Research Findings

New Study Questions Value of Mammograms

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A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week suggests that increased awareness and improved treatments rather than mammograms are more effective at reducing the breast cancer death rate.

Read the story in the New York Times: Mammograms’ Value in Cancer Fight at Issue

Read the abstract in the NEJM: Effect of Screening Mammography on Breast-Cancer Mortality in Norway

 

POWER Study Releases Latest Chapter – Diabetes

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POWER Study (Project for an Ontario Women's Health Evidence-based Report) is producing a comprehensive Women's Health Report to serve as an evidence-based tool for policy makers, providers and consumers in their efforts to improve health and reduce health inequities among the women and men of Ontario. The POWER Study Diabetes chapter examines indicators of prevalence; comorbidity; health and functional status; health behaviours; access to care; monitoring of and screening for diabetes control and complications; medication use; hospital admissions for diabetes complications; prenatal care for women with and without diabetes. We examine how these indicators differ among women and men and by socio-demographic characteristics and region.

Visit the POWER Study website to download all chapters and highlights documents.

WHO Releases Report on Worldwide Maternal Deaths

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The World Health Organization, with UNICEF, UNFPA and The World Bank, has released a new report on trends in global maternal mortality from 1990-2008. The UN estimates show that fewer women are dying from pregnancy-related causes, but 1000 still die a day and more needs to be done to achieve set targets.

Read the press release.

Ghostwriters in Medical Journals Promoted Hormone Therapy

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In her article, The Haunting of Medical Journals: How Ghostwriting Sold “HRT”, author Adriane J. Fugh-Berman examines how pharmaceutical companies promoted hormone therapy drugs, including the use of medical writing companies to produce ghostwritten manuscripts and place them into medical journals.

Read the open-access, full-text article here in PLoS Medicine.

Read about how this issue surfaced, in this 2009 article by Stuart Laidlaw in The Toronto Star.

The Role of Socio-Economic Status in Diabetes in Women

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A recent StatsCan study has found that low levels of household income and education are associated with the onset of type 2 diabetes in Canadian women, independent of other factors such as the well-established relationship with excess weight.

Read more here.

New Studies Reveal Challenges in Caring for Seniors at Home

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One in six people providing informal care to seniors experiences distress, according to a new study released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), and those caring for seniors with moderate to severe cognitive impairment, such as those with Alzheimer`s or other dementia, are most at risk.

The first of two related studies, Supporting Informal Caregivers-The Heart of Home Care looked at more than 130,000 seniors (age 65 and older), including many with complex The second study, health conditions, who received publicly funded long-term home care in 2007-2008.

Caring for Seniors With Alzheimer`s Disease and Other Forms of Dementia, found that in 2007-2008, one in five seniors (20%) receiving long-term home care had a diagnosis of Alzheimer`s disease or other dementia. Nearly one in six (17%) of these clients with dementia was suffering from moderate to severe impairment in cognition and daily functioning yet still managed to remain at home.

Read more here.

Please note:

CWHN and its partners have done considerable work on homecare and women. For links to these resources, please visit the Women and Health Care Reform website

You can also search for resources and research on caregiving on CWHN’s InfoCentre.

Who are Trans People in Ontario?

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From April 2009 to the end of survey collection in May 2010, Trans PULSE collected information from 433 trans people across Ontario. They are now analysing the data from the 80-page survey and, with this e-bulletin, are returning the results back to their communities. They would like to thank all those that took the time to complete the survey and pass it on to others. The information presented in these e-bulletins is only a small fraction of the results they've gathered over the year.

The following is the first of a series of e-bulletins that Trans PULSE will release over the course of the next several months and they hope that this will go a long way to enact change for trans people.

E-bulletin #1: Who are trans people in Ontario? (PDF)

Breakthrough in the Fight Against HIV and Genital Herpes

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VIENNA, AUSTRIA (July 20, 2010) Researchers have achieved an important scientific breakthrough in the fight against HIV and genital herpes with a vaginal gel that significantly reduces a woman’s risk of being infected with these viruses.  The results of the ground-breaking safety and effectiveness study of an antiretroviral microbicide gel study were reported today by the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria.

The microbicide containing 1% tenofovir—an antiretroviral drug widely used in the treatment of HIV—was found to be 39% effective in reducing a woman’s risk of becoming infected with HIV during sex and 51% effective in preventing genital herpes infections in the women participating in the trial. Should other studies of tenofovir gel confirm these results, widespread use of the gel, at this level of protection, could prevent over half a million new HIV infections in South Africa alone over the next decade.

For the full press release and additional materials, see:

www.caprisa.org

www.fhi.org

www.conrad.org

 

Racism Shapes African-American Women’s Views on Depression Care

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African-American women’s beliefs about depression and depression care are consistently and systematically influenced by racism, according to a new study conducted at Oregon Health & Science University. The results are published online in the American Journal of Public Health.

Read the whole story here.

 

IUDs Reduce Pregnancy Rates Compared To Hormonal Contraceptives

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Women who have had intrauterine devices (IUDs) fitted as contraceptives are less likely to become pregnant than those who have hormone injections, a new review by Cochrane Researchers has found. The review, which focused on women in developing countries, also found a possible link between contraceptive method and disease progression in HIV.

An IUD, sometimes known as a “coil” (although IUDs are no longer coil-shaped) is a plastic and copper device that sits in the womb preventing sperm from crossing it and making its lining less likely to accept a fertilised egg. There are also IUD’s which contain hormones rather than copper, which were not evaluated in this study. In many countries IUDs are not widely used, perhaps because they can only be inserted by skilled professionals. Women often experience pain after insertion, but IUDs may be preferred long-term to other contraceptive methods because they last for five to ten years and have no hormonal effects. Hormonal contraceptives, by comparison, have been associated with side effects and require more frequent visits to the health care provider for injections or prescriptions.

The researchers reviewed data from two studies comparing IUDs and hormonal contraceptives, which together involved 967 women. The first included women attending family planning clinics in Brazil, Guatemala, Egypt and Vietnam and the second focused on HIV-positive women in Zambia. In each study, women were randomly assigned to have an IUD inserted or to receive hormonal contraceptives. Hormonal contraceptives were given only by injection in the first study, but women were allowed to switch between pills and injections in the second. Overall, fewer became pregnant in the groups receiving IUDs. Drop-out rates were higher for those using hormonal contraceptives in the first study and for those fitted with IUDs in the second study.

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