Thursday, March 13, 2008

More on vitamin D - and diabetes

It's an interesting fact that there are some diseases, like multiple sclerosis, that are more common in countries with daylight than in the sunnier climates. For example, Canada has a high MS rate compared with Mexico.

New research has found that there may also be a connection with type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes, the type of diabetes that strikes mostly children. In a study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, researchers found that children who were give extra vitamin D supplements were approximately 30% less likely to develop type 1 diabetes compared with those who did not receive a supplement. The researchers go on to say that the findings suggested the higher the supplemental dose, the lower the risk.

The authors of the study point out that a child Finland is 400 times more likely to develop the disease than a child in Venezuela.

Chalk up another important reason to get that good old vitamin D.

News for Today:
Extra vitamin D in early childhood cuts adult diabetes risk
Medications Plus Dental Materials May Equal Infection for Diabetic Patients
FDA Issues Alert on Tussionex, a Long-Acting Prescription Cough Medicine
Regular low dose aspirin cuts asthma risk in women
Family cardiac caregivers may have higher heart disease risk

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

More education = longer life?

Maybe there's a whole new message for staying in school.

A new study, published in Health Affairs, looked at longevity compared with education and their findings were that people who had more than 12 years of education saw their life expectancy rise, while those with less than 12 years didn't get that increase in life span.

You can read more about the study in this article at the Washington Post: Life Expectancy Tied to Education

News for Today:
New cardiac resuscitation approach boosts survival
1 in 4 U.S. teen girls have STD, study suggests
Bad sleep takes heavier toll on women than men: study
Heat patches recalled over burns, skin irritation
Personal counselling helps maintain weight loss
Femara May Prevent Late Return of Breast Cancer
Life Expectancy Tied to Education
FDA Issues Alert on Tussionex, a Long-Acting Prescription Cough ...
Weight loss more effective than intensive insulin therapy for type 2 diabetics
MRSA screening at hospital admission not linked to reduced rates of infection in surgical patients

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

HPV vaccine - what do you think?

There is still a lot of controversy around the HPV vaccine for young women and teen girls.

When news of the vaccine came out, I thought it was a great idea. After all, if the vaccine can reduce the incidence of cervical cancer, I figured it would be helpful and I was all for it. But, I'm thinking about it differently now. Several provincial governments jumped on the bandwagon and pushed it for the provinces' girls. My question is, what's the rush? I think we need to slow down and wait to see what some of the long-term outcomes are.

This is the news story that made me think of the issue: HPV vaccine reduces abnormal pap test results. If the results are positive, why do I have a lingering unease about it?

I do not agree with some of the reasons some of the people are against the vaccine. I've heard the argument that parents will be teaching their girls to refrain from sexual activity, therefore eliminating the need for the vaccine. I always counter that argument with a girl's first sexual encounter is not always voluntary. And, girls don't always abide by their parents' wishes.

What do you think?

News for Today:
Knee surgery study points to gender bias
Strict limits on social contact can slow influenza pandemic: study
Health Canada issues warning for erectile dysfunction drug
Alzheimer's risk rises if both parents diagnosed
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients living longer
Watch out how you put baby to sleep
PSA Test Has Shortcomings, Study Shows
Glaucoma associated with increased risk of cardiovascular death in black patients
Post-stroke clot-busting therapy beneficial for patients on aspirin
Food Allergies Less Common Than Parents Think
Hitting The Links May Stress Out New Knees

Monday, March 10, 2008

March 10 - 17: Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week in the United States

Multiple sclerosis affects approximately 300,000 people in the US, with about 2 women affected for every 1 man. The disease strikes usually at the prime of life - when young adults are starting to establish themselves in their careers and starting families. For some people, the disease is mild with only subtle symptoms. For others, it's devastatingly incapacitating.

You can read about what MS is at the

Do have or know someone who has MS?

News for Today:
Blood agency studies lifting ban on gay donors
HPV vaccine reduces abnormal pap test results
Eat well, live well: learn more this Nutrition Month
Deal in an Autism Case Fuels Debate on Vaccine