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Intense workouts may be killing your sex life: study warns

US News - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 07:45

A new study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of North Carolina has linked high-intensity workouts to a low sex drive, and possibly infertility, in men.

The researchers polled more than one thousand active American men on their workouts as well as sex lives. Participating men were divided into groups by duration and intensity of workout/exercise and libido levels.

A comparison of results from the groups revealed that those who underwent moderate or light exercise/workouts were more likely to report moderate/high libidos than those who underwent intense workouts.

The researchers wrote in the study report, “Exposure to higher levels of chronic intense and greater durations of endurance training on a regular basis are significantly associated with ... decreased libido scores in men.”

They concluded that workouts improve your sex life and overall health, but if you are feeling so worn out after an intense workout that you can not perform in the bedroom, then it is the time to tone it down.

The researchers reported their study in the most recent edition of the journal Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise.

General: HealthResearch

New advocacy group to fight for lowering drug prices

US News - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 08:53

Amid growing outrage over soaring drug prices, David Mitchell has launched a new advocacy group called “Patients For Affordable Drugs” to lobby for new ways to drag down the high prices that patients are forced to pay for drugs.

Mitchell said he put $75,000 of his own savings into the initiative and received a grant of $500,000 from the Laura & John Arnold Foundation to establish a website and start lobbying for dragging down drug prices.

Speaking on the topic, Mitchell said, “It has become increasingly clear that patients are getting killed by high drug prices. They are losing their homes. They are spending their kids’ education money. They are depleting their 401ks.”

Hefty drug prices have become a major concern among patients as well as politicians. Recently, several members of the U.S. Congress wrote a letter to Kaleo Pharmaceuticals CEO Spencer Williamson, expressing their concerns over the company’s decision of increasing the price for Evzio by a whopping 600 percent.

Turing Pharma is being criticized for increasing the price of anti-parasitic pills from $13.50 to a whopping $750 apiece, making it just impossible for many poor patients to afford it.

Taking an aim at pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and pharmacy benefit managers, Mitchell stressed that the new advocacy group will fight for policies that could lower the prices of life-saving drugs.

General: HealthCompanies: Kaleo Pharmaceuticals

Stem cell transplant halts MS disability progression: study

US News - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 08:16

Stem cell transplants should be performed in young multiple sclerosis (MS) patients before they go through rounds of other treatments as the procedure is most effective if done in the early stage of the disease, a new study suggested.

The researchers also found in the study that patients with relapsing MS enjoy more long-term benefits from stem cell transplants than those suffering secondary progressive MS.

Long-term outcomes after Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (AHSCT) were found to be good, with roughly half of all MS patients free of the devastating disease progression at 5 years.

Dr. Sorrel Bickley, the chief of Biomedical Research at the UK-based MS Society, said, “It shows that AHSCT can slow or stop progression for many years, and [that] the treatment is most effective in people with MS who have ‘active inflammation’ in their brain and spinal cord.”

The researchers reached the conclusion after the observational study tracked a total of 281 MS patients who underwent the procedure of AHSCT across 25 centers worldwide between 1995 and 2006.

The new research was detailed in the most recent (Feb. 21st) edition of the journal JAMA Neurology.

General: HealthResearch

Teen suicide rates fell as gay marriage was legalized: researchers find

US News - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 08:40

Fewer American teens attempted suicide after same-sex marriage became legal and the biggest impact was seen among gay, lesbian and bisexual kids, a new study revealed.

As per available data, suicide is the second-biggest cause of death among American teens, and suicidal behavior is more common among gay, lesbian and bisexual children and adults. A report suggested that nearly 29 per cent of gay, lesbian and bisexual teens reported attempting suicide as compared with 6 per cent of straight teenagers.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health found declines in teen suicide rates in states that approved measured and made laws to allow gays to marry before the U.S. Supreme Court made legalized gay marriage nationwide.

They analyzed data on nearly 700,000 public high school students who took part in government surveys on risky behavior among teens between 1999 and 2015. Around 230,000 of them admitted being gay, lesbian or bisexual. In 32 states, which enacted same-sex marriage laws, overall suicide attempts among teens and gay teens fell 7 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively.

Lead author Julia Raifman added, “There is a need for further research to understand the association between sexual minority rights, stigma and sexual minority health.”

The researchers reported their findings in the most recent edition of the JAMA Pediatrics.

General: Health

South Korea to set up foot-&-mouth vaccine plant

US News - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 08:56

In a bid to combat frequent outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, South Korea is mulling a plan to set up a manufacturing facility to locally develop a vaccine to cure animals hit by the viral infection.

South Korea currently relies on imported vaccines from foreign manufacturers like Merial to repeatedly inoculate its farm animals and to bolster inventories during foot-and-mouth outbreaks.

Vice agriculture minister Lee Junwon said the fourth-largest economy of Asia has plans to set up the foot-and-mouth vaccine production plant in 2020.

Making the announcement, Junwon said, “After securing original vaccine production technology by 2017 based on our six-year research result... we plan to operate a foot-and-mouth vaccine plant in 2020.”

For the time being, the Asian country has plans to import 32 million doses to tackle the most recent foot-and-mouth outbreak, in which nine cases of the viral disease have already been confirmed.

The latest outbreak forced authorities to cull more than 1,400 cattle to prevent the viral animal infection from spreading and hitting more animals.

General: HealthRegion: South Korea

A cure for Alzheimer’s disease remains elusive

US News - Sun, 02/19/2017 - 07:08

Billions of dollars have already been spent on the fight against the Alzheimer's disease, but a cure for the disease remains elusive.

No new treatment for Alzheimer’s has won the FDA’s approval since 2003, and clinical trials for the disease has 99 per cent failure rate. Merely five drugs have gained the FDA’s approval to treat the disease, and those drugs just alleviate symptoms.

In December last year, U.S. Congress passed a measure to set aside additional $3 billion to fund research of brain diseases and precision medicine to tackle disease like Alzheimer's over the next 10 years.

The effort, part of the 21st Century Cures Act, also offers prize money to egg on research and experiments on Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer's disease remains a major killer in the U.S., and the number of patients is on the rise. Some experts have warned that the disease will probably continue to grow as the U.S. population is aging rapidly.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that destroys the patient’s memory and other key mental functions. It develops when brain cell connections degenerate and die, which destroys memory and other mental functions.

General: HealthCompanies: FDA

Texas couple celebrates twin pregnancy after years of fertility struggle

US News - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 08:46

Following years of struggle with infertility, a couple in Texas is finally expecting twins. Sharing their excitement on social media, Lauren and Garyt Walker also revealed their grueling struggle that forced them to go through hundreds of needles and thousands of tears.

In a recent social media post, Lauren and Garyt Walker described that they prayed for 953 days and went through 452 needles, and faced failed in-vitro fertilization (IVF) rounds and transfers.

Posting the joyous update, they wrote, “We prayed for 953 days...452 Needles, 1000's of tears,1 corrective surgery, 4 clomid/letrozole attempts, 2 IVF rounds, 3 failed transfers & 1 Amazing GOD.”

The couple also shared a photo showing two onesies surrounded by hundreds of needles used during Lauren’s IVF treatments.

After Lauren and Garyt Walker started attempting to have a child, Lauren suffered five miscarriages. They spent more than $30,000 on treatment before 2014, when Lauren suffered her last miscarriage.

In 2016, they took a loan, and made one more attempt, which proved to be fruitful. Just before Christmas, they were learnt that they were expecting. Lauren is due in August, and the couple has already named their twins Diana and Duke.

General: HealthRegion: Texas

Flu vaccine is 48% effective this season: CDC

US News - Fri, 02/17/2017 - 08:46

Flu vaccine has reduced the risk of infections in the United States by nearly half this season but the infection is expected to continue for the next many weeks, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) said in its latest report.

The federal agency said that the predominant virus strain this flu season is influenza A (H3N2), and the estimated effectiveness of the available vaccine in preventing influenza A and influenza B has been 43 and 73 per cent, respectively; with overall protection rate of 48 per cent.

The interim findings are based on analysis of data collected from Nov. 28 through Feb. 4 for 3,144 kids and adults who were enrolled in the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network.

Brendan Flannery, lead investigator for the network, said the viruses in the flu vaccine proved to be a “good match” for the influenza viruses circulating this season.

Speaking on the topic, Flannery added, “The prediction for the H3N2 virus was right on in terms of that particular virus continuing to be a dominant virus. This vaccine is a much better match for the circulating virus than the vaccine we had two years ago.”

During the 2015-16 and 2014-15 flu seasons, vaccine effectiveness was recorded at 47 per cent and just 19 per cent, respectively.

General: HealthCompanies: CDC

Erosion of beaches will get worse: researchers warn

US News - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 07:18

Portraying a gloomy picture of the future, the 2015-16 El Niño eroded an unprecedented amount of the West Coast’s beaches across the states of California, Oregon and Washington.

A new study revealed that unusually powerful waves brought by the last El Niño, together with lack of new sediment flushed down onto beaches, eroded 76 per cent more sand than usual from at least 29 beaches in the three states.

David Hubbard, UC Santa Barbara marine ecologist and one of the co-authors of the study, blamed climate change for the devastating El Niño.

Commenting on the findings of the study, Hubbard said, “It looks like climate change will bring us more El Niño events, possibly twice as many, at twice the frequency as in the past. So, this is a taste of what's coming.”

Scientists expect that erosion, a normal process, will get worse as sea levels rise and climate change makes extreme weather events more extreme.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, highlighted that erosion of coastlines is a major environmental issue that needs bipartisan agreement in Congress to be fixed.

General: ResearchEntertainmentRegion: California

Rare rat-linked disease leaves 1 dead, 2 sickened in Bronx

US News - Wed, 02/15/2017 - 08:27

A rare bacterial disease carried by rats has killed one person in the Bronx and left two others struggling for their lives, the city health authorities confirmed.

According to the Bronx Health Department, three cases of the deadly bacterial disease of leptospirosis were first spotted in a one block radius of the city’s Concourse section more than two months ago.

Demetre Daskalakis, the department’s acting deputy commissioner, said in a statement that leptospirosis mostly affects animals and it rarely affects humans.

Speaking on the issue, Daskalakis added, “Human leptospirosis cases are very rare in New York City. This is the first time a cluster of cases has been identified. All three cases had severe illness … two cases developed pulmonary hemorrhage and one died as a result of infection.”

From 2006 through 2016, there were merely 26 cases of the leptospirosis disease in New York City, or 1-3 cases per year. The median age of the patients was 42 years.

Symptoms of the potentially deadly disease include sudden onset of fever, headache, conjunctival suffusion, photophobia, nausea, vomiting, and pain in muscles.

General: HealthResearchRegion: New York

Try drug-free remedies before resorting to medication for low back pain: ACP

US News - Tue, 02/14/2017 - 05:35

People suffering low back pain should try drug-free remedies like heat wraps and physical therapy before resorting to medication, the American College of Physicians (ACP) suggested.

In its new treatment guidelines, ACP said that medicines, particularly powerful opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin, should be used only as a last resort in cases back pain. The new guidelines put more emphasis on drug-free therapies than previous ones suggested.

Another big change in the new guidelines is the removal of acetaminophen (Tylenol) from the list of medications that can low back pain patients should be used as a last resort.

Dr. Nitin Damle, the president of the ACP, explained that a recent research showed that acetaminophen (Tylenol) is not effective for the condition.

Damle underlined that most people with shorter-term ‘nonspecific’ low back pain can improve their condition with simple non-drug measures, such as heat wraps and changes in activity.

When medication becomes a necessity, the patient should opt for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, or possibly muscle relaxants. Opiate painkillers come with several risks, including accidental overdose and addiction.

General: Health

Pregnant inmate forced to deliver baby on jail cell floor

US News - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 07:11

A Detroit-area sheriff has defended his staff over their over their controversial action that allegedly forced an eight-month pregnant inmate to give birth to a baby on a jail cell floor.

Jessica Preston was serving a 14-day sentence last year when she called for help on a morning and told the deputies that she was in labor and wanted medical help. But, the deputies allegedly didn’t believe her. She was sent back to her cell thrice before she finally delivered a baby on the jail’s floor.

A video captured by a surveillance camera showed Preston being sent back to her cell after she told the deputies that she was in labor. But, Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham insisted that he is confident that his staff acted accordingly.

Defending his staff, Wickersham said, “They were on the phone with the doctor. The information at that time, the baby started to come, they took her off the cot, which is close to the wall, put her on the floor on a mattress and the baby was delivered.”

Preston had been jailed by Judge Suzanne Faunce for driving on a suspended license. Though it was Preston’s first offense, the judge sent her to the jail because she failed to pay a $10,000 cash bond.

Judge Suzanne refused to comment, but the court administrator said in a statement the judge looked not only at the woman’s current charge but also at her previous court history when determining the bond. In the past, Preston had a record of drug abuse and warrants for her failure to appear in court.

The court administrator also claimed that Judge Suzanne felt that it would be in the woman and her baby’s best interests to be locked up, and that the judge had never imagined that pregnant woman would not be taken to a hospital in case she went into labor behind the bars.

General: Health

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