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Health Bulletin


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  1. #41
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Baldness may lead to increased prostate cancer risk

    Baldness is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, according to a new study of African-American men.

    US researchers found that among African-American men baldness was associated with a 69 per cent increased risk of prostate cancer.

    "Early-onset baldness may be a risk factor for early-onset prostate cancer in African-American men, particularly younger men," said Charnita Zeigler-Johnson, research assistant professor at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

    In particular, those with frontal baldness, and not vertex baldness, were more than twice as likely to have been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, according to the study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

    This association was even stronger among men who were diagnosed when younger than 60, with a sixfold increase in high-stage prostate cancer and a fourfold increase in high-grade prostate cancer.

    In addition, among younger men with prostate cancer, those with frontal baldness were more likely to have a high prostate-specific antigen level at diagnosis.
    The research examined 318 men with prostate cancer and 219 controls who enrolled in the Study of Clinical Outcomes, Risk and Ethnicity (SCORE) between 1998 and 2010.
    "We focused on African-American men because they are at high risk for developing prostate cancer and are more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than other groups in the United States," Zeigler-Johnson said.

    "Although this is a high-risk group for poor prostate cancer outcomes, no published study had focused on evaluating baldness as a potential risk factor in a sample of
    African-American men," Zeigler-Johnson said.


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  2. #42
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    WHO issues new guidance on dietary salt and potassium

    According to new guidelines issued by the WHO, adults should consume less than 2,000 mg of sodium, or 5 grams of salt, and at least 3,510 mg of potassium per day. A person with either elevated sodium levels or low potassium levels could be at risk of raised blood pressure which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

    Sodium is found naturally in a variety of foods, including milk and cream (approximately 50 mg of sodium per 100 g) and eggs (approximately 80 mg/100 g). It is also found, in much higher amounts, in processed foods, such as bread (approximately 250 mg/100 g), processed meats like bacon (approximately 1,500 mg/100 g), snack foods such as pretzels, cheese puffs and popcorn (approximately 1,500 mg/100 g), as well as in condiments such as soy sauce (approximately 7,000 mg/100 g), and bouillon or stock cubes (approximately 20,000 mg/100 g).
    Potassium-rich foods include: beans and peas (approximately 1,300 mg of potassium per 100 g), nuts (approximately 600 mg/100 g), vegetables such as spinach, cabbage and parsley (approximately 550 mg/100 g) and fruits such as bananas, papayas and dates (approximately 300 mg/100 g). Processing reduces the amount of potassium in many food products.

    Currently, most people consume too much sodium and not enough potassium.

    ‘Elevated blood pressure is a major risk for heart disease and stroke – the number one cause of death and disability globally,’ says Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development. ‘These guidelines also make recommendations for children over the age of 2. This is critical because children with elevated blood pressure often become adults with elevated blood pressure.’

    The guidelines are an important tool for public health experts and policymakers as they work in their specific country situations to address noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases. Public health measures to reduce sodium and increase potassium consumption and thereby decrease the population’s risk of high blood pressure and heart disease can include food and product labelling, consumer education, updating national dietary guidelines, and negotiating with food manufacturers to reduce the amount of salt in processed foods.

    WHO is also updating guidelines on the intake of fats and sugars associated to reduced risk of obesity and noncommunicable diseases.


  3. #43
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Laproscopic surgery to cure diabetes gaining popularity

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    Laparoscopic ileal interposition surgery or metabolic surgery to control of type 2 diabetes is catching up in many more countries showing interest in adopting the advance technique, said laparoscopic surgeon Surendra Ugale. Ugale of Kirloskar Hospital, who is the pioneer of this technique in India, hopes increasing awareness about an alternative available to control diabetes would make it popular around the world.

    A team of doctors led by Ugale is performing ileal interposition (also known as metabolic surgery) at select centres in Hyderabad, Kolkata and Istanbul (Turkey). Under the technique pioneered by Brazilian surgeon Aureo de Paula 10 years ago, a part of stomach is removed, a long segment of the last part of small bowel (ileum) is cut and joined very close to the stomach. After a patient undergoes the surgery, undigested food first enters ileum to stimulate the increased secretion of a hormone called GLP-I, which in turn stimulates beta cells in pancreas to secrete increased amounts of insulin.

    The team led by Ugale, who learnt the technique from Paula, has performed 250 surgeries during last five years with 90 to 95 percent remission rate (patients who don’t depend on medicines after the surgery). Ugale, the second surgeon in the world to perform metabolic surgeries, told reporters that Alper Celik, a surgeon trained by him, has so far performed 150 surgeries in Istanbul.

    He said several Gulf countries, including the UAE, were taking interest in the technique. He plans to train surgeons in Australia next month. Three patients including Ugale’s wife Meena Ugale, a gynaecologist, shared their experiences at the press conference. They no longer depend on medication and the surgery also helped them control their weight.

    The surgery costs Rs.4 lakh. Ugale said if the government reduces duty on the advanced equipment used for the surgery, this could bring down the cost. He also offered to train government surgeons so that the government hospitals can offer this treatment free of cost.He also wants the insurance companies to extend their support considering the fact that diabetes is more dangerous than even heart problems. He pointed out that mortality rate due to diabetes and obesity is increasing across the world.

    Ugale explained that the metabolic surgery is different from bariatric surgery. While bariatric surgeries are done to control obesity, they were not free from side-effects like malabsorption, malnutrition and recurrence of diabetes as the various procedures are meant for weight loss and not for diabetes.Claiming that metabolic surgery is free from side-effects, Ugale said it caters to the requirements of Indian diabetic patients, 60 to 80 percent of whom are not obese.

    He attributed lack of awareness among people and the tendency among surgeons to look for shortcuts rather than learning an advanced technique for the metabolic surgery not becoming popular during last one decade.He believes that the technique offers an ideal solution to India, which has 62 million diabetic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that the economic burden of diabetes on India would be $350 billion by 2020.


  4. #44
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Gestational hypertension killing more and more women

    A recent study conducted by the BMC has revealed that hypertension is the second-largest killer of pregnant women after excessive bleeding. According to data collected by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, of the 248 women who died in city hospitals – 11 % were due to excessive bleeding, 10% due to hypertension, 8 % due to tuberculosis and 5% due to sepsis. The remaining deaths were caused by other conditions.

    The World Health Day theme this year is high blood pressure or hypertension and along with diabetes is considered one of the two silent killers that are plaguing people all over the developed and developing world as well. Both of these conditions are mainly caused due to changing lifestyle habits, eating more junk food, rapid urbanisation, a more sedentary lifestyle and increase in smoking and drinking.

    In pregnant women, hypertension can lead to a serious condition called preeclampsia where women start passing protein in their urine. This leads to the disease called eclampsia which is characterised by seizures and a coma. This condition also affects other vital organs like the kidneys, liver and brain.

    What is even more shocking is many of these women don’t suffer from high blood pressure pre-pregnancy. However, during pregnancy, there are a host of hormonal changes that goes on in the body which alters the mechanism of controlling blood pressure. This results in various pregnancy-related conditions. Hypertension in pregnant women or gestational hypertension can be caused due to a variety of reasons. Women who have a family history of preeclampsia are more prone to the disease. Also women suffering from kidney disease, diabetes, women are older than 35 or very young are all prone to gestational hypertension.

    What is hypertension?
    Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the most common lifestyle diseases. Blood flows through our arteries with pressure. This pressure is determined by the pumping of the heart as well as resistance to the flow of blood by the arteries. Due to genetics, high cholesterol or other reasons, the wall of the blood vessels get thickened leading to increased resistance for the blood to flow. This causes the blood pressure to go up causing hypertension. Elevated blood pressure is linked to a variety of diseases – coronary artery diseases, heart diseases, stroke, kidney diseases, vision loss and erectile dysfunction. High BP can be curtailed by exercising more, eating right, with anti-hypertensive medicine and by keeping stress at bay.


  5. #45
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Can a diabetic person have honey instead of sugar?

    Clinical studies have shown that pure honey is a healthier choice for diabetics than sugar and other sweeteners.

    Honey has a lower Glycaemic Index i.e. it does not raise blood sugar levels as quickly as sugar.

    It also requires lower levels of insulin compared to regular white sugar. However, the key consideration is the total carbohydrates in your diet and not the amount of sugar.

    One tablespoon of honey has approximately 17 grams of carbohydrate.
    Honey is higher in calories, and is sweeter than sugar.

    This way you can add less honey to get the same sweetness

    . But before you decide to make the switch, make sure to first consult your doctor or dietician

    . An important fact you should keep in mind while using honey, is to be sure that you are using pure and unadulterated honey.


  6. #46
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    After menopause, cells less willing to part with fat

    Why do women put on weight around their abdomen after menopause? The answer lies in the sudden dip in the levels of female hormone, estrogen. But for the first time, Canadian researchers have mapped just how this deficiency in estrogen leads to deposits of fat around the abdomen.

    Concordia University 's assistant professor Sylvia Santosa has shown that menopause changes fat storage process at a cellular level. Just when there is a drop in production of estrogen due to menopause, the body also experiences a change in activity of certain proteins and enzymes. Santosa's research, which was published in the March 2013 journal of Diabetes, shows that these other chemicals become more active and, as their task is to store fat cells, the women puts on more weight.

    Moreover, cellular metabolism is slower in menopausal women than their pre-menopausal counterparts. These changes mean that their cells are not only storing more fat, but are also less willing to part with it. The result is rapid weight gain

    In young women, there is a tendency for the excess fat to get deposited in their hips and thighs, while men tend to carry it on their stomachs. But after menopause, things start to change: many women's fat storage patterns start to resemble those of men. This indicates that there's a link between estrogen and body fat storage. "The fat stored on our hips and thighs, is relatively harmless," said Santosa in a press release, "but the fat stored around the abdomen is more dangerous. It has been associated with diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even some cancers.''


  7. #47
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Diabetics likely to get TB, doctors look for fix

    Diabetics are three times more likely to contract tuberculosis (TB) than others, say doctors and medical researchers looking for a treatment plan to mitigate the threat.

    Doctors have proposed that the programme include the screening of all diabetes patients for TB and vice versa.

    Speaking at a meeting here on Sunday on dealing with TB and diabetes, doctors said HIV and TB co-infection had been a challenge for several years, yet compulsory screening of TB patients for AIDS was included in the national TB control programme only in 2010. "Now we need to come up with a plan for care and cure of DM-TB co-infection," said health secretary J Radhakrishnan.

    Presenting a paper on the double burden of diabetes and tuberculosis, Dr Vijay Viswananthan said an estimated 25.3% of all tuberculosis patients had diabetes mellitus (DM) as compared to a TB prevalence of only 10.4% among the general population.

    Lifestyle changes, including an increase in the number of people who smoke and drink, have contributed to the rise in diabetes and tuberculosis co-infection, Dr Viswanathan said.

    "Diabetes is often not detected in TB patients and TB may not be diagnosed in diabetics," he said. "This is a major challenge in dealing with DM-TB co-infection."

    Explaining the diagnostic problems involved in diabetes and TB co-infection, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis director Soumya Swaminathan said, "Diabetes delays sputum culture conversion. So it takes up to three months to get diagnostic results."

    "Recurrence of TB and relative risk of death in diabetes patients is high," Dr Swaminathan said. "The only positive is that we have not found cases of drug-resistant TB in diabetics."

    Patients with tuberculosis and diabetes co-infection have reduced immunity levels that may lead to complications such as renal failure, stroke and heart disease.

    "We need to study the effect of controlling glucose levels and try a different regimen for patients with the co-infection," Dr Swaminathan said, adding that outreach workers have to be trained to check for diabetes in TB patients.

    "Administering Isoniazid, an anti-TB drug, to diabetics can help prevent the onset of tuberculosis," she said. "Like at HIV-treatment centres, we can use active tuberculosis cough as an indicator to screen patients."


  8. #48
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Now, contact lenses to restore near vision

    Scientists claim to have developed new contact lenses that can restore age-related loss of near vision when worn by the user every night.

    Most people have age-related declines in near vision (presbyopia) requiring bifocals or reading glasses.

    The emerging technique called hyperopic orthokeratology (OK) may provide a new alternative for restoring near vision without the need for glasses, according to a study,

    For middle-aged patients with presbyopia, wearing OK contact lenses overnight can restore up-close vision in one eye, according to the study by Paul Gifford and Helen A Swarbrick from the University of New South Wales, Sydney.

    The study included 16 middle-aged patients (43 to 59 years) with age-related loss of near vision, or presbyopia.

    Orthokeratology is a clinical technique to correct vision using specially designed rigid contact lenses to manipulate the shape of the cornea.

    Gifford and Swarbick evaluated a "monocular" technique, with patients wearing a custom-made OK lens in one eye overnight for one week. To preserve normal distance vision, the other eye was left untreated.

    In all patients, the monocular OK technique was successful in restoring near vision in the treated eye. The improvement was apparent on the first day after overnight OK lens wear, and increased further during the treatment week.

    Eye examination confirmed that the OK lenses altered the shape of the cornea, as they were designed to do.

    Vision in the untreated eye was unaffected, and all patients retained normal distance vision with that eye, essentially this gives the patient the dequivalent of 'monovision' that is usually done with contact lenses or surgery.

    To retain the correction in near vision, patients had to continue wearing their OK lenses every night.

    As expected, when patients stopped wearing their OK lens after the treatment week, presbyopia rapidly returned.

    By about age 45 to 50, most people need bifocals or some other form of vision correction to restore vision for reading and other up-close tasks, according to the study published in the journal Optometry and Vision Science.

    The new study suggests that overnight OK lenses are a feasible alternative for correction of presbyopia, "sufficient to provide functional near vision correction white retaining good distance visual acuity," researchers said.


  9. #49
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Are you prone to putting on kilos? Your breath can tell

    The content of your breath may indicate how susceptible you are to weight gain, according to a new study led by an Indian-origin researcher. People whose breath has high concentrations of both hydrogen and methane gases are more likely to have a higher body mass index and percentage of body fat, according to the study.

    The combination of the two gases signals the presence of a micro-organism that may contribute to obesity.

    A person exhales larger amounts of hydrogen and methane gases when a microorganism called Methanobrevibacter smithii (M smithii) colonises the digestive tract. Previous research has shown that M smithii is the predominant organism in the human gastrointestinal tract responsible for methane production.

    "Normally, the collection of micro-organisms living in the digestive tract is balanced and benefits humans by helping them convert food into energy," said lead author Ruchi Mathur, director of the Outpatient Diabetes Treatment and Education Center in the Division of Endocrinology at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.

    "When M smithii becomes overabundant, it may alter the balance in a way that makes the human host more likely to gain weight and accumulate fat," Mathur said.


  10. #50
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Walnuts can slash diabetes risk in women: study

    Eating walnuts two or three times a week can lower the risk of developing type two diabetes in women by a almost a quarter, new research has claimed.

    Researchers studied nearly 140,000 women in the US and found that those who ate a 28 gramme packet of walnuts at least twice a week were 24 per cent less likely to develop type two diabetes than those who rarely or never ate them.

    While previous research has shown the anti-diabetic effects of walnuts, the new study is believed to be one of the largest to find that regularly snacking on them can help prevent the condition.

    Although the latest research was conducted on female nurses, it's likely that the same benefits apply to men, researchers said.

    Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, tracked 137,893 nurses aged from 35 to 77 over a ten year period to see how many developed type two diabetes, The Telegraph reported.

    Their dietary habits were closely monitored, including details on how often they ate nuts, particularly walnuts.

    After allowing for body fat and weight, the researchers found eating walnuts one to three times a month curbed the risk by four per cent, once a week by 13 per cent and at least twice a week by 24 per cent.

    "Our results suggest higher walnut consumption is associated with a significantly lower risk of type two diabetes in women," researchers said in the study published in the Journal of Nutrition.


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