Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis who practice yoga showed statistically significant improvements in disease activity. Humeira Badsha, from the Emirates Arthritis Foundation (United Arab Emirates) enrolled 47 subjects (26 yoga patients and 21 controls), and demonstrated that patients who completed 12 sessions of Raj yoga, a gentle style of yoga that combines exercise and breathing techniques, showed significant improvements in disease activity scores. Results of a separate study show the positive effects of yoga on the quality of life in patients with Fibromyalgia, a long-term condition which causes extreme pain all over the body. Results of one further study investigating the effects of yoga on the quality of life (QoL) of patients with fibromyalgia, demonstrated that QoL scores, after an eight session classical yoga program which combines gentle yoga postures, breathing techniques and meditation, were better than scores obtained before the program; as well, the anxiety levels of patients decreased significantly.
How smart is Popeye? Smarter than you think. Popeye attributes his amazing strength to eating spinach but he is also protecting himself against osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer and arthritis. The Journal of Nutrition recently published a report that spinach fights prostate cancer while The Nurses Health Study reveals women whose diets are high in kaempferol, a nutrient in spinach, have a 40 percent less risk of ovarian cancer.
Spinach, like other leafy green vegetables, provides more nutrients than most other foods. Vitamin C and Vitamin A, two nutrients in spinach, are important antioxidants that work to reduce free radicals in the body known to cause blocked arteries, heart attacks, or strokes. Spinach’s Vitamin K promotes bone health. add the iron and calcium and you have the mighty spinach. Make your spinach organic and you even increase the healthy nutrients of the mighty spinach. according to a study by Rutgers University comparing conventionally grown spinach with organic spinach, organic spinach has 97 percent more iron and 99 percent more manganese than conventionally grown spinach. Many of the essential trace elements that are absent in the conventionally grown spinach are rich in the organic. The United States—notably California and Texas—is one of the largest commercial grower of spinach. Help the economy and yourself, have organic spinach for dinner.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common forms of arthritis in children under the age of 16. It is also called juvenile rheumatoid idiopathic arthritis (JRA) and juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA). Juvenile idiopathic arthritis causes persistent pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of motion in the joints. Some children may experience symptoms for only a few months, while others have symptoms for the rest of their lives. JIA can produce serious complications in more severe cases such as growth problems and eye inflammation. Research has indicated JIA as an autoimmune disorder and that heredity and environment seem to play a role. Scientists suspect that it is a two-step process. First, something in a child’s genetic makeup gives him or her a tendency to develop JIA; then an environmental factor, such as a virus, triggers the development of the disease. Medicines and physical therapy can help maintain movement and reduce swelling and pain.
A gene is the basic physical and functional unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are made up of DNA and contains information to make proteins. The Human Genome Project has estimated that humans have between 20,000 and 25,000 genes. Every person has two copies of each gene, one inherited from each parent and this is how height, hair color, skin color, and eye color are determined. Also, mental abilities and natural talents are from genes as well as susceptibility to acquire certain diseases.
Previous studies have demonstrated that there is familial aggregation of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. A current trial sought to determine the relative risk for siblings and cousins of JIA sufferers. The computerized genealogical database that was used in the study matched 862 JIA cases with approximately seven million individuals in the Utah Population Database. Specialized software then reviewed the data to determine familial aggregation of disease. It was found that the relative risk of JIA in siblings was found to be 11.6%. The relative risk of JIA was also significantly elevated in first-cousins at approximately 5.8%. Overall, it was found that 13% of cases of JIA could be linked to familial factors. These results suggest that siblings and first-cousins of patients with JIA have an increased risk of developing JIA, and that risk appears to be influenced by shared genetic factors.1
1 Prahalad S, Zeft A, Pimentel R, et al. Quantification of the familial contribution to juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2010.
The study, which has an average follow-up of 9 years, provides strong evidence that smoking increases a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer. Previous evidence had not been crystal clear.
“The epidemiological evidence has not been consistent with regard to the role of smoking in breast cancer mortality,” study lead author Dejana Braithwaite, PhD, told Medscape Medical News. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Braithwaite presented the new study here at the Ninth Annual American Association for Cancer Research International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research.
The study also showed that current and former smokers had a 2-fold higher rate of dying from nonbreast-cancer causes than never smokers. In evaluating breast cancer mortality and all-cause mortality among the women, Dr. Braithwaite and colleagues factored in other clinical, sociodemographic, and lifestyle-related factors.
They found that the adverse effect of smoking on breast cancer survival was highest among those with HER2-negative tumors, a body mass index below 25 kg/m2, and a postmenopausal status.
“Bottom line, there is a need for continuing improvement in smoking cessation efforts at the clinical provider and community levels,” she said.
Smoking cessation is tough, even with the motivating factor of a breast cancer diagnosis, said another expert.
“I’m not sure whether patients are more likely to quit smoking with a breast cancer diagnosis,” said Quyen Chu, MD, director of surgical oncology at the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center in Shreveport, Louisiana. He did not attend the cancer prevention conference.
Even the potential for a failed reconstruction of the breast might not be sufficient motivation, Dr. Chu suggested.
“I’ve had patients who’ve undergone reconstruction and I advise them to stop smoking, otherwise the reconstructive flap will break down,” he said. “I can’t tell you the number of times that patients don’t adhere to this. They will come back with a failed reconstruction and the first thing that I ask them is whether they stopped smoking. The answer is almost always no.”
Best Study to Date
Previous studies on the subject of smoking and breast cancer mortality have been weakened, said Dr. Braithwaite, by the fact that they were small in size, retrospective, or did not differentiate by the type of breast cancer.
This study, which follows women from northern California and Utah, has the strengths of being a relatively large sample size, prospective, multiethnic, and having multiple prognostic factors measured, she said.
The 2265 women were all diagnosed with breast cancer between 1997 and 2000. About 80% of the women had early-stage breast cancer.
There were 164 deaths from breast cancer and 120 deaths from nonbreast-cancer causes during the median follow-up of 9 years, said Dr. Braithwaite.
As noted above, compared with never smokers, women who were current or past smokers had a 39% higher rate of dying from breast cancer (hazard ratio [HR],1.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05 - 1.84) and a 2-fold higher rate of dying from competing (nonbreast-cancer) causes (HR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.57 - 3.00).
Subgroup analyses revealed that the adverse effect of smoking on breast cancer survival was highest among women with HER2-negative tumors (HR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.12 - 2.32), a body mass index below 25 kg/m2 (HR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.10 - 3.04), and postmenopausal status (HR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.08 - 1.99).
Although it is now certain that smoking increases a woman’s risk for death from breast cancer, it is not clear what biologic mechanisms promote the pathology, said Dr. Braithwaite.
“Other studies [have found] that carcinogenic chemicals in cigarettes penetrate the breast tissue and have even been found in the breast milk,” she said.
She also said that cigarette smoke has been found to affect the metastatic potential of tumor cells and to stimulate angiogenesis.