We Talk Curling And Stats With The Guys Who Won The Gold

By Neil Paine Here are some excerpts from the conversation.On advice for first-time curlers:Hamilton: “My best advice would be, don’t fall. In my first game at the Olympics, I fell. So don’t go down — it’s still hard ice. But in seriousness, if you go in with an open mind and are really curious about the sport itself — not just the throwing aspects, but actually immersing yourself in what curling is about — you’ll find all these people who are so willing to help and teach and get you into the strategy, which is really the draw. … Making shots is great, and it felt good when you made your first couple of shots in curling when you tried it, but when you finally learn why you’re throwing that shot, why making that shot set you up later in the game to win, it’s just a remarkable feeling. It really is like chess on ice, just that mental game mixed with a finesse game, mixed with the brute force of sweeping. It has all the aspects of a really fun game.”On preparing with analytics guru Gerry Geurts of CurlingZone.com:Hamilton: “He sat us down at our summer camp and explained to us where we sat [among] elite players at certain things, like with the hammer/without the hammer, up by one with the hammer/down by one with the hammer … and it went on for all of the potential scoring scenarios. And he gave us feedback [on] which positions we could be better at, which ones we’re really good at, where we need to keep doing what we’re doing. Then he gave us some info on other teams in those same kind of numbers. … I’d be lying if I said that didn’t come into play at all.”On the flaws of using curling percentage to judge players and teams:George: “It’s incredibly subjective because it depends on what types of shots you’re playing. And the way that they do stats for the television events [is] really simplistic because they’re only going on make/miss or how close you were to making the shot [but] not factoring in the difficulty of the shot. … So for the viewer at home, looking at our percentages, they probably thought that we weren’t playing nearly as well as our record would imply. … But a lot of that is because we’re playing with a lot more rocks in play. We’re making a lot more difficult shots, but the viewers are not seeing that.”On the role analytics might have in the game in the future:George: “There’s a major change coming up next season where they’re literally changing the rules in the game, where stats are going to have to be applied to figure out what the best strategies are … (Editor’s note: The change involves being able to add one extra protected stone to the area in front of the house.) It doesn’t seem like much — it’s only one more rock that you can’t take out to play — but it completely changes the strategy of how you start ends out, and they’ve been using it in Grand Slam events so far. So you see it maybe six or seven times a year, and teams are still kind of tinkering with strategy on how to defend, especially [because] it’s a way more offensive game. … Stats are going to be huge in figuring out the best ways to go about defending with this new strategy because we just haven’t done it that much.”On whether curling will be able to capitalize on its newfound popularity:Shuster: “I think you’re going to see it because [of] the ratings that we were getting during the Olympics and the ratings we’ve been getting with “Curling Night in America” the last couple of years. What happens is, we haven’t had national television coverage between Olympic cycles, and then every Olympics we get more and more coverage and the ratings get better and better. And then all of a sudden, NBC Sports Network ran “Curling Night in America,” so we had a weekly show going on. After we won the gold, they’re going to show one live game every single day during the world [championships] that are coming up in Vegas. … I think curling right now could be on [the same] trajectory as something like poker was 10 years ago. If the world championships are high-quality, entertaining TV this year, people are going to demand it more, and we’re going to start seeing it on more of a regular basis moving forward.” More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed But after the U.S. men’s Olympic curling team won gold in Pyeongchang, we knew it had to become reality. So, on Friday, despite bad weather in the Northeast — which left Nate calling in from an airport tarmac after his flight was diverted — I was joined in the FiveThirtyEight podcast studio by Olympic champion curlers John Shuster, Tyler George and Matt Hamilton.We talked about curling analytics, the team’s new celebrity fans and where the sport goes from here. You can listen to it on your phone by subscribing to our NBA podcast, “The Lab,”1Sadly, we don’t have a curling podcast feed … yet. or by clicking the play button below. Embed Code It all started as a predawn tweet: read more

OSU mens basketball loses top recruit LaQuinton Ross

The Ohio State men’s basketball team is more than a month away from kicking off its 2011-12 season, but its Final Four hopes have already taken a small hit. OSU announced Monday that incoming freshman LaQuinton Ross was ruled an academic non-qualifier by the NCAA and will not be on the Buckeyes roster when the team opens practice on Oct. 14. Ross, who according the Rivals.com was the No. 43 overall recruit in the class of 2011, was the highest-ranked of the five players who committed to play for OSU coach Thad Matta this season. In his senior season of high school, Ross averaged 25.4 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. As an academic non-qualifier, Ross did not meet the academic standards that are required for all NCAA Division I athletes. According to the NCAA’s official website, an incoming student must be a high school graduate, achieve a 2.0 GPA and present a qualifying score on either the SAT or ACT. Academic non-qualifiers are not permitted to receive an academic scholarship for a full year, meaning that Ross likely won’t play for the Buckeyes until the 2012-13 season, at the earliest. Despite Ross having signed a letter of intent last November to play for the Buckeyes, being ruled as an academic non-qualifier returns his status with the NCAA back to that of a prospect. As a prospect, Ross is allowed to be recruited and can sign to play with schools other than OSU, granted that he academically qualifies for the 2012-13 season. Ross has spent the past summer in Columbus, playing alongside current and former OSU players. CBSSports reported on Monday that Ross, who attended high school at Life Center Academy in Burlington, N.J., would be returning to his home state of Mississippi to “take a class and retake the SAT.” From his Twitter account, @qross2011, Ross posted on Friday at approximately 7 p.m.: “Struggling is something I’m use to!! I seem to bounce back everytime this time want be any different!!” The Buckeyes were hoping that Ross, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward, would help replace some of the perimeter scoring that the team lost when forward David Lighty and guard Jon Diebler graduated. With senior guard William Buford and sophomore swingmen Deshaun Thomas and Jordan Sibert returning this year, it is possible that Ross may not have found playing time in Matta’s rotation. With 2010-11 All-American and OSU leading scorer and rebounder Jared Sullinger returning for his sophomore season, the Buckeyes are expected to be a top-five team to start this season. OSU kicks off its regular season on Nov. 11 against Wright State in the Global Sports Shoot-out. read more

San Diego County Coalition releases drug report card showing record Opioid deaths

first_img Updated: 12:50 PM October 26, 2018 Categories: Health, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego County Prescription Drug Task Force and a group of local political and law enforcement leaders released the task force’s annual report card Friday, showing increases in deaths due to prescription drugs and the synthetic opioid fentanyl.The county report found that 273 San Diego residents died due to prescription drug overdoses, an 8 percent increase over the 253 deaths in 2016, and fentanyl deaths spiked 155 percent from 33 in 2016 to 84 in 2017. Heroin deaths dropped by five percent, from 91 in 2016 to 86 in 2017.“Prescription drug abuse is an equal opportunity killer and can affect anyone, crossing socioeconomic status, ethnicity, gender and age,” said County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, who joined the task force at the release. “The fact is, unintentional drug-related deaths continue to rise.”The death tolls due to prescription drugs and fentanyl were record highs in San Diego County. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl is roughly 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.“We have seen a steady increase in fatal overdose cases over the years where fentanyl has been added to opiates,” County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Glenn Wagner said.Gaspar and the task force detailed the county’s plan to use a community-driven approach to reduce prescription drug and opioid dependence. The county plans to partner with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney Summer Stephan, the Safe Homes Coalition and the San Diego Association of Realtors to fight drug abuse issues. Residents can also call the county’s access and crisis hotline at (888) 724-7240.The report came on the eve of the county’s participation in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Oct. 27. The county will offer prescription drug disposal services at 44 sites. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Admnistration, local law enforcement officers and local organizations will assist the county in collecting unused, expired and unwanted pills from county residents.“Prescription drug abuse is a critical issue that impacts more than 6 million American families and children,” the San Diego Association of Realtors said in a statement. “With more than 20,000 members throughout the County of San Diego, SDAR is well-positioned serve as regional leader for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.” center_img KUSI Newsroom, San Diego County Coalition releases drug report card showing record Opioid deaths Posted: October 26, 2018last_img read more

Oikya Front leaders meet diplomats

first_imgOikya Front leaders sat for a meeting with diplomats at a city hotel on Wednesday. US ambassador Earl R Miller is seen in the picture before the meeting. Photo: Abdus SalamJatiya Oikya Front top leaders, including eminent jurist Kamal Hossain, are holding a meeting with the foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka at a city hotel on Wednesday afternoon.Diplomats of the USA, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey, Phillipines, France, Australia, among others, joined the meeting.The Oikya Front leaders include BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, Gano Forum executive president Subrato Chowdhury, Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury, BNP leaders Tabith Awal, Sabih Uddin Ahmed, Zeba Khan and Asaduzzaman Ripon.last_img read more

Baltimore Arts Building Shuttered Days after Oakland Fire

first_imgBALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore officials have shut down an arts building for safety violations and evicted dozens of tenants three days after a fire at a California warehouse-turned artists’ enclave killed three dozen people.The Bell Foundry (Instagram photo via @bellfoundry)The Baltimore Sun reports (http://bsun.md/2h11FWs) officials boarded up the two-story Bell Foundry arts building on Monday.Fire department spokesman Roman Clark says inspectors responding to a complaint found no valid permit, unsafe conditions and other violations.City housing department spokeswoman Tania Baker says tenants may not use the building again until the building is up to code.The Bell Foundry is located in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, which was designated in 2002.A fire broke out late Friday in a cluttered Oakland, California, warehouse that had been converted into artists’ studios, killing 36 people.last_img read more

Soon market space to provide desired services

first_imgKolkata: In a significant stride to encourage residents of New Town to harness their rooftop or balcony spaces to grow vegetables, the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) is all set to create a market space from where they would be able to choose their desired service packages for the same.”Many people have shown keen interest to start rooftop urban farming but could not begin because of lack of expertise. There will be no hassle or botheration for the house-owners as the market spaces will give them the liberty to choose the empanelled agency for maintenance and other requisites of roof top farming. The agency, in lieu of the service, will charge the resident that will be fixed by us,” a senior NKDA official said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe NKDA has already invited expression of interest (EOI) from eligible, reputed and licensed NGO/agency/company/consortium for empanelment under the NKDA for developing rooftop farming infrastructure for residents of New Town through its website. The date of opening of empanelment documents have been fixed on January 21. According to the official, this move will be beneficial to the residents with individual plots or members of a cooperative or housing complex as rooftop farming will provide decorative benefits, quality food, architectural enhancement etc. Pointing out the advantages of rooftop urban farming, the official added that it will reduce the carbon emissions for transporting vegetables from rural areas like Bhangar to the homes in Kolkata. It will also ensure availability of pesticide free, organic, healthy and fresh vegetables. The roof would be cooler in summers as well,” he added. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedNKDA chairman Debashis Sen held a meeting on Friday with officers and progressive technical farmer entrepreneurs where a number of models were discussed on how to encourage city dwellers to harness the rooftops or balcony spaces to grow vegetables. The role of NKDA would be to spread the message and act as a regulator of sorts. “At the same time, we will make citizens aware of the empanelled agencies during our outreach activities on vector-borne diseases, segregation of solid waste etc,” the official maintained. Agri Horticultural Society will be the technical partner of NKDA for providing the knowhow. It may be mentioned that at Swapno Bhor, the state’s first senior citizens’ park, organic farming of vegetables has recently been started in collaboration with an NGO and senior citizens, who are members of the same, are overseeing it.last_img read more

Tooth loss in elderly linked to malnutrition

first_imgOlder adults with just 10 to 19 teeth are at higher risk malnutrition, warns a new study. These patients also had higher rates of weight loss, lower appetite and were at increased risk for dementia and/or depression as well as severe illnesses than those who had a normal nutrition status. “The mouth is the entry way for food and fluid intake. If its integrity is impaired, the functional ability of an individual to consume an adequate diet may be adversely impacted,” said Rena Zelig, lead author at Rutgers University in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFurther, the researchers said that dental clinics were ideal locations to perform nutritional status screenings as they can identify patients who may not regularly visit a primary care provider and who may be at risk for malnutrition. “Clinicians also can provide patients with referrals to Registered Dietitians and community assistance programmes such as Meals on Wheels to prevent further decline in nutritional status,” Zelig said. The study, published in Journal of Ageing Research and Clinical Practice, analysed the health records of 107 senior citizens treated aged 65 and above.The results showed that 20.6 per cent of participants were at risk for malnutrition and 4.7 per cent were malnourished. In addition, greater than 87 per cent of them partially or completely lacked teeth. However, further study was needed to examine the relationships between tooth loss and malnutrition risk and the impact of tooth loss on the eating experience and eating-related quality of life.last_img read more

Dont Put Your Profits at Risk by Ignoring This Crucial Protection for

first_imgNovember 30, 2017 Money talks. And it’s telling small-business owners they risk losing it if they don’t protect themselves against looming cyber threats.A recent report published by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) states half of small businesses couldn’t stay profitable more than 30 days if they lost critical data.Related: Here’s How Taking Cybersecurity Very Seriously Enhances Your BrandThe BBB reports out of the 1,100 businesses they surveyed in North America, less than half provide cybersecurity education to their employees. That’s troubling considering how many cyber attacks occur due to an unsuspecting employee clicking on a hyperlink in a fake email. Ninety-one percent of hacks on businesses start with a spear phishing email scam, according to KnowBe4, a company specializing in security awareness training for employees.Despite the prevalence of anti-malware software, firewalls and other cyber products installed at most small businesses, employees remain the weak spot and most likely point-of-entry for hackers.The BBB says employee education is the most cost-effective cybersecurity prevention tool. KnowBe4’s training, for example, costs only $16 to $28.50 per user, per year, depending on the option. If the low cost to train employees on security isn’t enough to convince companies to do so, then perhaps contemplating the costs of not training their people will be.Related: How Vulnerable Are You to Cybercrime? (Infographic)Ransomware attacksWhen an unaware employee clicks in a spear phishing email, it often injects a ransomware infection onto a computer or mobile device. Ransomware restricts access to files, often threatening permanent data destruction unless a ransom is paid.When a company pays a ransom, there’s no assurance it’ll reclaim its data. Plus, paying a ransom invites more attacks.Ransomware damages are predicted to cost the world $5 billion in 2017, and climb to $11.5 billion in 2019, according to my firm, Cybersecurity Ventures. In 2015, the costs were a mere $325 million.With more than 50 percent of all cyber attacks committed against small businesses, the ransomware costs — and resulting losses — are mounting on defenseless entrepreneurs.Related: 5 Things You Need to Know About the New (and Scary) Wave of ‘File-less’ Cyber AttacksData backupSmall businesses are notorious for poor data backup practices.The No More Ransom Project offers ransomware self-help to small-business owners globally. It’s an initiative led by the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police and Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre to help victims of ransomware retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals.The Project’s free prevention advice puts data backup at the top of its list. The best way to thwart a ransom demand is to have all data backed up. Then there’s nothing to pay a ransom for.Also on the list, beware of suspicious emails — which reinforces the BBB’s recommendation to train employees on how to spot them.To sum up, an ounce of cyber prevention is worth a pound of cure. Small businesses don’t have to lose money to cyber attacks.Related Video: A Genius Former Hacker Explains How to Keep Your Business Safe From Cyber Attacks Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Listen Now 3 min read Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

Rep Mueller votes for lower car insurance rates for Michigan drivers

first_img Categories: Mueller News,News 09May Rep. Mueller votes for lower car insurance rates for Michigan drivers State Rep. Mike Mueller today cast a historic and vital vote to bring lower car insurance prices to residents and families in Genesee and Oakland counties, joining House legislators in approving a bipartisan plan to reform Michigan’s broken no-fault system.The House plan guarantees lower rates for all drivers in Michigan, reducing what currently is the highest average car insurance premium in the nation. The bill also gives drivers a choice on car insurance policies, stops price gouging on medical services for car accident victims and combats fraudulent claims to help lower costs.“I’ve talked to a lot of people across the district and lowering the out-of-control nature of car insurance rates is a popular issue they want remedied,” said Mueller, of Linden. “I’ve taken that to heart and worked in my first five months in Lansing to bring this demanded rate relief to Michigan drivers. Having worked as a sheriff’s deputy for 19 years, people driving without insurance is a real issue. The extraordinary cost for car insurance is a big factor in that and I hope this fix lessens the financial burdens residents are facing.”Michigan’s costs are high largely because it’s the only state mandating unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance. The House plan allows those currently using the coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it – all while providing more affordable options with a mandatory rate reduction.The sweeping legislation now advances to the Senate for consideration.last_img read more

The Modern Times Group has launched its online ent

first_imgThe Modern Times Group has launched its online entertainment channel Gossip in Norway.The video-based site will have local celebrity news as well as covering Hollywood stars, TV shows and movies.MTG said it has, via its TV channels, acquired a large amount of Hollywood-skewed video content for the site, which will be edited by Raymond Henriksen.Danish and Swedish equivalents have already launched.As the Norwegian site launched, MTG cited the findings of a survey among users of TV3Play, the streaming and catch-up service run by MTG-owned broadcaster TV3, that shoed 17% of users did not have a TV and went online to watch entertainment shows.“The digital services are very important to reach younger viewers and who do not have access to linear television in their household,” said MTG Norway digital director Jørn Korbi. “With gossip.no we want to reinforce the provision of relevant content especially for girls aged 15-29.”last_img read more

One Year Ago

first_img One Year Ago Louis James Senior Metals Investment Strategist Casey Research Rock & Stock Stats Last Copper 3.05 3.06 3.32 Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ) 34.91 36.73 50.00 TSX Venture 987.45 1,005.62 951.43 TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) 14,838.90 14,612.29 12,409.33 Gold Producers (GDX) 22.64 24.28 30.30center_img Oil 102.66 99.50 94.76 Silver 19.01 19.65 22.71 Dear Reader, Jeff Clark recently conducted a survey around the Casey Research virtual water cooler. The results turned out to be much more interesting than he expected, so we’re sharing those with you below. But first, I’m going to step out of my comfort zone and make an open and direct pitch for my services as a metals and mining analyst, which I hope you have come to value by now. As you know, I have written many words in these dispatches pointing out the courage needed to be a true contrarian—and the rewards for the few people who have it. Well, if any of those words rang true to you, I have an offer for you. I have to say up front, however, that this offer is not for everyone. Yet, for those who see the metals trends as I do, and who have the means and the courage to act, this offer could be the single most profit-enhancing opportunity available today. Here’s the deal: our exclusive alert services—my Casey Investment Alert and Marin Katusa’s Casey Energy Confidential—have been opened to new subscriptions for a brief period. Subscribers to these services tend to be fund managers, brokers, traders, and experienced, deep-pocketed investors who can move the market when there’s an exceptional opportunity. So we have to keep enrollment strictly limited to keep some subscribers from pushing share prices too high, to the detriment of other subscribers. Result: It has been 18 months since it was possible to subscribe to my alert service. And now you can. Not only that, if you subscribe to my Casey Investment Alert now, we will throw in a subscription to the Casey Energy Confidential. That’s a $5,000 value, completely free. You also get subscriptions to our monthly letters (BIG GOLD and the International Speculator from my team and Casey Energy Dividends and Casey Energy Report from Marin’s) included. If you already subscribe to one of these, we’ll apply your current subscription fee prorated to your alert subscription, so you lose nothing. As I said, however, these services are not for everyone, and they are not simply more expensive versions of the monthly letters; they are designed for individuals with a higher level of risk tolerance, willing to risk more to gain more. To maximize profit, they need to be willing and able to act promptly and decisively when a Casey Investment Alert arrives. On the other hand, if you ever wondered how Doug Casey hears about the best private placements, it’s the work Marin and I do for our alert subscribers that he and other accredited, qualified investors rely upon. If you ever wondered how to find the best of the high-risk/high-reward, early-stage plays, before they make their big discoveries or surprise the market with a much-larger-than-expected resource estimate, this is how. Worried about gold? Think maybe this is not the time to subscribe to a premium service? Then you probably should not; you’d need courage and conviction to act upon our alerts, so the service wouldn’t do you any good if you’re not convinced that the time to buy is while the markets are correcting. But if you are sure that it’s when markets go into reverse that you can best “buy low” in order to later “sell high,” and you have the mental and financial resources to benefit from our most leverage-enhancing service, then now is the time to act. You have to act quickly, however, as the window of opportunity to subscribe to our premium services closes in three days, on June 12. You could consider this a self-test; if you can’t make up your mind about this offer in three days, it’s almost certainly not for you. That said, I don’t want to talk anyone into making a mistake, so if you subscribe now, we’ll extend our usual 30-day, money-back guarantee to 90 days. If you’re not completely satisfied with the service, just let us know, and we’ll give you a 100% refund within that time frame. So, I’m offering you a way to maximize your profits when the metals markets rebound—which they will—with no risk if you decide it’s not for you within three whole months. No hassles. Here are the subscription details. That’s a lot of upside with little downside: a great spec. Sincerely, Silver Stocks (SIL) 11.76 12.44 14.63 Gold 1,252.75 1,308.60 1,415.80 One Month Agolast_img read more

Smoking and drinking during pregnancy – stigma drives women to secrecy

first_imgFurther Reading Source:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871519218306085 By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDFeb 12 2019A new study has found that because of the stigma around smoking and drinking during pregnancy, many women are doing these in private.Researchers from the University of Cardiff have noted that pregnant women are “irritated and alienated” by the perceived notions regarding the harmful effects of smoking and drinking during pregnancy. Recent figures have shown that one in five women from Wales smoke during their first pregnancy.This new study published in the journal Women and Birth reveals that women feel they receive health advice in a “judgemental tone” from their antenatal healthcare providers and midwives that make them reluctant to open up for advice and support during pregnancy regarding smoking and drinking. Some of the pregnant also reported feeling judged by their non-smoking partners. A significant number of women who were smokers or non-smokers agreed that smoking during pregnancy is acceptable if in private. They however condoned smoking in public. They felt that pregnant women who smoke in public receive a lot of negative judgement and criticism from those around them. E-cigarette smokers too felt judged, the study found.For this study the team of researchers interviewed 10 low income pregnant women belonging to deprived areas of south Wales. They were provided visual questionnaires and clues like timelines, collages and thought bubbles related activities. Image Credit: Napocska / Shutterstock Dr Aimee Grant, from Cardiff University’s Centre for Trials Research, in a statement said, “Moral judgements are commonly directed towards mothers through reference to health behaviour in pregnancy, and working-class mothers are particularly subject to this criticism, ignoring the challenges of living on a low income. Our study shows that these looks and comments – including by members of the public – irritate and alienate pregnant women, making them less likely to seek help. No one wants to be judged and shamed.” The authors of this study called for more “empathy” than judgement.The health advocates worldwide advice pregnant women to abstain from alcohol and smoking tobacco. There are over 4,000 chemicals present in cigarette smoke that can harm the unborn baby and also reduce the oxygen supply. The Chief Medical Officers for the UK makes similar recommendations for pregnant women. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) also added that there are no safe alcohol consumption limits during pregnancy.Dr Dunla Gallagher, one of the co-authors of the study says that smoking could be a “coping strategy” for some of the low-income, pregnant mothers. She said in a statement, “Rather than stigma, women need empathy and a recognition of the challenges that pregnancy can bring in terms of women’s independent choices.” Smoking and Pregnancy Effects of Passive Smoking on Children’s Health Carcinogens in Cigarette Smoke Everything You Need to Know About Giving Up Cigaretteslast_img read more

Analysis of cervical precancer shows decline in two strains of HPV

first_img Source:https://www.aacr.org/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 21 2019An analysis of cervical precancers over a period of seven years showed that two strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) that have been targeted by vaccination since 2006 have declined, accounting for a smaller proportion of cervical disease. The study offers evidence that HPV vaccination reduced the incidence of infections that can lead to cervical cancerJournal in Which the Study was Published: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.Author: Nancy McClung, PhD, RN, epidemic intelligence service officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.Background: “Almost all sexually active individuals will get HPV at some point in their lifetime, but most HPV infections go away on their own without any treatment,” McClung explained. “If an HPV infection does not go away, it can cause cell changes that, over time, develop into a lesion on the cervix called a cervical precancer. Cervical precancers allow us to observe the impact of HPV vaccination earlier than cervical cancer, which can take decades to develop.”Previous research has suggested that the incidence of cervical precancer has been decreasing. In this study, researchers sought to determine whether HPV types 16 and 18, which are responsible for approximately 70 percent of cervical cancers worldwide, are also decreasing. These two types have been targeted by the quadrivalent HPV vaccine, which was most typically administered in the United States between 2006 and 2015, and by the 9-valent vaccine that is the only vaccine currently administered in the United States.How the Study Was Conducted: As part of the CDC’s Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine Impact Monitoring Project (HPV-IMPACT), McClung and colleagues analyzed more than 10,000 archived specimens collected between 2008 and 2014 from women aged 18-39 who had been diagnosed with grade 2 or 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or adenocarcinoma in situ (CIN2+). Both are precancerous conditions that can arise from persistent HPV infection and can lead to cervical cancer. Researchers tested the samples for 37 HPV types, then analyzed the proportion and estimated number of cases by HPV types over time.Results: The researchers found that the number of cases of CIN2+ reported to HPV-IMPACT declined 21 percent, from 2,344 in 2008 to 1,857 in 2014. The estimated number of cases attributed to HPV16/18 declined from 1,235 in 2008 to 819 cases in 2014.Among women who were vaccinated, the proportion of CIN2+ cases that were HPV 16/18-positive declined from 55.2 percent to 33.3 percent. Among unvaccinated women, the proportion of CIN2+ cases that were HPV 16/18-positive declined from 51.0 percent to 47.3 percent, and among those with unknown vaccination status, from 53.7 percent to 45.8 percent.Related StoriesLiving with advanced breast cancerBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerNovel vaccine against bee sting allergy successfully testedAuthor’s Comments: McClung explained that some vaccinated women were most likely HPV 16/18-positive because they were infected with these HPV types before they were vaccinated. The majority of vaccinated women in this study received the vaccine in their early 20s, after the age most women initiate sexual activity.McClung said the decline in unvaccinated women may be due to “herd protection,” which occurs when a significant proportion of a population has developed immunity to an infectious disease, making its spread less likely. Herd protection can be conferred through vaccination or immunity built up from prior infection, she explained.Researchers noted that every age group saw significant declines in the proportion of CIN2+ cases that were HPV 16/18-positive, with the exception of the oldest group, those aged 35-39. McClung said this finding reflects the fact that most of these women were not eligible for vaccination because of their age.Furthermore, while non-Hispanic whites and blacks saw declines in the proportion of HPV 16/18-positive precancers, Hispanic and Asian women did not. McClung said that the Hispanic and Asian women included in this study may have been less likely to be vaccinated. However, as of 2016, HPV vaccine uptake was robust in Hispanic and Asian teens; therefore, racial and ethnic disparities are expected to diminish, McClung said.The CDC’s most recent statistics show that 49.5 of girls and 37.5 percent of boys aged 13-17 are up-to-date on all recommended doses of the HPV vaccine. McClung said clinicians should continue to strongly recommend the HPV vaccine for all preteens at age 11 or 12, and effectively answer parents’ common questions about the vaccine.Overall, McClung said, the study indicated that efforts to encourage families to get the HPV vaccination for their teens are paying off and should be continued.”This is clear evidence that the HPV vaccine is working to prevent cervical disease in young women in the United States,” McClung said. “In the coming years, we should see even greater impact as more women are vaccinated during early adolescence and before exposure to HPV.”last_img read more

Mesothelioma patients twice as likely to survive when treated with high dose

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 29 2019Mesothelioma patients are twice as likely to survive for two years or longer, if they are treated with a high dose of radiation to the affected side of the trunk, according to research presented at the ESTRO 38 conference.Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive form of cancer that grows in the layers of tissues surrounding the lungs. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos. Patients typically only live for a year or two following diagnosis and treatment options are very limited.The study looked at patients whose cancers could not be completely removed with surgery and the researchers say their findings have the potential to change treatment and outcomes for this group of patients.The study was led by Dr Marco Trovo MD, chief of the Radiation Oncology Department at University Hospital of Udine, Italy. He said: “There is an urgent need for more effective treatments for mesothelioma. Surgery can be given to these patients, but it is often impossible to remove all of the tumors.”Patients with mesothelioma are sometimes given radiotherapy to help control their symptoms. However, radiotherapy has evolved dramatically in the last few years so we wanted to see if it could now be used to prevent the cancer from spreading to nearby tissue, hopefully bringing improvements in survival.The study involved 108 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma who were treated at the National Cancer Institute of Aviano, Italy, between 2014 and 2018. All were given surgery to remove some tumor tissue, followed by chemotherapy.Half were randomly assigned to receive radical hemi-thoracic radiotherapy, meaning the radiation was delivered to either the left or right side of their trunk, depending on where the tumor was located. This involved 25 treatments delivering a total dose of 50 Gy to the left or right side of the trunk, as well as an extra 60 Gy dose to the precise location of the tumor. The other patients received a more typical palliative form of radiotherapy. This involved five to ten treatments delivering a total dose of 20-30 Gy to the precise location of the tumor.Related StoriesAdult survivors of pediatric brain tumors may experience cognitive, socioeconomic burdensNew research uncovers mechanism behind the newest generation of cancer drugsRemoving asbestos from schools likely to increase cases of mesotheliomaOf the patients who received the aggressive radiotherapy treatment, 58% were still alive two years later. In the patients who received the palliative radiotherapy, 28% were still alive two years later.Around 20% of patients receiving radical hemi-thoracic radiotherapy suffered radiation pneumonitis (inflammation of the lung). Other sides effects included weakness, nausea and mild inflammation of the oesophagus.Dr Trovo said: “This research shows a clear survival benefit in using this type of radiotherapy for mesothelioma patients whose tumors can only partially be removed by surgery. We believe that this should be considered the new standard of care for these patients.”He hopes that even greater gains in survival could be made by treating patients with radiotherapy followed by targeted immunotherapy (where the body’s own immune system is encouraged to fight cancer cells).Professor Umberto Ricardi, President of ESTRO and head of the Department of Oncology at the University of Turin, Italy, who was not involved in the research, said: “This is an extremely positive result that brings good news to patients with this rare and difficult-to-treat cancer. To ensure these patients benefit from this type of treatment, it’s important that they are referred to a specialist cancer center with the right expertise and equipment to carefully plan and deliver the most effective radiotherapy treatment, and manage any side effects that occur.” Source:https://www.estro.org/last_img read more