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Anchor lead: Which type of diet is best for reducing cardiovascular risk? Elizabeth Tracey reports

How do certain foods impact blood sugar, known as glycemic index, and does that make a difference in reducing cardiovascular risk?  That was the question examined in a recent study by Lawrence Appel and colleagues at Johns Hopkins.

Appel: We were interested in the effects of high versus low carbohydrate, high glycemic versus low glycemic index diets on cardiovascular risk factors. Blood pressure, lipids, and also insulin resistance.  :14

Most people predicted that high glycemic foods would promote cardiovascular risk factors, Appel says.

Appel: What we found surprisingly was glycemic index really didn’t do too much. There was a small rise in blood sugar, there were no effects of glycemic index on blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and modest effects on triglycerides.  :15

Appel concludes that emphasis on foods of high or low glycemic index really isn’t the issue when it comes to risk factors for heart disease, so modifying other things like smoking or sedentary lifestyle is more likely to be helpful.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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This week’s topics include healthcare disparities in the US population, progesterone and traumatic brain injury, PD1 inhibitors and cancer, and a new type of blood thinner.

Program notes:

0:47 New cancer pathway
1:47 PD-1 ligand inactivates immune system
2:47 Cancer cells in the immune system
3:53 Potential utility of progesterone in traumatic brain injury
4:43 In animals and small number of patients looked beneficial
5:32 New pathway in clotting and a novel blood thinner
6:32 mRNA inhibitor
7:32 Does require injection
8:07 Healthcare disparities in US
9:07 African Americans had worse outcomes
10:26 End

Related blog: http://podblog.blogs.hopkinsmedicine.org/2014/12/12/a-new-cancer-strategy/

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Anchor lead: Tobacco use among youth is increasing according to federal data, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Smoking is a habit that has declined in popularity over the last couple of decades, largely due to public health efforts to bring awareness to just how harmful the habit is, and not just to the person who chooses to smoke.  Now e-cigarettes are threatening to undermine those gains, the national youth tobacco survey suggests.  Enid Neptune, a lung expert at Johns Hopkins, describes the implications.

Neptune: What’s concerning about this data is it suggests that the falls in tobacco use over the last 15 to 20 years are being offset by these newer tobacco products., and this increase in dual use among our children. And therefore our federal and state regulation and policy have to assume a protective stance, because it does seem that the youth are a very vulnerable population in terms of these newer products and also with conventional cigarettes.   :26

Neptune suggests that parents urge legislators to protect their children from becoming the next generation of big tobacco addicts.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead: More middle and high schoolers are using tobacco products, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Data from the national youth tobacco survey was released recently, and the results were sobering at best.  Enid Neptune, a lung expert at Johns Hopkins, describes the results for high school students.

Neptune: What they found among the high school kids is that 23% of them reported current or active use of tobacco products. And 13% reported use of two or more types of tobacco products.   :14

Neptune says middle schoolers, too, reported increased use of tobacco products, and in the long term, that’s not good news.

Neptune: Nine out of ten of chronic tobacco users or people who are smoking into their fifties or sixties started under the age of 18. And what that tells us is that every company that makes either conventional cigarettes or e-cigarettes or any of these other tobacco products has to target youth as part of their business plan.   :19

Neptune says steps must be taken to prevent tobacco companies from targeting youth with an eye toward addicting a new generation.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead: 3D printing holds promise for providing prosthetic hands worldwide, Elizabeth Tracey reports

3D printers are being used by Albert Chi, an orthopedic and trauma surgeon at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues to make hands for children who lack them.  Chi says the technology could also be of great benefit to many people worldwide.

Chi: I know right now we’ve really been concentrating on children with congenital limb loss .  There’s about one in 2500 children born with some type of partial hand deformity, and all those children could benefit. What we haven’t really talked about is those in developing countries, not only children but adults as well.  I think that the actual number it could be hundreds of thousands of people who could benefit from this technology.  Inexpensive, very useful prosthetic devices that could be available immediately.   :27

Chi says his group has made software available free of charge for anyone who would like to print a hand, and through a charity called Enabling the Future can help facilitate support of this work. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead:  Can 3D printing supply inexpensive prostheses? Elizabeth Tracey reports

3D printing is being utilized for applications ranging from car parts to body parts.  Such is the utility underway with the direction of Albert Chi, an orthopedic and trauma surgeon at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, for children lacking hands.  Chi says it’s very inexpensive.

Chi: I am embarrassed almost to tell you.  They can be as inexpensive as five to ten dollars.  It does take a while to put them together, to print the devices can take upwards of 10 to 12 hours, it’s a labor of love, there’s a lot of sanding involved, to assemble also takes several hours, as well for them to function really smoothly. But the costs that are involved with the raw materials are super inexpensive.   :22

Chi says for kids, who aren’t usually fitted with a permanent prosthetic until they’re fully grown because of price, 3D printing is a Godsend.

Chi: It is pretty amazing.  I have to tell you I’ve been in so much fine, cutting edge research, but there is something so moving about fitting these 3D printed prosthetic devices for the kids.   :10

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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This week’s topics include telomeres and the Mediterranean diet, as needed or continuous asthma medications, CDC circumcision guidelines, and safe sleeping for babies.

Program notes:

0:50 Telomeres and the Mediterranean diet
1:45 Correlation and aging?
2:45 Other diets didn’t do as well
3:06 Asthma meds and interval
4:05 For moderate disease taking regularly is slightly better
5:06 Circumcision recommendations from the CDC
6:07 Appears to lower risk of some infectious diseases
7:11 Sleep habits for infants
8:14 Anything in the child’s bed that could cause suffocation
9:12 Not safe underneath either
10:16 End

Related blog: http://podblog.blogs.hopkinsmedicine.org/2014/12/05/olive-oil-and-such/

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