New Study Shows Combatting Childhood Obesity In Schools Is Working

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obesityResearch Finds the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program Reduces Prevalence of Childhood Obesity.

According to a recently published study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal, Preventing Chronic Disease, schools can win the fight against childhood obesity. The study found that the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program is an important means of supporting schools in reducing students’ rates of obesity.

Effect of the Healthy Schools Program on Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in California Schools, 2006 – 2012, is the first peer-reviewed journal article published about the Healthy Schools Program’s impact on child obesity rates.

An analysis of 281 schools in California that participated in the Program from 2006-2012 concludes that the Program is “an effective model for addressing childhood obesity among engaged schools,” and that meaningful participation in the Program is linked to reductions in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among students in high-need schools.

Ten years ago, the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association founded the Alliance for a Healthier Generation with the goal of reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity, and this study confirms the organization is delivering on its mission and that healthy school environments are having an effect on student weight.

“It’s encouraging to see the proven positive impact of the Healthy Schools Program on childhood obesity. Over the past ten years, the Alliance involved all stakeholders ‒ schools, companies, communities, healthcare professionals and families. The combination of commitment and cooperation has made the difference,” said President Bill Clinton.

kidsexercisevector“This study is evidence of our 2005 dream realized. While we know we have much more work to do to reverse the tide of obesity, we’re showing signs of success through the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association.

The Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program, which was launched in 2006 with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides schools with a framework, assessment and action plan, as well as virtual and onsite training and technical assistance and access to national experts to help them create sustainable healthy change. While the study looked at schools in California, the Program serves more than 29,000 schools nationally, the majority of which are high-need ‒ 40% or more of a school’s students receive free or reduced price lunch.

The study demonstrates the power of providing high-quality training and technical assistance to help schools make policy and system changes that improve children’s access to healthy foods and physical activity. The more that schools engaged with the Healthy Schools Program, and the longer they engaged, the greater reductions they saw in student rates of obesity. For example, for each additional year of exposure to an Alliance national advisor, schools saw a nearly 2% decline in student rates of overweight and obesity.

“Healthy school environments are critical to ensuring that every child grows up at a healthy weight and to RWJF’s goal of building a nationwide Culture of Health,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “This study reinforces the critical role that the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program can play in making a healthy school the norm and not the exception in the United States. We are proud of our commitment to initiate and expand the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program over the past decade, and we look forward to continued progress in our joint efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.”

“We’re pleased the findings confirm that the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program is delivering on our mission: to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity,” said Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “Reaching more than 17 million students across the country and growing, we will continue to positively impact children’s health on a national scale.”

About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation empowers kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. Through our Healthy Schools Program, we help to build healthier school environments for more than 17 million students by improving physical education, health education, child nutrition, and staff wellness policies and programs in more than 29,000 schools. Learn more and join the movement at http://www.healthiergeneration.org.

About the Clinton Foundation
The Clinton Foundation convenes businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for women and girls, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change. Because of our work, more than 29,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; more than 85,000 farmers in Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania are benefiting from climate-smart agronomic training, higher yields, and increased market access; more than 33,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced annually across the United States; over 350,000 people have been impacted through market opportunities created by social enterprises in Latin America, the Caribbean, and South Asia; through the independent Clinton Health Access Initiative, 9.9 million people in more than 70 countries have access to CHAI-negotiated prices for HIV/AIDS medications; 75 million people are benefiting from disease prevention efforts and investments in the U.S.; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative community have made more than 3,200 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries. Learn more at http://www.clintonfoundation.org, on Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association (AHA) is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke—America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. The American Heart Association team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of the offices around the country.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. The Foundation strives to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit http://www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at http://www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at http://www.rwjf.org/facebook.

New Research Study Goes Against Popular Belief On “39-week” Pregnancy Rule

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pregnantThis article is courtesy of the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your comments below. Questions or concerns about the article should be addressed directly to the Baylor College of Medicine.

Women who are managing low-risk pregnancies are advised to follow the “39-week rule” – waiting until they are 39 weeks to deliver. This rule is intended to eliminate elective inductions and cesarean deliveries at 37 and 38 weeks, when outcomes for the newborns are believed to be worse than those born at full term.

But new research by a Baylor College of Medicine epidemiologist suggests that babies delivered after elective induction at 37 to 38 weeks may not have an increased risk of adverse neonatal outcomes, compared to those infants who are expectantly managed (i.e., medical observation or “watchful waiting”) and delivered at 39 to 40 weeks. The findings appear in the current issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“Our findings caution against a general avoidance of all elective early-term inductions and call for continued research, based on better data, in what is still a relatively new arena,” said Dr. Jason Salemi, assistant professor of family and community medicine at Baylor and lead author of the study.

The national initiative to eliminate all elective deliveries before 39 weeks began to gain momentum around 2008, Salemi said, and was supported by professional organizations and adopted by healthcare institutions.

“Until then, I had never observed a campaign so enthusiastically embraced and that resulted in such widespread implementation of practice improvement efforts,” Salemi said.

But he saw limitations in many studies used to justify the 39-week rule. Most notably, he recognized what he believed to be an inappropriate choice of comparison group for elective early-term deliveries.

“A number of studies reporting worse outcomes for elective early-term deliveries compared them with later term spontaneous deliveries, a low-risk group. However, the clinical decision that must be made is not between elective early-term delivery and later spontaneous delivery, but between elective early-term delivery and expectant management, in which the outcome remains unknown,” Salemi said.

Salemi and his colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study that used data on more than 675,000 infants from a statewide database. All live births were classified on the basis of the timing and reason for delivery. The research study compared elective inductions and cesarean deliveries at 37 to 38 weeks to expectantly managed pregnancies delivered at 39 to 40 weeks.

“We focused on serious conditions in early life. Our outcomes included neonatal respiratory morbidity, sepsis, feeding difficulties, admission to the neonatal intensive care unit and infant mortality,” Salemi said.

Salemi cautions that the research findings do not lend support for elective deliveries before 39 weeks and, in fact, provide evidence that supports the avoidance of elective early-term cesarean deliveries. The study found that infants delivered after cesarean delivery at 37 to 38 weeks had a 13 to 66 percent increase in the odds of damaging outcomes.

However, infants delivered after elective early-term induction experienced odds of adverse neonatal outcomes that were largely the same as infants who were expectantly managed and delivered at 39 to 40 weeks. Through the research findings, Salemi hopes to increase awareness on the many issues that surround the timing and reasons for delivery.

“Each pregnancy is unique,” He said. “I cannot overstate the importance of open and ongoing communication between pregnant women and their healthcare providers so that the potential risks and benefits of any pregnancy-related decision are understood fully.”

Other authors that contributed to this research study and article are Dr. Elizabeth Pathak, during her time as an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, and Dr. Hamisu Salihu, professor and vice chair for research in family and community medicine at Baylor.

This research was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (grant number R01HS019997).

New Study Reveals America’s Fear Of Aging

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seniormanAegis Living Study Says Women More Likely to Worry About Memory than Men – More Funding for Alzheimer’s Research Urgently Needed

According to a new Aegis Living Study on Attitudes Toward Aging, adults of all generations are equally as likely to worry about what will happen to their memory as they age (72% Millennials, 75% Gen X, 77% Boomers, 69% Silent Generation), which may help explain why nearly half of all adults (45%) agree they are scared of aging, particularly Millennials (47%), Gen X’ers (51%), and Boomers (43%). The study was conducted online by Harris Poll in April, 2015 among more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18+.

“This study shines a light on a national issue that demands more attention. The more we’re aware of Alzheimer’s and dementia, the more research funding will start to flow. It simply has to,” says Dr. Shirley Newell, Aegis Living Chief Medical Officer. “We wanted to get a handle on what America is thinking about regarding an issue that faces our residents every day. And that’s what we have with these new numbers.”

Women More Worried than Men
The study also reveals that women are more likely than men to worry about what will happen to their memory as they age (77% vs. 70%, respectively) and be scared of aging (48% vs. 41%, respectively), and their fears may not be unfounded. The majority of Aegis Living residents are women and according to the Alzheimer’s Association, two-thirds of the 5 million seniors with Alzheimer’s disease are women. Women in their 60’s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over the rest of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer. The Alzheimer’s Association https://alz.org/abam/ has designated June as Alzheimer’s Awareness and Brain Awareness Month.

More Funding Urgently Needed for Alzheimer’s Research
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, U.S. direct cost of caring for people with Alzheimer’s in 2015 is $226 billion. By 2050, it will skyrocket to $1.2 trillion. Last year, more than $5 billion was spent on cancer research. $4 billion was spent on heart disease research and yet only $500 million was devoted to Alzheimer’s research.

Top Five Signs of Dementia

http://www.aegisliving.com/resource-center/5-signs-of-dementia/

1. Problems with Vision
2. Mood and Personality Changes
3. Poor Judgement and Difficulty Making Decisions
4. Misplacing or Losing Things
5. Forgetfulness

(Dementia is an umbrella term for a decline in mental ability that is necessary for day-to-day function. Although there is no specific disease related to dementia, Alzheimer’s accounts for 60-80 percent of all cases of mental decline – Alzheimer’s Association)

About the Survey
The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Aegis Living, between April 23rd and April 27th, 2015 among 2,015 U.S. adults ages 18+. For complete research method, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact John Yeager at Aegis Living John.Yeager(at)aegisliving(dot)com

About Aegis Living
Aegis Living is a national leader in retirement, assisted living and Alzheimer’s care providing the finest in senior lifestyle emphasizing health, quality of life, well-being and community. Aegis Living is guided by a simple philosophy: strive to treat all people with the highest possible standards. Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Redmond, Washington, privately held Aegis Living operates 30 communities in Washington, California and Nevada with 7 in development, including Aegis of Queen Anne on Galer. Many Aegis Living residents live with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Media Contact: John Yeager Public Relations Director Aegis Living 425-765-9845 (complete methodology available at John.Yeager(at)aegislving(dot)com). http://www.AegisLiving.com Follow us on Twitter @aegisliving and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AegisLiving

Study Shows Folic Acid Can Reduce Risk Of Stroke

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Royal River Natural Foods publishes results of study that shows folic acid can reduce stroke risk in people with high blood pressure.

healthyheartbpRoyal River Natural Foods, a locally-owned independent natural health store in Freeport, Maine, reports a new study that found people with high blood pressure who took folic acid along with standard blood pressure medication were 21 percent less likely to have had a stroke after 4.5 years of follow-up compared to those who took blood pressure medication alone.

The report is part of the July 2015, issue of Natural Insights for Well Being®, which Royal River Natural Foods publishes free each month for those in the Freeport community interested in new nutrition science. Also in the July issue, pre-diabetic women who took vitamin K had lower insulin and blood sugar levels compared to those who did not take vitamin K; and female students who took ginger root capsules had as much relief from menstrual pain as with standard pain medication, among other important findings.

“New evidence continues to show that everyday nutrients help not only improve the quality of daily life, but also extend healthy living as we age,” said Becky Foster, supplement manager. “New findings this month include well respected, peer-reviewed scientific journals such as the ‘Journal of the American Medical Association,’ the ‘Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders,’ the ‘Archives of Gynecology & Obstetrics,’ among others,” Foster said.

Natural Insights for Well Being® is free, and Royal River Natural Foods invites all those who wish to gain more valuable nutrition knowledge to stop in and pick up the July issue and meet the friendly, knowledgeable staff.

About the company:

Founded in 1994, Royal River Natural Foods is a unique community, natural food store. They are committed to well-being, body and soul. Experience their outstanding customer service in a warm and welcoming environment. Royal River Natural Foods proudly features local organic food, produce, locally-raised beef, chicken, lamb, pork and seafood, healthy takeout foods, bulk foods, snacks, special dietary products, specialty wines, micro-brewed beers, gourmet food made in Maine, unique gifts, eco-friendly products and much more. Royal River Natural Foods is committed to providing local, organic and sustainably-produced foods that enrich their customers’ lives. For more information about Royal River Natural Foods, visit their website at http://www.rrnf.com.

New Asthma & Obesity Study Tracks 10,000 Patients

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didyouknow?Asthma Control Requires Weight Loss Management in At-Risk Individuals

Although studies have shown an association between obesity and increased asthma incidence, the role of obesity in asthma control is less clear. Now, researchers have addressed that issue by tracking asthma control and Body Mass Index (BMI) in a large, real world cohort of 10,233 adults.

“We identified adults with persistent asthma in 2006, continuous health plan enrollment in 2007 and 2008, with a BMI measurement in 2006 and 2007. That BMI was categorized and analyzed alongside asthma control outcomes in 2008,” co-author Michael Schatz, MD, MS, FAAAAI, said.

Asthma control outcomes included asthma hospitalizations or emergency department visits, oral corticosteroid prescriptions linked to an asthma encounter and prescriptions for more than seven short-acting beta-agonist canisters.

“We found an increased risk of emergency department visits or asthma related hospital stays in overweight (26-40%) and obese individuals (36-57%). We also found that obese patients are likelier to use seven or more short-acting beta-agonist canisters,” co-author Robert Zeiger, MD, PhD, FAAAAI said.

A number of reasons could explain the relationship between poor asthma control and obesity, including:

* Gastroesophageal reflux disease

* Depression

* Reduced corticosteroid responsiveness

* Adipokines or cell signaling proteins secreted by body fat

* Direct effects on pulmonary functions

The size of this study allowed the investigators to account for some of these factors (gastroesophageal reflux disease, depression, and inhaled corticosteroid treatment) as well as other factors that influence asthma control (age, gender, smoking and socioeconomic status). This large study will provide medical professionals a more comprehensive understanding of the association between elevated BMI and poor asthma control. It is important because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than one in three adults over the age of 20 are obese. Similarly, more than two in three adults over the age of 20 are overweight or obese.

“While further studies will be needed to better define the amount of weight loss necessary to improve asthma outcomes, it remains clear that physicians managing overweight and obese patients with asthma should actively encourage and facilitate weight loss interventions,” Schatz explained.

The study was published on May 11, 2015 in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice (JACI: In Practice), an official journal of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). It should be noted that this study was supported by a research grant from Merck and Co. Inc.

More information on asthma is available at AAAAI.org. The AAAAI represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more than 6,800 members in the United States, Canada and 72 other countries. The AAAAI’s Find an Allergist/Immunologist service is a trusted resource to help you find a specialist close to home.

Study Links Fatty Liver And Heart Failure In Obese People

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newsFatty liver is independently associated with subclinical heart failure in obese people, according to a new study published online, January 26, in the journal Radiology. The findings add more support to the importance of dietary interventions in such patients, researchers said.

Fatty liver is independently associated with subclinical heart failure in obese people, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology. The findings add more support to the importance of dietary interventions in such patients, researchers said.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), also known as hepatic steatosis, is the most common liver disease, with a prevalence of up to 30 percent in the general population and between 70 percent and 90 percent among persons who are obese or have type 2 diabetes. NAFLD is considered as a manifestation of the metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors like high blood pressure, excess abdominal fat and unhealthy cholesterol levels that raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other health problems.

“One of the unique aspects of our study is that we took all of the individual components of the metabolic syndrome into account as possible confounders in this association, as the metabolic syndrome is associated with NAFLD and with cardiovascular disease,” said study lead author Ralph L. Widya, M.D., from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, the Netherlands.

For the study, Dr. Widya and colleagues used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy to noninvasively measure hepatic triglyceride content, a measure of fat in the liver, and cardiac MRI to assess left ventricular diastolic function in 714 men and women aged 45 to 65 years. Of the 714 patients, 47 percent were categorized as overweight, and 13 percent were classified as obese.

The left ventricle is the heart’s main pumping chamber, and diastolic function refers to the phase of the heartbeat when the heart relaxes to fill with blood. Abnormalities of diastolic function, represented by inefficient filling of the heart, play a major role in exercise intolerance in patients presenting with heart failure. Diastolic dysfunction has been clinically undervalued and is currently gaining major attention by cardiologists and general physicians, according to senior author Hildo J. Lamb, M.D., Ph.D., also from Leiden University Medical Center.

Results indicated that an increase in hepatic triglyceride content was associated with a decrease in mean left ventricular diastolic function in the obese subgroup of the study population. The association between hepatic triglyceride content and left ventricular diastolic function existed independently of the metabolic syndrome, suggesting that fatty liver itself could, at least in obese people, pose a risk of heart dysfunction above and beyond known cardiovascular risk factors that are clustered within the metabolic syndrome.

“Our results may be of importance in cardiovascular risk stratification in obesity, because there is a large variation in the degree of hepatic steatosis in obesity,” Dr. Widya said. “Also, more emphasis should be put on dietary interventions to reduce or prevent hepatic steatosis.”

The reasons for the link between fatty liver and heart function are unknown, Dr. Widya said, but could be related to several factors, including the presence of infection-fighting white bloods cells called macrophages or increased expression in the liver of small proteins known as cytokines.

Future research is required to study the effect of NAFLD on cardiovascular events, according to Drs. Widya and Lamb, and further study is needed to investigate to what extent the association exists and differs among normal weight, overweight and obese persons.

Recent Study On Hernias And Genetics

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didyouknow?Commenting on the recent article, the Los Angeles abdominal hernia expert explains that, while not every person has access to genetic testing that could warn them about a hernia, the piece brings up an important point regarding the need to implement preventative care when risk is detected.

While hernia repair experts like Dr. Shirin Towfigh of the Beverly Hills Hernia Center have long observed a strong connection between one’s genetics and the risk of developing a hernia, the data surrounding the matter still has room to improve in terms of clarity. One recent study that succeeding in doing just that was discussed in an article published December 21st by United Press International. The study, which involved the analysis of a vast database of patient information, concluded that there are four genes in particular which can greatly increase someone’s risk of developing a hernia. According to Dr. Shirin Towfigh, because it may prove impractical to test the genetics of patients en masse in order to determine risk, the real use of this information will be in furthering the field’s understanding of how and why hernias form. In addition, she adds that the study also brings to light a very important truth that pertains to all aspect of medicine: when risk is determined, preventative care should be implemented.

She explains that, because an abdominal hernia is simply tissue pushing through a weakness in the abdominal wall, the odds of a hernia can be decreased with proper fitness and abdominal strength (Decreased risk of a hernia is just one of the many health advantages that come with being in shape.) Dr. Towfigh also explains that, while the data is less conclusive than it is with exercise, obesity is also considered to be a risk factor. She notes that this is especially true for certain types of hernias, such as incisional hernias that often develop after open surgery.

seniorexerciseDr. Towfigh explains that straining due to excessive movement or stress on the abdominal muscles can also lead to a hernia in those who are genetically disposed to develop one. While it is often very difficult to anticipate when these rapid movements are likely to occur, it is nevertheless important for patients to be diligent when engaging in any strenuous activity.

For those patients who have already developed a hernia, treatment through surgical repair is very often the best option. Dr. Towfigh explains that she and her team at the Beverly Hills Hernia Center use a minimally invasive laparoscopic approach to surgery that has helped countless patients quickly get back on their feet without the pains and stressed caused by a hernia. For more information about the Beverly Hills Hernia Center, or to set up a consultation today, call the center at 310-693-6096 or visit them online at http://www.BeverlyHillsHerniaCenter.com.

New Study Links Endometriosis To Higher Risk Of Heart Disease

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By Tamer Seckin, MD

didyouknow?A new study out today is linking endometriosis to a higher risk of heart disease, particularly among women aged 40 years and under. The data shows that women in this age bracket are three times more likely to develop heart attack, chest pain or blocked arteries when compared to those without endometriosis of the same age. “This should be of real concern to doctor’s treating patients with endometriosis,” said Dr. Tamer Seckin, one of a handful of gynecologic surgeons in the United States who performs deep excision of endometriosis and is the founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) with Padma Lakshmi.

The study, published today in the Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association Journal, looked at the heart risk for women with endometriosis over a 20-year period. The study followed 120,000 women, of which about nearly 12,000 had endometriosis, and found that compared to women without endometriosis women with endometriosis were 1.35 times more likely to need surgery or stenting to open blocked arteries, 1.52 times more likely to have a heart attack and nearly two times as likely to develop angina.

“Studies on endometriosis are greatly needed, and I am pleased to see this research supported by the National Institute of Health,” said Seckin. Dr. Stacey Missmer, director of epidemiologic research and reproductive medicine at Brigham’s Women’s Hospital, who co-authored the study, spoke last year at the EFA’s 6th annual medical conference held in New York City.

According to the study, researchers noted that surgical treatment of endometriosis including the removal of the uterus and ovaries possibly accounts for the higher risk of heart disease. Seckin says this has been suspected for some time and is not a surprise to him. The study also reported that surgically induced menopause before natural menopause may also be an added risk.

The peer-reviewed paper also says that there is a specific and meaningful correlation between endometriosis and coronary heart disease. Seckin believes this may be due to the confounding systemic inflammation and chronic stress and pain.

Dr. Seckin urges that removal of the uterus and/or ovaries is not the optimal treatment for women with endometriosis. That is why he opts for deep excision surgery. Excision allows the surgeon to safely and successfully remove the disease and the inflammatory tissues.

“Deep excision surgery is about removing the endometriosis tissue from the body and preserving both the reproductive organs, and any other organs affected by the disease, as endometriosis often grows outside the reproductive tract in places like the bowel and colon,” said Seckin. “Treatment should offer a woman the best chance to regain a pain-free life, lessen long-term side effects from alternative therapies used to treat symptoms, and provide an opportunity for her to have children.”

Alternative therapies can include the use of oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy and painkillers for treating patients with endometriosis. The study did account for oral contraceptive and hormone replacement exposure but could not evaluate details of other hormonal treatments or the use of painkillers.

While he is busy advocating that the reproductive organs not be removed during endometriosis treatment, Seckin also expresses concerns about the dangers of long-term usage of hormones and pain medications. “These therapies have their risks,” he added.“Whether-or-not heart disease is one of these dangers, or the disease itself is the cause has still to be determined, but this study tells us something is increasing the risk for heart disease in women with endometriosis.”

Seckin said that the study convinces him that removing the disease through minimally invasive surgery gives women the most relief from their symptoms and does not expose them to side-effects that could put their overall health at risk.

– Tamer Seckin, MD, is an endometriosis specialist and surgeon in private practice in New York at Lenox Hill Hospital. He is the founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) with Padma Lakshmi. The EFA mission is to increase disease recognition, provide advocacy, facilitate expert surgical training, and fund landmark endometriosis research. Dr. Seckin is the author of “The Doctor Will See You Now; Recognizing and Treating Endometriosis” published March 2016 by Turner Publishing.

Study Shows That Teens Lose Sleep After Change To Daylight Saving Time

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SleepingWomanA new study shows that high school students lose sleep on school nights following the change to daylight saving time that occurs in March. The loss of sleep during the school week was associated with a decline in vigilance and cognitive function, which raises safety concerns for teen drivers.

Results show that the average objectively measured sleep duration on the weeknights after the spring time change declined to 7 hours, 19 minutes, which reflects a mean loss of 32 minutes per night compared with the school week prior to the implementation of daylight saving time. Average cumulative sleep loss on weeknights following the time change was 2 hours, 42 minutes. During school days after the time change, students also displayed increased sleepiness and a decline in psychomotor vigilance, including longer reaction times and increased lapses of attention.

“For many years now, sleep researchers have been concerned about sleep deprivation in adolescents,” said principal investigator Dr. Ana Krieger, medical director of the Weill Cornell Center for Sleep Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and associate professor of clinical medicine, of medicine in clinical neurology, and of clinical genetic medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. “This study unveils a potential additional factor that may further restrict their sleep in the early spring.”

Study results are published in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

According to the authors, this is the first study to quantify the detrimental effects of daylight saving time implementation using objective measurements of sleep duration and vigilance in students attending high school.

The study group comprised 35 high school students with a mean age of 16.5 years. Nightly sleep duration was measured at home by actigraphy during the weeks prior to and after the change to daylight saving time. Participants also completed a sleep diary to report subjective sleep measures. Measurements of daytime sleepiness and vigilance were collected using the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) and the Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT).

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adolescents get a little more than nine hours of nightly sleep for optimal health and daytime alertness during the critical transition from childhood to adulthood.

“Getting adequate sleep is key for many facets of an adolescent’s development,” said Dr. Nathaniel F. Watson, president of the AASM. “This study raises significant concern about the consequences of impeding their already hectic sleep schedules with Daylight Saving Time every spring.”

To request a copy of the study, “Adverse Effects of Daylight Saving Time on Adolescents’
Sleep and Vigilance,” or to arrange an interview with the study author or an AASM spokesperson, please contact Communications Coordinator Lynn Celmer at 630-737-9700, ext. 9364, or lcelmer(at)aasmnet(dot)org.

The monthly, peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine is the official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a professional membership society that improves sleep health and promotes high quality patient centered care through advocacy, education, strategic research, and practice standards (http://www.aasmnet.org). The AASM encourages patients to talk to their doctor about sleep problems or visit http://www.sleepeducation.org for a searchable directory of AASM-accredited sleep centers.

Study Looks At Effect Of Diet On Prostate Cancer Progression

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Submitted by The Baylor College of Medicine

saladsRecent studies suggest that nutrients found primarily in vegetables and fruits can help lower the risk of prostate cancer and possibly slow its development, and those diets higher in these foods and lower in fat and meat may provide some protective benefit against the disease or its progression.

A clinical study called MEAL (The Men’s Eating and Living (MEAL) Study: A Randomized Trial of Diet to Alter Disease) is assessing whether a diet-based intervention to increase vegetable and fruit consumption can slow disease progression, and improve the quality of life for men with low-grade prostate cancer who are under active surveillance. Men are typically offered the option to undergo active surveillance if they meet very specific criteria, including the presence of a small low-grade tumor in their prostate. If there is a larger tumor in the prostate and/or the disease is of higher grade, then these men will likely be offered active treatment with surgery or radiation.

The active surveillance approach involves careful and close monitoring, and can postpone the side effects of active treatment, or even avoid those undesirable side effects. That is achieved by regular prostate exams and blood tests, and periodic biopsies.

With this approach, active treatment is not begun until the disease shows signs of growth or progression, and still allows the doctors and their teams to treat the disease while it is still in an early curative state.

Patients who enroll in the MEAL study are randomized either to a group that receives telephone-based dietary counseling and structured dietary education, or to a control group who receives a booklet on nutrition, exercise, and prostate cancer, but no ongoing dietary counseling.

Men randomized to the intervention group on the MEAL study will receive structured, individualized, one-on-one counseling achieved via half-hour telephone calls over a period of 24 months. The goal is to help them change their dietary patterns and to incorporate at least seven servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit daily.

“This study is the only open national clinical trial to assess a dietary intervention in this population, and has the potential to improve quality-of-life and the treatment of men with low-risk prostate cancer.” says Dr. Guilherme Godoy, assistant professor of urology and the principal investigator of the study at Baylor College of Medicine.

This study is open nationally through cooperative groups, such as CALGB and SWOG, and more information can be obtained at National Cancer Institute (NCI) website ClinicalTrials.gov under the identifier: NCT01238172.

Baylor College of Medicine is one of the sites in Houston where the study is open. For more information or to participate in this clinical trial, please contact Charleen Gonzalez at 713-798-2179, or charleen.gonzalez@bcm.edu.