Hot Off the Press


This is a page has up to date health information that may be of interest.  There  is no specific theme to the information other than it offers provacative information that can be of help in determining your health needs.  Information is power and making informed decisions is the sign of a healthy person.

Bone Health

Cardiovascular Heatlh Cell Phones and  Heatlh Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain

Chiropractic: American Medical Association's (AMA) War on Natural Health Alternatives
Diabetes and Health
Diet and Health Emotional Heath

Exercise and Heatlh

Medication Concerns



Surgery Concerns
An estimate of the global reduction in mortality rates through doubling vitamin D levels
A global study of the effect of Vitamin D and death rates (mortality) found reductions in all-cause mortality rates range from 7.6% for African females to 17.3% for European females. Reductions for males average 0.6% lower than for females. The estimated increase in life expectancy is 2 years for all six regions.  Therefore, they suggest that  increasing serum 25(OH)D levels is the most cost-effective way to reduce global mortality rates, as the cost of vitamin D is very low and there are few adverse effects from oral intake and/or frequent moderate UVB irradiance with sufficient body surface area exposed. [European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2011) 65, 1016–1026; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2011.68]
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FDA: Some heartburn meds pose long-term fracture risk
Some heartburn medications could increase the risk of hip, wrist and spine fractures in high doses or with long-term use, the Food and Drug Administration warned.

Such so-called proton pump inhibitors are used for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomach and small intestine ulcers and inflammation of the esophagus, along with frequent heartburn.

They include esomeprazole, sold under the brand name Nexium, dexlansoprazole (Dexilant). lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid), pantoprazole (Protonix) and rabeprazole (Aciphex). Over-the-counter versions include omeprazole (Prilosec OTC, Zegerid OTC) and lansoprazole (Prevacid 24HR).  CNN Health
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Tai Chi May Improve Some ADHD Symptoms
The practice of tai chi chuan for 6 weeks during a summer camp improved behavior control in adolescents with mental illness, according to a study presented at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2010 Annual Meeting.

Dr. Pang, Dr. Brody, and Dr. Fassler, American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2010 Annual Meeting: Abstract
NR2-77. Presented May 24, 2010.
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Long-Term Bisphosphonate Use Linked to Abnormal Bone Formation
Researchers found that bisphosphonate use (such as Fosamax, Boniva, and Actonel)  improved structural integrity early in the course of treatment and significantly reduced the rate of fractures such as those commonly life-threatening like to the hip, but that these gains were diminished as treatment extended beyond 4 years.

Women who are being treated with bisphosphonates should take a drug holiday if they have been on them for 5 years.  Apparently the normal turnover of bone needed for normal bone health is prevented when a person is on the bisphosphonates for over 4-5 years and this leads to unusual types of fractures.

Joseph Lane, MD,  Melvin P. Rosenwasser, MD, Robert E. Carroll, Thomas Moore, MD. American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) 2010 Annual Meeting: Abstract 241, presented March 10, 2010; Abstract 339, presented March 11, 2010.
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Sleeping Pill Death Toll May Top 500,000
The use of hypnotic sleep aids was associated with a three- to five-fold higher mortality risk compared with the risk for nonusers, even when the prescription was for a small number of pills, investigators reported.  Not only did the patients receiving prescriptions for commonly used hypnotic drugs had a markedly increased risk of mortality but they also had an increased cancer incidence

Kripke DF, Langer RD, Kline LE. Hypnotics' association with mortality or cancer: A matched cohort study. BMJ Open 2012; 2: e000850

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Taking Antibiotics?  You will likely want to also take probiotics.
While I used to only recommend taking probiotics after finishing with a course of antibiotics the current research is suggesting that taking them simultaneously is preferred. Probiotics do appear to offer patients a wide range of benefial effects especially to the gastrointestinal tract.  In a major study they found  the overall evidence suggests a protective effect of probiotics in preventing antibiotic associated diarhea.

Johnston BC, Goldenberg JZ, Vandvik PO, Sun X, Guyatt GH. Probiotics for the prevention of pediatric antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Nov 9;11:CD004827.

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Analgesic Use (e.g., Aspirin, Tylenol ...) Associated with  Risk of Hearing Loss in Men
Regular use of aspirin, NSAIDs, or acetaminophen increases the risk of hearing loss in men, and the impact is larger on younger individuals.

Sharon G. Curhan, MD, ScM, Roland Eavey, MD, Josef Shargorodsky, MD, Gary C. Curhan, MD, ScD. Analgesic Use and the Risk of Hearing Loss in Men. The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 123, Issue 3 (March 2010)

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Smoking Cessation Associated with Short-Term Increase in Diabetes Risk
While smoking is one of the most serious health hazzard for an individual and anyone breathing around them, this new study suggests that along with stopping smoking there needs to be included some other healthy behavior such as increased exercise and a healthy diet.

It is not uncommon to see those in Alcoholics Annonymous meetings driinking large amounts of coffee and smoking cigarretts as a means of going from a more serious addition to a lessor one.  Sadly we just need to focus on being healthy and there is no easy way around that for some people.

In this study researchers followed nearly 11,000 middle-aged adults for roughly 9 years, during which about 12% developed diabetes. Compared with adults who never smoked, those who continued smoking during follow-up had a roughly 30% elevated risk for diabetes, while those who quit smoking by year 3 had almost a 75% increase in risk. The elevated risk among these new quitters seemed to be mediated by adverse metabolic changes, including weight gain and systemic inflammation.

The authors write: "Of course, smoking cessation has many beneficial health effects that outweigh this short-term risk. Nonetheless, physicians should be aware of this elevated risk and should consider countermeasures [e.g., lifestyle counseling, aggressive weight management], especially for heavy smokers."

Yeh CH. Duncan BR,  Schmidt MI, Wang NY, Brancati FL. Smoking, Smoking Cessation, and Risk for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus A Cohort Study. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2010; 152 (1): 10-7.

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Poor trunk flexibility is associated with arterial stiffening
There may be a novel way to test at least one element of your heart's health right in your own living room, right in the middle of the holidays. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched straight out in front of you, toes pointing up. Reach forward from the hips. Are you flexible enough to touch your toes? If so, then your cardiac arteries probably are also flexible.  The study concluded that "a less flexible body indicates arterial stiffening, especially in middle-aged and older adults." No such correlation was found in those under 40, even when gender and fitness were considered as factors.

Yamamoto K, Kawano H, Gando Y, Iemitsu M, Murakami H, Sanada K, Tanimoto M, Ohmori Y, Higuchi M, Tabata I, Miyachi M.. Poor trunk flexibility is associated with arterial stiffening. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2009 Oct;297(4):H1314-8.   [Full Text Article]

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CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) - New Guidelines - Hands Only
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, including heart attack or near drowning, in which someone's breathing or heartbeat has stopped. In 2010, the American Heart Association updated its guidelines to recommend that everyone — untrained bystanders and medical personnel alike — begin CPR with chest compressions.  Click here to learn about the specifics or click here to see a British video (remenber in the United States we press 911 for emergency.)

Chiropractic care and home exercise are found superior to medications for neck pain
New research, published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, found that chiropractic care or simple exercises done at home were better at reducing pain than taking medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or narcotics.  Chiropractic's effect helps maintain motion and function of each vertebral segment and the exercise helps sustain good funciton of the neck muscles.  Together this type of treatment has little risk and better benefit than medications which all offer some significant risk.

Bronfort G, Evans R, Anderson AV, Svendsen KH, Bracha Y, Grimm RH. Spinal manipulation, medication, or home exercise with advice for acute and subacute neck pain: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2012 Jan 3;156(1 Pt 1):1-10.
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Implications of vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy and lactation
Vitamin D is an essential fat soluble vitamin and a key modulator of calcium metabolism in children and adults. Because calcium demands increase in the third trimester of pregnancy, vitamin D status becomes crucial for maternal health, fetal skeletal growth, and optimal maternal and fetal outcomes. Vitamin D deficiency is common in pregnant women (5-50%) and in breastfed infants (10-56%), despite the widespread use of prenatal vitamins, because these are inadequate to maintain normal vitamin D levels (>/=32 ng/mL). Adverse health outcomes such as preeclampsia, low birthweight, neonatal hypocalcemia, poor postnatal growth, bone fragility, and increased incidence of autoimmune diseases have been linked to low vitamin D levels during pregnancy and infancy. Studies are underway to establish the recommended daily doses of vitamin D in pregnant women. This review discusses vitamin D metabolism and the implications of vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy and lactation.

Mulligan ML, Felton SK, Riek AE, Bernal-Mizrachi C. Implications of vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy and lactation. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Oct 19

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What about coffee and pregnancy?
Drinking a couple of cups of coffee (tea or any caffeinated drink) a day has long been considered safe during pregnancy, but a new study finds that even this modest amount of caffeine could double a woman’s risk of miscarriage.  Some doctors are suggesting moderation during pregnancy but I must ask, "If you want to have a healthy pregnancy is coffee or caffeine necessary for your diet?  If it is why is that so?"

MItchell S. 2-cup coffee habit may double miscarriage risk. Special to MSNBC. 1/21/2008.

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Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis Should Participate in Exercise Programs
"Based on the evidence in this study, we would recommend aerobic capacity training combined with muscle strength training as routine practice for RA patients," lead author Dr. Emalie Hurkmans, from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, the Netherlands, said in a news release. "But we need more research to establish the recommended length and type of exercise programs, whether patients need to be supervised and if these programs are cost effective."

Laurie Barclay, MD. Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis Should Participate in Exercise Programs. October 8, 2009 -Medscape Medical News.

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Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation and anxiety in medical students: A randomized controlled trial
Observational studies have linked lower omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and higher omega-6 (n-6) PUFAs with inflammation and depression, but randomized controlled trial (RCT) data have been mixed. To determine whether n-3 decreases proinflammatory cytokine production and depressive and anxiety symptoms in healthy young adults, this parallel group, placebo-controlled, double-blind 12-week RCT compared n-3 supplementation with placebo.  The study concluded that, "The reduction in anxiety symptoms associated with n-3 supplementation provides the first evidence that n-3 may have potential anxiolytic benefits for individuals without an anxiety disorder diagnosis."

Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Belury MA, Andridge R, Malarkey WB, Glaser R. Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation and anxiety in medical students: a randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun. 2011 Nov;25(8):1725-34.

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Longer Lengths of Stay and Higher Risk of Mortality among Inpatients of Physicians with More Years in Practice
Who would think doctor's with greater experience would be not as up to date on how to handle patients in a hospital setting? 

More physician years in practice have been associated with less frequent guideline adherence, but it is unknown whether years in practice are associated with patient outcomes.  The study examined all inpatients on the teaching service of an urban hospital from July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2004. Admissions were assigned to attending physicians quasi-randomly. Years in practice was defined as the number of years the attending physician held a medical license and divided physicians into 4 groups (0-5, 6-10, 11-20, and >20 years in practice). The study concluded that, "Inpatient care by physicians with more years in practice is associated with higher risk of mortality. Quality-of-care interventions should be developed to maintain inpatient skills for physicians."

Southern WN, Bellin EY, Arnsten JH. Longer Lengths of Stay and Higher Risk of Mortality among Inpatients of
Physicians with More Years in Practice. Am J Med. 2011 Jul 22.

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Planned Home Birth Seen as Safe Alternative to Hospital Birth
In terms of neonatal outcomes, planned home birth with a registered midwife was associated with a  reduced risk of requiring resuscitation at birth and oxygen therapy  beyond 24 hours relative to both midwife or physician planned hospital birth. Meconium  aspiration was also less likely in newborns in the home-birth group.

"Our study showed that planned home birth attended by a registered  midwife was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death and reduced rates of obstetric interventions and adverse maternal outcomes compared with planned hospital birth attended by a midwife or physician," the authors conclude.

Janssen PA, Saxell L, Page LA, Klein MC, Liston RM, Lee SK. Outcomes of planned home birth with registered midwife versus planned hospital birth with midwife or physician. CMAJ. 2009 Aug 31.
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Effect of Aspirin on Vascular and Nonvascular Outcomes: Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
"Despite important reductions in nonfatal myocardial infarction (heart attacks), aspirin prophylaxis in people without prior cardiovascular disease does not lead to reductions in either cardiovascular death or cancer mortality. Because the benefits are further offset by clinically important bleeding events, routine use of aspirin for primary prevention is not warranted and treatment decisions need to be considered on a case-by-case basis."

Seshasai SR, Wijesuriya S, Sivakumaran R, Nethercott S, Erqou S, Sattar N, Ray KK. Effect of Aspirin on Vascular and Nonvascular Outcomes: Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Jan 9.

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Use of Low-Dose Aspirin in Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Events Not Recommended
August 30, 2009 (Barcelona, Spain) -- The use of low-dose aspirin in the primary prevention of cardiovascular events in healthy individuals with asymptomatic atherosclerosis is currently not warranted, according to the lead researcher of a large "real-world" study presented today at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2009 Congress.

In the randomized trial of 3350 subjects deemed at high risk for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events because of a low ankle-brachial index (ABI) (<0.95), aspirin had absolutely no effect on reducing events compared with placebo, Dr Gerry Fowkes (University of Edinburgh, Scotland) reported on behalf of the Aspirin for Asymptomatic
Atherosclerosis (AAA) trialists. For more information click here
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Cell phones and brain tumors - Yikes!
The results of this study indicates that using a cell phone for ≥10 years approximately doubles the risk
of being diagnosed with a brain tumor on the same (“ipsilateral”) side of the head as that preferred
for cell phone use. The data achieve statistical significance for glioma and acoustic neuroma but not
for meningioma.  The authors conclude that there is adequate epidemiologic evidence to suggest a link
between prolonged cell phone usage and the development of an ipsilateral brain tumor.

Khurana VG, Teo C, Kundi M, Hardell L, Carlberg M. Cell phones and brain tumors: a review including the long-term epidemiologic data. Surg Neurol. 2009 Sep;72(3):205-14; discussion 214-5.
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Can vitamin D prevent important fractures related to osteoporosis?
Vitamin D at dosages greater than 400 IU per day is effective in decreasing nonvertebral fractures, including hip fractures. The effect is dose dependent; dosages less than 400 IU per day are ineffective. A practical way to implement this low-cost approach is to suggest nonprescription vitamin D supplements at dosages of 800 IU per day; that way, missed doses will still keep the average daily dose in the range of effectiveness

Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Willett WC, Wong JB, et al. Prevention of nonvertebral fractures with oral vitamin D dose dependency. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Arch Intern Med 2009;169(6):551-561
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Use of Artificial Sweeteners Linked to 2-Fold Increase in Diabetes
People who use artificial sweeteners are heavier, more likely to have diabetes, and more likely to be insulin-resistant compared with nonusers, according to data presented here during ENDO 2009, the
91st annual meeting of The Endocrine Society.

Results show an inverse association between obesity and diabetes, on one side, and daily total
caloric, carbohydrate, and fat intake, on the other side, when comparing artificial sweetener users
and control subjects.

ENDO 2009: The Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society: Abstract P2-478. Presented June 11, 2009.

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Resveratrol May Replace Aspirin As Heart Protector: Longevinex® First Branded Resveratrol Pill Successfully Tested During Heart Attack
With the realization that half of the people experiencing a sudden mortal heart attack were taking aspirin on the day of their demise, researchers have begun to search for a more reliable alternative, and they may have found it in a red wine molecule called resveratrol (rez-vair-ah-trawl).

Researchers at the University of Connecticut induced heart attacks in animals and found resveratrol significantly reduces damage to heart muscle. Scarring and fibrosis were limited and the animals survived an otherwise mortal event.

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NSAID, COX-2 Use Discouraged for Geriatric Pain
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and COX-2 inhibitors should be virtually eliminated as
analgesics in older adults' medicine cabinets under
updated geriatric pain management guidelines. 
Although the American Geriatrics Society once recommended these agents before consideration
of opioids for patients 75 and older with  persistent pain, it now calls this strategy too risky.

While this article is primarily medical and pharmaceutically based there no reason to assume that
chiropractic care if found by the geriatric patient to help relieve pain and improve function, may be
a viable alternative to the various medications that have adverse or contraindicated affects.

See:  Ickowicz E, et al "Pharmacological management of persistent pain in older persons" J Am
Geriatr Soc 2009.

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Esophageal Cancer Linked to Osteoporosis Drug Use - Fosamax
The popular osteoporosis drug Fosamax (alendronate sodium, Merck) and other similar drugs 
may carry a risk for esophageal cancer, a Food and Drug Administration official said in a
January 2009 letter to the New England Journal of Medicine. Diane Wysowski of the FDA’s
division of drug risk assessment said researchers should check into potential links between
so called bisphosphonate drugs and cancer, according to a press release.

In a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine, Wysowski said that since the initial marketing of Fosamax in 1995, the FDA has received 23 reports of patients who developed esophageal tumors
taking the drug. Typically, 2 years lapsed between the time patients started taking the drug
and the onset of esophageal cancer. Eight
patients died, according to her report.

In Europe and Japan, physicians logged 21 cases involving esophageal cancer and Fosamax
use, with another six instances where Procter &
Gamble’s Actonel (risedronate) and Didronel
(etidronate) and Roche’s
Boniva (ibandronate) may have been involved. Six of those patients
died, according to the release.

Esophagitis — an inflammation of the lining of the esophagus — is one side effect of the drugs,
which is why patients are instructed to
remain upright for at least 30 minutes after taking them,
she said. 
In her letter, Wysowski also recommended that doctors should avoid prescribing
the drugs to people with Barrett’s esophagus, which is a
change in the lining that leads to the
stomach. It is often found in
people with acid reflux disease and itself increases the risk of
cancer, according to the press release.

Also last week, researchers at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry
released clinical data linking alendronate sodium
to an increased incidence of jaw necrosis.
The study is among the
first to acknowledge that even short-term use of common oral
osteoporosis drugs may leave the jaw vulnerable to devastating
necrosis, according to the
report in the Jan. 1 issue of the Journal
of the American Dental Association.

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Antibiotic Levaquin Has Been Tied to Painful Tendon Ruptures
Levaquin (generic levofloxacin) is a  powerful, prescription antibiotic made by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical that  has been linked to an increased risk of tendon ruptures, tendonitis, and  other serious injuries. As part of the group of antibiotics called  fluoroquinolones, Levaquin is commonly used to treat bacterial infections  of the sinuses, skin, lungs, ears, airways, bones, and  joints.

Tendons  can rupture quickly, within hours of taking Levaquin, or may take weeks to  develop. In some cases, patients feel pain and notice swelling or bruising  in the area of the tendon, but some patients report seeing no symptoms of  problems before they are injured.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July 2008 ordered Bayer to add prominent warnings about the risks of tendon ruptures and tendonitis to the packaging of Levaquin. The FDA required the drug manufacturer to further alert patients, pharmacists and physicians of the increased risk of such injuries after taking the drug.

Although the FDA said many of the injuries could be avoided if patients stopped taking the drug at the first sign of pain or swelling in the tendon and notified their physicians, some injured patients reported feeling no pain or swelling in the tendon before suffering their injuries.

Kowatari K, Nakashima K, Ono A, Yoshihara M, Amano M, Toh S. 
Levofloxacin-induced bilateral Achilles tendon rupture: a case report and review of the literature.  J Orthop Sci. 2004;9(2):186-90.
Fluoroquinolone&hyphen;Associated Tendinopathy: A Critical Review of the Literature
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Even Low to Moderate Alcohol Consumption Increases Risk for Cancer in Women
Even low to moderate alcohol consumption significantly increases the risk for cancer, both overall and at specific sites, in women, according to results from the Million Women Study conducted in the United Kingdom. [J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 Mar 4;101(5):296-305.]  The women in the study were middle-aged (median age, 55 years), and 75% said they drank alcohol, consuming — on average — 1 drink per day (100-g alcohol). Very few drank more than 3 or more drinks per day, and there was no difference between wine or other drinks, such as spirits, although most women drank wine.

Each drink significantly increased the risk for cancer, the researchers found.

Although the medical dangers of too much alcohol are well known and have been known for a long time, in recent years, there has been increasing research to suggest that small amounts may be beneficial to cardiovascular health, which has led to some promotion of drinking to maintain heart health.  As an example, the editorialists cite an American Heart Association science advisory about "wine and your heart" (Goldberg IJ et al. Circulation 2001;103;472-475).

"Even if there are modest beneficial cardiovascular effects of alcohol," the editorialists comment, the current report should "remind us that we must consider the broader public-health context."  "Among women the major cause of death by far during the middle years is cancer," the editorialists point out.  "Although it is true that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women overall, this primarily applies to women older than 75 years," they add.

•    Women who drink low to moderate amounts of alcohol have an increased risk for cancer overall and of the oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, larynx, rectum, liver, and breast and a possible decreased risk for thyroid cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and renal cell carcinoma.

•    The association between alcohol intake and cancer risk in women is not affected by the type of alcohol consumed.
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Deaths After Back Surgery Often Related to Analgesics
Roughly one in five deaths after lumbar fusion surgery is related to analgesic use, according to a report in the April 1st issue of Spine. [Spine 2009;Apr 1;34(7):740-7.]

The results indicate that the risk of such deaths is particularly high in young and middle-aged workers with degenerative disc disease.

To examine complications after lumbar fusion surgery, lead author Dr. Sham Maghout Juratli from the University of Washington, Seattle, and colleagues analyzed workers' compensation claims filed by lumbar fusion patients in Washington State from 1994 to 2001. Washington State vital statistics records were used to assess mortality through 2004.

Data from 2378 patients were included in the analysis. The mortality rate at 90 days was 0.29%, the authors note. Over 3 years, 103 patients died, for a 3-year cumulative mortality rate of 1.93%.  Repeat fusions were found to predict perioperative mortality.  After adjusting for age and gender, 3.1 deaths occurred per 1000 worker-years.

There were 22 analgesic-associated deaths (19 accidental poisonings, 3 suicides). These accounted for 21% of all deaths and for 31.4% of all potential life lost.

Use of cage devices for fusion and the presence of degenerative disc disease were both risk factors for analgesic-related death. In subjects between 45 and 54 years of age, degenerative disc disease increased the odds of analgesic-related death by 7.45-fold (p = 0.01).

"The most important finding of this study was that analgesic-related deaths, both suicidal and accidental, claimed the highest potential life lost (31.4%), more than heart disease (9.2%), cancer (9.1%), and liver disease (5.1%), combined," the investigators conclude.
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Red and Processed Meat Intake Linked to Mortality
Eating red and processed meat is associated with modest increases in total mortality, cancer mortality, and cardiovascular disease mortality rates, according to the results of a large, prospective study reported in the March 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine [Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:543-545, 562-571.]

"High intakes of red or processed meat may increase the risk of mortality," write Rashmi Sinha, PhD, from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services in Rockville, Maryland, and colleagues. "Our objective was to determine the relations of red, white, and processed meat intakes to risk for total and cause-specific mortality."

*   Although some lower-income countries have increasing levels of meat and dairy consumption, the rate of consumption of these products is still 2  to 3 times higher among individuals in higher-income countries. The cost of beef has decreased worldwide in the last several decades, whereas the cost of grains and rice has increased during the last 6 years.

*   In the current study, red meat and processed meat consumption were associated with higher rates of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality. However, white meat consumption was associated with a lower risk for mortality.
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Zinc Intake Linked to Slightly Lower Risk for Type 2 Diabetes in Women
Higher zinc intake may be associated with a slightly lower risk for type 2 diabetes in women, according to the results of an analysis from the Nurses' Health Study reported in the April issue of Diabetes Care. [Diabetes Care. 2009;32:629-634.]

"Our results also suggest that a diet with high zinc-to-heme iron ratio is significantly associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes," the study authors conclude. "These findings are considered preliminary, and, thus, further studies are warranted to confirm these findings."

*   Findings from the Nurses' Health Study suggest that higher zinc intake may be associated with a slightly lower risk for type 2 diabetes in women.

*   Findings from the Nurses' Health Study also suggest that a diet with high zinc-to-heme iron ratio may be associated with a slightly lower risk for type 2 diabetes in women. More studies are needed to confirm these associations and to evaluate potential mechanisms.

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Laxatives Cure Bed-Wetting for Many Children
January 31, 2012 — Laxatives are the answer for many children experiencing bed-wetting, according to a report from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Investigators report that occult megarectum is a commonly overlooked cause of nocturnal enuresis, and that it can be detected simply by an abdominal X-ray and treated with laxatives.

Chiropractic care, particularly the method Dr. Blum uses has multiple methods to faciliate bowel function and before laxatives are needed pediatric patients can try diet modifications or taking Blum's Fiber Delux Special.

Hodges SJ, Anthony EY. Occult Megarectum-A Commonly Unrecognized Cause of Enuresis. Urology. 2011 Dec 13.
Chewing Gum Cuts Ear Infection Risk in Children
There is fair evidence to show that a daily dose 8.4 g of xylitol (two pieces of chewing gum, five times a day after meals for at least five minutes) can prevent acute middle ear infection (acute otitis media (AOM)) in children without acute upper respiratory infections attending day care centres.

AOM is the most common bacterial infection among young children in the United States. The key step in the disease is colonisation of the upper airway with bacteria which move from the nasopharynx (the part of the pharynx lying directly behind the nasal passages and above the soft palate) to the middle ear by way of a slender passage called the Eustachian tube. By the age of one, approximately 62% of children have experienced at least one episode of AOM; and by the age of three, almost 83% of children have experienced at least one episode. Although serious complications are rare, this common childhood ailment imposes a huge impact on the healthcare system. In the United States, it accounted for almost 16 million office visits in 2000 and costs almost USD 3.8 billion annually in direct and indirect healthcare costs. Antibiotic treatment of AOM is costly and raises concerns regarding the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Surgery is invasive and costly and because of these factors, effective measures for preventing AOM are sought. An alternative treatment is xylitol or birch sugar. Xylitol has been used for decades as a natural non-sugar sweetener principally in chewing gums, confectionery, toothpaste and medicines, and can reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Now we have to worry about these children who chew gum who may develop TMJ symptoms but no AOM.

Azarpazhooh A, Limeback H, Lawrence HP, Shah PS. Xylitol for preventing acute otitis media in children up to 12 years of age. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Nov 9;11:CD007095.

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Exercise Increases Brain Cells
January 4, 2009 Dr. Yu-Min Kuo, of the National Cheng Kung University Medical College in Taiwan, has shown how exercise helps to preserve brain function as you age (The Journal of Applied Physiology, November 2008). Dr Kuo trained mice to run daily for five weeks on wheels at 70 percent of their capacity. They started to exercise at 8, 12 and 24 months of age. These ages are equivalent in humans to ages of 40, 60 and 90 years.

The mice that exercised every day grew 2.5 times more new brain cells than those who did not exercise, and these new nerves helped them to learn and memorize new tasks. The increase in brain cells came from increased production of signaling molecules that promote brain cell growth.

However, the mice that started exercise in early middle age (equivalent to age 40) did much better than mice that did not start exercising until later middle age (equivalent to age 60). This would indicate that the capacity of exercise to help you maintain intelligence decreases after middle age.

When you are young, your body continuously creates new brain cells. As you age, your brain loses its ability to regenerate new nerve cells. This is why you gradually lose some of your ability to remember and learn. We donʼt know if Dr. Kuoʼs results would be found in humans, but his study should encourage people to start exercising while young and continue throughout their lives.

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High Rates of Problem Drinking Reported by Surgeons
Alcohol abuse and dependence are significant problems among surgeons in the United States, a new survey shows. Of 7197 respondents, 1112 (15.4%) met the diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence on a widely validated screening instrument.

Nearly twice as many female surgeons had scores suggestive of alcohol abuse or dependence as did male surgeons (25.6% vs 13.9%; P < .001). In contrast, recent surveys estimated that 10.5% of men and 5.1% of women in the general population met the criteria for alcohol dependence, according to the authors.

Of surgeons reporting a major medical error within the 3 months before the survey, 561 (77.7%) had symptoms of alcohol abuse or dependence compared with 161 (22.3%) without such symptoms (P < .001).

Oreskovich MR, Kaups KL, Balch CM, Hanks JB, Satele D, Sloan J, Meredith C, Buhl A, Dyrbye LN, Shanafelt TD.
Prevalence of alcohol use disorders among american surgeons. Arch Surg. 2012 Feb;147(2):168-74.
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