Friday, July 22, 2011

The Afternoon Drill: July 22, 2011

A collection of dentistry and health related links/comments for your day.

Return to smoking after heart attack ups death risk
After a heart attack, quitting smoking may offer a patient more benefits than any medication, but Italian researchers say the flipside is that resuming smoking after leaving the hospital can raise the same patient's risk of dying as much as five-fold.

On average, people who started smoking again after being hospitalized for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) -- crushing chest pain that often signals a heart attack -- were more than three times as likely to die within a year as people who successfully quit in a study led by Dr. Furio Colivicchi of San Filippo Neri Hospital in Rome.

"Relapse is a major risk factor for long term survival," said Dr. David Katz, associate professor of internal medicine at University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City.

Quitting smoking has a similar lifesaving effect for ACS patients as taking recommended drugs to lower blood pressure or cholesterol, added Katz, who was not involved in the new study.
Having Periodontal Disease May Increase Time to Conception
There is a significant association between having untreated periodontal disease (PD) and experiencing a prolonged time to conception (TTC), new research has confirmed.

"We strongly suggest that women considering starting a family should visit their dentist, along with taking other lifestyle measures such as reducing weight, eating healthily, stopping smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, and taking folic acid," said lead investigator Roger Hart, MD, professor of reproductive medicine in the School of Women's and Infants Health at the University of Western Australia, Perth, who presented the results here at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology's 2011 annual meeting.
Severe GERD Symptoms Inversely Linked to Esophageal Cancer
The risk for esophageal adenocarcinogenesis is significantly higher in medically treated patients with mild or absent symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) vs those with severe symptoms, according to the results of a cross-sectional study reported in the July issue of the Archives of Surgery.

"Screening for esophageal adenocarcinoma has focused on identifying Barrett esophagus (BE) in patients with severe, longstanding symptoms of ...GERD," write Katie S. Nason, MD, MPH, from the Division of Thoracic and Foregut Surgery, University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and colleagues. "Unfortunately, 95% of patients who develop esophageal adenocarcinoma are unaware of the presence of BE before their cancer diagnosis, which means they never had been selected for screening. One possible explanation is that no correlation exists between the severity of GERD symptoms and cancer risk."
Mexican Researchers: Resin Produced by Bees can Fight Cavities
Researchers are using propolis, a resinous substance produced by honey bees, to fight cavities and are examining whether the compound can be used to control hypertension, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM, said.

Bees use propolis, which is made from plant resins gathered by the insects, to seal hives, UNAM said.

The chemical structure of propolis "varies due to factors such as the time of year, flowering and the region where the insects gather it," the university said.

The project, whose goal is to promote the use of a "wasted resource," is being carried out by UNAM School of Chemistry researcher Jose Fausto Rivero Cruz and veterinarians Angel Lopez Ramirez and Adriana Correa Benitez.

Mexico produces just six tons annually of propolis even though it is the world's sixth-largest honey producer, the researchers said.

Propolis is mainly used in Mexico to deal with coughs, but it is known that the substance has other therapeutic uses and can help in the treatment of viral infections, scars, swelling, allergies and pain.

The researchers tested the effects of propolis on the bacterial organisms that cause cavities - Porphyromonas gingivalis and Streptococcus mutans - and isolated some compounds that help fight the dental problem.
Enjoy your day!

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