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Women with PCOS linked to child with autism

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Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are more likely to have an autistic child than other women, according to an analysis of NHS data carried out by a team at Cambridge University’s Autism Research Centre.

The researchers found that women with PCOS had a 2.3 percent chance of having an autistic child, compared to the 1.7 percent chance for mothers without PCOS.

Researchers studied 8,588 women in Britain with PCOS and their first-born children, comparing them to 41,127 women without PCOS from 1990 to 2014 in the research published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

PCOS, which is caused by elevated levels of the hormone testosterone in fluid-filled sacs — called follicles — in the ovaries. Symptoms include onset of puberty, irregular menstrual cycles and excess bodily hair. It affects up to 20 percent of reproductive-age women worldwide, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Autism, which develops in childhood and continues through adulthood, is a neurological and developmental disorder.

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“We need to think about the practical steps we can put in place to support women with PCOS as they go through their pregnancies,” said Dr Carrie Allison, who co-supervised the research.

“The likelihood is statistically significant but nevertheless still small, in that most women with PCOS won’t have a child with autism, but we want to be transparent with this information,” he added.

They took into account other factors, including maternal mental health problems or complications during pregnancy.

“We need to think about the practical steps we can put in place to support women with PCOS as they go through their pregnancies,” Allison said in a press release.

With Agencies Inputs

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Diabetes drug might ease heart failure risk

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A new research has showed that the diabetes drug Farxiga might do double-duty for patients, helping to ward off another killer, heart failure.

According to the findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with their presentation at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago, Type 2 diabetics who took Farxiga saw their odds of hospitalization for heart failure drop by 27 percent compared to those who took a placebo.

Farxiga is a type of drug called a SGLT2 inhibitor. The compound is called dapagliflozin.

The study included more than 17,000 type 2 diabetes patients aged 40 and older. Nearly 7,000 had heart disease and more than 10,000 had numerous risk factors for heart disease, Wiviott’s group said.

Patients were randomly assigned to take a dummy placebo pill or 10 milligrams of Farxiga each day.

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“When it comes to helping our patients control and manage blood glucose, the ‘how’ appears to be as important [as] the ‘how much,” said study author Dr Stephen Wiviott, a cardiovascular medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“When choosing a therapy, trial results like these can help us make an informed decision about what treatments are not only safe and effective for lowering blood glucose but can also reduce risk of heart and kidney complications,” Wiviott said in a hospital news release.

Taking the drug did not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular-related death, the research team noted. However, patients who took the drug did see healthy declines in their blood sugar levels, plus an added bonus: a 27 percent decrease in their risk of hospitalization for heart failure.

Their risk of kidney failure and death from kidney failure also fell, researchers noted.

Two other recent studies of this class of drugs show that they “robustly and consistently improve heart and kidney outcomes in a broad population of patients with diabetes,” Wiviott noted.

With Inputs from HealthDay

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