Prostate Cancer at a younger age linked to X-Ray exposure

August 08, 2008

     British researchers from the University of Nottingham show a connection between diagnostic radiation exposure and elevated risk of young-onset prostate cancer, which affects about ten percent of men diagnosed. Young-onset prostate cancer is by definition found in men before the age of sixty. The study included 431 men diagnosed with prostate cancer. It showed that men who had barium enemas or X-rays of the pelvis or hip in the previous ten years, both typical diagnostic forms of X-rays, were two and a half times more likely to be stricken with prostate cancer than the population at large. In men with a family history of the disease, the link seemed even stronger.
     The study also emphasized that the evidence that ties X-rays to prostate cancer is not strong at this stage. Professor Kenneth Muir, who led the study, said, “Although these results show some increase in the risk of developing prostate cancer in men who had previously had certain radiological medical tests, we want to reassure men that the absolute risks are small and there is no proof that the radiological tests actually caused any of the cancers.”
     The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings and research from the University is highly regarded by professionals worldwide. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation - School of Pharmacy). The results of the study have been published online in the British Journal of Cancer.

Boosting Potassium helps lower blood pressure

     More research shows that boosting levels of potassium in the diet may lower a person's risk of developing high blood pressure and may decrease blood pressure in people who already have "hypertension." High blood pressure remains the chief reason for visits to doctors' offices and for prescription drug use in the U.S., two researchers from Nashville, Tennessee note this month in a special supplement to The Journal of Clinical Hypertension.
     Dr. Mark C. Houston, from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Dr. Karen J. Harper from Harper Medical Communications, Inc. in Nashville, also point out that a healthy intake of potassium is thought to be one reason why vegetarians and isolated populations have a very low incidence of heart disease.
     They note that in isolated societies consuming diets low in sodium and high in fruits and vegetables which have high levels of potassium, hypertension affects only 1 percent of the population. In contrast in industrialized societies where people consume diets high in processed foods and large amounts of dietary sodium 1 in 3 persons have hypertension. The typical American diet contains about double the sodium and half the potassium that is currently recommended in dietary guidelines. Low potassium intake is thought to contribute to the prevalence of high blood pressure in Americans.
     Based on their review of published studies on the topic, Houston and Harper say if Americans were to boost their potassium intake, the number of adults with known high blood pressure could fall by more than 10 percent. In 2006, the American Heart Association issued new guidelines calling for Americans to get 4.7 grams per day of potassium. "An increase in potassium with a decrease in sodium is probably the most important dietary choice (after weight loss) that should be implemented to reduce cardiovascular disease," Houston and Harper contend.

     Some studies also show that diets containing at least 500 to 1,000 milligrams magnesium daily and more than 800 milligrams of calcium daily may help lower blood pressure and the risk of developing high blood pressure. "A high intake of these minerals through increased consumption of fruits and vegetables may improve blood pressure levels and reduce coronary heart disease and stroke," Houston and Harper conclude. The study results are published in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of Clinical Hypertension.