Health and Fitness

Columbia's 2009 Naomi Berrie Award For Diabetes Research

Columbia University Medical Center presentED the 2009 Naomi Berrie Awards to a nationally recognized diabetes researcher, and a promising young investigator, for their outstanding achievements in diabetes research. The Award for Outstanding Achievement in Diabetes Research WENT to Richard Nathan Bergman, Ph.D, Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology & Biophysics at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC). Dr. Bergman and three of his labs at USC are studying different aspects of the causes of type 2 diabetes, a disease which afflicts 20 million Americans, and which is a primary cause of heart disease, blindness and kidney disease. Dr. Bergman's work ranges from cell biology to epidemiology and population genetics, but all of it is related to diabetes research. "Dr. Bergman developed models and in vivo measurements for the factors that determine glucose metabolism. Based upon these models, he developed a glucose 'disposition index' that quantifies the nature of the interactions between insulin sensitivity and pancreatic secretion.

Scans Of Egyptian Mummies Show Hardening Of Arteries Is Not A Modern Disease

An international team of scientists who took CT scans of mummified bodies of people who lived in Egypt up to 3, 500 years ago found evidence to suggest that hardening of arteries, a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes, is not a modern disease and may have been quite common among ancient Egyptians of high socioeconomic status. The study, which appears in the November 18th issue of JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association, was the work of researchers from the Universities of California at Irvine and San Diego, the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, the Wisconsin Heart Hospital in Milwaukee, all in the US, and the Al Azhar Medical School in Cairo, Egypt. Corresponding author Dr Gregory Thomas, associate clinical professor of cardiology at the University of California (UC) Irvine, told the media that: "Atherosclerosis is widespread among modern-day humans and -- despite differences in ancient and modern lifestyles -- we found that it was rather common in ancient Egyptians of high socioeconomic status living more than three millennia ago.

Increased Obesity Hindering Success At Reducing Heart Disease Risk

The dramatic increase in overweight and obesity in adult Americans over the past 20 years has undermined public health success at reducing risk for heart disease, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2009. In a new study, researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1988-2006, representing 8, 264 adult men and women, 20 to 85 years old. All had complete risk factor profiles of their blood pressure, fasting glucose, low density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad" cholesterol ) and smoking status. Researchers found that during this time period, the average body mass index (BMI) increased from 26.5 to 28.8 kg/m2, a significant change. BMI - a measure of body fatness - is calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. In the same period, the number of people with optimal blood pressure decreased from 48 percent in NHANES III, 1988-94, to 43 percent in NHANES in 2005-06, and the number of people with optimal fasting glucose decreased from 67 percent to 58 percent.

Pfizer Submits New Pediatric Data For Lipitor R Atorvastatin To The European Medicines Agency EMEA

Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) announced it has submitted pediatric data for Lipitor® (atorvastatin) to the European Medicines Agency (EMEA). Pfizer has also developed a new chewable form of Lipitor, including a pediatric-appropriate 5 mg dose, which is part of this submission. Approximately one in 500 people suffer from an inherited disorder, called Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH), which causes high levels of LDL-cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol ) and an increased risk of heart disease. Pfizer hopes that additional scientific data about the use of atorvastatin in children with FH will help improve diagnosis and treatment of the condition. Pfizer's data submission reflects a European Union (EU) initiative encouraging research, development and availability of medicines for children. All authorized medicines undergo extensive testing in both laboratories and clinical trials prior to their approval. However, there is often limited information available about pediatric use. One 2005 study found that more than half of all medicines in Europe have not been tested and authorized for use in children.

Levels Of Bad Cholesterol Falling In US, But Still Too Many Unscreened And Untreated

A new study published this week found that the proportion of American adults with high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol fell by around one third between 1999 and 2006, but concluded that too many are still not being screened or treated for the condition. In an accompanying editorial, experts called for simpler national guidelines for cholesterol screening that are based on risk for developing coronary heart disease rather than fixed thresholds for LDL cholesterol. The study was the work of Dr Elena V Kuklina, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and colleagues, and appears in the 18 November issue of JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association. The main public health thrust for managing cholesterol in the US is to tackle high levels of LDL cholesterol under guidelines from the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III). These guidelines set targets for LDL cholesterol based on the history or risk for developing coronary heart disease (CHD) in the next 10 years.

The Protein Srebp2 Drives Cholesterol Formation In Prion-Infected Neuronal Cells Which May Promote Prion-Dependent Diseases

Prions are causing fatal and infectious diseases of the nervous system, such as the mad cow disease (BSE), scrapie in sheep or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum M nchen and Technische Universit t M nchen have now succeeded in elucidating another disease mechanism of prion diseases: The prion-infected cell changes its gene expression and produces increased quantities of cholesterol. Prions need this for their propagation. Prions are infectious and transform the brains of humans and animals into sponge-like structures. Unlike a virus, a prion only consists of protein - called prion-protein in its pathological form (PrPSc). Until now, little was known about the processes that take place inside the infected neuronal cell. This made it difficult to develop effective drugs against prion diseases. Using microarrays developed in the lab of Dr. Johannes Beckers, Christian Bach and colleagues from Helmholtz Zentrum M nchen and Technische Universit t made a genome-wide analysis of gene activity in prion-infected and healthy cells.

Prevalence Of High LDL, Or 'Bad' Cholesterol Levels Decreases In U.S.

Between 1999 and 2006, the prevalence of adults in the U.S. with high levels of LDL cholesterol, the "bad" cholesterol, decreased by about one-third, according to a study in the November 18 issue of JAMA. But a high percentage of adults still are not being screened or treated for high cholesterol levels. Elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), the major atherogenic lipoprotein, are a primary focus for cholesterol management of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III). "The guidelines set LDL-C target levels that are based on the history of coronary heart disease (CHD) or risk for developing CHD in the next 10 years, " the authors write. Few studies have described the prevalence of high LDL-C levels and the use of lipid-lowering medications across all CHD risk categories, according to background information in the article. Elena V. Kuklina, M.D., Ph.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and colleagues investigated trends in the prevalence of screening, current use of cholesterol-lowering medication, and high LDL-C levels across 4 study cycles (1999-2000, 2001-2002, 2003-2004, and 2005-2006).

COLD-FX R Maker Broadens Its Scientific Direction: Launches Pilot Trial Of New Formulation LIP-01 Geared To Lowering Cholesterol And Lipids

Afexa Life Sciences Inc. ("Afexa" or the "Company") (TSX:FXA) maker of COLD-FX announced the launch of a pilot clinical trial of a new formulation, LIP-01 that has shown promise in reducing blood lipids - including cholesterol. Cholesterol can stick to the walls of arteries, causing atherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries." This, in turn, can ultimately lead to a heart attack or stroke. In fact, more than one in three Canadians will be diagnosed with a heart disease at one point in their life. The trial is designed to identify the optimum dosing levels for LIP-01. Dr. Richard Lewanczuk, Professor, Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Alberta is heading the clinical trial research team. Thirty-nine healthy adults with elevated cholesterol levels will be recruited for the trial, which has been approved by Health Canada and the University of Alberta Health Research Ethics Board. Using its proprietary ChemBioPrint technology, Afexa scientists isolated certain lipid-lowering active ingredients from two Chinese herbs.

Middle Aged Men Lose 10 To 15 Agedness Of Life Provided They Smoke, Have Big Blood Pressure And Cholesterol, Blimp Study

Middle aged men who smoke, get high blood pressure and high cholesterol can expect to live 10 to 15 age less than their healthy counterparts, according to a goodly UK study that followed nearly 19, 000 men for 38 years. These are the conclusions of a study published 17 September in the British Medical Journal, BMJ. The British Love Foundation (BHF) sponsored the study, which was led by the University of Oxford. The findings come from the "Whitehall" study which has been following 19, 000 men aged 40 to 69 employed in the civil utility in London by reason of they enrolled in 1967-70 when they underwent initial medical exams. The BHF funded the follow up exams and health records. The researchers commence that the presence of three affection disease risk factors in men aged 50 could arrangement in a reduced entity expectancy of 10 to 15 years. The three key passion disease risk factors are: smoking, high blood force and aerial cholesterol. Medical Employer of the BHF, Professor Peter Weissberg told the press that this important scan "puts a figure" on how much shorter your heart is likely to be if you smoke, have high blood pressure and alpine cholesterol in middle age.

Doable Medicinal Use For Kudzu, The Vine That Ate The South

Kudzu, the fast-growing vine that has gobbled up some 10 million acres in the Southeast, may prove to be a valuable dietary supplement for metabolic syndrome, a condition that affects 50 million Americans, add researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). In findings published in the latest Journal of Agriculture and Board Chemistry, the researchers convey studies on animal models showed that substances called isoflavones found in kudzu root improved regulation of contributors to metabolic syndrome, including blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood glucose. One specific isoflavone, called puerarin and get going one in kudzu, seems to be the one with the greatest pleasant effect. "Our findings showed that puerarin helps to lower blood impact and blood cholesterol, " said J. Michael Wyss, Ph.D., a professor of in the UAB Department of Cell Biology and lead author on the study. "But maybe the greatest aftereffect we establish was in its expertise to regulate glucose, or sugar, in the blood.

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