Experimental Lupus Drug May Offer New Treatment
In a late-stage, Phase III clinical trial, patients who took the experimental lupus drug Benlysta showed significant improvement, Reuters reports. More than 860 people participated in the trial, which found that 57.6 percent of patients taking a high dose of the drug experienced improvement in their symptoms, compared with 43.6 percent taking a placebo. Benlysta was also more effective at easing pain, hair loss, and skin rash than the placebo, Bloomberg reports. The drug, developed by Human Genome Sciences Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline PLC, is designed to treat patients with mild to moderate symptoms of lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks healthy cells and tissues and can cause arthritis and kidney damage. The drug's developers are conducting a second trial in order to confirm the results, according to Reuters.
In April, a study by researchers in Montreal found that women taking birth control pills had an increased risk of developing lupus. Women, learn how stress can affect your immune system.
Circumcision Doesn't Prevent HIV Transmission to Women
A new study published in the Lancet found that circumcision of HIV-infected men does not reduce the odds of transmitting the virus to their female partners. From an American's point of view, the idea behind the study may sound unusual, U.S. News's Deborah Kotz writes. But in areas of Africa where HIV infection rates are high, healthy adult men routinely get circumcised because research has suggested it cuts their chances of being infected with the virus by 50 to 60 percent. The current study, involving Ugandan men, was designed to see whether circumcision could prevent the transmission of HIV by men who were already infected. What the researchers found was that 18 percent of the women whose infected partners underwent the procedure became infected with HIV during the two-year study, compared with 12 percent of women whose partners were infected but didn't get circumcised. The circumcised men may have had higher transmission rates, the researchers surmise, because some engaged in sex—against medical advice—before their surgery incision completely healed. Continue reading.
As many as 1 million Americans are infected with HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Up to a third, however, don't know it because they haven't gotten tested. A study released in October found little evidence that circumcision protects gay men from becoming infected with HIV.
The Skinny on Alcoholic Beverages and Weight Loss
If you're trying to lose or maintain your weight, must you give up your favorite alcoholic drink? At first glance, it might seem so. The average American may take in about 400 calories a day from beverages, U.S. News's Katherine Hobson reports. So you'd think that alcohol, with 7 calories per gram (more than carbs and protein, less than fat), would place high on the list of things to cast aside in pursuit of a leaner body. But it's not so simple.
Your gender may play a role in how you deal with alcohol's calories, says one expert. It appears that men who drink more have a higher overall caloric intake: That is, they don't compensate for the alcohol calories by eating less. Women who drink, however, tend to simply replace food calories with alcohol—maybe skipping their usual dessert, for example, to make up for a pre-dinner drink. A study published in 2005 in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that men and women who had one drink per day, three to seven days a week, had the lowest body mass indexes (BMI). People who infrequently drank the greatest quantity (think of the bachelor party binge-drinker, who has 10 drinks at once a few times a year) had the highest BMIs. Read more.
Learn the health secrets of red wine scientists recently uncovered. And find out whether eating one big meal can be hazardous to your health.
Other Popular Articles From USNews.com
- How a Little Stress May Be Good for You
- 7 Tips on Fighting Off a Cold
- 10 Reasons Not to Skimp on Sleep
- What Makes Teens Abstain From Sex
- 6 Ways to Avoid Dying of a Surprise Heart Attack
- 6 Ways to Reduce Inflammation Without Taking a Statin
- Need Care? Scan the Rankings: Best Nursing Homes, Best Health Plans, and Best Hospitals.