- San Francisco Fittest Large City
- Bicarbonate Changes May Warn of Early Cancer
- Hormone's Activity Influences Men's Heart Risk, Life Expectancy
- 60% of U.S. Adults Have at Least One Chronic Condition
- Drug Doesn't Stem Bleeding in People With Rare Disorder: FDA
- Big Increase Reported in Intestinal 'Superbug' Infections
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
San Francisco Fittest Large City
San Francisco is the fittest of the United States' most populous cities, according to a study that looked at 16 large metropolitan areas, according to the American College of Sport Medicine.
The report analyzed several health and fitness-related factors and found that San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area scored above average on a number of indicators:
- Nearly 32 percent of its citizens eat five or more fruits and vegetables per day.
- They're more likely to have health insurance and less likely to have chronic health problems.
- The area scored well on amenities such as parks and athletic facilities and had an above-average number of commuters who bike, walk or use public transportation.
- The number of health care providers in the area is among the highest for the largest metropolitan areas.
Rounding out the top five were Seattle, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. The bottom five were Detroit (lowest), Riverside, Calif., Los Angeles, Houston, and Indianapolis.
Bicarbonate Changes May Warn of Early Cancer
Using MRI scans to check for changes in naturally-produced bicarbonate may help identify cancers in the very early stages, says a Cancer Research UK study.
Bicarbonate plays a role in the body's balancing of acid and alkali. It's known that cancer turns bicarbonate into carbon dioxide, BBC News reported. Almost all cancer has a lower pH, which means it's more acidic than surrounding tissue. Currently, there is no way to safely measure pH in patients.
In test on mice, the researchers boosted MRI sensitivity more than 20,000 times and found they were able to monitor changes in bicarbonate and identify early-stage cancer. The findings were published in the journal Nature.
"This technique could be used as a highly-sensitive early warning system for signs of cancer," lead researcher Professor Kevin Brindle said in prepared statement. "By exploiting the body's natural pH balancing system, we have found a potentially safe way of measuring pH to see what's going on inside patients."
As well as detecting cancer, Brindle said this method could be used to determine if cancer patients are responding to treatment, BBC News reported.
Hormone's Activity Influences Men's Heart Risk, Life Expectancy
Higher levels of activity of the hormone IGF-1 (insulin-growth factor 1) may reduce men's heart risk and boost their life expectancy, according to a study by researchers at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
IGF-1 is released by the liver and is similar in molecular structure to insulin. The researchers said the hormone plays an important role in childhood growth and continues to have an effect in adulthood, United Press International reported.
At the start of the study, serum samples were taken from 376 healthy men, ages 73 to 94. The men were followed for up to eight years.
Men with the lowest level of IGF-1 activity had a significantly higher death rate than those with the highest level of activity. The researchers said the results were especially significant in people at high risk of death from cardiovascular complications, UPI reported.
The study was published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
60% of U.S. Adults Have at Least One Chronic Condition
In the United States, 60 percent of people aged 18 and older have at least one chronic medical condition, defined as one expected to last at least one year and result in limitations or the need for ongoing care.
The latest News and Numbers summary from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality looked at 2005 data, finding that: