In Sunday’s NY Times Magazine, Gary Taubes argued that epidemiology does not provide a good basis for health decisions — it is often wrong, he claimed. By “wrong” he meant experiments were more pessimistic. Things that seemed to help based on surveys turned out not to help, or help much less, when experiments were done. A 2001 BMJ editorial disagrees:
Differences in sexual behaviours do not fully explain why the US HIV epidemic affects gay men so much more than straight men and women, claims research in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.
In 2005, over half of new HIV infections diagnosed in the US were among gay men, and up to one in five gay men living in cities is thought to be HIV positive. Yet two large population surveys showed that most gay men had similar numbers of unprotected sexual partners per year as straight men and women.
US researchers applied a series of carefully calculated equations in different scenarios to study the rate at which HIV infection has spread among gay men and straight men and women.
Global child deaths have reached a record low, falling below 10 million per year to 9.7 million, down from almost 13 million in 1990, according to UNICEF.
"This is an historic moment," said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman. "Now we must build on this public health success to push for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals."
Among these goals, which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, is a commitment to a two-thirds reduction in child mortality between 1990 and 2015, a result which would save an additional 5.4 million children by 2015.
However, Veneman pointed out that there is no room for complacency.
"The loss of 9.7 million young lives each year is unacceptable.
An enriched peanut-butter mixture given at home is successfully promoting recovery in large numbers of starving children in Malawi, according to a group of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Malnutrition affects 70 percent of all Malawian children with an estimated 13 percent of children dying from it before the age of five.
Mark J. Manary, M.D., professor of pediatrics and an emergency pediatrician at St. Louis Children's Hospital, has spent several years researching the use of the enriched peanut-butter mixture, called Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) with small groups of severely and moderately malnourished young children in the sub-Saharan African country.
HIV infection is on the rise among young men who have sex with men (MSM) in New York City, according to preliminary data from the Health Department. New HIV diagnoses among MSM under age 30 have increased by 33% during the past six years, the agency reported today, from 374 in 2001 to almost 500 in 2006. New diagnoses have doubled among MSM ages 13 to19, while declining by 22% among older MSM. The under-30 group now accounts for 44% of all new diagnoses among MSM in New York City, up from 31% in 2001.
“We are very concerned about the increase in HIV among young men who have sex with men,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, Health Commissioner for New York City. “We’re headed in the wrong direction.
For the past six weeks, parents have been able to keep a watchful eye over what they are feeding their children at mealtimes. However, with the back-to-school season fast approaching, most parents will once again face the constant dilemma of choosing which healthy, exciting, tasty and nutritious products they should give their children. Parents face the difficult choice of what to buy for their children as packaging can be misleading.
This report focuses on a selection of popular fruit juice drinks and fruit based desserts which can be found in a typical child's lunchbox.
FRUIT JUICE DRINKS
Fruit Juice Content
A new study by Jeremy Graff and colleagues from Eli Lilly and Company has demonstrated the anti-cancer effect of a new therapeutic in a mouse model of human tumors and has spawned clinical trials to test the ability of this therapeutic to treat human cancers. As highlighted in the accompanying commentary by Celeste Simon and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, if the therapeutic is as effective in clinical trials as it was in mice it will be useful for the treatment of a broad range of cancers.
Hepatitis E virus infections can be fatal in pregnant women, but until recently doctors thought the disease was confined to China, India and developing countries. Now Europeans are also contracting the disease in Europe.
Hepatitis E virus is one of the few viruses which has been shown to be transmitted directly from animals through food. It was recently thought to be confined to developing countries, and although scientists are still unsure exactly how it spreads to people, direct contact with pigs or eating contaminated pork products is a likely route.
“If this proves to be a relevant route for pig to human infection for Hepatitis E in Europe, food safety regulations might need to be adapted accordingly”, says Dutch researcher Erwin Duizer.
There are major differences in the risk profile and characteristics of female patients treated for acute heart failure. Female patients are underrepresented in management trials on Heart Failure. According to data from the Euro Heart Survey on acute Heart Failure 2004-2005 in Europe, however, medical treatment has improved.
Differencies in gender profile in acute heart failure
Female patients ( m 75 years) are on average 6 years older than male subjects. They represent about 40 – 50% of all acute heart failure hospitalizations. Smoking as risk factor is present only in 15.7% of females compared to 60% in male subjects. Therefore COPD was reported in only 15% of females versus 22% of male subjects.
In a report that is among the first to describe the prevalence of HIV and Hepatitis B and C viruses in Afghanistan, a researcher from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine voiced concerns that increasing injection drug use and accompanying high-risk behavior could lead to an HIV epidemic in Afghanistan.
“Our findings suggest that interventions to reduce high-risk behaviors among injection drug users are urgently needed in Afghanistan,” said Catherine S. Todd, M.D., MPH, assistant professor in UCSD’s Division of International Health and Cross-cultural Medicine, who is currently working in Kabul, Afghanistan.