Items filtered by date: January 2016
Saturday, 09 January 2016 06:53

Oral fungicides may lead to loss of pregnancy

Pregnant women have a higher risk of developing the yeast infection vaginal candidiasis due to an increased secretion of sex hormones; in the US, around 10% of pregnant women develop the condition.

Although intravaginal formulations of topical azole antifungals are the first-line treatment for pregnant women, oral fluconazole is often used.

However, there is a lack of safety information for the drug; in addition, previous studies have suggested evidence of a distinct pattern of craniofacial and skeletal birth defects in babies born to women treated long term with high-dose fluconazole during pregnancy.

Ditte Mølgaard-Nielsen, of the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues evaluated the association between oral fluconazole exposure during pregnancy and the risk of spontaneous abortion and stillbirth.

In a nationwide cohort study, the team studied 1,405,663 pregnancies from 1997-2013 in Denmark.

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Published in The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, the updated guidelines are a result of a collaboration between the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) Heart Failure and Transplantation, Pediatric and Infectious Disease Councils.

Chaired by Dr. Mandeep R. Mehra, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and medical director of the Heart and Vascular Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital - both in Boston, MA - the revised guidelines for heart transplantation candidacy address some of the issues that have arisen since such guidelines were first put in place in 2006.

One key issue has been heart transplantation eligibility for patients with certain medical conditions; the 2006 guidelines stated that patients with particular illnesses should not be considered for the procedure.

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Saturday, 09 January 2016 06:34

Having more children could slow aging

In the journal PLOS One, researchers reveal that women who had more children had longer telomeres than women who had fewer children.

Telomeres are caps at the end of each DNA strand that protect our chromosomes - thread-like structures that contain all our genetic information - from damage.

Each time a cell replicates, telomeres become shorter. They eventually become so short that they stop protecting chromosomes, leaving them vulnerable to damage, which in turn causes our cells to age and stop functioning effectively.

Previously, animal studies have supported the "life history theory," suggesting that higher reproductive behavior is associated with accelerated biological aging.

However, this latest study, led by Prof. Pablo Nepomnaschy and Cindy Barha - both of Simon Fraser University in Canada - contradicts this theory.

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Saturday, 09 January 2016 06:29

What are the best diets for 2016

A panel of health experts - including Dr. Lawrence Cheskin, founder and director of Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center in Baltimore, MD, and Kathie Beales, associate professor in the Division of Nutrition at the University of Utah - was enrolled by US News & World Report to review and rank 38 of the most popular diets.

Each diet was scored using seven criteria, including short- and long-term weight loss, nutrition, safety and ease of compliance. These ratings were used to rank each diet in nine categories, including best overall diets, best diabetes diets, best weight-loss diets, best commercial diet plans and easiest diets to follow.

Our rankings put hard numbers on the belief that no one diet is ideal for everybody, but the best food plans overall are sustainable," notes Angela Haupt, senior editor of US News.

Besides the rankings and data, each diet has a detailed profile that includes how it works, evidence that supports or refutes its claims and a nutritional snapshot - tools that, along with the advice of a physician or nutritionist, can help consumers invest in diets that suit their lifestyles and further their health and wellness goals.

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