A new meta-analysis, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, concludes that there is no evidence to suggest that vitamin D supplements prevent falls, and that ongoing trials to test this theory are unlikely to change this result.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology
The study, by Dr Mark Bolland of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and colleagues, analysed findings from 20 randomised controlled trials which tested the potential of vitamin D supplements to reduce falls, in a total of 29535 people. The findings show that supplements do not reduce falls by 15% or more, meaning that the amount that vitamin D supplementation reduces fall risk at a population level is very low.
Falls can be devastating for older people, and strategies to reduce fall risk are urgently needed as the global population ages. The results of trials that have investigated the ability of vitamin D to prevent falls—and those of previous meta-analyses—have been mixed. It is unclear how vitamin D supplements might prevent falls but, until now, there has been enough positive evidence to support its recommendation by some health organisations.
Recurrent violence linked to substantially higher rates of mental disorders in post-conflict communities
In the aftermath of war, communities who continue to experience repeated violence could have a major escalation in rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and severe distress, suggests new research published in The Lancet Global Health journal.
The Lancet Global Health
In 2004, Dr Derrick Silove from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues conducted a survey to estimate the prevalence of common mental disorders among 1022 adults (600 from a rural village and 422 from an urban district) in Timor Leste four years after the end of a long-running and violent war against Indonesian occupation, and again in 2010–11, following a period of prolonged internal conflict.
Interviewers used the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire to assess 16 symptoms of PTSD and the Kessler-10 questionnaire to measure depression and anxiety. The researchers also examined whether poverty, ongoing community conflict, and persisting feelings of injustice contributed to mental illness. Read more…
- Marijuana use may result in heart-related complications in young and middle-aged adults.
- Nearly 2 percent of the health complications from marijuana use reported were cardiovascular related.
- A quarter of these complications resulted in death, according to a French study.
Journal of the American Heart Association
Marijuana use may result in cardiovascular-related complications — even death — among young and middle-aged adults, according to a French study reported in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
“In prior research, we identified several remarkable cases of cardiovascular complications as the reasons for hospital admission of young marijuana users,” said Émilie Jouanjus, Pharm.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study and a medical faculty member at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse in Toulouse, France. “This unexpected finding deserved to be further analyzed, especially given that the medicinal use of marijuana has become more prevalent and some governments are legalizing its use.”
The greater prevalence of asthma, allergies and other chronic inflammatory disorders among people of lower socioeconomic status might be due in part to their reduced exposure to the microbes that thrive in rural environments, according to a new scientific paper.
Clinical & Experimental Immunology
The article, published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Immunology, argues that people living in urban centers who have less access to green spaces may be more apt to have chronic inflammation, a condition caused by immune system dysfunction.
When our immune systems are working properly, they trigger inflammation to fight off dangerous infections, but the inflammation disappears when the infection is gone. However, a breakdown in immune system function can cause a low level of inflammation to persist indefinitely. Such chronic inflammation can cause a host of health disorders.
“Chronic inflammation can lead to all kinds of problems from irritable bowel syndrome to asthma to allergies and even depression,” said Christopher Lowry, an associate professor in the University of Colorado Boulder’s Department of Integrative Physiology and a co-author of the paper. “The rise of chronic inflammation and these associated disorders, especially among people living in the cities of developed countries, is troubling.”
The two other article co-authors are Graham Rook of UCL (University College London) and Charles Raison of the University of Arizona. Read more…
When several factors are accounted for, stillbirth may be associated with both severely restricted and excessive fetal growth, according to a study by US researchers published in this week’s PLOS Medicine.
Radek Bukowski and colleagues from the NICHD Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network investigated the fetal growth abnormalities associated with stillbirth using a new approach developed by the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network to estimate gestational age.
Using this approach the authors investigated all the stillbirths, and a sample of live births, which occurred over 2 and a half years at 59 hospitals in five US regions.