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Depression may up kidney failure risk

Depression is linked to an increased risk of developing kidney failure in the future. Lead investigator, Dr Willem Kop, department of medical psychology and neuropsychology, University of Tilburg, the Netherlands, and colleagues studied 5,785 people from four counties across the United States for 10 years. The participants were 65 years and older and not yet on dialysis.

They completed a questionnaire measuring depressive symptoms and a broad range of medical measurements, including estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and risk factors for kidney and heart diseases.

The investigators examined whether depression predicted the onset of kidney disease or other medical problems in which the kidneys play a critical role.

According to the results, depression coincided with the presence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and was 20 per cent more common in individuals with kidney disease than those without kidney disease.

The study shows that depression predicted subsequent rapid decline in kidney function, new onset clinically severe kidney disease (or end-stage renal disease), and hospitalisations that were complicated by acute kidney injury.

Swimming in pools related to bladder cancer

Spanish researchers have warned that people who regularly swim in chlorinated water or take lots of showers or baths could increase the risk of developing bladder cancer.
They said carcinogenic chemicals called trihalomethanes (THMs) are created as a by-product of chlorinating water and can be absorbed through the skin.

The researchers from the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Castilla La Mancha, Spain, examined 1,270 people and found that wealthy individuals who drank more bottled water — to avoid the health risks posed by drinking tap water — cancelled out any beneficial effect by swimming more and taking more showers.

“People with more money and more education may think that they’re reducing their risk of exposure to water contaminants by drinking bottled water,” said Gemma Castaqo-Vinyals.

“However, despite being apparently cleaner and taking more exercise, a result of taking more frequent and longer baths, and using swimming pools more often — they are actually increasing their risk of THM exposure,” she added.

Moreover, Castaqo-Vinyals said that the additional risk of developing bladder cancer through the water contaminants was ‘small’.

Cholesterol drugs cut risk of blood clotting: Study

Scientists suggest that drugs, which regulate levels of cholesterol in the blood, may also reduce the risk of dangerous clots.

Researchers reduced the size and stability of blood clots in mice and said the discovery could lead to new drugs.

The British Heart Foundation said it was an exciting discovery that could result in more effective treatments. The team at the University of Reading was investigating how clots form and say they were surprised to find that protein, LXR, was involved.

LXR is already known to control levels of cholesterol and drug companies have been targeting it for new treatments.

Jeremy Pearson, British Heart Foundation, said: “This exciting discovery shows that drugs which lower cholesterol through targeting LXR protein can also reduce harmful blood clotting — potentially opening up paths towards new, more effective treatments”.

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