Tag Archive | "high blood pressure"

Smoking during Pregnancy Increases Children’s Risk of Heart Problems

A recent study suggests that children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy have lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, also known as the “good” cholesterol. This raises children’s risk of suffering from heart attack and stroke later in their life.

The study, which was carried out by Australian researchers, has 405 participants at the age of 8 and in good physical shape. The researchers discovered that those children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy had good cholesterol levels of about 1.3mmol/L, which is below the normal level of 1.5mmol/L observed in children born to non-smoking mothers.

David Celermajer, a cardiology professor at the University of Sydney and lead author of the study, said in a journal news release that the results of the study suggest that smoking during pregnancy marks a set of unhealthy characteristics on children while they are still developing in the mother’s womb. He said the characteristics last for a minimum of eight years and longer.

Published in the European Heart Journal on June 21, the study reports that the result was independent of whether the kids were exposed to cigarette smoke after birth. It suggested that prenatal exposure still had the greatest impact on subsequent effect.

Celermajer and his colleagues noted that the rates of maternal smoking are still high. In most Western Nations, there are about 15 percent smoking pregnant women. This means the results of their study could be beneficial in the efforts to prevent heart problems.

Children whose mothers have smoked during pregnancy should be observed carefully for other heart risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking and high levels of LDL or “bad” type of cholesterol, Celermajer said.

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Blood Pressure: A Good Indicator of Kidney Cancer Outcome

New research shows blood pressure is a great indicator how of end stage kidney cancer patient’s medication is working. Ironically, high blood pressure is linked to better prognosis and longer survival.

The proponents of the study observed 544 kidney cancer patients who are being treated with Sutent. The researchers discovered that those people with a systolic BP of more than 40mmHg lived almost four times longer than patients who had lower systolic blood pressure.

Moreover, researchers found out that during the time that the tumor does not shrink or grow is five times longer in patients with high systolic reading – systolic pressure is the top number in blood pressure readings.

Lead researcher Dr. Brian Rini said that the findings of their study supports the theory that hypertension is a biomarker of the drug’s effectiveness in tumor growth. This also means that oncologists should now closely monitor their patient’s BP to gauge Sutent’s job in treating kidney cancer in its advance stage.

Survival rates for kidney cancer are associated with the progression of the cancer, the tumor size, and its metastasis. If the cancer cells have spread in the tissues around the organ, the survival rate will drop to around 60 percent; and it drops further if the cancer cells have attacked the lymph nodes.

This study was successfully published online on April 28 of this year in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute after passing an extensive peer review.

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