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Black Health

Study: Working the Night Shift Will Probably End Your Life Early

The way you work could be impacting your health. According to a recent study, people who work night shifts, rotating shifts and other irregular shifts have an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.  The finding matters a great deal to those who think that we can miss sleep each night and still be OK.  Not getting regular rest not only increases the chances that you might suffer from depression, it also changes your bodily functions, increases your heart rate and stresses you out in ways that you might never imagine. The report showed that shift workers had about a 25 percent increased risk of having a cardiovascular problem, a 23 percent increased risk of a heart attack and a 5 percent increased risk of a stroke when compared to non-shift workers.  So, the question becomes, “Is the higher paycheck worth it?” “Given the commonness of shift work in modern industrialized nations, and industrializing nations, many heart attacks and strokes are likely directly attributable to the effects of shift work,” Dr. Daniel Hackam, a clinical pharmacologist at the Stroke Prevention and Atherosclerosis Research Centre said. The international organization is based in London and Ontario. The study involved more than 2 million people. Of them, more than 17,000 suffered from some kind of cardiovascular problem. More than 6,500 had heart attacks and almost 1,900 had strokes.  The work style in the US is very different from other parts of the world.  In Europe, for example, workers are given annual vacations for as long as 6 – 8 weeks, compared to just two weeks for many companies here in the United States.  Other countries also advocate taking a nap during lunch if you work during the day. Hackman recommends that these workers, their employers and the doctors who see them become more aware and seek ways to reduce their risks.  Exercise and eating right can go a long way to reducing the risks.  Also, getting plenty of sleep when you’re not working can make a difference as well. “Shift workers should receive cardiovascular risk factor screening and prevention, and this should be ongoing and regular,” Hackam added. He suggests paying particular attention to blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes concerns. Read More »

A Woman’s Chances of Becoming Pregnant Increase After Having Appendix Removed

The Fertility and Sterility Journal has disproven the myth that appendicectomies can lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant. In fact, researchers at Dundee University discovered that women who have had the procedure have been more likely to become pregnant than those who have not. Research done out of more than 76,000 patients shows that The post Women Have a Greater Chance of Becoming Pregnant After having Appendix Removed appeared first on Black Like Moi . Read More »

Obamacare Won’t Help Women With Aids

Obamacare doesn’t seem to be providing everyone with their medical necessities. Poor, undocumented women are struggling to receive the care that they need, especially those with HIV. The Affordable Care Act set in place by President Obama does not provide those who are currently uninsured with Medicare fast enough to stop the development of AIDS. The post Obamacare Does Not Help Women With AIDS appeared first on Black Like Moi . Read More »

Revealed: Diabetes Tied to Memory Loss in Older Adults

The number of African-Americans with diabetes has skyrocketed over the past two decades, and what researchers are still learning about the disease, and its impact, is stunning. According to new research, published by the New York Times, diabetes impacts the brain as well as the body: …..elderly men and women with diabetes — primarily Type 2, the form of the ... Read More »

Techyville.com: Paralyzed Rats Can Now Walk

A major scientific breakthrough occurred this week, as Swiss scientists were able to teach paralyzed rats how to walk again.  Rats who’d had their spinal cords severed were given a therapy and training that allowed them to not only walk again, but to even sprint and avoid obstacles. NPR covers the story: IRA FLATOW, HOST: This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I’m Ira Flatow. Journalists should shy away from using the word breakthrough; it is a very rare event. But it’s hard to ignore that word when you hear about this experimental rehab technique used in rats. Rats paralyzed after severe spinal cord injury were able to walk, they could sprint upstairs and even avoid obstacles after a combination of therapies. In a study published in Science, Swiss researchers began by electrically and chemically stimulating the rats’ spinal cords. Next, they strapped the rats into a robotic harness for support, and they left the rats to will themselves toward a treat. There’s a treat, I’m going to get that treat. And after six weeks of that training, the rats learned to walk and even run again, and what the team observed was that new neural connections had formed between the brain and the spinal cord, bypassing the injury. Wow. Dr. Moses Chao is professor of cell biology, physiology and neuroscience at New York University School of Medicine. He’s also president of the Society for Neuroscience and was part of the advisory board for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. He’s not affiliated with the study, and he joins us from Washington to comment on its significance. Welcome to SCIENCE FRIDAY. MOSES CHAO: Thank you, Ira, it’s a pleasure to be here. FLATOW: Is this as surprising to you as it sounds to us? CHAO: Well, the success of the recovery from spinal cord injury is quite a surprise, but the findings are really built on many basic research work in the last decade. FLATOW: Describe it to us, what kind of injury that the rats had and what actually happened in the treatment. CHAO: So this was an injury that was in the spinal cord, the lower spinal cord, and it was actually two different lesions. They were pretty close together. It’s not a complete lesion of the spinal cord, so these are really incomplete injuries, but it was enough to cause paralysis in these animals. FLATOW: And so they electrochemically stimulated the rat’s spinal cord. READ MORE    Read More »

Ms. Chico C. Norwood: Robin Roberts’ Announcement Causes Bone Marrow Donations to Jump 1000%

By Ms. Chico C. Norwood According to ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the response to Robin Robert’s announcement that she was suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, a rare syndrome also known as preleukemia, and needed a bone marrow transplant, has been tremendous.  “Good Morning America” broadcast that registration with the National Marrow Donor Program had gone up 1000 percent in the two days following the Robert’s announcement. “In a typical day the registry receives 200 to 300 registrations.  In the 48 hours following the Robin Robert’s announcement 3,500 people joined,” said Kirsten Lesak-Greenberg of the National Marrow Donor Program’s (NMDP) Be The Match Registry. I signed up with the National Marrow Donor Program four years ago. I was in the Baldwin Hills Shopping Mall in Los Angeles and there was a health fair going on.  A nice, young  African-American man approached me and asked if I would sign up.  It’s a very easy, simple process.  It was just a swab of the inside of the cheek with a q-tip.  There was no cost and I was finished in about five minutes.   If memory serves me right, this occurred about a month or so after I had watched the local news and learned about the plight of a beautiful young black girl who desperately needed a bone marrow transplant. I also remembered that back in 1996 former California Angels (now Los Angeles Angels) star Rod Carew’s daughter needed a bone marrow transplant.  Unfortunately, she was unlucky and a match was never found. She died at the ripe young age of 18. There are a total of 10 million donors registered with the National Marrow Donor Program’s (NMDP) Be The Match Registry. Of that 10 million, there are only, only 685,000 African Americans, about 7 percent compared to 6.8 million white donors or 71 percent. This means that African Americans receive transplants from the National Marrow Registry at a rate of about 3 to 4 percent of the time compared to a rate of 85 to 88 percent for Caucasians. The numbers for Native Hawaiian and Native American/Alaskans are even more dismal. Since Robert’s is African American, I contacted the National Bone Marrow Program to find out how many African Americans had signed up since her announcement.  Lesak-Greenberg informed me that out of the 3500 only 386, or about 11 percent, African Americans signed up within the four days following the Robert’s announcement. Bone marrow is a substance that manufactures blood components. Just like with blood transfusions, the donor marrow must be the same type as the recipient’s, however marrow typing is much more complicated. Only about 30 percent of the people who need marrow transplants receive donations from a relative, usually a brother or sister. That means the remaining 70 percent of recipients must rely on finding an unrelated person with similar marrow. The likelihood of finding a match is much higher within a person’s own ethnic group, the NMDP Be The Match Registry says. “African Americans have a greater overall genetic diversity also known as genetic admixture than other populations. According to population researchers at Penn State University the average African American is 17-18% white. This conclusion came from a study using DNA samples from groups of African Americans throughout the US, West Africa, and Europe. Although not as large, most Black Americans are said to have Native American ancestry as well. This admixture from three continents makes it more difficult to match donors and patients. This is because it will take more possible donors than the norm to find the same number of matches as other population groups. For example ten African American patients will have a lower success rate finding matches in a pool of African American donors than ten Nigerian patients would if were to search a Nigerian pool of donors of the same size,” reports BlackBoneMarrow.com. In other words, more people of African descent are urgently needed on the marrow registry so that more lives can be saved. A bone marrow transplant is considered the only real “cure” for some 60 different illnesses including forms of leukemia, sickle cell, lymphoma, and aplastic anemia. July is National African American Bone Marrow Awareness Month. I urge every African American to step up and sign up.  Join me, Shaquille O’Neal and T-Boz and become a bone marrow donor. Don’t wait until tragedy strikes and you or a family member finds themselves in a similar situation. Anyone can join the registry online at BeTheMatch.org or in person at any community organization sponsoring a bone marrow drive. All that is required is that you be between the ages of 18-60, be in good health and be willing to donate to anyone in need. If you’re worried about the cost of tissue testing, don’t.  All or part of a volunteer’s tissue typing cost may be covered by a patient’s family, community group, corporation, or a group sponsoring a donor recruitment drive. Furthermore, any money paid to cover costs is tax-deductible. Additionally, some states have required private insurance companies to cover donor screening tests. All medical costs for the donation procedure are covered by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), which operates the Be The Match Registry, or by the patient’s medical insurance, as are travel expenses and other non-medical costs. The only costs to the donor might be time taken off from work. According to the NMDP, Adults may be asked to donate in one of two ways: About 76 percent of the time, a patient’s doctor requests a PBSC donation, a non-surgical, outpatient procedure similar to donating platelets or plasma. About 24 percent of the time, a patient’s doctor requests marrow, a surgical, outpatient procedure that takes place at a hospital. General or regional anesthesia is always used. Robin Roberts is luckier than most African Americans in this situation. She has a sister who is a match. But there are many African Americans out there in need of a bone marrow match and they are in need of it now. Just visit BlackBoneMarrow.com Think about becoming a bone marrow donor this way.  When you get to the pearly gates and St. Peter asks “what did YOU do during your time on earth?” You can stick out your chest, paste on a big wide grin and proudly proclaim, “I gave the gift of life.” (Author’s note: I do hope that this post will receive and or generate as many responses and as much attention that my post entitled: Rappers Spawning A Generation of Unemployable Black Males. It’s very important.) Read More »

Comedian and “Moesha” Star Yvette Wilson Dies of Cervical Cancer at the Age of 48

Yvette Wilson, the star of ‘Moesha’ and its spin-off, ‘The Parkers’,  has died from cervical cancer and complications from kidney disease. The comedian was 48 years old. Leading up to her death, her friend and former co-star Shar Jackson reached out to her twitter followers to pray for her friend. Shar consequently broke the news of her friend’s death, also through twitter. Until June 9, there was an ongoing  effort to raise funds for Wilson’s medical costs as well as her transportation. The website that that was created to raise funds for her reportedly raised a little over half of the target amount. Although Wilson was best known for acting on the television comedies  ‘Moesha’ and ‘The Parkers’, she also acted in movies. She appeared on many comedy films such as House Party 2, House Party 3, Friday and Def Comedy Jam. Rest In Peace, Yvette. Read More »

Major Breakthrough in Black Women’s Breast Cancer Research

Scientists have taken a step forward in the fight against triple negative breast cancer, the most deadly form of breast cancer in black women.  Researchers at the North Shore-LIJ Health System and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research claim that they’ve changed the game in breast cancer research with their most recent results. The team found a new DNA marker that is linked to triple-negative breast cancer.  The marker helps them to determine why breast cancer affects black women so much more than everyone else.   The survival rate for black women is much lower than white women, even when other factors are taken into consideration. Researchers tested the genetic markers in the DNA, which are called microRNA, and found that white women who had triple-negative breast cancer showed levels of 20 different microRNA that helped them to fight the cancer.  The levels were much higher than the control group, and  none of the microRNA were found in the African American patients in the sample. According to the Huffington Post: “Breast cancer patients who have the most devastating outcome may carry the microRNAs that promote cancer,” said Iuliana Shapira, director of the Cancer Genetics Program at the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Monter Cancer Center, according to Medical News Today. “What we saw in this study is that Caucasian women may carry microRNAs that protect against cancer while African-American women do not express those microRNAs,” she added.   How to Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk Factors Read More »

Why do Black women indulge in risky sex?

According to a recent study, exposure to violence makes women prone to risky sex. A recent study says that women who have witnessed crimes and forms of violence both in their childhood and adulthood are more prone to risky sex. Also, women who had been abused were more likely to indulge in unprotected sex and use alcohol or drugs before having sex. Sexual practices that put one at risk for HIV, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and unplanned pregnancies, is what the study refers to as “risky sex”. The study was conducted primarily among African-American women out of which most were at a socio-economically disadvantage. Experts say preventing domestic violence and intolerance to violence against women is the most important step in preventing such problems. Educating adolescents about the problems associated with high risk sexual practices like STDs and unwanted pregnancies, and promoting safe sex should be undertaken. SOURCE Read More »

The Career Blazers: 7 Black Female Medical Pioneers

Though there has been a major concern about black women in the science and tech industries, but many have made major strides. African-American women contribute daily to new research, advances and innovations in medicine, holding the torch passed to them by pioneers who broke racial and gender barriers. Madame Noire takes a look at seven such women who are excelling as surgeons, researchers and physicians. CLICK TO READ MORE Read More »