Archive for August, 2014

Someone made a call…………..

Bullshit, Just publish and let the scientific community discredit or verify as it should.  This is political action… not a scientific one.

A paper that claimed government scientists covered up data showing a connection between vaccines and autism has been pulled by its publisher

Earlier in August, the journal Translational Neurodegeneration, an open access, peer-reviewed journal, published a re-analysis of a 2004 paper published in Pediatrics that looked at MMR vaccines and autism. The re-analysis of the data, by biochemical engineer Brian Hooker of Simpson University, claimed to find a higher rate of vaccination against MMR among a subset — African-American boys — of the original study population who developed autism than among those who did not, a finding that Hooker claims was suppressed by the authors of the original paper from the Centers of Disease Control. One of the co-authors of the 2004 paper, William Thompson, released a statement admitting to omitting the data after a secretly recorded conversation he had with Hooker was released on YouTube. (Thompson was not available for comment.)

MORE: Whistleblower Claims CDC Covered Up Data Showing Vaccine-Autism Link

Now, however, the editors of Translational Neurodegeneration have retracted Hooker’s paper, noting on its site that “This article has been removed from the public domain because of serious concerns about the validity of its conclusions. The journal and publisher believe that its continued availability may not be in the public interest. Definitive editorial action will be pending further investigation.”

Journal Retracts Paper that Questioned CDC Autism Study | TIME.

CARLSBAD >> The Mojave rattler, one of the most lethal rattlesnakes in the Southwest, has been gradually moving into new territory in Southeastern New Mexico.

The snake is a type of pit viper that has recently migrated from California and Arizona and appears physically similar to the area’s native Western diamondback rattlesnake and black-tail rattlesnake. Mistaking the Mojave rattler for the other rattlesnakes could mean the difference between life and death according to some experts.

The Mojave rattler’s fangs are infused with a neurotoxin that is much more potent than its diamondback counterpart, leading the New Mexico Game and Fish Department to dub it the “most dangerous of the state’s rattlers.” The snake has a reputation for being quick to strike and has venom nearly as toxic as a cobra according to a Game and Fish Department fact sheet on New Mexico rattlesnakes.

John Waters — Courtesy photoWestern eiamondback rattlesnake

John Waters — Courtesy photo Western eiamondback rattlesnake

Rick Johnson, a Carlsbad resident, was surprised to have seen two dead baby Mojave rattlers since last week.

Johnson’s mom found and killed a 10-inch-long snake after she found it on the porch of her La Huerta residence on Monday, and Johnson also saw another baby Mojave rattlesnake after it was killed last weekend by workers at the Riverwalk Recreation Center.

“I didn’t even know they existed until my mom told me about it,” he said.

Tony Hutchins, a snake whisperer in Carlsbad, said he first noticed the non-native Mojave rattler in and around the city about five years ago.

Hutchins described the snake’s venom as a “whole cocktail” and warned that if bitten, the nearest hospital should be alerted as the victim is en route because doctors must use different anti-venom for Mojave rattler bites than for other rattlesnakes.

Carlsbad Medical Center averages three to five snake bites per year and has treated five patients for snake bite wounds this year according to Nicole Chavez, the hospital’s emergency room director. Doctors routinely practice for the scenario, especially since the number of snakes in the city has been on the rise.

James Olsen holds a Western diamondback rattlesnake. The difference between the Western diamondback and the more venomous Mojave rattler can be seen in the

James Olsen holds a Western diamondback rattlesnake. The difference between the Western diamondback and the more venomous Mojave rattler can be seen in the rings around the tip of the tail. The Mojave has much thicker white bands than black bands on the end of the tail. (James Olsen — Courtesy photo)

While the Eddy County Sheriff’s Department Animal Control unit did not have available data on the number of calls to capture snakes, Captain Arcenio Jones said there has been “a clear rise in snakes in peoples’ yards” this year. Jones said snake sightings usually spike around this time of the year because the reptiles are readying for hibernation.

Hutchins, who runs a free snake trapping and recovery business, said he has also noticed an increase in the total amount of snakes in Carlsbad this year, including the Mojave rattlers. Hutchins said he has captured around 30 snakes in the first eight months of 2014, including seven inside the city limits of Carlsbad. Last year, he captured 15 to 20 snakes in the area.

Mojave rattlesnakes are smaller than Western diamondbacks, have a distinctively outlined diamond pattern on their back, and display prominent light and dark diagonal stripes on the sides of their head according to the Game and Fish Department.

The easiest way to distinguish the three snake species is by looking at their tail according to former desert biologist John Waters.

“A black-tail rattlesnake has a tail tipped with all black,” Waters explained. “On the Western diamondback, white and black banding on the tip of the tail is usually equal in width or sometimes slightly thicker with the black bands, while the Mojave rattler has banding with much thicker white bands than black ones on the end of the tail.”

Reporter Zack Ponce can be reached at (575) 689-7402.

Snake sightings on the rise, including more venomous Mojave rattler – Carlsbad Current-Argus.

They are developing a nail polish that changes color when it is exposed to date-rape drugs such as Rohypnol, Xanax and GHB, to help women detect if the colorless, odorless compounds have been slipped into their drinks.

via Special nail polish may help detect date-rape drugs – CBS News.

Scientists have found that sending electrical currents through the scalp to a specific network of brain structures can enhance people’s memories, for up to a day.

In a small study of healthy young adults, researchers used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to fire up certain networks involved in memory. That, in turn, boosted participants’ performance on memory tests — an improvement apparent 24 hours after the brain stimulation.

During TMS, an electromagnetic coil is placed on the scalp to create electrical currents that stimulate brain cells. In the United States, the procedure is approved for hard-to-treat cases of depression that don’t improve with standard treatments.

Experts stressed, however, that no one should seek out TMS to get better grades or to treat memory loss.

“This study is really a proof-of-concept,” said senior researcher Joel Voss, an assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

“It will take a lot more development before this could be used therapeutically,” Voss said.

The study, which appears in the Aug. 29 issue of Science, included 16 healthy adults aged 21 to 40. All underwent MRI scans to pinpoint a network of brain cells right below the skull that are well connected with the hippocampus — a structure deep in the brain that is key in memory.

The researchers hoped that by stimulating those superficial brain structures with TMS, they could rev up the hippocampus and improve people’s memories.

To test that idea, Voss’s team had the study participants take a test of associative memory, where they had to learn and remember a set of arbitrary associations between faces and words. The men and women then received 20 minutes of TMS every day for five consecutive days.

After three days, the researchers found, test performance started to improve. The gains were still there when the participants took the test 24 hours after the final TMS session.

It wasn’t just a matter of the test-takers getting better over time, according to the researchers. On a separate week, study participants all had “placebo” TMS — with no real brain stimulation — and their test performance did not improve.

“This is a really interesting study,” said Mary Sano, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine in New York City.

According to Sano, the results help identify the “pathways of memory consolidation” in the healthy brain. “That kind of basic knowledge is very important to understanding what goes wrong in disease,” she said.

But she agreed that years of research remain before TMS could potentially be used to either treat memory problems — from Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or other brain disorders — or to give healthy people a memory boost.

“Everybody probably has a desire to gain more control over their memory,” Sano noted. But she said researchers have much to learn about whether there are safe, feasible ways to do that.

As for TMS, specifically, Voss said it’s “remarkable” that a few sessions were able to improve memory performance — even in people with no impairments. “It’s amazing that the brain is so plastic,” he said, referring to the brain’s capacity to change.

“But,” Voss stressed, “we have a lot to learn, in terms of safety and effectiveness. We don’t even know if (in someone with a brain disorder) this would have benefits, or possibly make things worse.”

Based on what’s known from depression treatment, TMS is relatively safe. The main side effects are a short-lived headache and scalp discomfort. There also appears to be a small risk of seizure.

Right now, TMS is pricey. When it’s used for depression, one session typically costs around $300. And there is no MRI involved, whereas, if TMS were used for memory problems, an MRI would be needed to zero in on the brain networks connected to the hippocampus.

The precise location of those networks varies from person to person, Voss explained.

His team is planning a study of TMS in older adults in the early stages of memory loss. “Within about five years, we should have an idea of whether it’s potentially useful,” Voss said.

Electrical brain stimulation may boost memory – CBS News.

Scientists have developed the world’s first app to measure strength of tremors owing to alcohol withdrawal, providing guidance to direct treatment decisions.

The app also shows promise in making solid predictions about whether the tremor is real or fake.

Withdrawal is a potentially fatal condition that is easily treated with benzodiazepine drugs, a class of sedatives used to treat alcohol withdrawal, anxiety, seizures, insomnia and more.

But physicians are often reluctant to prescribe them because they’re frequently abused and can be dangerous when mixed with other drugs, especially alcohol and opiates.

The most commonly used clinical sign of withdrawal is tremor, especially in the hands and arms.

Judging tremor severity is harder than it sounds — it requires considerable medical expertise, and even experienced doctors’ estimates can vary widely.

Chronic alcohol abusers often come to the emergency department claiming to be in withdrawal in an effort to obtain benzodiazepines, and it can be difficult for inexperienced clinicians to determine if the patient is actually in withdrawal or “faking” a withdrawal tremor.

Front line healthcare workers had no objective way to tell the sufferers from the fakers — until now.

Researchers at the University of Toronto developed the world’s first app to measure tremor strength, providing objective guidance to direct treatment decisions.

A researchers’ team at Toronto’s Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital, St Michael’s Hospital and Women’s College Hospital tested the app on 49 patients experiencing tremors in the emergency room, and 12 nurses trying to mimic the symptom.

Their study shows that three-quarters of patients with genuine symptoms had tremors with an average peak frequency higher than seven cycles per second.

Only 17 per cent of nurses trying to “fake” a withdrawal tremor were able to produce a tremor with the same characteristics, suggesting that this may be reasonable cut-off for discriminating real from fake.

The app uses data from an iPod’s built-in accelerometer to measure the frequency of tremor for both hands for 20 seconds.

In the emergency room, clinicians filmed their patients’ hand tremor while using the app and showed the footage to doctors afterward.

First app to measure alcohol related tremors | Business Line.

in people, who can take up to 21 days to show symptoms and are not infected the way these monkeys were in a lab. Several experts said it’s not possible to estimate a window of opportunity for treating people, but that it was encouraging that the animals recovered when treated even after advanced disease developed.

via ZMapp cures monkeys of Ebola virus – CBS News.

Why I’m Ending My Boycott of German Cars – The Atlantic.

Putin denies invading Ukraine, warns West ‘not to mess with us’ – LA Times.

What will lead to a happy marriage

Less fucking around:

The report found that those who had fewer romantic relationships prior to tying the knot were more likely to find their everlasting love and happy ending.

The researchers also found that people who had children from prior relationships tended to struggle more with their marriage.

Testing out how insane they are:

The author also said couples were more likely to be happier when they made deliberate choices about how the relationship should progress such as deciding to live together before marriage rather than waiting until after the big day.

Having many friends verify they are not insane:

They found that among couples with 150 or more guests at their wedding, 47 per cent reported having a high quality marriage in the years that followed. But only 31 per cent of couples with weddings attended by 50 or fewer people said they were happily married later on. Couples that held medium-sized weddings, 51 to 149 guests, were not much better with only 37 per cent reporting that they had a marriage they felt would last the distance.

New report finds that a big wedding will lead to a happy marriage | News.com.au.

10 Outstanding Tacos in San Diego | mexican food – Zagat.

Now that it is clear that global warming has STOPPED the spin doctors and slackers with PhD’s are trying to justify their lies and doctored data with some excuse that the ocean is soaking it all up.  BULLSHIT!  It is the sun as predicted by the Landscheidt Cycle!

http://www.landscheidt.info/

 

Global warming’s ‘pause’: Where did the heat go? (+video) – CSMonitor.com.

“He put his arms up to let them know that he was compliant and he was unarmed, and they shot him twice more and he fell to the ground and died.”

via Looting, vandalism follow vigil for dead Missouri teenager – LA Times.

FORGET COLD BLOODED MURDER, there is some Looting, vandalism

NASA Climate Scientist

“Opinions vary about the hiatus, as some view it as evidence that man-made global warming is a myth,”

NASA said in a press release.

Hiatus, Climategate, fraud, incompetence, carbon tax, destruction of the middle class, fiefdom, enslavement.

Get a fucking clue.

Cycle 24 is validiating the Landscheidt cycles

Global cooling is coming per the Landscheidt Cycles

…..

NASA Climate Scientist Explains 15-Year ‘Global Warming Hiatus’ « CBS DC.

  • Scientists from the University of Michigan report that an analysis of the gut microbiome more successfully distinguished healthy individuals from those with precancerous adenomatous polyps and those with invasive colorectal cancer compared with assessment of clinical risk factors and fecal occult blood testing.

    They reported the results of their study (“The Human Gut Microbiome as a Screening Tool for Colorectal Cancer”) in Cancer Prevention Research.

    “A person’s gut microbiome is the collection of all the bacteria in their gut,” said Patrick D. Schloss, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan. “The number of bacteria in the gut is huge; it outnumbers the number of cells in our bodies 10 to one, and the diversity of the bacteria present is critical to our health. By sequencing the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene we were able to identify the bacteria present in each individual’s gut microbiome.

    “We found that the composition of the gut microbiome allowed us to identify who in our study had precancerous adenomatous polyps and who had invasive colorectal cancer. If our results are confirmed in larger groups of people, adding gut microbiome analysis to other fecal tests may provide an improved, noninvasive way to screen for colorectal cancer.”

    By analyzing stool samples from 90 individuals—30 healthy individuals, 30 patients with precancerous adenomatous polyps, and 30 patients with invasive colorectal cancer—Dr. Schloss and his colleagues established that the composition of the gut microbiome was different for individuals in the three groups.

    Using this information, they identified gut microbiome signatures for each group. Adding analysis of these signatures to assessment of age and race, which are clinical risk factors for precancerous adenomatous polyps, improved prediction of the presence of precancerous adenomatous polyps 4.5-fold. Adding analysis of the gut microbiome signatures to assessment of age, race, and body mass index (BMI), which are clinical risk factors of invasive colorectal cancer, improved prediction of the presence of invasive colorectal cancer 5.4-fold.

    In addition, analysis of the gut microbiome signatures was better than fecal occult blood testing at distinguishing individuals with precancerous adenomatous polyps from those with invasive colorectal cancer. Assessing BMI, fecal occult blood test results, and gut microbiome signatures together further improved the ability to distinguish between the two conditions.

    “The results of our study demonstrate the feasibility of using the composition of the gut microbiome to detect the presence of precancerous and cancerous lesions,” wrote the investigators. “Furthermore, these results support the need for more cross-sectional studies with diverse populations and linkage to other stool markers, dietary data, and personal health information.”

 

 

 

GEN | News Highlights:Gut Microbiome Serves as Colorectal Cancer Screening Tool.

Does this really work?

Dermanique Anti-Aging Face Serum and Lumera Eye Serum.

 

Federal Reserve and F.D.I.C. Fault Big Banks’ ‘Living Wills’ – NYTimes.com.

 

 

An award-winning meteorologist with 60 years of experience and founder of the “Weather Channel” has produced a video explaining the history of the man-made global warming hoax!

John Coleman was also a broadcast meteorologist of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). However, after being a member for several years, he quit the AMS after it became clear to him “that politics had gotten in the way of science.” Coleman explains in the video that there is no man-made global warming, and why he’s is sure about this. Coleman explains that the so-called “climate change” is extremely negligible from a long-term perspective and nothing unusual or alarming. He points out that Antarctic sea is close to an all-time high, and the polar bears population is as high as it’s been in recorded history.

Coleman says in the video there are 9,000 Ph.D.s and 31,000 scientists who have signed a petition saying that the CO2 global warming theory is a hoax!

This global warming is caused by people after your tax money! Our all-knowing government doles out some $4.7 billion to people like former Vice President Gore. So far it is costing the average family of four some $1,000.

This damning incident by an experienced and well-respected meteorologist proves that the “climate change” movement is primarily (if not all) politically based. Its ultimate goal is to make Americans the enemy of the planet (so they’ll agree to greater government control over their behavior) – and to reduce America’s use of oil, gas and coal-based energy sources.

Mr Coleman called this nothing more than left-wing, Chicken Little politics!

Ben Eubanks Sr.

Du Quoin

 

Voice of the Reader: Global warming a hoax.

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly… (read full bio)

Global warming – er, that is, global climate disruption – claimed another victim Sunday as Death Valley shattered its all-time record for coolest August 3 high temperature in history. Remarkably, Death Valley was a full 15 degrees cooler than its previous coolest August 3. The high temperature at Death Valley reached only 89 degrees Sunday, which was 33 degrees cooler than normal for August 3 and 15 degrees cooler than the previous record minimum high temperature of 104 degrees.

With no global warming during the past 17 years and remarkable cool weather becoming more frequent, global warming alarmists claim any departure from average – be it a warm departure or a cool departure – is more “proof” of a global warming crisis. Undoubtedly, alarmists will seize upon Sunday’s remarkably cool temperatures in Death Valley as more “proof” of a global warming crisis.

More likely, the shattering of all-time cool temperature records at Death Valley is a result of the Heartland Institute Effect. Just as cold temperatures invariably occur when Al Gore makes public appearances to raise the alarm about global warming, cold temperatures also invariably occur when the Heartland Institute hosts climate realism events. Just last month, the Heartland Institute hosted its 9th International Conference on Climate Change in Las Vegas, just a short drive from Death Valley. Last August, Atlanta set new records for lowest high temperatures when the Heartland Institute hosted its Emerging Issues Forum in the Peach State capital.

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly… (read full bio)

 

Global Warming? Death Valley Shatters Cool Temperature Record | Heartlander Magazine.

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Kathleen Lees k.lees@scienceworldreport.com

First Posted: Aug 06, 2014 06:09 PM EDT

Breast Cancer

As breast cancer remains the most common cancer in women worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, it’s estimated that 508,000 women died from it in 2011, alone . (Photo : Flickr)

via Rare Gene Mutation PALB2 Increases Breast Cancer Risk.

 

It is part of a very big picture:  Rare Gene Mutation PALB2 Increases Breast Cancer Risk.

 

The federal government this month has silently stopped publicly reporting incidents such as hospitals leaving foreign objects in patients’ bodies, and other life-threatening mistakes, USA Today reports.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) denied it was making the change last year.

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CMS removed the data on eight avoidable “hospital acquired conditions” (HACs) from its comparison site last summer, but did keep it on a public spreadsheet accessible to researchers, patient-safety advocates and consumers who could translate it. But as of last month, that public spreadsheet is gone, leaving researchers to calculate their own rates using claims data.

Prior to the removal, the Hospital Compare website listed how frequent HACs occurred at numerous acute care hospitals – medical facilities where patients stay up to 25 days for severe injuries, illnesses, or while recovering from surgery – in the U.S. Now, CMS is only reporting the rate of occurrence for 13 conditions like MRSA and sepsis infections after surgery, but are dropping others.

CMS told USA Today some of the new data includes different, more reliable measurements of the same condition, like the use of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data on bloodstream infections.

In an e-mail to USA Today, spokesman Aaron Albright said CMS changed what it reported to make things “more comprehensive and most relevant to consumers.” Albright also said the new measures received “strong support” from a partnership of the National Quality Forum, which reviews performance measures that might be used in federal or private reporting and payment programs. According to Albright, CMS prefers to use NQF-endorsed measures because they “offer a rigorous and thorough review process.”

But Helen Haskell, a patient-safety advocate, told USA Today she believes some members of the hospital working group she was in thought they were voting to strengthen the measures, not drop them.

“When we voted, I certainly didn’t think it would result in the (hospital acquired conditions) being removed from Hospital Compare,” Haskell, whose son died in 2000 of a reaction to medication after surgery, told USA Today.

NQF spokeswoman Ann Grenier told USA Today the panel decided the data should be removed because it wasn’t “appropriate for comparing one hospital to another.”  According to Grenier, a majority of the quality forum’s members represent consumers, insurers and others who buy health care. However she does acknowledge those who don’t work in the field full-time could find the process confusing.

The Affordable Care Act mandates that the 25 percent of hospitals with the highest rates of certain types of HACs, including hip fractures or sepsis after surgery, receive up to 1 percent less in Medicare reimbursement, USA Today reports. And additional Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement is withheld if treatment is related to one of the eight HACs.

Although the data is considered reliable enough to penalize hospitals, CMS and the American Hospital Association question the reliability of the data on mistakes, including foreign objects left behind after surgery.

CMS said it is working on new ways of measuring HACs that will represent some of the most common unfortunate events in hospitals and that the HACs that are not publicly available anymore are considered rare events that should never happen in hospitals. However, USA Today notes that that should make them harder to track and more important for consumers to know about.

USA Today reported in March that foreign objects may be retained after surgery twice as often as the government estimates. That number is about 6,000 times a year. Sponges account for more than two-thirds of all incidents and can ultimately embed in a person’s intestines, USA Today stated.

Nancy Foster, quality and patient-safety vice president for the American Hospital Association, told USA Today that the reporting of information and mistakes has to be reliable or it doesn’t benefit hospitals or consumers and “defeats the purpose of being transparent.”

But other experts say consumers do have a right to the information.

Leah Binder, CEO of the Leapfrog Group which issues hospital safety ratings, told USA Today, “People deserve to know if the hospital down the street from them had a disastrous event and should be able to judge for themselves whether that’s reasonable indicator of the safety of that hospital.”

 

Feds Stop Public Disclosure of Many Hospital Errors : News : Headlines & Global News.

 

Rare Gene Mutation PALB2 Increases Breast Cancer Risk.

 

Aspirin cuts cancer rates, review finds – Health – CBC News.

Vitamin D and Dementia: A Very Close Tie

Older patients with very low levels of vitamin D have about a 122% increased risk for dementia compared with those with higher levels, according to a large, prospective, population-based study.

The study provides “robust evidence” of the link between vitamin D and cognition and adds important new information to the association, said study author David J. Llewellyn, PhD, senior research fellow in clinical epidemiology, University of Exeter, United Kingdom.

Although earlier research had also uncovered this link, “we were able with much greater accuracy to sort of chart the level of vitamin D that seems to be relevant to a dementia risk,” said Dr. Llewellyn. ” It gives us valuable clues as to the kind of trials we should be doing next, and who we should be treating and with how much vitamin D.”

Low vitamin D levels “should ring alarm bells” that patients are at high risk for dementia, said Dr. Llewellyn.

The study was published online August 6 in Neurology.

The analysis included 1658 ambulatory and relatively healthy participants from the Cardiovascular Health Study in 4 US communities (Forsyth County, North Carolina; Sacramento County, California; Washington County, Maryland; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).

Dr. David J. Llewellyn

Researchers obtained blood samples in 1992–1993 and in 2008; they measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations. They classified these samples as follows: less than 25 nmol/L (severely deficient), 25 nmol/L or greater to less than 50 nmol/L (deficient), and 50 nmol/L or greater (sufficient).

Investigators assessed cognition through repeat MRI examinations, medical records, questionnaires, and annual cognitive assessments over about 6 years.

During 9317.5 person-years of follow-up, 171 participants developed any type of dementia and 102 developed Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The risk of developing both was significantly higher in persons who were 25(OH)D deficient or severely deficient.

In a model adjusting for age and season of sampling, participants who were vitamin D deficient had a 51% increased risk for all-cause dementia (hazard ratio [HR], 1.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06 – 2.16; P = .002) compared with those with sufficient vitamin D. Those who were severely deficient had about a 122% increased risk (HR, 2.22; 95% CI, 1.23 – 4.02).

After also adjustment for education, sex, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol consumption, and depressive symptoms, the HRs for all-cause dementia were 1.53 in those who were vitamin D deficient and 2.25 for those who were severely deficient.

Surprising Finding

This finding was “surprising” as it was “much stronger” than the 60% increased risk his research group found earlier (Arch Intern Med. 2010;170:1135-1141), although that study looked at “new cognitive problems” such as memory decline, which is a “cruder” way of assessing cognition, said Dr. Llewellyn.

In this new research, the strength of the association was sustained for participants with incident AD.

The association withstood many additional tests. A secondary analysis in which serum 25(OH)D concentrations were analyzed as a continuous variable provided a similar pattern of results, as did other analyses that adjusted for diabetes, hypertension, and ethnicity (for ethnicity, the results were somewhat altered, but the overall pattern didn’t change).

When participants who developed any dementia within a year of baseline were excluded, researchers also found an association between low vitamin D levels and dementia. This, said Dr. Llewellyn, indicates that the findings aren’t due to participants being in the early stages of dementia.

If that were the case, he said, “the association should start to get weaker when we do those analyses, but if anything, it’s probably the reverse; it was probably a little bit clearer, or at least the association certainly remained robust.”

The relationship was also not due to older people staying indoors or having a poor diet, which would lower their vitamin D levels.

“Our study was restricted to people who were pretty healthy at baseline,” said Dr. Llewellyn. “None had a stroke or cardiovascular disease; they were certainly not severely impaired or immobile.

Controversial Issue

“Low vitamin D levels likely affect cognition through both neurodegenerative and vascular mechanisms,” said the authors. They noted that vitamin D receptors are expressed in areas of the brain involved in memory, such as the hippocampus and dentate gyrus; that the active form of vitamin D regulates neurotrophin expression, such as nerve growth factor; and that vitamin D reduces amyloid-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis in primary cortical neurons.

The findings suggest that the optimal vitamin D level to prevent dementia is 50 nmol/L. Others in the field argue that a higher level — 75 nmol/L — is better, “but our data don’t support that,” said Dr. Llewellyn.

He stressed that lower levels might protect against other health outcomes; for example, about 25 nmol/L may help promote bone health or prevent rickets.

Should doctors recommend that older adults have their vitamin D checked? This, said Dr. Llewellyn, is a “controversial issue” because it involves “one of most expensive tests available to primary care physicians.”

Some people can’t synthesize enough vitamin D from sun exposure in winter months. Does this put them at risk for dementia? That’s unclear, although Dr. Llewellyn knows of research at the University of Edinburgh that found a trend connecting higher latitude and increased dementia risk in residents of the northern hemisphere, including Scotland and Scandinavian countries.

At this point, Dr. Llewellyn said he “certainly wouldn’t recommend” taking vitamin D supplements to prevent dementia. There’s better evidence for supplements preventing other outcomes, for example, bone problems, and although he doesn’t necessarily agree, some scientists believe there’s a tolerable upper level of vitamin D.

“It’s too early to tell whether supplementation is going to help or not; it might help and that’s why we need trials to dig into that,” he said. “Let’s do the research and see whether we can slow down the progression of dementia with supplements in trials.”

Compelling Link

The Alzheimer’s Association agrees that some sort of clinical trial — whether it’s with vitamin D supplements, increased sunlight exposure, or a vitamin D–enriched diet — is needed to test the effect on dementia, said Keith N. Fargo, PhD, director of scientific programs and outreach, Alzheimer’s Association, which helped fund the study.

Although the study results show a “pretty compelling link” between low vitamin D and later development of AD, and this “give us good-quality confirmation of existing findings,” the study only shows an association or correlation, said Dr. Fargo.

“All we can say now is that there is a link between the 2, but we don’t know why that link exists and we don’t know if change in vitamin D levels would change your risk ultimately for Alzheimer’s disease.”

What’s also unknown at this point is the appropriate blood level of vitamin D that might protect against the development of dementia, added Dr. Fargo.

As for supplements, Dr. Fargo pointed out that some studies have shown that vitamin E is beneficial in terms of cognition but that vitamin E supplements can increase risk for death.

“So it might not be a good idea for people to rush out, based on this one study, and start taking a lot of vitamin D.”

A limitation of the study is that it didn’t include Hispanics. It also excluded those with cardiovascular disease and stroke at baseline, so it was impossible to investigate the relationship between vitamin D concentrations and incident vascular dementia due to lack of statistical power.

In addition to the Alzheimer’s Association, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; the National Institute on Aging; the Mary Kinross Charitable Trust; the James Tudor Foundation; the Halpin Trust; the Age Related Diseases and Health Trust; the Norman Family Charitable Trust; and the UK National Institute for Health Research also supported the study. The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Neurology. Published online August 6, 2014. Abstract

 

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether low vitamin D concentrations are associated with an increased risk of incident all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease.

Methods: One thousand six hundred fifty-eight elderly ambulatory adults free from dementia, cardiovascular disease, and stroke who participated in the US population–based Cardiovascular Health Study between 1992–1993 and 1999 were included. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry from blood samples collected in 1992–1993. Incident all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease status were assessed during follow-up using National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke/Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association criteria.

Results: During a mean follow-up of 5.6 years, 171 participants developed all-cause dementia, including 102 cases of Alzheimer disease. Using Cox proportional hazards models, the multivariate adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence interval [CI]) for incident all-cause dementia in participants who were severely 25(OH)D deficient (<25 nmol/L) and deficient (≥25 to <50 nmol/L) were 2.25 (95% CI: 1.23–4.13) and 1.53 (95% CI: 1.06–2.21) compared to participants with sufficient concentrations (≥50 nmol/L). The multivariate adjusted hazard ratios for incident Alzheimer disease in participants who were severely 25(OH)D deficient and deficient compared to participants with sufficient concentrations were 2.22 (95% CI: 1.02–4.83) and 1.69 (95% CI: 1.06–2.69). In multivariate adjusted penalized smoothing spline plots, the risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease markedly increased below a threshold of 50 nmol/L.

Conclusion: Our results confirm that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease. This adds to the ongoing debate about the role of vitamin D in nonskeletal conditions.

 

 

Vitamin D and Dementia: A Very Close Tie.

Pros Outweigh Cons for Regular Aspirin

The cardiovascular, cancer, and survival benefits of regular aspirin use outweigh the harms for average-risk adults, according to a comprehensive review.

The relative risk reduction was between 7% for women and 9% for men for myocardial infarction, stroke, and cancer combined over a 10-year period. Long-term, regular aspirin use was associated with a 4% reduction in the risk of premature death over 20 years.

The benefits appeared to increase with the duration of aspirin use but not with the dose, Jack Cuzick, PhD, of Queen Mary University of London, and colleagues concluded in an article published online in Annals of Oncology.

“It has long been known that aspirin — one of the cheapest and most common drugs on the market — can protect against certain types of cancer, but until our study, where we analysed all the available evidence, it was unclear whether the pros of taking aspirin outweighed the cons,” Cuzick said in a statement.

 

Pros Outweigh Cons for Regular Aspirin.

 

“Starter Husband Hunting” comes complete with mini-pep talk and related imagery. For “Starter Husband Hunting,” the well-shoed model is posing in front of a bullseye with some arrows (Cupid’s bow?) and the accompanying text says:

Go get ‘em, tiger. Whether you’re looking for Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now… we got a shoe for that.

You know; STARTER Husband, the poor slob that is going to pay child support and alimony completely crushing his entire life.

 

Nine West’s Ridiculous New Campaign Sells ‘Husband Hunting’ Shoes | TIME.

California State University campuses are charging students huge fees for something their tuition is supposed to cover — classes.

In the past five years, some schools have shifted classes that were covered by tuition to special sessions, where single courses can cost more than $1,000 each, on top of a student’s annual tuition of about $5,500.

“It is hard, but it was a choice I had to make if I wanted to graduate on time,” said Laura Montes, an accounting major at San Jose State who paid $1,050 extra for a summer writing course that was overbooked during the regular school year.

Between 2007 and 2012, San Jose State alone cut back regular class offerings for 281 courses while adding more expensive versions funded almost entirely by student fees, according to a critical study of three campuses by California’s state auditor.

Laura Montes, center, attends a writing workshop taught by Monica Peck at San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif. on Monday, July 21, 2014. The class

Laura Montes, center, attends a writing workshop taught by Monica Peck at San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif. on Monday, July 21, 2014. The class is a required course in order to graduate. It is funded entirely through student fees. (Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group)

CSU Long Beach cut access to 398 courses and CSU Sacramento cut back 177 courses as they increased special sessions of the same classes, the audit revealed.

While the audit did not examine other schools, enrollment figures show a dramatic expansion of special session courses across the system.

CSU East Bay is offering special sessions this summer, at $724 a course — much less than San Jose State.

Decades ago, Cal State created its “extended education programs,” which offer the special classes, for job training and enrichment — not for full-time college students. But by last summer, more than 57,000 college students took the special courses — 17 times the number who took them in 2008.

What’s more, San Jose State and other campuses socked away surpluses from the courses. San Jose State’s reserve once reached $28 million, more than twice its CSU limit. Similar programs at CSU Sacramento and CSU Long Beach had reserves of nearly $11 million each in 2012, according to the audit.

“Extended education has become a cash cow for local campuses,” said Susan Meisenhelder, a professor emeritus at CSU San Bernardino and a former president of the California Faculty Association. “It’s pushed with all this warm and fuzzy access rhetoric, but it’s really to generate revenue.”

San Jose State’s leaders refused to respond to several interview requests for information about its special course fees and reserve.

Charging full-time students extra for courses their tuition is supposed to buy has set the system on a troubling course, say students and some faculty and lawmakers. And, because need-based state university grants don’t cover the cost of such classes, the policy could harm CSU’s many low-income students, they say.

The shift came at the height of the state budget crisis, after CSU’s former chancellor in late 2009 allowed campus presidents to expand their high-cost special classes in the summer.

Monica Peck, left, teaches a writing workshop course at San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif. on Monday, July 21, 2014. At right is student, Bao

Monica Peck, left, teaches a writing workshop course at San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif. on Monday, July 21, 2014. At right is student, Bao Lam. The class is a required course in order to graduate. It is funded entirely through student fees. (Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group)

Some students sued in 2010, arguing that state law prohibited replacing, or “supplanting,” regular classes with the special ones. CSU won the case, arguing that it violated no law as long as it didn’t eliminate a required course from regular session, even if it reduced the number of classes for it.

Now, the Legislature is considering how to more narrowly define the term “supplant” to prevent CSU from adding special sessions of courses that have been trimmed back in regular session.

Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, wanted to make the special class fees equivalent to a regular session class fees for students forced to enroll in them because they couldn’t get into a regular course.

But CSU fought to defeat the bill.

“The measure is an extreme response to a very specific issue and will harm students and faculty,” wrote Karen Zamarripa, CSU vice chancellor for advocacy and state relations, in a letter opposing Gray’s bill.

CSU is doing its best to help students after severe budget cuts during the recession, Zamarripa and other CSU officials have argued.

“We’re interested in meeting the demands that students have for courses, and any method that allows us to do that is important,” said Brad Wells, CSU East Bay’s vice president of administration and finance.

The compromise legislation by Gray and Das Williams, the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee chairman, would let CSU expand fee-based courses at the expense of regular classes only if state funding drops. AB2610 might not reverse the practice, said Gray, but it will “stop the bleeding.”

Monica Peck, right, teaches a writing workshop course at San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif. on Monday, July 21, 2014. At left are students, Uyen

Monica Peck, right, teaches a writing workshop course at San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif. on Monday, July 21, 2014. At left are students, Uyen Tran, left, and Bao Lam, center. The class is a required course in order to graduate. It is funded entirely through student fees. (Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group)

“We’ve sent a clear message to the CSU system what the expectations are for students,” he said.

Meanwhile, as students pay extra, some campuses — which set their own prices for the courses — are making money from the classes. State law and CSU policy allow schools to charge fees for a program’s cost and a small reserve, but the December audit found the schools routinely had multimillion-dollar surpluses.

San Jose State hiked its summer-course price by more than $200 in 2012, the audit report said, even though the administration expected the fees would bring in $2 million more than the classes cost. The auditor said the school had no adequate justification for the increase.

“I think if more people knew that, they would be upset, because who wouldn’t?” Montes said after learning of the reserve. The special class fee is “money we really don’t have, and to find out perhaps it’s not necessary to spend that much money is upsetting.”

CSU administrators say the courses are merely optional, not required. Students don’t always feel they have a choice.

If she had been able to get into a writing course during the year, San Jose State student Jevon Vines said, she wouldn’t be spending her summer writing essays. But, like other students, she didn’t want to risk delaying graduation and paying an extra semester’s tuition.

“If I hadn’t taken it in the summer I probably never would have gotten it during the regular semester,” she said.

“So I was willing to pay the extra $1,000 to get in and get it over with.”

Follow Katy Murphy at Twitter.com/katymurphy.

 

California State University’s big hidden fee – San Jose Mercury News.

Japanese MILF’s pubic hair removal

Different cultures have different norms regarding the acceptability of body hair. For example, in many countries of the world, women are largely expected to shave their legs and underarm hair when going out in public. But what about that other, far less public patch of hair?

The latest edition of Shogakukan’s News Post Seven teamed up with an online research agency to check up on the status quo of what Japanese women nowadays do with the ‘hair down there,’ especially now that attitudes in Japan are becoming increasingly similar to those in the West. Do they shave it? Tidy it up every so often? Leave it as is? The internet survey disclosed some revealing results.

If you’re a woman and visited a Japanese hot spring before, you may be able to guess that things are about to get a little hairy…

One thousand Japanese women between the ages of 20 and 69 participated in the survey about their own habits regarding pubic hair. The average age of the respondents was 41.9 years, placing a large number of them into the ‘married-with-kids category.’
Be

Half the MILF’s do not describe their pubic as a thick growth….

Half of the MILF’s that have thick growth do something about it.

When asked about the density of their pubic hair, a little more than half of the women, or 53%, said “It grows thick.” 

Those women with ‘thick growth’ also provided answers to the question

“How do you groom down there?” 

The most common answer was “I do absolutely nothing,” making up 56.2% of the total responses.

Other comments included:

“I remove the hair outside my bikini line” (26%)
“I trim the hair shorter” (23.6%)
“I remove the hair up to my genital region” (7%)
“I remove the hair up to my anal region” (5.5%)

The others without thick growth are likely blessed with little or no pubic hair as is common.

So one out of twenty have a hairless vagina.  That makes the Nihon women the least hygienic hair wise among the women of the world.

The article also featured a confirmation by one Ms. Minori Kitahara, who works at a shop in Japan called ‘Love Piece Club’ that offers hair removal services, including Brazilian waxing. This is what she had to say:

“Even nowadays we still see lots of women at hot springs who don’t shave down there at all, so the results of the survey make sense. Even though women shave their underarm hair, they leave their pubic hair as is.

“The customers who we remove pubic hair for here often want it removed for hygienic reasons, because “it’s hot and humid,” and because they place importance on the appearance of the lower half of their bodies.”

Of course, there are an unlimited number of personal reasons why many women see the need to remove pubic hair. To give you some more perspective, in 2012 the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN) provided an interesting overview about historical practices of pubic hair removal and some recent academic studies into the matter. According to one misguided researcher, pubic hair removal was uncommon among Western women before the 20th century. The razor manufacturing company Gillette proved instrumental in spreading the practice after they began advertising with the message that body hair on women was “unsightly,” . In fact it was so unsightly that most laws on vulgarity would allow a shaven pussy to be shown in a photograph of the day but not one with unsightly pubic hair.

Here’s a look from one Canadian study at some of the motivating factors for why women remove their pubic hair:

 

3

 

Although the presence of body hair went in and out of style in the mid to late 20th century, swimsuits and other fashions dictated the gradual cultural trend of women choosing to remove pubic hair. A study from 2008 found that

1 in 5 Australian College Girls remove all of their pubic hair. Another 2 out of the 5 remove some or most of their pubic hair.

61% of undergraduate Australian women removed their pubic hair, with the following breakdown: 20% removed a little, 44% removed most of it, and 36% removed all of it. The study also investigated the influence of fashion magazines and popular TV shows on whether women’s decisions.

Similarly, a large online study in 201o indicated that 20% of American women between the ages of 18 and 24 reported total hair removal.

1 in 5 Young women also remove all of their pubic hair in the USA

Over history it was generally necessary to keep the vagina clean of hair for hygienic reasons and parasites.  Only in modern times has daily showers allowed the laziness of ignoring care of the pubic area. Shaving is the common method in modern times but singeing with hot coals or flame, creams, and plucking have been common for thousands of years.

Sources: News Post Seven, SexualityandU

Internet survey sheds light on how Japanese women deal with the hair ‘down there’ | RocketNews24.

The $30 billion banks collect in overdraft fees each year may shrink as the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau imposes rules aimed at shielding customers from harm.

The agency is weighing regulations to improve consumer awareness of overdraft costs and restrict how banks can debit transactions and impose fees, according to a senior agency official.

“Despite recent regulatory and industry changes, overdrafts continue to impose heavy costs on consumers who have low account balances and no cushion for error,” Richard Cordray, the bureau’s director, said in an e-mailed statement. “Overdraft fees should not be ‘gotchas’ when people use their debit cards.”

The potential regulations are a response to an agency study being released today — following up from an earlier study released last year — that documents practices the CFPB says harms consumers. Cordray and the agency official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, briefed reporters in advance of the report’s release.

Cordray said that “in lending terms,” a person who overdrew a checking account by $24 and covered it with a deposit three days later would pay a median overdraft fee of $34. That’s the equivalent of loan with an annual rate of 17,000 percent, Cordray said.

Banks and credit unions reaped $31.9 billion in overdraft fees in 2013, according to Lake Bluff, Illinois-based Moebs Services, a research firm. Overdrafts occur when consumers spend or withdraw more money than is available in their checking accounts, whether through the use of debit cards, checks, ATM withdrawals or direct debits.

Small Transactions

The CFPB drew its conclusions from anonymized data it collected through banks it supervises, those with assets above $10 billion. Under authority it gained in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB oversees a range of banks from Wall Street giants including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM:US) to regional players such as Lafayette, Louisiana-based Iberiabank Corp. (IBKC:US)

In the study published today, the CFPB found that the majority of overdraft fees are incurred on transactions of $24 or less, and that more than half of consumers pay back negative balances within three days.

A 2010 rule imposed by the Federal Reserve, the CFPB’s predecessor as the main consumer banking regulator, required banks to obtain an affirmative “opt-in” from customers who want overdraft coverage when they swipe their debit cards. Without it, transactions are supposed to be declined at the point of sale.

The CFPB found that nearly one in five customers who do opt in overdraft their accounts more than 10 times per year, and pay seven times more in fees than those who do not opt in.

‘Expensive Way’

“Opting in for overdraft coverage for debit card and ATM transactions is an expensive way to manage a checking account,” Cordray told reporters in a conference call.

Large banks collect the lion’s share of the roughly $30 billion in overdrafts. Small banks, however, depend more heavily on the fees, which provide between 3 and 15 percent of total revenue.

The report concludes that the impact on consumers is similar at large and small banks, a point smaller banks have vigorously disputed.

The first area of possible regulation includes changing the process by which customers opt in to overdraft services. Consumer groups such as the Pew Charitable Trusts say that consumers are often confused about whether they in fact opted-in.

Transaction Order

A second area would address the order in which transactions are debited from a consumer’s account.

A court case against Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC:US) found the bank manipulated the order of transactions to maximize overdraft fees.

“I want to take pains to note that nothing in this report implies that banks and credit unions should be precluded from offering overdraft coverage,” Cordray said. “But we need to determine whether current overdraft practices are causing the kind of consumer harm that the federal consumer protection laws are designed to prevent.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Carter Dougherty in Washington at cdougherty6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Maura Reynolds at mreynolds34@bloomberg.net Anthony Gnoffo

 

Banks Face Hit on $30 Billion in Overdraft Fees From CFPB Rules – Businessweek.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notified top lawmakers Thursday of its plan to begin regulating laboratory tests used to diagnose dangerous diseases.

The announcement comes almost a month after Senate Democrats pushed the Office of Management and Budget to release FDA guidance that had been held up for years.

The agency attached the proposed guidance to their letters to Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

“The draft Framework Guidance proposes a risk-based, phased-in framework for oversight of [Laboratory Developed Tests] in a manner that is consistent with the FDA’s current regulation of in vitro diagnostic devices,” writes Sally Howard, an FDA deputy commissioner.

In the past, the FDA said it would not regulate diagnostic tests conducted at healthcare facilities because the tests were fairly simple and posed little risk to patients.

The agency’s position has changed over the past few years as the tests have become more complex and were used to diagnose more dangerous diseases such as cancer and Lyme disease.

“Ensuring that doctors and patients have access to safe, accurate and reliable diagnostic tests to help guide treatment decisions is a priority for the FDA,” said Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

“Inaccurate test results could cause patients to seek unnecessary treatment or delay and sometimes forgo treatment altogether,” she added.

Democratic lawmakers including Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (N.Y) jumped at the announcement, saying it would advance personalized medicine and transform the healthcare landscape.

“Once this guidance is finalized, doctors and patients can rest and test assured knowing that certain high-risk diagnostic tests have been subject to the additional oversight by the FDA that will help ensure that diagnoses based on these tests are sound,” Markey said.

But not everyone is happy with the FDA’s decision. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) says the FDA’s guidance will stifle innovation and require more taxpayer funding.

“FDA is the subject of much criticism from industry groups who are already under their jurisdiction,” he said. “As such, they are overburdened and take too long to approve products, which increases uncertainty for companies and negatively impacts innovation, as well as patient access to new treatments and devices.”

And a source familiar with the issue says it is likely to spiral into a major political fight as the midterm elections loom, and there are millions of dollar at play. Lobbyists on both sides are likely to push legislatures to look out for their interest.
Read more: http://thehill.com/regulation/healthcare/213966-fda-plans-to-regulate-lab-tests#ixzz394xw7oHa
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

via FDA plans to regulate lab tests | TheHill.

By Lisa Rennie, Daily Digest News
Thursday, July 31, 2014

Blood test may reveal risk of suicide, researchers say

 


Researchers have discovered that alterations to one gene that is linked to stress reactions may provide physicians with an opportunity to identify the risk of a patient attempting suicide, which can be detected in a simple blood test.

In 2011, 39,518 suicides were reported in the U.S., according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This number makes suicide the 10th leading cause of death in the country.

Lead study author Zachary Kaminsky, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, believes a blood test based on a genetic mutation in a gene called SKA2 may be used to predict suicide attempts among people with mental illness.

The SKA2 gene is involved in controlling dangerous behaviors and inhibiting negative thoughts. It is responsible for accompanying stress hormone receptors, and if there isn’t enough SKA2, or if it is altered, stress hormones cannot suppress cortisol in the brain.

The researchers looked at brain samples from both the mentally ill and those with no history of behavioral issues. It was discovered that those who committed suicide had significantly reduced levels of SKA2.

“Suicide is a major preventable public health problem, but we have been stymied in our prevention efforts because we have no consistent way to predict those who are at increased risk of killing themselves. With a test like ours, we may be able to stem suicide rates by identifying those people and intervening early enough to head off a catastrophe,” said Kaminsky in a statement.

The findings of the study are published online in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

 

Blood test may reveal risk of suicide, researchers say | Daily Digest News.

By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) — They may not have had fast food, TVs or cigarettes, but people of ancient times commonly developed clogged heart arteries — and a new research review speculates on some reasons why.

Using CT scans of mummified remains from ancient Egypt, Peru, the Aleutian Islands and the American Southwest, researchers have found evidence of widespread atherosclerosis — the hardening of heart arteries from fatty substances that build up, eventually leading to heart attack or stroke.

That’s despite the fact that those ancient groups were largely free of today’s perilous lifestyle factors, such as sugar- and fat-laden diets, inactivity, smoking and widespread obesity.

“Our team has evaluated mummies from five different continents. We have yet to find a culture that didn’t have atherosclerosis,” said cardiologist Dr. Gregory Thomas, the lead author of a review published in the current issue of the journal Global Heart.

So, what does that mean for modern times? “These days, we blame ourselves when we or someone in our family develops heart disease,” said Thomas, medical director of the Memorial Care Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center in California.

“We say, ‘Well, if you’d just exercised more, you wouldn’t have needed that heart surgery,'” Thomas said. “I think people can stop blaming themselves so much.”

But before you hang up your running shoes and settle down with a bag of chips, Thomas also said that lifestyle still matters. “This doesn’t mean we should stop trying to control risk factors [for heart disease],” he stressed.

Just don’t expect to remain free of heart trouble simply because you jog every day or eat a healthier diet, Thomas said.

Based on what he and an international research team have seen, slightly more than a third of 76 Egyptian mummies had atherosclerosis — and so did a similar percentage of mummies from Peru, the U.S. Southwest and the Aleutian Islands, in the Northern Pacific.

They typically died in what would be considered middle-age today. “It seems like they developed atherosclerosis around the same time that we get it today,” Thomas said. So part of the explanation, he noted, may be age: If you live long enough, fatty deposits will start to build up in the arteries.

Genes are another major factor. “Genetics may account for about half of the risk of heart disease,” Thomas said. “We all have some genetic predisposition to atherosclerosis, regardless of culture or lifestyle.”

But the researchers also speculate about some environmental causes during ancient times. One is exposure to household smoke from cooking fires. Another is the host of infections people were constantly battling — from short-lived bacterial and viral infections, to lifelong parasitic ones.

Thomas explained that even when people managed to survive those ills, the body would be in a continual state of low-grade inflammation, which is part of the immune system’s response to invaders.

And that’s in line with what scientists today suspect: Chronic inflammation contributes to atherosclerosis.

It’s just that today, the primary causes of that inflammation may be different, said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of Women’s Heart Health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Modern factors may include diet and sleep loss — but there could be a range of yet unknown contributors, according to Steinbaum, who was not involved in the new research.

“This study reminds us that we need to keep looking at aspects of modern life that could be contributing to inflammation,” Steinbaum said.

Thomas acknowledged that in Egypt, mummification was an elaborate and expensive process. So those remains would represent the upper class at the time — people who might have enjoyed indulgent diets and ample lounging time.

But Thomas said the remains from some other cultures likely represent the “common person” — such as the Aleutian hunter-gatherers, who probably did not spend much time lounging and eating.

 

No TV or obesity, but ancient people still had heart disease – FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV.