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Archive - 07 - 2012

As a Man's Belt Size Increases, So Does His Risk of Sexual and Urinary Dysfunction

Posted by dlife on Tue, Jul 31, 12, 05:29 PM 0 Comment

July 31, 2012 (Newswise) Another Reason to Trim Your Belly Fat: NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell's Comprehensive Look at Growing Waist Sizes Demonstrates Obesity Can Affect More Than a Man's Heart.As a man's waistline grows, so can his experience with sexual dysfunction and frequent urination, say researchers at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The study, published in the August issue of the British Journal of Urology International (BJUI), is the first to comprehensively show that obesity in men affects not just their hearts and metabolism, but also their sexual and urinary health."The findings demonstrate that obesity in men -- part of a growing global epidemic -- affects their well-being in profound ways," says the study's senior investigator Dr. Steven A. Kaplan, the E. Darracott Vaughan Jr., Professor of Urology at Weill Cornell Medical College, director of the Iris Cantor Men's Health Center and chief of the Institute for Bladder and Prostate Health at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell."We have to think of the body in a much more holistic way. What we eat can have devastating consequences on more than just our hearts," Dr. Kaplan says. "Quality of life issues, such as sexual and voiding health, can be affected as well in drastic ways."The study also suggests that losing weight can help men overcome these issues that previously were not directly linked to body mass, Dr. Kaplan adds. In fact, additional findings conducted since this study was completed show that eliminating just 2.5 inches from the belly's circumference may lead to measurable improvement in sexual dysfunction and frequent urination, he says.The findings now offer physicians an easy metric to gauge which male patients might be experiencing sexual or urologic dysfunction, the researchers say."Measuring a man's waistline is easy, noninvasive and does not require extensive testing," Dr. Kaplan says.Largest Waist Size Linked to Many Health IssuesThe research team studied 409 men diagnosed with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) at the Institute for Bladder and Prostate Health at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. The goal of the study was to see if obesity was linked to LUTS, a common problem affecting older men. LUTS symptoms include difficulty urinating, such as increased frequency during the day and night. Previous smaller studies have suggested body weight could be linked to LUTS, but this new study was designed to be the most definitive and comprehensive to date, Dr. Kaplan says.Of the participants enrolled in the study ranging from 40-91 years of age, 37.5 percent had a waist circumference of less than 36 inches, 33.5 percent of men had waists that were between 36-40 inches, and 29 percent of men had waists greater than 40 inches.The investigators found that a larger waist size was linked to more frequent urination: 39 percent of men with the biggest waistlines urinated more than eight times in 24 hours, compared to 27 percent of men in the middle range and 16 percent of men with the smallest waists. The same patterns were seen for nighttime urination: 44 percent of men with the biggest waists had to urinate more than twice at night, compared to 29 percent of men in the middle-sized group, and 15 percent of the slimmer men. The researchers also surveyed the participants about their sexual health and found that 74.5 percent of men with the largest waists reported erectile dysfunction, compared with 50 percent of men in the middle group and 32 percent of men with the smaller waists. Ejaculation problems followed the same pattern 65 percent, 40 percent, and 21 percent, respectively.To provide a comprehensive view of health issues associated with waist circumference, the research team also assessed other variables linked to obesity. In the study, high blood pressure, cholesterol, coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes were more prevalent in men with larger waist sizes.Dr. Kaplan says he does not know why obesity leads to sexual and urinary dysfunction, but he hypothesizes that vascular or blood flow changes to the pelvis, along with alterations in hormone levels due to obesity, may be the major culprit."We now have an expanded understanding of how obesity can impact the health of men, and a simple way to recognize which men might be affected in these ways," Dr. Kaplan says. "This adds even more importance to the recommendation that men should maintain a healthy weight for their overall well-being."Study co-authors include first author Dr. Richard Lee, Dr. Bilal Chughtai, and Dr. Alexis E. Te, from the Department of Urology at Weill Cornell Medical College; and Dr. Doreen Chung from Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago.NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical CenterNewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical College, the medical school of Cornell University. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, education, research and community service. Weill Cornell physician-scientists have been responsible for many medical advances -- including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer; the synthesis of penicillin; the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S.; the first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson's disease; the first indication of bone marrow's critical role in tumor growth; and, most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. Weill Cornell Medical College is the first U.S. medical college to offer a medical degree overseas and maintains a strong global presence in Austria, Brazil, Haiti, Tanzania, Turkey and Qatar.

Study Identifies Novel Therapy That May Prevent Damage to the Retina in Diabetic Retinopathy and Other Eye Diseases

Posted by dlife on Mon, Jul 30, 12, 08:53 AM 0 Comment

July 27, 2012 (University of Michigan Health System) Targeting a key protein blocks two important pathways related to blood vessel leakage in diabetic retinopathy.Researchers at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center have identified a compound that could interrupt the chain of events that cause damage to the retina in diabetic retinopathy. The finding is significant because it could lead to a novel therapy that targets two mechanisms at the root of the disease: inflammation and the weakening of the blood barrier that protects the retina.To date, treatments for diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness among working-age Americans, have been aimed largely at one of those mechanisms.In diabetic retinopathy, damage to the retina results, in part, from the activity of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein that weakens the protective blood-retinal barrier. Recent drugs targeting VEGF have exhibited good response for nearly half of the patients with diabetic retinopathy. But researchers believe that there is also an inflammatory component that may contribute to the disease process.The study, published in the Biochemical Journal, June 2012 [epub ahead of print] identifies a specific protein common to both pathways as an important target in regulating the disease process in which blood vessels become leaky, and provides a drug that may be developed into a therapeutic intervention for patients in which anti-VEGF treatment alone is not sufficient.In diabetic retinopathy and a host of other retinal diseases, increases in VEGF and inflammatory factors some of the same factors that contribute to the response to an infection cause blood vessels in the eye to leak which, in turn, results in a buildup of fluid in the neural tissue of the retina," says David A. Antonetti, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Molecular and Integrative Physiology, who has also been awarded a Jules and Doris Stein Professorship from Research to Prevent Blindness. "This insidious form of modified inflammation can eventually lead to blindness."The compound targets atypical protein kinase C (aPKC), required for VEGF to make blood vessels leak. Moreover, Antonetti's laboratory has demonstrated that the compound is effective at blocking damage from tumor necrosis factor also elevated in diabetic retinopathy that comprises part of the inflammation. Benefits of this compound could extend to therapies for uveitis, or changes to the brain blood vessels in the presence of brain tumors or stroke.This is a great leap forward, says Antonetti. Weve identified an important target in regulating blood vessel leakage in the eye and we have a therapy that works in animal models. Our research is in the early stages of development. We still have a long way to go to demonstrate effectiveness of this compound in humans to create a new therapy but the results are very promising.Novel Atypical PKC Inhibitors Prevent Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-Induced Blood-Retinal Barrier Dysfunction, 22 June 2012 [epub ahead of print]Funding sources:
National Institutes of Health; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; The Jules and Doris Stein Professorship from Research to Prevent Blindness; Fight for Sight Research Foundation

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