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Childhood depression ups heart disease risk

A new study suggests that children with depression are more likely to be obese, smoke and be inactive, which could show the effects of heart disease as early as their teen years.

The research, by University of South Florida Associate Professor of Psychology Jonathan Rottenberg and his colleagues at Washington University and the University of Pittsburgh, suggests that depression may increase the risk of heart problems later in life.

The researchers also observed higher rates of heart disease in the parents of adolescents that had been depressed as children.

“Given that the parents in this sample were relatively young, we were quite surprised to find that the parents of the affected adolescents were reporting a history of heart attacks and other serious events,” Rottenberg said.

Cardiologists and mental health professionals have long known a link exists between depression and heart disease. Depressed adults are more likely to suffer a heart attack, and if they do have a heart attack, it’s more likely
to be fatal.

However, it was unclear when the association between clinical depression and cardiac risk develops, or how early in life the association can be detected.

These findings suggest improved prevention and treatment of childhood depression could reduce adult cardiovascular disease.

Scientists spot how HIV infects gut for first time ever

Researchers have utilised high-resolution electron microscopy to look at HIV infection within the actual tissue of an infected organism, providing perhaps the most detailed characterisation yet of HIV infection in the gut.

Lead author Mark Ladinsky, an electron microscope scientist at Caltech worked with Pamela Bjorkman, Max Delbruck Professor of Biology at Caltech, used a technique called electron tomography, in which a tissue sample is embedded in plastic and placed under a high-powered microscope. Then the sample is tilted incrementally through a course of 120 degrees, and pictures are taken of it at one-degree intervals.

All of the images are then very carefully aligned with one another and, through a process called back projection, turned into a 3-D reconstruction that allows different places within the volume to be viewed one pixel at a time.

By procuring such detailed images, researchers were able to confirm several observations of HIV made in prior, in vitro studies, including the structure and behavior of the virus as it buds off of infected cells and moves into the surrounding tissue and structural details of HIV budding from cells.

Men at higher heart attack risk after testosterone therapy

A new study has revealed that men under the age of 65, who have a history of heart disease, are at a higher risk of a heart attack shortly after beginning testosterone therapy.

The joint study, conducted by UCLA, the National Institutes of Health and Consolidated Research Inc., found that there is a two-fold increase in the risk of a heart attack, confirming earlier studies which claimed the same.

The research was prompted by three small earlier studies that had raised concerns about possible adverse cardiovascular outcomes associated with testosterone therapy.

Sander Greenland, professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and statistics in the UCLA College of Letters and Science, said that the team decided to investigate cardiovascular risks of this therapy in a large health care database since these previous studies were modest in size and only focused on men 65 and older.


Greenland added that extensive and rapidly increasing use of testosterone treatment and the evidence of risk of heart attack underscore the urgency of further large studies of the risks and the benefits of this treatment.

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