An evaluation of the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of African-American men and their female significant others regarding prostate cancer screening
This study examines the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of African-American men and their female significant others regarding prostate cancer screening. Study flyers and a television interview were used to recruit participants into the study that took place in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Six focus groups were conducted: four with African-American men and two with female significant others. A total of 32 people participated in the study. The groups expressed multiple apprehensions toward prostate cancer screening, including feelings of vulnerability, compromised manhood, and discomfort. They also shared motivators for screening, including female significant others, physician recommendation, early education, and church influence.
A randomized trial of mail vs. telephone invitation to a community-based cardiovascular health awareness program for older family practice patients [ISRCTN61739603]
BACKGROUND:Family physicians can play an important role in encouraging patients to participate in community-based health promotion initiatives designed to supplement and enhance their in-office care. Our objectives were to determine effective approaches to invite older family practice patients to attend cardiovascular health awareness sessions in community pharmacies, and to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a program incorporating invitation by physicians and feedback to physicians. METHODS:We conducted a prospective randomized trial with 1 family physician practice and 5 community pharmacies in Dundas, Ontario. Regular patients 65 years or older (n = 235) were randomly allocated to invitation by mail or telephone to attend pharmacy cardiovascular health awareness sessions led by volunteer peer health educators. A health record review captured blood pressure status, monitoring and control. At the sessions, volunteers helped patients to measure blood pressure using in-store machines and a validated portable device (BPM-100), and recorded blood pressure readings and self-reported cardiovascular risk factors. We compared attendance rates in the mail and telephone invitation groups and explored factors potentially associated with attendance. RESULTS:The 119 patients invited by mail and 116 patients contacted by telephone had a mean age of 75.7 (SD, 6.4) years and 46.8% were male. Overall, 58.3% (137/235) of invitees attended a pharmacy cardiovascular health awareness session. Patients invited by telephone were more likely to attend than those invited by mail (72.3% vs. 44.0%, OR 3.3; 95%CI 1.9-5.7; p < 0.001). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:While the attendance in response to a telephone invitation was higher, response to a single letter was substantial. Attendance rates indicated considerable interest in community-based cardiovascular health promotion activities. A large-scale trial of a pharmacy cardiovascular health awareness program for older primary care patients is feasible.
Effect of ciclesonide and fluticasone on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in adults with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma
BACKGROUND:Despite their proven efficacy in the treatment and prevention of asthma exacerbations, current inhaled corticosteroids carry safety concerns, especially adrenal suppression. Ciclesonide (hydrofluoroalkane propellant) is a novel inhaled corticosteroid with few, if any, clinical adverse events. OBJECTIVE:To evaluate the potential effects of ciclesonide therapy on the dynamic cortisol response to sequential low- and high-dose cosyntropin stimulation in adults with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma. METHODS:This was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, 12-week study in adults with mild-to-moderate asthma. One hundred sixty-four patients were randomized and treated; 148 patients completed the study. Fluticasone propionate (chlorofluorocarbon propellant) was used as an active comparator. The doses administered were 320 microg of ciclesonide once daily, 320 microg of ciclesonide twice daily, and 440 microg of fluticasone propionate twice daily, all doses ex-actuator. RESULTS:For both ciclesonide groups, changes in mean low- and high-dose peak serum cortisol levels and in 24-hour urinary free cortisol levels corrected for creatinine were small vs baseline and comparable with placebo. For the fluticasone propionate group, significant reductions vs placebo in serum cortisol levels in response to high-dose cosyntropin stimulation and in 24-hour urinary free cortisol levels were observed. Oral candidiasis rates were 2.5% for 320-microg/d ciclesonide, 2.4% for 640-microg/d ciclesonide, and 22.0% for 880-microg/d fluticasone propionate. CONCLUSIONS:These findings confirm the safety of ciclesonide therapy, demonstrating that at doses up to 640 microg/d, the drug does not affect sensitive markers of adrenal function.
Portal to the interior: viral pathogenesis and natural compounds that restore mucosal immunity and modulate inflammation
Most antigens, particularly viruses, enter the body through the mucosal epithelia where they are carried by afferent lymphatics to regional lymph nodes for presentation to the immune system. Although they share immunological similarities, immune processes that protect the mucosa are distinct from innate and acquired immunity. The barrier formed by the intestinal mucosa is the most studied, with its microenvironment having a marked influence on both local and systemic immune responses. A healthy microenvironment and resilient neighboring tissue provide protection against inflammation known to dampen mucosal immunity, promote carcinogenesis, contribute to systemic inflammatory processes, and result in autoimmune diseases. Numerous natural substances improve this microenvironment and thereby enhance immunity against microbial infections. Since mucosal immunity forms the first line of defense against many commonly transmitted pathogens, restoring and maintaining mucosal immunity is critical for disease prevention and intervention. This article discusses the nature of mucosal immunity and its relationship to viral infections and other conditions, and reviews natural compounds that help restore mucosal immunity.