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NAPC News 9 August 2012
Researchers Uncover ‘Diabetes Paradox’ Of Slim People
Diabetes sufferers who are overweight or even obese when they are diagnosed with the condition generally tend to live longer than those people who are of a normal, healthy weight when diagnosed.
Publishing their findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the team from Northwestern University in Chicago explained that a higher BMI could serve to protect the body from the effects of diabetes, though the reason behind remains unknown.
‘If you are normal weight, you may be at a higher risk from diabetes, especially if your fitness status is not so good,’ according to the study leader, Dr Hermes Florez.
However, the scientists were also keen to advise people to always strive to stay in good shape, regardless of whether they had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or not.
According to Diabetes UK, type 2 diabetes accounts for up to 95 per cent of all instances of the condition, with people over the age of 40 at the greatest risk of developing the disease.
NHS Rejects Eye Implant
The NHS has provisionally rejected a tiny eye implant costing £5,500 that could help restore the sight of people suffering from diabetes related blindness.
A draft ruling by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which scrutinises the cost effectiveness of medicines, concluded that the eye-lid sized implant, called Iluvien, was too expensive.
The decision, which is the subject of consultation, sent shares in Sivida and Alimera Sciences, the American co-developers of the device, down by 13 per cent and 17 per cent.
Abstinence Not Enough To Protect Teens From HPV
Teenagers girls who abstain from sexual intercourse may still be at risk of infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), according to the findings of new research.
HPV is one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections among teens, as well as among older adults, with the majority of new case the result of unprotected intercourse.
However, new data from the United States suggests the infection can also be passed through intimate touching, with researchers at the National Cancer Institute warning that their studies demonstrated that 11 per cent of teenage girls, who had never had sexual intercourse, still showed at least one strain of HPV.
Given that, if left undiagnosed and untreated, the condition can lead to the development of cervical cancer in later years, health experts warned that teenagers needed to be made more aware of the potential risks of all levels of sexual activity.
The findings have also added more weight to the argument for girls as young as 11 to vaccinated against HPV.
This follows on from research carried at Dartmouth that found that teens who were exposed to Hollywood sex scenes on a regular basis were more likely to take risks in future sexual relationships.
Infants Of Obese Women Do Not Develop Normally In The Womb
The unborn infants of obese women grow more slowly than those of women, who maintain a normal weight, according to scientists.
Already there is a wealth of literature documenting how being seriously overweight while pregnant can damage an infant’s wellbeing, both in the women and even after birth.
Added to this, University of Iowa’s researchers have now warned that babies being born to overweight or obese women tend to gain less fat, something that is crucial to both physical as well as cognitive development.
Indeed, children developing in the wombs of such women do not grow normally, despite the fact they still get all the in-utero nutrition they need, according to lead scientist, Katie Larson Ode.
‘If what we have found is true, it implies that the obesity epidemic is harming children while they are still in utero, and increases the importance of addressing the risk of obesity before females enter the child-bearing years,’ she commented in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Meanwhile, in the US, government figures showed cholesterol levels among the nation’s youngsters were dropping, although obesity was still on the increase.
Allergies Could Guard Against Brain Tumours In Later Life
While they may be major irritants, allergies may also help to guard against the development of brain cancer in later life, it has been discovered.
Research carried out by a team working at Ohio State University found that the antibodies that were commonly associated with a wide range of allergies have a tendency to reduce the risk of the most common types of brain cancer.
More specifically, studies found that these allergies could be linked to a 50 per cent reduction in the risk of developing cancer of the brain among women, while for men, a 20 per cent reduction in risk was noted.
Additionally, the research also found that the higher the level of antibodies in the body, that is, how severe an allergy is, the lower the risk of gilomas developing.
Summing up in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, lead researcher, Judith Schwartzbaum said: ‘Absence of allergy is the strongest risk factor identified so far for this brain tumour, and there is still more to understand about how this association works.’
Creatine Supplements May Help Major Depression
Women with major depression may benefit from taking the dietary supplement, creating, new research suggests.
Creatine is sometimes use as an athletic aid to increase high-intensity performance.
Researchers at the University of Utah, alongside colleagues in South Korea, studied 52 women with major depressive disorder over an eight week period. Participants were all taking the antidepressant, escitalopram, (brand name Lexapro) and half of the women also took 5g creatine supplements each day, while the others were given a placebo.
Of the 39 women who completed the trial, those using creatine showed greater improvements in depressive symptoms.
Half of creating users showed no signs of depression after eight weeks, compared with just a quarter of those in the placebo group.
International Travel Makes Athletes Ill
Elite athletes who travel across more than five time zones to compete, more than double their risk of illness, a BMJ study has suggested.
The researchers argued that different germs and allergens of a new environment affect the athletes. Air travel does not seem to play part as on returning home the competitor’s health does not differ from normal. They suggested this could contribute to a home advantage for Team GB in the Olympic Games.
Professor Martin Schwellnus, one of the paper’s authors, said: ‘It is a common perception that international travel increases illness, due to organisms in aeroplanes. However, this study suggests that increased illness from travel is more likely to be due to the fact that the person is out of their normal environment. The stresses of travelling seem not to affect the players because when they return home the risk of illness does not differ from normal.
‘Changes in air pollution, temperature, allergens, humidity, altitude, as well as different food, germs and culture could all contribute to illness when arriving in a distant destination.’