Peanuts during pregnancy lowers baby's allergy risk
Pregnant women who are not allergic to nuts and eat more of them during pregnancy may reduce the risk of their children developing an allergy to peanuts and tree nuts, concludes a study published in JAMA Pediatrics.
Peanut or tree nut (P/TN) allergies usually begin in childhood when the child is first exposed, so researchers looked at the link between pregnant mothers who eat peanuts or tree nuts and the risk of these allergies in their children. Researchers analyzed 8,205 children born to mothers who reported their diet before, during or after their pregnancy. Of those children, 308 had food allergies and 140 had P/TN allergies.
The results showed that children with mothers who did not have an allergy and who consumed the highest amount of peanuts or tree nuts (five times a week or more) had the lowest risk of developing an allergy to them.
Researchers say their study is in line with the theory that exposure to early allergens increases the likelihood of tolerance, which lowers the risk of developing food allergies. They also say their study supports the decision to encourage women without food allergies to eat a diverse range of food during pregnancy, rather than to avoid peanuts and tree nuts.
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Sourced from: Medical News Today, Eating peanuts in pregnancy lowers allergy risk for child
Scientists say common knee surgery is ineffective
A common type of knee surgery to repair the meniscus, which cushions the bones of the knee, is no more effective than fake surgery–at least in the first year–according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers looked at 146 volunteers at five medical centers in Finland, who had knee pain that appeared to be caused by the wear and tear of the meniscus. None of them had had an injury or osteoarthritis. Both of those situations have been proven ineffective for surgery.
By design, patients in the study did not know whether they had real surgery or fake surgery. Once a doctor used an arthroscopic technique to examine the knee, if surgery seemed appropriate, the medical team opened an envelope that revealed if the patient would have real or fake surgery. For the fake surgery, the microshaver that is used to remove pieces of the meniscus did not have a blade. The patients did not know which type of surgery they had.
Results showed that on two scales objectively measuring symptoms, there was little difference in outcomes between real and fake surgery. But patients regarded their surgery as a success, whether they got real or fake surgery. Surveys showed that 89 percent in the surgery group and 83 percent in the fake surgery group reported improvement.
The researchers say the study suggests there is no quick fix for this kind of knee pain. Some doctors, however, disagree with the findings, saying that there are many more factors that go into whether someone should have surgery, and that this study doesn’t explore those.
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Sourced from: Reuters, Common knee surgery ineffective in study
Flu vaccine may work better in women
Women may develop stronger protection against the flu than do men following vaccination, concludes a study from the Stanford School of Medicine.
Researchers examined the effects of the flu vaccine on the immune responses of 53 women and 34 men, and found that women had a stronger immune response to the shot than did men. Scientists found that the flu shot was least effective in the men with the highest levels of testosterone—a hormone which is known to suppress inflammation connected to the immune system.
The results, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, add to previous research which has found that men and women have different levels of protection following a flu shot. Researchers said their study provides clues to how to improve the effectiveness of flu shots in men.
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Sourced from: Live Science, Flu Vaccine May Work Better in Women