Obese couples may take longer to conceive

UNTV News   •   March 1, 2017   •   3040

The legs of women are pictured as they walk along a street in Paris, France, October 14, 2015. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

(Reuters Health) – – Couples who are obese may take longer to achieve pregnancy than partners who aren’t as overweight, a recent U.S. study suggests.

Previous studies in women have linked obesity to difficulties getting pregnant. In the current study, neither male nor female obesity alone was linked to taking a longer time to conceive, but when both partners were obese, the couple took up to 59 percent longer to conceive than non-obese counterparts.

“If our results are confirmed, fertility specialists may want to take couples’ weight status into account when counseling them about achieving pregnancy,” said lead study author Rajeshwari Sundaram of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland.

“The benefits of a healthy weight are well known: obesity increases the risk for diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer,” Sundaram added by email.

Sundaram and colleagues focused on the relationship between pregnancy and body mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered a healthy weight, while 25 to 29.9 is overweight, 30 or above is obese and 40 or higher is what’s known as morbidly obese. (The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has an online BMI calculator here: bit.ly/1D0ZqDv.)

An adult who is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds, for example, would have a BMI of 23.6, which is in the healthy range. An obese adult at that height would weigh at least 203 pounds and have a BMI of 30 or more.

Researchers categorized individuals into two subgroups: obese class I, with a BMI from 30 to 34.9, and obese class II, with a BMI of 35 or greater.

Overall, 27 percent of the women and 41 percent of the men were obese class I or heavier.

Then, the researchers compared the average time to conceive for couples where neither partner was obese to couples where both fell into the obese class II group.

Couples in the obese class II group took 55 percent longer to achieve pregnancy than their normal weight counterparts, the study team calculated.

After accounting for other factors that influence fertility such as age, smoking status, exercise and cholesterol levels, obese class II couples took 59 percent longer to get pregnant.

About 40 percent of the men and 47 percent of the women also had enough excess fat around the midsection to potentially influence fertility.

In addition, 60 percent of the women and 58 percent of the men said they exercised no more than once a week, the researchers report in Human Reproduction.

Beyond its small size, another limitation of the study is that it wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to determine whether obesity directly causes infertility, the authors note. It also focused on couples in the general population, not people undergoing treatment for infertility, so the results might not reflect what would happen for all couples trying to conceive, the researchers point out.

However, unlike many other studies of obesity and fertility, the current analysis used height and weight measured by clinicians instead of relying on participants to report this information themselves, which may make the findings more accurate.

Obesity can influence fertility by altering hormone levels in both men and women, converting testosterone to estrogen, said Dr. Jeffrey Goldberg, section head of reproductive endocrinology at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

“If you have more fat there is more conversion from testosterone to estrogen,” Goldberg, who wasn’t involved in the study, said.

It makes sense that obese couples would take longer to conceive because excess weight doesn’t just impact fertility in women.

“For women extra weight impairs ovulatory function,” Goldberg said. “For guys, having lower testosterone and higher estrogen impairs sperm production and having a lot of fat around the scrotum, fat thighs and fat around the abdomen raises the scrotal temperature and that can also have an adverse effect.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/2ldct2A Human Reproduction, online February 3, 2017.

DOH, tiniyak na ligtas pa ring manganak sa ospital sa gitna ng COVID-19 crisis

Robie de Guzman   •   April 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Pinawi ng Department of Health (DOH) ang pangamba ng mga buntis hinggil sa kaligtasan ng panganganak sa mga ospital sa gitna ng krisis sa novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) sa bansa.

Sa isang Facebook post, tiniyak ng DOH na ligtas pa ring manganak sa mga ospital dahil may sinusunod na istriktong panuntunan ang health facilities upang masegurong ligtas sa naturang sakit ang mga buntis at isisilang nilang sanggol.

“Huwag tayong mangamba na manganak sa ospital. Ang ating mga ospital ay may mahigpit na infection prevention and control measures. Hindi nito pababayaan ang kalusugan niyo at ni baby,” saad ng ahensiya sa isang pahayag.

“Ginagawa nila ang lahat ng kanilang makakaya upang makapagbigay ng dekalidad na birthing services habang patuloy ang paglaban ng ating bansa kontra sa COVID-19,” dagdag pa nito.

Payo rin ng DOH sa mga malapit nang manganak na makipag-ugnayan sa mga opisyal ng kanilang barangay para maihatid sa pagamutan lalo na at suspindido ang public transport habang umiiral ang enhanced community quarantine sa buong Luzon.

“Kung walang masakyan papuntang paanakan, ipagbigay-alam ito sa inyong barangay upang mapaghandaan bago pa man manganak,” sinabi ng ahensya.

Sa gitna ng COVID-19 crisis, sinabi ng DOH na pinakaligtas pa ring manganak sa isang health facility na nagbibigay ng birthing services gaya ng maternity at newborn care.

Maaari ding manganak sa mga sumusunod na pasilidad na lisensiyado ng DOH at accredited ng Philhealth:

  • Birthing facility ng Helath Center o Municipal/Rural Health Units
  • Mga pribadong lying-in clinics na mayroong midwife, nurse at doctor
  • Mga infirmary

“Kung pipiliing manganak sa panibagong health facility na iba sa inyong napagplanuhan, siguraduhing makipag-ugnyan sa inyong health care provider pang siya ay makapagbigay ng tamang referral o endorsement,” ayon sa DOH.

Kapag malapit nang manganak, mas mainam na rebyuhin ang birth plan (mother-baby book o pregnancy record mula sa inyong healthcare provider), at hangga’t maaari ay ituloy ang prenatal check-ups o kaya ay makipag-usap sa inyong healthcare provider sa pamamagitan ng tawag, text message o email habang may community quarantine.

Dapat ring ihanda ang maternity bag at newborn bag, at isilid rito ang inyong mother-baby book at PhilHealth card.

Ngayong may kumakalat na virus, pinapayuhan ng DOH ang mga buntis na ipagpatuloy ang pag-inom ng supplements na sagana sa iron at folic acid, kumain ng masusustansiyang pagkain at panatilihin ang kalinisan ng katawan, umiwas sa mga pagkaing maalat at mamantika, at ugaliing maghugas ng kamat gamit ang sabit at tubig bago at pagkatapos hawakan at pasusuhin ang inyong sanggol.

Maryland woman kills three people and herself in warehouse gun rampage

UNTV News   •   September 21, 2018

Police and media outside at the vicinity of the crime (REUTERS TV)

(Reuters) – A woman armed with a handgun opened fire on Thursday on co-workers at a Maryland distribution center for the Rite Aid drugstore chain, killing three people and wounding three others before taking her own life, the Harford County sheriff said.

The shooting unfolded shortly after the suspect, a temporary employee there, reported for work around 9 a.m. EDT at the warehouse in Perryman, Maryland, about 34 miles (55 km) northeast of Baltimore, Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said at a news conference.

The sheriff said investigators had not yet determined a motive, but a law enforcement source told Reuters the shooting was believed to have been sparked by a work-related grievance.

The sheriff’s office later identified the killer as Snochia Moseley, 26, a resident of Baltimore County. The fact that the assailant was a woman was unusual given that the overwhelming majority of mass shootings in the United States are committed by men.

Gahler said Thursday’s gun violence began outside the warehouse and then moved inside, but investigators were still piecing together the precise sequence of events.

He said seven people were hit by gunfire and that four, including the woman who opened fire, were killed. The three others were expected to survive, according to the sheriff.

He said the suspect, who was armed with a 9mm Glock pistol and two or three magazines of ammunition, shot herself in the head, and that no shots were fired by law enforcement.

Investigators believe all the victims were fellow Rite Aid employees, but it was not immediately clear whether any were specifically targeted by the suspect, Gahler said.

The Rite Aid center, part of a larger warehouse in an industrial park, has nearly 1,000 employees, company spokesman Pete Strella said. The facility packages pharmaceuticals and other products for delivery to more than 2,500 stores.

Police spent several hours searching the 210,000-square-foot (19,510-square-metre) building for possible additional victims, the sheriff’s office said.

“Our prayers are with all those impacted, including our first responders,” Governor Larry Hogan wrote on Twitter. “The State stands ready to offer any support.”

Agents from the Baltimore offices of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI also responded, the agencies said.

The shooting occurred a day after a man shot and wounded four people, including a police officer, at a Pennsylvania court building before he was killed by police, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Additional reporting by Don Pessin in Washington, Mark Hosenball in London and Andrew Hay in New Mexico; Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by James Dalgleish and Peter Cooney

High blood pressure in pregnancy may not disappear afterward

UNTV News   •   February 7, 2018

FILE PHOTO: A pregnant woman is seen in a handout photo. REUTERS/Newscom

(Reuters Health) – Women who develop high blood pressure during pregnancy may have the condition reappear within a year of delivery, and many of them may go undiagnosed because the problem only surfaces at night, a new study suggests.

Preeclampsia, or high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy, is common. In severe cases, it can become fatal or result in serious complications for babies like organ damage or stunted growth. While the condition has also long been linked to an increased risk of women developing high blood pressure later in life, the current study offers fresh insight into why it might go undetected.

For the study, researchers focused on 200 women with severe preeclampsia that resolved after the women gave birth. In 24-hour home blood pressure testing done one year after these women gave birth, 42 percent of them had developed high blood pressure.

But only 24 percent of these cases would have been caught by a quick blood pressure check at the doctor’s office, researchers report in Hypertension. That’s because in many instances, women had high blood pressure at night.

“Our findings suggest that women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy should continue to monitor their blood pressure long after they’ve delivered their babies,” said lead study author Dr. Laura Benschop of Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands.

“Women with previous severe preeclampsia should also receive 24-hour blood pressure monitoring one year after pregnancy to diagnose any type of hypertension that cannot be diagnosed with a single office blood pressure measurement,” Benschop said by email.

Most of the women were around 32 years old when pregnant, and they were typically first-time mothers. On average, they were diagnosed with preeclampsia at around 30 weeks’ gestation, during the third trimester.

By one year after delivery, roughly one in five of the women had already been diagnosed with hypertension and been given medication to treat it.

During the home-based tests, 43 percent of the women had high blood pressure at night and 32 percent had it during the day.

Beyond its small size, another limitation of the study is that it included mostly white and highly educated women, and results from this group may not represent what would happen for other patients, the authors note.

“The study itself is not sufficient to directly recommend specialist screening for all women with previous preeclampsia,” Dr. Simon Timpka, a researcher at Lund University and Skane University Hospital in Malmo, Sweden, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

However, the results do suggest women should get annual blood pressure checks from their general practitioners, advised Heather Boyd, a researcher at the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“We might need to think about expanding annual blood pressure checks to include home monitoring for a 24-hour period, at least for women with a history of severe preeclampsia,” Boyd, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

Beyond getting their blood pressure checked, women can also take steps to prevent it from becoming elevated, noted Dr. Nieca Goldberg, medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at New York University Langone Medical Center.

“They should also follow a healthy diet . . . and lower their salt intake,” Goldberg, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. “Exercise and stress reduction are also good ways to keep your blood pressure in the healthy range.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/2Eo2BA0 Hypertension, online February 5, 2018.

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