Cancer Rates Decreasing In US



Good news on the cancer front… next

Cancer Mortality Rates Decreasing In The US

Cristina Silva reporting for Newsweek stated that the National Institutes of Health’s Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer indicated “death rates for the most common types of cancer dropped for men, women and children from all racial and ethnic backgrounds from 2010-2014.” Investigators found that “the rates of new cancers were lower for men but held steady for women.”

Comment: As newer therapies are developed, we are slowly beating back this old enemy.


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Gum Disease Associated with Increased Risk of Death



Better pay attention to your gums… next

Gum Disease May Be Associated With Earlier Death In Older Women, Study Suggests

Susan Scutti reporting for CNN stated that research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests “gum disease and tooth loss are connected to a higher risk of early death in women past the age of menopause.”

Roibert Preidt in Healthday added that investigators “tracked data on more than 57,000 women aged 55 and older.” The researchers found that “a history of gum disease was associated with a 12 percent higher risk of death from any cause.”

Comment: Periodontal disease is a killer.


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Prolotherapy May Help with Knee Osteoarthritis Pain



A controversial approach to knee arthritis next

Prolotherapy May Help Ease Pain From Knee Osteoarthritis, Review Suggests

Lisa Rapaport writing fro Reuters reported that a review suggests prolotherapy, “an alternative medicine approach to joint pain that typically uses injections of sugar or sodium, may be worth trying for knee osteoarthritis after traditional approaches fail.” Investigators looked at data from 10 studies. The data suggested that “prolotherapy may be a safe way to help ease pain from knee osteoarthritis.” However, “the evidence on the effectiveness of prolotherapy isn’t strong enough to recommend it until after other treatments fail, said senior study author Dr. Nicola Maffulli.” The findings were published in the British Medical Bulletin.

Comment: Prolotherapy may work but the jury is still out.


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Pregabalin No Better Than Placebo For Sciatic



A commonly used drug for sciatica… does it really work? Next

Pregabalin May Be No Better Than Placebo For Relieving The Leg Pain Associated With Sciatica, Study Suggests

Jia Naqvi writing in the Washington Post reported  that research suggests pregabalin, which is “frequently prescribed for pain, is no more effective than a placebo at controlling sciatica.” The researchers at the George Institute for Global Health in Australia followed 209 sciatica patients in Sydney who were randomly assigned to receive either the drug pregabalin, more commonly known as Lyrica, or a placebo. The results showed no significant differences in leg pain intensity between the group on the placebo and that on Lyrica after eight weeks taking the drug or during the rest of the year on follow-up exams. Similarly, there were no differences for other outcomes such as back pain, quality of life and degree of disability.The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Comment: Surprising results


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Global Warming Leads To More Diabetes



Another danger of global warning… next

Global Warming May Result In 100,000 More Diabetes Cases In The Us Yearly, Analysis Suggests

Aren Kaplan writing in the Los Angeles Times reported that global warming causing a 1°C rise in environmental temperature could result in 100,000 additional cases of diabetes in American adults. Relying on recent studies linking insulin sensitivity to temperature, Dutch scientists and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gathered “data on the prevalence of diabetes in all 50 states” and their average temperatures “for each year between 1996 and 2013.” They “found that the higher the average temperature in a particular time and place, the higher the age-adjusted incidence of diabetes.”

Comment: Surprising and disturbing.




Spinal Underwear Helps Low Back Pain



Here’s some promising bizarre news for back pain sufferers…

Spinal Underwear May Relieve Lower Back Pain

Dr. Para Pullen reported in the Rheumatologist that Yoshihiro Hagiwara, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Upper Limb Organ at Tohoku University School of Medicine in Japan, and colleagues published a study in the Journal of Occupational Health.¹ Although the study included healthcare workers, medical assistants and physical therapists, the majority (81%) of the participants were nurses, all of whom had low back pain. The experimental group wore special underwear at all times except while bathing and sleeping. Unfortunately, the investigators did not have actual sham underwear, so they could not create a double-blind experiment.

The individuals in the experimental group wore the Spinal Underwear for three months, and the control group remained on the waiting list for three months. The same blinded examiner evaluated both groups at the beginning and end of treatment. The investigators found the Spinal Underwear was able to reduce low back pain in healthcare workers, as measured by VAS. It also reduced Somatosensory Amplification Scale (SSAS) scores, as well as increasing lumbar spine range of motion and reducing neck pain.

Comment: They ought to combine these with Depends. Now that would be a product!


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Beta Blockers Help With Pain



A heart medicine for pain?  Next

Beta blocker use associated with less joint pain and opioid use in osteoarthritis

Ajai Raj writing in Pain Medicine News reported on a study published in Arthritis Care and Research.  A University of Nottingham trial looked at 873 patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. From their prospective observational study they concluded that beta blockers, drugs used commonly for patients with cardiac disease and hypertension helped reduce arthritis related pain. In addition the use of opioids was also reduced. They proposed a randomized trial would better assess these findings.

Comment: Promising I believe.


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Morning People have Better Diets than Night Owls



So… does the fact you’re a night owl affect your eating habits… next

Morning People May Eat Healthier Diets Than Night Owls

Nicholas Bakalar writing for the New York Times reported on a study published in the journal Obesity that found that “morning people may instinctively choose a healthier diet than night owls.” The study was conducted by Finnish researchers who “tracked the diets of 1,854 men and women ages 25 to 74” and used “a well-validated questionnaire” to classify the participants as “morning people” or “night owls.”

Comment: Hmmm.  Food for thought.


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Brushing and Flossing Prevents RA



One simple task you can do to prevent rheumatoid arthritis

Brush And Floss To Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis

Ruth Kava writing for the American council on Science and  Health reported recent research published in Science Translational Medicine suggests how good dental care might well be an important factor in preventing the onset of RA.

The investigators, led by Dr. Maximilian Koenig from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, explained that a bacterium associated with periodontal disease — Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa) — could be the initiator of the autoimmune feature of RA. The investigators noted that Aa, of all the other identified microbes, was the only one known that could produce the spectrum of antigens found in the joints of individuals with RA.

To investigate this possibility, they collected fluid from the gum regions of people with periodontal disease and from those of controls and analyzed them for the presence of altered proteins which are known to be immune system targets.  In sum, people with periodontitis are more likely to have the Aa bacterial toxin and thus more likely to produce targets for the immune system. This in turn, links periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Comment: An interesting finding that confirms the research of others.


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CDC Says 1 in 5 Have Arthritis



How common is arthritis?  A lot more than you might think… next

CDC Says 1 In 5 Have Arthritis 

In the United States, doctor-diagnosed arthritis is a common and widespread chronic condition (1,2). Arthritis is a leading cause of disability (3) and is projected to affect 78.4 million adults by 2040.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has analyzed 2013–2015 the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to provide estimates of arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitations.

They have estimated that 54.4 million adults (22.7%) have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and that nearly 24 million adults with arthritis had activity limitations attributable to arthritis. This number has increased 20% since 2002.

Interestingly, nearly half of all adults with heart disease or diabetes have arthritis as do 30% of adults with obesity.

Comment: The incidence will probably continue to grow I think


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