May 24 2012

Public Health News Roundup: May 24

Drops Seen in Heart Disease and Stroke for People with Diabetes

Death rates for people with diabetes dropped 23 percent from 1997 to 2006, however deaths related to heart disease and stroke dropped by 40 percent, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, who published their findings in a recent issue of Diabetes Care.

Researchers evaluated 1997-2004 National Health Interview Survey data from nearly 250,000 adults. Although adults with diabetes still are more likely to die younger than those who do not have the disease, the gap is narrowing according to the study. The researchers say the lowered rates of stroke and heart disease are the result of better management of diabetes, and some healthy lifestyle changes including lower smoking rates and more physical activity among people with diabetes. Obesity rates in this group, increased, however. Read more on diabetes.

Small Weight Loss Can Reduce Hormones that Increase Risk of Breast Cancer

A new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology finds that even a five percent weight loss can reduce sex hormones that are linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. The weight loss can reduce the risk by a quarter to a half for common, estrogen-sensitive breast cancer, according to the study.

The study was based on data from 439 overweight-to-obese, non-active Seattle-area women, ages 50 to 75, who were randomly assigned to one of four groups: exercise only (mainly brisk walking), diet only, exercise plus diet and no intervention. At the end of the study, participants in the diet-only and diet-plus-exercise arms lost an average of 10 percent of their starting weight, which was the goal of the intervention.

The study measured the effects of diet- and exercise-related weight loss on blood levels of several types of sex hormones, including three forms of estrogen, and found significant reductions in hormone levels among the women who received the dietary weight loss intervention, with the most significant results among women who dieted and also exercised. Read more on cancer prevention.

Kid Safety Lock Recall Expanded The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has expanded a March recall of  Safety1st toilet and cabinet child safety locks. Access to toilets can result in drowning in young children; access to cabinets can result in poisonings. The company has received 110 reports of toilet locks that did not adequately secure the toilet lid and 278 reports of cabinet locks that did not adequately secure the cabinet.

The CPSC says consumers should immediately remove the recalled locks and contact the company for a free replacement of a different model. While toilets and cabinets are unlocked, parents should store dangerous items out of reach of children and prevent unsupervised access to bathrooms. Read more on safety and recalls.

Tags: Cancer, Diabetes, News roundups, Obesity, Safety