Seaweed Pills and Women’s Health

Seaweed pills found to boost women’s health in three days

Seaweed-Pills-and-Women’s-Health
In 2014, young women were advised to take pills derived from Scottish seaweed after researchers concluded they can boost the production of vital chemicals in the body in as little as three days.

Young women have been advised to take pills derived from Scottish seaweed after researchers concluded they can boost the production of vital chemicals in the body in as little as three days.

The 16th annual National Women’s Health Week kicks off on Mother’s Day, May 10, and is celebrated until May 16, 2015.

Use medicines wisely

Each year thousands of injuries and deaths are caused by improper medication use. Many of these injuries could have been prevented. Published on 16 Aug 2011, by USFoodandDrugAdmin.

  1. Ask Questions
  2. Keep a Medicine List
  3. Follow Directions
  4. Safely Store and Throw Out Medicines
More info and videos

Long-term risk of cancer in women exposed to Diethylstilbestrol in utero

Cancer risk in DES Daughters, 2010 cohort study

woman-on-a-bench
In this 2010 cohort study, most DES daughters are still relatively young (44 years), Image by Nicholas Erwin.

2010 Study Abstract

OBJECTIVE:
We examined long-term risk of cancer in women exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero.

METHODS:
A total of 12,091 DES-exposed women in the Netherlands were followed prospectively from December 1992 till June 2008. Cancer incidence was assessed through linkage with the Dutch pathology database (PALGA) and the Netherlands Cancer Registry and compared with the Dutch female population.

RESULTS:
A total of 348 medically verified cancers occurred; median age at end of follow-up was 44.0 years. No overall increased risk of cancer was found (standardized incidence ratio [SIR] = 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.91, 1.13). The risk of clear cell adenocarcinoma of the vagina and cervix (CCA) was statistically significantly increased (SIR = 24.23; 95% CI = 8.89, 52.74); the elevated risk persisted above 40 years of age. The risk of melanoma diagnosed before age 40 was increased (SIR = 1.59; 95% CI = 1.08, 2.26). No excess risks were found for other sites, including breast cancer.

CONCLUSIONS:
The results of our study are generally reassuring except for CCA, with a risk increase persisting at older ages. The slightly elevated risk of melanoma before age 40 is remarkable, but needs to be confirmed by other studies. We did not confirm the increased risk of breast cancer at older ages, as suggested in the NCI DES Follow-up study. Since most DES daughters in our cohort are still relatively young (44.0 years), longer follow-up is warranted to examine cancer risks at ages when cancer occurs more frequently.

More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Dream Big and Keep on Going

Dream big, maintain perspective, and overcome setbacks

Join the National Women’s Health Week celebration and learn what you can do to lead a healthier life at any age..

National Women’s Health Week is an observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on womens’s health. The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority. The week also serves as a time to help women understand what steps they can take to improve their health.

The 16th annual National Women’s Health Week kicked off on Mother’s Day, May 10, and is celebrated until May 16, 2015.

What steps can I take for better health?

Uncovering the Secrets of Sperm Methylation in Adults at Risk of Autistic Offspring

At Risk of Autistic Offspring? Sperm DNA Methylation May Hold the Answer

Andrew Feinberg and team at the John Hopkins University Center for Epigenetics have found a DNA methylation pattern in the sperm of fathers with an increased risk of fathering autistic children that is also present in brains of unrelated autistic children. Image by .Eddy Adams

2015 Study Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Epigenetic mechanisms such as altered DNA methylation have been suggested to play a role in autism, beginning with the classical association of Prader-Willi syndrome, an imprinting disorder, with autistic features.

OBJECTIVES:
Here we tested for the relationship of paternal sperm DNA methylation with autism risk in offspring, examining an enriched-risk cohort of fathers of autistic children.

METHODS:
We examined genome-wide DNA methylation (DNAm) in paternal semen biosamples obtained from an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) enriched-risk pregnancy cohort, the Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI) cohort, to estimate associations between sperm DNAm and prospective ASD development, using a 12-month ASD symptoms assessment, the Autism Observation Scale for Infants (AOSI). We analysed methylation data from 44 sperm samples run on the CHARM 3.0 array, which contains over 4 million probes (over 7 million CpG sites), including 30 samples also run on the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 (450K) BeadChip platform (∼485 000 CpG sites). We also examined associated regions in an independent sample of post-mortem human brain ASD and control samples for which Illumina 450K DNA methylation data were available.

RESULTS:
Using region-based statistical approaches, we identified 193 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) in paternal sperm with a family-wise empirical P-value [family-wise error rate (FWER)]

CONCLUSIONS:
These data suggest that epigenetic differences in paternal sperm may contribute to autism risk in offspring, and provide evidence that directionally consistent, potentially related epigenetic mechanisms may be operating in the cerebellum of individuals with autism.

Sources and more information
  • Paternal sperm DNA methylation associated with early signs of autism risk in an autism-enriched cohort, Int. J. Epidemiol, doi: 10.1093/ije/dyv028, April 14, 2015.
  • At Risk of Autistic Offspring? Sperm DNA Methylation May Hold the Answer, epigenie, APRIL 23, 2015.

The Vaccinated Girls: sick and betrayed

HPV Vaccines: a Danish documentary

Danish documentary highlighting questions surrounding the HPV vaccine and a large number of young women who appear to have been affected since receiving gardasil shots. Published on 8 May 2015, by TV2Danmark, English subtitles.

More info and videos
  • HPV Vaccines: A Danish Documentary, activistpost, April 30, 2015.
  • Danish TV Exposes Gardasil – “De Vaccinerede Piger” (With English Subtitles), beforeitsnews, April 30 2015.
  • Mainstream Media Attacks Katie Couric for Publishing Truth on Gardasil Vaccine, vaccineimpact, May 14, 2015.
  • Watch more research videos on our YouTube channel.

My Medicines Infographic

Simple Steps for Using Medications Safely

my-medicines infographic
Join the National Women’s Health Week celebration and learn what you can do to lead a healthier life at any age..

Millions of people benefit from FDA-approved medicines. However, when medicines are not used correctly, they can cause serious injuries or even death. There are simple steps you can take to safely use your prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

The 16th annual National Women’s Health Week kicked off on Mother’s Day, May 10, and is celebrated until May 16, 2015.

What steps can I take for better health?

HPV vaccination: should boys be vaccinated too?

Estimating the benefits to men of offering HPV vaccination to boys

This post content is published by The BMJ, aiming to lead the debate on health, and to engage doctors, researchers and health professionals to improve outcomes for patients.

man-vaccinated
As richer countries consider vaccinating males, the focus for lower income countries should remain on cervical cancer prevention. Image of vaccination in man by Army Medicine.

Vaccination of girls against the human papillomavirus (HPV) has been implemented in most developed countries, driven by prevention of cervical cancer as a public health priority. Bivalent (Cervarix, GSK) and quadrivalent (Gardasil, Merck) vaccines protect against subsequent infection with oncogenic HPV16/18, and quadrivalent vaccine protects against HPV6/11, which cause anogenital warts. Although HPV vaccination effectively protects against external genital lesions and anal intraepithelial neoplasia in males, only a few jurisdictions have so far recommended universal vaccination of boys. These include Australia, Austria, two Canadian provinces, and the United States. In other countries, a cautious approach has been due, in part, to uncertainties around the population level impact and cost effectiveness of vaccination of boys.

In a linked article, Bogaards and colleagues estimated the benefits to men of offering HPV vaccination to boys. They used a dynamic simulation and a bayesian synthesis to integrate the evidence on HPV related cancers in men. The analysis takes account of indirect protection from female vaccination: heterosexual men will benefit from reduced HPV circulation in females, so if coverage in girls is high the incremental benefit of vaccinating boys is driven by prevention of the residual burden of anal cancer in men who have sex with men.

The findings reinforce those of prior analyses that found that adding boys to established vaccination programmes in girls becomes less cost effective as female coverage increases. The cost effectiveness of vaccination of boys also depends on other local issues, especially vaccine type and vaccine and administration costs. A threshold total cost per vaccinated boy for cost effectiveness can be identified at any level of coverage in girls: such analyses can provide policy makers with the maximum rational vaccine price appropriate to the local environment. If vaccine coverage in girls is lower, however, the most effective use of resources is likely to involve increasing coverage in girls, if feasible.

In some countries, vaccination of boys might not be cost effective, even at lower vaccine prices, due to higher administration costs. Recent developments towards reduced dose schedules could help. In 2013 the European Medical Agency recommended a two dose schedule for the bivalent vaccine in girls, in 2014 the United Kingdom switched to a two dose schedule, and the World Health Organization now recommends two doses for girls <15. Two dose schedules are the most cost effective option for girls provided protection lasts for ≥20 years and reduced dose schedules in boys are also likely to increase cost effectiveness if adequate efficacy is maintained.

Bogaards and colleagues highlight the importance of vaccination for prevention of anal cancer in men who have sex with men. In part due to uncertainties in natural history, the effectiveness of anal cancer screening is not established. Primary prevention with targeted vaccination of men who have sex with men is an attractive option and is potentially more cost effective than universal vaccination of boys. The US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices already recommends vaccination of men who have sex with men up to the age of 26 years. Older men who have sex with men could also potentially benefit. The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, as an interim position, recently stated that a programme to vaccinate men aged 16-40 who have sex with men with a quadrivalent vaccine should be considered, if cost effective. Lower coverage rates expected with targeted versus universal male vaccination are an important consideration, and the two approaches are not mutually exclusive.

Several other new developments should be factored in to future policy decisions. A recent study showed that the bivalent vaccine is effective in women aged ≥25 without a history of HPV disease. With a transition to primary HPV screening occurring in several countries, an interesting possibility to be evaluated involves “screen and vaccinate” strategies in older women—that is, offering HPV screening, followed by vaccination for HPV negative women with extended (or perhaps no) recall for this group. Secondly, a nonavalent vaccine (Gardasil9, Merck), which protects against an extra five HPV types, has recently been recommended for use in the US. In women, this will increase protection against cervical cancer in those who are fully vaccinated (from about 70% to about 90%) but as most HPV cancers in men are attributed to types included in current vaccines, tiered pricing structures for new generation vaccines based on differential incremental benefits (and thus differential cost effectiveness thresholds) in girls versus boys could be considered.

All these policy decisions must consider burden of disease, safety, effectiveness, acceptability, equity, and cost effectiveness. Although the focus in developed countries has now, appropriately, shifted to considering these issues for boys, men who have sex with men, and older women, broader efforts to prevent cervical cancer should remain the priority in low and middle income countries. Of the 610 000 cancers annually attributable to HPV worldwide, 87% are cancers of the cervix, and three quarters of these occur in countries with a low or medium human development index. Even if a substantial majority of young girls in such counties were vaccinated, hundreds of millions of older women would remain at risk—vaccination alone will not prevent an expected increase in cervical cancers in the next few decades, driven by population ageing. Here, the priority focus should be the development of integrated programmes for vaccinating young girls and screening older women. Based on experience in developed countries, this will also provide benefits for men through indirect vaccine protection.

Sources and more information: Who should be vaccinated against HPV? BMJ 2015;350:h2244, 12 May 2015.

Germany aims to stop nudging the public on screening

Breast cancer screening pamphlets mislead women

screening-saves-lives image
Breast cancer screening pamphlets mislead women ; all women and women’s organisations should tear up the pink ribbons and campaign for honest information. Image via Province of British Columbia.

Policy on screening people for cancer poses a dilemma: should we aim for higher participation rates or for better informed citizens? The dilemma is that both cannot be had. A focus on informing citizens risks lowering participation rates, because well informed people may realise that for most cancers it is unclear whether the benefits of screening exceed its harms. Historically, screening policies opted for increasing participation and accordingly took measures that made people overestimate the benefits and underestimate the harms. But that is set to change, at least in Germany.

Read Towards a paradigm shift in cancer screening: informed citizens instead of greater participation, The BMJ 2015;350:h2175, by Gerd Gigerenzer, 05 May 2015.

By the same author, read All women and women’s organisations should tear up the pink ribbons and campaign for honest information, BMJ 2014;348:g2636, 25 April 2014.

Develop Healthy Habits Early

For a better lifestyle now and for the future

Join the National Women’s Health Week celebration and learn what you can do to lead a healthier life at any age..

National Women’s Health Week is an observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on womens’s health. The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority. The week also serves as a time to help women understand what steps they can take to improve their health.

The 16th annual National Women’s Health Week kicked off on Mother’s Day, May 10, and is celebrated until May 16, 2015.

What steps can I take for better health?