HealthWise at 5 for 7.17 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/17/08

HealthWise at 5 for 7.17

  • Elevated HIV Risk Tied to Specific Gene

Researchers have identified a gene that appears to increase the risk for HIV among a certain population, but once infected, the mutation improves the odds of survival.  Researchers with the South Texas Veterans Health Care System studied a group 1200 HIV positive adults who were followed for over 20 years.

They found that those with a specific gene variation only present in African Americans had their risk of the disease increased by 40%.  This same variant, however, seemed to slow the progression of the disease, extending the lives of patients by about two years.

The researchers say if these new findings were applied to Africa, where 90% of people have this variant, it may be the cause of over 10% of HIV cases.

Researchers believe that the variant was originally developed to protect against a severe strain of malaria.  They hope to use this information in future studies of HIV genes, and HIV vaccine trials.  The protein that is involved in the gene variation is called DARC.

  • Beware of Dehydration This Summer

Remember when you are outside this summer that working or exercising can put you at risk for dehydration, which can become very serious.  The warning signs of dehydration include thirst, fatigue, and dark colored urine.  You can become dehydrated in as little as 30 minutes.

Experts recommend increasing your fluid intake about two hours before exercising, drinking small amounts every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise, then drink again when you come inside to restore any lost body weight. 

  • MA Doctor Operates on Wrong Knee

Officials at Heywood Medical Center in Gardner, Massachusetts, say a surgeon performed arthroscopic surgery on the wrong knee of a patient.  The hospital acknowledged responsibility for the error and neither the patient nor the surgeon are being identified. 

The patient is not expected to have any long-term problems because of the mistake, only that he will need another surgery- to fix the correct knee.

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