Notes: HealthNews REPRISE - 4th Week of July, 2019

7/26/19

 

I’m Dr. Howard Smith, PENTA Medical Network, reporting from NYC with the Health News Roundup for the 4th week of JULY, 2019.  I’m on assignment, but this week I present reprises of classic stories from the past.  

 

This is Health News You Can Still Use, evergreen information to keep yourself and your family healthy

 

Here are this weeks stories :

Preventing Childhood Drownings

Parents Favor Age Limits For Tackle Football

How To Avoid Internet Health Scams

Good Bosses Make Better Profits

E-Cigarette Flavoring Toxic

Common Food Additive May Trigger Celiac Disease

Weed is Fetal Poison

Aspirin Can Help Cure Cancer

Zebra Design Repels Biting Insects

Acupressure Comforts Breast Cancer Survivors

The Wrong Sleeping Pill Can Burn You

Monkey See Monkey Do When It Comes To Screen Time

Saunas Are Good For All That Ails

Laughter Is Great Medicine For Pain

Ovarian Cyst Surgery Not Always The Best Option

 

For show notes and references to for the stories, check out my website at:

 

 

Here’s the news:

Preventing Childhood Drownings

Vidcast:  https://youtu.be/hO0nhRo7HYE

 

With the coming of ever warmer weather, the news here is bad news.  At least 1000 children perish due to preventable drownings every year, and accidental drowning is the single leading cause of injury-related death for kids 1 to 4 years of age.  These tragedies occur because naturally-curious kids gain unexpected access to water.  Those children also at a high risk of drowning are teens who tend to be overconfident about their swimming skills.

 

These drownings are all preventable, and the American Academy of Pediatrics reminds parents about a few simple rules:

  • Teach your child to swim after the first birthday if your pediatrician agrees he or she is developmentally ready.

  • Never leave children alone or with another child near any water: pools, bathtubs, spas, or any open water including toilets.

  • When infants and toddlers are around water, an adult who is a good swimmer should be within arm’s reach.

  • An adult with lifesaving skills should supervise teen swimming.

 

Drownings can occur in an instant!  Keep vigilant and keep your kids safe and alive.

 

https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-a...

 

#Drowning #parenting #infants #toddlers #teens #swimming #bathrooms #pools

 

 

Parents Favor Age Limits For Tackle Football

Vidcast:  https://youtu.be/Bs963ywQHJE

 

The majority of American parents believe that young children should not be playing tackle football.  A study recently published in the journal Pediatrics tabulated the results of a nationwide survey.

 

Over 1000 parents completed the survey.  Sixty-one percent definitely favored restrictions and another 24% were leaning toward bans on tackling for younger children for a total of 85% considering restrictions.

 

Meanwhile, on the political front, a 6 states have proposed bills to regulate tackle football for children under the age of 12.  Bills have been filed in New York, Illinois, California, Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.  So far none of them have passed into law, and the bills in California and Illinois have been withdrawn.  The New York and Maryland bills were defeated.

 

Finally, consider these two facts.  ONE. The sad cases of adolescent athletes and multiple studies show that head injuries produce lasting and in some cases progressive damage to the brain, particularly to the developing brain, that lead to premature dementia and psychosis.  TWO. Many NFL stars never played tackle football until they were in high school including Tom Brady, Jim Brown, Walter Peyton, Jerry Rice, Anthony Munoz, and Lawrence Taylor.

 

Flag and touch football are alternatives to tackle.  Studies suggest, though, that they may not be safer unless player contact is strictly prohibited and protective gear is worn.

 

 

Sara P.D. Chrisman, Kathryn B. Whitlock, Emily Kroshus, Christina Schwien, Stanley A. Herring, Frederick P. Rivara.  Parents’ Perspectives Regarding Age Restrictions for Tackling in Youth Football

Pediatrics Apr 2019, e20182402; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2018-2402

 

https://brainlaw.com/youth-tackle-football/

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/whats-the-big-football-story-flag-is-more-popular-than-tackle/2018/11/28/046b530e-e9c4-11e8-bbdb-72fdbf9d4fed_story.html?utm_term=.a94756a0af8a

 

#Football #tackle #concussion #headinjury #flagfootball #parenting

 

 

How To Avoid Internet Health Scams

Vidcast:  https://youtu.be/vFDQ2QUXUC8

 

Fraudulent products, procedures, and people abound on the web.  Here are some ready strategies that will help prevent you from being taken.

____________

Victoria Perez, Seth Freedman. Do Crowdsourced Hospital Ratings Coincide with Hospital Compare Measures of Clinical and Nonclinical Quality? Health Services Research, 2018; DOI: 10.1111/1475-6773.13026

 

https://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html

 

https://www.qualitynet.org/dcs/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=QnetPublic%2FPage%2FQnetBasic&cid=1228776614455

 

#healthscams #webscams

 

 

Good Bosses Make Better Profits

Vidcast:  https://youtu.be/Lwn3bMuGWHM

 

Are you a good or a bad boss?  Do you have a good or a bad boss.  The latest study shows management style definitely affects the bottom line.

______

An-Chih Wang, Chou-Yu Tsai, Shelley D. Dionne, Francis J. Yammarino, Seth M. Spain, Hsiao-Chi Ling, Min-Ping Huang, Li-Fang Chou, Bor-Shiuan Cheng. Benevolence-dominant, authoritarianism-dominant, and classical paternalistic leadership: Testing their relationships with subordinate performance. The Leadership Quarterly, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2018.06.002

 

#bosses #profits #authoritarian #benevolentmanager

 

 

E-Cigarette Flavoring Toxic

Vidcast:  https://youtu.be/Q_ysMuyhRLA

 

Electronic cigarette use is on the upswing, and their makers trumpet the latest studies showing that e-cigs help current tobacco smokers kick the habit.  In actuality, as older smokers quit more teens use e-cigs and move on to the nasty and dangerous habit that is tobacco cigarette smoking.

 

Besides the addicting nicotine, the e-cigs vaporize and spew a raft of of chemicals into the lungs including heavy metals, propylene glycol or anti-freeze, and formaldehyde.  The latest study from Harvard’s School of Public Health focuses on the toxicity of the chemicals used for flavoring the vapors.

 

Those ingredients are diacetyl and pentandione, and they create a buttery aroma.  You’ve definitely smelled it at the movie theater, and repeatedly inhaling the vapor leads to chronic irreversible lung damage and a disease appropriately named “popcorn lung.”

 

The Harvard team conclusively showed that these flavoring chemicals interfere with the genes that control development of normally functioning human ciliated respiratory lining cells growing in tissue culture.  This confirms findings in previous animal experiments where exposure to vaporized flavoring chemicals produced significant airway lining cell injuries.

 

Vaping, like tobacco smoking, is hazardous to your health.  E-cigarettes should not be marketed to children and they should be avoided by people of any age.

 

Hae-Ryung Park, Michael O’Sullivan, Jose Vallarino, etal.  Transcriptomic response of primary human airway epithelial cells to flavoring chemicals in electronic cigarettes.  Scientific Reports.  Volume 9, Article number: 1400 (2019)

 

#ecigarette #vaping #flavoredvapors #popcornlung #diacetyl #pentadione #ciliatedlinings

 

 

Common Food Additive May Trigger Celiac Disease

Vidcast:  https://youtu.be/fV5zjq6xVlA

 

Celiac disease may be initiated by an agent used to improve food texture and to literally glue together meat fragments into a more substantial, steak-like product.  The agent is microbial transglutaminase, and a review of data about the causation of celiac diease just published in Frontiers in Pediatrics suggests that the increasing amounts of this substance that are finding their way into our food supply may be at fault.

 

Over 3 million American have celiac disease.  It is an inherited autoimmune disorder, and you are 6 times more likely to have it if a close member member is affected.    It is characterized by an attack of a person’s own immune system on their gut lining, and it’s triggered by the presence of the gluten protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.  Other factors such as stress, infection, or antibiotic use seem to initiate or exacerbate the process.

 

Although our own systems make transglutaminase, they do so in very small quantities compared with what we can ingest in processed foods.  The extra transglutaminase appears to break down any available gluten into small protein fragments that often bind to the transglutaminase itself and then serve to ignite the auto-immmune attack on the intestinal linings.

 

The FDA has not yet ruled on the safety of transglutaminase as a food additive.  The smart money is on avoiding it if possible even if you don’t now have celiac disease.  

 

By federal law, packaging must indicate its presence. Transglutaminase is more likely to be in meat products labeled as “formed” such as “formed turkey thigh roast, “ and it is also found in many baked goods.  When dining out, you can ask the restaurant staff about its use in their cuisine.

 

#Celiacdisease #transglutaminase #foodadditives

 

 

Weed is Fetal Poison

Vidcast:  https://youtu.be/hnuh7zTs1Lk

 

We doctors constantly repeat it and you constantly hear it: avoid all but healthy food during pregnancy.  Despite this mantra, nearly one-third of pregnant women believe that cannabis is safe for their developing babies.

 

The analysis by Canadian doctors of 6 US studies shows that, as years go by, more pregnant women are using marijuana.  Currently, at least 4% of women use the drug sometime during their pregnancy.  

 

Ironically, the rate of use is the highest at 7.4% during the critical first trimester when so many body systems are just beginning to blossom.  In one study, 35% of women were users when they discovered their pregnancy, and that only dropped down to 12% after the positive pregnancy test.  Half of those continuing to use did so almost daily.

 

The available research on cannabis shows that it is associated with low birth weight, stillbirths, and NICU admissions.  OB/GYN specialists and most doctors recommend against any cannibis use while trying to get pregnant, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding.

 

Hamideh Bayrampour, Mike Zahradnik, Sarka Lisonkova, Patti Janssen. Women's perspectives about cannabis use during pregnancy and the postpartum period: An integrative review. Preventive Medicine, 2019; 119: 17 DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.12.002

 

#Marijuana #cannabis #pregnancy #lowbirthweight #NICU #healthnews #healthtips

 

 

Aspirin Can Help Cure Cancer

Vidcast:  https://youtu.be/vDcsb8EVH6Y

 

Aspirin has now been shown to significantly improve survival for at least one type of cancer in those patients whose tumors have a specific genetic variant.  That cancer is squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck with an altered PIK3CA gene.

 

A study just published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine followed 266 patients after surgical resection of their tumors and post-operative chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.  Those patients regularly taking aspirin or another NSAID for 6 months and also having an activated PIK3CA gene were 3 times more likely to survive 5 years.  Specifically, the average survival rate rose from a baseline of 25 percent to a gratifying 78 percent.  Those without the PIK3CA gene mutation enjoyed no survival benefit.

 

A larger, confirmatory study is now underway.  Meanwhile, know that the PIK3CA oncogene is present and mutated in about one-third of other cancers including colon, stomach, esophageal, pancreatic, liver, breast, cervical, endometrial, ovarian, brain, and skin but not melanoma.  We don’t yet know if aspirin added to conventional therapy will improve survival in any of these, but studies should be forthcoming.  One early study suggests that aspirin co-therapy dues not improve endometrial cancer treatment success.

 

If you have cancer, ask your oncologist about the mutations found in your tumor.  If yours has the PIK3CA mutation, then ask about aspirin therapy.  If you are having a a biopsy or surgery for any type of cancer, be certain that a genetic analysis is performed on the tumor tissue and and that it’s preserved for future genetic studies.  Treatment based on cancer genetics is increasingly more common.

 

 

Matthew L. Hedberg, Jennifer R. Grandis, etal. Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs predicts improved patient survival for PIK3CA-altered head and neck cancer. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2019; jem.20181936 DOI: 10.1084/jem.20181936

 

Samuels Y, Waldman T. Oncogenic mutations of PIK3CA in human cancers. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2010;347:21-41.

 

#cancer #aspirin #ibuprofen #NSAIDS

 

 

Zebra Design Repels Biting Insects

Vidcast:  https://youtu.be/6PeLF8SxYHI

 

Here’s a flash from the off-beat health news department.  Researchers in Sweden and Hungary report that the black and white striped design seen on Africa’s Zebras and copied into body painting by indigenous peoples protects against biting and blood-sucking insects including mosquitos and horseflies. 

 

The scientists compared the frequency of horsefly attacks on 3 different mannikins: one beige, one brown, and one black with white stripes.  The striped skin design reduced insect attacks by 90% compared to brown skin and by 50% compared with beige skin.

 

It is likely that Africans years ago discovered the protective effect of Zebra designs against insect-borne infections such as malaria.  We don’t yet know if Zebra-striped garments are as good insect repellants as body painting, but this is something you should try for yourself.  Do let me know if it works.

Gábor Horváth, Ádám Pereszlényi, Susanne Åkesson, György Kriska. Striped bodypainting protects against horseflies. Royal Society Open Science, 2019; 6 (1): 181325 DOI: 10.1098/rsos.181325

 

#bodypaint #zebrastripes #mosquitos #horseflies #malaria

 

 

Acupressure Comforts Breast Cancer Survivors

Vidcast:  https://youtu.be/5jIzFYWQa-o

 

Acupressure can give breast cancer survivors significant relief from pain, anxiety, depressive symptoms, fatigue and sleep problems.  A continuing study at the University of Michigan reports a news analysis of 288 patients.

 

Two different type of Eastern medical acupressure, relaxing acupressure and stimulating acupressure, were compared with standard relaxation and sleep management techniques.  Both acupressure approaches bested standard therapy for anxiety and pain.  Relaxing acupressure was most effective for depression, sleep, and fatigue.

 

Accupressure's mode of action is not yet understood.  The best news is that it may be carried out at home, and women learn to apply proper pressure to appropriate body points with few negative effects.

 

Acupressure may well work for anyone suffering from anxiety, pain, depression, and sleep issues.  If you fit that description, look into it.

 

Suzanna Maria Zick, Ananda Sen, Afton Luevano Hassett, Andrew Schrepf, Gwen Karilyn Wyatt, Susan Lynn Murphy, John Todd Arnedt, Richard Edmund Harris. Impact of Self-Acupressure on Co-Occurring Symptoms in Cancer Survivors. JNCI Cancer Spectrum, 2018; 2 (4) DOI: 10.1093/jncics/pky064

 

#acupressure #Easternmedicine #breastcancer #pain #anxiety #insomnia #depression

 

 

The Wrong Sleeping Pill Can Burn You

Vidcast:  https://youtu.be/2vy8C8HHGdI

 

Half of the millions using the most common type of sleeping pills might never wake to escape a fire.  Taken to induce sleep and relaxation, the popular benzodiazepine medications or benzos for short include Restoril, Halcion, Ativan, Xanax, and Valium.  This class of drugs induces drowsiness but also suppresses emergency arousal.  Even newer drugs such as Ambien and Lunesta trigger sustained drowsiness and some disorientation.

 

A new class of medication called DORAs, dual orexin receptor antagonists, induce sleep but permit retention of sensory input including sound, vibration, smell, and lack of oxygen.  This makes for a safer sleeping pill.  After a threat has passed, the medication also re-induces sleep.

 

To date, only one DORA sleeping pill has won FDA approval.  Belsomra (suvorexant) may only be prescribed those 18 years or older, but its expensive and often not covered by insurance.  As other DORA drugs become available, competition will drive down price and increase availability.

 

Shouhei Iwakawa, Yuichi Kanmura, Tomoyuki Kuwaki. Orexin Receptor Blockade-Induced Sleep Preserves the Ability to Wake in the Presence of Threat in Mice. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 2019; 12 DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2018.00327

 

#insomnia #sleepingpill #benzo #benzodiazepine

 

 

Monkey See Monkey Do When It Comes To Screen Time

Vidcast: https://youtu.be/hMLMwnzMn9s

 

Restricting childrens’ sedentary screen time in favor of more physically active pursuits is the latest weapon in the war against childhood obesity.  New Canadian research just published in the journal BMC Obesity reminds us that parenting practices are key factors in their offsprings’ screen time.

 

Nearly 40 families with at least one child 18 monthS to 5 years of age were studied.  Parental device use and television viewing during meals as well as the offering of extra screen time as a reward resulted in excessive screen times for the children. 

 

Kids are sponges, and they quickly see if you follow your own advice.  Get your head out of your phone and offer a good example.  To reward healthy behavior, offer physical activities such as the playground, sports play with you, and healthy treats rather than always suggesting extra screen time and sugary treats.

 

Lisa Tang, Gerarda Darlington, David W L Ma, Jess Haines. Mothers’ and fathers’ media parenting practices associated with young children’s screen-time: a cross-sectional study. BMC Obesity, 2018; 5 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s40608-018-0214-4

 

#screentime #parenting #exercise #obesity

 

 

Saunas Are Good For All That Ails

Vidcast: https://youtu.be/1NAm2wRL76E

Looking for a little warmth this winter.  Finnish and British scientists urge you to spend some time in the sauna and not only warm up but enjoy substantial health benefits.

 

Their report in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings demonstrates that regular sauna use reduces your blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease, improves lung function, energizes your immune system, helps control skin problems and arthritis, reduces headache, relaxes you, and improves your overall quality of life.

 

During these dark days of winter, seek out a nice cozy sauna, and visit it often.  A surprisingly large number of health clubs have them.

 

Jari A. Laukkanen, Tanjaniina Laukkanen, Setor K. Kunutsor. Cardiovascular and Other Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing: A Review of the Evidence. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2018; 93 (8): 1111 DOI: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2018.04.008

 

#sauna #warmth #heartdisease #highbloodpressure #immunity #lungfunction #arthritis #headache #relaxation

 

 

Laughter Is Great Medicine For Pain

Vidcast:  https://youtu.be/qhaBlo6cVAE

 

An unexpected observation during a patient’s awake neurosurgery confirms that laughter leads to a sense of calm and happiness.  Surgeons at Emory University in Atlanta relate this fascinating, whimsical tale.

 

A young patient with difficult to control epilepsy was undergoing awake neurosurgery to pinpoint the seizure focus.  During the surgery, the surgeons inadventantly stimulated  a pathway called the cingulum bundle, and the patient immediately began to smile, laugh, joke, and report an extremely calming and mood elevating experience that seemed to neutralize not only pain but also any scary thoughts.  

 

The neuroscientists repeated this same cingulum bundle stimulation in two other seizure patients to confirm their initial observation.  They plan to use this stimulation technique in the future to calm nervous surgical patients and possibly to help treat depression.

 

The good news is that you can trigger laughter and its calming and pain-neutralizing aftermath with a funny book or movie, some standup comedy, and looking for the funny side of life.  Try it and enjoy!

 

Kelly R. Bijanki, Joseph R. Manns, Cory S. Inman, Ki Sueng Choi, Sahar Harati, Nigel P. Pedersen, Daniel L. Drane, Allison C. Waters, Rebecca E. Fasano, Helen S. Mayberg, Jon T. Willie. Cingulum stimulation enhances positive affect and anxiolysis to facilitate awake craniotomy. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2018; DOI: 10.1172/JCI120110

 

#laughter #calm #mood elevation #epilepsy #seizure #awake #neurosurgery

 

 

Ovarian Cyst Surgery Not Always The Best Option

Vidcast:  https://youtu.be/SHRYPwngED4

 

No one likes the prospect of surgery.  If you’ve been diagnosed with an ovarian cyst and your doctors have recommended removal, a new study suggests that an operation may not be necessary for every cyst.

 

Ovarian cysts are little balloon-like bumps that arise on the surface of the ovaries.  They are discovered with ultrasound scans when abdominal pain or bloating occurs.  The ultrasounds can determine if the cysts appear harmless or likely cancerous.

 

Many doctors recommend that any ovarian cyst be removed due to a risk of cancer developing or the cyst causing an ovary to twist.  A new multi-national study just published in The Lancet Oncology instead recommends watchful waiting and regular ultrasound imaging for those cysts that do appear benign.

 

Their study of almost 2,000 women with cysts suggests that surgery for every cyst may have more risks than benefits.  Twenty percent of ovarian cysts disappear on their own and cancer or ovarian twisting only occurred in less than one-half of one percent of women. On the other hand, the risk of complications from surgical removal ranged from between 3 to 15%.

 

Ovarian cysts may be followed without surgery, but you must commit to careful followup with regular ultrasound or scan imaging.  Should there be any question of a suspicious lesion, immediate surgery is then a must.

 

 

Imperial College London. "Ovarian cysts should be 'watched' rather than removed, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2019. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190205185156.htm

 

#Ovariancyst #ultrasound #ovariantorsion

 

 

While I’m on assignment this week, I’m posting “Health News You Can Always Use,”  evergreen information that I’ve previously broadcast. 

 

That’s “Health News You Can Always Use.”  Next week I’ll return to posting all new reports. Until then, keep a smile on your face, your brain active, and your body in motion....these are the best medicines.