Researchers: Dementia risk in US lowest among Asian Americans

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New York: Researchers said the chance of the brain disorder is lowest among Asian Americans while examining dementia risk in the US.

The study compared six ethnic and racial groups within the same geographic population and found significant variation in dementia incidence among them.

“This is the only research that directly compares dementia for these six racial and ethnic groups, representing the true ageing demographic of the United States in a single study population,” said study lead author Elizabeth Rose Mayeda, a postdoctoral fellow at University of California, San Francisco.

The researchers found dementia incidence to be highest in Blacks and American Indian/Alaska Natives, lowest among Asian Americans, and intermediate among Latinos, Pacific Islanders and Whites.

The study population included more than 274,000 Northern California members of Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest private integrated health care system with more than 10 million members.

The researchers used electronic health records covering patient visits over 14 years from January 2000 through December 2013 to identify participants diagnosed with dementia, as well as their race and ethnicity.

The researchers found that dementia incidence over the study period ranged from an average annual rate of 26.6 cases per 1,000 for Blacks, and 22.2 cases per 1,000 for American Indians/Alaskan Natives, to 15.2 cases per 1,000 for Asian Americans.

In between were Latinos and Pacific Islanders with an average annual rate of 19.6 cases per 1,000 and Whites with 19.3 per 1,000.

The results were published online in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.(IANS)

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Every 4 in 10 Adults Suffer From Gastrointestinal Disorders Globally: Researchers

Mostly people find it embarrassing to talk about stomach and bowel symptoms

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gastrointestinal disorders
For every ten adults in the world, four suffer from functional gastrointestinal disorders. Pixabay

For every ten adults in the world, four suffer from functional gastrointestinal disorders of varying severity, say Researchers, adding that people think it’s embarrassing to talk about stomach and bowel symptoms.

Functional gastrointestinal disorders, FGIDs, is a collective term for chronic disorders in the gastrointestinal tract. The symptoms may arise throughout the gastrointestinal tract. From the upper part, the esophagus and stomach, they can include heartburn, acid reflux and indigestion (dyspepsia).For the lower parts (the intestines), chronic constipation, abdominal distension or bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are among the complaints.

The current study, published in the journal Gastroenterology, gives an overall picture of the global prevalence of FGIDs. Data of more than 73,000 people in 33 countries were collected by means of web-based questionnaires and face-to-face (household) interviews.

“It’s striking how similar the findings are between countries. We can see some variations but, in general, these disorders are equally common whatever the country or continent,” said study author Magnus Simren from University of Gothenburg in Sweden.Web-based questionnaires were used in most of the countries in the study.

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The findings showed that the prevalence of FGIDs was higher in women than in men. Piaxbay

In some countries, instead, the respondents were asked to reply to the questions when an interviewer read them aloud.The questions posed to the respondents were based on the diagnostic criteria for IBS and other FGIDs. Particulars of other diseases and symptoms, living conditions, quality of life, healthcare consumption, etc. were also requested.

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The findings showed that the prevalence of FGIDs was higher in women than in men, and clearly associated with lower quality of life. According to the questionnaire responses, 49 per cent of the women and 37 per cent of the men met the diagnostic criteria for at least one FGID. The severity of the disorders varied, from mild discomfort to symptoms that adversely affected the quality of life to a high degree.

The prevalence of FGIDs was also strongly associated with high consumption of healthcare, such as visits to the doctor and use of medication, but also surgery, the study said. (IANS)

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Bullying a Common Factor Leading to LGBTQ Youth Suicides: Researchers

LGBTQ youth are more likely to be bullied than non-LGBTQ youth

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LGBTQ youth suicides are mainly caused because of bullying. Pixabay

Researchers have found that death records of LGBTQ youth who committed suicide were substantially more likely to mention bullying as a factor than their non-LGBTQ peers.

For the findings, published in the journal ‘JAMA Pediatrics’, the research team reviewed nearly 10,000 death records of youth aged from 10 to 19 years who died by suicide in the US from 2003 to 2017.

While LGBTQ youth are more likely to be bullied and to report suicidal thoughts and behaviours than non-LGBTQ youth, this is believed to be the first study showing that bullying is a more common precursor to suicide among LGBTQ youth than among their peers.

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bullying is a more common precursor to suicide among LGBTQ youth than among their peers. Pixabay

“We expected that bullying might be a more common factor, but we were surprised by the size of the disparity,” said study lead author Kirsty Clark from the Yale University.

“These findings strongly suggest that additional steps need to be taken to protect the LGBTQ youth — and others — against the insidious threat of bullying,” Clark added.

The research team used data from the National Violent Death Reporting System, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-led database that collects information on violent deaths, including suicides, from death certificates, law enforcement reports, and medical examiner and coroner records.

Death records in the database include narrative summaries from law enforcement reports and medical examiner and coroner records regarding the details of the youth’s suicide as reported by family or friends, the youth’s diary, social media posts, and text or email messages, as well as any suicide note.

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Among 10 to 13-year-olds, over two-thirds of LGBTQ youth’ death records mentioned that they had been bullied. Pixabay

The team searched these narratives for words and phrases that suggested whether the individual was LGBTQ. They followed a similar process to identify death records mentioning bullying. The study found that death records from LGBTQ youth were about five times more likely to mention bullying than non-LGBTQ youth’ death records.

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Among 10 to 13-year-olds, over two-thirds of LGBTQ youth’ death records mentioned that they had been bullied.

Bullying is a major public health problem among the youth, and it is especially pronounced among the LGBTQ youth, said the researchers.

“By showing that bullying is also associated with the life itself for the LGBTQ youth, this study urgently calls for interventions that foster safety, belonging and esteem for all young people,” said study researcher John Pachankis. (IANS)

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Having a Child with Cancer Doesn’t Impact Parents’ Separation: Researchers

Being parents to a cancer patient kid doesn't trigger separation, say researchers

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Chldhood cancer may not trigger seperation among parents according to researchers. Pixabay

Contrary to traditional belief, researchers now say that having a child with cancer did not appear to impact parents’ risk of separation or divorce or affect future family planning.

Childhood cancer can cause feelings of fear and uncertainty among parents and burden them with many practical challenges related to caregiving and work-related obligations, according to the study published in the journal Cancer.

For the findings, the research team from the Danish Cancer Society Research Centre examined data from several registries in Denmark, linking information on parents of children diagnosed with cancer in 1982-2014 (7,066 children and 12,418 case parents) with parents of children without cancer (69,993 children and 125,014 comparison parents).

Parents were followed until 10 years after diagnosis, separation or divorce, death, emigration, or the end of 2017, whichever came first.

Overall, parents of children with cancer had a four per cent lower risk of separation and an eight per cent lower risk of divorce compared with parents of children without cancer.

Among parents of children with cancer, those who were younger had less education, and were unemployed had elevated risks for separation and divorce.

The findings showed that risks were also higher among parents of children diagnosed at a younger age.

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Parents of children with cancer had a four per cent lower risk of separation. Pixabay

The investigators also evaluated how the diagnosis of cancer in a child affects parents’ decisions on having another child.

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They expected that parents of a child with cancer would have fewer children than parents of children without cancer and that they would postpone having another child.

This was not the case, however, as the researchers found that the childhood cancer experience did not negatively affect parents’ future family planning in Denmark.

The researchers noted that health care providers should communicate these reassuring and encouraging findings to parents, but that support should be offered if needed to improve family life in the long term. (IANS)