- Gum Disease Activates HIV, Study Says
- Exercise May Reduce Colon Cancer Risk
- Doctor Who Fueled Vaccine-Autism Link Altered Data: Report
- Peanut Plant Owner Had Tainted Products Shipped: Report
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Gum Disease Activates HIV, Study Says
Gum disease produces an acid that may push HIV-infected people to develop full-blown AIDS, a Japanese study says.
Butyric acid hinders an enzyme called HDAC that prevents the proliferation of HIV, Kuniyasu Ochiai, chair of the microbiology department at Nihon University in Tokyo, told Agence France Presse.
"Serious periodontal disease could lead to the development (of AIDS) among HIV-positive people ... although the probability largely depends on individual physical strength," Ochiai said.
Previous studies have linked gum disease to heart disease and diabetes, but this is the first to find that gum disease activates HIV, Ochiai told AFP.
The study is scheduled to appear in the March issue of the Journal of Immunology.
Exercise May Reduce Colon Cancer Risk
Exercise can reduce the risk of colon cancer, according to U.S. researchers who reviewed 52 studies and concluded that the most active people are 24 percent less likely than the least active to develop the disease.
The studies included in the review included many different types of physical activity, ranging from going to the gym and running to doing manual labor, BBC News reported.
The findings were published in the British Journal of Cancer.
"These results give us a very reliable calculation of the positive effect that exercise can have on reducing colon cancer risk," said lead researcher Dr. Kathleen Wolin, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, BBC News reported.
"It's very positive to see that exercise has such a clear benefit in reducing cancer risk and we hope it will encourage people to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle as well as treating it as a way to minimize their colon cancer risk," Wolin added.
Doctor Who Fueled Vaccine-Autism Link Altered Data: Report
The British doctor whose 1998 paper fueled international fears of a link between childhood vaccines and autism manipulated and changed data to make his case, the Sunday Times of London reported.
An investigation by the newspaper found that Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues altered confidential and public records to support their claim that eight of 12 autistic children attending a routine clinic at Wakefield's hospital had developed symptoms of autism only days after they were given the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Wakefield's http://nytimes.com/original findings, published in The Lancet, have since been refuted by many subsequent epidemiological studies.
According to the Los Angeles Times Brian Deer, an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times who had been following the MMR controversy since the beginning, said a review of hospital and other records showed that almost all of the children had developed symptoms of autism well before receiving the shot. While Wakefield claimed that measles virus found in the intestines of the children caused an inflammatory bowel disease linked to autism after they were given the shot, Deer found that hospital pathologists examining the children for signs of inflammatory bowel disease were unable to confirm its presence in most of the cases, and concluded that Wakefield or someone on his team altered the data to make it appear the condition was found, the Los Angeles Times said.
Deer also reported that at least one parent of a child in whose intestines the measles virus was said to have been found took samples to three other labs, which were unable to confirm Wakefield's findings. Deer also found that Wakefield had been retained as an expert witness two years before his study by a lawyer planning to sue vaccine makers on behalf of parents who thought the MMR shot caused their children's problems. Deer said the parents cited in The Lancet article came to Wakefield's clinic after responding to an advertisement by the lawyer's group, called Jabs, and not for routine screening, the Los Angeles Times reported.