2012年2月27日 星期一

Air Pollution Linked to Heart and Brain Risks

February 15, 2012, 10:31 am

Air Pollution Linked to Heart and Brain Risks

A layer of smog rests over lower Manhattan.Keith Meyers/The New York TimesA layer of smog rests over Lower Manhattan.

It may be time to start paying more attention to those local air pollution alerts.

That is the message of three new studies this week that found, collectively, that people exposed to higher levels of air pollution have a greater risk of stroke, heart attacks and cognitive deterioration.

The impact of pollution on the heart and brain was seen over both the short and the long term. One nationwide study that followed nearly 20,000 women over a decade found that breathing in levels of polluted air like those commonly found in most parts of the country greatly accelerates declines in measures of memory and attention span. Another study in Boston found that on days when concentrations of traffic pollutants went up, so did the risk of stroke. The odds climbed by more than 30 percent even on days classified by the federal air quality index as “moderate” pollution days, which is intended to correspond to a minimal danger to health.

“At levels that the Environmental Protection Agency says are safe, we’re seeing real health effects,” said Gregory A. Wellenius, an associate professor of epidemiology at Brown University and lead author of the study linking pollution to stroke. “We saw these effects within 12 to 14 hours of when pollution levels went up.”

Studying the links between pollution and health is difficult, since so many factors are involved and it is difficult to establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship. But a link between pollutants in the air and declines in cardiovascular health has been suspected since at least the 1990s, when epidemiological research suggested that breathing in tainted air drives up rates of heart disease. The possible short-term effects of pollution remained particularly unclear, with some studies showing no immediate short-term risk. And little was known about the impact of inhaling emissions and air particles on brain function and dementia.

Dr. Wellenius and his colleagues tried to better clarify the short-term impact of air pollution by studying 1,705 stroke victims admitted to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston from 1999 to 2008, examining medical records to obtain the precise time a stroke actually occurred. They then cross-checked with the Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality index, which rates pollution levels in six general categories, beginning with “good,” then “moderate” and, at the very worst, “hazardous.” Some earlier studies have looked at daily air pollution levels and the number of hospitalizations for ischemic stroke or heart attacks on the same day, but that practice can be deceiving, since people sometimes wait hours or even days before going to a hospital after a stroke. “We were better able to estimate the patients’ air pollution exposure at the time of their stroke,” Dr. Wellenius said.

After controlling for age, hypertension and a slew of other risk factors for stroke, the researchers found a 34 percent higher risk at times when pollution levels climbed from “good” to “moderate.” (In the Boston area, where the study was conducted, pollution levels rarely climb very high, Dr. Wellenius said.) The effect was particularly strong when the researchers looked at levels of so-called black carbon and nitrogen dioxide, two markers of pollution from traffic.

Reducing air pollution levels by just 20 percent, an “achievable” goal, Dr. Wellenius said, “would have prevented about 6,000 of the 184,000 hospitalizations for stroke in the Northeast region” in 2007 alone, he said. The results were published this week in The Archives of Internal Medicine.

In a separate report published Tuesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association, scientists at the University Paris Descartes in France helped bolster the link between short-term exposure to air pollution and cardiovascular disease. They found that a variety of common pollutants — carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and others — raised a person’s immediate risk of having a heart attack.

Breathing in pollutants may cause harm in a number of ways, the researchers noted. They may cause inflammation linked to heart disease, increase the heart rate and thicken the blood, which can cause blood clots and accelerate atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

The smallest particles of pollution, those finer than 2.5 microns in diameter — or about one-thirtieth the width of a human hair — are particularly effective at infiltrating the body, the researchers noted. There is some evidence that they can even penetrate the brain through the nasal passages, said Jennifer Weuve, the lead author of a third study, also published in The Archives of Internal Medicine, linking pollution to cognitive decline.

Dr. Weuve’s research followed 19,409 women in the United States between the ages of 70 and 81 for about a decade, looking at changes in cognition every two years. Declines in memory and executive function, including the ability to plan and make or carry out a strategy, are normal as people get older. But the study showed that women with higher levels of long-term exposure to air pollution had “significantly” faster declines in cognition than those with less exposure to pollutants.

“Cognitively speaking, this higher exposure is as if you had aged an extra two years,” said Dr. Weuve, an assistant professor at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. That might not sound like much, she added, but if there were a treatment “that could just delay the onset of dementia by two years, that would spare the population millions of cases of disease over the next 40 years.”

Vinegar cleans berries

Subject: Vinegar cleans berries

Subject: Vinegar
Great to know!!

The key to preventing moldy berries? Vinegar!
by Katie
Berries, particularly super-fresh berries, are just wonderful, aren't they?
Image: Healthyfellow.com
But they're also kind of delicate. Raspberries in particular seem like they can mold before you even get them home from the market. There's nothing more tragic than paying $4 for a pint of local raspberries, only to look in the fridge the next day and find that fuzzy mold growing on their insides.
Well, with fresh berries just starting to hit farmers markets, you can tell that we Foodlush writers have berries, and how to keep them fresh, on the brain this week! First Jonna shared this excellent tip on how to salvage berries that are starting to lose their luster. Now I'm here to share a tip on how to prevent them from getting there in the first place:
Wash them with vinegar.
A friend of mine shared this tip with me a few weeks ago, and it really, really works. When you get your berries home, prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple cider probably work best) and ten parts water. Dump the berries into the mixture and swirl around. Drain, rinse if you want (though the mixture is so diluted I find you can't taste the vinegar,) and pop in the fridge.
The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit, and voila! Raspberries will last a week or more, and I've had strawberries go almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft. So go forth and stock up on those pricey little gems, knowing they'll stay fresh as long as it takes you to eat them.

2012年2月25日 星期六



> 和信醫院院長黃達夫6日炮轟,醫院不應為牟利而推銷民眾接受這種檢查

2012年2月17日 星期五

高罹病率/ How Safe Are Ships?


How Safe Are Ships?

Readers respond to an article on cruise safety.





「趁 著過年回台灣看看有什麼機會,」說這話的,是一位已到大陸工作10年的台商。今年52歲的他,原本在一家美國前500大企業擔任中國區總經理。去年9月, 這家美商為了配合客戶需求,開始往中國內陸遷移。選擇優退後要展開中年轉業的他,這才發現,過去悶著頭為公司打拚,外面的世界早已非他所想像。




第 二天早上,他一如往常起床刷牙洗臉,漱口時竟然無法遏止水從嘴角不斷流出。這時他才感到事態嚴重,趕緊請假就醫後,確定是俗稱「小中風」的顏面神經麻痺。 一開始蔡先生實在不能接受,作息與飲食向來正常的自己會中風,直到經過醫生的診斷後,他才接受這項事實。他會生病,原因就在於壓力過大。


在 婚姻上,中年人面臨的挑戰也比以往大得多。在日本,近年常出現妻子主動提出離婚協議的情況。知名心理專家楊聰財說,許多妻子提出離婚的原因,並非結交新 歡,或是先生不忠,而是在邁入中年後,照顧了20年的小孩,在此時長大成人,並陸續搬出去住。妻子突然覺得階段性責任已了,決定放手去追尋自己的人生。在 歐美、日本出現這類案例,也在你我周遭上演。


2012年2月15日 星期三


[驚爆] 眼科名醫蔡瑞芳 宣布停作雷射手術






LASIK - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LASIK - 頁庫存檔 - 翻譯這個網頁
LASIK or Lasik (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), commonly referred to simply as laser eye surgery, is a type of refractive surgery for correcting myopia, ...

Intraoperative complications

  • The incidence of flap complications has been estimated to be 0.244%.[60] Flap complications (such as displaced flaps or folds in the flaps that necessitate repositioning, diffuse lamellar keratitis, and epithelial ingrowth) are common in lamellar corneal surgeries[61] but rarely lead to permanent visual acuity loss; the incidence of these microkeratome-related complications decreases with increased physician experience.[62][63] According to proponents of such techniques, this risk is further reduced by the use of IntraLasik and other non-microkeratome related approaches, although this is not proven and carries its own set of risks of complications from the IntraLasik procedure.
  • A slipped flap (a corneal flap that detaches from the rest of the cornea) is one of the most common complications. The chances of this are greatest immediately after surgery, so patients typically are advised to go home and sleep to let the flap heal. Patients are usually given sleep goggles or eye shields to wear for several nights to prevent them from dislodging the flap in their sleep. A faster operation may decrease the chance of this complication, as there is less time for the flap to dry.
  • Flap interface particles are another finding whose clinical significance is undetermined.[64] A Finnish study found that particles of various sizes and reflectivity were clinically visible in 38.7% of eyes examined via slit lamp biomicroscopy, but apparent in 100% of eyes using confocal microscopy.[64]

[edit] Early postoperative complications

  • The incidence of dry eye varies widely from research studies. A study by Hovanesian et al. reported that 48% of patients experienced dry eye symptoms at 6 months period post surgery.[65]
  • The incidence of diffuse lamellar keratitis (DLK),[66] also known as the Sands of Sahara syndrome, has been estimated at 2.3%.[67] DLK is an inflammatory process that involves an accumulation of white blood cells at the interface between the LASIK flap and the underlying corneal stroma. It is most commonly treated with steroid eye drops, and sometimes it is necessary for the eye surgeon to lift the flap and manually remove the accumulated cells.
  • The incidence of infection responsive to treatment has been estimated at 0.4%.[67] Infection under the corneal flap is possible. It is also possible that a patient has the genetic condition keratoconus that causes the cornea to thin after surgery. Although this condition is screened in the preoperative exam, it is possible in rare cases (about 1 in 5,000)[citation needed] for the condition to remain dormant until later in life (the mid-40s). If this occurs, the patient may need rigid gas permeable contact lenses, Intrastromal Corneal Ring Segments (Intacs),[68] Corneal Collagen Crosslinking with Riboflavin[69] or a corneal transplant.
  • The incidence of persistent dry eye has been estimated to be as high as 28% in Asian eyes and 5% in Caucasian eyes.[70] Nerve fibers in the cornea are important for stimulating tear production. A year after LASIK, subbasal nerve fiber bundles remain reduced by more than half.[71] Some patients experience reactive tearing, in part to compensate for chronic decreased basal wetting tear production.
  • The incidence of subconjunctival hemorrhage has been estimated at 10.5%[67] (according to a study undertaken in China; thus results may not be generally applicable due to racial and geographic factors).

[edit] Late postoperative complications

  • The incidence of epithelial ingrowth has been estimated at 0.1%.[67]
  • Glare is another commonly reported complication of those who have had LASIK.[20]
  • Halos or starbursts around bright lights at night are caused by the irregularity between the lasered part and the untouched part. It is not practical to perform the surgery so that it covers the width of the pupil at full dilation at night, and the pupil may expand so that light passes through the edge of the flap into the pupil.[72] In daytime, the pupil is smaller than the edge. Modern equipment is better suited to treat those with large pupils, and responsible physicians will check for them during examination.
  • Late traumatic flap dislocations have been reported 1–7 years post-LASIK.[73]
  • Dry eye or in severe cases Chronic Dry eye. Due to nerves that are severed during the Lasik operation (around 70% of corneal nerves are severed), the lubrication system of the eye is affected and nerves may never recover to pre-operative condition. This may leave the patient with potential permanent dry eyes.

[edit] Other

LASIK and other forms of laser refractive surgery (i.e. PRK, LASEK and Epi-LASEK) change the dynamics of the cornea. These changes make it difficult for your optometrist and ophthalmologist to accurately measure your intraocular pressure, essential in glaucoma screening and treatment. The changes also affect the calculations used to select the correct intraocular lens implant when you have cataract surgery. This is known to ophthalmologists as "refractive surprise." The correct intraocular pressure and intraocular lens power can be calculated if you can provide your eye care professional with your preoperative, operative and postoperative eye measurements.

Although there have been improvements in LASIK technology,[74][75][76] a large body of conclusive evidence on the chances of long-term complications is not yet established. Also, there is a small chance of complications, such as haziness, halo, or glare, some of which may be irreversible because the LASIK eye surgery procedure is irreversible.

The incidence of macular hole has been estimated at 0.2 percent[58] to 0.3 percent.[77] The incidence of retinal detachment has been estimated at 0.36 percent.[77] The incidence of choroidal neovascularization has been estimated at 0.33 percent.[77] The incidence of uveitis has been estimated at 0.18 percent.[78]

Although the cornea usually is thinner after LASIK, because of the removal of part of the stroma, refractive surgeons strive to maintain the maximum thickness to avoid structurally weakening the cornea. Decreased atmospheric pressure at higher altitudes has not been demonstrated as extremely dangerous to the eyes of LASIK patients. However, some mountain climbers have experienced a myopic shift at extreme altitudes.[79][80]

In situ keratomileusis effected at a later age increases the incidence of corneal higher-order wavefront aberrations.[81][82] Conventional eyeglasses do not correct higher order aberrations.

Microfolding has been reported as "an almost unavoidable complication of LASIK" whose "clinical significance appears negligible."[64]

Blepharitis, or inflammation of the eyelids with crusting of the eyelashes, may increase the risk of infection or inflammation of the cornea after LASIK.[citation needed]

Myopic (nearsighted) people who are close to the age (mid- to late-forties) when they will require either reading glasses or bifocal eyeglasses may find that they still require reading glasses despite having undergone refractive LASIK surgery. Myopic people generally require reading glasses or bifocal eyeglasses at a later age than people who are emmetropic (those who see without eyeglasses), but this benefit may be lost if they undergo LASIK. This is not a complication but an expected result of the physical laws of optics. Although there is currently no method to completely eradicate the need for reading glasses in this group, it may be minimized by performing a variation of the LASIK procedure called "slight monovision." In this procedure, which is performed exactly like distance-vision-correction LASIK, the dominant eye is set for distance vision, while the non-dominant eye is set to the prescription of the patient's reading glasses. This allows the patient to achieve a similar effect as wearing bifocals. The majority of patients tolerate this procedure very well and do not notice any shift between near and distance viewing, although a small portion of the population has trouble adjusting to the monovision effect. This can be tested for several days prior to surgery by wearing contact lenses that mimic the monovision effect. Recently, a variation of the laser ablation pattern called PresbyLASIK, has been developed to reduce or eliminate dependence on reading glasses while retaining distance vision

There are reports of decrease in the number of corneal keratocytes (fibroblasts) after LASIK.[83]

2012年2月14日 星期二

荷蘭其實沒那麼環保/ PHILIPS 竹北廠在清理污染善後

荷蘭大廠商PHILIPS 在台灣的竹北廠在清理污染善後


2012-02 天下雜誌 490期 作者:經濟學人







污 染這麼嚴重,有幾個明顯的原因。一,荷蘭擁有全歐最高的每人平均牲畜量,這些動物的糞便會污染土壤和水源。二,荷蘭是交通樞紐,貨車和駁船都用柴油當燃 料,產生了大量懸浮微粒。三,荷蘭有許多高耗能的產業,例如煉油業、鋼鐵業和化工業。這些原因,再加上地狹人稠,不污染也難。


2012年2月12日 星期日


http://www.enorth.com.cn  2008-11-06 16:17

年 齡 層
收縮壓 20-60
收縮壓 70-80

 在正常情況下,心臟的跳動是由起搏和傳導系統的最高"司令部"──竇房結發動的,所以叫竇性心律。正常成人的心跳每分鍾60 ─ 100次,如果超過100次,就是心跳過快,醫學上叫作心動過速。   竇性心動過速頗為常見。顧名思義,此種心動過速是由竇房結發動的。發作時,成人心跳頻率每分鍾在100?150次之間,幼兒每分鍾可達200 次。其特點是逐漸發生、逐漸消失。竇性心動過速可見於正常人,常見的誘發因素有情緒激動、過度疲勞、惡夢、飲酒、喝濃茶、飲咖啡以及大量吸煙等。一般無需 特殊治療,只要消除誘發因素就會自行恢復。

2012年2月7日 星期二


農地重金屬超標 大里毒米恐下肚
台中市大里區28公頃農田驗出遭鎳、鉻重金屬污染,環保局立告示牌要求休耕,但遭公告污染區域的二期稻作早在去年11月就已收割,部分賣給民間糧商的稻米,恐已被民眾吃下肚。 (記者陳建志攝)

驗出含鎳鉻 28公頃緊急休耕

〔記 者陳建志、蔡淑媛、張菁雅、劉力仁/綜合報導〕台中市大里區二十八公頃農田被驗出遭鎳、鉻重金屬污染,中市環保局一月底通知農民休耕,但遭污染農田的二期 稻作早在去年十一月就已收割,除部分公糧繳回農會糧倉外,其餘已被民間米商碾成白米流入市面,但量有多少?官員也不知道。食用過量鎳、鉻恐影響肝、腎功 能,若稻米受污染,民眾吃下肚健康堪慮。

中市環保局水質及土壤保護科長范群彬表示,去年底向環保署申請擴大調查大里區詹厝園、大突寮、中興 段受污染情形,總數八百六十筆調查丘塊中,發現一百九十筆重金屬污染超標,結果在一月中旬出爐,夏田里附近約二十八公頃農田驗出鎳、鉻重金屬污染超標,環 保局緊急要求農民休耕,並剷除田裡的蔬菜、果樹。

檢驗空窗期 收割稻作早流出



多少流市面 中市官員也不知


中 國醫藥大學附設醫院毒物科主任洪東榮表示,如果是工廠鉻污染廢水排放到農田,農夫在耕作時經呼吸和皮膚接觸,會腐蝕呼吸道和造成皮膚發炎等症狀。遭鉻污染 的稻米被人體食用,會造成腸胃病變,隨尿液排出時影響泌尿道系統;鎳會引發肺癌、咽喉腔的癌症,也會造成皮膚過敏,長紅疹、蕁麻疹等,有小動物實驗也會造 成腎、肝和內分泌病變,或影響神經系統。

疑灌溉渠道 遭工廠廢水污染




2012年2月6日 星期一


概言之﹐《紐約時報》的文章指出﹐蘋果已經對富士康等供應商形成的全球供應鏈形成依賴。富士康是台灣電子產品製造巨頭﹐在中國多個城市都設有大型工廠﹐每 家工廠都擁有數萬名工人。富士康生產了全世界約40%的消費電子產品﹐服務對象包括戴爾(Dell)、惠普(Hewlett-Packard)、微軟 (Microsoft)和索尼(Sony)等公司。





摩 根士丹利資本國際 (MSCI) 專門研究科技和電信業公司的高級環境、社會及治理分析師伊士曼(Meggin Thwing Eastman)說﹐從紙面上看﹐蘋果設立了很好的制度﹐這一點與在社會責任上表現較好的企業是相同的。但我對執行情況存有疑慮﹔我們在蘋果看到了在其他 公司沒有看到的東西。


2012年2月1日 星期三

Prostate cancer

春節時 我聽妹婿許博士說他的一位同事 年紀輕 就因Prostate cancer而離去.....

NICE: Prostate cancer drug too costly for NHS

Prostate cancer cell Abiraterone has been shown to extend life for more than three months

Related Stories

A drug that can extend the life of men with advanced prostate cancer by more than three months has provisionally been rejected for NHS use.

The health watchdog for England and Wales says the drug's benefits are not enough to justify the price the NHS has been asked to pay.

Cancer charities have been angered by the decision about abiraterone, one of the few drugs available to men in the final stages of prostate cancer.

A final decision is yet to be made.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect men in the UK.

The chief executive of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), Sir Andrew Dillon, said the drug was effective, and one of its key benefits was that it could be taken orally in the patient's own home.

"We are therefore disappointed not to be able to recommend it for use on the NHS, however it is an expensive drug," Sir Andrew added.

'Bitter blow'

Abiraterone costs just under £3,000 for one month's supply but has been offered at a undisclosed discounted price to the NHS.

Cancer charities have criticised the health regulator's decision.

"Quite simply, abiraterone prolongs the life of men with incurable prostate cancer. The draft decision is a bitter blow to thousands of men and their families and must be overturned," said Owen Sharp, chief executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity.

Case study: Ron McCoo, Blackpool

Ron, 59, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010. He has been using abiraterone for three months. His local health provider currently allows the drug to be used on an individual basis. He says it has changed his life.

"I have my life back. I have a lot more energy and no pain. My quality of life is excellent. I wouldn't even know I have cancer now, it's that good.

"I know it doesn't work for everybody but it certainly works for me. I would be devastated if it was no longer available on the NHS."

Ron's wife Terri says: "We know NICE has to take a lot of things into consideration, but when you have a terminal illness an extra fourth months is very precious."

Prof Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK's chief clinician, said: "Only one other drug is available on the NHS that has been shown to prolong survival but it has more severe side-effects than abiraterone and is effective in fewer men."

Cancer Research UK, which provided support in the development of the drug and could benefit from its royalties, said it believed that NICE might have overestimated the number of people who needed the drug.

It said that if the regulator rethought the criteria used to calculate the cost-effectiveness of the drug, there is a chance it could be made available under special arrangements for treating people at the end of their lives.

NICE said it had already used the appropriate methods in its review, and concluded that the number men who would need the drug was too large to consider such agreements.

Almost 500 men have successfully applied for abiraterone in the past nine months through the alternative route of the Cancer Drugs Fund in England, an initiative designed to increase access to drugs.

Until final guidelines are issued by the health regulator, decisions can continue to be made locally about the use of abiraterone.

Each year 37,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and more than 10,000 die from it.

Are you affected by the issues raised in this story? Contact BBC News with your comments and experiences using the form below.

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Ads by Google

More Health stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on BBC News

  • BBC Sport new pageA new look

    Check out the new look for the BBC Sport website


  • A beach in JamaicaFast Track

    Quieter beaches and hotels - how the Caribbean is being hit by a tax levied nearly 5,000 miles away