The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 4, 1997 · Page 9
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 9

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Thursday, December 4, 1997
Page 9
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10A THE PALM BEACH POST THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1997 'Designer' estrogen gets mixed reviews Study: Estrogen not just for women; men need hormone to stay fertile T6e hormone helps build stronger bones, lower cholesterol in older women. The Associated Press , BOSTON A new estrogen substitute appears to strengthen older women's weakening bones without some of the ill effects and some of the advantages of the real thing. So-called designer estrogens have become a hot area of research for drug companies, and a report being published today shows one of them seems to work, although perhaps not as well as the hormone pills now available. Brittle bones, a condition called osteoporosis, is a common affliction after menopause, when the risk of heart attacks also increases. Doctors some either raloxifene or placebos. After two years, they found that bone mineral density was about 2 percent greater in those getting raloxifene and that their cholesterol levels fell about 6 percent Although there was no direct comparison with regular estrogen, raloxifene appeared to be somewhat less potent at both preserving the bones and improving cholesterol. A major advantage of raloxifene and similar drugs is that they may actually prevent breast cancer, not cause it. But there are other differences. Unlike estrogen, raloxifene does not relieve hot flashes, a major reason women take estrogen while going through menopause. On the other hand, raloxifene does not cause uterine bleeding, which is one of estrogen's drawbacks. times recommend that women take estrogen supplements for life to protect themselves from both diseases. However, estrogen causes uterine bleeding and also increases the risk of breast cancer, so many women are reluctant to take it In the New England Journal of Medicine, French doctors described a study of raloxifene, which is likely to be the first designer estrogen to reach the market Last month, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended that raloxifene be approved for sale. The study was conducted by Dr. Pierre D. Delmas and others from Ed-ouard Herriot Hospital in Lyons and financed by the drug's maker, Eli Lilly. A total of 601 postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to get The Associated Press ' NEW YORK Most people consider estrogen a female hormone, but men make it too. A new study suggests one reason why: Estrogen may help men stay fertile by preventing a plumbing problem in the reproductive system. The study, done in mice, marks the first time scientists have specified a detailed role for estrogen in the male reproductive tract It's unclear whether estrogen-related defects cause any significant amount of infertility in men. But the research might help scientists develop a male contraceptive, said the study's lead author, Rex Hess of the University of Illinois. The findings are presented in today's issue of the journal Nature. Estrogen acts by binding to structures called receptors in cells. There are at least two kinds of estrogen receptors, and last year scientists reported that male mice that lacked one kind and so couldn't respond fully to estrogen were infertile. Their sperm were defective and sperm counts were low. That showed estrogen does something to preserve fertility in male mice, and perhaps men as well. The new work follows that up. Test helps doctors spot heart attacks The bloodwork can help speed up ER treatment for those really having an attack. The Associated Press BOSTON New blood tests are helping doctors sort out which patients who go to the hospital with chest pains are truly SPRINT PCS INTRODUCES having heart attacks. The test measures a protein called troponin, which is produced only by dying heart cells. A study in a German hospital emergency department found PRE tljat it can help show which pa tients are tree ot heart attacks so they can safely be sent home. In the United States, about 5 million people arrive at emer gency rooms with chest pain each year. If they have abnormal read ings on electrocardiograms, doctors can diagnosis their heart at WIRELESS GALLING. tacks with certainty and start treatment. Often, however, their electro cardiograms show normal heart beats. These people are frequently admitted to coronary units for observation. "Typically, doctors check for an enzyme called creatine kinase MB, which is released by a variety of damaged muscle, not just heart tissue. In mild heart at tacks, levels of this enzyme may stay normal. In a report in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Christian W. Hamm and others from University Hos pital Eppendorf in Hamburg measured troponin in 773 pa tients who had chest pain but normal electrocardiograms. ; .: They used two versions of the test four to six hours after their afrival at the hospital. One measured troponin I, the other tro-upiinT. It turned out later that 47 of te patients truly were having heart attacks. All of the heart attack patients had positive troponin I tests, while 94 percent had PQsitive troponin T tests. One drawback of the test is tlfat it often falsely suggested heart attacks in patients with a particularly severe form chest pain called unstable angina. This is wireless with 110 strings. Sprint PCS Prepaid Calling allows you to plan ahead and control costs. And here's more good news: No credit check or deposit required Free account balance notification A choice of plans to fit your needs Long distance and international calling available You can travel anywhere within the Sprint PCS nationwide network Experience the clear alternative to cellular today!" Get a Sprint PCS Phone by Samsung for just $99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. See store for details. The official PCS sponsor of the NFL and the Miami Dolphins. rasound (4 1 ra. M aft J t I f H f J it,,, : - A Sprint Sprint PCS 1-800-480-4PCS can detect defect early The Associated Press ; BOSTON Ultrasound scans may be even more effective tnan standard blood tests for revealing whether fetuses have Down syndrome. ' A Finnish study published today found that ultrasound provided answers earlier in pregnancy with fewer false alarms. ; The risk of having babies with D, own syndrome increases as women get older, so those over age 35 are routinely screened with amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. Younger women are often screened with blood tests that look for abnormal proteins. Only those who get suspicious results are given the more invasive tests. In a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, officials from Helsinki University Central Hospital tested the use of ultrasound scanning for this kind of screening in women under age 40. I- Doctors found that less than 1 percent of women got positive results, and the testing accurately identified 54 percent of fetuses with Down syndrome, which is about as good as the blood tests. On the scans, which can be done at 10 weeks gestation, doctors look for an accumulation of fluid in the neck of the fetus, a sign of Down syndrome. 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I O'J-, conditions til rebate oiler Mated on tebare mail ,n certih.atr available at retail outlets -Ihiv prepaid service plan dne.n r currently include calls made Speirrum LI-, all rights reserved Sprint and the diamond logo are registered rra.lemarks ol Sprint Communications Company I. P, used under license .Sprint P( S and Sprint Personal ( ommunication s Anvi San Diego. Orange t ounrv. Us SXashmgton. DC . or Baltimore CI'M" Sonnt in- tr.iiieiT.arks jnd s arks ol Spnni t omniums at ions Company L P . used under license

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