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NIH study shows air pollution increases pregnancy risks

  • Published in Health

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A new study released by the National Institutes of Health reveals that effects from air pollution could increase the risk of early pregnancy loss.

"We've studied air pollution and reproductive health for several years, it's an area of research for myself and my team," said Pauline Mendola, Ph.D., the lead author of the study and a researcher at NIH's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Mendola explained that after she and her colleagues published a paper earlier this year that revealed that exposure to ground-level ozone was associated with stillbirth, they were curious to see whether the same pollutants could be correlated with miscarriage as well. The study concluded that couples exposed to air pollution were more likely to experience a loss in early-stage pregnancies.

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NIH study shows HIV prevention drug safe for teen males

  • Published in Health

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have concluded that an HIV prevention drug commonly used by adults appears to be safe for adolescent males aged 15 to 17.

The study examined the safety and effectiveness of Truvada, a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis drug designed to preventively reduce the risk of an HIV infection.

"This is the first study on the safety and implementation of PrEP among adolescent men who have sex with men," said Dr. Bill Kapogiannis, one of the authors of the study and a researcher at NIH's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. "It demonstrates that adolescents who are at risk for HIV and are thus likely to benefit from PrEP can be successful at participating in biomedical HIV prevention research," he added.

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NIH finds health risks can lead to early dementia

  • Published in News

NIH LogoA new NIH-funded study indicates that midlife vascular health risks may increase chances of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

"We know how to treat vascular disease and we know how to prevent vascular disease but we don't know how to treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease, so it's particularly important to evaluate the side of the equation we do know in terms of treatment," said Dr. Rebecca Gottesman, a neurologist at Johns Hopkins University and lead researcher of the study.

Gottesman and her research team examined 15,744 individuals, aged 45 to 64, and found that 1,556 participants suffered from dementia or experienced significant cognitive impairments.

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NIH study reveals social interaction helps patients during chemotherapy

  • Published in News

A study conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health suggests positive social interaction may help chemotherapy patients survive longer.

“People model behavior based on what’s around them,” said Jeff Lienert, the lead author of the study. “For example, you will often eat more when you’re dining with friends, even if you can’t see what they’re eating. When you’re bicycling, you will often perform better when you’re cycling with others, regardless of their performance.”

Lienert, who is currently a doctoral student at the University of Oxford and a fellow at NIH, explained the results showed that chemotherapy patients were likely to live five years longer following the end of their regimens if they interacted with other patients who also survived five years.

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Drinking diet soda no safer than regular soda during pregnancy

  • Published in News

Tumbler of cola with iceConsuming diet soda during pregnancy can increase a child's risk of obesity, according to a study from the National Institutes of Health.

"Our findings suggest that artificially-sweetened beverages during pregnancy are not likely to be any better at reducing the risk for later childhood obesity than sugar-sweetened beverages," said Chilin Zhang, an epidemiologist at NIH's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

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One day at a time . . .

  • Published in Local

Family and community come together to help a local girl battling a dangerous neurological condition

ElouiseMichele Sloan, Elouise Sloan, and Britt Sloan. COURTESY PHOTO  Elouise Sloan, 12, sits in her wheelchair at a table at the Manor Country Club, smiling. People come up to her to banter, compliment her on her pink dress, or talk to her about her favorite artist, Bruno Mars.

She is happy and surrounded by family and neighbors.

Those family and neighbors are the ones who organized a golf and silent auction fundraising event to help fund research for the foundation her parents created: The Foundation to Fight H-ABC. In starting it, her parents hoped to find a cure for her progressive neurological condition H-ABC, hypomyelination with atrophy of basal ganglia and cerebellum.

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Study strengthens link between diet and heart disease

  • Published in Local

BETHESDA – The National Institutes of Heath, Center for Disease Control and Prevention and researchers at Tufts University have finally identified the number of Americans who die from heart illnesses linked to what they eat.

The joint study attributed about half of all deaths in the United States to heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes.

Of all the 702,308 adult deaths attributed to heart disease, 45 percent were linked to diet.

“This study established the number of deaths among Americans that could be attributed to an unhealthy diet,” said Dr. David Goff, director of Cardiovascular Sciences at NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

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NIH studies cancer in African Americans

  • Published in News

BETHESDA – The National Institutes of Health has launched a study to examine incidence rates among African-American cancer survivors.

“What we saw was that African-Americans were experiencing higher cancer incidents than any other racial/ethnic group,” said Dr. Joanne Elena, a program director overseeing the study at NIH’s National Cancer Institute.

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County expands care for dementia patients

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – Montgomery County has launched its Dementia Friendly Initiative in an effort to make the county more accommodating to those with cognitive impairments.

“We felt that this was a best practice that underscored much of what we were already doing,” said John Kenney, chief of Montgomery County’s Aging and Disability Services.

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NIH pushes forward on nutritional taskforce

  • Published in News

BETHESDA – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) formed a task force last week to outline the agenda for nutrition research.

The Nutrition Research Task Force (NRTF) comes from the NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) as a means of developing a multidisciplinary integrated approach to nutritional research.

“We started to look for ways to integrate and coordinate nutritional research across the field,” said Dr. Christopher Lynch, director of NIDDK’s Office of Nutritional Research who also serves as the spokesperson for the task force.

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