vendredi 30 mai 2014

Gene expression signature identifies patients at higher risk for cardiovascular death

A gene expression profile associated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular death has been identified by a study of 338 patients with coronary artery disease. Used with other indicators such as biochemical markers and family history, the profile -- based on a simple blood test -- may help identify patients who could benefit from personalized treatment and counseling designed to address risk factors. Gene expression signature identifies patients at higher risk for cardiovascular death

Hero or sissy? Study explores perception of injured athletes

NFL teams shoulder most of the blame for players' injuries and sports journalists can shift football cultural norms toward valuing players who put their health first. These are the key findings of a new study that examined health and safety issues in sports. "As sports journalists take more of an advocacy role and support athletes who make their health a priority, attitudes towards injuries and the players who sustain them may gradually begin to change," one co-author said. Hero or sissy? Study explores perception of injured athletes

Improvements in blood pressure control may have prevented hundreds of thousands of major cardiovascular events

Hypertension (raised blood pressure) treatment rates have almost doubled and control rates have tripled in England between 1994 and 2011, resulting in the saving of tens of thousands of lives each year, according to a new study. The findings also suggest that if these improvements in blood pressure management continue until 2022, 80% of patients being treated for hypertension will have achieved control of their high blood pressure, preventing a further 50,000 major cardiovascular events (eg, strokes, heart attacks, and deaths) in that year. Improvements in blood pressure control may have prevented hundreds of thousands of major cardiovascular events

Systolic, diastolic blood pressures predict risk of different cardiovascular diseases

Raised systolic and diastolic blood pressures may have different effects on different types of cardiovascular diseases and at different ages, according to new research involving 1.25 million patients from primary care practices. The new findings suggest that individuals with higher systolic blood pressures have a greater risk of intracerebral haemorrhage (stroke caused by bleeding within the brain tissue), subarachnoid haemorrhage (the deadliest form of stroke), and stable angina, whereas raised diastolic blood pressure is a better indicator of abdominal aortic aneurysm risk. Systolic, diastolic blood pressures predict risk of different cardiovascular diseases

New 3-D representation of Richard III's spine shows 'spiral nature' of his scoliosis

Shakespeare may have characterized Richard III as a hunchback, but now everyone can explore the true shape of one of history's most famous spinal columns. A polymer reconstruction was photographed from 19 different points, and the pictures were then stitched together digitally to create the interactive 3-D model. New 3-D representation of Richard III's spine shows 'spiral nature' of his scoliosis

Mothers of women with polycystic ovary syndrome have increased risk of early death

Mothers of daughters with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have a significantly increased risk of death, particularly if they also have diabetes, when compared to the general population, according to new research. The researchers found that mothers aged over 60 had a risk of death that was one-and-a-half times greater than the general population. When compared with a control group of women with type 2 diabetes from the general population, diabetic mothers of PCOS daughters had a two-fold increased risk of death. Mothers of women with polycystic ovary syndrome have increased risk of early death

One cell's meat is another cell's poison: How the loss of a cell protein favors cancer cells while harming healthy cells

As a new therapeutic approach, Janus kinases are currently in the limelight of cancer research. The focus of interest is the protein JAK2. By inhibiting this protein one tries to cure chronic bone marrow diseases, such as myelofibrosis and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). One cell's meat is another cell's poison: How the loss of a cell protein favors cancer cells while harming healthy cells

Rectal artesunate is probably beneficial in young children with severe malaria, but may be harmful in older children and adults

An independent review of the effects of pre-referral rectal artesunate for people with severe malaria provides some insight into its best uses and effectiveness. Severe malaria is a serious medical condition that is treated by giving injections of antimalarial drugs, which need to be started as quickly as possible. In some rural areas where malaria is common, injections are unavailable and people often die before reaching hospital. In these areas rectal artesunate could feasibly be administered to start treatment before transporting the patient. Rectal artesunate is probably beneficial in young children with severe malaria, but may be harmful in older children and adults

Appeal of well-being apps often short-lived

Online and mobile apps for stress management and healthy eating reach a large number of users, but their appeal tends to be short-lived. Apps can contribute to improved well-being and provide support for behavioral changes as long as they are simple, attractive and easy to integrate into everyday life. However, the societal impact of the apps may remain small unless real-world implementation, maintenance and dissemination are planned from the very beginning of the development process. Appeal of well-being apps often short-lived

Positive activities administered online help in pain management

Positive activities, such as increasing supportive emotions, can reduce body discomfort in adults with mild to moderate chronic pain, according to research. The authors concluded that teaching very simple, evidence-based, positive activities administered online can lead to lasting reductions in bodily pain. Further, the study demonstrates that positive activities administered over the internet offer practical pain management strategies at very low cost with high sustainability. Positive activities administered online help in pain management

Analysis: What did Stevens really say about small and community hospitals?

Analysis: What did Stevens really say about small and community hospitals?

Comments by the new NHS England chief executive have been taken as meaning he might preserve small and community hospitals.

Paula Vasco-Knight resigns

Paula Vasco-Knight resigns

The chief executive of South Devon Healthcare Foundation Trust - who was suspended after being accused of nepotism – has resigned.

What we learnt this week - 30 May 2014

What we learnt this week - 30 May 2014

Jeremy Hunt evades questions on NHS funding, plus NHS England’s reshuffle, superheads fall out of favour and more points of note from the week in heathcare.

NHS England backs cancer and cardiac reorganisation

NHS England backs cancer and cardiac reorganisation

NHS England is backing clinician-led proposals which would see a reorganisation of specialist cancer and cardiac services across London and Essex.

Cancer waiting time target breached for first time

Cancer waiting time target breached for first time

Providers have breached the waiting time target for patients with suspected cancer starting treatment within 62 days following urgent GP referral for the first time since the target was introduced in 2009.

HSJ Live 30.05.2014: Paula Vasco-Knight resigns

HSJ Live 30.05.2014: Paula Vasco-Knight resigns

Chief executive of South Devon Healthcare Foundation Trust stands down, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

Powerful tool combs family genomes to find shared variations causing disease

A powerful tool called pVAAST that combines linkage analysis with case control association has been developed to help researchers and clinicians identify disease-causing mutations in families faster and more precisely than ever before. The researchers describe cases in which pVAAST (the pedigree Variant Annotation, Analysis and Search Tool) identified mutations in two families with separate diseases and a de novo or new variation in a 12-year-old who was the only one in his family to suffer from a mysterious and life threatening intestinal problem. Powerful tool combs family genomes to find shared variations causing disease

Poker, marketing strategies might help doctors think better

Stroke doctors might be wise to think about poker players and marketers before making medical decisions, according to an article. "Sadly, more research has gone into how decisions are made when people gamble or buy a car than it has to discovering how doctors make complex decisions," said the lead author. "I think if doctors better understand a poker player's betting strategy or the psychology behind a salesman's tactics, it might change their decision-making process. Doctors might be more encouraged to use tools that would help them make quick, accurate, unbiased decisions when facing difficult clinical scenarios." Poker, marketing strategies might help doctors think better

New coronavirus inhibitor exhibits antiviral activity by blocking viral hijacking of host

Since the SARS epidemic in 2003, coronaviruses have been on the watch list for emerging pathogens, and the ongoing outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) confirmed that they represent a serious threat. No specific drugs exist against coronaviruses so far, but a new article introduces a new inhibitor of coronaviruses and implicates a specific process in the life cycle of these viruses that it blocks. New coronavirus inhibitor exhibits antiviral activity by blocking viral hijacking of host

Pleasant smells increase facial attractiveness

Women’s faces are rated as more attractive in the presence of pleasant odors, according to new research. In contrast, odor pleasantness had less effect on age evaluation. The findings suggest that perfumes and scented products may, to some extent, alter how people perceive one another. Pleasant smells increase facial attractiveness

Deception improved athletic performance

Researchers say a little deception caused cyclists in their 4K time trial to up their performance even after they realized they had been tricked. The findings support the idea that the brain plays a powerful role in how hard athletes push their bodies. Deception improved athletic performance

Drop in global malnutrition depends on agricultural productivity, climate change

Global malnutrition could fall 84 percent by the year 2050 as incomes in developing countries grow -- but only if agricultural productivity continues to improve and climate change does not severely damage agriculture, researchers say. According to the researchers' models, income growth coupled with projected increases in agricultural productivity could raise more than half a billion people out of extreme hunger by mid-century. Drop in global malnutrition depends on agricultural productivity, climate change

Neural transplant reduces absence epilepsy seizures in mice

The areas of the cerebral cortex that are affected in mice with absence epilepsy have been pinpointed by research that also shows that transplanting embryonic neural cells into these areas can alleviate symptoms of the disease by reducing seizure activity. Absence epilepsy primarily affects children. These seizures differ from "clonic-tonic" seizures in that they don't cause muscle spasms; rather, patients "zone out" or stare into space for a period of time, with no memory of the episode afterward. Neural transplant reduces absence epilepsy seizures in mice

Tool to better screen, treat aneurysm patients

New research may help physicians better understand the chronological development of a brain aneurysm. Simplified, a cerebral aneurysm is a blood-filled bulge formed in response to a weakness in the wall at branching brain arteries. If the bulge bursts, the person can undergo a brain hemorrhage, which is a subtype of stroke and a life-threatening condition. Tool to better screen, treat aneurysm patients

New approach to HIV vaccine explored by scientists

A promising new approach to a live attenuated HIV-1 vaccine is being pursued by scientists, using a genetically modified form of the HIV virus. The new method involves manipulating the virus' codons -- a sequence of three nucleotides that form genetic code -- to rely on an unnatural amino acid for proper protein translation, which allows it to replicate. Because this amino acid is foreign to the human body, the virus cannot continue to reproduce, researchers report. New approach to HIV vaccine explored by scientists

'Free choice' in primates altered through brain stimulation

When electrical pulses are applied to the ventral tegmental area of their brain, macaques presented with two images change their preference from one image to the other. The study is the first to confirm a causal link between activity in the ventral tegmental area and choice behavior in primates. 'Free choice' in primates altered through brain stimulation

How breast cancer 'expresses itself'

'Gene regulation,' the process that shuts off certain parts of a cell's DNA code or blueprint in healthy breast tissue cells, may also play a critical role in the development of breast cancer, scientists have found. Their research proves a significant link between breast-specific genes and the pathology of cancer. How breast cancer 'expresses itself'

Keloid development: New genes identified may unlock its mystery

Previously unidentified genes that may be responsible for keloid scarring have been uncovered by researchers, a discovery that could unlock the mystery of keloid development and provide insight for more effective treatment. Keloid scars form raised, firm skin areas that may become itchy, tender, and painful. Unlike regular scars, keloids do not subside over time and often extend outside the wound site. Keloids most often occur on the chest, shoulders, earlobes (following ear piercing), upper arms and cheeks. Keloid development: New genes identified may unlock its mystery

Mode of transportation affects how we feel, study finds

People are in the best mood while they are bicycling compared to any other mode of transportation, a new study has found. Researchers investigated how emotions like happiness, pain, stress, sadness and fatigue vary during travel and by travel mode. After bicyclists, the next happiest are car passengers and then car drivers. Bus and train riders experience the most negative emotions, though a small part of this can be attributed to the fact that mass transit is disproportionately used for commuting to and from work, according to the researchers. Mode of transportation affects how we feel, study finds

Early childhood stimulation intervention in Jamaica yields better pay in adulthood

Early childhood development programs are particularly important for disadvantaged children in Jamaica and can greatly impact an individual's ability to earn more money as an adult, new research finds. Early childhood stimulation intervention in Jamaica yields better pay in adulthood

Unprecedented detail of intact neuronal receptor offers blueprint for drug developers

Biologists have succeeded in obtaining an unprecedented view of a type of brain-cell receptor that is implicated in a range of neurological illnesses, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, depression, schizophrenia, autism, and ischemic injuries associated with stroke. The team's atomic-level picture of the intact NMDA receptor should serve as template and guide for the design of therapeutic compounds. Unprecedented detail of intact neuronal receptor offers blueprint for drug developers

Engineering a better way to rebuild bone inside the body

Traumatic bone injuries such as blast wounds are often so severe that the body can't effectively repair the damage on its own. To aid the recovery, clinicians inject patients with proteins called growth factors. The treatment is costly, requiring large amounts of expensive growth factors. The growth factors also disperse, creating unwanted bone formation in the area around the injury. A new technology under development could one day provide more efficient delivery of the bone regenerating growth factors with greater accuracy and at a lower cost. Engineering a better way to rebuild bone inside the body

Melanoma of the eye caused by two gene mutations

A therapeutic target for treating the most common form of eye cancer in adults has been identified by researchers. They have also, in experiments with mice, been able to slow eye tumor growth with an existing FDA-approved drug. The researchers looked specifically at uveal melanoma. Uveal collectively refers to parts of the eye, notably the iris, that contain pigment cells. As with melanoma skin cancer, uveal melanoma is a malignancy of these melanin-producing cells. Melanoma of the eye caused by two gene mutations

Family support may improve adherence to CPAP therapy for sleep apnea

People with obstructive sleep apnea who are single or have unsupportive family relationships may be less likely to adhere to continuous positive airway pressure therapy, a study has shown. Results show that individuals who were married or living with a partner had better CPAP adherence after the first three months of treatment than individuals who were single. Higher ratings of family relationship quality also were associated with better adherence. Results were adjusted for potential confounding factors including age, gender and body mass index. Family support may improve adherence to CPAP therapy for sleep apnea

Diet, exercise in cancer prevention, treatment: Focus of special journal edition

Invited reviews and original papers investigating various themes such as the role of omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, cancer cachexia, muscle health, exercise training, adiposity and body composition are the foundation of a new special journal edition. Diet, exercise in cancer prevention, treatment: Focus of special journal edition

Rare skin cancer on palms, soles more likely to come back compared to other melanomas

A rare type of melanoma that disproportionately attacks the palms and soles and under the nails of Asians, African-Americans, and Hispanics, who all generally have darker skins, and is not caused by sun exposure, is almost twice as likely to recur than other similar types of skin cancer, according to results of a study in 244 patients. Rare skin cancer on palms, soles more likely to come back compared to other melanomas

Stress degrades sperm quality, study shows

Psychological stress is harmful to sperm and semen quality, affecting its concentration, appearance, and ability to fertilize an egg, according to a study. It is not fully understood how stress affects semen quality. It may trigger the release of steroid hormones called glucocorticoids, which in turn could blunt levels of testosterone and sperm production. Another possibility is oxidative stress, which has been shown to affect semen quality and fertility. Stress degrades sperm quality, study shows

Creatures of habit: Disorders of compulsivity share common pattern, brain structure

People affected by binge eating, substance abuse and obsessive compulsive disorder all share a common pattern of decision making and similarities in brain structure, according to new research. "Compulsive disorders can have a profoundly disabling effect of individuals. Now that we know what is going wrong with their decision making, we can look at developing treatments, for example using psychotherapy focused on forward planning or interventions such as medication which target the shift towards habitual choices," authors said. Creatures of habit: Disorders of compulsivity share common pattern, brain structure

Better to be bullied than ignored in the workplace, study finds

Being ignored at work is worse for physical and mental well-being than harassment or bullying, says a new study. Researchers found that while most consider ostracism less harmful than bullying, feeling excluded is significantly more likely to lead to job dissatisfaction, quitting and health problems. "We've been taught that ignoring someone is socially preferable -- if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all," says a co-author. "But ostracism actually leads people to feel more helpless, like they're not worthy of any attention at all." Better to be bullied than ignored in the workplace, study finds

Online students' stress, sense of belonging being studied

The experiences of online and traditional master's degree students has been the focus of a study by one nursing professor. Health care experts have called on nurses nationwide to continue their education through lifelong learning to elevate patient care and community health. Nursing schools across the country also turn away thousands of applicants each year because they lack capacity. More graduate-level nurses also are needed to teach a new generation. Online students' stress, sense of belonging being studied

Zinc deficiency before conception disrupts fetal development

Female mice deprived of dietary zinc for a relatively short time before conception experienced fertility and pregnancy problems more than mice that ingested zinc during the same times, according to researchers. Zinc deficiency caused a high incidence of pregnancy loss, and embryos from the zinc-deficient diet group were an average of 38 percent smaller than those from the control group. Preconception zinc deficiency also caused approximately half of embryos to exhibit delayed or aberrant development. Zinc deficiency before conception disrupts fetal development

Major geographic disparities in access to kidney transplantation

There is substantial geographic variation in access to kidney transplantation among the more than 4,000 US dialysis facilities that treat patients with kidney failure, with a disproportionate lack of access to those in the Southeast. Certain factors seem to explain these differences, and they underscore the need for political, financial, and health systems changes to reduce transplant inequities across the country. Major geographic disparities in access to kidney transplantation

Where one lives matters in relationship between obesity, life satisfaction

How one compares weight-wise with others in his or her community plays a key role in determining how satisfied the person is with his or her life. According to the researchers, before accounting for where people live, severely obese men and women have 29 percent and 43 percent lower odds, respectively, than their non-obese counterparts of reporting that they are "very satisfied" with their lives. However, the story is very different among people in counties where obesity is common. Where one lives matters in relationship between obesity, life satisfaction

'Let’s Play Jeremy Kyle!': Reality TV in the Playground

Move over Mums and Dads, Dr Who and Harry Potter. A recent study shows there’s a new game in town. New research into contemporary playground games has found children acting out reality TV talk shows. 'Let’s Play Jeremy Kyle!': Reality TV in the Playground

Birmingham CCG closes end of life care service

Birmingham CCG closes end of life care service

COMMERCIAL: Birmingham CrossCity Clinical Commissioning Group has closed a support service for palliative care following concerns it failed to reduce hospital admissions and providing value for money.

HSJ Live 30.05.2014: Simon Stevens' first interview

HSJ Live 30.05.2014: Simon Stevens' first interview

Full coverage and analysis of NHS England chief executive’s in-depth and wide ranging interview with HSJ, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

Second challenge to Mid Staffs downgrade

Second challenge to Mid Staffs downgrade

STRUCTURE: A second attempt to challenge in court the government’s decision to downgrade services at Stafford Hopsital has been launched this week.

North Staffordshire CCG appoints new clinical accountable officer

North Staffordshire CCG appoints new clinical accountable officer

WORKFORCE: North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group has appointed a new clinical accountable officer.

Colchester probe held up by legal issues

Colchester probe held up by legal issues

Publication of an investigation into alleged wrongful manipulation of cancer patients’ waiting time data at Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust is being held up by legal issues, HSJ understands.

Cambridge University Hospitals mulls children's service shake up

Cambridge University Hospitals mulls children's service shake up

STRUCTURE: Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust has unveiled plans to reshape children’s services across the East of England after identifying an “urgent need” for extra bed and theatre capacity.

jeudi 29 mai 2014

HSJ Live 30.05.2014: Leaders need to embrace Stevens' challenge to the old ways

HSJ Live 30.05.2014: Leaders need to embrace Stevens' challenge to the old ways

Simon Stevens appears to welcome prospect of the NHS front line developing diverse ways of working and challenges system’s old certainties, argues Nuffield Trust chief executive, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

30 May issue of HSJ is ready to read on the app

30 May issue of HSJ is ready to read on the app

This week’s issue of HSJ magazine is now available to read on our tablet app.Download the HSJ app for iPadDownload the HSJ app for AndroidIn this we

NHS England seeks to drop safety, revalidation and tech roles

NHS England seeks to drop safety, revalidation and tech roles

NHS England is seeking to give up some of its patient safety functions, medical revalidation and responsibility for technology, its new chief executive has indicated.

Stevens steps back from '15 specialist centres' plan

Stevens steps back from '15 specialist centres' plan

The new NHS England chief executive has distanced himself from the organisation’s previously stated ambition to concentrate specialised services in “15-30 centres of excellence”.

Stevens backs patient choice 'wherever possible' in NHS

Stevens backs patient choice 'wherever possible' in NHS

NHS patients should be free to choose their provider whether public or private, Simon Stevens has said.

Stevens on: Finance and health secretaries

Stevens on: Finance and health secretaries

Simon Stevens has indicated the NHS has early plans to meet about half of the looming £30bn gap; and has suggested greater transparency may be driving a trend toward “patient champion” health secretaries.

CDC: Record-Breaking Year For Measles Due To Travel, Non-Vaccinated Residents

CDC: Record-Breaking Year For Measles Due To Travel, Non-Vaccinated Residents

Back of female with measles/ Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images/flickr


Back of female with measles/ Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images/flickr


Measles, one of the most contagious diseases in the world, was officially eliminated from the U.S. in the year 2000.

Nevertheless, we’re in the midst of a record-breaking year for measles in this country, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with 288 confirmed cases so far.


There are two main reasons for the spike, said Anne Schuchat, M.D. (RADM, USPHS) assistant surgeon general, United States Public Health Service and director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, speaking at a telebriefing for reporters today.


First, she said, travelers are importing measles into the U.S. from other parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa and the Pacific, notably the Philippines, which has been experiencing a large measles outbreak. In addition, Schuchat said, the imported measles is spreading within communities of non-vaccinated people.


CDC: It's a record-breaking year for measles


CDC: It’s a record-breaking year for measles


From the agency’s weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report:



Most of the 288 measles cases reported this year have been in persons who were unvaccinated (69%) or who had an unknown vaccination status (20%); 30 (10%) were in persons who were vaccinated. Among the 195 U.S. residents who had measles and were unvaccinated, 165 (85%) declined vaccination because of religious, philosophical, or personal objections, 11 (6%) were missed opportunities for vaccination, and 10 (5%) were too young to receive vaccination.



When asked if the non-vaccinated U.S. residents who contracted measles had declined shots due to widely discredited information linking autism to the MMR vaccine, Schuchat said no, public health officials don’t believe that to be true.


Her bottom line message was clear, however: “This year we are breaking records for measles,” Schuchat said. “And it’s a wake up call. Measles may be forgotten but it’s not gone.” (She also added that if you don’t know whether you’ve had measles or the vaccine, it’s OK to get another MMR shot, unless it’s contraindicated, for instance, if you’re immunosuppressed or pregnant.)


Here’s more from the CDC:



A total of 288 confirmed measles cases have been reported to CDC, surpassing the highest reported yearly total of measles cases since elimination (220 cases reported in 2011) Fifteen outbreaks accounted for 79% of cases reported, including the largest outbreak reported in the United States since elimination (138 cases and ongoing).


The large number of cases this year emphasizes the need for health-care providers to have a heightened awareness of the potential for measles in their communities and the importance of vaccination to prevent measles.



Locally, Anne Roach, with the Massachusetts Department of Health, says there have been 8 confirmed cases of measles among state residents so far this year.


And more from the agency news release:



“The current increase in measles cases is being driven by unvaccinated people, primarily U.S. residents, who got measles in other countries, brought the virus back to the United States and spread to others in communities where many people are not vaccinated,” said Dr. Schuchat..“Many of the clusters in the U.S. began following travel to the Philippines where a large outbreak has been occurring since October 2013.”


Of the 288 cases, 280 (97 percent) were associated with importations from at least 18 countries. More than one in seven cases has led to hospitalization. Ninety percent of all measles cases in the United States were in people who were not vaccinated or whose vaccination status was unknown. Among the U.S. residents who were not vaccinated, 85 percent were religious, philosophical or personal reasons.


The large number of measles cases this year stresses the importance of vaccination. Healthcare providers should use every patient encounter to ensure that all their patients are up to date on vaccinations; especially, before international travel.

More than ever health care providers need to be alert to the possibility of measles and be familiar with the signs and symptoms so they can detect cases early.


“Many U.S. health care providers have never seen or treated a patient with measles because of the nation’s robust vaccination efforts and our rapid response to outbreaks,” said Schuchat.


Patients who present with fever and rash along with cough, runny nose, or pink eye should be evaluated for measles; especially, if the patient is unvaccinated and recently traveled internationally or was exposed to someone else who has measles or recently traveled. If healthcare providers suspect a patient with measles, they should immediately isolate the patient to help prevent the disease from spreading, immediately report the case to their local health department and collect specimens for serology and viral testing.


Timely vaccination is the best way to prevent measles. Infants and young children are at high risk of getting a serious case of measles. CDC recommends two doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine for everyone starting at age 12 months. For those travelling internationally, CDC recommends that all U.S. residents older than 6 months receive MMR vaccine, if needed, prior to departure.


Measles is a serious respiratory disease that is highly contagious. Anyone who is not protected against the disease is at risk, especially if they travel internationally. Measles is still common in many parts of the world, including countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. Worldwide, an estimated 20 million people get measles and 122,000 die from the disease each year.



Here’s more info from the CDC on measles and the current outbreak and guidance for travelers.


Simon Stevens' first interview: parts of the NHS must be 'completely reinvented'

Simon Stevens' first interview: parts of the NHS must be 'completely reinvented'

Stevens uses first major interview to warn that “deep seated structural problems” will require parts of the NHS to “completely reinvent what we mean by a hospital”

HSJ Live 29.05.14: Urgent call for clarification on commissioning rules

HSJ Live 29.05.14: Urgent call for clarification on commissioning rules

Row between commissioners and a private midwifery service sparks calls for “urgent clarification” around commissioning rules, plus the rest of the day’s news and comment

NHS England's structure reshuffled

NHS England's structure reshuffled

Live Near Logan? You May Face Higher Risk Of Asthma, Pulmonary Disease

Live Near Logan? You May Face Higher Risk Of Asthma, Pulmonary Disease

The AP reports the not-so-great results of a new study on the health of residents who live near Logan International Airport. The bottom line is that respiratory problems that look a lot like asthma appear to be more prevalent among children who live in this “high exposure” area compared to those living further from the airport. For adults, the likelihood of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was higher among those living in close proximity to the airport.


Produced by the state Department of Public Health, the report focused on 17 communities within a five-mile radius of Logan: Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Hull, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Milton, Nahant, Quincy, Revere, Saugus,

Somerville, and Winthrop.”


Chris Devers/flickr


Chris Devers/flickr


From the report:



•Among children, study results identified some respiratory effects indicative of

undiagnosed asthma (i.e., probable asthma); children in the high exposure area

were estimated to have three to four times the likelihood of this respiratory

outcome compared with children in the low exposure area.


•Among adult residents, individuals diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary

disease (COPD) were statistically significantly more likely to have lived in the high

exposure area for three or more years.


•There were no statistically significant differences in cardiovascular outcomes in the

study population across the high, medium, and low exposure areas.


•There were no statistically significant differences with respect to hearing loss in

either adults or children for those living in the high exposure area compared to the

lowest exposure area.





Here’s more from the AP:



The state Department of Public Health said in a report…that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was statistically significantly higher for adult residents who had lived near the airport for three or more years.


The study also found that children living near the airport were three to four times more likely to report asthma-related symptoms.


The study was based on interviews with more than 6,000 adults and more than 2,000 children in 17 communities within five miles of the airport.


The Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs the airport, has taken several measures over the past several years to reduce air pollution from airport property.



New medical director for Imperial College Healthcare Trust

New medical director for Imperial College Healthcare Trust

WORKFORCE: Imperial College Healthcare Trust has appointed a new medical director after Professor Nick Cheshire stepped down from the role.

Bristol mental health contracts awarded

Bristol mental health contracts awarded

COMMERCIAL: Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group has approved plans to award contracts for its community mental health services to 18 organisations under a “system leadership” model thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.

Notts trust biggest winner from tech fund

Notts trust biggest winner from tech fund

NHS England has published a comprehensive list of the winning bids from its first round of £182m technology funding.

Hunt backs maternity reconfiguration in North Yorkshire

Hunt backs maternity reconfiguration in North Yorkshire

STRUCTURE: The health secretary has given the go ahead for a controversial shake-up of maternity services in North Yorkshire which was opposed by a cabinet colleague, according to local councillor.

Two CCG leaders step aside amid NHS England probe

Two CCG leaders step aside amid NHS England probe

WORKFORCE: The chair and accountable officer of Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group have temporarily “stepped away” from their posts while NHS England conducts a probe into the group’s leadership, the CCG confirmed this afternoon.

Obesity rates climbing worldwide, most comprehensive global study to date shows

Worldwide, there has been a startling increase in rates of obesity and overweight in both adults (28% increase) and children (up by 47%) in the past 33 years, with the number of overweight and obese people rising from 857 million in 1980 to 2.1 billion in 2013, according to a major new analysis. However, the rates vary widely throughout the world with more than half of the world’s 671 million obese individuals living in just ten countries—the USA, China and India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, Germany , Pakistan, and Indonesia, Obesity rates climbing worldwide, most comprehensive global study to date shows

Brain's reaction to male odor shifts at puberty in children with gender dysphoria

The brains of children with gender dysphoria react to androstadienone, a musky-smelling steroid produced by men, in a way typical of their biological sex, but after puberty according to their experienced gender, finds a study for the first time. Around puberty, the testes of men start to produce androstadienone, a breakdown product of testosterone. Men release it in their sweat, especially from the armpits. Its only known function is to work like a pheromone: when women smell androstadienone, their mood tends to improve, their blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing go up, and they may become aroused. Brain's reaction to male odor shifts at puberty in children with gender dysphoria

New mechanism explaining how cancer cells spread

A protein critical to the spread of deadly cancer cells has been discovered by researchers who have determined how it works, paving the way for potential use in diagnosis and eventually possible therapeutic drugs to halt or slow the spread of cancer. The protein, Aiolos, is produced by normal blood cells but commits a kind of “identity theft” of blood cells when expressed by cancer cells, allowing the latter to metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body. Metastatic cancer cells have the ability to break free from tissue, circulate in the blood stream, and form tumors all over the body, in a way acting like blood cells. New mechanism explaining how cancer cells spread

Drug users switch to heroin because it's cheap, easy to get

Drug users are attracted to heroin not only for the “high,” but because it is less expensive and easier to get than prescription painkillers, a nationwide survey of heroin users indicate. Researchers have found that many suburban drug users have made the switch. "In the past, heroin was a drug that introduced people to narcotics," said the principal investigator. "But what we're seeing now is that most people using heroin begin with prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet or Vicodin, and only switch to heroin when their prescription drug habits get too expensive." Drug users switch to heroin because it's cheap, easy to get

Increased social network can have big payoff for nonprofits, study shows

Charitable fundraising once depended primarily upon a charity's size, efficiency and longstanding reputation. That was before Razoo, Chipin, Facebook and Twitter came to town. Technology and social media, it turns out, can not only raise the online profile of even small organizations, but increase their support bases and their ability to generate donations online and off. Increased social network can have big payoff for nonprofits, study shows

Patient-centered educational, behavioral program to reduce lymphedema risk trialed

A pilot study to evaluate a patient-centered educational and behavioral self-care program called The Optimal Lymph Flow was recently launched. The goals of the program were to promote lymph flow and optimize BMI over a 12-month period after breast cancer surgery. Findings offer initial evidence in support of a shift in the focus of lymphedema care away from treatment and toward proactive risk reduction. Patient-centered educational, behavioral program to reduce lymphedema risk trialed

How long should HCV treatment last? Study suggests answers are complex

As new treatments for hepatitis C virus (HCV) are approved, biomedical scientists are exploring their mechanisms and what they reveal about the virus. A new report is the first to report real-time tracking of viral decay in the liver and blood in 15 patients with HCV. "Our findings begin to define for how long patients may need to be treated in order to achieve viral eradication," explained the lead researcher. How long should HCV treatment last? Study suggests answers are complex

Variety in diet can hamper microbial diversity in the gut

Scientists have discovered that the more diverse the diet of a fish, the less diverse are the microbes living in its gut. If the effect is confirmed in humans, it could mean that the combinations of foods people eat can influence their gut microbe diversity. The research could impact how probiotics and diet are used to treat diseases associated with bacteria in human digestive systems. Variety in diet can hamper microbial diversity in the gut

Scientists control rapid re-wiring of brain circuits using patterned visual stimulation

Researchers have shown for the first time how the brain re-wires and fine-tunes its connections differently depending on the relative timing of sensory stimuli. In most neuroscience textbooks today, there is a widely held model that explains how nerve circuits might refine their connectivity based on patterned firing of brain cells, but it has not previously been directly observed in real time. Scientists control rapid re-wiring of brain circuits using patterned visual stimulation