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Best Of - 4th - Week of May 2023



ABO Blood Groups and Stroke: Best Of: Nov, 2022



Strokes don’t occur often in young adults, but having Type A blood increases your risk of having a debilitating early onset stroke 16% while having type O blood reduces that risk by 12%.  Epidemiologists at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine draw these conclusions from their meta-analysis of 16,927 stroke victims who participated in 48 different multi-national studies.  The control group consisted of nearly 600,000 persons without a stroke history.


These blood group associations were stronger in younger patients. The analysis also demonstrated an association of the same blood groups with early venous thromboembolism, a key driver of early stroke.


#abogrups #stroke #thromboembolism

abogrups, stroke, thromboembolism



New Guidelines For Weight Reduction Surgery: Best Of: Oct, 2022



The two professional societies whose members recommend and perform bariatric surgery now announce their first modifications in the indications for such surgery in more than 30 years.  The 1991 recommendations from The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders suggested weight loss surgery for those with body mass indices, better known as BMIs, of 40 or more or 35 to 40 for those with complicating metabolic diseases or in the pediatric and adolescent age groups.  Metabolic diseases include poorly controlled type 2 diabetes.


The improved safety and effectiveness of bariatric surgical techniques has prompted both professional societies to now recommend surgery for all those with BMIs of 35 of more and for those with BMIs of 30 or more with metabolic conditions or for children and adolescents.


The most common weight reduction surgical procedures performed worldwide are both done laparoscopically: partial stomach removal known as sleeve gastrectomy and  gastric bypass using the Roux-en-Y technique.  Other techniques include a gastric band placement, a gastric balloon placement, and a mini-gastric bypass.


#bariatricsurgery #asmbs #ifso #bmi #diabetes #obesity

bariatricsurgery, asmbs, ifso, bmi, diabetes, obesity



Abundant Salt and Little Water Breed Obesity: Best Of: Aug, 2022



University of Colorado kidney specialist Dr. Richard Johnson has studied this phenomenon and give us the blueprint for understanding how it works.  Lots of salt and little water, and sometimes caffeine rich soda, dehydrates our bodies.  That dehydration, in turn, stimulates the production of the sugar fructose from the carbs and starches we eat.  That extra fructose encourages more eating, and many foods add even more fructose in the form of high fructose corn syrup.  The dehydration also stimulates production of vasopressin that encourages your kidneys to retain more water,  The vasopressin also stimulates more fat production.


What should you do?  Drink plenty and I mean plenty of water.  To keep it in your body, cut out excess caffeinated beverages including coffee and soda.  I didn’t say all…I said excess.  Avoid salty carbs like fries.  That will help your body stop manufacturing excess fat.  The non-calorie icing on this proverbial cake is exercise exercise, exercise!


#obesity #salt #dehyration #fries #fat #fructose #vasopressin

obesity, salt, dehyration, fries, fat, fructose, vasopressin



Egg Freezing Beats IVF For Women Postponing Motherhood: Best Of: June, 2022



Women who elect to freeze their eggs in their 20s or early 30s are more than twice as likely to later become pregnant and more than 3.5 times more likely to deliver a baby when compared with women who use IVF techniques.  NYU gynecologists studied 543 patients who froze their eggs and compared their pregnancy success with controls who began using IVF at age 40 or later.


Women who froze eggs under age 38 and thawed 20 or more mature eggs enjoyed the highest live birth rate of 70%.  This rate was lowered to 58% when women who froze eggs as late as 44 were included.  In contrast, IVF for women at age 40 yielded only a 30% pregnancy rate and only a 20% live birth rate.


The bottom line: women who want children a bit later in life should plan ahead and freeze their eggs.


#pregnancy #ivf #eggfreezing

pregnancy, ivf, eggfreezing



Physical Therapy Cuts Opioid Use After Knee Surgery: Best Of: Dec, 2021



Initiating physical therapy, PT for short,  before or after knee replacement therapy significantly reduces that chances that a person will require long-term opioid pain therapy by some 25 to 29 percent.  Boston University researchers studied 67,322 persons who underwent total knee replacement surgery over a 20 year period.


Beginning PT either before or after the surgery reduces the need for prolonged opioids by 25% for those who had used or never used opioids previously.  Those who continued their PT for 13 or more sessions reduced their chances even more up to 29%.  On the other hand, delaying the initiation of PT following surgery for up to 30 to 60 days increases the risk of needing opioids by 1.5 to 2 times.


If you or a family member are planning knee surgery, be certain to establish a relationship with an experienced physical therapist before surgery.  This will permit you to begin PT when appropriate and reduce your chances of needing and getting hooked on narcotics.


#kneereplacement #pain #opioids #narcotics #addiction

kneereplacement, pain, opioids, narcotics, addiction



Coffee During Pregnancy Is Beneficial: Best Of: Nov, 2021



Drinking a 6 ounce cup of coffee during the first trimester will not increase a woman’s risk of gestational diabetes and drinking that same amount during the second trimester actually seems protective lowering the risk of diabetes by 47%.  University of Pennsylvania and NIH epidemiologists just published these conclusions following their study of 2529 women.


In addition to studying the effect of caffeinated beverages on gestational diabetes, the investigators found that consuming these drinks created no increased risk for developing either gestational hypertension or preelampsia.  Caffeine did not significantly change levels of blood sugar while it seemed to lower total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL while modestly raising HDL.


Remember though, these effects were seen in women moderating their caffeine intake by only consuming one cup of coffee or the equivalent each day.


#pregnancy #womenshealth #caffeine #coffee #diabetes #cholesterol

pregnancy, womenshealth, caffeine, coffee, diabetes, cholesterol



Antidepressant Drug May Prevent Blindness; Best Of: Oct, 2021



Those taking the antidepressant drug fluoxetine, branded as Prozac, have a significantly reduced risk of developing progressive age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in those over the age of 50.  Researchers at the University of Virginia analyzed data from two health insurance databases covering more than 100 million persons after first studying the process leading to AMD and blindness in a mouse model.


The investigators, studying a group of already FDA approved drugs in the lab, showed that fluoxetine uniquely inhibits the inflammatory process leading to retinal degeneration due to its binding with an inflammatory molecule NLRP3-ASC.  Armed with this laboratory data, they wanted to see if fluoxetine conferred any clinical benefits for patients with AMD.  


Using insurance databases that pinpointed those over the age of 50 with AMD who were taking Prozac and those who were not, analysis revealed that taking fluoxetine significantly slowed the AMD degenerative process.  Based on these results, the UVA ophthalmologists are looking forward to a clinical trial of fluoxetine in AMD patients.


#amd #maculardegeneration #blindness #fluoxetine #prozac

amd, maculardegeneration, blindness, fluoxetine, prozac



Heat Exhaustion Strikes The Marching Band: Best Of: Sep, 2021



It’s not just the football team that gets overheated.  The marching band, wearing heavy wool uniforms, is particularly susceptible to heat-related disease.  This according to an analysis by investigators at the Universities of Georgia, South Carolina, and Kansas that looked at this problem over a 31 year period using a newspaper report database.


Of the 393 exertion heat illnesses cataloged, 88% occurred in high schoolers, 32% during rehearsals, 29% during parades, 21% during games, and 15% during performances.  About 50% were treated on-site, but 44% went to the ER, and about 6% had severe heat stroke requiring in-patient hospitalization.  


All heat-related illness occurs during hotter weather, and we’ll certainly be having more and more of that. Band leaders, school administrators, and parents should all watch the mercury and and help school band members cool it when they are in uniform.  Helpful measures include: abundant water, lighter uniforms, shorter heat exposures, and cooling.


#heat #heatexhaustion #heatstroke #marchingband #hospitalization #football

heat, heatexhaustion, heatstroke, marchingband, hospitalization



Run Better By Rubber Banding Your Feet: Best Of: July, 2020



Endurance running with a resistance band connecting your shoes can increase your running efficiency by over 9%.  Mechanical engineers at UC-Santa Barbara clocked runners with and without latex surgical tubing connecting their feet.


The tubing stores kinetic energy as the legs move past one another, and that energy helps power the next cycle.  The result: shorter, quicker steps jacking up the average stride from 90 steps/min to 100.  


The tubing also reduces the effort to bounce on the feet, and these band-powered runners feel light and fast.  Their average running efficiency increased about 6%. 


Buy the surgical tubing online and cut it to 25% of leg length.  Then give it a try.


Cole S. Simpson, Cara G. Welker, Scott D. Uhlrich, Sean M. Sketch, Rachel W. Jackson, Scott L. Delp, Steve H. Collins, Jessica C. Selinger, Elliot W. Hawkes. Connecting the legs with a spring improves human running economy. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 2019; 222 (17): jeb202895 DOI: 10.1242/jeb.202895


#Running #resistanceband #rubberband

Running, resistanceband, rubberband



How To Problem Solve As You Sleep: Best Of: July, 2020



A happy tune is THE secret to unmasking solutions to your dilemmas as you get some ZZZs.  This remarkable discovery comes to us from Northwestern University psychologists.


Investigators tested 57 subjects presenting them with tricky puzzles the evening before sleep. Each puzzle was accompanied by a unique sound.  Then, as they slept, they heard the unique sounds of half the brain teasers.  The next morning, the participants were able to solve those puzzles whose sounds they heard while sleeping some 55% more efficiently.


If you have an nagging issue, try associating a tune with it.  Then play the song at low levels as you sleep.  You might just wake up with a brighter idea.


Kristin E. G. Sanders, Samuel Osburn, Ken A. Paller, etal.  Targeted Memory Reactivation During Sleep Improves Next-Day Problem Solving.  Psychological Science, 10/19;


#Sleep #problemsolving #creativity

Sleep, problemsolving, creativity



TVs and Cellphones Trigger More Sugar and Caffeine Consumption: Best Of: July, 2020



Adding just one hour of TV or cell use each day bumps teen sugar and caffeine intake beyond World Health Organization guidelines.  Pediatricians at Canada’s McMaster University studied more than 32,000 US students from 8th through 10th grade.


The additional hour of TV bumped the risk of exceeding WHO sugar guidelines by 32% and caffeine guidelines by 28%.  The hour of cell use raised the risk of exceeding both sugar and caffeine limits by 14%.


Watching TV or talking on the cell distracts teens from what they put into their mouths.  Replace the soda and snacks on the side table with abundant ice cold water and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.


Kelly M. Bradbury, Ofir Turel, Katherine M. Morrison. Electronic device use and beverage related sugar and caffeine intake in US adolescents. PLOS ONE, 2019 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223912


#TV #Cellphone #snacks #sugar #caffeine

TV, Cellphone, snacks, sugar, caffeine



Don’t Mistake Instant Glue and Eyedrop Bottles: Best Of May, 1990: WBZ NewsRadio



Dr. Smith warns listeners no to confuse tiny bottles containing eye drops with those containing instant glue.


#eyes #eyedrops #glue #krazyglue #instantglue #wbznewsradio

eyes, eyedrops, glue, krazyglue, instantglue, wbznewsradio



Singing Problems Due to Something In Throat: Best Of: Jan, 1991: WBZ NewsRadio



Dr. Smith discusses a caller’s throat problems that are reducing the quality of her singing.


#singing #larynx #vocalcords #nodules #polyps #phonomicrosurgery

singing, larynx, vocalcords, nodules, polyps, phonomicrosurgery



Child Suffers Locked In Car: Best Of: June, 1991: WBZ NewsRadio


Lead-in by the late Gary LaPierre


Dr. Smith reports a Medical Minute about the dangers of leaving children and pets in locked cars.


#children #parenting #heat #fever #cars #wbznewsradio 

children, parenting, heat, fever, cars, wbznewsradio 

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