المساهمون

الجمعة، 18 سبتمبر، 2015

Cancer remains leading cause of death among US Hispanics


Cancer remains the leading cause of death among Hispanics in the U.S., driven in large part by lung malignancies in men and breast tumors in women, a new report finds.
This year, Hispanics in the U.S. will experience 125,900 new cases of cancer and 37,800 deaths from cancer, the report predicts. Among men, lung tumors will account for one in six cancer deaths, while breast malignancies will account 16 percent of cancer fatalities among Hispanic women, the researchers estimate.
"Death rates are declining for both heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S. overall, and cancer, the second leading cause," said lead report author Rebecca Siegel, a researcher at the American Cancer Society. "Cancer has already surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of death in Hispanics because of their young age structure."
Approximately 55.4 million Hispanics live in the U.S., making up the country's largest racial and ethnic minority group and accounting for roughly 17 percent of the total population. Eighty-two percent of Hispanics in the U.S. are under age 50, compared with only 60 percent of white people.
Every three years, the American Cancer Society reports cancer statistics for Hispanics based on data from U.S. health agencies and national cancer registries.
For all cancers combined, Hispanics have 20 percent lower incidence rates and 30 percent lower death rates than white people in the U.S., Siegel and her colleagues report in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
This is primarily because Hispanics are less likely to be diagnosed with the four most common cancers in the U.S. - prostate, breast, lung and colon malignancies.
Hispanics are, however, more likely than whites to be diagnosed with tumors linked to infectious diseases, including cancers of the stomach, liver and cervix, the report notes.
Hispanic women will experience 67,000 new cancer cases this year, including 19,800 breast malignancies, 6,000 thyroid tumors and 5,300 colorectal tumors, the report estimates. About 17,900 Hispanic women will die of cancer, most often from breast, lung or colorectal tumors.
For Hispanic men, the report estimates 58,400 new cancer cases and 19,900 deaths this year. The most common new diagnosis will be prostate tumors, with 13,000 cases, followed by 6,400 colorectal and 5,000 lung malignancies.
One shortcoming of the report is that U.S. death certificates and data on patients in cancer registries may not accurately reflect the Hispanic population because some government forms only recently started tracking this population and some patients who are considered by researchers to be part of this group may not self-identify as Hispanic, the authors acknowledge.

الخميس، 17 سبتمبر، 2015

Arthritis may increase risk of poverty, especially for women


An arthritis diagnosis increases the risk of falling into poverty, according to an Australian study.
Arthritis is a very debilitating disease and likely impacts labor force participation, either forcing people to retire early due to the pain or physical restriction of arthritis, reducing the hours they can work or changing to a lower-paid job, said lead author Emily Callander, a research fellow at the University of Sydney.
"For those who are already in retirement it may be that the costs of treatment or costs of accessing aids or career services have required them to draw down some of their assets, which would lower the income they derive from their assets," Callander told Reuters Health by email.
The researchers studied more than 4,000 Australian adults between 2007 and 2012.
At the start of the study, the participants were not in poverty and did not have arthritis. By 2009, 300 of the participants had developed arthritis, half of whom were men. Over the study, 18 percent of women and 16 percent of men fell into poverty based on income, and the proportion in poverty increased with age.
Women who developed arthritis were 51 percent more likely to fall into income poverty than nonarthritic women. For men, arthritis increased the risk by 22 percent.
Women were also more likely to fall into poverty by a definition encompassing income, health and education attainment, or "multidimensional poverty," according to the results in Arthritis and Rheumatology.
"It is known that people with lower incomes are more likely to develop arthritis, but this is the first study to show the inverse relationship - that arthritis could also lead to income poverty," Callander said.
Women are more likely than men to have severe arthritis, which may make it harder for them to work, but that dimension was not included in this study, she noted.
"In our analysis we did take into consideration other factors, such as age, being married or in a de facto relationship as opposed to being single, being a home owner as opposed to renting or having a mortgage, and whether the person lived in a major city, an inner regional area or a rural area," she said. "However, even after considering all these other factors, being diagnosed with arthritis still leads to an increased risk of poverty."

الأربعاء، 16 سبتمبر، 2015

In men with breast cancer, double mastectomies are on the rise


More men with breast cancer are opting to get both breasts removed, even the healthy one, a new study finds.
Between 2004 and 2011, the rates of contralateral prophylactic mastectomies in men nearly doubled, with 5.6 percent of men with breast cancer undergoing the operation in 2011, compared with 3 percent in 2004, according to the study. A contralateral prophylactic mastectomy is an operation to remove a healthy, unaffected breast after a diagnosis of invasive cancer in the other breast.
However, this type of mastectomy isn't always necessary, the researchers cautioned in their study, published Sept. 2 in the journal JAMA Surgery.
"[The operation] is only recommended for a small proportion of men," and the rates observed in the new study are higher than this proportion, said Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, vice president of surveillance and health services research at the American Cancer Society and the lead researcher on the study.
Moreover, there's a lack of evidence to suggest that such mastectomies help patients live longer, Jemal told Live Science.
In the study, the researchers looked at data from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries on 6,332 men who had breast cancer in one breast. All of the men underwent surgery between 2004 and 2011.
The researchers found that, over the study period, 1,254 men underwent breast-conserving surgery, 4,800 men underwent a single-breast mastectomy and 278 men underwent contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. On average, the men who opted to remove both breasts were younger than those who didn't, and rates of these mastectomies decreased with the men's age, the researchers said.
The researchers were not surprised by the increase in rates, especially because the pattern has already been observed in women, Jamel said. The rates of such mastectomies in women drastically increased in the past two decades, rising from 2.8 percent of women with cancer in one breast in 1998 to 11 percent in 2011.

Heart rate in teen boys linked to violent crime in adulthood


Boys with a low resting heart rate during their teen years may be at increased risk for committing violent crimes as adults, a Swedish study suggests.
A low resting heart doesn't necessarily signal a problem. According to the American Heart Association, lower heart rates are common in people who are very athletic, because their heart muscle is in better condition and doesn't need to work as hard to maintain a steady beat.
But previous research has also linked a low resting heart rate to antisocial behavior in children and adolescents, the study authors note in JAMA Psychiatry. A slow heart rate may increase risk-taking, either because the teens seek stimulating experiences or fail to detect danger as much as their peers with normal heart rates, researchers say.
For the current study, a team led by Antti Latvala of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and the University of Helsinki in Finland explored the link between young men's heart rates when they entered military service around age 18 and their odds of later being convicted of crimes as adults.
The study included 710,000 participants born between 1958 and 1991 who were followed for up to 36 years.
Compared with about 140,000 young men with the highest resting heart rates (above 83 beats per minute), those with the lowest heart rates (no more than 60 beats per minute) were 39 percent more likely to be convicted of a violent crime and had a 25 percent higher chance of getting convicted of nonviolent crimes.
"It is obvious that low resting heart rate by itself cannot be used to determine future violent or antisocial behavior," Latvala said by email. "However, it is intriguing that such a simple measure can be used as an indicator of individual differences in psychophysiological processes which make up one small but integral piece of the puzzle."

الثلاثاء، 15 سبتمبر، 2015

Study supports watch-and-wait approach for many prostate cancers


In a long-term study of older men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer and followed with so-called active surveillance, less than a third of cases eventually needed treatment, according to a new study.
About one half of one percent of the men died of their cancer during up to 18 years of follow-up.
Some prostate cancers do need to be treated on diagnosis, but older men with small, slow-growing cancers may die of other causes - often heart disease - before their prostate cancer shortens their lifespan, the authors note in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
"Our goal was to make absolutely sure we identified the people that we thought would be the absolute safest," said senior author Dr. H. Ballentine Carter of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
In the U.S., about 30 to 40 percent of men who would qualify for active surveillance for prostate cancer take that option. That proportion that has slowly increased over time but still lags behind other countries, Carter told Reuters Health.
The researchers followed 1,268 men, mostly in their 60s, diagnosed with low-risk or very low-risk prostate cancer in the 2000s.
As part of active surveillance, the men had twice-yearly rectal exams and blood tests for prostate specific antigen (PSA) to measure increases or decreases in the protein produced by the prostate gland. An increase in PSA can signal prostate cancer progression to higher-risk status. The men also had annual prostate biopsies.
Of the whole group, 650 were followed for at least five years and 184 were followed for at least 10 years.

الأحد، 13 سبتمبر، 2015

How marijuana could affect your sperm


Smoking pot could damage your semen quality, or so suggests a new study out of Denmark. Some 1,215 Danish men ages 18 to 28 were asked about their drug use over the past three months and provided a semen sample.
The researchers found a correlation between men who smoked pot more than once weekly and "quite a lot" of a drop in sperm count: the count was an average 29% lower in these men than in those who reported lighter or no usage.
Those who reported additional drug use (anything from cocaine to ecstasy) saw an even more severe reduction, with average sperm count down 55%. "Our findings are of public interest as marijuana use is common"—indeed, 45% of participants had smoked in the last 3 months—"and may be contributing to recent reports of poor semen quality," the University of Copenhagen researchers write in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
There could be two things going on, they tell Live Science. It's possible the interaction between THC and receptors in the testes causes the drop.
Or it might not be the marijuana at all. "We cannot exclude the possibility that the men who used marijuana generally have an unhealthier lifestyle and health behavior, which may also affect their semen quality and hormone levels," say the researchers.
They did, however take into account caffeine, alcohol, and cigarette consumption, and the tie still held. A 2014 study found that pot usage was strongly associated with "abnormal sperm morphology.

السبت، 12 سبتمبر، 2015

Does testosterone improve men's sex lives?


Testosterone may not rev up men's sex lives as much as they expect it to: Older men with slightly low testosterone levels did not experience improvement in their desire or intimacy after they took testosterone supplements, according to a new study.
In the study, about 150 men age 60 and older were given daily testosterone supplements, and another 150 took a placebo. The men's testosterone level at the study's start was a little over 300 nanograms per deciliter, on average, which is on the lower end of the normal range for men.
Three years later, there were no differences between the two groups in how the men rated their level of sexual desire, erectile function and partner intimacy.
Although men in the testosterone group did report a slight improvement in their satisfaction with intercourse, the effect was small and could have been due to chance, the researchers said.
The findings agree with previous research that found that men with testosterone levels at the lower end of the normal range don't see improvements in sexual function after taking testosterone supplements. [5 Myths About the Male Body]
Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, a urology specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City who was not involved in the research, said that testosterone supplements may have a benefit for men whose testosterone level is lower than that of the men in the study — between 150 and 300 nanograms per deciliter. But "beyond that, it's not going to help," she said.
Although some men may have the perception that testosterone supplements will make them stronger or more virile, "giving a guy testosterone is not the fountain of youth," Kavaler told Live Science.
The men in the study did not necessarily have symptoms of low libido, so doctors would not expect the men's libidos to improve in these cases, Kavaler said.
It's important to note that sexual function was not the main focus of the study, which limits the scientific robustness of the findings.. Rather, the study was aimed at determining whether testosterone supplements affect the progression of atherosclerosis — the thickening and hardening of arterial walls.
Although there has been some concern among health professionals that testosterone therapy might increase men's risk of heart disease, the study found no difference between the groups in measures of atherosclerosis progression.