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Report : US study reveals cause of preterm births

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Washington, Nov 10: U.S. study examined that morethan 100 pregnant women solved the mystery of why babies are born prematurely.

This study was published in the US journal Science Translational Medicine on Wednesday that abnormal calcium deposits in the membranes surrounding the developing foetus as a potential culprit in premature birth, Xinhua news agency reported.

The deposits are early markers of bone formation, which makes the membranes less elastic and more prone to breaking breaks that early, according to the study conducted by Ohio-based Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
“We do see calcium deposits in full term births as well, which is probably part of the normal breakdown of the membranes at the appropriate time,” Irina Buhimschi, Director of the Center for Perinatal Research at the hospital’s Research Institute, said in a statement.
Buhimschi said that membrane are supposed to rupture when labour is underway, because of which too many calcium deposits too early.
Abnormal calcium deposits leads to kidney stones, aneurism and rupture.

The findings suggested that it may be possible to identify pregnancies at greater risk for premature rupture of membranes.
They also submmit that possible interventions to prevent these kinds of prematures births.
“I believe strongly that there are dietary measures that would improve the intra-amniotic environment for these women,” she said.

Wefornews Bureau 

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Reduce stress, anxiety by cycling regularly

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New Delhi, Dec 17 : Cycling can be one of the easiest ways to stay fit. Besides controlling your weight, it can reduce depression, stress and anxiety, say experts.

R.M. Anjana, Managing Director at Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre and Deepali Badoni, Physiotherapist at AktivHealth Clinic, talk about the benefits of cycling:

* Cycling is an aerobic exercise which has several health benefits. It reduces the risk of heart diseases. The activity boosts production of chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and phenylethylamine in the brain that makes you feel happy and keeps depression at bay.

* Static cycling is better for people suffering from knee or joint pain.

* People suffering from diabetes should make sure that they are well-hydrated while cycling. Type-1 diabetics should carry some carbohydrate based snacks if they are cycling for more than an hour.

Diabetics can track their blood sugar before, during, and after exercise using a finger-stick style blood glucose meter or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). A prescription for a CGM is required if you are cycling regularly, especially over long distances or in races.

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Maternal blood sugar likely to affect baby’s heart

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New York, Dec 16: Women with high blood sugar early in pregnancy may raise their baby’s risk of developing a congenital heart defect, according to a study.

While it has been long known that diabetes in pregnancy raises the odds for congenital heart defects in babies.

The new findings reveal that risk extends even to women without diabetes in their earliest part of pregnancy, when the foetal heart is forming.

“Most women who have a child with congenital heart disease are not diabetic,” said James Priest, assistant professor at the Stanford University in California.

The results showed that the risk of giving birth to a child with a congenital heart defect was elevated by 8 per cent for every increase of 10 milligrams per deciliter in blood glucose levels in the early stages of pregnancy.

“We found that in women who don’t already have diabetes or develop diabetes during pregnancy, we can still measure risk for having a child with congenital heart disease by looking at their glucose values during the first trimester of pregnancy,” Priest added.

For the study, published in The Journal of Paediatrics, the team examined medical records from 19,107 pairs of mothers and their babies born between 2009 and 2015, which included details of the mothers’ prenatal care, including blood test results and any cardiac diagnoses made for the babies during pregnancy or after birth.

The study may be helpful to measure blood glucose early in pregnancy in all pregnant women to help determine which individuals are at greater risk for having a baby with a heart defect.

“Knowing about defects prenatally improves outcomes because mothers can receive specialised care that increases their babies’ chances of being healthier after birth,” Priest added.

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Radiation from smartphones may up miscarriage risk: Study

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New York, Dec 14: Pregnant women’s exposure to non-ionising radiation from smartphones, Bluetooth devices and laptops may more than double the risk of miscarriage, a study has showed.

Non-ionising radiation — radiation that produces enough energy to move around atoms in a molecule, but not enough to remove electrons completely — from magnetic fields is produced when electric devices are in use and electricity is flowing.

It can be generated by a number of environmental sources, including electric appliances, power lines and transformers, wireless devices and wireless networks.

While the health hazards from ionising radiation are well-established and include radiation sickness, cancer and genetic damage, the evidence of health risks to humans from non-ionising radiation remains limited, said De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente — a US-based health care firm.

For the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, the team asked for 913 pregnant women over age 18 to wear a small (a bit larger than a deck of cards) magnetic-field monitoring device for 24 hours.

After controlling for multiple other factors, women who were exposed to higher magnetic fields levels had 2.72 times the risk of miscarriage than those with lower magnetic fields exposure.

The increased risk of miscarriage associated with high magnetic fields was consistently observed regardless of the sources of high magnetic fields. The association was much stronger if magnetic fields was measured on a typical day of participants’ pregnancies.

The finding also demonstrated that accurate measurement of magnetic field exposure is vital for examining magnetic field health effects.

“This study provides evidence from a human population that magnetic field non-ionising radiation could have adverse biological impacts on human health,” Li noted.

“We hope that the finding from this study will stimulate much-needed additional studies into the potential environmental hazards to human health, including the health of pregnant women,” he said.

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