Mens Health | Womens Health News

Monday, October 31, 2005

Record number of US unmarried women give birth

More unmarried women in the USA are having babies than ever before. This does not mean more teens, it just means more unmarried women. In fact, teens having babies only make up 24% of that total - in 1970 half of all unmarried mothers giving births were teens. The age group that has seen the biggest rise in unmarried births is 25-29... click link for more info.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Structure of key cancer drug target identified

Researchers from Monash's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology have determined the structure of the protein JAK2 kinase, a discovery with huge implications for the design and development of new cancer drugs. NHMRC Industry Research Fellow Dr Isabelle Lucet, from Monash's Protein Crystallography Unit headed by Dr Jamie Rossjohn, was part of the team that determined the structure... click link for more info.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

McDonald’s to add nutrition data to packaging

By mid-2006 most McDonald’s food packaging, such as the wrappers and boxes for hamburgers, will include basic nutritional information. Yesterday’s announcement confirms the key elements of industry rumors that CalorieLab Calorie Counter News reported here on October 5.

Each food package will contain a small infographic showing the amount of calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat, and sodium, indicated both in units and in the percentage of the Food and Drug Administration’s Daily Reference Values for a 2,000 calorie diet. As shown in the diagram below, the infographic will include a user-friendly bar chart displaying the percentage of the DRV that is contained in the item.

The announcement was met with praise by most nutrition and health authorities. However Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest quibbled that the packaging would not break out saturated and trans fat from the overall fat figure. And public interest law activist Professor John Banzhaf of George Washington University Law School expressed concern that the values to be displayed were based only on a 2,000 calorie diet. This exceeds the calorie needs of small children, who represent a significant segment of McDonald’s customers. The 2,000 calorie level is the standard for Nutrition Facts food labels for packaged food, and represents the average daily calorie needs of postmenopausal women. Men and active younger women usually need more calories, while children below 10 years of age may need fewer, depending on activity levels.

Both Jacobson and Banzhaf complained that customers would not see the nutritional information until after ordering their food, preventing comparison of items. In addition, customers who order multiple items need to add up the values themselves.

A spokeswoman for Burger King told the New York Times that they had no plans to add nutritional labels to their packaging. For the benefit of Burger King customers CalorieLab Calorie Counter News took the liberty in the diagram above to use the nutritional data for the Burger King Enormous Omelet Sandwich, formatted according to the new McDonald’s packaging standards.

Polly Wanna Crack Down on Avian Flu?

2005_10_health_polly2.gifIt's funny how much more attention the Avian Flu is getting now that a parrot has died from the virus in London. The disease felt more distant and exotic when it was just knocking off hens and roosters in the crowded marketplaces and butcheries of Asia. And now that several swans, other darlings of the bird world, have fallen ill in Romania, the public's interest (and fear) will continue to grow.

As part of the most recent frenzy over the disease on our own homefront, a lab outside of Albany has been examining hundreds of New York City bird cadavers for possible infection. Of the 360 birds examined so far, none has been found to be a carrier. With its tremendous poultry market, New York City is estimated to be one of the top 5 cities in America that would be affected by the virus if it were to make its way over here. Worse yet would be if the virus were to mutate and make the jump to humans. But while about 60 people have died from the illness worldwide, only 1 is confirmed to have caught it from another human. This puts a New Yorker's chance of getting sick as VERY LOW confirming the World Health Organization's advice to just stay informed and relax.

Check out this BBC map which shows where the virus is these days.

Image from

[via Blogdigger search for health science]

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Testosterone therapy improves sexual function in post-menopausal women

The addition of testosterone to hormone therapy in women after menopause enhances their sexual function. However, it may also reduce HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) in women, according to a systematic review of current evidence. "If the reduction in HDL had been associated with an increase in triglycerides [fatty acids] or LDL cholesterol it would be of great concern," said Dr... click link for more info.

Monday, October 24, 2005

New tumor vessels require macrophages to bud

Inflammatory angiogenesis is a critical process in tumor progression and other diseases. The inflammatory cytokine IL-1beta promotes angiogenesis, tumor growth, and metastasis, but its mechanisms remained unclear. In a paper appearing online on October 20 in advance of print publication of the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Mayumi Ono and colleagues from Kyushu University examined the association between IL-1beta-induced angiogenesis and cell inflammation... click link for more info.

Wearables For Health did a report on health monitors recently, which many would like to be a ubiquitous part of their lives. These devices are becoming more and more portable, from arm bands, to fabric embedded electronics.

Fabric-embedded electronics are no longer science fiction and the health industry in particular seem keen to develop its potential, perhaps because 'gear' is already an integral part of it.

A product that now is taking off is a "stress band", which is worn on the arm and collects data on the wearer's physical state. Until recently, the band was a research tool used to measure the stress in drivers but now, the Fitness Group Apex are promoting the band for consumers as a weight-loss monitoring tool.

Similarly, a shirt developed some years ago by VivoMetrics - which collects and analyzes its wearer's respiration flow, heart rate, and other key metrics - is already used in top medical schools and drug companies. The garment, which collects and analyzes its wearer's respiration flow, heart rate, and other key metrics, can allow researchers to see in real time whether a new treatment is working.

This article also gets into the real guts of smart fabrics with this paragraph about developments over the last two years:

DuPont created new fibers called Aracon, made of Kevlar, that are superstrong, can conduct electricity, and can be woven into ordinary-looking clothes. And chipmaker Infineon developed chip packaging allowing wearable computers to be washed, even in the heavy-duty cycle.

[via Blogdigger search for health science]

Sirolimus-eluting Coronary Stent outperforms paclitaxel eluting stent in seven study meta-analysis

The most comprehensive and detailed analysis conducted to date of drug-eluting stent comparative trials shows a marked difference in the rate of target lesion revascularization (TLR) and restenosis in patients who received the CYPHER® Stent vs. the Taxus Stent in seven studies totaling 4,214 patients... click link for more info.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Good Medicine

BBC ImageBBC Medical Science -- The drug Herceptin cuts the risk of tumours returning in women with early stage breast cancer by 50%, a US study has shown. A second study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed Herceptin can also reduce cancer recurrence when combined with a chemotherapy drug. A leading cancer expert called the studies' findings "stunning". But they will increase pressure on regulators to make Herceptin available for early as well as advanced cancers. Herceptin, which also has the generic name traztuzumab, targets a protein called HER2, which appears to be over-abundant in some women's breast cancers. An estimated fifth of breast cancer cases - around 10,000 women in the UK - are HER2 positive. Roche, which makes Herceptin, has to submit an application to European regulators before the drug can be licensed for use in early-stage disease. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence then has to give its approval for the drug to be prescribed on the NHS. The government has said this process should be fast-tracked. But it is likely to be next spring before Herceptin goes through all these regulatory hoops. Until then, it will be up to primary care trusts to decide if they will fund the treatment for women, which can cost £30,000 a year. On Tuesday, PCTs in Devon and Cornwall announced they would fund the treatment, and last month Barbara Clark won her battle to persuade Somerset PCT to pay for her to have the drug. (10/19/05)

Prototype Bird Flu Vaccine Promising

Public Health ScientistsBBC Medical Science -- Hungary's health minister says a bird flu vaccine appears to be effective in early tests. The trial jab appears to protect humans and animals against the lethal H5N1 virus, preliminary results show. Testing of H5N1 vaccines are also is under way in other countries, including Britain and the US. However, the real fear is that H5N1 will mutate and trigger a human pandemic and such trial vaccines may not work in these circumstances. Experts estimate that it would take four-to-six months from the time a pandemic flu strain emerges to develop and manufacture a bespoke vaccine. At present, H5N1 flu strain poses only a limited threat to humans as it cannot spread easily between people. Experts say it is only a matter of time before the strain acquires this ability, causing a flu pandemic which could kill as many as 50,000 people in the UK. Hungary's health minister Jenö Rácz was among several dozen Hungarians who underwent tests of the trial H5N1 vaccine. He said: "The results are preliminary but I can say with 99.9% certainty that the vaccine works." UK ministers have arranged for 2-3 million doses of a H5N1 vaccine to be available, which could offer some protection against the virus. This could be given to people at particularly high risk of infection, such as health care workers. Researchers would also be able to carry out further clinical studies on the H5N1 vaccine to learn more about how it works against the virus and how effective it could be. The Department of Health is also stockpiling 14.6 million doses of the antiviral drug Tamiflu which works by reducing the symptoms and the risk of a carrier passing on the virus. (10/20/05)

Cervical cancer has profound psychosocial impact on affected women, as well as male partners

A recent study in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer revealed that women with cervical cancer have a broad range of concerns regarding cervical cancer, its treatment and additional psychosocial issues, including but not limited to sexuality, and that their male partners had equal levels of concerns in the first year following treatment, contrary to beliefs that the types or intensities of concerns between the two may differ... click link for more info.

Treating multiple brain tumors with radiosurgery results in improved survival

Treating four or more brain tumors in a single radiosurgery session resulted in improved survival compared to whole brain radiation therapy alone, according to a study the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine presented today at the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) in Denver... click link for more info.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

ECG transmission by cell phone speeds heart attack treatment

By avoiding delays in the ER, interventional cardiologists quickly restore blood flow to the heart - A Michigan hospital has cut in half the time it takes to begin life-saving treatment of heart attack patients by using cell phones to transmit electrocardiograms (ECGs) from the field, according to a study in the just-published November 2005 issue of Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions: Journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions... click link for more info.

Smaller is better for thrombopoiesis-stimulating agents

The Business Intelligence firm La Merie S.L. recently analyzed the pipeline of thrombopoietin-stimulating agents. Main outcome of the search was that only two recombinant macromolecular proteins of the many projects initiated in the last decade are left. These protein projects are closely followed by oral small molecule and recombinant small protein developments which offer more convenience in dosing and less risk for immunogenicity... click link for more info.

Researchers call for better recognition and pain management of endometriosis

Women with endometriosis can wait up to ten years for the painful gynaecological condition to be diagnosed, according to a paper in the latest Journal of Clinical Nursing. Their experiences have led researchers from New Zealand's Massey University to call for greater awareness of endometriosis and the development of "long overdue" pain management services for sufferers... click link for more info.

Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators Cost-Effective for High-Risk Patients, Study Finds

Implantable cardiac defibrillators could be cost-effective for patients at high risk for cardiac arrest, according to a study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Wall Street Journal reports. For the study, government and university researchers analyzed eight large studies that examined the use of implantable defibrillators to prevent cardiac arrest (Armstrong, Wall Street Journal, 10/6)... click link for more info.

Mice provide insight into therapy-induced cancers in humans

Scientists have developed a new tool that may prove to be invaluable for investigating the long-term mutagenic effects of chemotherapy and radiation, therapies that are widely used for the treatment of cancer. The research study, published in the October issue of Cancer Cell, provides evidence that a genetically engineered mouse model faithfully recapitulates treatment-associated cancers that occur in humans and may be useful for investigating the mechanisms involved in the development of therapy-induced cancers and for testing preventive strategies... click link for more info.

Heredity plays big role in heart disease risk factors

Heredity plays a major role in determining the blood lipid profile and heart rate variability of blacks and whites, two major risk factors for coronary artery disease, researchers say. "There are some interesting ethnic differences in cardiovascular risk factors, including the fact that blacks tend to have higher HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and lower triglycerides, which is an advantage, and we suspect it is due to genetic influences," says Dr... click link for more info.

Adipose stem cells improve cardiac function in preclinical heart attack model

Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. (Frankfurt: XMP), today presented results demonstrating that adipose stem cells improved cardiac function following a severe heart attack in a porcine study. This is the first preclinical study in which the injected cells were autologous, meaning they came from the animals' own tissue, were not cultured, so that they did not undergo multiple cell divisions to achieve a target dose of cells, and were harvested and administered on the day of the heart attack... click link for more info.

Maternal Mortality Leading Cause of Death for Women Worldwide; Investment in Gender Equality Needed, UNFPA Report Says

More than 500,000 women died from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth in 2000, but 99% of those maternal deaths were preventable, according to the Population Fund's " of World Population 2005" report released on Wednesday, http://news... click link for more info.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Avantogen- New Test Proves Effective in More Cancers

Avantogen Limited today announced that cancer researchers at Perth's Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (TICHR) and Avantogen Limited have achieved an important milestone towards more individually targeted and effective treatments for cancer patients. The research team has now identified crucial genes in a range of common cancers that have been reported to predict a patient's response to treatment... click link for more info

[via Cancer/Oncology News From Medical News Today]

Heart Failure Patients Have Faulty Cooling Response, Less Blood Flows to the Skin's Surface

Reduced blood flow to the skin's surface may be a key cause of heat-related illnesses in patients with congestive heart failure, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found. The first study to investigate how heat affects people with heart failure shows that one of two ways the body can cool itself is not as effective in those with congestive heart failure relative to healthy individuals... click link for more info.

Low-Income Women Less Likely To Receive Mammograms, CDC Report Finds, USA

Women without high school diplomas or with annual household incomes of less than $15,000 are less likely to receive mammograms than women with more education and higher incomes, according to a report published on Thursday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the http://www... click link for more info.

Merck's HPV Vaccine in Phase III Trial 100% Effective for Two Strains Causing 70% of Cervical Cancer Cases

Pharmaceutical company on Thursday announced that a Phase III, multinational study of its experimental vaccine Gardasil was 100% effective in preventing transmission of two strains of the sexually transmitted disease human papillomavirus, which together cause about 70% of cervical cancer cases, the http://www... click link for more info.

Researchers seeking alternative to surgery for brain cancers

With a four-year, $450,000 grant from the James S. McDonnell Foundation, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are working to develop an immunotherapy that would be a safe alternative to surgery for brain cancers. Current treatments of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy often provide only marginal survival benefits and sometimes leave patients, especially children, with losses of cognitive functions, said lead investigator David M... click link for more info.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Renal Cell Carcinoma, Trovax Phase II Results Encouraging

Oxford BioMedica, the leading gene therapy company, today announces preliminary data from the Phase II trial of TroVax in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The data show that TroVax is safe and well tolerated in this patient group and that the product induces a strong anti-tumour immune response against the 5T4 tumour antigen... click link for more info.

Ovarian Cancer Rate Not Declining, USA

The National Cancer Institute released a report this week stating that "Americans' risk of dying from cancer continues to decline…" This does not apply to ovarian cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States reports the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. "Women's risk of being diagnosed and dying from ovarian cancer is no less today than it was last year or ten years ago," said Sherry Salway Black, Executive Director of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance... click link for more info.

Hemophilia A - FDA approves room temperature storage of ZLB Behring's Helixate FS®

ZLB Behring announced today that Helixate FS has received approval to be stored at room temperature (up to 25¢X C, 77¢X F) for three months. The new storage guidelines for the treatment will provide users with greater flexibility and simplify storage options. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the storage labeling change based on data from testing to assure the labeled potency (number of recombinant FVIII units contained in a vial) remains within specified limits through the expiration date of the product... click link for more info.

Use of C-Reactive Protein to Assess Cardiovascular Risk

A new study concludes that widespread screening for cardiovascular risk by measuring blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein produced by the liver, should not be advocated. Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore analyzed data from more than 15,000 adult men and women and found that CRP appears to be tightly linked to traditional risk factors for heart disease rather than being an independent risk factor... click link for more info.

Men overcompensate when masculinity is threatened

Threaten a man's masculinity, and he will assume more macho attitudes, according to a study by a Cornell University researcher. "I found that if you made men more insecure about their masculinity, they displayed more homophobic attitudes, tended to support the Iraq war more and would be more willing to purchase an SUV over another type of vehicle," said Robb Willer, a sociology doctoral candidate at Cornell... click link for more info.

Postmenopausal hormone therapy increases breast cancer risk across all ethnicities

A cohort study of 55,371 menopausal American women has found no significant differences among different ethnic groups for the increased risk of breast cancer related to hormone replacement therapy. The study, published online September 16, 2005 in the International Journal of Cancer, the official journal of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC), did find that leaner women taking hormone replacement therapy had a relatively greater increase in breast cancer risks than heavier women... click link for more info.

Cervical Cancer Screening Rates Low Among Asian Women; Cultural Tradition Causing Stigma for Testing, Health Workers Say

USA - Health providers working to reduce the rates of cervical cancer among Asian women say cultural traditions are preventing women from undergoing screenings and seeking treatment for the disease, the Inquirer reports... click link for more info.

One in Seven Pill Users Lack Confidence in The Pill's Ability to Prevent Pregnancy

Over half of pill users say they have ever felt relieved to start their period and 14% - more than one in seven - always or frequently feel relieved, according to a new international survey. The survey also showed that while condom users are more likely to feel relief at the start of their period, women using the once-a-month contraceptive ring or an intrauterine device (IUD) are significantly less likely to feel relief... click link for more info.

Acrux reports progress in development of Testosterone MD-Lotion(R) for men

Acrux Limited, the Australian pharmaceutical company which specialises in administering drugs through the skin, today announced positive results from two more clinical studies of its Testosterone MD-Lotion® treatment for testosterone deficiency in men, which is associated with a number of symptoms including lethargy, depression and reduced libido... click link for more info.

Men also get breast cancer

Astounded and shocked is how men described feeling when learning they had breast cancer, a disease they didn't even know was possible for them to get, says Edie Pituskin, a University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing graduate student. Little is known about how men cope with breast cancer... click link for more info.