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Sep 29
Vitamin supplements 'up skin cancer risk'
Scientists have revealed that millions of people who take daily vitamin pills could be putting themselves at risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Research has revealed that supplements containing antioxidants and minerals appear to increase the chances of developing a malignant melanoma.

Volunteers given pills containing vitamin E, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, selenium and zinc were four times more likely to get cancer than those who took dummy pills.

The findings come from a follow-up study to one in 2007, which revealed the risks to vitamin-pill poppers. The results of that research, by French scientists, showed that out of 13,000 adults, those who took daily supplements to stay healthy were at much higher risk of skin cancer. To double-check their findings, the same team monitored patients for several more years. These results confirm that the increased risk virtually disappeared once patients stopped daily supplements.

Now scientists behind the research, carried out at the National Centre for Rare Skin Diseases in Bordeaux, are calling for those most at risk of skin cancer - fair-skinned types or those with a history of excessive sun exposure -- to steer clear of supplements.

Women may be more at risk than men, possibly because they have more fat around the skin, where antioxidants and vitamins are mainly stored.

So far, the only proven way of reducing risk is to use high-protection creams and wearing suitable clothing.

But it had been widely assumed that taking antioxidants would reduce the risk, since supplements theoretically protect the skin against damage from the sun's rays. The latest study, however, suggests supplements have the opposite effect.

Scientists do not think taking vitamins actually causes malignant melanoma, rather it somehow speeds up the development of a tumour, reports the Daily Mail.

The result has been published in the latest European Journal of Cancer Prevention.

Sep 29
Viagra 'fails to work for half of men'
Dr Geoff Hackett, a sexual health specialist at Good Hope Hospital in Birmingham, said patients are sometimes being inappropriately prescribed expensive drugs which do not effectively tackle their problem.

More than half of patients taking Viagra found it did not solve their problems adequately, he said, adding that low testosterone was the main problem for one in 10 men suffering erectile dysfunction and drugs like Viagra had no effect if taken alone.

"The biggest waste (of money) is a tablet that doesn't work," he said.

The NHS spends around 58m a year on 17 million repeat prescriptions for Viagra and other impotence drugs.

Dr Hackett tests the testosterone levels of all men who visit his clinic and some react angrily to being told they have wasted five years and lots of money taking pills that will not work for them.

"I have had some people say I'm going back to that surgery and asking for my money back," he said.

The doctor said low testosterone is a contributory factor for a further one in five (20 per cent) of men suffering sexual problems.

Dr Hackett, speaking at a BSSM briefing in central London, said erectile dysfunction is already recognised as an early warning of coronary artery issues and routinely asking men about it could help to identify people with potential heart problems.

Sep 28
World Rabies Day
World Rabies Day observed on the 28th of September every year is an attempt to spread the awareness about Rabies across the length and breadth of the World. This campaign talks about the anti-Rabies efforts. World Rabies Day works with a "One Medicine
" approach, which aims at global Rabies control and prevention.

In the year 2006, Alliance For Rabies Control was created. It is a UK registered charity which was created to eradicate Rabies worldwide by creating awareness, control and prevention. Later in the year 2007, The World Rabies Day was inaugurated and is now followed globally. On the occasion of World Rabies Day, many events are held like educational seminars on Rabies, vaccination programs, marches etc.

With the start of World Rabies Day, many hidden facts surfaced. One of the most important findings was that every year 55 people die out of Rabies, which leads to an average of 10 deaths every minute.

What Is Rabies?

Rabies is found in mammals both animals and human. It was generally believed that dogs are sensitive to Rabies but the recent studies have also shown Rabies cases in cats, bats, sheep, goats etc. The disease is generally more prevalent among domestic animals.

The Rabies virus first affects the nervous system through a wound, then travels to the brain and follows the nerve pathway to muscles and other organs. It is contagious and one can get in contact to the virus in various ways. The most common and unusual way is through breathing. US researchers have found out that breathing in the air in caves can be one of the common reasons. Caves are generally infested with bats and an infected bat may leave the virus in the air. Other ways are through saliva, scratch or cut by someone who is Rabies infected.

Rabies Symptoms

In Animals - The symptoms generally show after 20 to 60 days of exposure to the virus.

1.Animals become aggressive
2.Sensitive to touch
3.Erotic behaviour
5.Weak limbs
6.low groaning sound while sleeping, which is a sign of respiratory problem.

For animals, they usually don't survive Rabies and death occurs in a few days time.

In Human - The symptoms show up in 10 days time or sometimes it may even take months.

1.Loss of appetite
2.Fever, fatigue and headache
3.Insomnia and depression
6.Breathing problem

If immediate treatment is not taken, the victim is destined to sudden death. The death usually is due to cardiac or respiratory arrest.

Rabies Vaccines

1.Make sure you take Rabies vaccines once you have any possible contact with the virus. For example if you have come in contact with a cut or a scratch by an animal, or a wound etc. Rabies Vaccines generally are a 28 day programme. Rabies immune globulin and the first dose of vaccine should be taken as soon as possible. Additional doses are given on the day, 3,7,14 and 28th day from the contact to the virus.

Rabies vaccines can have common side effects like pain, swelling, itching, fever etc. These effects fade away within a few days.

2.When you get yourself a pet, make sure you get it Rabies vaccine. This will reduce the chances of spreading the virus.

3.Wash your hands well after coming in contact with dust or dirt and specially after touching an animal.

4.Clean your would immediately with antiseptic.

Only through prevention we can save many lives of both animals and human. Lets put in personal effort and get rid of the Rabies virus.

Sep 28
Pine-bark extract offers no heart benefit: Study
A new study has suggested that use of pine bark doesn't have any positive effect on the heart as previously thought.

The study has indicated that use of pine bark extract, at a dose of 200 milligrams per day, appears safe but did not improve risk factors for heart disease.

"A substantial population seeks alternative therapies, including various dietary supplements, to lower cardiovascular disease risk," the authors wrote.

Rebecca L. Drieling of the Stanford University and colleagues conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of pine bark extract supplements.

A total of 130 individuals at increased risk for cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned to take either 200 milligrams of pine bark extract or a placebo once per day for 12 weeks.

Participants were asked not to lose weight, change their diet or begin taking any other medications or supplements during the study. Blood pressure and other risk factors were assessed at the beginning of the study and at six and 12 weeks.

Baseline risk factors for heart disease were the same in the pine bark and placebo groups.

Over the course of the study, blood pressure decreased by 1 millimeter of mercury in patients taking pine bark and 1.9 millimeters of mercury in patients taking placebo.

Other risk factors-including body mass index, blood cholesterol levels, liver enzyme test results, size of cholesterol particles and levels of insulin, lipoprotein(a), fasting blood glucose and the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein-also did not differ significantly between the two groups.

The researchers assessed blood pressure levels among subgroups of participants with higher risk for cardiovascular disease, and still found no differences between those who took pine bark and those who took placebo.

Although it is biologically plausible that pine bark extract could reduce blood pressure through its ability to relax blood vessels constricted by stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, the extract tested in this study was safe but did not improve blood pressure or other heart disease risk factors, the authors noted.

"Although a different dosage or formulation might produce different results, our findings argue against recommending this pine bark extract to improve cardiovascular disease risk factors," they concluded.

The study was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (ANI)

Sep 27
CARE India helps MDG on maternal & child care
The United Nations' summit on Millennium Development Goals (MDG) which have agreed to achieve targets by 2015, developing countries including India asked rich nations to fulfill commitments by increasing their investment to improve the maternal and child health conditions.

As the goals were falling short in many countries including India, CARE International Confederation led a group of humanitarian organisations by committing $ 1.8 billion for maternal, newborn and child health programmes in the next five years in the select countries including India.

Care India a humanitarian organisation, affiliated to CARE International had been working since 1950. They assured to continue works through its health programmes especially states where death rates are high. These includes Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

"The benefits of these programmes will reach about 16 million women and children and the Care India team will finalise the programmes after the allocation will be finalised," said Mr Basanta Kar, Director Advocacy, CARE India.

The other agenda on the summit was to reach out to indigenous people with basic services. The groups led by CARE called upon the leaders for social inclusion of indigenous society around the world by respecting their diversity and cultural uniqueness.

"We strongly urge the United Nations to include social indicators for the MDGs that give face to cultural diversity and respect the right of cultural expression for tribal people globally. This will help us to reach them and monitor interventions for better health and education outcomes," said Basanta Kar.

CARE reaches out to 16 million women and children through health programmes in India.

Sep 27
95 more dengue cases in Delhi; total 2,916
Dengue continues to surge in the national capital, with 95 more cases being reported on Sunday, taking the total number of people infected with the mosquito-borne disease to 2,916, an official said.

Five people have succumbed to dengue in the capital this year, including one from outside Delhi, a Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) official said.

With 433 cases, south Delhi is the most affected area this season, followed by the MCD's Civil Lines zone (378) and Rohini zone (341).

According to the MCD, the number of dengue cases this year could cross the 2006 figure of 3,366 cases.

Sep 25
Heart risks increase but people ignorant
Changing lifestyles and decreasing physical activities are posing greater risks of heart attacks, but nearly 76 percent people have never done a cardiac check to assess the hazard they face.

As the World Heart Day is being observed Sunday, findings of a survey from Max Healthcare reveal that nearly 60 percent of people between the ages 20 and 65 don't feel they have any risk of heart attack, even though nearly 20 percent already have a family history.

The survey shows that people in the 20-30 age group were the most optimistic about not developing heart diseases even though a majority of them have never got a heart checkup done.

However, doctors say that with changing lifestyle, three times rise has been registered in heart diseases among youths, which include coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke.

'As a result of changing lifestyle, the average age at which a person may suffer a heart attack has come down from 40 years to 30 years. It's a matter of great concern for India,' Praveen Chandra, chairman of Interventional Cardiology at Medanta Medicity in Gurgaon, told IANS.

'Sedentary lifestyle, hectic schedules, no physical activity, and smoking and drinking habits are the factors leading to heart diseases among youths,' he adds.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cardiovascular diseases are the world's largest killers, claiming 17.1 million lives a year.

Negligence towards the risk has been dubbed by doctors as one of the biggest reasons behind the rapid growth in the number of cardiac diseases cases.

The theme this year is 'Workplace Wellness - Take Responsibility for your own Heart Health', focusing on the need to generate awareness. Doctors agree that emphasis is now needed on the preventive measures.

According to the survey, laziness (17 percent) and long working hours (30 percent) are two of the main reasons for not exercising.

'Advances have been made in the field of interventional cardiology. Now preventive cardiology has to be stressed on,' says Vipul Roy, senior cardiology consultant at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital here.

'In a country like India where we have different kinds of food habits and very negligible percentage of the population performing daily exercises, we need to stress more on the preventive aspect of cardiac ailments,' he adds.

In addition to the stressful life, obesity, diabetes and smoking add to the risk.

'Patients who are more prone to have Sudden Cardiac Deaths can be identified in the general population by screening patients for heart disease and risk factors for heart disease which include diabetes, smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, stress and lack of physical activity, and subjecting them to periodical testing,' says Rajneesh Sardana, senior cardiology consultant at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.

Prevention, according to the doctors, is the only answer.

'One should keep a regular check on weight. Forty-five minutes of brisk walking or workout is must for every individual and each should consume less fats,' said Praveer Aggarwal, senior cardiologist at Delhi's Escorts Hospital.

'Some recent studies have come up which show how a genetic mutation affects four percent of Indians. So, if you have it in your family, you need to be extra cautious,' he adds.

Sep 25
New Rapidly Detecting Test For TB Bacteria and sensitivity to drug like Rifamcin
Tuberculosis is an impotant disease of coming time although controlled by modern medicines but drug resistant TB as Multidrug resistant Tuberculosis (MDRT) or XDRT (Extreme durg resistant TB) are very dangerous for developing and developed countries both as no drug can take care of it , so once spread in society , it will cause extensive damge both mortality and morbidity will increase .The main reason behind this is a fact to detect TB in early stage once TB bacilli are not secreted or expelled out in Sputum because to detect TB bacilli in pus,blood,serum, csf,semen, vaginal fluid, stool, swaet, urine , peritoneal or pericardial or plueral fluid is almost very difficult and as by simple AFB staining it is not visible then we have to go for culture which takes about 4-6 wks either by inocculation in guinea pig or different recetly developed cultural media and recently developed Bactec Method of incubation also takes 07 days ,and to determine culture and sensitivity is again time lasting costly herculian task, ADA testing of fluid provide indirect evidence, PCR TB is very costly and requires good time and is selectively avaiable in few centre in India so mostly TB is diagnosed either by clinical judgement , starting treatment empirically and continuing if found clinical improvement.Mostly TB is daignosed by ESR, CRP,Total count,chest X-ray, CSF cobweb coagulum,Mantoux test, IGg and IGm for TB bacilli or ADA testing all provide indirect support for positivity of TB , recently for cultures new media and methods have developed but few are in practice only and 7-10 days are minimumly required to get culture of TB Mycobacterium whether typical or atypical type. Mostly if Drugs are not controlling it or if Bacilli continue to grow and if not seen by different tests then it is really a serious situation as we continue costly 3-4 to 4-6 drug regime but patient have got no cure and in many cases we become hopeless , so it was an urgent need that some tests should be developed where TB bacilli is detected exactly and correctly in 2-3 days and its sensitivity to drugs is also determined as then really correct medicines will be prescribed and we shall control MDRT and XDRT which is rapidly growing with growing number of HIV and other Immunocompromised and transplanted , cancer and collagen diseased patients on immunosupression and chemotherapy .

In America, National Institute of Health (NIH) Scientists have developed an automated test that can rapidly and accurately detect tuberculosis and drug - resistant TB bacteria in patients. The finding could pave the way for earlier diagnosis and more targeted treatment of this disease. Current diagnostic tests as mentioned above have many shortcomings.Even most widely used test, called smear microscopy for AFB by Zeil Nelson Staining , misses more than half of TB cases and cannot determine whether the bacteria are drug resistant. A more sensitive test involves growing bacterial cultures. It can spot drug resistance but may take up to 6 weeks to get results. Both tests require assessment by trained staff.

Dr. David Alland of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey collaborated with Cepheid, a diagnostics company, has develoed a test called a DNA- based test called Xpert MTB/RIF. The test detects the TB - causing bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis and also resistance to rifampin (RIF) is also tested, a drug mostly used in both primary in all category I,II and III as well as in drug resistant cases until patients developed Hepatitis or idiosyncracy to this drug. RIF resistance is a good indicator of multidrug resistance.NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has supported the development of the MTB/RIF test for more than 8 years. To use the test, a technician adds a small sample of a patient's sputum to a plastic test cartridge and loads it into the machine. The instrument then automatically performs a series of steps that ultimately leads to an analysis of DNA from bacteria in the sample. A computerized printout reports the presence of TB bacteria and whether or not the bacteria are resistant to RIF

As described in the September 1, 2010, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers assessed the performance of the new automated test on 1,730 patients with suspected TB in 4 countries. Each patient provided 3 sputum specimens. The samples were assessed by MTB/RIF and by conventional smear microscopy and bacterial culture tests. The new automated test successfully identified 98% of all confirmed TB cases and 98% of patients with RIF- resistant bacteria in less than 2 hours. In addition, a single MTB/RIF analysis detected TB in over 72% of patients who did not appear to have TB according to smear microscopy but who were later found to have TB in culture tests. When the automated test was repeated, the sensitivity increased by about 13%. When the test was run a third time, it detected about 90% of TB cases that were missed by smear microscopy.The scientists note that the MTB/RIF test makes it possible to detect TB and drug resistance in a single clinic visit and perhaps begin treatment immediately, a significant advantage in developing countries. "The test also indicates rapidly whether difficult- to - treat drug- resistant forms are present," says Alland. "This is a major advance over other rapid TB detection methods, which are complex, labor- intensive, and technically challenging."

Therefore,if later on such tests and machine becomes cost effective and easily procurable in our country or Developing countries or Africa where HIV is widely spread , it will be a test of time and most trusted test and gradually scientist will determine drug resistance to INH,Ethambutol,Pyrizinamide etc.

Refered by: DR. D. R. Nakipuria

Sep 24
95 more dengue cases in Delhi
Delhi reported 95 more cases of dengue Thursday as the total number of people infected with the vector-borne disease surged to 2,631, an official said.

Of the total patients, 2,607 were from Delhi while 24 were from outside the city, said an official of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

Five people have succumbed to the mosquito-borne disease this year, of which one was from outside Delhi.

As the numbers of cases rise steadily, MCD's nightmare of the total dengue cases crossing the 2006 figure of 3,366 cases may come true.

According to MCD, 1,153 dengue cases and three deaths were reported in 2009, 1,312 cases and two deaths in 2008, 548 cases and one death in 2007, and 3,366 cases and 36 deaths in 2006.

Dengue symptoms include high fever for four to five days, usually accompanied by severe headache, pain in the eyes, muscle and joint pain and rashes. After the fever goes away, the blood platelet count starts dipping.

Sep 23
IVF kids score better on academic tests
Children conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) actually perform better than age-and gender-matched peers on academic tests, a new study found.

The University of Iowa study found that children who were conceived by IVF actually scored better than their peers on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and the Iowa Test for Educational Development (ITBS/ED).

"Our findings are reassuring for clinicians and patients as they suggest that being conceived through IVF does not have any detrimental effects on a child's intelligence or cognitive development," said study's lead author Bradley Van Voorhis.

For the study, Van Voorhis and colleagues compared the academic performance of 423 Iowa children, ages 8 to 17, who were conceived by IVF at UI Hospitals and Clinics with the performance of 372 age- and gender-matched peers from the same Iowa schools.

The researchers also analyzed whether different characteristics of the children, parents or IVF methods affected children's test scores.

The study found that children born by IVF performed above average on standardized tests compared to their peers.

Importantly, the study also showed that different IVF procedures -- using fresh versus frozen embryos -- and different methods of insemination had no effect on children's test scores.

Although the study was not able to fully explain why children conceived by IVF performed better than their peers, Van Voorhis speculated that parents of children conceive by IVF might be older and have higher levels of education than average.

"By using age- and gender-matched children from the same classrooms as a control group to compare to our study participants, we attempted to control for any socioeconomic or environmental differences between the children born by IVF and their peers," Van Voorhis said.

"But there still may have been some differences between the IVF children and the controls that we could not see from our data," he said.

The study was published in the October issue of the journal Human Reproduction. (ANI)

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