pain, dislocated joints - when the joint comes out of its correct position, soft tissue injuries. When hypermobility causes these symptoms, it is known as joint hypermobility syndrome," said T Sringari, senior consultant Orthopaedic & Joints Replacement at Paras.

    Joint hypermobility syndrome indicates that the patient is at a higher risk of injuries, including dislocations and soft tissue injuries. "I feel much better now and can play outdoor games," said Kirti, the patient.

    Sometimes it takes time for the correct diagnosis to happen due to the numerous ranges of symptoms that joint hypermobility syndrome causes. According to doctors, the best prevention of joint hypermobility syndrome involves recognizing and treating the short-term injuries as they arise.


  4. #294
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Changing lifestyle may lead to heart woes in women

    A new survey shows that changing lifestyle has exposed women to the risk of cardiovascular diseases, shattering the popular belief that oestrogen hormone protects them from such ailments.

    The survey, 'Visualizing the Extent of Heart Disease in Indian Women', revealed that 65 percent doctors believe that oestrogen's deficiency due to changing lifestyle and other co-morbid conditions are among the top five reasons responsible for younger women developing cardiovascular diseases.

    According to the survey, 55 percent cardiologists observed 16-20 percent growth in cardiovascular diseases among women in the last five years, while 41 percent of the doctors claimed 10-15 percent growth in such diseases among women in the age group of 20-40 years -- the category which was earlier considered protected from heart ailments.

    "Quite contrary to conventional medical ideology that due to oestrogen hormone women, especially menstruating ones, are safe from heart diseases. But lately, there has been a significant rise in number of female cardiovascular patients," said JPS Sawhney, senior cardiologist at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here.

    "The trend may be attributed to changing lifestyle which is bringing such drastic hormonal changes that heart protecting effect of oestrogen hormone is getting nullified," Sawhney added.

    The survey showed that due to changes in lifestyle not only have the risk factors for the cardiovascular diseases like stress, smoking and drinking increased considerably, but co-morbid conditions like obesity, hypertension and diabetes have also gone up.

    But despite the threat, 83 percent of the doctors believed that Indian women are ignorant about heart diseases, while 76 percent observed that women die of heart diseases as they get late in going to hospitals.

    Sixty-six percent said that cardiovascular disease-related deaths among women are due to late diagnosis.

    "Women often overlook symptoms and discomfort pertaining to heart diseases, and rarely consult an expert. Even if they opt for consultation, more often than not, they discontinue the treatment as soon as they get symptomatic relief. The compliance rate is comparatively poor among women," Sawhney said.

    The survey also revealed a striking contrast between working and non-working women in terms of awareness and risk factors.

    While 81 percent of the doctors believed that working women are more conscious about their heart health, majority of the doctors still noted that heart diseases are on the rise in working women.

    "Considering the fact that working women juggle between home and work responsibilities, they are more likely to get exposed to stress and unhealthy lifestyle and, therefore, may be more prone to cardiovascular diseases as compared to non-working women," said Chandrakant S. Pandav, head of department, Centre for Community Medicine, All India IMS.

    "Nevertheless, due to huge burden of household responsibilities and lack of self-care, non-working women cannot be considered to be at lesser risk," he added.

    The survey covered covered about 600 cardiologists and general practitioners from both metro and non-metro cities and was based on subjective and objective questions


  5. #295
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Excessive consumption of cola or honey can cause unusual fainting

    Drinking excessive amounts of cola and eating honey made from the pollen of Rhododendrons can cause unusual syncope (fainting) and symptoms of arrhythmia, a new study has found.

    The findings were reported in two case studies presented as abstracts at the EHRA EUROPACE 2013 meeting, in Athens 23 to 26 June.

    "Both these studies underline the importance of clinicians taking detailed medical histories for patients with unexplained arrhythmias and including questions about their dietary intakes," Professor Andreas Goette, the EHRA Scientific Programme Committee chairperson, said.

    In the first abstract Dr. Naima Zarqane and Prof. Nadir Saoudi, from the Princess Grace Hospital Centre, Monaco, reported how excessive consumption of cola drinks can result in marked potassium loss (hypokalemia), QT prolongation on ECGs and potentially life threatening arrhythmias.

    In the abstract the team describes the case of a 31 year old woman admitted to hospital for traumatic syncope. Once other problems had been excluded (including a family history of sudden death, digestive symptoms, and metabolic or hormonal abnormalities), tests revealed the patient had blood potassium levels of 2.4 mmol/L, and a QTc (The QT interval on the ECG corrected for heart rate) of 610 ms.

    In the second abstract Dr. Ugur Turk, from Central Hospital, Izmir, Turkey, reported on the cases of a 68 year old father and 27 year old son who were both admitted to the Izmir emergency department at the same time with symptoms of vomiting and dizziness.

    Surface ECGs revealed both patients to have complete atrioventricular block and atrial flutter with slow ventricular responses. When a history was taken both father and son reported that their breakfasts over the past three mornings had included high amounts of honey from the Black sea region of Turkey.

    This information immediately triggered Turk and colleagues to consider that their patients could be suffering from 'mad honey poisoning'.

    Mad honey poisoning occurs after people consume honey contaminated with grayanotoxin, a chemical contained in nectar from the Rhododendron species ponticum and luteum.Grayanotoxin is a neurotoxin that binds to the sodium channels in the cell membrane, maintaining them in an open state and prolonging depolarisation.

    Mad honey poisoning generally lasts no more than 24 hours, with symptoms of the mild form including dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, excessive perspiration, hypersalivation and paraesthesia. Symptoms of the more severe form include syncope, seizures, complete atrioventricular block and even fatal tachy arrhythmia s ,due to oscillatory after potentials. -


  6. #296
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Dark complexion no shield against skin cancer

    Bandra resident Anu Singh's confidence levels kept dipping in proportion to the size of the mole on her left eyelid. "As it grew, I felt people were looking at it instead of listening to me," said the teacher, who was 24 when she first got the mole removed.

    It came back with a vengeance four years later. "The first doctor who removed the mole said it was extra skin growth and no cause to worry," said Singh (name changed). When it reappeared, she went to a plastic surgeon who insisted on a skin biopsy as well. The answer shocked Singh. "I have basal skin cancer-a disease I never thought existed in India," she said.

    The popular belief is that Indians are not prone to skin cancer because of the higher concentration of melanin or pigmentation. While one in every five Americans could develop skin cancer sometime in his/her lifetime, the probability for Indians is not so high.

    But a new multi-centric research of over 2,500 patients claims that skin cancer is more common than previously thought. "Over 20% of the excised lesions in our study were skin cancer," said Dr Debraj Shome who treated Singh and led the study. Of the patients with cancer in the study, the most common type was basal skin cancer with an incidence of 12.1%. Basal skin cancer never kills or spreads to other organs but can cause significant disfigurement if not treated. "Almost 5% had squamous skin cancer that occurs on the sun-exposed parts of the body," said Dr Shome. It can spread, in rare cases, to the lymph nodes.

    The worst type of skin cancer called melanoma was detected in only 1.5% of the patients, said the study, which has been submitted for publication in a medical journal.

    The most worrying finding, said Dr Shome, was that most doctors don't send excised skin or mole for pathology. "Around 30% of the patients had previous presentation of the disease and underwent surgery. In more than half of these patients, no samples were sent for pathology to detect cancer," said Dr Shome, who heads the facial plastic surgery department at Nova Specialty Surgery in Chembur.

    Most patients who are detected with skin cancer come for treatment late. "Delayed presentation to a doctor leads to advanced lesions and needs more extensive surgery" Shome said.

    Dr Shripad Banavali, who heads the medical oncology department of Tata Memorial Hospital, said skin cancer is still low in incidence in Indians for it to be considered a big worry. An article in the Indian Journal of Dermatology in October 2010 said non-melanoma skin cancer may be on the rise in India. Dr Shome said sunlight is an established human carcinogen. "Other factors are use of unapproved skin lotions, inks used for tattoos, etc.''


  7. #297
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Sexually abused women addicted to food

    Women who suffered extreme physical or sexual abuse during childhood are much more likely to battle food addiction as adults than women who did not experience such violence, according to a new study.

    Susan Mason, PhD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and her colleagues studied 57,321 adult participants in the Nurses'' Health Study II, which ascertained physical and sexual child abuse histories in 2001 and current food addiction in 2009. (Food addiction was defined as three or more addiction-like eating behaviors severe enough to cause significant distress or loss of function.)

    The analysis revealed that addiction-like eating behaviors were relatively common among women in the study, with eight percent meeting the criteria for food addiction. Women who had experienced physical or sexual abuse before the age of 18 years were almost twice as likely to have a food addiction in middle adulthood compared with women without a history of childhood abuse. The likelihood of food addiction was increased even further for women who had experienced both physical and sexual abuse in childhood. The food addiction prevalence varied from six percent among women without a history of physical or sexual abuse to 16 percent among women with a history of both severe physical and sexual abuse. Also, women with a food addiction were generally heavier than women without a food addiction.

    Dr. Mason and her co-authors caution that the study's findings are exploratory and will need to be replicated before any conclusions can be drawn about a causal link between childhood abuse victimization and addiction-like overeating. If enough evidence of this association accumulates, the next step will be to find ways to reduce the risk of addiction-like overeating among women who experienced childhood abuse. "Women with histories of trauma who show a propensity toward uncontrolled eating could potentially be referred for prevention programs, while obese women might be screened for early trauma and addiction-like eating so that any psychological impediments to weight loss could be addressed," said Dr. Mason. "Of course, preventing childhood abuse in the first place would be the best strategy of all, but in the absence of a perfect child abuse prevention strategy, it is important that we try to head off its negative long-term health consequences," she added.

    The study has been s published in the journal Obesity.


  8. #298
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    People with SAD have misconceptions about sleep habits: Pittsburgh University


    Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have revealed that individuals with seasonal affective disorder (SAD)-a winter depression that leads to loss of motivation and interest in daily activities-have misconceptions about their sleep habits similar to those of insomniacs.

    These findings open the door for treating seasonal affective disorder similar to the way doctors treat insomnia.

    Kathryn Roecklein, primary investigator and assistant professor in Pitt's Department of Psychology within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, along with a team of researchers from Pitt's School of Medicine and Reyerson University, investigated why, according to a previously published sleep study by the University of California, Berkeley, individuals with seasonal affective disorder incorrectly reported that they slept four more hours a night in the winter.

    "We wondered if this misreporting was a result of depression symptoms like fatigue and low motivation, prompting people to spend more time in bed," Roecklein said.

    "And people with seasonal affective disorder have depression approximately five months a year. This puts a significant strain on a person's work life and home life," she said.

    Roecklein and her team found that SAD participants' misconceptions about sleep were similar to the "unhelpful beliefs" or personal misconceptions about sleep that insomniacs often hold.

    Due to depression, individuals with SAD, like those with insomnia, may spend more time resting in bed, but not actually sleeping-leading to misconceptions about how much they sleep.
    These misconceptions, Roecklein said, play a significant role in sleep cognition for those with seasonal affective disorder.


    Roecklein's research data suggests that addressing, understanding, and managing these "unhelpful beliefs" about sleep by way of psychotherapy could lead to improved treatments for seasonal affective disorder.

    The findings are published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

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  9. #299
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Beware: Pet cat can give you TB

    Cat owners may be at risk of catching tuberculosis from their pet felines, UK experts have warned.

    Researchers from the University of Edinburgh found that growing numbers of domestic cats are being infected with the deadly form of tuberculosis that is normally found in cattle and badgers. It is feared one in a thousand could be carrying the mycobacteria, a much higher number than first thought, the 'Daily Express' reported.

    Cats may be picking up the disease while exploring countryside badger setts or coming into contact with infected rodents and cattle or contaminated milk, veterinarians believe. The new research found that in one year 17% of the 187 cats diagnosed with TB had the bovine strain.

    Mycobacterium bovis known as bovine TB is the causative agent of tuberculosis in cattle and is related to Mycobacterium tuberculosis — the bacterium which causes the disease in humans. M bovis can also jump the species barrier and cause tuberculosis in humans.

    "The potential incidence of feline mycobacteriosis is higher than previously thought. My biggest concern is this is spilling over from cattle and badgers into cats, and poses a risk to cats," said Professor Danielle Gunn-Moore , who led the research team. Gunn-Moore said the risk of humans catching bovine TB from their pets was still "tiny" , claiming that she has not seen any cases of humans being infected by cats. However, UK's chief veterinary officer Nigel Gibbens said that cats did present a growing threat to humans.

    "Transmission to people is possible and has happened although the number of cases in pets is low. Cats seem to be more frequently infected and that could be because of the way they behave," he said.


  10. #300
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Spinal surgery with robots cuts paralysis risk

    Those suffering from spinal problems, which require corrective surgery, can heave a sigh of relief. A new technique involving the use of robots to fix spinal curve promises to reduce surgery-related risks which includes paralysis.

    A 65-year-old woman from Iraq suffering from degenerative changes and slip disc recently underwent the procedure at a city hospital. The robotic method, doctors claim, helps fix the curvature more accurately and helps in faster recovery. Conventionally the surgery, which involves fixing the spine with screws, is done under x-ray control in the operating room. Experts say even with the skills of an experienced surgeon, there are chances of screw penetration and damage of the spine nerves.

    "Unlike the robot used for urological surgeries which controls the camera and manipulates surgical instruments, here, the robot's main function is to guide the surgeon towards the point where the screw has to be fixed; thus improving accuracy. It is being used only at three centers across Asia-the Nova Orthopaedic and Spine Hospital in Delhi, Apollo Hospital in Chennai and another center in Vietnam," said Dr Harshvardhan Hegde, medical director, orthopedic and spine surgery at the Nova super-specialty hospital.

    He said they have operated upon six patients using this technology so far, including the Iraqi national, who presented with severe pain in her lower back and difficulty in walking for the last six years. "The patient could barely walk for 25 meters and was unable to carry out her daily chores. After being examined clinico-radiologically, she was found to be suffering from degenerated changes in the spine and disc prolapse at multiple levels pressing upon the nerves. Due to long standing problem, her spine had developed an awkward curvature further aggravating her problems. Such patients who are old and do not walk much usually have poor bone quality ( osteoporosis), so it is more important that the screws be placed perfectly in the first attempt," said Hegde. He said the patient underwent spinal fixation involving posterior decompression and fusion at two levels on Tuesday.

    The doctor added that spinal fixation using special screws is required for most patients suffering from spinal instability due to fracture, injury, tubercular infection and shift in spine because of ageing among other factors. "If the screw is mal-positioned, there is risk of damage to the nerves, paralysis, and the screws can get loose and even migrate," said another doctor.

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