Gallery

Health Updates 22 February 2012

  • Fructose not linked to extra weight gain“A little extra simple sugar in your diet probably won’t make you pack on the pounds – as long as you cut down on other carbs to make up for it, a new analysis of past studies suggests.  Researchers found that people who consumed extra fructose baked into breads or sprinkled into drinks didn’t gain any extra weight compared to those who had other types of carbohydrates instead – when they ate the same number of total calories.  On the other hand, when study participants supplemented a standard diet with extra calories in the form of straight fructose, they did gain weight.  ‘Fructose probably isn’t any different than other sources of carbohydrates,’ said lead author Dr. John Sievenpiper, a research fellow at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.  The finding, he told Reuters Health, ‘represents pretty reasonable evidence that fructose in and of itself doesn’t contribute to weight gain.  But when it contributes extra energy, that’s when you do see weight gain’.” (Reuters/MedlinePlus)
  • Higher mortality for women with MI and no chest pain: “Women more often have no chest pain with a myocardial infarction (MI) and have greater risk of dying in hospital than men do, analysis of a large clinical registry showed.  Almost 40% more women had no chest pain at diagnosis, and they had a 42% higher inhospital mortality….The disparities between men and women existed in all age groups, but the magnitude of the differences diminished with increasing age.  The youngest women with MI were most likely to have no chest pain and also had the highest mortality.  The apparent association between absence of chest pain and increased mortality has potential implications for current clinical guidance.” (Charles Bankhead, MedPage Today)
  • Flu shots for pregnant moms may protect babies: “Giving flu shots to pregnant women seems to reduce their risk of having a baby that is small for its gestational age, a new study found.  Babies who are small for their gestational age have an increased risk of health problems and other issues throughout this lives.  The study included 340 pregnant women in Bangladesh…all of the women were in their third trimester.  When the seasonal influenza virus was circulating in the population, the flu vaccine group had fewer babies who were small for their gestational age than the other group – about 26 percent versus 45 percent….’Our data suggest that the prevention of infection with seasonal influenza in pregnant women by vaccination can influence fetal growth,’ Dr. Mark Steinhoff, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio, and colleagues wrote in their report.”  If further research supports these findings, adding a flu vaccine to routine vaccinations during pregnancy might give children a better start in life. (HealthDay)
  • Shipments from abroad to help ease shortage of two cancer drugs: “Dire shortages of two critical cancer drugs – shortfalls that have threatened the lives and care of thousands of patients – should be resolved within weeks, federal drug officials said.  The two drugs are Doxil and methotrexate, and in both cases supplies in the United States are being bolstered by shipments from abroad.  Shortages of scores of other drugs continue.  ‘We’re not out of the woods,’ said Dr. Sandra L. Kweder of the Food and Drug Administration’s drug center.  ‘But these two particular shortages have been very, very upsetting to patients and to us’.” The shortages of both drugs developed when Ben Venue Laboratories temporarily halted manufacturing because it could not guarantee product safety. (NY Times)
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