5th Oct 2013, 08:42 AM #541
Re: Health Bulletin
Most antibiotics prescribed for sore throat unneeded
Researchers said only about 10 percent of adults with sore throats have strep throat, which is caused by bacteria that could be killed by antibiotics.
Almost all other sore throats are caused by viruses. In those cases, "an antibiotic is not going to help you and it has a very real chance of hurting you," Dr. Jeffrey Linder, who worked on the study at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said.
Although serious side effects are rare, he said antibiotics can cause diarrhea or yeast infections and interact with other medicines. Overuse of the drugs also makes bacteria resistant to them - which means future infections could be harder to treat.
For their study, Linder and his colleague Dr. Michael Barnett analyzed data on 8,200 U.S. primary care and emergency room visits for sore throats between 1997 and 2010.
They found doctors prescribed an antibiotic at 60 percent of those visits, with no change in that rate during the study period, according to findings published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
What did change is that a greater proportion of prescriptions were for new, expensive antibiotics in recent years - even though penicillin works just fine against strep throat, Linder told Reuters Health.
His team's findings were presented Thursday at IDWeek 2013 in San Francisco.
The researchers noted that they didn't have data on each patient's diagnosis, so they couldn't know exactly when antibiotics were appropriate.
Linder said ideally, doctors should use a few key symptoms to figure out which patients should be tested for strep throat. Patients are more likely to have strep if they have a fever, swollen lymph nodes, white spots on the tonsils or swollen tonsils and no cough.
But the test is often used "pretty indiscriminately," or people are given antibiotics without even being tested for strep, Linder said.
Dr. Ralph Gonzales, who has studied antibiotic prescribing at the University of California, San Francisco, said the results weren't all bad news, necessarily.
The proportion of people visiting their primary care doctor for a sore throat - rather than any other complaint - dropped from almost 8 percent to about 4 percent during the study period, he noted.
He said fewer total visits for sore throats means fewer antibiotics are being prescribed - even if most people with achy throats still get the drugs.
"At least from a public health perspective, we're having a lower impact on resistance," Gonzales, who wasn't involved in the new research, told Reuters Health.
Dr. Paul Little, a professor of primary care research at the University of Southampton in the UK, said people can avoid getting unneeded antibiotics by not going to the doctor for a run-of-the-mill sore throat.
"The truth is, nasty things are really pretty uncommon," Little, who also didn't participate in the study, told Reuters Health. "What you need to do is manage your symptoms," he said, such as with over-the-counter pain relievers and plenty of fluids.
"The vast, vast majority of these are going to get better on their own," Linder agreed.
Still, Little said, "If you're worried about it and you're very unwell … then I think it is worth it to see a doctor and have a (strep) test."
5th Oct 2013, 08:51 AM #542
Re: Health Bulletin
Drug-resistant breast cancer scare
Treatment of breast cancer is turning out to be a cause for worry in the city with around 45% of the patients believed to be resistant to conventional chemotherapy. According to a study by a group of oncologists and researchers, these women - most aged below 40 - survive less than two years after detection of the disease.
Drug-resistant breast cancer is turning out to be a cause for worry in Kolkata. Around 45% of the patients is now believed to be resistant to conventional chemotherapy that has pushed up the mortality rate. Significantly, a majority of these women are in their twenties and thirties. According to a study by a group of oncologists and researchers, these women survive less than two years after detection of the disease.
Research revealed that these patients have protein-coated genes that are resistant to chemotherapy drugs like doxoruvicin, epirubicin, etoposide and methotrexate. The breast cancer stem cells grow slowly and escape the drug.
As a result, around 1,200 of the 3,000 new breast cancer patients that Kolkata gets every year die in less than two years. There are genes that resist commonly used chemotherapy drugs like doxoruvicin, epirubicin, etoposide and methotrexate. Research has revealed that these patients have breast cancer stem cells which grow slowly and escape chemotherapy drugs. As a result, around 1200 of the 3000 new breast cancer patients that Kolkata gets every year, die in less than two years.
"Most patients are put through the conventional treatment that refuses to yield result. In most cases, the lump on the breast refuses to reduce in size and it generally happens after three chemotherapy sessions. Instead, the disease spreads to vital organs like the brain, lungs, liver or the bones. Once metastatis (spread of the disease) sets in,
Survival chances get diminished," said researcher Soma Mukhopadhyay.
Oncologist Gautam Mukhopadhyay warned that younger patients were more at risk. "It is observed that women aged below 40 years tend to suffer from this gene-triggered drug-resistance. It could be extremely virulent and spreads very fast. Even though we use an alternative therapy, it rarely works," said Gautam.
Instead of the usual six cycles of chemotherapy, patients are put through eight. "We have been using a trial-and-error method by combining first-line drugs with second-line ones. The results are better but do not guarantee recovery," added Gautam.
Targeted therapy can help to block these genes. "Unlike chemotherapy, targeted therapy won't kill all the genes. Instead, it will target the protein-coated genes and block them. This will help to remove resistance. But targeted theory is still some distance away. So, awareness about the disease is important," said Ashish Mukhopadhyay, a member of the study team.
According to the Breast International Group (BIG), 1 million contract breast cancer around the world every year, with 4 lakh being multi-drug resistant. Researchers at the University of Illinois, Chicago College of Medicine have recently identified a gene expression that might be triggering drug resistance. This might help to zero in on a target therapy,. "We have no option but to keep our fingers crossed till an effective therapy emerges. Meanwhile, what needs to be done is strengthen screening of all breast cancer patients," said Gautam.
6th Oct 2013, 11:27 AM #543
Re: Health Bulletin
Meditation alone doesn't lower blood pressure
Stress reduction exercises have been linked to many health benefits, but lower blood pressure may not be one of them.
A new study found eight weeks of mindfulness meditation had no effect on people with slightly elevated blood pressure who were not yet taking medication.
"This doesn't mean that meditation is bad. It just simply doesn't lower blood pressure," senior author Dr. Sheldon Tobe of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, said.
He said he was expecting to see an effect on blood pressure based on past studies showing benefits with mindfulness meditation. But when he looked back over those earlier trials, Tobe found the majority of participants had been taking blood pressure-lowering drugs.
In those studies, mindfulness therapy could have worked by helping people take their medicine more consistently, Tobe explained.
"Few interventions are as powerful as medication," he told Reuters Health. "You can reduce salt intake or lose weight and help lower blood pressure, but high blood pressure medication has a more powerful effect."
One in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute considers 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and above to be high blood pressure.
The 101 participants in the new study had an average blood pressure of 135/82 mm Hg, which is considered above normal but not yet classified as high blood pressure.
Half of them were assigned to start the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) therapy right away and the rest were wait-listed to take the class at a later time.
Mindfulness participants went to eight weekly group sessions and attended a day-long silent retreat. Each person was also asked to practice stress reduction for 45 minutes daily.
The study participants, aged 20 to 75, were all counseled with standard high blood pressure advice: eat less salt, quit smoking and exercise more.
At the end of the study period, both people who had gone through the mindfulness program and those on the wait list saw virtually no change in their blood pressure, according to findings published in the American Journal of Hypertension.
Physical therapy researcher Marshall Hagins of Long Island University in Brooklyn said he was disappointed with the results, but only because he wanted the program to show benefits.
"MBSR does lots of positive things, however, if you are an individual with stage one hypertension not currently on medication, and lowering your blood pressure is your goal, then MBSR may not be the optimal program," Hagins said.
"It's important to remember that this study was limited to a highly standardized stress reduction program, and the results do not apply to other techniques," he told Reuters Health. Some examples include Tai Chi and Transcendental Meditation.
A 2007 summary report published by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found Zen Buddhist meditation and Qi Gong significantly reduced blood pressure.
But Tobe said in his mind, the study results could be the final answer to the question regarding this particular population and method of stress reduction.
Stress reduction exercises like gentle stretching, mindful breathing and walking do not pose any harm to people with early-stage hypertension, he noted.
Within the study, a minority of participants reported dissatisfaction with the mindfulness meditation classes and exercises. Most reported that they felt better.
"If quality of life is improved by mindfulness meditation - that's fabulous," Tobe said.
He stressed that people who are worried about their blood pressure should see their family doctor.
6th Oct 2013, 11:27 AM #544
Re: Health Bulletin
'Three 'Vs' important inpreventive medicine'
Since prevention is better than cure, every person essentially becomes his own healthcare provider. In order to help people do this well, a city doctor has written a book called 'Tumhich Vha Tumche Doctor!' that focuses on preventive medicine.
The book, penned by preventive geriatrician from the city Dr Sanjay Bajaj, was released on Saturday by EGS minister Nitin Raut. While well-known ENT surgeon Dr Madan Kapre was the special guest during the do, former professor of Government Medical College and Hospital Dr S W Kulkarni presided over the function.
"I have focused on three V's important for preventive medicine - vaccine, vein, visit. Vaccination is not just to be taken during childhood, but booster doses are needed all through one's life. Vein refers to preventive checkups like mammography, pap smear, ECG and others that should be considered after attaining middle age. For people over 60, regular visits by doctors form an important part of their health," said Dr Bajaj. He asserted that while the most advanced treatment methods are available, they work very well when coupled with early diagnosis.
"Most diseases prevalent today are lifestyle diseases, most of which are preventable. For example, bad footwear linked to backache, which not many people realize," said Dr Kapre. Knowledge about similar seemingly trivial habits and making the necessary changes can contribute to one's health in a big way, he said.
6th Oct 2013, 11:30 AM #545
Re: Health Bulletin
One of every four Indians affected by anxiety disorders, 10% are depressed
Depression affects 10% of Indians but day-to-day anxieties are sending more Indians round the bend, say doctors ahead of World Mental Health Day. Anxiety, affecting 25% of the population, is possibly the first stage to the serious-to-handle depression if not addressed.
The irritated colleague, the weepy spouse, the cleanliness-obsessed in-law and the speeding driver full of road rage are commonplace examples of mental illnesses stalking the city. "One out of four persons in urban centres suffers from some diagnosable form of mental illness," said social psychiatrist Harish Shetty, adding people rush to "bars, body gyms, brain shrinks, breath gurus and babas," for a solution. Quoting a survey conducted among family physicians over a decade back, he says one of four Mumbaikars has stress or anxiety. Every fifth Indian suffers from anxiety disorder, or so goes the unwritten belief among India's psychiatrists.
Psychiatry teacher Dr Bharat Shah says though there are no real figures collated in India on anxiety disorders, doctors feel the increasing number of patients indicate incidence is rising. "We can blame it on competitiveness, drive for money, overcrowding in cities and other factors that lead to stress," says Dr Shah who teaches at Somaiya Medical College in Sion. A study in Behavioural Neurosciences in 2006, said being stressed out for long increased anxiety. The medical reasoning is that stress hormones, like cortisol and corticotropin-releasing hormone, which help respond to an immediate threat, end up boosting anxiety when stress continues to stay high.
Dr Shetty blames the five 'I's and one 'M' for the rising incidence of anxieties. "These are irritability, insomnia, impulsivity, isolation, impotency and mistresses,'' he said, adding there is a growing disconnect between what people want and what they are capable of doing. "In a city like Mumbai, trying to buy a house or paying EMIs is a big cause for anxiety,'' he added.
But the anxiety-depression connection is worrying doctors more. Dr B N Gangadhar from NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health And Neurosciences) in Bangalore said, "It can be said that anxiety disorder is the first step towards depression." This is especially true about the elderly. "If senior citizens suddenly become anxious, then it is the first sign of impending depression," he said.
Dr Shetty said Google hangouts and Skype are not enough for the elderly.
"Many senior citizens are so lonely, they want to be hospitalised for a common cold as there is no one to talk to them at home," Dr Shetty said. However, Dr Gangadhar doesn't feel there is an epidemic of anxieties in the country. "It is only when there are riots, terror attacks or financial downturns-in other words events that affect the entire society-that there is a spurt in anxiety disorders,'' he said.
The key is to stop anxieties from developing into depression. "Relaxation techniques, yoga and exercises are a big help. But substance abuse, cigarettes and over-the-counter pills should be avoided," said Dr Gangadhar.
7th Oct 2013, 11:57 AM #546
Re: Health Bulletin
Pills made from human poop fight gut infections
A pill made of bacteria extracted from human poop can help treat those suffering from difficultto-cure intestinal infections, scientists say. A new study looked at 32 patients with recurrent clostridium difficile infections, a bacterial infection that causes severe diarrhoea and can be life-threatening.
The infection can occur after people take antibiotics, which often wipe out "good" bacteria and leave the door open for harmful bacteria like C difficile to flourish in the gut.
Some patients in the study were trapped in a cycle of antibiotic treatment and recurrent C difficile infection, said researcher Thomas Louie, professor of medicine at the University of Calgary in Alberta.
Study participants had suffered at least four bouts of C difficile prior to the study. But after taking the pills — which repopulate the gut with "good" bacteria — nearly all participants were free of C difficile infection and have not had another infection in the three months to three years that they have been followed, LiveScience reported.
Just one participant appears to have had a recurrence and this was after taking antibiotics for a separate infection, Louie said. Poop transplants , formally known as faecal microbiota transplantation, have been previously shown to be an effective way to treat C difficile infections.
However, faecal bacteria were typically delivered through an enema , or a tube placed either in the colon , or into the nose and leading down to the gastrointestinal tract. "Pills are a great option because they're easier for patients to take, and don't involve costly, invasive procedures," Louie said.
The researchers made the pills by processing donor faecal matter until it contained only bacteria. Then, they put the bacteria into three-layer capsules that do not disintegrate until they are passed the stomach and into the small intestine, Louie said.
Participants took 24 to 34 capsules over a five- to 15-minute period, and the pills didn't cause vomiting.
8th Oct 2013, 11:28 AM #547
Re: Health Bulletin
please empty your inbox
Can you send me the informations abt "pain management "? ( during and after chemotherapy )
8th Oct 2013, 02:49 PM #548
8th Oct 2013, 02:50 PM #549
Re: Health Bulletin
Coffee more important than sex in morning
A new research has revealed that people prefer to have a cup of coffee over sex when they first wake up in the morning.
The study, conducted by Le Meridian hotel group, found that over 5 percent of their guests would rather have their caffeine fix than sex to start the day, News.com.au reported.
The findings showed that people are so addicted to coffee that they would give up alcohol, social media and sex for a year rather than miss out on coffee for the same amount of time.
For the research, the French-based hotel chain questioned regular travellers in 6 countries, including the USA and China.
While a quarter of those surveyed said that without coffee they felt less creative, 22 percent said that they could not even get out of bed.
And 16 percent respondents claimed that they could not talk to other people without their coffee fix.
8th Oct 2013, 03:00 PM #550
Re: Health Bulletin
Citrus fruits helps prevent formation of kidney cysts
A component of grapefruit and other citrus fruits like naringenin, blocks the formation of kidney cysts, a new study has revealed.
The team of scientists from Royal Holloway University, St George's, University of London and Kingston University London used a simple, single-celled amoeba to identify that naringenin regulates the PKD2 protein responsible for polycystic kidney disease and as a result, blocks formation of cysts.
Professor Robin Williams from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway said that this discovery provides an important step forward in understanding how polycystic kidney disease may be controlled.
To test how this discovery could apply in treatments, the team used a mammalian kidney cell-line, and triggered the formation of cysts in these cells. They were then able to block the formation of the cysts by adding naringenin and saw that when levels of the PKD2 protein were reduced in the kidney cells, so was the block in cyst formation, confirming that the effect was connected.
Meanwhile, Dr Mark Carew, from the School of Pharmacy and Chemistry at Kingston University, said further investigation is underway to understand the action of naringenin at the molecular level. This work will entail looking at the function of the PKD2 protein as a cell growth regulator.
The study is published in British Journal of Pharmacology.