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Apr 14-22 Health Research News

April 23rd, 2012

NOSM wins award for cancer-prevention project

Apr 22, 2012 (Sudbury Northern Life Staff)  --  A cancer prevention research project involving the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) in partnership with 10 First Nation communities in northwestern Ontario has garnered attention from the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario.

The team’s project, titled “Engaging First Nations Women in Cervical Cancer Screening: Assessing Factors Related to Screening and Uptake of Self-Sampling,” has resulted in the team being chosen as the 2011 recipient of the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario Innovation Award. Read more...

Diploma in Mountain Medicine Offered in U.S. Through the Wilderness Medical Society

April 21, 2012 (San Francisco Chronicle)  --  The Wilderness Medical Society is partnering with the University of Utah and University of Colorado to introduce the Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM). The DiMM is an internationally recognized course certifying that the participant has undergone rigorous training and testing in the essentials of mountain medicine and rescue in technical alpine environments.  Read more...

The Most Neglected Health Test for Men

April 19, 2012 (Molly Raisch)  -- If you keep increasing the volume on your TV or catch yourself complaining about how everyone else keeps mumbling, listen up: A growing body of research shows that dwindling hearing could be an early tip-off of other conditions—from Alzheimer’s to cardiovascular disease.

And here’s the scariest part: Many doctors don’t regularly check their patients’ hearing. A study from Virginia Commonwealth University shows that physicians skip nearly half of all regular evaluations at yearly checkups, and one of the most routinely missed tests is the hearing exam—it gets bypassed nearly 70 percent of the time.  Read more...

Omega-3 Supplements No Help Against Repeat Heart Trouble: Review

Second look at 14 studies concluded there was no benefit

April 19 (Kathleen Doheny, HealthDay News) -- Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements won't protect against repeat heart attacks, strokes or other cardiovascular problems, a new analysis indicates.

"I was not surprised at these findings because I assumed that there was no benefit of omega-3 supplements," said lead researcher Dr. Seung-Kwon Myung, chief of the carcinogenesis branch of the National Cancer Center, Republic of Korea.

The study is published online April 9 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Instead of taking supplements, people trying to prevent heart disease or repeat problems should eat oily fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, which are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Myung said.

"It is effective against cardiovascular disease to eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, not supplements," he said.

Many studies have demonstrated that eating fatty fish two or more times a week is linked with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.  Read more...

Can Household Chores Help Prevent Alzheimer’s?

April 18, 2012 ( —- In recent years, several studies have found that older people are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia if they engage in vigorous exercise, such as jogging, swimming, or brisk walking.

People who are too frail or out of shape to hit the pool or treadmill shouldn’t despair, however. According to a new study, even mundane, low-key tasks like gardening, cooking, and washing dishes can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s if they’re performed often enough.

The study, which was published this week in the journal Neurology, included 716 dementia-free men and women in their 70s and 80s. Compared to the most active people, those with the lowest levels of overall physical activity had more than double the risk of going on to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Greater physical activity was also associated with a slower rate of aging-related memory and cognitive decline.  Read more...

Speed, Ecstasy Use Tied to Teen Depression

April 18, 2012 ( — The short-lived high teenagers get from using amphetamines or the club drug MDMA—better known as Ecstasy—could lead to longer-lasting depression later on, a new study suggests.

Researchers in Canada interviewed 3,880 teenagers from low-income neighborhoods in Québec. Compared to their peers who used neither drug, teens who reported taking MDMA or amphetamines at least once in the tenth grade had 70% and 60% higher odds, respectively, of experiencing depression symptoms in the eleventh grade. Using both drugs nearly doubled the odds of depression.

The findings don’t show a cause-and-effect relationship between drug use and later depression, but they do come close. Unlike much previous research, the study controlled for a wide range of factors that might influence both drug use and depression, including problems at school and at home, a prior history of depression and anxiety, the strength of a teen’s social networks, smoking, and alcohol use.  Read more...

Beyond drowsy, too little sleep ups diabetes risk

April 17, 2012 (Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press)  --  WASHINGTON – More people pull the night shift. Teens text past midnight and stumble to class at dawn. Travelers pack red-eye flights.

During the study, levels increased after meals, sometimes to pre-diabetic levels, because the pancreas stopped secreting enough insulin.

Nodding off behind the wheel isn't the only threat from a lack of shut-eye. There's growing evidence that people who regularly sleep too little and at the wrong time suffer long-lasting consequences that a nap won't cure: An increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and other health problems.

"We have a societal conspiracy for sleep deprivation," says Russell Sanna of Harvard Medical School's sleep medicine division, who attended a TEDMED conference last week where scientists called sleep loss one of health care's big challenges.  Read more...

Many Patients Skip Recommended Colonoscopy: Study

April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Although a colonoscopy is considered the "gold standard" for colon cancer screening, a new study finds that many patients are reluctant to have the test.

Patients are more likely to opt for a simple fecal occult blood test -- a brief part of a medical exam -- that checks for bleeding, which can be a sign of colon cancer, the researchers said.

"The best test is the one that the patient actually performs," said lead researcher Dr. John Inadomi, a distinguished professor and head of the division of gastroenterology at the University of Washington, in Seattle.  Read more...

US adds clot risks to some birth control labels

Apr 10, 2012 (YahooNews!)  --  US health authorities on Tuesday ordered revised labels on some types of birth control including German pharmaceutical giant Bayer's Yaz pills to advise of a possibly higher risk of blood clots.

"Women who use birth control pills with drospirenone (like Yaz) may have a higher risk of getting a blood clot," said a new Yaz label on the US Food and Drug Administration website.

"Some studies reported that the risk of blood clots was higher for women who use birth control pills that contain drospirenone than for women who use birth control pills that do not contain drospirenone."

However, the regulatory agency pointed out that studies have shown mixed results.  Read more...

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