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Number of siblings and cardiovascular health: Study explores link



Share on PinterestNew research examines the relationship between the number of siblings and the risk of cardiovascular events. Islandika / Getty Images

  • A recent study examined the association between the number and relative age of siblings and the combined risk of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events.
  • The results suggest that belonging to a larger family with multiple siblings or a second or third sibling may increase the risk of cardiovascular events.
  • This is the first study to look at birth order and family size, and also to consider the risk of non-fatal cardiovascular events.

According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease (CVD), which affects the heart and blood vessels, is the leading cause of death worldwide.

Family history and lifestyle factors such as smoking and an unhealthy diet are known risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease and stroke.

In addition to a family history of CVD, which is largely influenced by genetic predisposition, there are also indications that the family structure, in particular the order of birth, but not the family size, can influence the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.

However, only a few studies have examined the effects of family structure on non-fatal cardiovascular events.

A thorough understanding of the impact of family structure on CVD risk requires the consideration of both fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events.

A large observational study with people aged 30 to 58 at the beginning now shows that the number of siblings and the order of birth can influence the risk of cardiovascular events over a follow-up period of 25 years.

A research team led by Prof. Peter Nilsson from Lund University in Sweden carried out this study. Their results appear in the magazine BMJ Open.

To get information about family structure, the researchers used the Swedish Multi-Generation Register (MGR). The registry contains records of the birth parents of more than 95% of the population born after 1931 and lived in 1961, making it an exceptionally large data set.

The study included data from 1.36 million men and 1.32 million women aged 30 to 58 years in 1990. It used data from death and hospital discharge records to determine the risk of non-fatal and fatal cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality for these people between 1990 and 2015.

Factors such as socioeconomic status, educational level, marital status, and conditions such as diabetes can all influence the risk of CVD.

The team adjusted their analysis to account for the influence of these variables and to isolate the effects of family structure on cardiovascular events.

In terms of family size, men and women with more than one sibling had a lower risk of death than men without a sibling.

Men with one or two siblings were at lower risk of cardiovascular events than men with no siblings, while men with four or more siblings were at higher risk.

Men with three or more siblings also had a higher risk of coronary events than no siblings.

Similarly, women with three or more siblings had a higher risk of cardiovascular events compared to women without a sibling. In addition, women with two or more siblings were at higher risk for coronary events.

In terms of the birth order, first-born individuals had a lower risk of cardiovascular and coronary events than those born later.

In contrast, firstborn individuals had a higher risk of all-cause mortality than firstborn siblings.

The researchers point out that “more research is needed to understand the relationships between number of siblings and rank with health outcomes.”

The study’s strengths included a large sample size and extensive data on family structure and hospital records. However, it also had some limitations.

The researchers note that because of its observational design, the study only shows a correlation between family structure and cardiovascular events and does not identify a cause.

Also, due to the lack of data, the researchers were unable to consider variables such as diagnostic methods, parental socio-economic status, smoking, diet, and other lifestyle factors that may have influenced their analysis of CVD risk.

Since social factors are likely to contribute to the impact of family structure on health outcomes, including cardiovascular risk, the study’s findings could influence public health policies.

Significantly, this study was carried out in Sweden, which has a generous welfare system. The authors note that “this is of public health concern as different countries advocate different measures to support families and the number of children.”

“Future research should be aimed at finding biological or social mechanisms that link the status of the firstborn with a lower risk of CVD, as can be seen from our observational results,” the authors say.


Mayo unveils mobile health clinic | News, Sports, Jobs



Photo courtesy Amanda Dyslin (bold above 🙂 Above: Dr. James Hebl (left), regional vice president, and Dr. Gokhan Anil, regional chairman of clinical practice, spoke to community members at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont Monday morning about the mobile health clinic that will serve communities in southeast and southwest Minnesota, including Sherburn. Photo courtesy Amanda Dyslin Above: Dr. James Hebl (left), regional vice president, and Dr. Gokhan Anil, regional chair of clinical practice, spoke to community members Monday morning at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont about the mobile health clinic that will serve the communities in southeast and southwest Minnesota, including Sherburn.

FAIRMONT – According to Amanda Dyslin of Mayo Clinic Health System, MCHS is launching a new mobile health clinic that will expand services by increasing reach and providing direct access to health care for patients in rural communities in southern Minnesota.

Dr. James Hebl Regional Vice President and Dr. Gokhan Anil, regional chairman of clinical practice, spoke to community members Monday at MCHS in Fairmont about the mobile health clinic that will serve communities in southeast and southwest Minnesota, including Sherburn. In addition, guided tours through the mobile health station were offered.

“It was great to finally be able to show the device to the public in southwest Minnesota and just get a feel for what it will be like when it’s up and running.” said Dyslin. “The only town identified as a rest stop so far is Sherburn, but that will change in the future.”

The mobile health clinic will be housed in a large utility vehicle and will include two examination rooms, an on-site laboratory and pharmacy services. Patient visits will begin later this summer and specific locations and dates will be shared with patients.

“The mobile health clinic is part of Mayo Clinic’s commitment to innovation and creative solutions that serve local communities.” said Dr. Anil. “The mobile health clinic provides enhanced quality health services to people in communities that do not have inpatient clinic facilities.”

Patients will be able to receive medical checkups and treat chronic diseases.

The mobile health clinic also has the technology and equipment to virtually connect patients through video appointments with experts at the Mayo Clinic.

“The mobile health clinic is an extension of the virtual care options of the Mayo Clinic Health System.” said Dr. Anil. “In addition to the mobile health clinic, patients can access their care team through Patient Online Services, Mayo Clinic Health System’s patient portal. Find real-time primary care services through Express Care Online; and get expert medical advice from nurses by calling the Nurse Care Line. “

The services include:

– Acute illness / infection.

– Vaccinations, including COVID-19 vaccinations.

– Preventive services and medical check-ups.

– Medication refills and controls.

– Chronic disease controls.

– Warfarin management.

– Pacemaker checks (virtual).

– Special consultations and follow-ups (virtual).

– Prenatal visits (virtual).

– Wellness visits.

– pediatrics.

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Individuals with internalizing disorders have increased mortality risk



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Individuals with internalizing mental disorders had a significantly higher mortality rate than those without these disorders.

This discovery underscores the utility of using a transdiagnostic internalizing factor in predicting mortality risk, according to Hyunsik Kim, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Sogang University in South Korea and colleagues.

The researchers found that the significantly predicted mortality risk was internalized in participants who reported excellent health themselves, which was inconsistent in those who reported poorer physical health. The data was provided by Kim H, et al. World Psychiatry. 2021; doi: 10.1002 / wps.20859.

“The significant interaction between internalization and physical health suggests that the former dimension has more of an impact on early death in currently physically healthy individuals,” wrote Kim and colleagues.

Researchers examined the usefulness of a transdiagnostic internalizing factor versus disorder-specific variance, the factor’s ability to predict mortality risk, and the impact of self-reported physical health on internalization and early mortality. They analyzed the data from 6,329 participants recruited through the Midlife in the United States study. Participants completed a telephone interview and self-administered questionnaire, and the researchers followed the cohort through October 31, 2015, or until death. They measured symptom scores for major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and panic disorder symptoms and rated neuroticism.

The mean age of the participants was 46.77 years; 88.04% of the participants identified as white and 52.64% were women. During the study period, 1,234 participants died with an average survival time of 11.5 years. However, the mean survival time for the entire study cohort was 19.23 years. Kim and colleagues found that MDD, GAD, and neuroticism have significant predictions of moral risk using hierarchical regression models. Using the Cox regression analysis, the internalizing factor predicted the mortality risk after adjustments to be significant and positive (HR = 1.12, 95% CI: 1.05-1.16, P <0.01). However, when their combined variance in internalization was taken into account, the degree to which MDD, GAD, and neuroticism predicted mortality risk were attenuated by 67.2%, 86.9% and 87.1%, respectively, according to the researchers. The internalization of the significantly predicted mortality risk in participants who reported excellent health was inconsistent among those who reported poor physical health. Analysis at the level of the internalization factor showed an increase in the mortality rate of 12.3% for each unit step size of 1 standard deviation. Disorder-specific variances had no significant influence on the prediction of mortality risk. However, internalization accounted for 34.93% of MDD, 24.21% of GAD, 25.81% of panic disorder, and 23.91% of neuroticism variance.

Kim and colleagues speculated that the higher death rate among those who internalize may be explained by improper coping, physical inactivity, or a greater likelihood of experiencing adverse life outcomes.

“These results underscore the clinical utility of using the transdiagnostic internalizing factor to predict an important future outcome, and support the argument that internalizing psychopathology can be a useful task to incorporate into intervention and prevention research and into public health practice explore, ”she wrote.


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Tiny capsules containing cannabinoids could help treat neurological disorders



A team of researchers led by Curtin University has discovered a new way to improve the rate of oral absorption of medical cannabis, which could potentially be used in the future to treat neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injuries.

Photo credit: Curtin University

Published in the journal PLOS ONE and financed by industrial partner Zelira Therapeutics, the researchers were able to produce tiny capsules with cannabinoids that were absorbed faster by the body when taken orally and penetrated the brain more quickly in mouse models with neurological diseases than when it was supplied in liquid form .

Lead researcher, Associate Professor Ryu Takechi of the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI) and Curtin University’s School of Population Health, said there is growing interest in the use of cannabidiol to treat various neurological disorders, but there are limitations due to it its poor absorption and sensitivity to light and gastric acid when taken orally.

“Cannabidiol occurs in medical cannabis and is a popular natural remedy for people with neurological and metabolic diseases. Due to limitations in absorption, we wanted to develop and test a new method of drug delivery, ”said Professor Takechi.

“Our team was able to significantly improve the absorption and release of cannabidiol in the brain by administering it in a novel microcapsule form in combination with a naturally occurring bile acid.

“With this new capsule shape, we were able to remarkably improve the release of cannabidiol in the brain in animal models by 40 times and we were also able to protect the drug from oxidation and degradation by light, which extends the shelf life of the product.”

Associate Professor Takechi said the results could be helpful to support the clinical use of medicinal cannabis in the treatment of neurological disorders.

“In this study we were able to show for the first time that a bile acid actually increases the absorption and retention of cannabidiol in the brain. This shows that bile acids could be used to improve the intake of cannabidiol when taken orally, particularly in the treatment of neurological disorders, ”said Professor Takechi.

“More research is needed to test whether this type of drug delivery could be successful in human studies, but our results are very promising.”

Dr. Oludare Odumosu, CEO of Zelira, said he was very pleased with the outcome of working with Associate Professor Takechi and his team.

The new encapsulation technology appears to significantly improve the efficiency with which cannabinoid-based drugs can be transported into the brain. This could improve the effectiveness of cannabinoid therapies in treating neurological disorders while reducing costs and increasing safety. “

Dr. Oludare Odumosu, CEO, Zelira

This research was a joint effort by researchers from CHIRI, Curtin Medical School, and the School of Population Health at Curtin University, the University of Newcastle and the University of Otago.

The full paper entitled “Sodium Alginate Microencapsulation Improves Short-Term Oral Bioavailability of Cannabidiol When Administered with Deoxycholic Acid” can be found online here.


Journal reference:

Majimbi, M., et al. (2021) Sodium alginate microencapsulation improves the short-term oral bioavailability of cannabidiol when administered with deoxycholic acid. PLUS ONE.

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