Sunday December 8, 2019

Smoking And Obesity May Have Negative Effects on Bone Health

Obesity and smoking are currently considered among the two most important preventable causes of poor health in developed nations, and both are modifiable risk factors

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Smoking
Lifestyle interventions focusing on weight loss and Smoking cessation should be emphasized whenever possible. Pixabay

Both obesity and Smoking can have negative effects on bone health, say researchers, adding they also impact healing in patients who have undergone surgery for fractures of the wrist, or the distal radius, among the most common bone fractures.

“Obesity and smoking are currently considered among the two most important preventable causes of poor health in developed nations, and both are modifiable risk factors,” said senior author Tamara D. Rozental from Harvard University.

For the study, published in the Journal of Hand Surgery, the research team analysed data on patients surgically treated for a distal radius fracture between 2006 and 2017 at two trauma centers.

The 200 patients were divided into obese and non-obese groups (39 and 161 patients, respectively) and were also characterised as current, former, and never smokers (20, 32, and 148 patients, respectively) based on self-reported cigarette use.

At three-month and one-year follow-ups after surgery, both the obese and non-obese groups achieved acceptable scores that pertained to patient-reported function in the upper extremity – close to those of the general population.

The two groups were also similar in regards to range of motion and bone alignment.

At three months, smokers demonstrated worse scores related to arm, shoulder, and hand function and a lower percentage of healed fractures, but these effects improved over the course of a year.

Complications were similar between groups.

Smoking
Both Obesity and Smoking can have negative effects on bone health, say researchers, adding they also impact healing in patients who have undergone surgery for fractures of the wrist, or the distal radius, among the most common bone fractures. Pixabay

“Overall we found that we can achieve excellent clinical and radiographic outcomes with surgery for displaced wrist fractures in patients who are obese and in those who smoke,” said Rozental.

The results show that treatment for distal radius fractures in obese and smoking patients is safe, and these patients may be treated like the general population with similar long-term results.

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Their short-term outcomes, however, demonstrate higher disability and, in the case of smokers, slower fracture healing,” Rozental added.

“As such, we believe that lifestyle interventions focusing on weight loss and smoking cessation should be emphasized whenever possible,” she said. (IANS)

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Genetic Variations Influence Risk of Developing Cancer: Study

Study found that variations in the regions that regulate the expression of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes affect cancer risk

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Cancer
While minor genetic changes only have a small impact on Cancer risk, the variations analysed in this study are numerous and common in the population. Pixabay

Shedding new light on why some people develop cancer while others do not, a new study has found that a person’s risk of developing cancer is affected by Genetic variations in regions of DNA that do not code for proteins, previously dismissed as “junk DNA”.

This study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, shows that inherited cancer risk is not only affected by mutations in key cancer genes, but that variations in the DNA that controls the expression of these genes can also drive the disease.

The researchers believe that understanding how non-coding DNA affects the development of this disease could one day improve genetic screening for cancer risk.

And in the future, this could lead to new prevention strategies, or help doctors diagnose the disease earlier, when it is more likely to be treated successfully.

“What we found surprised us as it had never been reported before — our results show that small genetic variations work collectively to subtly shift the activity of genes that drive cancer,” said lead researcher of the study John Quackenbush, Professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the US.

Genetic
Shedding new light on why some people develop Cancer while others do not, a new study has found that a person’s risk of developing cancer is affected by genetic variations in regions of DNA that do not code for proteins, previously dismissed as “junk DNA”. Pixabay

“We hope that this approach could one day save lives by helping to identify people at risk of cancer, as well as other complex diseases,” Quackenbush said.

The researchers investigated 846 genetic changes within non-coding stretches of DNA, identified by previous studies as affecting cancer risk.

These Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) are particular positions in the human genome where a single letter of the genetic code varies between people.

Unlike mutations in coding DNA, such as BRCA, that are rare but significantly raise a person’s risk of developing cancer, non-coding SNPs are relatively common in the population but only slightly increase cancer risk.

The team analysed whether there was a correlation between the presence of a particular SNP and the expression of particular genes.

In total, they looked at over six million genetic variants across 13 different body tissues.

Genetic
The researchers believe that understanding how non-coding DNA affects the development of this disease could one day improve genetic screening for cancer risk. Pixabay

They found that variations in the regions that regulate the expression of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes affect cancer risk.

The study also revealed that these cancer-risk SNPs tend to be specifically located in regions that regulate the immune system and tissue-specific processes — highlighting the importance of these cellular processes to the development of cancer.

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“While minor genetic changes only have a small impact on cancer risk, the variations analysed in this study are numerous and common in the population,” said Emily Farthing, senior research information manager at British charity Cancer Research UK. (IANS)