Pertussis Vaccine recommended for Pregnant Women amid 2014 Spike in Whooping Cough Cases

This vaccination is said to be the best way to prevent whooping cough in the baby and reduces the risk of infant hospitalizations and deaths from this disease

Loyola Health logo image
Loyola Health says whooping cough vaccine is necessary to prevent disease and complications

Expectant moms should be vaccinated for pertussis, or whooping cough, during their third trimester, according to obstetricians at Loyola University Health System. Those in close contact with the infant also should be up to date with their whooping cough vaccine.

This recommendation comes on the heels of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, which found a 30 percent increase in whooping cough cases (17,325) from January to mid-August this year as compared with the same period last year.

Continue reading Whooping cough vaccine recommended for pregnant women amid spike in cases,
Loyola University Health System News, 9 September 2014.

Anxiety, Sleeping Drugs: Benzodiazepine use associated with Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Long-term use of pills for anxiety and sleep problems may be linked to Alzheimer’s, case-control study / research suggests

Abstract

Benzodiazepine drugs are used to treat insomnia and anxiety

Objectives
To investigate the relation between the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and exposure to benzodiazepines started at least five years before, considering both the dose-response relation and prodromes (anxiety, depression, insomnia) possibly linked with treatment.

Design
Case-control study.

Setting
The Quebec health insurance program database (RAMQ).

Participants
1796 people with a first diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and followed up for at least six years before were matched with 7184 controls on sex, age group, and duration of follow-up. Both groups were randomly sampled from older people (age >66) living in the community in 2000-09.

Main outcome measure
The association between Alzheimer’s disease and benzodiazepine use started at least five years before diagnosis was assessed by using multivariable conditional logistic regression. Ever exposure to benzodiazepines was first considered and then categorised according to the cumulative dose expressed as prescribed daily doses (1-90, 91-180, >180) and the drug elimination half life.

Results
Benzodiazepine ever use was associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (adjusted odds ratio 1.51, 95% confidence interval 1.36 to 1.69; further adjustment on anxiety, depression, and insomnia did not markedly alter this result: 1.43, 1.28 to 1.60). No association was found for a cumulative dose 180 prescribed daily doses) and with the drug half life (1.43 (1.27 to 1.61) for short acting drugs and 1.70 (1.46 to 1.98) for long acting ones).

Conclusion
Benzodiazepine use is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The stronger association observed for long term exposures reinforces the suspicion of a possible direct association, even if benzodiazepine use might also be an early marker of a condition associated with an increased risk of dementia. Unwarranted long term use of these drugs should be considered as a public health concern.

Sources and More Information:
  • Benzodiazepine use and risk of Alzheimer’s disease: case-control study, BMJ 2014;349:g5205, 09 September 2014.
  • Anxiety and sleeping pills ‘linked to dementia’, BBC News Health, health-29127726, 10 September 2014.
  • Sleeping pills taken by millions linked to Alzheimer’s, The Daily Telegraph Health, healthnews/11083674, 10 Sep 2014.
  • Prescription sleeping pills taken by more than one million Britons ‘can raise chance of developing Alzheimer’s by 50%’, Daily Mail, health/article-2750042, 10 September 2014.
  • Prescription sleeping pills linked to Alzheimer’s risk, NHS Choices, Neurology, September 10, 2014.

The Good News about Cancer

Cancer, perhaps the biggest stymie to modern medicine, is also preventable in most cases. This is good news depending on how you look at it…

The good news about cancer Infographic
Watch our selection of infographics addressing health issues on Flickr.

Cholera, diarrhea, tuberculosis – some of the most deadly diseases to plague the human race throughout history are all preventable in some way. Cancer, perhaps the biggest stymie to modern medicine, is also preventable in most cases. This is good news depending on how you look at it.” …

… continue reading The Good News about Cancer
by Erich Scholl, dailyinfographic, MARCH 19, 2014.

See more infographics and posts tagged cancer.

On Flickr®

Intervention in 6-month-olds with autism ameliorates symptoms, alleviates developmental delay

“Infant Start” therapy treats disabling delays before most children are diagnosed with autism.

Sally Rogers, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the UC Davis MIND Institute, discusses her new research in infants as young as 6 months old with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

  • Video published on 8 Sept 2014 by UC Davis Health System.
  • Autism treatment at the earliest age when symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) appear – sometimes in infants as young as 6 months old – significantly reduces symptoms so that, by age 3, most who received the therapy had neither ASD nor developmental delay, a UC Davis MIND Institute research study has found.
  • Read Intervention in 6-month-olds with autism ameliorates symptoms, alleviates developmental delay, University of California – Davis Health System, NEWS, September 8, 2014.
  • See more press coverage here.

The Vitamin D Deficiency

Dan Berger is Cartoonist behind Natural News

Watch our diaporama, and the health comics album on Flickr – image via @HealthRanger

Dan Berger is Cartoonist behind Natural News.

” There is an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency sweeping across our modern world, and it’s an epidemic of such depth and seriousness that it makes the H1N1 swine flu epidemic look like a case of the sniffles by comparison. Vitamin D deficiency is not only alarmingly widespread, it’s also a root cause of many other serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease.

A study published in the March, 2010 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that a jaw-dropping 59 percent of the population is vitamin D deficient. In addition, nearly 25 percent of the study subjects were found to have extremely low levels of vitamin D.” 

… continue reading: Why you’ve never heard the truth about Vitamin Dby Mike Adams, the Health Ranger.

All our posts about big pharmadrugs, DrugMoney, the FDA.
See more comics

On Flickr®

Watch the Diaporama, and the health comics album on  DES Diethylstilbestrol's photostream on Flickr

If you already have a flickr® account, add us as a contact
Email your photos to des.daughter@gmail.com with a short description and title :-)

The Health of the UK NHS Cancer Services in 2014

NHS cancer services in England are at a “tipping point” in the wake of years of efficiency savings and the recent NHS reforms

NHS flag image
NHS cancer services in England are at a “tipping point” in the wake of years of efficiency savings and the recent NHS reforms, warns Cancer Research UK.

NHS cancer services in England are at tipping point as staff fight a brave ‘rear-guard action’ to keep the services viable for cancer patients, according to a new report commissioned by Cancer Research UK and conducted by experts at the University of Birmingham and the company ICF CHK Consulting.

The research highlights a number of concerns and key challenges facing the NHS:

  • A rising demand for services and a lack of capacity to respond to this demand;
  • Due to the removal of the National Cancer Action Team and cancer networks, there has been a loss of leadership capacity at national and local level;
  • A fragmentation of commissioning across the patient pathway;
  • Wide variation in the roles and responsibilities of new NHS organisations and the need to rebuild relationships and regain expertise.

More than 1.4 million patients in England were referred by their GPs with suspected cancer in 2013-14 – a 50% increase from 2009-10. But there is no longer the capacity to respond to this demand, according to the report…

Sources and More Information:

  • Measuring up? The health of NHS cancer services, Health Services Management Centre at the University of Birmingham and ICF GHK Consulting, (full 66 pages report), September 2014.
  • NHS cancer services need increased investment or ‘cracks will begin to show’, Cancer Research UK press release, 8 September 2014.
  • NHS cancer services struggling, says charity, BBC News, health-29107762, 8 September 2014.

Are Pesticide Risk Assessments compromised by the actual Evaluation Process?

Pesticide risk assessments seen as biased, experts advise

image of Monsanto pesticide to be sprayed on food crops
The Environmental Protection Agency’s pesticide toxicity assessments often rely heavily on industry-funded studies and may omit research that could lead to different findings.

A September 2014 press release revealed that a team of ecotoxicologists from AIBS examined how the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency’s) carried out their evaluations on pesticide safety. The group argued that the agency’s current practices are inadequate and biased, which could potentially jeopardize the environment and the health of both humans and animals…

Abstract:

Pesticide use results in the widespread distribution of chemical contaminants, which necessites regulatory agencies to assess the risks to environmental and human health. However, risk assessment is compromised when relatively few studies are used to determine impacts, particularly if most of the data used in an assessment are produced by a pesticide’s manufacturer, which constitutes a conflict of interest.
Here, we present the shortcomings of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s pesticide risk assessment process, using the recent reassessment of atrazine’s impacts on amphibians as an example. We then offer solutions to improve the risk assessment process, which would reduce the potential for and perception of bias in a process that is crucial for environmental and human health.

Sources and More Information:
  • Pesticide Regulation amid the Influence of Industry, BioScience, doi: 10.1093/biosci/biu138, September 3, 2014
  • Pesticide risk assessments seen as biased, experts advise, ScienDaily, 140903121850, 3 September 2014.
  • Does EPA favors industry when assessing chemical dangers?, NewsWeek, 03 Sep 2014.
  • Report Calls out the EPA’s Pesticide Evaluation Practices, Counsel&Heal, 11158/20140903, Sep 03, 2014.

The Fun Way of delivering a Serious Message about “Facing Up to Cancer in Men”

Help the Urology Foundation raise funds for cancer research and GET BLUE in September!

Blue September advert image
Help the Urology Foundation raise funds for cancer research and GET BLUE in September!

Men are about 40% more likely than women to die of cancer. Every year, around 80,000 men in the UK die from cancer, including lung, prostate and bowel cancer.

But thousands of male cancer deaths could be prevented through healthier lifestyle decisions and early detection.

Blue September is the UK’s first national campaign to increase men’s awareness of all cancers that can affect them. ”

… continue reading Blue September: face up to male cancers, NHS Choices, Livewell, men4060, 07/09/2014.

Cosmetics and your Health frequently asked questions, by @womenshealth

Womenshealth.gov put out this great guide to cosmetics, but content was last updated: July 16, 2012…

Womenshealth.gov put out this great guide to cosmetics,
but content was last updated: July 16, 2012…

image of womenshealth logo
The Office on Women’s Health is part of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
Want more info?

Management of breast cancer in patients prenatally exposed to diethylstilbestrol: are we prepared?

Exposure to DES also results in an increased risk of breast cancer in the offspring

Abstract

image of PubMed NCBI The Endocrine Society logo
There is some preliminary evidence to support that exposure to DES will also result in an increased risk of breast cancer in the offspring.

The use of diethylstilbestrol (DES) for high risk pregnancy has exposed millions of mothers to an increased risk of breast cancer, and also resulted in a generation of women with genital tract abnormalities, such as vaginal adenosis. It is still too early to say that exposure to DES will also result in an increased risk of breast cancer in the offspring, though there is some preliminary evidence to support this. The employment of optimal hormonal therapy (for breast cancer) in this special population may be hampered by the fact that agents with oestrogen agonistic activity (such as tamoxifen) may be contraindicated. Though some of the newer hormonal agents, such as the pure anti-oestrogen Fulvestrant and the aromatase inhibitors, could be considered interesting alternatives for postmenopausal patients, their safety in this population has never been evaluated. Finally, the prevalence prenatal exposure to DES may have been underestimated patients diagnosed with breast cancer, though this information might have major implications in their management. We report on the interesting example of a young woman with a history of vaginal adenosis, who was also diagnosed with early breast cancer.

Sources
  • Management of breast cancer in patients prenatally exposed to diethylstilbestrol: are we prepared?
    NCBI, PMID: PubMed 16216745, Oct 2005.
  • Full text: TheBreastOnline, S0960-9776(04)00230-9,
    November 11, 2004.
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