Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Depression increases stroke risk in women
Maybe the ones concerned were in poor health anyway and that made them depressed?
Middle-aged women who suffer from depression are almost twice as likely to suffer a stroke, according to a new study.
The 12-year Australian study involved more than 10,000 women, aged between 47 and 52.
Researchers said it was unclear why such a strong link between depression and stroke had been found, but that it was possible that inflammatory and immunological responses to depression could have an impact on blood vessels.
The study found that depressed women had a 2.4 times increased risk of stroke, compared to those who weren’t depressed, which reduced to 1.9 times the risk when other factors increasing stroke risk were excluded.
Study author Doctor Caroline Jackson, an epidemiologist in the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland in Australia, said: “When treating women, doctors need to recognise the serious nature of poor mental health and what effects it can have in the long term.
“Current guidelines for stroke prevention tend to overlook the potential role of depression.”
The research is the first large-scale study in which scientists examined the association between depression and stroke in younger middle-aged women.
The researchers said that although the increased stroke risk associated with depression was large, the absolute risk of stroke is still fairly low for women of that age.
About 1.5 per cent of all women in the study suffered a stroke.
Dr Jackson said similar results could be expected among European and American women.
She added: “We may need more targeted approaches to prevent and treat depression among younger women, because it could have a much stronger impact on stroke for them now rather than later in life.”
The findings were published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Dr Clare Walton, from charity the Stroke Association said: “Past research has suggested that depression may increase your risk of stroke and this study adds further evidence to this. People with depression may be less motivated to maintain good health or take medications correctly which could put them at greater risk. However, it’s very difficult to determine whether one directly causes the other.”
Study: Marijuana causes “complete remission” of Crohn’s Disease
Marijuana – scientific name “cannabis” – performed like a champ in the first-ever placebo-controlled trial of the drug to treat Crohn’s Disease, also known as inflammatory bowel disease.
The disease of the digestive tract afflicts 400,000 – 600,000 people in North America alone causing abdominal pain, diarrhea (which can be bloody), severe vomiting, weight loss, as well as secondary skin rashes, arthritis, inflammation of the eye, tiredness, and lack of concentration.
Smoking pot caused a “complete remission” of Crohn’s disease compared to placebo in half the patients who lit up for eight weeks, according to clinical trial data to be published the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Researchers at Israel’s Meir Medical Center took 21 people with intractable, severe Crohn’s disease and gave 11 of them two joints a day for eight weeks. “The standardized cannabis cigarettes” contained 23 percent THC and 0.5 percent CBD (cannabidiol). (Such marijuana is available on dispensary shelves in San Francisco, Oakland, and other cities that have regulated access to the drug.) The other ten subjects smoked placebo cigarettes containing no active cannabinoids.
Investigators reported that smoking weed caused a “complete remission” of Crohn’s Disease in five of the 11 subjects. Another five of the eleven test subjects saw their Crohn’s Disease symptoms cut in half. Furthermore, “subjects receiving cannabis reported improved appetite and sleep, with no significant side effects.”
The study is the first placebo-controlled clinical trial to assess the consumption of cannabis for the treatment of Crohn’s, notes NORML. All of the patients had intractable forms of the disease and did not respond to conventional treatments. Still, the United States government claims that marijuana is as dangerous as heroin and has no medical use. U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag is waging a war on safe access to medical cannabis in the Bay Area.
Posted by jonjayray at 12:33 AM