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Sun, 15 Dec 2019
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Heart

New large study casts doubt on need for many heart procedures

medical
© Reuters/Yorgos Karahalis
People with severe but stable heart disease from clogged arteries may have less chest pain if they get a procedure to improve blood flow rather than just giving medicines a chance to help, but it won't cut their risk of having a heart attack or dying over the following few years, a big federally funded study found.

The results challenge medical dogma and call into question some of the most common practices in heart care. They are the strongest evidence yet that tens of thousands of costly stent procedures and bypass operations each year are unnecessary or premature for people with stable disease.

That's a different situation than a heart attack, when a procedure is needed right away to restore blood flow.

For non-emergency cases, the study shows "there's no need to rush" into invasive tests and procedures, said New York University's Dr. Judith Hochman.

There might even be harm: To doctors' surprise, study participants who had a procedure were more likely to suffer a heart problem or die over the next year than those treated with medicines alone.

Hochman co-led the study and gave results Saturday at an American Heart Association conference in Philadelphia.

Comment: Changing our lifestyle and what we consume can go a long way in preventing the need for heart medication or procedures. See also,


Health

China sees 3rd plague case after man, 55, eats wild rabbit

Bubonic plague
A 55-year-old man in China has become the country's third case of plague in recent weeks.

Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of northern China, confirmed a case of bubonic plague on Sunday, according to Reuters. The man, who was not identified, became ill after eating wild rabbit meat on Nov. 5, according to the outlet. He is isolated and being treated at a hospital in Ulanqab.

At least 28 other people who had close contact with the man are also isolated and "under observation," per Reuters, which noted they do not appear to be showing any symptoms of the disease at this time.

Plague is a serious bacterial infection that's separated into three main types: bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic. Plague is usually contracted after being bitten by a rodent flea carrying the Yersinia pestis bacterium or by handling an infected animal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The disease can be fatal if not promptly treated.

Health

Why overuse of antibiotics is a massive, 'staggering' problem in health care

superbug microscope
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that we are losing ground in the battle against so-called superbugs -- the harmful or deadly bacteria resistant to nearly all our antibiotic defenses. William Brangham talks to Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, who works on infection control at the CDC and helped compile the report, about how we can prevent these dangerous infections.

Transcript

Judy Woodruff: A new report out from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control highlights that we are still losing the battle against so-called superbugs, bacteria that are resistant to nearly all the antibiotics.

As William Brangham tells us, the scope of the problem is bigger than previously estimated.

Comment: Funny how they're putting the onus of responsibility on the patients rather than the doctors. If the doctors don't want to prescribe an antibiotic because they know it won't be effective, they shouldn't do so, no matter how much their patient whines about it. There's also the fact that patients aren't equipped to determine when they need an antibiotic and when they don't. The final decision is the doctor's, not the patient's, so put the responsibility where it belongs.

See also:


Cow

This man wants to convince America beef is healthier than meatless burgers

Richard Berman
© Luke Sharrett/The New York Tim​es/eyevine
Richard Berman: ‘These are not burgers or sausages or chicken strips that have been constructed with crushed celery.’
Richard Berman is running a campaign to educate the public on plant-based meat burgers such as Impossible and Beyond Beef

The food industry has a "weapon of mass destruction". His name is Richard Berman. And he has his sights set on destroying the growing appetite for meatless burgers and plant-based meat substitutes.

Berman has form in this line of work. A longtime Washington DC lobbyist and PR strategist, he has advised - and tried to shield - some of America's most powerful industries from criticism.

Comment: It's unsurprising that the established industries would employ someone like Berman to counter the propaganda coming out of the fake meat industry. But it's important to look at the message, not the messenger. From what's quoted in this article, nothing he's saying is wrong.

See also:


Clock

Couple adopts intermittent fasting: Not only did they lose weight, it changed their lives

Sklar

Jared and his girlfriend, Samantha, during their lifestyle change.
In May 2018, Jared Sklar's wake-up call was waiting for him when he got home from work. He opened the fridge and saw four different pizza boxes from four different restaurants.

"It's pretty embarrassing, but it's the truth," Sklar said. "I just opened the door, and I was just like, 'What are we doing here?' "

At 285 pounds (129 kilograms), he would sit on the couch and watch TV, with no energy left after conquering the work day. Late-night snacks included popcorn and ice cream. The 27-year-old, who works in sales for Corporate Strategies in Woodland Hills, California, knew something had to change.

And gradually, his clothes felt like they were getting smaller every time he did laundry."It gets to that point where you realize that you're getting bigger; the clothes aren't getting smaller," he said. "It was that a-ha moment."

There were other epiphanies as well. Sklar missed the feeling he got when he used to play sports as a teenager. And there was a history of heart disease in his family.

Together, he and his girlfriend, Samatha MacDonald, decided to make a lifestyle change. They had talked about doing it before, but this time, it stuck. They didn't want to look back 20 years from now and realize they could have made changes to be healthier then.

Comment: See also,


Heart - Black

Florida vegan parents charged with manslaughter after toddler dies of malnutrition

Ryan and Sheila O'Leary vegan manslaughter
A vegan couple's toddler died of malnutrition while they fed him almost nothing but raw fruit and vegetables, say police.

The 18-month-old boy weighed only 17lbs when he died in the care of his parents Ryan and Sheila O'Leary on September 27, according to police.

Sheila, 35, told police the boy was born at home, had never seen a doctor before and was fed a diet of raw fruit and vegetables, including mangoes, rambutans, bananas and avocados.

When he died, she said, he hadn't eaten food in a week - she thought it was because he was teething - and he was being breastfed.

The O'Learys have been charged with negligent manslaughter and child neglect.

Comment: How many children must die before the insanity of veganism is publicly denounced as the health threat it actually is, rather than lauded by ideologically possessed 'influencers'?


Microscope 1

Ketogenic diet helps tame flu virus

influenza virus microscopy
© CDC
Electron microscopy of influenza virus.
A high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet like the Keto regimen has its fans, but influenza apparently isn't one of them.

Mice fed a ketogenic diet were better able to combat the flu virus than mice fed food high in carbohydrates, according to a new Yale University study published Nov. 15 in the journal Science Immunology.

The ketogenic diet — which for people includes meat, fish, poultry, and non-starchy vegetables — activates a subset of T cells in the lungs not previously associated with the immune system's response to influenza, enhancing mucus production from airway cells that can effectively trap the virus, the researchers report.

Comment: Is there nothing the ketogenic diet can't do?

See also:


Health

Urgent warning as syphilis cases soar in New Zealand

Syphilis ulcers on the tongue

Syphilis ulcers on the tongue
Cases of syphilis in New Zealand have soared in the past decade with Māori men and women most at risk, shocking government data has revealed.

According to figures from the Ministry of Health there were 82 reported cases of syphilis in 2013 but that number rose to 548 in the past 12 months to March.

Researchers found that cases of syphilis were most common among men aged 20 to 39 years.

The groups most affected by syphilis are Asian and Māori men, and Māori women. Around 70 per cent of cases affected homosexual men.

The majority of recent cases have been in recorded in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.

Comment: See also:


Bulb

Study says: Falling asleep, staying asleep growing more difficult for Americans each year

Sleep
© Photographee.eu - stock.adobe.com
Do you find yourself staring at your bedroom ceiling most nights? Most people don't think twice about the occasional sleepless night, but a new set of research finds that the ability to sleep peacefully throughout the night is becoming an increasingly rare skill in the United States.

Each year, more and more Americans are finding it difficult to fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly through the night, and even those who are able to get enough shut-eye often report poor overall sleep quality. According to the research team at Iowa State University, these changes are largely independent of sleep duration. In fact, problems falling and staying asleep were found to be most prevalent among people with generally healthy sleep length on most nights.

So, while many Americans may still technically be getting their recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night, it may take upwards of an hour for them to initially fall asleep, and waking up multiple times throughout the night is common.

Comment: See also:


Life Preserver

The curious bidirectional link between gut health and sleep

insomnia
Sleep plays an integral role in your immune function, and one of the surprising mechanisms behind this link has to do with how sleep impacts your gut microbiome. Two recent studies shed light on this connection between sleep and your gut health.

The first, published in the December 2018 issue of Frontiers in Psychiatry,1 focused on the microbiome's role in insomnia and depression. As noted by the authors:
Numerous studies have suggested that the incidence of insomnia and depressive disorder are linked to biological rhythms, immune function, and nutrient metabolism, but the exact mechanism is not yet clear.

There is considerable evidence showing that the gut microbiome not only affects the digestive, metabolic, and immune functions of the host but also regulates host sleep and mental states through the microbiome-gut-brain axis.

Preliminary evidence indicates that microorganisms and circadian genes can interact with each other. The characteristics of the gastrointestinal microbiome and metabolism are related to the host's sleep and circadian rhythm.

Comment: See also: