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Test provides earlier detection of potential fatality risks
Date: 2013-01-23 12:40:07

Crisis events can put people at risk for things like shock and post-traumatic stress issues. These are scenarios that hospital staff and emergency responders are sometimes trained to deal with, but in terms of providing long-term care, there's no immediate way of knowing which patients will need help later on.Researchers have found that a basic blood test can help determine if people coming into the emergency room are at risk of death, and may even be able to isolate which kinds of trauma could prove most dangerous to their overall health.

Intermountain Medical Center announced that using a basic blood testing procedure similar to those already administered in emergency rooms may detect which incoming cases are most likely to die within a year after trauma. The procedures, called complete blood count (CBC) and basic metabolic profile (BMP), indicate the overall wellbeing of an individual and are generally used to detect basic health problems in patients. However, when compared to age, gender and several other factors, these blood levels can actually indicate whether a person is at high risk for a serious medical crisis.

"The results were very surprising," said Sarah Majercik, one of the researchers involved in the study. She explained that basic blood testing looks at a number of different factors like hemoglobin, hematocrit, red blood cell distribution and platelet counts that indicate general information about a person's current state. These numbers also show if someone may have internal bleeding at a different site, be suffering from another medical condition or have an infection that could pose a health risk just after a serious traumatic event.

Judging the risk factors... Full Story

Linking lifestyle with outlook issues
Date: 2013-01-17 10:13:48

Depression is a common symptom of the stresses people must go through on a daily basis. Going to work, paying the bills and dealing with problems associated with friends and family can lead many to develop depressed feelings throughout their lives, sometimes in greater consistency than others, but a recent study shows that other issues outside of basic environmental factors could be increasing people's likelihoodof developing these ailments. Blood tests may measure other elements of depression, but doctors may want to start looking for factors tied to drinking habitsto catch specific problems.

Researchers looked at the correlation between drinking large amounts of beverages with high sugar concentration, including soda, juice and sweetened coffee and depressed feelings. The American Academy of Neurology reported that there seemed to be a link between drinking these beverages and feeling depressed.

Scientists at the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences looked at adults who drank four cups of any of these three substances per day, finding negative associations between these beverage amounts and the likelihood of showing depressive symptoms as compared to those who did not drink such high quantities. MedlinePlus reported that soda and juice drinkers were one-third more likely to develop side effects, whereas coffee drinkers were only one-tenth as likely to feel depressed. Researchers stressed that these results are only cursory and more research is necessary to draw a solid connection, but these results could be beneficial to those still suffering from depression despite blood testsshowing adequate levels of antidepressants in their systems, among other treatments.

Early detection aids fight... Full Story

Vaccination may no longer offer enough protection
Date: 2013-01-14 11:54:48

Getting a liver panel test isn't something that comes to mind regularly for young people when they visit the doctor. Parents and physicians assume that, because people in this age group received vaccinations for certain liver-related illnesses as infants, they would not be able to develop these kinds of diseases. New research from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) shows that this coverage may not always extend as far as clinicians believe, leaving teens susceptible to various forms of hepatitis.

Researchers from the AASLD found that hepatitis B shots administered to babies were not providing protection from the illness in their teenage years. Scientists reviewed nearly 9,000 teens in the late 1980s and tracked their vaccination versus infection rate for hepatitis B, finding a connection between those whose mothers had the disease and new infection rates in children. This indicates that on top of teens and young mothers getting the illness despite vaccination protection as children, they are also passing the disease on to their own infants as well, perpetuating and strengthening the syndrome.

"Chronic hepatitis B is a major health burden that leads to cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure, shortening lives and placing a huge economic drain on society," said Li-Yu Wang of Mackay Medical College, the lead writer of the study. "While infant hepatitis B vaccination is highly effective, it is not 100 percent and our study examines the long-term success of hepatitis B vaccine in a high-risk population."

Serious medical repercussions... Full Story

Certain lifestyle choices can create negative health outcomes
Date: 2013-01-08 23:13:18

Convenience can be a good thing depending on the situation, but in some circumstances, the easy way out is not necessarily the best. The increased availability of fast food and high-sugar snacks has made grabbing a candy bar or soda more convenient than making a sandwich, but the negative effects of these choices can add up over time. For example, cholesterol testing is becoming more common for baby boomers, but other blood tests may be useful in detecting problems that researchers are only now identifying.

According to research from the University of Michigan (UM), lifelong habits of eating high-fat, sugary foods may lead to an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. United Press International (UPI) noted that, apart from triggering obesity, heart disease and other issues that a cholesterol test can pick up, joint and bone problems can also be linked to these kinds of lifestyle choices. The School of Kinesiology at UM partnered with the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute in order to uncover these results, looking at the dietary and lifestyle choices of a large number of osteoporosis sufferers.

UPI reported that the study found that fat and sugar can make calcium absorption harder for the body to carry out. On the one hand, these kinds of foods cause calcium to pass through someone's system and leave the body without ever making it to the bones. In other cases, fats and sugars line the intestinal tract with a viscous patina that blocks calcium from moving through the organ walls, a key site of nutrient transfer.

Isolating risk factors... Full Story

Scientists discover link between depression and arthritis
Date: 2013-01-07 20:37:52

Sometimes a medical problem can cause underlying issues that are totally independent of the current medications and illnesses a person is suffering from. In these cases, it may be that clinicians mistake these ailments as side effects of the initial disease, but that may not always be the case. Research has shown that, in some instances, there are legitimate biological scenarios causing secondary illnesses that wouldn't exist in individuals otherwise.

Making a better assessment... Full Story

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