Health Updates 3 June 2011

  • Fear of dying during cardiac event can make things worse: “Being intensely afraid of dying from a heart attack while experiencing symptoms of one may increase inflammation and lead to worse outcomes,” researchers say. “Patients with worse anxiety about death had higher levels of TNF-alpha during hospitalization for acute coronary syndrome,”  Andrew Steptoe, PhD, of university College London, and colleagues, reported online in the European Heart Journal.  Steptoe also observed that “fear of dying is not just an emotional response, but is linked into biological changes that go on during acute cardiac events”. (MedPage Today)
  • Vaccine for advanced melanoma: “A vaccine that marshals the body’s own defenses to recognize and kill cancer cells may shrink tumors and delay the progression of late-stage melanoma more effectively than conventional therapy alone, a new study shows”.  (WebMD)
  • Bullying tied to sleep problems: “Aggressive schoolchildren appear to be more likely to have sleep-disordered breathing than their more mild-mannered counterparts, a cross-sectional study showed.  Bullying has potential negative consequences for both the aggressor and the victim.  Bullies are at risk for psychiatric problems, delinquency, substance abuse, antisocial behavior, violence and criminal activity, whereas victims are at risk for damaged self-image, depression and decreased quality of life”.  (Todd Neale, MedPage Today)
  • After 30 years, AIDS cure may be closer: “The example is Timothy Ray Brown of San Francisco, the first person in the world apparently cured of AIDS.  His treatment isn’t practical for wide use, but there are encouraging signs that other approaches might someday lead to a cure, or at least allow some people to control HIV without needed medication every day”. (Associated Press)
  • New antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in milk: “…researchers said they stumbled across the new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) while studying udder infections in cows on British farms”. (Washington Post)

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