Our weekly roundup of the latest news in the world of health.
In a long-term study published this week, most men surveyed reported problems with having sex 15 years after treatment for prostate cancer. Another study took aim at myths related to obesity and weight loss. Among other things, the study said that slow weight loss is not better and that sex doesn't burn many calories. U.S. health officials released a report this week on foods that were connected to disease outbreaks. Greens were the No. 1 type of food. About half of the cases were linked to plant sources and half to animal sources.
This Issue: Long after Prostate Treatment, Most Report Sex Problems Aerobic Sex? Just Another Weight-Loss Myth CDC: Greens Top Source of Foodborne Illness
In the News:
Long after Prostate Treatment, Most Report Sex Problems
A long-term follow-up of men treated for prostate cancer found that nearly all had problems being able to have sex. The study included 1,655 men. They were 55 to 74 years old when they were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1994 or 1995. About 2 out of 3 had surgery to remove the prostate. The others were treated with radiation. Researchers surveyed the men 2, 5 and 15 years later. In that time, 569 died. In the 15-year survey, 94% of those treated with radiation reported being unable to have sex. So did 87% of those who had surgery. This can be a side effect of treatment. Fewer than half of the men said they were bothered by their sexual problems. The men were ages 70 to 89 when surveyed. Other research suggests that up to half of all men in this age group have problems with sex. Among the prostate cancer survivors, 18% of the surgery group and 9% of the radiation group reported problems with urine control. About 5% of the surgery group and 16% of the radiation group said they had bowel problems. The New England Journal of Medicine published the study this week. The Associated Press wrote about it.
Aerobic Sex? Just Another Weight-Loss Myth
A new report in a medical journal looks at some common beliefs about obesity and weight loss, and finds them a little thin on proof. Among the obesity myths is the one about sex burning 100 to 300 calories. Since it lasts about 6 minutes, on average, that total is way too high, the authors say. They also say it's not true that small changes over time lead to a large weight loss. The body's energy needs will change, so you'll lose less than you expect. School gym classes also don't reduce obesity because they are too short or not intense enough. It's also a myth that losing weight slowly is better than losing a lot fast, the authors say. Research shows that people who take the slow approach often lose less in the long run. The New England Journal of Medicine published the study. The Associated Press (AP) wrote about it this week. Experts interviewed by AP agreed with some of the report. But they noted that the authors have ties to makers of food, drinks and weight-loss products and programs. They said the paper might push people toward these products or surgery.
CDC: Greens Top Source of Foodborne Illness
Leafy greens are the No. 1 culprit in U.S. food-poisoning outbreaks, a government study reported this week. The report covered the years 1998 through 2008. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did the study. About 20% of the food poisoning cases were linked to contaminated lettuce, spinach or other greens. CDC officials said people should not be deterred from eating fruits and vegetables because of concern about illness. In fact, the vegetables themselves may not be the culprit in many cases. Most of these illnesses were caused by norovirus, which can be spread by poor food handling. An example would be someone who doesn't wash his hands before chopping lettuce. In all, fruits, nuts and vegetables were linked to 46% of food poisoning cases. About 14% were linked to dairy products, 10% to poultry, 12% to other types of meat and 6% each to eggs and seafood. About 417 deaths were related to meat and 334 to all kinds of produce. The CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases published the study this week. The Associated Press wrote about it.
Used with the permission of the copyright owner. All rights reserved. The above summaries are not intended to provide advice on personal medical matters, nor are they intended to be a substitute for consultation with a physician.