Saturday, May 17, 2014

Journal Watch May 2014

New Fact Sheets from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

FDA Proposing to Regulate E-Cigarettes: The proposal will be subject to public comment and further review by the agency before becoming final. But once that happens the rule would impose new restrictions, including: ban sales of ECs to minors; prohibition on distribution of free samples; ban on sales via vending machines unless in places that do not admit young people; required warning label and disclosure of ingredients. NPR

Meta Analysis Bolsters Case Against a Diet of Steaks: Researchers analyzed 21 studies that included more than 292,000 people who were followed for an average of 10 years. They found a link between consuming heme iron -- which is only in red meat -- and a 57 percent increased risk of heart disease. In contrast, consuming non-heme iron -- found in vegetables, other non-meat sources and iron supplements -- was not associated with the risk of heart disease. Journal of Nutrition 
Laughter Therapy Could Combat Memory Loss in Seniors: Humor and laughter may help combat memory loss in the elderly, according to a study presented at the Experimental Biology meeting, held from April 26 to 30 in San Diego. 
Aspirin Use Cuts Colorectal Cancer Risk: Regular aspirin use is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer in association with high hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase 15-(nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) (15-PGDH) expression, according to a study published in the April 23 issue of Science Translational Medicine
Increasing Coffee Reduces Death From Liver Cirrhosis and Type 2 Diabetes: Increasing coffee consumption by on average one and half cups per day over a four-year period reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 11 percent, research shows. Diabetologia, April 2014 
Consuming two or more cups of coffee each day reduces the risk of death from liver cirrhosis by 66%, specifically cirrhosis caused by non-viral hepatitis, new research reveals. As with previous studies, heavy alcohol use was found to increase risk of death from cirrhosis. Hepatology, 2014 
Up to 40 % of Annual Deaths From Each of Five Leading Causes of Death Preventable: Modifiable risk factors are largely responsible for each of the leading causes of death: Heart disease (#1 cause of death) and Strokes (#4 cause of deaths) have similar risks include tobacco use, high cholesterol, poor diet, overweight and lack of physical activity. Alcohol use and diabetes also play a role in stroke deaths. Cancer risks (#2 cause of deaths) includes those for heart disease plus sun exposure, certain hormones, alcohol, some viruses and bacteria, ionizing radiation and certain chemicals and substances. For chronic respiratory disease (#4 cause of deaths0 tobacco smoke, including second-hand smoke, other indoor and outdoor air pollutants, allergens and exposure to occupational agents. The fifth leading cause of death, unintentional injury, risks include lack of seatbelt and motorcycle helmet use, unsafe consumer products, alcohol and drug use, exposure to occupational hazards and unsafe home and community environments. MMWR 

Reducing Just 6 Factors Could Prevent 37million Deaths from Chronic Disease: Reducing or curbing just six modifiable risk factors -- tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, salt intake, high blood pressure and blood sugar, and obesity -- to globally-agreed target levels could prevent more than 37 million premature deaths over 15 years, from the four main non-communicable diseases (NCDs): cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory disease, cancers, and diabetes, according to new research. The Lancet, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60616-4 

Deaths Decline after Massachusetts’ Health Care Reform: Deaths declined significantly in Massachusetts four years after comprehensive health care reform, according to an article being published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Diets rich in antioxidant resveratrol fail to reduce deaths, heart disease or cancer: A study of Italians who consume a diet rich in resveratrol — the compound found in red wine, dark chocolate and berries — finds they live no longer than and are just as likely to develop cardiovascular disease or cancer as those who eat or drink smaller amounts of the antioxidant. Studies have shown that consumption of red wine, dark chocolate and berries does reduce inflammation in some people and still appears to protect the heart. "It's just that the benefits, if they are there, must come from other polyphenols or substances found in those foodstuffs.” "These are complex foods, and all we really know from our study is that the benefits are probably not due to resveratrol." Internal Medicine

NIH Says Sex Bias in Studies Makes Research Less Effective for Women: The U.S. government's medical research agency is taking steps to erase gender bias in biomedical studies, saying scientists too often use male lab animals and cells – which can mask the way men and women react differently to some drugs. Beginning Oct. 1 this year, researchers seeking grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) must report their plans for balancing male and female cells and animals in preclinical studies, with only “rigorously defined exceptions.” 

Purposeful Life Might be a Longer Life: Researchers analyzed data from more than 6,000 people who were asked if they felt they had a purpose in life and about their relations with others. The participants were then followed for 14 years. During that time, about 9 percent of them died. Those who died during the follow-up had reported feeling less purpose in life and having fewer positive relationships than the survivors. Psychological Science 

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