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Drinking alcohol provides no heart health benefit, new study shows

Drinking alcohol provides no heart health benefit, new study shows

Reducing the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, may improve cardiovascular health, including a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure, according to a new multi-center study published in The BMJ and co-led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The latest findings call into question previous studies which suggest that consuming light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol (0.6-0.8 fluid ounces/day) may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health Continue reading

Major gaps in hepatitis C care identified as new drugs, screening efforts emerge

Major gaps in hepatitis C care identified as new drugs, screening efforts emerge

A new meta-analysis published online in PLOS ONE by infectious disease and epidemiology specialists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania highlights significant gaps in hepatitis C care that will prove useful as the U.S. health care system continues to see an influx of patients with the disease because of improved screening efforts and new, promising drugs. In the largest study of its kind, the team examined data culled from 10 studies between 2003 and 2013 and found that less than 10 percent of people infected with hepatitis C in the United States — 330,000 of nearly 3.5 million people — were cured (achieved viral suppression) with antiviral hepatitis C treatment Continue reading

Diabetes susceptibility gene regulates health of cell’s powerhouse, study finds

Diabetes susceptibility gene regulates health of cell’s powerhouse, study finds

A team led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that a susceptibility gene for type 1 diabetes regulates self-destruction of the cell’s energy factory. Continue reading

Nearly four percent of U.S. babies born before full-term without medical reason

Nearly four percent of U.S. babies born before full-term without medical reason

New University of Minnesota research out this week is the first of its kind to show who is having early elective deliveries between 37 and 39 weeks gestation, and whether these deliveries happen following labor induction or cesarean. Labor induction or cesarean delivery without medical reason before a baby is considered full-term at 39 weeks, or an “early elective delivery,” is associated with health problems for mothers and babies. The study, led by University of Minnesota School of Public Health Assistant Professor Katy Kozhimannil, Ph.D., M.P.A., in collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia researchers Michelle Macheras, M.A., and Scott A Continue reading

Placental marker of prenatal stress linked to brain mitochondrial dysfunction

Placental marker of prenatal stress linked to brain mitochondrial dysfunction

When a woman experiences a stressful event early in pregnancy, the risk of her child developing autism spectrum disorders or schizophrenia increases. Continue reading

Health policy researchers lack confidence in social media for communicating scientific evidence

Health policy researchers lack confidence in social media for communicating scientific evidence

Though Twitter boats 645 million users across the world, only 14 percent of health policy researchers reported using Twitter — and approximately 20 percent used blogs and Facebook — to communicate their research findings over the past year, according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In contrast, sixty-five percent used traditional media channels, such as press releases or media interviews Continue reading

Rules to cut carbon emissions also reduce air pollution harmful to people, environment

Rules to cut carbon emissions also reduce air pollution harmful to people, environment

Setting strong standards for climate-changing carbon emissions from power plants would provide an added bonus — reductions in other air pollutants that can make people sick; damage forests, crops, and lakes; and harm fish and wildlife. Continue reading

Promising new target for gum disease treatment identified

Promising new target for gum disease treatment identified

Nearly half of all adults in the United States suffer from the gum disease periodontitis, and 8.5 percent have a severe form that can raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and pregnancy complications. University of Pennsylvania researchers have been searching for ways to prevent, half and reverse periodontitis. In a report published in the Journal of Immunology , they describe a promising new target: a component of the immune system called complement Continue reading

Role of calcium in familial Alzheimer’s disease clarified, pointing to new therapeutics

Role of calcium in familial Alzheimer’s disease clarified, pointing to new therapeutics

In 2008 researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania showed that mutations in two proteins associated with familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD) disrupt the flow of calcium ions within neurons. Continue reading

Stimulant drug may help women cope with post-menopausal memory lapses

Stimulant drug may help women cope with post-menopausal memory lapses

Menopausal women have long reported experiencing hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats and memory lapses, too. A new study from researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania shows preliminary evidence that the psychostimulant drug lisdexamfetamine (LDX) can aid post-menopausal women by improving attention and concentration, organization, working memory and recall. Continue reading