Public Release: 

Preventing fractures in men -- Making the most of limited flu vaccine stocks

PLOS

In this week's press release:

- Men should exercise to reduce their risk of broken bones in later life

- Should we stretch limited stockpiles of pandemic flu vaccines?

- Novel drug target for schistosomiasis

- The adult film industry must protect the health of its performers

- What is the best approach to treating schizophrenia in developing countries?

Please mention PLoS Medicine in your report and use the links below to take your readers straight to the online articles:


Men should exercise to reduce their risk of broken bones in later life

Serious fractures are common among older people and can have devastating consequences, particularly if a hip is broken. It is already recommended that women should take exercise to reduce the thinning of their bones, but now research published in PLoS Medicine shows that men too can help avoid fractures if they participate in sport or other vigorous activity.

The thinning of the bones with age is known as osteoporosis. Women are at particular risk of 'osteoporotic fractures' as the thinning of their bones increases markedly after the menopause. But it is wrong to think of osteoporosis as a 'woman's disease'. Osteoporotic fractures are a risk for men too.

Karl Michaelsson and colleagues at University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden, report research in which over 2000 men were asked, during 1970 to 1973, about the amount of physical activity they took outside working hours. They were asked the same questions again when they were aged 60, 70, 77, and 82. A record was also kept of the number of fractures the men had suffered during the 35 years of the study. (Although some of the men died before the end of the study, about half were still alive at the end.)

On the basis of the answers to the questions on physical activity at the start of the study, the researchers divided the men into three categories: those whose lifestyle was considered to be ''sedentary,'' those whose leisure activities included some walking and cycling, and those who participated in sports for at least 3 hours a week. These were referred to as the low, medium, and high-activity groups. Over the 35 years, 428 men had at least one fracture and 134 broke a hip, but there were big differences between the groups--20% of the low-activity men had fractures, compared with 13% of those with medium activity and only 8% of those in the high-activity group. In particular, the chance of having a hip fracture was reduced by increased activity.

The researchers conclude that taking exercise reduces the risk of an osteoporotic fracture in men. Participating in sports seems to be particularly effective; they calculate that one-third of fractures could be prevented if men could be persuaded to take part in sports regularly.

The implications of the study are also discussed in an article in the same issue of PLoS Medicine by Dr. Harri Sievanen and Dr. Pekka Kannus.

Citation: Michaelsson K, Olofsson H, Jensevik K, Larsson S, Mallmin H, et al. (2007) Leisure physical activity and the risk of fracture in men. PLoS Med 4(6): e199.

IN YOUR ARTICLE, PLEASE LINK TO THIS URL, WHICH WILL PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE PUBLISHED PAPER:: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/"request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040199

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-06-michaelsson.pdf

CONTACT:

Karl Michaelsson

University Hosptial Uppsala

Department of Surgical Sciences
Section of Orthopaedics
Uppsala, S-756 45
Sweden
+46 18 6119545
+46 733 180504 (Alternate Telephone)
Karl.Michaelsson@surgsci.uu.se

Related PLoS Medicine Perspective:

Citation: Sievänen H, Kannus P (2007) Physical activity reduces the risk of fragility fracture. PLoS Med 4(6): e222.

IN YOUR ARTICLE, PLEASE LINK TO THIS URL, WHICH WILL PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE PUBLISHED PAPER: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/"request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040222

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-06-sievanen.pdf

CONTACT:

Harri Sievanen

UKK Institute

Bone Research Group

Tampere

Finland

harri.sievanen@uta.fi


Should we stretch limited stockpiles of pandemic flu vaccines?

To prepare for the next flu pandemic, many countries are stockpiling potential vaccines. These are likely to be sub-optimal (i.e. not match the emerging pandemic viral strain) and sure to be in short supply. In a new study in the international open-access journal PLoS Medicine, Steven Riley and colleagues from Hong Kong University, ask the tough question of what to do to make the most of such limited vaccine stockpiles. Their provocative study suggests that, under many possible scenarios, it might be beneficial to spread the vaccine thinly, i.e. give a lower than optimal dose to more people.

In an accompanying Perspective article discussing the study and its limitations, Christophe Fraser of Imperial College London concludes that the study brings forward a new and interesting concept that deserves wider discussion in the public domain

Citation: Riley S, Wu JT, Leung GM (2007) Optimizing the dose of prepandemic influenza vaccines to reduce the infection attack rate. PLoS Med 4(6): e218.

IN YOUR ARTICLE, PLEASE LINK TO THIS URL, WHICH WILL PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE PUBLISHED PAPER:: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/"request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040218

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-06-riley.pdf

CONTACT:

Steven Riley

Hong Kong University
Community Medicine and School of Public Health
5/F William MW Mong Block
21 Sassoon Road
Hong Kong SAR 1111
China
+852 9152 4259 (on or before 13th June)

+44 7890 173902 (after 13th June)
sr@stevenriley.net

Related PLoS Medicine Perspective:

Citation: Fraser C (2007) Influenza pandemic vaccines: Spread them thin" PLoS Med 4(6): e228.

IN YOUR ARTICLE, PLEASE LINK TO THIS URL, WHICH WILL PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE PUBLISHED PAPER:
http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/"request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040228

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-06-fraser.pdf

CONTACT:

Christophe Fraser

Imperial College London
Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Norfolk Place
St Mary's Campus
London, London W2 1PG
United Kingdom
+44 20 75943397
c.fraser@imperial.ac.uk


Novel drug target for schistosomiasis

Using both genetic and biochemical approaches, David Williams and colleagues show that the parasite enzyme thioredoxin glutathione reductase meets all the major criteria to be a key target for antischistosomal chemotherapy.

Citation: Kuntz AN, Davioud-Charvet E, Sayed AA, Califf LL, Dessolin J, et al. (2007) Thioredoxin glutathione reductase from Schistosoma mansoni: An essential parasite enzyme and a key drug target. PLoS Med 4(6): e206.

IN YOUR ARTICLE, PLEASE LINK TO THIS URL, WHICH WILL PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE PUBLISHED PAPER:: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/"request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040206

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-06-williams.pdf

CONTACT:

David Williams

Illinois State University
Biological Sciences
210 Julian Hall
Normal, IL 61790
United States of America
+1 309-438-2608
+1 309-438-3722 (fax)
dlwilli@ilstu.edu


FROM THE PLoS MEDICINE MAGAZINE SECTION:

The adult film industry must protect the health of its performers

Adult film performers are being put at risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections because their employers often ban them from using condoms, argue researchers in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Dr Corita Grudzen (University of California, Los Angeles) and Dr Peter Kerndt (Los Angeles County Department of Public Health) say that performers in heterosexual adult films are often required to work without condoms as a condition of employment.

The heterosexual adult film industry attempts to control the spread of sexual transmitted diseases (STDs) by periodically conducting STD tests among performers. But such periodic testing, say the authors, often fails to prevent transmission. In 2004, for example, a male performer who had tested HIV negative only three days earlier infected three of 14 female performers.

The adult film industry itself, say Drs Grudzen and Kerndt, lacks the "will or ability" to regulate itself, and needs state and federal legislation to enforce health and safety standards for adult film performers.

Since condoms are 90-95% effective at preventing HIV transmission, industry should be mandated to require condom use for all films, say the authors, and legislators could look to Nevada for a model for the successful regulation of a legal sex-related industry. Since the institution of mandatory condoms in Nevada's brothels in 1988, not a single sex worker has contracted HIV.

"Short of legislation mandating performer protection, restricting distribution of adult movies to condom-only films may be the one way to have an impact on the industry," they say. "If there were organized and truly effective advocacy for performers, then large hotel chains, video retailers, and cable networks could be pressured to purchase adult films under a condom-only 'seal of approval.'"

Citation: Grudzen CR, Kerndt PR (2007) The adult film industry: Time to regulate" PLoS Med 4(6): e126.

IN YOUR ARTICLE, PLEASE LINK TO THIS URL, WHICH WILL PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE PUBLISHED PAPER:: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/"request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040126

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-06-grudzen.pdf

CONTACT:

Corita Grudzen

University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA 90046
United States of America
+1 917 2045855
cgrudzen@mednet.ucla.edu


FROM THE PLoS MEDICINE MAGAZINE SECTION:

What is the best approach to treating schizophrenia in developing countries?

In this week's PLoS Medicine, three psychiatrists working in India and Pakistan debate how best to improve the care of the 25 million people living with schizophrenia in low and middle income countries. Studies have found that over two-thirds of people with schizophrenia in these countries are not receiving any treatment.

Dr Vikram Patel discusses the crucial role that community health workers can play. Dr Saaed Farooq argues that the huge burden of untreated schizophrenia could be tackled by providing free antipsychotic medications and supervising patients while they take their treatment (akin to the way in which patients with TB are supervised when they take their antituberculous medications). Dr R Thara discusses the crucial importance of tackling the stigma of schizophrenia by offering proven therapies.

Citation: Patel V, Farooq S, Thara R (2007) What is the best approach to treating

schizophrenia in developing countries" PLoS Med 4(6): e159.

IN YOUR ARTICLE, PLEASE LINK TO THIS URL, WHICH WILL PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE PUBLISHED PAPER: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/"request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040159

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-06-patel.pdf

CONTACT:

Vikram Patel

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,

International Mental Health

London

United Kingdom

vikram.patel@lshtm.ac.uk

Saeed Farooq

Lady Reading Hospital

Psychiatry Department,

Postgraduate Medical Institute

Peshawar

Pakistan

sfarooqlrh@yahoo.com.

R. Thara

Director of the Schizophrenia Research

Foundation

Chennai

India

scarf@vsnl.com

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* * * * * * * * * EMBARGO: MONDAY, 18 June, 5 P.M. PDT * * * * * * * * * * *

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