The Woodruff Lab contributes to the Women’s Health Research Institute and Oncofertility Consortium blogs. Read the latest information disseminated from these blogs below:  

Sex after 50! Of course, but be smart!

Many women over 50 continue to have an active sex life but most of the messages and campaigns about safe sex are aimed at younger generations.  A new study in the Journal of Consumer Affairs (no pun intended) stresses the need for better communication between doctors and their older patients about sexual health and ways to negotiate with partners about safe health practices.

Stress and Breast Cancer in minority women

An article published in the Chicago Tribune discussed the findings from a recent study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research which found an association between high stress levels and aggressive forms of breast cancer, and that black and Latina women tend to have higher stress levels than white women.

Menopause management complex but possible!

Recently, I attended the meeting of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in Washington DC along with 1500 other health professionals.    The bottom line:    Estrogen is not the devil, but it is not the panacea for all things female!

When the large Women’s Health Initiative was halted in 2002 due to some unexpected findings in women on hormone treatment, the use of hormones significantly dropped.   However, many women found that their most bothersome symptoms returned and some went back on HT with a bit more concern.

Saw Palmetto Ineffective for Prostate Symptoms

Ladies, share this blog with the men in your life.     Long-term adminstration of the dietary supplement saw palmetto, even at three times the usual dose, did not reduce symptoms of prostate enlargement significantly better than placebo in a large group of middle-aged men, according to the most rigorous study of the popular herb.

Your genes at work

In one of the largest genomic studies ever, an international research consortium identified 29 genetic variations that influence blood pressure. More than half of these variants were previously unknown. The findings provide insights into the biology of blood pressure and may lead to new therapeutic strategies.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects over 1 billion people worldwide. It can damage the body in many ways over time, leading to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and other health problems.

Safety concerns raised on birth control pills containing drospirenone

[09-26-2011] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing the public that it has not yet reached a conclusion, but remains concerned, about the potential increased risk of blood clots with the use of drospirenone-containing birth control pills. FDA has completed its review of the two 2011 studies that evaluated the risk of blood clots for women who use drospirenone-containing birth control pills, previously mentioned in FDA’s Drug Safety Communication issued on May 31, 2011.

Cancer Drug May Also Work for Scleroderma

A drug used to treat cancer may also be effective in diseases that cause scarring of the internal organs or skin, such as pulmonary fibrosis or scleroderma.

The drug, with the generic name bortezomib, stopped the production of fibrotic proteins in human cells and the development of fibrous scarring in a mouse model of fibrotic disease, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study published in the journal Thorax.  Studies have not yet been done in humans.

Vitamin D for Men, One Size Does Not Fit All

African-American men living in areas with low sunlight are up to 3 ½ times more likely to have Vitamin D deficiency than Caucasian men and should take high levels of Vitamin D supplements, according to a new study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“This study shows that the current one-size fits all recommendations for 600 International Units (IU) of Vitamin D don’t work,” said Adam Murphy, M.D., a clinical instructor in urology at Northwestern’s Feinberg School. “Skin color and sunlight exposure need to be considered for recommended daily allowances of Vitamin D.”

What do you do for your health that takes less than 5 minutes???

SEND US YOUR IDEAS!  Being healthy and safe takes commitment, but it doesn’t have to be time-consuming, painful, or boring. Most things are simple and take so little time that you’ll wonder why you’ve been avoiding them. Even small steps can mean big rewards in preventing illness and injury.

Find out what you can do in five minutes or less to make a difference to your health and safety. Some things even take less than one minute. Here is a sample of activities you can do to help protect yourself and your family in five minutes or less (SEND US YOUR IDEAS–we’ll post the best ones!):