Health Beat

nThe rate of death from stroke in the United States has fallen 26 percent since 2000, when the rate was 125 deaths per 1,000 stroke patients. The rate for men fell even further, with 29 percent fewer cases of fatal strokes. (The rate for women was not quite as significant with 24 percent.) The same study revealed that rates for fatal heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia have also dropped in the past decade: 36 percent, 49 percent and 45 percent respectively. The explanations for these statistics vary, from advanced technology to improved standards of living for patients.

nAnother declining statistic of note is the number of fatal care crashes involving teen drivers, a number which has dropped by a third over the last five years, according to a federal report. The study partly credits the numbers to “tougher state limits” on teenage drivers.

nThough doctors, coaches and parents have been prescribing an ice pack for everyday injuries for years, new research shows that the common treatment may be detrimental. Icing an injury could slow down the release of a key repair hormone, thus slowing recovery. The same research suggests that the swelling of the injured area, which the ice is meant to inhibit, is crucial in the healing process.

nResearchers at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans may be on the cusp of advancements in treatment for high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and cirrhosis of the liver. The team has discovered that two proteins in the brain trigger the hormone that regulates water retention in the body. The study, published in a recent issue of Endocrinology, could ultimately alleviate the number of cases of hypertension in the United States, affecting around 26 percent of Americans with normal blood pressure and 58 percent of Americans with high blood pressure.

nIn other LSUHSC news, the National Institute of Health recently awarded the center $12 million for cancer and infectious diseases research, including studies on prostate and stomach cancers, lymphoma and leukemia, tuberculosis, herpes and more.


 

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