Health News

Chemicals in personal care products linked to childhood asthma

Chemicals in personal care products linked to childhood asthma Washington, September 6 : Researchers have found that children exposed to diethyl phthalate (DEP) and butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP)-phthalate chemicals commonly found in personal care and plastic products-have elevated risk of asthma-related airway inflammation.

Of the 244 children aged 5 to 9 in the study, all had detectable levels of phthalates in their urine although these varied over a wide range.

Higher levels of both phthalates were associated with higher levels of nitric oxide in exhaled breath, a biological marker of airway inflammation.


How high-fat diets lead women to store more abdominal fat than men

How high-fat diets lead women to store more abdominal fat than men Washington, September 6 : Study in female mice has shed light on why women are more likely than men to gain fat in the abdomen after eating excess saturated fat.

It could also explain why women gain fat following menopause.

Scientists identified events in female mice that start with the activation of an enzyme and end with the formation of visceral fat - fat that accumulates around internal organs and is linked to a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.


Prenatal pesticide exposure linked to childhood cough

Prenatal pesticide exposure linked to childhood cough Washington, September 6 : Children exposed to the widely used pesticide additive piperonyl butoxide (PBO) in the womb have heightened risk of noninfectious cough at ages 5 and 6, a new study has found.

The findings support the premise that the children''s respiratory system is susceptible to damage from toxic exposures during the prenatal period. A common symptom, childhood cough can disrupt normal daytime activities and interrupt sleep for both child and parent.


Label your fear to get over it

Label your fear to get over itWashington, Sep 5 : Can describing your feelings when you are particularly stressed make you less anxious? A new study suggests it may very well be so.

A new psychology study by the University of California-Los Angeles suggests that labelling your emotions at the moment you are confronting what you fear can indeed have the effect of reducing anxiety.

The psychologists asked 88 people with a fear of spiders to approach a large, live tarantula in an open container outdoors. They were told to walk closer and closer to the spider and eventually touch it, if they could, the journal "Psychological Science" reports.


New guerrilla tactics could outwit cancer cells

New guerrilla tactics could outwit cancer cellsWashington, Sep 5 : Scientists may soon be targeting cancer cells 'social networking' ability to outwit and destroy them, which grudgingly yield to treatment with drugs or radiation, but renew attacks later on.

Biophysicists and cancer researchers at Tel Aviv (Israel), Rice and Johns Hopkins Universities (US) are suggesting a new strategy, similar to guerrilla warfare tactics, to outsmarting cancer through its own social intelligence.

The army of these renegade cells communicate, cooperate and engage in collective decision making, to beat our immune system, the journal Trends in Microbiology reported.


Vitamin D supplement won't help in short term

Vitamin D supplement won't help in short termWashington, Sep 5 - Taking vitamin D supplements to compensate for its deficiency did not lower LDL or bad cholesterol levels -- not at least in the short term, suggests new research.

Researchers from The Rockefeller University, New York, studied 151 people with vitamin D deficiency who received either a mega-dose (50,000 internationals units) of vitamin D3 or placebo (substance containing zero medication) weekly for eight weeks. Their cholesterol levels were measured before and after treatment.


Exposure to chemical may cause heart disease: Study

Exposure to chemical may cause heart disease: StudyWashington, Sep 5 - Exposure to perfluoro-octanoic acid (PFOA), a man-made chemical used in the manufacture of lubricants, polishes, paper and textile coatings and food packaging, may be linked with heart disease and peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

PAD is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs.

Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue and other substances in the blood. When plaque builds up in the arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis.


Repeated exposure to traumatic images `may harm physical and mental health`

Repeated exposure to traumatic images `may harm physical and mental health`Washington, September 5 : In a new study, researchers have tried to shed light on the lingering effects of "collective traumas" such as natural disasters, mass shootings and terrorist attacks on people.

According to study author Roxane Cohen Silver from UCI Irvine, a steady diet of graphic media images may have long-lasting mental and physical health consequences.

The researchers of the study found that repeated exposure to violent images from the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the Iraq War led to an increase in physical and psychological ailments.


Plain packaging makes cigarettes less appealing

Plain packaging makes cigarettes less appealingWashington, September 5 : Plain cigarettes packaging and the removal of brand descriptors may help reduce the appeal of smoking for youth and young adults, a new study has suggested.

While Australia has recently passed legislation to ban logos from cigarette packages and to make plain packaging mandatory, other countries are still considering whether or not to take similar measures.

Research suggests that many brands appear to specifically target young women by use of `feminine' colored packs, fruit flavorings, or by suggestive terms such as `slim' or `superslim'.


Future-focused smokers likelier to quit

Future-focused smokers likelier to quitWashington, September 5 : Smokers who value the future are more likely to stop smoking, new research has found.

In order to make this discovery Drs. Heather Brown and Jean Adams of Newcastle University (UK) tapped into eight years of data from a large Australian database.

The Household Income and Labour Dynamics of Australia (HILDA) survey collects data on economic and subjective well-being, work, and family dynamics every year from over 7,000 Australian households.


Chemical in household products linked to heart disease

Chemical in household products linked to heart disease Washington, September 4 : Exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a manmade chemical used in the manufacture of some common household products, may lead to cardiovascular disease and peripheral arterial disease, a new study has warned.

Surveys have suggested that PFOA (widely used in the manufacture of products such as lubricants, polishes, paper and textile coatings, and food packaging) is detectable in the blood of more than 98 percent of the U. S. population.

Some evidence has suggested that an association may be biologically plausible between PFOA exposure and cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to the study background.


Organic foods no more nutritious than conventional alternatives

Organic foods no more nutritious than conventional alternatives Washington, September 4 : If you think organic foods are healthier and safer that conventionally grown products, you should think again.

New study from Stanford University has found little evidence of health benefits from organic foods.

"There isn't much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you're an adult and making a decision based solely on your health," said Dena Bravata, MD, MS, the senior author of the study.


Even blood sugar in normal range may shrink brain

Even blood sugar in normal range may shrink brain Washington, September 4 : New research has found that people whose blood sugar is on the high end of the normal range may be at greater risk of brain shrinkage that occurs with aging and diseases such as dementia.

"Numerous studies have shown a link between type 2 diabetes and brain shrinkage and dementia, but we haven't known much about whether people with blood sugar on the high end of normal experience these same effects," said study author Nicolas Cherbuin, PhD, with Australian National University in Canberra.


Asthma inhalers can stunt growth in children

Asthma inhalers can stunt growth in children Washington, September 4 : Children who use inhaled steroid drugs for asthma end up slightly shorter at their full adult height than children who don't use the drugs.

This is the finding from a comprehensive asthma study, which has Robert C. Strunk, MD, the Donald Strominger Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis as the senior author.

The study involved more than 1,000 children ages 5-12 who were treated for mild to moderate asthma as part of the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP) clinical trial.


Prenatal exposure to maternal smoking raises risk of obesity in teens

Prenatal exposure to maternal smoking raises risk of obesity in teens Washington, September 4 : Children who are exposed to smoking in the womb are likely to have an increased risk for adolescent obesity, according to a study.

And the risk is possibly related to subtle structural variations in the brain that create a preference for eating fatty foods, the study found.

"Prenatal exposure to maternal cigarette smoking is a well-established risk factor for obesity, but the underlying mechanisms are not known," the researchers said.

"Preference for fatty foods, regulated in part by the brain reward system, may contribute to the development of obesity," they noted.


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