Friday, August 28, 2009

Calculate risk of dying

WASHINGTON - RESEARCHERS and students at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a website which allows users to calculate their risk of dying. uses public data from the United States and Europe to compare mortality risks by gender, age, cause of death and geographic region.

'Most Americans don't have a particularly good understanding of their own mortality risks, let alone ranking of their relevant risks,' said David Gerard, a former engineering and public policy professor at Carnegie Mellon. can calculate a user's risk of dying within the next year or a longer period and rank the probable cause of death. Paul Fischbeck, professor of social and decision sciences and engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon, said it can provide comparisons between, for example, a 54-year-old Pennsylvania woman or her counterpart in Britain.

'It turns out that the British woman has a 33 per cent higher risk of breast cancer death,' said Prof Fischbeck, the site developer. 'But for lung-throat cancer, the results are almost reversed, and the Pennsylvania woman has a 29-percent higher risk.' The risks of dying in the next year increase exponentially with age.

A 20-year-old US woman has a one in 2,000, or 0.05 per cent, chance of dying in the next year. By age 40, the risk is three times greater, by age 60, it is 16 times greater, and by age 80, it is 100 times greater, around one in 20, or five percent.

'At 80, the average US woman still has a 95 per cent chance of making it to her 81st birthday,' said Gerard, who is now an associate professor of economics at Lawrence University in Wisconsin. Researchers said that when it comes to dying within the year, there are dramatic differences between comparative groups.

For every age group, men have a much higher annual death risk than women. For 20 year old males, the risk is 2.5 to three times greater with accidents with homicides and suicides accounting for 80 per cent of their death risks. By age 50, however, these causes make up less than 10 per cent of the risk for men and heart disease is number one, accounting for more than 30 per cent of all deaths. Women's cancer risks are actually higher than men's in their 30s and 40s.

For heart disease and cancer, US blacks have a much higher death risk than US whites with blacks in their 30s and 40s twice as likely to die within the year as their white counterparts.

Western Europeans have a greater risk of dying from breast and prostate cancer than people in the United States, but people in the United States have a greater chance of dying from lung cancer than people living in Western Europe.

Obesity-related death risks are much higher in the United States than in Europe. Prof Fischbeck and Gerard said they hope the website will contribute to the debate currently under way about health care in the United States.

'We believe that this tool, which allows anyone to assess their own risk of dying and to compare their risks with counterparts in the United States and Europe, could help inform the public and constructively engage them in the debate,' Prof Fischbeck said. -- AFP

Cancer cure in tick saliva?

SAO PAULO - IT MAY be one of nature's repulsive little blood-sucking parasites, but the humble tick could yield a future cure for cancers of the skin, liver and pancreas, Brazilian researchers have discovered.

They have identified a protein in the saliva of a common South American tick, Amblyomma cajennense, that apparently reduces and can even eradicate cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

'This is a radical innovation,' said Ana Marisa Chudzinski-Tavassi, the molecular biologist at the Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo who is leading the research.

'The component of the saliva of this tick could be the cure for cancer,' she told AFP.

She said she stumbled on the properties of the protein, called Factor X active, while testing the anti-coagulant properties of the tick's saliva - the way it stops blood thickening and clotting so the tick can keep gorging itself on its host.

The protein shares some characteristics with a common anti-coagulant called TFPI (Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor), specifically a Kunitz-type inhibitor which also has been shown to interfere with cell growth.

A theory that the protein might have an effect on cancerous cells led to laboratory tests on cell cultures - which exceeded all expectations.

'To our surprise it didn't kill normal cells, which were also tested,' Dr Chudzinski-Tavassi said. 'But it did kill the tumorous cells that were being analysed.' In her modest lab in the institute, housed in a rundown building, a line of immobile bloated ticks could be seen lined up with straws under their heads.

The small amounts of saliva captured that way was reproduced many times over in yeast vats so that tests could be carried out on lab rats with cancer.

The results have been more than promising.

'If I treat every day for 14 days an animal's tumour, a small tumour, this tumour doesn't develop - it even regresses. The tumour mass shrinks. If I treat for 42 days, you totally eliminate the tumour,' the scientist said -- AFP.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


DR FRIEDEN also distanced himself from some of the worst-case predictions outlined in the council's report, which included a 'plausible' estimate that between 30,000 and 90,000 people might die and up to 1.8 million might clog hospitals.

'Unfortunately, the media coverage of it was not nearly as balanced as the report itself,' Dr Frieden said.

'Everything we have seen in the US and everything we have seen around the world to date suggests that we won't see that kind of number if the virus doesn't change.' Because this virus is new, more people are susceptible to it and the World Health Organization has been predicting for months now that 2 billion people will likely become infected.

'We will do everything in our power to reduce the number of people who die,' Dr Frieden said.

But officials fear H1N1 could worsen as US schools start their fall terms. Dr Frieden fears there could be a rush of demand for vaccine if that happens.

'As people become sick or severely ill or die from flu we'll get an increased demand for the flu vaccine and that is one of the challenges we have,' he said.

The Health and Human Services department estimates only 45 million doses will be available by mid-October, with 20 million a week coming after that.

Asked about surveillance, Dr Frieden said that will be difficult, too. The new flu does not always show up on standard, on-the-spot flu tests given in doctor's offices.

Special tests to differentiate pandemic H1N1 from seasonal flu have been sent to every state health department but it will be impossible to test everyone with symptoms, the tests are not 100 per cent reliable, and there is not much point in testing everyone anyway, Dr Frieden said.

'Once flu is in the community most people with flu don't need to be treated,' he said. People at high risk of death or severe symptoms, such as pregnant women or people with asthma, need to be treated right away anyhow and it is not worth waiting to test them, he added. -- REUTERS

No vaccine before Oct: CDC

WASHINGTON - SCIENTIFIC advisers to President Barack Obama may have asked the government to speed up the availability of swine flu vaccines, but they are unlikely to be ready before October, the new head of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.

And imperfect tests for the pandemic H1N1 virus means it will be impossible to get precise numbers on how many people are infected, said Dr Thomas Frieden.

Nonetheless, swine flu is the No. 1 priority for the CDC, Dr Frieden said in an interview.

'We have literally mobilized more than 1,000 people at CDC who work on H1N1,' Dr Frieden said in the interview, conducted by Reuters and Associated Press to be aired on the C-SPAN television network on Sunday.

On Monday, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology said the government should speed up the supply of swine flu drugs and vaccines, making at least some shots available by mid-September.

The group also said the government should take advantage of the pandemic to improve flu surveillance.

Dr Frieden said it was unlikely vaccines against H1N1 could get out to the public sooner than mid-October, when mass vaccination is scheduled to start.

'We wish we had new vaccine technology that would allow us to turn on a dime and make new vaccine in terms of weeks or months. It's not possible with today's technology to do that,' he said.

Five companies are making swine flu vaccine for the US market - AstraZeneca's MedImmune unit, CSL Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Novartis AG and Sanofi-Aventis SA. Tests have begun to determine if people will need one or two doses to be protected. -- REUTERS

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Vagina rejuvenation spray

Improve your sexual life with Vagina rejuvenation spray - “GripWell”. Give more pleasure in lovemaking to your partners and get it yourself. GripWell is formulated from an ancient Chinese and Nusantara herbal recipe of vagina tightening, known for 100s years ago. Your kids, your age, your sexual partners and overall health - it is main factors that can cause your vagina to become loose or sagging.

From now any woman of any age no need more for dangerous and expensive cosmetic surgery, because now you can easily back your vagina to youthful state, with magic spray “GripWell”. Just apply this safe therapeutic spray 10-20 minutes prior to sexual intercourse to help contract your vagina walls and tighten your vagina. That is not all, sensitivity of your vagina is greatly heightened that give you ability to reach orgasm more quickly and allow you to enjoy multiple times! Use "GripWell" daily to prevent vaginal aging. Using GripWell daily will overtime fully rejuvenate your vagina, and prevent further aging, without the need for more GripWell.

Read More Here

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mercury in vaccines causes autism

Children of the current generation receive 24 mandatory vaccinations. A generation ago, only 10 were required.

Through vaccinations, children receive 400x the amount of mercury deemed safe by the FDA.

The Hep B routinely given to newborns contains so much mercury preservative that it would normally only be considered safe under standard medical guidelines to give to a 275 pound adult.

Why is this going on?

Politics and corruption.

In the White House, in Congress, in the FDA, in the medical establishment and in the pharmaceutical industry.

Simple guidelines:

1. Never bring your child to be immunized if he or she is already ill

2. Do not allow the doctor to load your child up on multiple immunizations on a single visit just because it is more convenient for him, the doctor.

3. Avoid all unnecessary vaccinations. Make the doctor explain to you in detail the justification for every single one she recommends. They research it before you go ahead.

4. If you feel you must comply, delay them as long as possible to give your child time to grow

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

9/11 health impacts linger

CHICAGO - THE Sept 11, 2001 attacks that brought down New York's World Trade Centre continue to trigger health problems for tens of thousands of people exposed to the horrors and dust of that day, researchers said on Tuesday.

More than 400,000 office workers, residents, rescuers and passersby were in lower Manhattan on Sept 11 or shortly afterward, and an estimated 25,000 have since developed asthma and 61,000 suffer from post-traumatic stress, they reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The hijacked plane attacks that collapsed the twin towers killed nearly 3,000 people.

'The diagnoses correlated with the exposures people had,' such as witnessing people jumping from the burning towers or direct contact with the dense, billowing dust cloud following the towers' collapse, said Lorna Thorpe, a deputy commissioner for the New York City Health Department.

Thorpe and colleagues from Columbia University and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention used two surveys performed in 2003-2004 and 2006-2007. The work is part of The World Trade Centre Health Registry, the largest post-disaster exposure registry in US history.

Ten per cent reported newly diagnosed asthma afterward, they found.

What was surprising to Ms Thorpe and fellow researchers was that new cases of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD increased over time.

In the initial survey, 14 per cent experienced PTSD symptoms, which faded for about one-third of them. But another 10 per cent of more than 46,000 survey respondents reported symptoms in the second survey, she said.

Ms Thorpe said subsequent job losses or other traumas were factors in triggering late-onset symptoms in those with direct experience of the Sept 11 hijack plane attacks.

Twenty-one per cent of participants reported having seen a mental health professional in the past year, and 14 per cent reported taking medication for a mental health condition.

The resilient group were the 76 per cent of respondents who reported no noticeable post-traumatic stress symptoms. In contrast, new cases of asthma that reached 14 per cent of respondents within a few months of the attacks gradually declined to more normal levels. -- REUTERS