Thursday, November 26, 2009

Senior doctors unite to form International Climate and Health Council

Yesterday a group of physicians launched the International Climate and Health Council. The goal is to drive policy makers toward action on climate change policies that affect human health. In conjunction with colleagues from Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, the group of doctors are speaking out about carbon emissions, climate change, and the impact on human health.

According to the group, failure to address climate change would lead to global catastrophe. Multiple studies show that even low level carbon emissions promote inflammation that affects respiratory health, even in unborn children whose mothers are exposed to particulate matter. Other impacts of climate change on health include increased risk of heart disease and stroke, second heart attack, and asthma.

The Climate and Health Council includes Professor Ian Gilmore, President of the Royal College of Physicians, Sir Muir Gray, Director of the Campaign for Greener Health Care, Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of Council at the British Medical Association, Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief of the British Medical Journal and Lancet Editor, Dr Richard Horton.

According to Dr Fiona Godlee, doctors are in a position to push for climate change ..."because some of the necessary changes to the way we live won't please voters.”, adding "we have a responsibility as health professionals to warn people how bad things are likely to get if we don't act now. The good news is that we have a positive message - that what is good for the climate is good for health."

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a priority for reducing risk of disease in humans. The Climate and Helath Council coincides with a with a series of papers published by the Lancet on the health impact reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The senior doctors have united to warn politicians that climate change is needed to protect human health. Serious efforts to curb carbon emissions and produce sustainable lifestyles are needed to prevent catastrophe, according to the doctor's group.

Professor Mike Gill and Dr Robin Stott, co-chairs of the UK Climate and Health Council said, "This is the first step towards a global network of health professionals which by speaking out has the potential to protect and improve the health of people in both rich and poor worlds."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bacteria in Cigarettes and more

New discovery shows cigarettes full of disease causing bacteria
Researchers from France have used a technique called DNA microassay to find that cigarettes are full of a variety of disease causing bacteria. In the past, scientists used small pieces of cigarettes and lab cultures to test cigarettes for bacterial contamination. Some of the disease causing bacteria also found in soil, responsible for food-borne illness and respiratory infections could have widespread implications for human health. Read more

Sexercise for women gets attention
Sexercise for women can prevent future problems and is getting renewed attention for its benefits. With age and repeated childbearing, urinary incontinence and organ prolapse of the bladder or uterus can lead to embarrassment and the need for expensive treatments. Sexercise for women can improve overall sexual function. The exercises can be practiced alone or with a partner, and are regaining some attention. Read more

How drug ads can harm health
Results of a new study shows that drug ads are not doing a good job at helping consumers improve decisions about their health. The findings, released online in the American Journal of Public Health November 12, offer some guidelines to minimize the potential harm to health spawned by drug ads that leave out information or misguide consumers. Drug ad opponents say pharmaceutical companies need to improve consumer information by answering important questions and providing more useful information to the public. Read more

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

BPA and Sexual Dysfunction in Men Linked and More

Work exposure to BPA linked to erectile and ejaculation dysfunction
In a first study that involves human exposure to Bisphenol-A, scientists find a link between erectile dysfunction and BPA exposure at work. The findings come from Kaiser Permanente and are published in the journal Human Reproduction, finding quadruple the risk of erectile dysfunction among men exposed to high levels of BPA, the chemical used to make polycarbonate plastics. Read More

Low fat diet better for mood than low carb

New research, published in the November 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine shows that dieters who consumed a low fat diet for a year experienced mood improvement compared to a group given a very low carbohydrate diet. A low fat diet might be best for improving mood, versus a low carbohydrate diet, though both are shown to lead to weight loss. Read More

N95 respirator not best for H1N1 flu protection
Lack of scientific evidence regarding the need for N95 respirators among health care workers has prompted three scientific organizations to urge that OSHA change current recommendations for personal protection from H1N1 flu among health care employees. N95 respirators that require fit-testing are not scientifically proven to be best to protect health care workers from H1N1 flu. Read More

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Stop Cancer by Curbing Obesity and Other Health Matters

Research links over 100000 cancer cases yearly to obesity
According to new research from the American Institute for Cancer Research, several types of cancer are linked to obesity. Weight management plays an important role in cancer prevention, yet public awareness of the link between obesity and cancer is low. Estimates show that that more than 100,000 cancer diagnoses each year are linked to obesity. Read More

Findings show green tea could halt oral cancer

Results of a new study from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center found that polyphenols in green tea could halt the development of oral cancer in patients with pre-cancerous cell changes. Researchers say that half of patients with pre-malignant lesions known as leukoplakia responded to treatment with green tea extract. The findings suggest that polyphenols found in the popular brew might halt oral cancer. Read More

Tai Chi is good therapy for osteoarthritis knee pain
If you are looking for a non-surgical option for painful knee osteoarthritis, Tai Chi might be the answer to pain and mobility issues. Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine have found that people over age 65 can increase mobility and reduce pain associated with knee osteoarthritis by performing Tai Chi exercises. Read More

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Antioxidants could fight respiratory effect of H1N1 flu and other Health Matters

Antioxidants fight H1N1 respiratory damage in studies
A series of new studies from University of Alabama researchers, published November 2009, show how antioxidants could help fight respiratory complications of H1N1 flu. Respiratory damage from the virus has taken a toll, leading to death in otherwise healthy individuals. Through a series of experiments, the researchers found that antioxidants, the type found in plant based foods, prevent lung damage from the H1N1 virus. Read more

BPA in canned food awaits FDA decision
The FDA will soon decide what level of BPA in canned food is safe for human consumption. Concerns about BPA and canned food liners and in baby bottles has raised health concerns among consumers. According to an online study from Consumer Reports, BPA was found in most name brand canned food; even some that are labeled “BPA free”. Read more

Gaining competency keeps us happy
A study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, October 29, 2009, shows that gaining competency by learning new skills can lead to long term happiness. Learning something new might make us frustrated in the moment, but ultimately leads to greater day to day happiness. The study also showed that feeling connected to others is an important psychological need that can lead to self satisfaction and well-being.
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