Researchers discover how embryo attaches to the uterus

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have discovered how an embryo initially attaches to the wall of the uterus?what appears to be one of the earliest steps needed to establish a successful pregnancy. Specifically, the researchers found that 6 days after an egg is fertilized, the embryo uses specialized molecules on its surface and molecules on the surface of the uterus to attach itself to the wall of the uterus.

Person’s medical costs rise with increasing obesity

Overweight and obese individuals incur up to $1,500 more in annual medical costs than healthy-weight individuals, according to a two-year study of nearly 200,000 employees of General Motors. Average annual medical costs for normal weight individuals in the study were $2,225, while costs for overweight and obese individuals rose steadily, from $2,388 for overweight individuals to $3,753 for the most severely obese persons. The study, by Dee W. Edington, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan and colleagues, is the first to examine the relationship between medical costs and the six weight groups defined by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s weight guidelines. The guidelines separate individuals into categories of underweight, healthy-weight, overweight and three different obesity designations, based on average body mass index.

Controlling Heart’s Irregular Rhythm No Better Than Controlling Rate

The preferred and most frequently used initial therapy for the common heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation (AF) is a strategy to restore and maintain a normal heart rhythm. However, a study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health found that this “heart rhythm” strategy prevents no more deaths than the alternative, often secondary, approach to treatment which merely controls the rate at which the heart beats – and may have some disadvantages, including more hospitalizations and adverse drug effects.

Hormones, Antioxidants Could Hurt Older Women with Heart Disease

A study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health has found that postmenopausal women with heart disease who took hormone therapy and high dose antioxidant vitamins ? either alone or in combination with hormones ? did not have fewer heart attacks, deaths, or progression of coronary disease. In fact, both treatments showed a potential for harm. Although the actual numbers of deaths in the study were small, participants taking both active hormones and vitamins had the highest death rate while participants on placebo versions of both treatments had the lowest death rate.

Lifetime risk for heart failure: One in five

A person age 40 or older has a one-in-five chance of developing congestive heart failure, according to a study in today’s rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The study authors also reported that lifetime risk of developing heart failure doubles for people who have high blood pressure.

Risk of dying after heart failure down by one-third

Survival after a heart failure diagnosis has greatly improved over the past 50 years, according to a study from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The study found that the risk of dying after being diagnosed with heart failure had dropped by about a third in men and women during that period. About 4.8 million Americans have heart failure, with about 550,000 new cases being diagnosed each year. Heart failure contributes to about 287,000 deaths a year.

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