James Harrison, Blood Donor Known as ‘Man With the Golden Arm,’ Retires

James Harrison, Blood Donor Known as ‘Man With the Golden Arm,’ Retires


James Harrison is being celebrated as the most prolific blood donor in the world.

The 81-year-old Australian made a promise when he was 14 — that he would begin donating blood as often as possible as soon as he was legally able. The pledge was prompted by surgery he’d received then, requiring 13 liters of life-giving blood.

Soon after Harrison began donating in 1954, his blood was discovered to contain unusually strong and persistent antibodies used to develop an injection called Anti-D, which helps fight against rhesus disease. > >> read more ...

Zika Blood Testing Not Cost Effective

Zika Blood Testing Not Cost Effective


Screening blood donations for the Zika virus netted only a few infections at a cost of more than $5 million for each positive test result, according to new research.

The study was the first large look at the impact of guidelines set two years ago, when the Zika epidemic was an unfolding menace in the U.S. and health officials were scrambling to prevent new infections.

The study, published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the blood donation testing requirements offered little bang for the buck. It also raised questions about whether a cheaper testing method should be used. > >> read more ...

Blood Type May Affect Death Risk After Trauma: Study

Blood Type May Affect Death Risk After Trauma: Study


People with the most common blood type, type O, may be at higher risk of death after suffering severe injuries because they’re more likely to have major bleeding, a new study suggests.

While the study is preliminary, Japanese researcher Dr. Wataru Takayama said the “results also raise questions about how emergency transfusion of O type red blood cells to a severe trauma patient could affect homeostasis, the process which causes bleeding to stop, and if this is different from other blood types.” > >> read more ...

Blood Clot in Leg Triples Cancer Risk: Study

Blood Clot in Leg Triples Cancer Risk: Study


The risk of developing cancer is more than three times higher in the first six months following the diagnosis of acute arterial thrombosis, or a blood clot in the leg, say researchers at Denmark’s Aarhus University.

Patients with the most acute type of thrombosis in the leg, known as an arterial thrombosis, risk developing diseases that are far worse than the blood clot itself.

“It is especially, but not only, the smoking-related forms of cancer that show up after the arterial thrombosis, said researcher Jens Sundbøll. “The risk is highest for lung and pancreatic cancer, both of which are related to smoking. However, other forms of cancer such as colon cancer and leukemia are also overrepresented.” > >> read more ...

Blood Pressure Meds Can Increase Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

Blood Pressure Meds Can Increase Risk of Pancreatic Cancer


Certain drugs prescribed to treat high blood pressure may boost a woman’s risk for developing pancreatic cancer after menopause, new research suggests.

In a large study of postmenopausal women, those who had ever taken a short-acting calcium channel blocker (CCB) saw their pancreatic cancer risk shoot up by 66 percent.

And women who had used a short-acting CCB for three years or more faced more than double the risk for pancreatic cancer, compared with those who had taken other types of blood pressure drugs. > >> read more ...

Controlling Blood Pressure Keeps Dementia at Bay: Study

Controlling Blood Pressure Keeps Dementia at Bay: Study


Bringing high blood pressure under control can reduce older black Americans’ risk of dementia, a new study finds.

Black people are at high risk for high blood pressure and dementia, the researchers noted.

The study included more than 1,200 black Americans, aged 65 and older, with high blood pressure who did not have dementia. The patients took different types of medications for their high blood pressure and were followed for up to 24 years.

The medications included beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blocks and diuretics. > >> read more ...

Needle-Free Device Would Monitor Blood Sugar Levels: Study

Needle-Free Device Would Monitor Blood Sugar Levels: Study


A new device applied to the skin could allow people with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels without the need for finger sticks or other blood sampling.
The technology “has the potential to become the first needle-free approach – and that includes avoiding completely a finger-stick calibration – to monitor blood sugar levels over the course of a day,” Dr. Adelina Ilie from University of Bath, UK told Reuters Health by email.

People with diabetes have to monitor their blood glucose level regularly, and there is currently no way to do that without drawing a drop of blood. > >> read more ...

Unusual Reasons for High Blood Pressure

Unusual Reasons for High Blood Pressure


If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension — high blood pressure — you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, high blood pressure affects 1 in 3 adult Americans, but many people don’t even know it.

The exact causes of hypertension are puzzling to most physicians, but several factors may play a role including being overweight, smoking, and lack of exercise. If your weight is under control, you don’t smoke, you exercise regularly, and you eat a healthy diet, but your blood pressure is still high, what else could be contributing to your problem? > >> read more ...

New Blood Test Detects Alzheimer’s Risk Before Symptoms Appear

New Blood Test Detects Alzheimer’s Risk Before Symptoms Appear


Alzheimer’s disease has no cure, and drug treatments offer minimal help. Many experts believe that progress in drug research is hindered by the fact that although the disease is thought to begin long before symptoms become obvious, it can’t be diagnosed until the disease has progressed. An earlier diagnosis might provide time for an effective intervention.

German scientists have developed a blood test for Alzheimer’s long before symptoms, like memory loss, appear. > >> read more ...

Most People Prefer Pill Over Exercise or Injections to Control High Blood Pressure

Most People Prefer Pill Over Exercise or Injections to Control High Blood Pressure


A new US survey has revealed that if given the choice, most of us would choose popping a pill or drinking a daily cup of tea over exercise in order to lower high blood pressure.

Led by researchers from Yale School of Medicine, the team surveyed 1,384 US adults, most of whom had high blood pressure, to find out more about how people weigh up the benefits of treatments with the inconveniences.

The researchers asked participants to imagine that they had high blood pressure and then asked about how willing they would be to undergo any of four “treatments” to gain an extra month, year or five years of life.  > >> read more ...