Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital March 10, 2015
Rotating shift work may increase a woman’s risk of dying from heart disease or lung cancer.
New Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) research has found that long-term rotating shift work may increase a woman’s risk of dying from heart disease or lung cancer.
To examine the impact of rotating night shift work on mortality, BWH epidemiologist Dr. Eva Schernhammer and her research team analyzed 22-year medical histories of nearly 75,000 female nurses from the Nurses’ Health Study. The composition of the Nurses’ Health Study – exclusively female nurses – was particularly advantageous for Dr. Schernhammer’s purposes, as many nurses have rotating-shift schedules.
Compared to nurses who never worked night shifts, the researchers found that nurses who regularly worked rotating shifts for 6 to 14 years were 19 percent more likely to die from heart disease. (For this study, a rotating-shift worker was defined as someone who worked at least three nights per month, in addition to shifts at other times of the day.) Women who worked rotating shifts for 15 years or more were 23 percent more likely to die from heart disease and 25 percent more likely to die from lung cancer. The study also found that rotating shift workers were slightly more likely to die sooner, regardless of the cause.
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 17, 2015
Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people seek medical help.
Among the many reasons why patients go to see a doctor, pain is most often the primary complaint. This pain may range from an acute strain or sprain to other kinds of pain that are associated with an underlying disease.
The most important distinction between chronic pain and acute pain is that chronic pain is less likely to go away. According to Dr. Edgar L. Ross, Director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Pain Management Center, treating chronic pain should include a multidisciplinary, collaborative care team that specializes in pain management, and a patient who plays an active role in the treatment plan.
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 10, 2015
Research shows that certain healthy habits have a significant impact on heart disease risk.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is good for your heart. It’s not a novel concept, but how much of a difference does it really make?
A team of researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Indiana University, and Harvard Medical School recently set out to examine how certain lifestyle factors impact the risk of heart disease in younger women (ages 27 to 44 years). Examining this particular segment of the population is significant, as the mortality rate for coronary heart disease (CHD) has plateaued among young American women in recent decades, while the rate for the overall population has declined.
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 13, 2015
3-D models give physicians an opportunity to plan and test techniques before performing face transplant surgery.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is now using 3-D printing to help physicians prepare for face transplant surgeries and to help monitor the progress of their patients after face transplant surgery.
Dr. Frank J. Rybicki, Director of the BWH Applied Imaging Science Laboratory and Dr. E.J. Caterson from the Department of Surgery have developed 3-D models – before and after surgery – of the skeletal structures and the overlying soft tissue of two BWH face transplant recipients thus far. The precise 3-D models, which are based on CAT scan images, give physicians a more thorough, and tangible, representation of a face transplant recipient’s facial tissue.
“The tissues that are 3-D printed in one piece are much better than photographs,” says Caterson. “They provide a better understanding of a patient’s facial structure than any two-dimensional representation can.”
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 8, 2015
Researchers have found that sticking to a Mediterranean diet may lead to a longer life.
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have found that sticking to a Mediterranean diet may lead to a longer life.
The findings are based on the study of telomeres, the repetitive DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes. These chromosome tips get shorter every time a cell divides, and their length is a reliable biomarker (biological indicator) of aging in humans. Shorter telomeres have been associated with an increased risk of aging-related diseases (particularly cardiovascular diseases) and a decrease in life expectancy, while longer telomeres, correspondingly, have been linked with longevity.
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 25, 2014
Double arm transplant recipient Will Lautzenheiser demonstrates what he can do with his new arms.
Befitting the spirit of this week’s holiday, today’s story exemplifies both gratitude and giving.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) announced at a press conference today that Will Lautzenheiser, 40, a former professor of film production and screenwriting at Boston University and Montana State University, is the recipient of a bilateral (double) arm transplant. Last month, a team of 35 clinicians, including 13 surgeons, worked for nearly nine hours to transplant a donor’s arms – above the elbow on his left side and below the elbow on his right side. The team precisely joined bones, arteries, muscles, tendons, veins, and nerves of the donor’s arms together with Will’s.
Will became a quadruple amputee in 2011when doctors in Montana removed his limbs to save his life, which was in jeopardy due to necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease), a life-threatening Group A streptococcal infection. Since that time, Will has struggled to manage with prosthetic (artificial) limbs. With his transplanted arms, however, Will expects to be able to perform everyday tasks quicker and without the aid of others, and to gradually regain his sense of touch.
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 13, 2014
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women in the United States. For women, it accounts for more deaths than breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer combined. Consequently, medical researchers have been working hard to increase our understanding of lung cancer and help us better prevent, diagnose, and treat the condition.
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 5, 2014
Dr. Francine Jacobson
Lung cancer, the most frequent cause of cancer death in this country and around the world, continues to be an important public health epidemic. The American Cancer Society projects that by the end of this year alone, there will have been 224,000 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the U.S., and 159,000 Americans will have died from the disease.
Most, but not all, cases of lung cancer are attributable to smoking. Thus, the most important thing that people can do to reduce their risk of developing lung cancer is to quit smoking, or better yet, never start.
For current or former long-term smokers, lung cancer screening should be a priority. Research has shown that new screening guidelines for the use of low-dose computed tomography (CT) should significantly reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer by improving early detection. In the following video, thoracic radiologist Dr. Francine Jacobson provides more details about the benefits of low-dose CT scans and who should get screened.
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 4, 2014
AMIGO houses a vast array of advanced imaging equipment and interventional (minimally invasive) surgical systems.
The Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO) suite at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is a state-of-the-art medical and surgical research environment that houses a vast array of advanced imaging equipment and interventional (minimally invasive) surgical systems. Multidisciplinary teams of specialists use the suite’s advanced technology and unique design to efficiently and precisely guide treatment — before, during, and after surgery — without the patient or medical team ever leaving the operating room.
The AMIGO suite gives physician-researchers an optimized setting for innovatively merging imaging and surgery to improve standard clinical procedures and to develop new therapeutic approaches. With the primary goal of improving the effectiveness of patient care, success already has been demonstrated in several treatment areas, including: image-guided therapy in open brain surgery, radiation treatment of prostate cancer and gynecological tumors, breast-conserving therapy, MRI-guided cryoablation (destroying diseased tissue via extreme cold), treatment of atrial and ventricular fibrillation, and brain tumor laser ablation (destroying diseased tissue with focused heat). In the following video, Dr. Steven Seltzer, Chair of the Department of Radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Dr. Michael Zinner, Chair of the BWH Department of Surgery, offer an inside look at the AMIGO suite and detail its potential for improving the effectiveness of image-guided therapy.
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital October 16, 2014
The boys celebrate their first birthday with NICU nurses Kathy Moran (left) and Mary Ellen Musynski.
The breadth of medical expertise and advanced technology available in a Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is invaluable for treating and monitoring babies born with dangerous medical conditions. But helping these babies and their parents involves much more than providing state-of-the-art medical care.
Karyn, a North Shore mother of triplets born at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), is well aware of the scope of care provided in a NICU. She’s thankful for all the people who helped take care of her triplet sons – and her – while the boys recovered in the BWH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the fall of 2012. That includes people she saw nearly every day and people she never saw at all.
Her boys Tyler, Caleb, and Nathan were born at 27 weeks that fall. As expected with any child born that early, they all had issues with lung development, breathing, and feeding.
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