ARAB TIMES, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2011
Steroids help very young babies survive
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,
“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-
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)
“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
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)