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Health Briefs: Anorexia Nervosa is Chronic



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Jun 24, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- ANOREXIA NERVOSA IS CHRONIC

A University of Toronto study finds women suffering from anorexia nervosa, who have regained weight, are at significant risk for relapse. "Our most important finding is that in a significant proportion of cases, the illness is chronic and debilitating," says study leader Jacqueline Carter. "We're pretty good at helping people to become weight-restored in the hospital, but really the challenge now is to figure out how to improve relapse prevention treatments and improve long-term outcomes for people with anorexia nervosa." The study, published in Psychological Medicine, finds that within two years of leaving the hospital, 35 percent of the women had relapsed into anorexia -- defined as a drop in body mass index below 17.5 for three consecutive months.

SPOUTED VEGETABLES REDUCE CANCER RISK

A few forkfuls of sprouted vegetables every day will help keep the doctor away, finds a University of Ulster study.

Just about 4 ounces of sprouted vegetables every day have clear protective effects against DNA damage in human blood cells, says the study, published in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. "DNA damage is associated with cancer risk. Sources of DNA damage include diet-related carcinogens, and bodily processes like oxidative stress -- and the raw sprouts protect against this kind of damage," says study co-author Ian Rowland. "Just a 4-ounce portion per day of a mix of broccoli, radish, alfalfa and clover sprouts was enough in our tests to show the protective effect," Rowland says.

INFERTILITY TREATMENT IMPACTS ORAL HEALTH

A Turkish study reports that women undergoing ovulation induction for infertility treatment are prone to gum problems. Researchers examined gingival inflammation levels of women undergoing infertility treatment and compared the results with women not being treated by the drugs. "These effects are presumably correlated with the increased levels of progesterone and estrogen," explains Dr. Cenk M. Haytac, of Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey. "Gingiva is a target tissue for estrogen since it contains specific high-affinity estrogen receptors."

HYSTERECTOMY ENDS NEED FOR PAP SMEAR

Women who have had a hysterectomy do not need to have an annual Pap smear because they are not at risk of cervical cancer, a report says. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds many women in the United States who have had a hysterectomy continue to have Pap smear screenings. In 1996, "based on accumulated evidence from observational studies, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that routine Pap smear screening is unnecessary for women who have undergone a complete hysterectomy for benign (non-cancerous) disease," the study said. The authors, from the VA Outcome Group and Dartmouth Medical School, added most women who have undergone hysterectomy are not at risk of cervical cancer because they no longer have a cervix.

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(EDITORS: For more information on ANOREXIA, contact Janice Walls at (416) 978-5948, or janice.walls@utoronto.ca. For SPOUTED VEGETABLES, press office at 028 9036 6178, or pressoffice@ulster.ac.uk. For INFERTILITY, Amy Duff at (312) 573-3244, or amyd@perio.org. For PAP TEST, call (312) 464-5262 or e-mail: mediarelations@jama-archives.org)

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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