Why babies born during Beijing Olympics were heavier - less air pollution
Exercise boosts tolerance to chemotherapy
Women with breast cancer who follow a physical exercise programme during chemotherapy experience fewer side effects like fatigue, reduced physical fitness, nausea and pain, a new study by the Netherlands Cancer Institute has found. Reporting in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the researchers say that while moderate intensity strength and aerobic exercise was found to be best, even small amounts of low intensity exercise are beneficial compared with being sedentary. Of the 230 in the study, the women assigned to a moderate intensity exercise programme endured their chemotherapy best: only 12 per cent of them required a dose adjustment, compared with 34 per cent in the non-active control group.
Beijing Olympics study links pollution to lower birth weight
Exposure to high levels of pollution can have a significant impact on fetal growth and development, concludes a study based on the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when pollution levels were reduced by the Chinese government. The study, published last week in Environmental Health Perspectives, found that women whose eighth month of pregnancy occurred during the games gave birth to babies that were on average 23 grams heavier than babies born to women at the same time of the year, but in 2007 and 2009. The researchers used data from 83,672 full-term births from mothers in four urban districts in Beijing.
Traumatic events and financial woes threaten heart health
Traumatic life events such as the death of a loved one can raise your chances of a heart attack, finds new research presented at an American Heart Association meeting last week. Among the 26,763 women in the study (average age 56 years), those who had experienced traumatic events had a more than 65 per cent increased chance of a heart attack, regardless of heart disease risk factors or socioeconomic status. "We know that adverse experiences including psychological ones can lead to increased inflammation and cortisol levels," says senior study author Dr Michelle Albert from the University of California Medical Centre, San Francisco. "However, the interplay between gender, heart disease and psychological factors is poorly understood."
Stem cell trial finds therapy safe for AsiansThe first clinical trial of an embryonic stem cell therapy in Asians with degenerative eye disease has found no serious side effects related to the therapy a year after the treatment. Conducted by CHA University in South Korea, the study's four macular degeneration patients who received the therapy all showed improvement in visual acuity, says lead author Won Kyung-song. Won notes this was just a safety trial and controlled phase II studies are still needed. The scientists collaborated with stem cell pioneer Robert Lanza at Ocata Therapeutics, who previously led a clinical trial in the US - published November 2014 in the Lancet - that showed embryonic stem cells could be used safely for Caucasian patients with degenerative eye diseases.