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Cyberbullying leads to youth depression

  • Published in Health

nihlogoA new study from the National Institutes of Health shows that cyberbullying, dissatisfaction in family relationships, and unmet medical needs contribute to higher rates of depressive symptoms among LGBT youth across the United States.

“The study shows that adolescence is a critical window for interventions to address depressive symptoms experienced by sexual minority youth,” said Jeremy Luk, Ph.D., first author of the study and postdoctoral researcher at NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. “Without appropriate screening and intervention, these disparities may likely persist into young adulthood.”

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County has lowest rates of most common cancers

  • Published in Local

Dr. Chunfu Liu, Dr. Brandi Page, and Dr. Clifford Mitchell participated in a panel on cancer rates in Montgomery County. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKDr. Chunfu Liu, Dr. Brandi Page, and Dr. Clifford Mitchell participated in a panel on cancer rates in Montgomery County. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  Incidences of the five most common forms of cancer are lower in Montgomery County than they are in the rest of the state and throughout the United States.

According to Dr. Chunfu Liu, chief epidemiologist for the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, “Montgomery County rates are consistently lower” in cancers of the lung, colon and rectum, breast, prostate and skin, he said, adding, “Cancer is the leading cause of mortality in Montgomery County,” accounting for 24 percent of deaths.

There are more than 100 types of cancers, he told those attending a March 28 public conversation on cancer in the community at the Silver Spring Civic Building, but he only focused on cancers with the highest mortality rates.

Liu did not state a reason for the County’s lower rates, explaining that there are too many risk factors to be able to come up with a specific reason. Smoking, obesity, excessive drinking, an unhealthy diet and a lack of activity increase a person’s chances of receiving a diagnosis of cancer, said Liu.

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First flu death in state

  • Published in Local

swine fluA Maryland child became the 54th pediatric fatality of the 2018 flu season as the number of flu-related hospitalizations in both the state and county continue to increase significantly, the Maryland Department of Health announced Tuesday.

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene statistics show this year’s flu season – which typically runs from October to March – has seen 6.8 percent of visits to “sentinel providers” come from influenza-like illnesses, which is well above the 2 percent average usually seen during the week of Jan. 24 in a typical year.

“This year we know there has been a higher-than-average h3n2 cases which is a more severe strain of the influenza virus,” said Dr. Travis Gayles, the County’s Health Officer and Chief of Public Health.

Gayles said children and the elderly have been hit hardest by the more severe h3n2 strain of the influenza virus. County health officials’ response to this year’s more hard-hitting strains has included working with hospitals to monitor local cases and renewing a public relations campaign to remind people of the importance of hand washing and encourage them to be mindful of symptoms.

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Pending hospital closure causes concern for residents of Takoma Park

  • Published in Local

TAKOMA PARK — City officials were caught off guard after Washington Adventist Hospital officials relayed their intention on Tuesday, to potentially close critical medical facilities in the city. 

“The City Council is stunned and dismayed to hear of this decision,” said Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart. “Losing the behavioral health facility is a great concern because of its use for the police.” 

The hospital’s vice president Robert Jepson informed Stewart they intend to seek permission from the state to close the psychiatric, inpatient behavioral health, and inpatient rehabilitation units once the hospital moves to a newly-planned 48-acre site in White Oak, city manager Suzanne Ludlow said.

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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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