HealthWise at 5 From 6.16 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/16/03

HealthWise at 5 From 6.16

  • Parkinson's Disease

A study of more than 600 people finds those with the highest level of iron in their diets were nearly twice as likely to develop Parkinson's, compared to those with the lowest levels. Some researchers believe the mineral may boost production of molecules that trigger the movement disorder. Before you drop iron from your diet, these same researchers note that the benefits of vitamins and foods rich in minerals outweigh the risk of developing Parkinson's disease. There are still numerous environmental, lifestyle and genetic factors still under study that may better determine who will develop Parkinson's disease. It is estimated that up to 1.5 million Americans have the movement disorder (National Parkinson's Foundation). Although 15% of the patients are diagnosed before age 50, Parkinson's is generally considered a disease which targets older adults.

  • Birth Hormone

New research finds an experimental hormone treatment can reduce the risk of pre term delivery in pregnant women at high risk of delivering early. The study included 460 expectant mothers who had all experienced a previous pre term delivery. Some of the women were given weekly injections of a specialized version of the hormone Progesterone, the others received a placebo. In the end, 54% in the placebo group delivered early compared to 36% in the Progesterone group.
So there was apparently some benefit, but researchers aren't exactly sure how Progesterone may have helped. The rate of pre term delivery has risen steadily, jumping from 9% to 11% over 20 years, that's an increase of about 800,000 births per year. No other interventions tested to prolong pregnancy have shown strong promise. They stress the need for more study both with more readily available forms of Progesterone and in other high risk groups, particularly women carrying multiple babies. Studies have shown naturally occurring progesterone helps prepare the lining of the uterus for implantation of a fertilized egg and later in pregnancy helps protect the uterus from contracting before the onset of labor.
Other studies in animals have linked a drop in Progesterone levels to the onset of labor, but studies in humans have found no evidence linking a change in Progesterone levels to the beginning of labor. The specialized version of Progesterone used in this study was a specially prepared blend of synthetic and natural Progesterone. It was made just for this study. This study was headed by scientists at Wake Forest University.

  • Work Injuries

Workplace injuries lay up one and a half million people a year. About 15% of those injuries come from falls, trips, and slips. So the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is encouraging workers and employers to look for those hazards common to the workplace. Everything from floors that get greasy or wet to areas that need better lighting. Make sure you're wearing shoes that are slip resistant. Safe shoes should have a raised tread and a flexible sole for the best way to stop from slipping.

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