December 2013

Hypertension during Pregnancy May Mean Hot Flashes later

New research shows that women with high blood pressure during pregnancy may be at higher risk of having troublesome menopausal symptoms in the future. A research study from the Netherlands examined the relationship between hypertensive diseases and hot flashes and night sweats.

Investigators looked at 853 women who regularly visited a cardiology clinic. Among these women, 274 had a history of high blood pressure during their pregnancy, such as preeclampsia. Participants were classified as having hypertension (high blood pressure) if her systolic blood pressure was 140 mmHg or higher, if her diastolic was 90 mmHg or higher, or if she took antihypertensive medication.

Hormones affecting Quality of Life during Menopause

Women undergoing menopause experience symptoms including hot flashes, sleeplessness, depression, joint pain, and poor concentration, to name a few. Hormone therapy has proven to improve some of these symptoms in menopausal women, but new research shows that treatment may only improve quality of life in those who undergo a significant number of hot flashes.

A recently published study done in Finland, looked at use of hormone therapy in women who had recently gone through menopause. 150 women were divided into two groups, those with seven or more moderate to severe hot flashes per day, and those with three or fewer mild hot flashes per day. In each group, half the women used hormone therapy and half received only a placebo.

Saving Fertility Not Priority at Most Cancer Centers

Lack of policies to protect cancer patients’ fertility at top cancer centers

Best health blogs 2013Infertility is consistently listed as one of the most distressing long-term side effects of cancer treatment for adolescents and young adults. Yet the leading National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers — which should be leaders in fertility preservation — aren’t doing an adequate job of helping patients protect their fertility, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.

Why do we need young people in the health marketplace?

As enrollment statistics in the new health insurance marketplaces start to become available, there is a growing focus on whether the enrollment of so-called “young invincibles” will be sufficient to keep insurance markets stable according to the Kaiser Family Foundation excerpted below.

Flaxseed and menopause symptoms

Concerns about hormone therapy safety have made many women turn to alternatives, such as phytoestrogens (soy, flaxseed, etc)  to alleviate their menopausal symptoms.  A recent systematic review of flaxseed intervention was recently done and reported in the journal Menopause.   Their findings:  “Flaxseed is currently not indicated for the alleviation of vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women, and there is little evidence to support an effect on circulating sex hormones.  A paucity of appropriate randomized controlled studies indicates that the effects of flax intervention on BMD are inconclusive.”

Learning to Bridge the Information Gap

Best health blogs 2013Information gaps are widely apparent in patient-physician relationships due to a multitude of factors.  Some patients are not interested or emotionally able to process information provided by the physician while certain physicians may not be comfortable discussing various options with their patients or feel that they are not appropriate candidates for a particular procedure.  Whatever the reason for the disconnect, healthcare providers and patients need to find a way to meet in the middle and discuss the difficult decisions and side effects of potential treatments.

Continued Health Measures Can Eradicate Polio Globally

Polio, or poliomyelitis, has been nearly eradicated by the polio vaccines developed in the 1950’s, sparing countless children and adults from symptoms such as muscle weakness and acute flaccid paralysis. However, there are still three countries (Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan) that have never been polio-free. These countries are starting to serve as “exporters” of the polio virus, affecting China and Syria, countries that had previously been polio-free.