High blood pressure or hypertension affects more than one in three people worldwide and is a major cause of strokes, heart attacks and heart failure . The degree with which blood pressure traits can be inherited suggests a genetic component. However, limited consistent evidence of genes associated with blood pressure have been produced. A new study in the journal Nature Genetics reports for the first time a number of genes showing significant associations with blood pressure and hypertension across the genome .
According to a study published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a high intake of red or processed meat increases the risk of death . In contrast, those consuming white meat had a decreased risk of both total mortality and cancer mortality. Two years ago, a similar study identified an association between red and processed meat and cancers of the colorectum and lung , but this is the first large-scale study to assess the relationship between red, white and processed meat consumption and the overall risk of death.
Researchers prospectively (meaning in real time) investigated red, white and processed meat consumption as risk factors for total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. The dietary habits of more than a half-million men and women aged 50 to 71 years were assessed in 1995 using a 124-item food frequency questionnaire. Cohort members were then followed-up over a 10 year period (i.e. from 1995 to 2005).
This article was written by Noelle K. LoConte, M.D.
Warfarin (brand name Coumadin) is one of the most commonly used anticoagulants (meaning a medication that thins the blood). It is used in a variety of medical situations, including atrial fibrillation, blood clots and when there is an increased risk of blood clotting due to genetic predisposition. When a patient is on warfarin, they need frequent blood draws to measure blood thinness and frequent dose adjustments until they have reached a stable level of blood thinning.
Scientists report in the current issue of the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology the isolation of a group of high-affinity antibodies that are potent inhibitors of a wide range of influenza viruses, including the H5N1 avian flu, the 1918 Spanish flu and some seasonal strains . The antibodies may someday be used to create a vaccine that provides lifetime immunity from the flu.
Seasonal flu hospitalizes an average of 226,000 people in the U.S. annually, killing 36,000 every year . Influenza A viruses have been associated with an increasing number of deaths; from 1990 — 1999, the greatest mean number of flu deaths were associated with influenza A (H3N2) viruses . Each season, between one quarter- and a half-million people die of influenza worldwide .
A new study raised concerns recently over safety of the popular ointment Vicks VapoRub in young children. Wake Forest University researchers report that the salve, which is used to relieve symptoms of cough and chest congestion, may actually stimulate mucus production and airway inflammation in infants and toddlers . However, the results are far from conclusive as the study was based on the case of a single child and 15 animals. Moreover, many of the results of the study have been incorrectly reported by the media.