Sat | Dec 3, 2016

HEALTH TRENDS

Published:Wednesday | August 20, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Cancer tops health problems tied to obesity

According to a new study, being obese not only increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes, can also lead to cancer.

The study found that 10 per cent of all gallbladder, kidney, liver, and colon cancers could be attributed to excess weight. In fact, 41 per cent of uterine cancers were tied to obesity, according to the study published in The Lancet.

The Lancet study of 5.4 million people found that every one-point population-wide increase in body mass index (BMI) would result in 3,790 additional cancers each year.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that obesity contributes to 34,000 new cases of cancer in men and 50,000 in women each year. But if every adult reduced their BMI by one per cent - a loss of roughly 2.2 pounds - about 100,000 new cases of cancer could be avoided, according to the agency's website.

Other health risk for obesity are: migraine, infertility, premature birth and sleep disorder.

Childhood growth hormone use linked to later stroke

There is a strong relationship between growth hormone (GH) treatment during childhood and subsequent haemorrhagic stroke, according to a study published last week online in Neurology.

Amelie Poidvin, MD, from University Paris Diderot, and colleagues evaluated adult morbidity data (2008 to 2010) for 6,874 children with idiopathic isolated GH deficiency, or short stature, who started GH treatment between 1985 and 1996. Medical records were used to validate cerebrovascular events. Imaging data were classified according to standard definitions of subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hemorrhage, and ischaemic stroke. Comparisons were made to population incidence of stroke using data from registries (2000 to 2012).

The researchers observed a significantly higher risk of stroke among patients treated with GH in childhood, compared to the registry references. A very substantially and significantly higher risk of haemorrhagic stroke (standardized incidence ratio [IR] from 3.5 to 7.0, according to the registry rates considered), particularly subarachnoid haemorrhage (standardised IR from 5.7 to 9.3), accounted for the excess risk of stroke.

"Patients treated with GH worldwide should be advised about this association and further studies should evaluate the potentially causal role of GH treatment in these findings," the authors write.

Minister of health urges western region to focus on quality care

Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson has urged the management of the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) to focus on improving the quality of care delivered to Jamaicans. Ferguson was speaking recently at the WRHA board and management retreat at the Sea Gardens Beach Resort in Montego Bay, St James.

"In the health sector, our objectives must be to delivery proper and quality care. I have made it very clear that in whatever it is that we are doing, there must be consideration for quality. We are going to have a customer-service policy. We are going to have consultations, but I am insisting that the policy must have sanctions. While I am very sympathetic and understand the demands of the work in health, as health professionals we are bound by oath, and so we must be held accountable," Ferguson said.

Meanwhile, the health minister urged the regional management to use the next few days to examine the best approaches to achieve efficiency gains and look at how improvements can be made to the service.

"Patriotism and professionalism have to be among our core values. We as Jamaican citizens must have a vested interest in where our country goes. If Jamaica fails, all of us fail. You have to be very clear that everyone is on board. All of us will be held accountable for any failures of the public health sector. All of us must do our part to ensure that Jamaica survives," he said.