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					                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ARAB TIMES, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2011
HEALTH                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          35


               Health


  Steroids help very young babies survive

Post-natal depression
tied to partners’ abuse
HONG KONG, Dec 7, (Agencies): Forty percent of women who suffer depression
after childbirth are abused either physically or emotionally by their partners,
researchers in Australia said on Wednesday, calling on health workers to be more
alert to such cases.
   “That is a very important message to get out to health professionals,” said
Hannah Woolhouse at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Victoria,
Australia.
   “If they are working with women with post-natal depression, they should con-
sider the possibility that partner violence may be contributing to that.”
   Possible solutions included offering treatment to the abusive partner, counseling
for such couples, or even shelter for abused women, she said in a telephone inter-
view.
   In their study of 1,305 first-time mothers, Woolhouse and colleagues found that
210, or 16 percent, reported depression
in the 12 months following delivery.             Easy access mulled
   “ Around 40 percent of women
reporting depressive symptoms also
reported intimate partner violence,”
the researchers wrote in the paper pub-
                                               US favors more
lished in BJOG: An International
Journal       of      Obstetrics     and       risk info on pills
Gynaecology.                                    WASHINGTON,             Dec       7,
   After taking into account other pos-         (Agencies): US government
sible reasons such as age and unem-             health regulators are leaning
ployment, the risk of experiencing              toward adding new informa-
post-natal depression was three times           tion about the risk of blood
higher for women who suffered emo-              clots to the labels of widely
tional abuse compared with women                prescribed birth control pills
who did not suffer any abuse, they              such as Yaz, in light of grow-
said.                                           ing evidence suggesting the
                                                newer contraceptive drugs                A lead instructor Sarah Cullen Fuller shows patients how to make a move with fingers during a dance class therapy for Parkinson’s at the Hubbard Street Dance
   The risk was four times higher for           may be riskier than older
those who experienced physical abuse.                                                                                                                Center on Nov 5, 2011 in Chicago. (AP)
                                                drugs.
   “Emotional abuse is a lot more                  In documents released                                                                                                       See Page 36
common than physical abuse ... and it           Tuesday, the Food and Drug
is just as damaging,” said Woolhouse.           Administration said there is                                                                                         Experts find breast cancer recurrence risk
   The study also found that most               conflicting evidence about
women first reported depression more            the risk from several studies,
than six months after delivery.
   “In Australia and the UK, screening
for depression takes place in the first
few months after delivery so they are
                                                but the information should
                                                appear in labeling used by
                                                doctors and patients.
                                                   “We believe that, because
                                                of the consistency in recent
                                                                                                                                         Study faults partial radiation
likely to miss maybe over half of the                                                                                                    SAN ANTONIO, Dec 7, (AP): New                 the total radiation dose is comparable          Lawrence Solin of Albert Einstein
cases of depression,” Woolhouse said.           reports for an increased risk,
                                                product      labeling       should                                                       research casts doubt on a popular treat-      to the longer method. But a smaller             Medical Center in Philadelphia.
“We would be recommending that
professionals regularly enquire about           reflect that very real possibili-                                                        ment for breast cancer: A week of radi-       area — just around the lump — gets                He led a study with other researchers
                                                ty,” state the briefing docu-                                                            ation to part of the breast instead of        treated instead of the whole breast.            and the test’s maker, Genomic Health
women’s mental and emotional well-              ments from FDA scientists.
being.”                                                                                                                                  longer treatment to all of it.                   Although at least three companies            Inc. of California.
                                                   On Thursday, the FDA will                                                                Women who were given partial radi-         sell equipment for brachytherapy, no              The company already sells a test to
               ❑ ❑ ❑                            ask outside experts to weigh                                                             ation were twice as likely to need their      big studies have tested its safety and          gauge which women with invasive
Steroids: Babies born as early as 23            in on the issue and whether
                                                some women should not take                                                               breasts removed later because the can-        effectiveness.                                  cancers most need chemotherapy ver-
weeks showed better survival rates              the drugs.                                                                               cer came back, doctors found.                    Researchers looked at Medicare               sus hormone-blocking medicines
and less brain damage if their mothers             Yaz and several other pills                                                              The treatment uses radioactive pel-        records on 130,535 women who had                alone. The DCIS test uses some of the
were given steroids in the days preced-         contain a manmade hormone                                                                lets briefly placed in the breast instead     lumps removed and radiation. Less               same genes.
ing their birth, a US study said                called drospirenone which                                                                of radiation beamed from a machine.           than 1 percent chose brachytherapy in
Tuesday.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Risk
                                                was heavily marketed as car-                                                             At least 13 percent of older patients in      2000 but that rose to 13 percent by
   The research in the Dece 7 issue of          rying fewer side effects than                                                            the US get this now, and it is popular        2007.                                              Doctors checked its predictive value
the Journal of the American Medical             earlier drugs.                                                                           with working women.                              After accounting for differences in          using 327 stored tumor samples. Test
Association suggests that preterm                  But over the last two years                                                              “Even women who aren’t working             age, tumor size and other factors,              scores separated women into low, high
babies may benefit sooner than                  several large, independent               A man dressed as Santa Claus visits                                                                                                           and medium risk groups that reflected
thought from the boost in lung power            studies have suggested the                                                               appreciate convenience,” but they may         researchers found that within five
                                                                                         the Southern College of Optometry                                                                                                             how they fared 10 years later. About 75
and organ growth they get from expo-            rate of blood clots with drugs           where he received an eye examina-               pay a price in effectiveness if too little    years, 4 percent of brachytherapy
                                                                                                                                         tissue is being treated, said study leader    patients needed surgery to remove the           percent fell into a low-risk category
sure to steroids.                               with the hormone is slightly             tion in Memphis, Tennessee, Dec 6.
                                                higher than with other drugs.                                                            Dr Benjamin Smith of MD Anderson              breast where the original tumor had             that could be spared treatment beyond
   Until now, little was known about                                                     After his exam he visited with children                                                                                                       surgery.
the efficacy of giving a pregnant               The most recent analysis by              who were also there to get their eyes           Cancer Center in Houston.                     been versus only 2 percent of those
                                                the FDA looked at the med-               examined. The college was hoping to                Results were to be reported                given        traditional       radiation.          “If it’s right it would have significant
woman steroids for a fetus less than 24                                                                                                                                                                                                value for patients,” but this needs to be
                                                ical records of 800,000 US               instill the importance of good eye care         Wednesday at a conference in Texas            Hospitalization, infections, broken ribs
weeks old, and some were worried it             women and found that the                                                                                                                                                               validated in a bigger study before the
could raise the risk of infection in the                                                 in their young patients. Dr Daniel              along with a more positive develop-           and breast pain also were more com-
                                                risk of a blood clot with                         Taylor did his exam. (AP)                                                                                                            test is widely used, said Robert Clarke,
mother.                                         drospirenone-containing pills                                                            ment: a new test that may help show           mon with brachytherapy.
   Current guidelines, published in                                                                                                      which women need only surgery for a                                                           dean for research at Georgetown
                                                was higher than other hor-                                                                                                                          Brachytherapy                      University Medical Center. “It tells
1995, recommend a two-shot regimen              mone-based contraceptives.                                                               very early type of breast cancer called
for mothers who go into preterm labor           The overall rate of events                                                               DCIS. The results suggest that about             It remains experimental, and women           you how well it sorts out a population,
when the fetus is between 24 and 34             was very low however, with                                                               three-fourths of the 45,000 women             who want it should join a more rigor-           but it doesn’t tell you how good it is at
weeks of age. A normal full-term preg-          an estimated 10 in 10,000                                                                diagnosed with DCIS annually in the           ous study of it going on now, said Dr           putting an individual woman in the
nancy is between 37 and 42 weeks.               women on the newer drugs                                                                 US could skip the radiation and hor-          Peter Ravdin, breast cancer chief at the        right group.”
   However, even though premature               experiencing a blood clot,                                                               mone-blocking pills usually recom-            UT Health Science Center in San                    Dr Joseph Sparano of Montefiore
babies exposed to steroids were twice           compared with 6 in 10,000                                                                mended to prevent a recurrence.               Antonio.                                        Einstein Center for Cancer Care in
as likely to survive as those who were          women on older contracep-                                                                                                                 “I’m putting patients on the trial”          New York, who helped conduct the
not, the researchers cautioned that             tives per year.                                                                                           Surgery                      and not recommending it otherwise, he           study, disagreed.
overall survival still remained relative-                     Also:                                                                         About 230,000 cases of breast can-         said.                                              “Doctors are making decisions
ly low, at 36 percent.                          WASHINGTON: US regulators                                                                cer are diagnosed each year in the US,           Brachytherapy costs about twice as           already without this information” and
   To determine if steroids could help          are considering whether to                    Lansley                  Ruigrok           most in an early stage. Typical treat-        much as standard radiation, estimated           the test gives a valuable new clue, he
the youngest babies survive after               grant a drug company’s                                                                   ment is surgery to remove the lump,           at $10,000 to $20,000.                          said.
being born on the edge of viability,            request to make emergency                                                                followed by radiation every weekday              Other research involves a test that             But an expensive one. The company
doctor Waldemar Carlo of the
University of Alabama at Birmingham
                                                contraception available over
                                                the counter to people of all
                                                                                                   Health                                for five to seven weeks. That’s tough,        measures the activity of genes that help        will charge the same for the DCIS test
                                                                                                                                         especially for older women and those          predict recurrence risks for women              as its current one for invasive breast
and colleagues looked back at records           ages instead of by prescrip-                                                             in rural areas.                               with DCIS, or ductal carcinoma in situ          cancer — $4,175, which Medicare and
between 1993 and 2009 at 23 academ-             tion.
                                                   Currently, the morning-               UK to consult plain packaging:                     Doctors hoped that a shorter               — cancer that is confined to a milk             most insurers cover, said chief medical
ic perinatal centers in the United                                                       Britain is to begin a wide-ranging consulta-    approach, called brachytherapy, would         duct. It’s usually found from mammo-            officer Dr Steven Shak.
States.                                         after pill — which can reduce
                                                the chance of pregnancy if               tion on plain packaging of tobacco prod-        be just as good with fewer side effects.      grams before it causes symptoms.                   The company plans to start selling it
   Data included babies born between                                                     ucts by the end of the year, informed by
401 grams (14.1 ounces) and 1,000               taken within 72 hours of                                                                 To do it, they temporarily place a thin          Surgery cures most cases, but about          by the end of the year under federal lab
                                                unprotected sex — is avail-              the legal challenges Australia has faced as     tube into the cavity where the tumor          20 percent will recur within 10 years,          rules that just require proof that the test
grams (35.3 ounces) at 22 to 25                 able by prescription only to             the first nation to pass such legislation.
weeks’ gestation.                                                                                                                        was.                                          so doctors usually recommend five to            reliably measures genes — not that
                                                people under 17 in the United               Australia’s parliament approved laws
   Among babies born at 23 weeks                                                         last month to introduce plain packaging            “You come in twice a day and               seven weeks of radiation or years of            this has value for patients.
                                                States.                                                                                  there’s a machine that puts in a radia-       hormone-blocking drugs.                            The cancer conference is sponsored
who were exposed to steroids, 83 per-              Those over 17 can ask for             from December 2012 to reduce the attrac-
centeither died or had brain develop-           it at a pharmacy counter with-           tion of smoking, but three tobacco giants       tion seed that stays there a few minutes         “Although it works, it’s a lot of treat-     by the American Association for
ment problems by age 18-22 months.              out a doctor’s prescription.             have launched lawsuits saying the laws          and then you go home,” Smith                  ment and we treat the many to benefit           Cancer Research, Baylor College of
Ninety percent of those who weren’t                Teva        Pharmaceuticals           infringe trademark rights.                      explained.                                    the few,” because there’s no good way           Medicine and the UT Health Science
given steroids either died or showed            asked the Food and Drug                     Under the legislation, cigarette, pipe          Treatment takes only five days and         to tell who can safely skip it, said Dr         Center.
brain damage.                                   Administration to change its             tobacco and cigars will have to be sold in
   The same advantages were not seen            rules to allow its product,              branding-free olive green packs displaying
                                                                                         the product name in a plain typeface along      with the High Court.                          launched a legal challenge against              lectual property rights.
at a statistically significant level in         Plan B One-Step, to be easi-                                                                BAT is arguing the legislation is uncon-   Australia’s plain packaging for cigarettes,        Centred on its Peter Stuyvesant brand,
                                                ly accessible to all ages, and           with graphic health warnings.
babies aged 22 weeks who were                                                            Governments in Europe, Canada and New           stitutional and invalid because the           officials said Wednesday, becoming the          Imperial’s case will seek a High Court rul-
exposed to steroids.                            industry watchers expect a                                                               Government is attempting to acquire valu-     third company to contest the plan.              ing to protect all of its tobacco products,
                                                decision on Wednesday.                   Zealand will be watching closely.
   The improvements were more pro-                                                          In March, British Health Secretary           able intellectual property used to identify      “Imperial Tobacco has filed a challenge      which it says are worth “billions of dol-
nounced in babies aged 24 weeks, 68                “We believe that this defies                                                          tobacco brands without compensation.                                                          lars”.
                                                good public health sense,”               Andrew Lansley announced plans to start                                                       which has some similarities to the British
percent of whom died or had brain               said spokeswoman Jeanne                  considering a move towards plain packag-           No date for the hearing of the case has    American Tobacco (BAT) challenge,” a               “The High Court of Australia will now
damage after getting steroids com-                                                       ing under a new tobacco control plan, but       been set.                                     spokeswoman for Australia’s High Court          determine claims which include the validi-
                                                Monahan of the Family                                                                       Company spokesperson Scott McIntyre                                                        ty of these unprecedented laws,” Imperial
pared to 80.3 percent who did not.              Research Council, a conser-              he gave no timescale.                                                                         told AFP.
   Concerns about potential infection                                                       “The tobacco control plan confirms a         says BAT is a legal company selling a            Imperial said its challenge, filed           Tobacco Australia (ITA) manager Melvin
                                                vative advocacy group, citing                                                            legal product. (RTRS)                                                                         Ruigrok said in a statement.
in pregnant mothers, whose immune               STDs and sexual abuse as                 commitment to consult by the end of this                                                      Tuesday, would claim that laws passed last
systems would dip after being given             possible risks that may be               year on options to reduce the promotional                       ❑     ❑     ❑                 month mandating plain packets for tobacco          “Unchallenged, the Australian govern-
the steroids, were unfounded, he said.                                                   impact of tobacco packaging, including an       Imperial joins packaging fight:               products from December 2012 breached            ment would otherwise be able to simply
                                                ignored if youths can get the                                                                                                                                                          take the intellectual property of legal enti-
   “The results of the study showed             morning-after pill without con-          option to require plain packaging,” said a      Global giant Imperial Tobacco has             Australia’s constitution by infringing intel-
                                                                                         Department of Health spokeswoman on                                                                                                           ties.”
that mortality was decreased by more            sulting a doctor.                                                                                                                                                                         BAT has filed a similar constitutional
than 33 percent and neurodevelop-                                                        Tuesday.
                                                                                            She added that the department was look-                                                                                                    challenge but it was not clear whether they
mental impairment was decreased by                                                                                                                                                                                                     would be heard together, the High Court
                                                                                         ing for expert legal advice on all aspects of
more than 20 percent,” Carlo said.           can differentiate between credible and      a possible move, including the intellectual                                                                                                   spokeswoman said.
   “We also found that using the ante-       un-credible sources, the study said.        property right implications before it pub-                                                                                                       Philip Morris is also suing Canberra
natal corticosteroids did not increase          “Like older children, infants keep       lishes a consultation document that would                                                                                                     over the plan, which will see cigarettes in
the infection rate for the mothers.”         track of an individual’s history of being   look at the costs as well as the additional                                                                                                   drab packets with large, graphic health
   Carlo and colleagues urged further        accurate or inaccurate and use this         public health benefits of policy options.                                                                                                     warnings showing diseased body parts and
research and said doctors should con-        information to guide their subsequent          “Only after this work, and gathering                                                                                                       sick babies, while brand imagery and pro-
sider giving preterm mothers steroids        learning,” said researcher Diane            views and evidence from public consulta-                                                                                                      motional text will be banned.
starting at “23 weeks’ gestation and         Poulin-Dubois, a professor in               tion, will we be in a position to know                                                                                                           Ruigrok said Australians were fully
later if the infant will be given inten-     Concordia’s department of psychology.       whether it will be possible to proceed and                                                                                                    aware of smoking’s health risks and
sive care because this therapy is asso-         “Specifically, infants choose not to     if so, how,” the spokeswoman said.                                                                                                            described the packets as “anything but
ciated with reduced mortality and            learn from someone who they perceive           Earlier, Imperial Tobacco become the                                                                                                       plain”, with official messages to cover at
                                             as unreliable.”                             third tobacco group to challenge                                                                                                              least 75 percent of packet fronts and 90
morbidity.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                            percent of the back.
                                                                                         Australia’s new laws in its High Court fol-
               ❑ ❑ ❑                            To demonstrate this, experimenters
                                                                                         lowing similar moves by Philip Morris                                                                                                            “ITA supports tobacco regulation that is
                                             looked inside a container while                                                                                                                                                           reasonable, proportionate and evidence-
Babies: You can fool them once, but          expressing excitement and invited           International and British American
babies will not be fooled again if                                                       Tobacco.                                                                                                                                      based,” he said, warning of billions of dol-
                                             infants aged 13 to 16 months to discov-        Britain is already introducing laws                                                                                                        lars in compensation and legal costs.
adults trick them, according to a new        er whether the box actually contained a                                                                                                                                                      “Unfortunately, the Australian govern-
Canadian study.                                                                          whereby tobacco products should be hid-
                                             toy or was empty.                           den from view in England, Wales and                                                                                                           ment’s plain packaging legislation is none
   Infants normally mimic sounds,               Then, the same experimenters used                                                                                                                                                      of these things.”
facial expressions and actions they                                                      Northern Ireland from 2012 in large retail-
                                             their forehead instead of their hands to    ers and from 2015 in small retailers in a                                                                                                        Canberra says that tobacco use costs the
observe but researchers at Concordia         turn on a push-on light, hoping the         domestic market largely dominated by                                                                                                          country more than A$30 billion ($30.8 bil-
University in Montreal found that if an      infant would follow suit.                   Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco.                                                                                                           lion) a year in healthcare and lost produc-
adult tricks them, they will no longer          Only 34 percent of infants paired           British American Tobacco has launched        Chinese girls wear face masks to protect against pollution on the streets of                  tivity and has vowed not to be deterred by
follow along with that person.               with unreliable testers followed the        its promised constitutional challenge in the    Beijing on Dec 7. Millions of Chinese have gone online to vent their anger over               the tobacco companies’ legal campaigns.
   The findings published in the jour-       task while 61 percent of infants whose      High Court against the Federal                  the thick smog that has blanketed Beijing in recent days, raising health fears                   Australia would be the first country to
nal Infant Behavior and Development          testers were reliable imitated the          Government’s plain packaging laws for           and causing hundreds of flights to be cancelled. Sales of face masks were                     mandate plain packaging, although New
bolster previous evidence that infants       behavior.                                   cigarettes.                                     reported to have surged as residents of China’s heavily polluted capital sought               Zealand, Canada and Britain have consid-
                                                                                            On the same day the legislation received     to protect themselves from the air, which US embassy figures ranked as ‘very                  ered a similar approach and are watching
                                                                                         royal assent, paperwork was submitted                                          unhealthy.’ (AFP)                                              developments. (AFP)

				
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