Archive for the ‘
New Research ’ Category
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
Low levels of vitamin D may raise the risk that women will develop uterine fibroids, which are benign tumors that can cause discomfort and bleeding. The New York Times reports on the new study, published in the journal Epidemiology, that makes the connection:
Researchers randomly selected 620 black and 410 white women, ages 35 to 49, and determined their vitamin D levels with blood tests and their health status with questionnaires. Their analysis appears in the May issue of Epidemiology.
About two-thirds of the women had fibroid tumors. In the entire group, only 10 percent of the black women and 50 percent of white women had vitamin D levels above 20 nanograms per milliliter, generally considered an adequate level.
After adjusting for age, physical activity, sun exposure and other variables, they found that having a vitamin D level above 20 decreased the risk for fibroids by 32 percent, and that each increase of 10 nanograms per milliliter in vitamin D was associated with a 20 percent lower risk of having a fibroid tumor.
Image: Vitamin D supplements, via Shutterstock
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
Telling children to “clean their plates” or finish all of their food at any given meal is associated with a higher risk of obesity later in life by a study published this week in the journal Pediatrics. More from CNN.com:
Denying certain foods to children or pressuring them to eat every bit of a meal are common practices among many parents. But researchers at the University of Minnesota found parents who restricted foods were more likely to have overweight or obese children. And while those who pressured children to eat all of their meals mostly had children of normal weight, it adversely affected the way those children ate as they grew older, according to the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
Investigators combined data from two separate research studies. The first, EAT 2010 (Eating and Activity in Teens), studied around 2,800 middle and high school students from public schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. Participants in the project responded to survey questionnaires designed to examine dietary intake and weight status.
Researchers combined that data with information from the Project F-EAT (Families and Eating and Activity Among Teens), a study designed to examine factors within the family environment on weight in adolescents.
From the combined information, researchers were able to gain a better understanding of how parents’ approach to food and feeding is related to adolescents’ weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity now affects 17% of all children and adolescents in the United States – triple the rate from just a generation ago.
“We found that between 50 and 60% of parents from our sample reported requiring that their child eat all of the food on their plate at a meal,” said researcher Katie Loth, the study’s lead author. “Further, we found that between 30-40% of parents from within our sample reported encouraging their child to continue eating even after their child stated that they were full.
“While these pressure-to-eat behaviors were more frequent among parents of non-overweight adolescents, they were still endorsed quite frequently by parents of overweight and obese adolescents, indicating that many parents endorse these behaviors regardless of their child’s current weight status,” she said.
Image: Child eating, via Shutterstock
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
Children are often given more medication than they need for expected, routine ailments like the common cold, according to new poll numbers from the University of Michigan. The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health discovered that 40 percent of children under age 4 were given cough medicine or multi-symptom cough and cold medicine, and 25 percent were given decongestants.
Researchers observed that the findings are alarming in light of a 2008 recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration that children under age 2 should not be given over-the-counter cold and cough medications.
“These products don’t reduce the time the infection will lasts and misuse could lead to serious harm,” says Matthew M. Davis in a statement. “What can be confusing, however, is that often these products are labeled prominently as ‘children’s’ medications. The details are often on the back of the box, in small print. That’s where parents and caregivers can find instructions that they should not be used in children under 4 years old,” Davis says.
Image: Child with a cold, via Shutterstock
Monday, April 22nd, 2013
Circumcision may lower the risk of a boy becoming infected with HIV because of changes in bacteria that live around the circumcision site on the penis, a new study published in the journal mBio has found. The new finding builds on previous research that had associated circumcision with lower HIV, but had not identified a major cause for the association. More on the new study from CNN.com:
Relying on the latest technology that make sequencing the genes of organisms faster and more accessible, Lance Price of the Translational Genomics Research institute (TGen) and his colleagues conducted a detailed genetic analysis of the microbial inhabitants of the penis among a group of Ugandan men who provided samples before circumcision and again a year later.
While the men showed similar communities of microbes before the operation, 12 months later, the circumcised men harbored dramatically fewer bacteria that survive in low oxygen conditions. They also had 81% less bacteria overall compared to the uncircumcised men, and that could have a dramatic effect on the men’s ability to fight off infections like HIV, says Price.
Previous studies showed that circumcised men lowered their risk of transmitting HIV by as much as 50%, making the operation an important tool in preventing infection with the virus.
Why? A high burden of bacteria could disrupt the ability of specialized immune cells known as Langerhans cells to activate immune defenses.
Image: Newborn boy, via Shutterstock
Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Babies who are diagnosed with “colic,” a general term for unusually long bouts of uncontrollable crying, may be more likely to be diagnosed with migraine headaches later in life. In fact, according to a new study conducted in France, the colic behavior may actually be an early form of migraines. More from The Huffington Post:
In the study, children ages 6 to 18 who visited an emergency room for migraine headaches were about six times more likely to have experienced colic — or frequent, unexplained crying — as an infant compared with children who visited the emergency room for other reasons.
The association was specific for migraines — there was no link between typical, less severe tension headaches and the likelihood of experiencing colic as an infant.
The study adds to a growing body of research linking infant colic with migraines. For instance, a study presented last year at American Academy of Neurology meeting found that women who had migraines were about twice as likely as those without migraines to have babies with colic. (Migraines can run in families.)
The new findings suggest infant colic and migraines may be symptoms of the same underlying condition, said study researcher Dr. Luigi Titomanlio, of the pediatric emergency department at Robert Debré Hospital in Paris.
However, the study found only an association, and cannot prove that infant colic is an early sign of migraine headaches. And even if this were true, researchers don’t know if colicky babies are experiencing head pain or some other type of discomfort.
Image: Crying baby, via Shutterstock