Public Health News Roundup: October 9
MRI Could Help Identify Early Signs of Heart Disease
A new MRI technique could help physicians identify the early signs of heart disease, according to a study in the journal Radiology. Researchers used time-resolved multiframe acquisition MRI to find thickening of the coronary artery wall. While they caution that further study is needed, the new technique would be a valuable tool in efforts to combat heart disease. "We currently have no reliable way to noninvasively image coronary artery disease in its early stages, when the disease can be treated with lifestyle changes and medications to lower cholesterol," said Khaled Abd-Elmoniem, MD, lead researchers and a staff scientist in the biomedical and metabolic imaging branch of the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Read more on heart health.
Study: HIV Deaths Down in Most Demographics
Deaths due to complications from HIV were down for almost all U.S. demographic groups from 1993 to 2007. The lone exception was with poor black women. White people and people with higher levels of education saw the greatest drop in death rates. Multiple factors contributed to the overall decline, including access to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Researchers concluded it is important to identify at-risk people early and to provide proper care for people in the “most vulnerable groups.” The study appears in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine. Read more on HIV/AIDS.
Study: Mom’s Positive Influence Can Also Benefit Teen Child’s Friends
A mother who practices authoritative parenting with their teen child can have a multiplier effect that also improves the behavior of the teen’s friends and others, according to a study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. Holly Shakya, a postdoctoral research fellow with the Gates Foundation Social Networks Project at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, said that teens with strict parenting can then spread those lessons through their social network. The study found the friends were “40 percent less likely to get drunk, 38 percent less likely to binge drink, 39 percent less likely to smoke and 43 percent less likely to smoke marijuana,” according to HealthDay. Read more on community health.