Public Health

Excessive alcohol consumption is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S. and responsible for one in every 10 deaths. The statistics that describe the ways in which we drink ourselves to death are staggering. A study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease found that nearly 70% of deaths due to excessive drinking involved working-age adults. The study also found that about 5% of the deaths involved people younger than age 21.  Moreover, excessive alcohol use shortened the lives of those who died by about 30 years. Yes, 30 years.

The Ebola virus problem in West Africa has gotten lots of high-profile media coverage in developed nations - and no lack of reasons for people to clamor for more funding. No less than Dr.

White children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes increased significantly from 2002 to 2009 in all but the youngest age group, according to a new paper in Diabetes.

A new study finds that though most U.S. adults fail to meet recommended daily levels of 10 key nutrients, those with disabilities do substantially worse.

At least 10 percent of U.S. adults fit into one or more category of disability, from those who have difficulties with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing and eating, to those who cannot use their legs or struggle to accomplish routine tasks, such as money management or household chores.

By Alessandro R Demaio, Harvard University

There’s been a lot of discussion about obesity this week. Whether or not it’s a disease (as it is in the USA now) and how this label would positively or negatively influence action taken by society and governments in addressing this large and growing burden.

This conversation is important, but I have noticed very often it ends with confusion. Questions around why we begin talking about obesity - and end discussing mental health, cancer, heart disease or diabetes. To make things even more confusing, the term ‘Non-Communicable Diseases’ might even be mentioned.

Nutrigenomics is a branch of nutrition which believes the food we eat affects our genes - and the Food4Me project had gotten €9 million from the EU to put science to belief.

Proponents are looking at the usual factors, such as age, sex, BMI and physical activity, and trying to match that to the way in which an individual's genes interact with the food we eat. This would enable nutritionists to create a bespoke nutrition plan.

Research is on-going, but they believe there are indicators suggesting the technology could offer a vital tool in the fight against various lifestyle-linked diseases such as obesity, heart disease and Type II diabetes.

Some children are allergic to milk, so they drink milk substitutes such as soy or rice. And almond milk has become a well-marketed fad to due health claims.

But there may be negatives: though many of those products are fortified, children who drink them have lower levels of Vitamin D in their blood than those who drink cow's milk, according to a paper in the Canadian Medical Association Journal

Vaccines have been associated with autism and various other conditions and diseases. Most recently, the hepatitis B (HepB) and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been linked to increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other acquired central nervous system demyelinating syndromes (CNS ADS).

A study to seek answers found no long-term association of vaccines with disease and short-term increased risk in younger patients was likely resulted from existing disease, write authors Annette Langer-Gould, M.D., Ph.D., of Kaiser Permanente, Southern California, Pasadena, and colleagues. 

State and local vaccination requirements for school entry seek to protect schoolchildren from vaccine-preventable diseases.  But not all parents agree medicine is a good thing and the newest CDC results show what states are leading and what states are lagging in protection for kids.

A systemic disease that causes inflammation in the spinal joints and was thought to have affected members of the ancient Egyptian royal families may have been another condition, according to a new study published in Arthritis&Rheumatology.

The authors refutes claims of Ankylosing spondylitis in royals like King Amenhotep III (1390–1352 BC), finding instead a degenerative spinal condition called diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) in royal Egyptian mummies from the 18th to early 20th Dynasties.