Friday, January 2, 2015

Surviving a Stampede

BEIJING, Jan. 2 (Xinhuanet) -- What do you do, if faced with a stampede like situation as in Shanghai?
Scientists have found that the combined force of 7 to 8 adults can reach well over 1000 pounds. To avoid getting hurt, the best choice for you is to leave the crowd at the first available opportunity.
But if you find you are already trapped, here are some basic rules to follow if you are packed in big crowd of people.
First, stay balanced and steady. Try to stay steady on your feet and do not try to pick up anything on the ground, including your wallet, cellphone or shoes.
Second, follow the crowd in the direction that it moves in, in small steps. Do not try to go past others or push them.
Third, quickly find buildings nearby and use them as s solid support. Don't forget to raise your arms and make room for you to breathe. Be aware, glasses and windows are what you need to stay away from.
Last but not the least, if you do fall down, you need to stay calm, lay sideways, curl up your body, and raise your arms to cover your head.

These tips should help you avoid direct damage to your head and major organs.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Green Tea, Coffee May Guard Against Stroke

Megan Brooks
April 03, 2013
Green tea and coffee consumption may help protect against stroke, according to a large Japanese population-based study.
The study showed that people who drank green tea or coffee regularly had about a 20% lower risk for stroke than their peers who seldom drank these beverages.
"This is the first large-scale study to examine the combined effects of both green tea and coffee on stroke risks," Yoshihiro Kokubo, MD, PhD, head of the Department of Preventive Cardiology, National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, said in a statement.
Their findings were published online March 14 in Stroke.
Inverse Link
The study involved 82,369 Japanese adults aged 45 to 65 years without cardiovascular disease or cancer at baseline who were followed for a mean of 13 years. "Green tea and coffee consumption was assessed by self-administered food-frequency questionnaire at baseline," Dr. Kokubo toldMedscape Medical News.
During more than 1 million person-years of follow-up, the researchers documented 3425 strokes (1964 cerebral infarctions, 1001 intracerebral hemorrhages, and 460 subarachnoid hemorrhages) and 910 coronary heart disease (CHD) events (489 definite myocardial infarctions and 28 sudden cardiac deaths).
In multivariate analysis, higher coffee and green tea consumption were inversely associated with risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke.
For example, people who drank at least 1 cup of coffee daily had a 20% lower risk for any stroke (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72 - 0.90) compared with those who seldom drank coffee.
People who drank 2 to 3 cups of green tea daily had a 14% lower risk for any stroke (aHR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.78 - 0.95), and those who consumed at least 4 cups had a 20% lower risk (aHR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.73 - 0.89), compared with those who seldom drank green tea.
The risk reduction for intracerebral hemorrhage was 17% (aHR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.68 - 1.02) with consumption of at least 1 cup of coffee daily and 23% (aHR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.63 - 0.92) for 2 cups of green tea daily compared with rare consumption of either beverage.
There was no significant association between coffee and tea consumption and CHD, largely mirroring findings from other studies.
Experts Weigh In
Victoria J. Burley, PhD, senior lecturer in nutritional epidemiology, School of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Leeds, United Kingdom, who wasn't involved in the study, called it "very interesting."
She noted that "both high-fiber foods and these particular beverages may have anti-inflammatory properties. Whole grains, fruit and vegetables, and these beverages are all rich in polyphenols, which appear to have multiple potential actions on markers of CVD risk: blood pressure, glucose homeostasis, lipid metabolism, and so on."
"This appears to be a well-conducted study," Dr. Burley said, "with good power (plenty of cases), with long follow-up and a respectable method of assessing green tea and coffee intake (for these dietary aspects I think an FFQ [food-frequency questionnaire] is likely the best approach)."
She cautioned, however, that the intakes of green tea in this Japanese cohort "far exceed" usual consumption in western populations and that, conversely, intakes of coffee may generally be somewhat lower in Japan.
"The highest coffee intake category was 2-3 cups per day, which is not particularly high. Other studies (eg, conducted in Sweden) have reported elevated CVD risk in people with much higher intakes ( > 7 cups per day), so in setting their highest category this low these study authors may not have been able to pick up evidence of increased CVD risk with greater intakes," Dr. Burley said.
"Overall, it's encouraging data that suggest people who incorporate coffee and green tea in their diet may experience lower CVD risk in later life," she added.
Commenting on the coffee findings, Susanna C. Larsson, PhD, from the Unit of Nutritional Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, found it "interesting that such a small amount as 1 cup of coffee per day reduces the risk of stroke by 20% (quite a large reduction in risk)."
"Otherwise, this Japanese study confirms results from studies conducted in the US and Europe showing an inverse association between coffee consumption and stroke risk. This study adds further support that moderate coffee consumption may lower the risk of stroke," said Dr. Larsson, who was not involved in the study.
The study was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Cancer Research and the Third-Term Comprehensive Ten-Year Strategy for Cancer Control from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan. The authors, Dr. Burley, and Dr. Larsson have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Stroke. Published online March 14, 2013. Abstract

Fruit, Tea, and Wine Could Guard Against Type 2 Diabetes

January 20, 2014
A new study in healthy women suggests that consuming high levels of flavonoids, including compounds found in berries, tea, grapes, and wine, could potentially lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The study, published in the February issue of the Journal of Nutrition, indicates that greater intake of these dietary compounds is associated with lower insulin resistance and better blood glucose regulation. The researchers, led by Amy Jennings, PhD, from the department of nutrition, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom, say their study is one of the first to examine consumption of different flavonoid subclasses and insulin resistance.
"We found that those who consumed plenty of anthocyanins and flavones had lower insulin resistance. So what we are seeing is that people who eat foods rich in these 2 compounds — such as berries, herbs, red grapes, wine — are less likely to develop the disease," said senior author Aedin Cassidy, PhD, also from the department of nutrition, University of East Anglia, in a statement.
Researchers also found that those who ate the most anthocyanins were least likely to suffer chronic inflammation, which is associated with diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. And those who consumed the most flavone compounds had improved levels of adiponectin, which helps regulate a number of metabolic processes, including glucose levels, Dr. Cassidy noted.
Importantly, the difference between the highest and lowest intakes of foods containing these compounds was small, consisting of just one portion of grapes or berries or a couple of oranges, say the authors. Also, the effects on insulin that were associated with high consumption of such foods was equivalent to those observed for other lifestyle factors, such as an hour's walk a day or low-fat diet for a year, they noted.
Nevertheless, Dr. Cassidy said it is not yet know exactly how much of one of these compounds is necessary to potentially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. "Dose–response trials are needed to ascertain optimal intakes for the potential reduction of type 2 diabetes risk," she and her colleagues stress.
One of the First Large Human Studies of Flavonoid Subclasses
Researchers note that a previous prospective study, published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested a 15% reduction type 2 diabetes risk by comparing the highest and lowest quintiles of anthocyanin intake. However, the researchers emphasize that their current study is one of the first large-scale human trials to examine all subclasses of these powerful bioactive compounds to see how they might affect insulin resistance, blood glucose regulation, and inflammation.
The cross-sectional study was conducted in almost 2000 women aged 18 to 76 years from the Twins UK registry. Women who had high glucose levels were excluded. Participants completed a 131-item food-frequency questionnaire, from which flavonoid intakes were estimated using a United States Department of Agriculture database.
The researchers looked at the self-reported intake of 6 subclasses of flavonoids: flavanones, anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, polymeric flavonoids, flavanols, and flavones.
In multivariable analyses, higher anthocyanin and flavone intakes were associated with significantly lower peripheral insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance; quintile 5 [Q5] to Q1 = 20.1, P-trend = .04 for anthocyanins and flavones), as a result of a decrease in insulin concentrations (Q5–Q1 = 20.7 mU/mL, P-trend = .02 anthocyanins; Q5–Q1 = 20.5 mU/mL, P-trend = .02 flavones).
Tea was the main source of overall flavonoid intake, with 4 foods contributing more than 10% of anthocyanin intake (grapes, pears, berries, and wine) and 3 foods making up more than 10% of flavone consumption (oranges, wine, and peppers).
Higher anthocyanin intake was also associated with lower C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels (Q5–Q1 = 20.3 mg/L, P-trend = .04), whereas those in the highest quintile of flavone intake had improved adiponectin levels (Q5–Q1 = 0.7 mg/L, P-trend = .01).
Higher intakes of both anthocyanins and flavones were associated with improvements in insulin resistance and hs-CRP, the researchers note.
No significant associations were observed for total or other flavonoid subclasses.
Findings Are Clinically Relevant, Easy to Achieve
Although these findings are from cross-sectional data and require confirmation, they are clinically relevant because of the 0.7-mU/mL difference in insulin observed between the top and bottom quintiles of anthocyanin intake, the researchers note.
The difference in anthocyanin intake between the top and bottom quintiles was 35 mg, which can be readily incorporated into the diet by consuming approximately one portion of grapes (78 g) or berries, such as strawberries (105 g), raspberries (90 g), blueberries (21 g), or blackberries (39 g).
Similarly, the difference in flavones between the top and bottom quintiles was 3.6 mg, equivalent to that found in approximately 2.5 oranges.
These results "are of public-health importance because the intakes associated with these findings are easily achievable through the habitual diet" and make a significant contribution to the knowledge base needed to refine the current fruit and vegetable dietary recommendations, the authors conclude.
The authors have reported no relevant financial relationships.
J Nutr. 2014;144. Abstract

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Gout Guidelines From ACR Include New Drugs, Diet

Janis C. Kelly
October 02, 2012
The ACR guidelines recommend treating patients with a xanthine oxidase inhibitor, such as allopurinol, as the first-line pharmacologic urate-lowering therapy approach. The recommended goal is to reduce serum urate to less than 6 mg/dL, and the initial allopurinol dosage should be no greater than 100 mg/d, the guidelines say. This should be followed by gradual increase of the maintenance dose, which can safely exceed 300 mg even in patients with chronic kidney disease.

"Clinicians often start allopurinol at doses that are too high but maintain allopurinol at doses that are too low," Dr. Terkeltaub said. "We give specific guidance on start low, go slow dose escalation."

To avoid allopurinol toxicity, the guidelines recommend considering HLA-B*5801 prescreening of patients at particularly high risk for severe adverse reaction to allopurinol (eg, Koreans with stage 3 or worse kidney disease and all patients of Han Chinese and Thai descent).

For CTGA, the guidelines recommend combination therapy, with 1 xanthine oxidase inhibitor (allopurinol or febuxostat) and 1 uricosuric agent, when target urate levels are not achieved. They advise using probenecid as an alternative first-line urate-lowering drug in the setting of contraindication or intolerance to at least 1 xanthine oxidase inhibitor (except in patients with creatinine clearance below 50 mL/min). They also recommend pegloticase in patients with severe gout disease who do not respond to standard, appropriately dosed urate-lowering therapy.

"We provide guidance for dose-escalation of urate-lowering therapy for specific case scenarios of mild, moderate, and severe disease including for patients with destructive joint disease that is chronic to their gout. These provide ways to assess the patient in an office setting on clinical findings alone, with serum uric acid. Pictorial representation of most severe patients should help identify who needs more intensive uric acid-lowering therapy," Dr. Terkeltaub said.

Acute Gout Requires Prompt Treatment

Part 2 of the guidelines covers therapy and prophylactic antiinflammatory treatment for acute gouty arthritis. These guidelines recommend initiating pharmacologic therapy within 24 hours of onset of acute gouty arthritis attack while continuing urate-lower therapy without interruption.

Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, or oral colchicine are the recommended first-line treatment for acute gout, and combinations of these medications can be used for severe or unresponsive cases.

To prevent the acute gout flares that may accompany the early stages of urate-lowering therapy, the guidelines recommend oral colchicine or low-dose NSAIDs as long as there is no medical contraindication or lack of tolerance.

Dr. Terkeltaub advised caution with colchicine dosing. "One of the major problems in quality of care is that people were getting drowned in colchicine for acute gout. We assessed the evidence and decided to go with the FDA [Food and Drug Administration]-approved regimen of low-dose colchicine for early acute gout flare. That is a major recommendation. When people get drowned in high doses of colchicine for a long time for acute gout, the rate of adverse events is quite high."

The recommendations were prepared during a 2-year project by an ACR task force panel that included 7 rheumatologists, 2 primary care physicians, a nephrologist, and a patient representative. The draft guidelines then went through 3 rounds of peer review, Dr. Terkeltaub said.

"I'd like to see better education of physicians and other primary caregivers, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and then better education of gout patients. If we only accomplish that, we'll have accomplished a lot. There has been a systematic failure of both quality of care and patient education in gout," Dr. Terkeltaub said.

Doug Campos-Outcalt, MD, scientific analyst for the American Academy of Family Physicians, reviewed the new guidelines for Medscape Medical News. Dr. Capos-Outcalt is chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix.

Dr. Campos-Outcalt said, "This is a reasonable, limited number of guidelines that are implementable. You don't like to see guidelines that have 50 recommendations. The ACR guidelines also present, from a family physician perspective, no major changes in standard-of-care." However, Dr. Campos-Outcalt suggested that a broader effort to disseminate the guidelines to primary care physicians will be needed because few of them regularly read the journal in which the guidelines appear.

Dr. Campos-Outcalt told Medscape Medical News that the guidelines seem reasonable but that before being influenced by them, he would like to take a closer look at the level of evidence each recommendation is based on. "We don't like to see recommendations based on low-level evidence," he said. Only about 20% of the ACR recommendations were based on top-quality "level A" evidence (supported by more than 1 randomized clinical trial or meta-analysis). About half of the recommendations were based on level C evidence (consensus opinion of experts, case studies, or standard of care).

Friday, December 20, 2013

4 Essential (and Overlooked) Facts About Your Brain and Your MinD

By Alvaro Fernandez | Dec 18, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tips for trouble-free exercise

Exercise Prescription 

  • Author: Amer Suleman, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD   more..

  • Lift and lower weights slowly to maximize muscle strength and to minimize the risk of injury.
  • Perform resistance workouts on any given muscle group every second or third day. This gives your body a chance to recover.
  • Avoid exercise that puts excessive stress on the bones, such as running or high-impact aerobics. Rowing is appropriate if proper form is used and the rowing machine provides a way to maintain continuous inertia with the use of a flywheel.
  • Stiffness is normal the morning after exercise. If pain continues for most of the following day, joints become swollen, or a limp develops, stop the program until comfortable again and reduce the weight and number of repetitions by 25-50%. If bone, joint, or muscle pain is severe, call the doctor.
  • If a particular area of the body feels sore right after exercise, apply ice for 10-15 minutes. Wrap ice in a towel or plastic bag or just hold a cold canned or bottled beverage on the spot.
  • Vary the routine to make it more interesting. For example, if the strength-building program involves 12 separate exercises, complete 6 in one session and the other 6 in the next session.

Exercise Prescription

  • Author: Amer Suleman, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD   more..

Selecting the right physical activities

  • Select physical activities that are enjoyable, use most of the muscles, are rhythmic, and may be sustained for several minutes to an hour.
  • Plan to exercise every other day until more adequately adapted to the activity.
  • Think of the frequency, intensity, time, and type (ie, FITT) plan.
    • Frequency: This is how often per week one will perform the exercise. Plan on most days of the week.
    • Intensity: This is how hard one exercises. Moderate effort is appropriate.
    • Time: This is the duration of each session. Start off with as little as needed (10 min if necessary).
    • Type: This is the choice of physical activity, which can include recreational activities and domestic or occupational activities. A short list of each follows:
      • Recreational activities
        • Participating in aerobic activity classes; performing calisthenics, gymnastics, low-impact aerobics, martial arts
        • Backpacking, climbing hills, stair climbing, walking, hiking, orienteering, running
        • Playing badminton, baseball, basketball, catch (eg, flying discs), cricket, handball, racquetball, lacrosse, rugby, shuffleboard, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, water polo
        • Body building, bowling, boxing, cycling, dancing, fencing, gardening, golfing, horseback riding, hunting, in-line skating, skating, rope skipping, skiing, snow shoeing, weight lifting, windsurfing
        • Canoeing, sailing, scuba diving, swimming, fishing, participating in water activities
      • Domestic or occupational activities – Cleaning windows, doing housework, mowing, packing and unpacking, plowing, sanding, sawing, sweeping, stocking shelves, pushing a wheelbarrow, performing yard work, etc
  • Set goals, which may include those regarding health, improving physical capacity or performance.
  • Motivation may be helpful for compliance. See the following tips:
    • Join a class or facility, or contract with a friend (buddy system).
    • Listen to one's body (eg, slowing down or skipping if tired or ill). Start at the present level to prevent soreness.
    • Exercise at the same time each day.
    • Make sure to have good-quality nutrition.
    • Make exercising a priority; scheduling a time benefits the individual.
    • Get advice if help is needed.