Health and Fitness

Todd Krass To Lead AHA's Section For Psychiatric And Substance Abuse Services

Todd Krass, CEO of Research Belton Hospital in Belton, Mo., is the 2010 chair of the American Hospital Association's (AHA) Section for Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Services, a constituency section representing 1, 300 behavioral health providers across the country that provides guidance in AHA's policy development and governance. During his one-year term as chair, Krass and a 16-person governing council will work with the AHA to identify ways to define and focus AHA policy, advocacy, public policy issues and member service strategies regarding health care systems. Krass has served as CEO of Research Belton Hospital, a 71-bed community hospital, since 2005. Previously, he served as CEO of Research Psychiatric Hospital - a 100-bed freestanding psychiatric hospital - for 11 years. For the past seven years, he also has been responsible for the administration of behavioral health services for HCA's Midwest Division, an 11-facility system of hospitals, outpatient centers, clinics, physician practices, surgery centers and an array of other services to meet the health care needs of the greater Kansas City area.

Industry Documents Reveal The Truth About Alcohol Advertising, UK

Although the content of alcohol advertisements in the UK is restricted, an analysis of previously unseen industry documents published on today, finds that advertisers are still managing to appeal to young people and promote drinking. Professor Gerard Hastings and colleagues show that companies are "pushing the boundaries" of the advertising code of practice and warn that the UK system of self regulatory controls for alcohol advertising is failing. Hastings and his team analysed a sample of internal marketing documents from four alcohol producers and their communications agencies. The documents were made available as part of the House of Commons Health Committee alcohol inquiry and included client briefs, media schedules, advertising budgets, and market research reports. The alcohol industry spends around В 800m ( Euro 900m; $1.3bn) a year promoting alcohol in the UK. The authors looked at four themes that are banned by the advertising code of practice, such as appealing to people under 18 and encouraging irresponsible drinking, as well as sponsorship and new media.

Nurses: Mandatory Alcohol Code Must Be Stronger, UK

Responding to the news that the government is to introduce a mandatory code on alcohol, which would ban promotions such as "all you can drink for В 10" offers, Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said: "Nurses have been calling for a mandatory code for a long time, and this move to ban binge drinking promotions is a step in the right direction. However, the government should be taking bolder action to protect the health of the nation. "Minimum pricing and tighter regulations on labelling, sales and advertising should also be introduced within the mandatory code. In addition there should be widespread public-facing campaigns to educate people about the dangers of excessive drinking. "Every day, frontline nurses see the devastating consequences of excessive drinking on patients' physical and psychological health. As we approach the general election, all parties must realise just how severe this situation has become, and commit to taking drastic action to stop it spiralling out of control.

TruTouch Technologies Announces Successful Clinical Testing Of Next-Generation Finger-Touch Intoxication Detection System

TruTouch Technologies, a pioneer in non-invasive biometric intoxication detection systems, today announced that it has successfully carried out human clinical trials of its newest finger-touch detection system for alcohol intoxication, in collaboration with Lovelace Scientific Resources. The trial is intended to support continued product commercialization and new technology development for the device, called TruTouch 2000. TruTouch and Lovelace Scientific Resources carried out a comparison alcohol level detection study in 55 patients, comparing effectiveness and sensitivity of the newly developed TruTouch 2000 finger touch device with the TruTouch Guardian forearm device, breathalyzer and the current gold standard for intoxication detection, venous blood. Dr. Richard D. Gill, President and CEO of TruTouch, said, "We are delighted to announce the successful calibration of our newly developed TruTouch 2000, which will help advance commercialization of our current TruTouch intoxication detection systems.

Swtich To Lower Alcohol Wine And Reduce Cancer Risk Says Research Charity

A cancer charity said on Monday that if people in the UK who regularly drank a large glass of wine a day were to switch to a lower alcohol alternative they could reduce their risk of bowel cancer by seven per cent. The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), a charity that aims to raise awareness that cancer is largely preventable and find ways to help people make choices to reduce their chances of developing the disease, calculated that this would be the likely benefit of switching from regularly consuming a large (250 ml) glass of 14 per cent wine every day to a weaker wine containing only 10 per cent alcohol. Science Programme Manager for WCRF, Dr Rachel Thompson, told the media that: "From a cancer prevention point of view it is best not to drink at all. But we have to be realistic and the fact is that many people in the UK enjoy a drink and see it as part of their social life." She said if you drink a lot, then you should really reduce the amount, but if you don't want to do this, then the next best thing is to switch to a lower alcohol alternative.

Rice Responsible For Asians' Alcohol Flush Reaction

The mutation responsible for the alcohol flush reaction, an unpleasant response to alcohol that is relatively common in people of Asian descent, may have occurred following the domestication of rice. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology traced the history of the version of the gene responsible, finding that the ADH1B*47His allele appeared around the same time that rice was first cultivated in southern China. Bing Su, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, worked with a team of researchers to study 38 populations (2, 275 individuals) including Han Chinese, Tibetan and other ethnic populations across China. He said, "Our molecular dating suggests that the emergence of the ADH1B*47His allele occurred about 10, 000-7, 000 years ago. The geographic distribution of the allele in East Asia is also consistent with the unearthed culture relic sites of rice domestication in China, suggesting that distribution of the alcohol flush mutation can be explained by the origin and expansion of the Neolithic rice culture.

Should Women Receive Assisted Reproduction Treatment If They Are Obese, Smoke Or Consume Alcohol?

The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) has published a position statement on the impact of the life style factors obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption on natural and medically assisted reproduction. In a literature study the ESHRE Task Force on Ethics and Law summarised the negative effects of obesity, smoking and drinking on the natural reproductive potential of patients, on IVF results, pregnancy complications and outcomes and finally on the health of the future child. The paper is published online today (19 January 2010) in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction (1). The group made five recommendations. In view of the risks for the future child, fertility doctors should refuse treatment to women used to more than moderate drinking and who are not willing or able to minimize their alcohol consumption. Treating women with severe or morbid obesity required special justification. The available data suggested that weight loss would incur in a positive reproductive effect, although more data was needed to establish whether assisted reproduction should be made conditional upon prior life-style changes for obese and smoking females.

Used As Prescribed, Opioids Relieve Chronic Pain With Little Addiction Risk

Coping with chronic non-cancer pain is a way of life for millions of Americans. Unfortunately, many older adults, in particular, hesitate to take opioids a kind of narcotic for fear of addiction. However, a new review finds that taking opioids long term is associated with clinically significant pain relief in some patients with a very small risk of addition. "Not every patient has adequate pain relief, though, and side effects are intolerable for others, " said lead review author Meredith Noble. "There is a lack of consensus that opioids are safe and effective for people with chronic severe non-cancer pain, " Noble said. "We wanted to look at studies that treated people for six months or longer, given that chronic pain can go on for years. This review includes studies of individuals on opioids for as long as 48 months." Noble is a senior research analyst at ECRI Institute, one of 14 evidence-based Practice Centers in the country under the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Parkinson's Patients Who Are Pathological Gamblers Also Display Abnormal Social Behaviour

People with Parkinson's Disease are more likely to display abnormal social behaviour and make poor decisions in ambiguous circumstances if they are pathological gamblers, according to research in the January issue of the European Journal of Neurology. A number of studies have already associated pathological gambling with Parkinson's, suggesting that it is a frequent impulse control disorder associated mainly with dopamine replacement therapy. Researchers from the Raul Carrea Institute for Neurological Research (FLENI) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, interviewed the immediate relatives of seven Parkinson's patients who were pathological gamblers. They also interviewed the families of 13 patients matched by age, sex, education and disease severity who did not gamble. They found that the gamblers were less co-operative with others, had difficulties making or keeping close relationships and often did what they wanted, without caring what other people thought. The researchers also found that the patients in the pathological gambling group performed worse in the Iowa Gambling Task, which is used to assess decision making abilities in ambiguous or risky situations.

Youth Anticipate Early Death

As Atlanta officials aim to tackle the city's safety problems this year, some of their toughest criminals to stop maybe young offenders whose desires to commit crimes are being fueled by an anticipation of dying early. Georgia State University Criminal Justice experts Timothy Brezina, Volkan Topalli and economist Erdal Tekin, have released a unique study that indicates that although young criminals are aware of the risks of violent injury, death or punishment, the possibility of a shorter life span encourages them to focus more on the "here and now." "It turns out that if you boil it all down the more you think you are going to die young the more likely it is that you are going to engage in criminality and violence, " Topalli said. "This is the opposite of what most people think, because most people think that if you think you're going to die soon you become depressed and you wouldn't commit crimes." The research "Might not be a Tomorrow", is among the first Criminal Justice studies to simultaneously include one-on-one offender interviews with an econometric analysis of nation-wide adolescent data to provide a better understanding of why young people tend to pursue high-risk behaviors associated with immediate rewards, which include crime and violence.

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