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Archive for the ‘diseases and conditions’ Category

Active or Passive Exposure to Tobacco Smoking and Allergic Rhinitis, Allergic Dermatitis, and Food Allergy in Adults and Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

March 14, 2014 Comments off

Active or Passive Exposure to Tobacco Smoking and Allergic Rhinitis, Allergic Dermatitis, and Food Allergy in Adults and Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Source: PLoS Medicine

Background
Allergic rhinitis, allergic dermatitis, and food allergy are extremely common diseases, especially among children, and are frequently associated to each other and to asthma. Smoking is a potential risk factor for these conditions, but so far, results from individual studies have been conflicting. The objective of this study was to examine the evidence for an association between active smoking (AS) or passive exposure to secondhand smoke and allergic conditions.

Methods and Findings
We retrieved studies published in any language up to June 30th, 2013 by systematically searching Medline, Embase, the five regional bibliographic databases of the World Health Organization, and ISI-Proceedings databases, by manually examining the references of the original articles and reviews retrieved, and by establishing personal contact with clinical researchers. We included cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies reporting odds ratio (OR) or relative risk (RR) estimates and confidence intervals of smoking and allergic conditions, first among the general population and then among children.

We retrieved 97 studies on allergic rhinitis, 91 on allergic dermatitis, and eight on food allergy published in 139 different articles. When all studies were analyzed together (showing random effects model results and pooled ORs expressed as RR), allergic rhinitis was not associated with active smoking (pooled RR, 1.02 [95% CI 0.92–1.15]), but was associated with passive smoking (pooled RR 1.10 [95% CI 1.06–1.15]). Allergic dermatitis was associated with both active (pooled RR, 1.21 [95% CI 1.14–1.29]) and passive smoking (pooled RR, 1.07 [95% CI 1.03–1.12]). In children and adolescent, allergic rhinitis was associated with active (pooled RR, 1.40 (95% CI 1.24–1.59) and passive smoking (pooled RR, 1.09 [95% CI 1.04–1.14]). Allergic dermatitis was associated with active (pooled RR, 1.36 [95% CI 1.17–1.46]) and passive smoking (pooled RR, 1.06 [95% CI 1.01–1.11]). Food allergy was associated with SHS (1.43 [1.12–1.83]) when cohort studies only were examined, but not when all studies were combined.

The findings are limited by the potential for confounding and bias given that most of the individual studies used a cross-sectional design. Furthermore, the studies showed a high degree of heterogeneity and the exposure and outcome measures were assessed by self-report, which may increase the potential for misclassification.

Conclusions
We observed very modest associations between smoking and some allergic diseases among adults. Among children and adolescents, both active and passive exposure to SHS were associated with a modest increased risk for allergic diseases, and passive smoking was associated with an increased risk for food allergy. Additional studies with detailed measurement of exposure and better case definition are needed to further explore the role of smoking in allergic diseases.

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Guideline on the Use of Devices for Adult Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention

March 14, 2014 Comments off

Guideline on the Use of Devices for Adult Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention
Source: World Health Organization (via National Center for Biotechnology Information)

This guideline provides an evidence-based recommendation on the use of adult male circumcision devices for HIV prevention in public health programmes in high HIV prevalence, resource-limited settings. It also presents key programmatic considerations for the introduction and use of these devices in public health HIV prevention programmes. The primary audiences are policy- and decision-makers, programme managers, health-care providers, donors and implementing agencies.

The guideline was developed according to the WHO standards and requirements for guideline development. The process involved internal and external consultations with technical experts, national programme managers, consumer advocates and an evidence review methodologist. Two complementary annexes are also available.

Sustaining U.S. Leadership and Investments in Scaling Up Maternal and Child Nutrition

March 12, 2014 Comments off

Sustaining U.S. Leadership and Investments in Scaling Up Maternal and Child Nutrition (PDF)
Source: Bread for the World Institute

Nutrition creates a foundation for sustainable economic growth and good health. There is solid evidence that demonstrates that improving nutrition—particularly early in life, in the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and a child’s second birthday— can have a profound impact on a country’s long-term economic development and stability. Each year 3 million children die from causes related to malnutrition and more than 165 million children suffer from its consequences. Most live in just 36 countries. Because of the role that early nutrition plays in accelerating development and in the success of global food security, agricultural development, and health efforts, it is vital that the United States continues to show global leadership.

CRS — The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer (updated)

March 11, 2014 Comments off

The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via University of North Texas Digital Library)

Numerous federal, state, and local agencies share responsibilities for regulating the safety of the U.S. food supply. Federal responsibility for food safety rests primarily with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). FDA, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for ensuring the safety of all domestic and imported food products (except for most meats and poultry). FDA also has oversight of all seafood, fish, and shellfish products. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulates most meat and poultry and some egg products. State and local food safety authorities collaborate with federal agencies for inspection and other food safety functions, and they regulate retail food establishments. Other federal agencies also play a role. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has identified as many as 15 federal agencies, including FDA and FSIS, as collectively administering at least 30 laws related to food safety. State and local food safety authorities collaborate with federal agencies for inspection and other food safety functions, and they regulate retail food establishments.

CDC Grand Rounds: Preventing Hospital-Associated Venous Thromboembolism

March 11, 2014 Comments off

CDC Grand Rounds: Preventing Hospital-Associated Venous Thromboembolism
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a large vein, usually in the leg or pelvis. Sometimes a DVT detaches from the site of formation and becomes mobile in the blood stream. If the circulating clot moves through the heart to the lungs it can block an artery supplying blood to the lungs. This condition is called pulmonary embolism. The disease process that includes DVT and/or pulmonary embolism is called venous thromboembolism (VTE). Each year in the United States, an estimated 350,000–900,000 persons develop incident VTE, of whom approximately 100,000 die, mostly as sudden deaths, the cause of which often goes unrecognized. In addition, 30%–50% of persons with lower-extremity DVT develop postthrombotic syndrome (a long-term complication that causes swelling, pain, discoloration, and, in severe cases, ulcers in the affected limb). Finally, 10%–30% of persons who survive the first occurrence of VTE develop another VTE within 5 years.

VTE can result from three pathogenic mechanisms: hypercoagulability (increased tendency of blood to clot), stasis or slow blood flow, and vascular injury to blood vessel walls. Individual characteristics include congenital and acquired factors, such as advanced age or cancer, and interact with external factors, such as hospitalization or surgery (Table). Hospitalization is an important risk factor in the latter two mechanisms; injury and surgery are causes of vascular injury, and prolonged bed rest can cause stasis. Approximately half of new VTE cases occur during a hospital stay or within 90 days of an inpatient admission or surgical procedure, and many are not diagnosed until after discharge.

As a health-care–associated condition, VTE is receiving increased attention from patient safety experts, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Despite that recognition, the number of secondary diagnoses of VTE in hospital patients has increased, and during 2007–2009, an average of nearly 550,000 adult hospital stays each year had a discharge diagnosis of VTE (8). Nonetheless, VTE often is not recognized as an issue of public health importance. No ongoing surveillance system monitors the occurrence of VTE at the population level, and public education and awareness is limited.

The Systolic Blood Pressure Difference Between Arms and Cardiovascular Disease in the Framingham Heart Study

March 5, 2014 Comments off

The Systolic Blood Pressure Difference Between Arms and Cardiovascular Disease in the Framingham Heart Study
Source: American Journal of Medicine

Background
An increased interarm systolic blood pressure difference is an easily determined physical examination finding. The relationship between interarm systolic blood pressure difference and risk of future cardiovascular disease is uncertain. We described the prevalence and risk factor correlates of interarm systolic blood pressure difference in the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) original and offspring cohorts and examined the association between interarm systolic blood pressure difference and incident cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality.

Methods
An increased interarm systolic blood pressure difference was defined as ≥10 mm Hg using the average of initial and repeat blood pressure measurements obtained in both arms. Participants were followed through 2010 for incident cardiovascular disease events. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were performed to investigate the effect of interarm systolic blood pressure difference on incident cardiovascular disease.

Results
We examined 3390 (56.3% female) participants aged 40 years and older, free of cardiovascular disease at baseline, mean age of 61.1 years, who attended a FHS examination between 1991 and 1994 (original cohort) and from 1995 to 1998 (offspring cohort). The mean absolute interarm systolic blood pressure difference was 4.6 mm Hg (range 0-78). Increased interarm systolic blood pressure difference was present in 317 (9.4%) participants. The median follow-up time was 13.3 years, during which time 598 participants (17.6%) experienced a first cardiovascular event, including 83 (26.2%) participants with interarm systolic blood pressure difference ≥10 mm Hg. Compared with those with normal interarm systolic blood pressure difference, participants with an elevated interarm systolic blood pressure difference were older (63.0 years vs 60.9 years), had a greater prevalence of diabetes mellitus (13.3% vs 7.5%,), higher systolic blood pressure (136.3 mm Hg vs 129.3 mm Hg), and a higher total cholesterol level (212.1 mg/dL vs 206.5 mg/dL). Interarm systolic blood pressure difference was associated with a significantly increased hazard of incident cardiovascular events in the multivariable adjusted model (hazard ratio 1.38; 95% CI, 1.09-1.75). For each 1-SD-unit increase in absolute interarm systolic blood pressure difference, the hazard ratio for incident cardiovascular events was 1.07 (95% CI, 1.00-1.14) in the fully adjusted model. There was no such association with mortality (hazard ratio 1.02; 95% CI 0.76-1.38).

Conclusions
In this community-based cohort, an interarm systolic blood pressure difference is common and associated with a significant increased risk for future cardiovascular events, even when the absolute difference in arm systolic blood pressure is modest. These findings support research to expand clinical use of this simple measurement.

Dynamic Association of Mortality Hazard with Body Shape

March 3, 2014 Comments off

Dynamic Association of Mortality Hazard with Body Shape
Source: PLoS ONE

Background
A Body Shape Index (ABSI) had been derived from a study of the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–2004 mortality data to quantify the risk associated with abdominal obesity (as indicated by a wide waist relative to height and body mass index). A national survey with longer follow-up, the British Health and Lifestyle Survey (HALS), provides another opportunity to assess the predictive power for mortality of ABSI. HALS also includes repeat observations, allowing estimation of the implications of changes in ABSI.

Methods and Findings
We evaluate ABSI z score relative to population normals as a predictor of all-cause mortality over 24 years of follow-up to HALS. We found that ABSI is a strong indicator of mortality hazard in this population, with death rates increasing by a factor of 1.13 (95% confidence interval, 1.09–1.16) per standard deviation increase in ABSI and a hazard ratio of 1.61 (1.40–1.86) for those with ABSI in the top 20% of the population compared to those with ABSI in the bottom 20%. Using the NHANES normals to compute ABSI z scores gave similar results to using z scores derived specifically from the HALS sample. ABSI outperformed as a predictor of mortality hazard other measures of abdominal obesity such as waist circumference, waist to height ratio, and waist to hip ratio. Moreover, it was a consistent predictor of mortality hazard over at least 20 years of follow-up. Change in ABSI between two HALS examinations 7 years apart also predicted mortality hazard: individuals with a given initial ABSI who had rising ABSI were at greater risk than those with falling ABSI.

Conclusions
ABSI is a readily computed dynamic indicator of health whose correlation with lifestyle and with other risk factors and health outcomes warrants further investigation.

Promising Agricultural Technologies for Feeding the World’s Poorest

March 3, 2014 Comments off

Promising Agricultural Technologies for Feeding the World’s Poorest
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute

Increased demand for food due to population and income growth and the impacts of climate change on agriculture will ratchet up the pressure for increased and more sustainable agricultural production to feed the planet. A new report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) measures the impacts of agricultural innovation on farm productivity, prices, hunger, and trade flows as we approach 2050 and identifies practices which could significantly benefit developing nations.

Mortality from road crashes in 193 countries: a comparison with other leading causes of death

February 26, 2014 Comments off

Mortality from road crashes in 193 countries: a comparison with other leading causes of death
Source: Transportation Research Institute (University of Michigan)

This study compared, for each country of the world, the fatalities per population from road crashes with fatalities per population from three leading causes of death (malignant neoplasm, ischaemic heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease), and from all causes. The data, applicable to 2008, came from the World Health Organization. The main findings are as follows:
(1) For the world, there are 18 fatalities from road crashes per 100,000 population, as compared with 113 for malignant neoplasm, 108 for ischaemic heart disease, and 91 for cerebrovascular disease. The highest fatality rate from road crashes is in Namibia (45) and the lowest in the Maldives (2).
(2) For the world, fatalities from road crashes represent 2.1% of fatalities from all causes. The highest percentage is in the United Arab Emirates (15.9%) and the lowest in the Marshall Islands (0.3%).
(3) For the world, fatalities from road crashes represent 15.9% of fatalities from malignant neoplasm. The highest percentage is in Namibia (153.9%) and the lowest in the Maldives (1.7%).
(4) For the world, fatalities from road crashes represent 16.7% of fatalities from ischaemic heart disease. The highest percentage is in Qatar (123.9%) and the lowest in Malta (1.9%).
(5) For the world, fatalities from road crashes represent 19.6% of fatalities from cerebrovascular disease. The highest percentage is in Qatar (529.7%) and the lowest in the Marshall Islands (2.3%). The appendixes list the rates and percentages for each individual country.

The Role of Health in Retirement

February 24, 2014 Comments off

The Role of Health in Retirement
Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

This paper constructs and estimates a dynamic model of the evolution of health for those over the age of 50 and then embeds that model of health dynamics in a structural, econometric model of retirement and saving.

The health model traces the effects of smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption, depression and other proclivities on medical conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, cancer, lung disease, heart problems, stroke, psychiatric problems and arthritis. These in turn influence an overall index of health status based on self-reported health, work limitations and ADLs, which is used to classify the population into good, fair, poor or terrible health.

Compared to a situation where the entire population is in good health, the current health status of the population reduces the retirement age of the entire population by an average of about one year. While poor health or terrible health have a great impact on the disutility of work and thus on retirement, fair health as opposed to good health has a relatively minor effect. Smoking depresses full-time work effort by up to 3.5 percentage points by those in the early sixties, reducing the average retirement age by four to five months. Effects of trends in health care and health policies on retirement are also analyzed.

Including detailed measurement of health dynamics in a retirement model improves understanding of the effects of health on retirement. It does not, however, influence estimates of the marginal effects of economic incentives on retirement.

Harmonizing Nutrition Monitoring and Evaluation Across U.S. Government Agencies

February 24, 2014 Comments off

Harmonizing Nutrition Monitoring and Evaluation Across U.S. Government Agencies (PDF)
Source: Bread for the World Institute

• Significant resources and political will are being mobilized for global nutrition. The new whole of U.S. government Nutrition Strategy being developed is an opportunity to unite departments and agencies behind a common nutrition goal.

• Under Feed the Future (FTF), the U.S. government is working to strengthen how evidence-based nutrition interventions are integrated into development projects working across sectors. Results and lessons learned from the first two years of FTF implementation need to be gathered, shared and applied across all relevant U.S. government funded programs.

• A monitoring and evaluation framework, operational and technical guidance as well as program tools for nutrition have been developed under FTF and the Global Health Initiative (GHI). These materials need to be harmonized and adapted for routine use by relevant departments and agencies.

• Sustained senior-level government commitment and increased in-house nutrition technical capacity in headquarters offices and the field will be key for the U.S. government to achieve its global nutrition objectives working across departments, agencies and initiatives.

Disability Status as an Antecedent to Chronic Conditions: National Health Interview Survey, 2006–2012

February 24, 2014 Comments off

Disability Status as an Antecedent to Chronic Conditions: National Health Interview Survey, 2006–2012
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Introduction
A strong relationship exists between disability and poor health. This relationship could exist as a result of disabilities emerging from chronic conditions; conversely, people with disabilities may be at increased risk of developing chronic conditions. Studying health in relation to age of disability onset can illuminate the extent to which disability may be a risk factor for future poor health.

Methods
We used data from the 2006–2012 National Health Interview Survey and conducted weighted logistic regression analyses to compare chronic conditions in adults with lifelong disabilities (n = 2,619) and adults with no limitations (n = 122,395).

Results
After adjusting for sociodemographic differences, adults with lifelong disabilities had increased odds of having the following chronic conditions compared with adults with no limitations: coronary heart disease (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.92; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.33–3.66) cancer (AOR = 1.61; 95% CI, 1.34–1.94), diabetes (AOR = 2.57; 95% CI, 2.10–3.15), obesity (AOR = 1.81; 95% CI, 1.63–2.01), and hypertension (AOR = 2.18; 95% CI, 1.94–2.45). Subpopulations of people with lifelong disabilities (ie, physical, mental, intellectual/developmental, and sensory) experienced similar increased odds for chronic conditions compared with people with no limitations.

Conclusion
Adults with lifelong disabilities were more likely to have chronic conditions than adults with no limitations, indicating that disability likely increases risk of developing poor health. This distinction is critical in understanding how to prevent health risks for people with disabilities. Health promotion efforts that target people living with a disability are needed.

The Food Assistance Landscape: FY 2013 Annual Report

February 21, 2014 Comments off

The Food Assistance Landscape: FY 2013 Annual Report
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

In this report, the Economic Research Service uses preliminary data from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to examine trends in U.S. food and nutrition assistance programs through fiscal 2013 (October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013) and ERS data to examine trends in the prevalence and severity of household food insecurity in the United States through 2012.

CRS — Food Fraud and “Economically Motivated Adulteration” of Food and Food Ingredients

February 19, 2014 Comments off

Food Fraud and “Economically Motivated Adulteration” of Food and Food Ingredients (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via MSPB Watch)

Food fraud, or the act of defrauding buyers of food or ingredients for economic gain—whether they be consumers or food manufacturers, retailers, and importers—has vexed the food industry throughout history. Some of the earliest reported cases of food fraud, dating back thousands of years, involved olive oil, tea, wine, and spices. These products continue to be associated with fraud, along with some other foods. Although the vast majority of fraud incidents do not pose a public health risk, some cases have resulted in actual or potential public health risks. Perhaps the most high-profile case has involved the addition of melamine to high-protein feed and milk-based products to artificially inflate protein values in products that may have been diluted. In 2007, pet food adulterated with melamine reportedly killed a large number of dogs and cats in the United States, followed by reports that melamine-contaminated baby formula had sickened thousands of Chinese children. Fraud was also a motive behind Peanut Corporation of America’s actions in connection with the Salmonella outbreak in 2009, which killed 9 people and sickened 700. Reports also indicate that fish and seafood fraud is widespread, consisting mostly of a lowervalued species, which may be associated with some types of food poisoning or allergens, mislabeled as a higher-value species. Other types of foods associated with fraud include honey, meat and grain-based foods, fruit juices, organic foods, coffee, and some highly processed foods.

Twenty five year follow-up for breast cancer incidence and mortality of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study: randomised screening trial

February 18, 2014 Comments off

Twenty five year follow-up for breast cancer incidence and mortality of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study: randomised screening trial (PDF)
Source: British Medical Journal

Objective
To compare breast cancer incidence and mortality up to 25 years in women aged 40-59 who did or did not undergo mammography screening.

Design
Follow-up of randomised screening trial by centre coordinators, the study’s central office, and linkage to cancer registries and vital statistics databases.

Setting 15 screening centres in six Canadian provinces,1980-85 (Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia).

Participants 89 835 women, aged 40-59, randomly assigned to mammography (five annual mammography screens) or control (no mammography).

Interventions
Women aged 40-49 in the mammography arm and all women aged 50-59 in both arms received annual physical breast examinations. Women aged 40-49 in the control arm received a single examination followed by usual care in the community.

Main outcome measure
Deaths from breast cancer.

Results
During the five year screening period, 666 invasive breast cancers were diagnosed in the mammography arm (n=44 925 participants) and 524 in the controls (n=44 910), and of these, 180 women in the mammography arm and 171 women in the control arm died of breast cancer during the 25 year follow-up period. The overall hazard ratio for death from breast cancer diagnosed during the screening period associated with mammography was 1.05 (95% confidence interval 0.85 to 1.30). The findings for women aged 40-49 and 50-59 were almost identical. During the entire study period, 3250 women in the mammography arm and 3133 in the control arm had a diagnosis of breast cancer, and 500 and 505, respectively, died of breast cancer. Thus the cumulative mortality from breast cancer was similar between women in the mammography arm and in the control arm (hazard ratio 0.99, 95% confidence interval 0.88 to 1.12). After 15 years of follow-up a residual excess of 106 cancers was observed in the mammography arm, attributable to over-diagnosis.

Conclusion
Annual mammography in women aged 40-59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer beyond that of physical examination or usual care when adjuvant therapy for breast cancer is freely available. Overall, 22% (106/484) of screen detected invasive breast cancers were over-diagnosed, representing one over-diagnosed breast cancer for every 424 women who received mammography screening in the trial.

Global Control and Regional Elimination of Measles, 2000–2012

February 14, 2014 Comments off

Global Control and Regional Elimination of Measles, 2000–2012
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

In 2010, the World Health Assembly established three milestones toward global measles eradication to be reached by 2015: 1) increase routine coverage with the first dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV1) for children aged 1 year to ≥90% nationally and ≥80% in every district, 2) reduce and maintain annual measles incidence at <5 cases per million, and 3) reduce measles mortality by 95% from the 2000 estimate (1).* After the adoption by member states of the South-East Asia Region (SEAR) of the goal of measles elimination by 2020, elimination goals have been set by member states of all six World Health Organization (WHO) regions, and reaching measles elimination in four WHO regions by 2015 is an objective of the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP).† This report updates the previous report for 2000–2011 (2) and describes progress toward global control and regional elimination of measles during 2000–2012.

During this period, increases in routine MCV coverage, plus supplementary immunization activities (SIAs)§ reaching 145 million children in 2012, led to a 77% decrease worldwide in reported measles annual incidence, from 146 to 33 per million population, and a 78% decline in estimated annual measles deaths, from 562,400 to 122,000. Compared with a scenario of no vaccination, an estimated 13.8 million deaths were prevented by measles vaccination during 2000–2012. Achieving the 2015 targets and elimination goals will require countries and their partners to raise the visibility of measles elimination and make substantial and sustained additional investments in strengthening health systems.

Chronic Pain and Complementary Health Approaches: What You Need To Know

February 12, 2014 Comments off

Chronic Pain and Complementary Health Approaches: What You Need To Know
Source: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

What’s the Bottom Line?

Are complementary health approaches for chronic pain safe?
There’s no simple answer to this question. Although many of the complementary approaches studied for chronic pain have good safety records, that doesn’t mean that they’re risk-free for everyone. Your age, health, special circumstances (such as pregnancy), and medicines or supplements that you take may affect the safety of complementary approaches.

Are any complementary health approaches for chronic pain effective?
The currently available evidence is not strong enough to allow definite conclusions to be reached about whether complementary approaches are effective for chronic pain. However, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that some of these approaches, such as massage, spinal manipulation, and yoga, may help to manage some painful conditions.

FDA warns against using Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice

February 10, 2014 Comments off

FDA warns against using Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Fast Facts

  • Government officials are investigating a cluster of illnesses associated with Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Mexican Flavor sold in 5- and 25-pound bags.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, the FDA is warning food service companies and consumers not to use any Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice products sold in 5- and 25-pound bags.
  • These products are sold to food service companies that typically distribute to restaurants, schools, hospitals and other commercial establishments. However, the products may be available over the Internet and at warehouse-type retailers.
  • Food service companies and consumers who have purchased the products should not use the rice, and should return it to their point of purchase or dispose of it.
  • Uncle Ben’s Brand Ready to Heat, Boxed, Bag or Cup products sold at grocery stores and other retail outlets are not being recalled.

AHA/ASA Guidelines for the Prevention of Stroke in Women

February 7, 2014 Comments off

AHA/ASA Guidelines for the Prevention of Stroke in Women
Source: Stroke

Purpose
The aim of this statement is to summarize data on stroke risk factors that are unique to and more common in women than men and to expand on the data provided in prior stroke guidelines and cardiovascular prevention guidelines for women. This guideline focuses on the risk factors unique to women, such as reproductive factors, and those that are more common in women, including migraine with aura, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and atrial fibrillation.

Methods
Writing group members were nominated by the committee chair on the basis of their previous work in relevant topic areas and were approved by the American Heart Association (AHA) Stroke Council’s Scientific Statement Oversight Committee and the AHA’s Manuscript Oversight Committee. The panel reviewed relevant articles on adults using computerized searches of the medical literature through May 15, 2013. The evidence is organized within the context of the AHA framework and is classified according to the joint AHA/American College of Cardiology and supplementary AHA Stroke Council methods of classifying the level of certainty and the class and level of evidence. The document underwent extensive AHA internal peer review, Stroke Council Leadership review, and Scientific Statements Oversight Committee review before consideration and approval by the AHA Science Advisory and Coordinating Committee.

Results
We provide current evidence, research gaps, and recommendations on risk of stroke related to preeclampsia, oral contraceptives, menopause, and hormone replacement, as well as those risk factors more common in women, such as obesity/metabolic syndrome, atrial fibrillation, and migraine with aura.

Conclusions
To more accurately reflect the risk of stroke in women across the lifespan, as well as the clear gaps in current risk scores, we believe a female-specific stroke risk score is warranted.

Increasing socioeconomic disparities in adolescent obesity

February 6, 2014 Comments off

Increasing socioeconomic disparities in adolescent obesity
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Childhood and youth obesity represent significant US public health challenges. Recent findings that the childhood obesity ‘‘epidemic’’ may have slightly abated have been met with relief from health professionals and popular media. However, we document that the overall trend in youth obesity rates masks a significant and growing class gap between youth from upper and lower socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. Until 2002, obesity rates increased at similar rates for all adolescents, but since then, obesity has begun to decline among higher SES youth but continued to increase among lower SES youth. These results underscore the need to target public health interventions to disadvantaged youth who remain at risk, as well as to examine how health information circulates through class-biased channels.

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