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Lifestyle, occupation, and whole bone morphology of the pre-Hispanic Maya coastal population from Xcambó, Yucatan, Mexico

Isabel S. Wanner
Abstract The present bioarchaeological study examines the external diaphyseal geometric properties of humeri, radii, femora and tibiae of the Classic period skeletal population of Xcambó, Yucatan, Mexico. The diaphysial proportions are evaluated using a biomechanical approach together with data from the material context and other osteological information. Our intent is to provide new answers to questions concerning lifestyle, domestic labour division and subsistence strategies of this coastal Maya settlement that was inhabited from the Late and Terminal Preclassic (300 BC,350 AD) to the Postclassic Period (900,1500 AD). Our results provide evidence for a marked sexual division of labour when compared with values from contemporaneous inland populations. The overall male and female loading patterns differ remarkably in terms of form and in bilateral comparison. A high directional asymmetry in the upper limbs is evident among males, a condition related to maritime transportation and trading activities. On the other hand, female upper limbs are characterized by very low side differences. Forces on the arms of women were probably dominated by food processing, in particular the grinding of grains or seeds. In the lower limbs, males show significantly higher anteroposterior bending strengths, which can be explained by greater engagement in transportation tasks and carrying heavy loads. In the course of the Classic period (350,900 AD), diachronic changes affect the male sample only, which suggests a shift of occupational pattern and physical demands. This shift, in turn, reflects Xcambó's changing role as the centre of a densifying settlement area and its place in the trading activities of northern Yucatan. Other topics of discussion relate to general regional trends and local prehispanic subsistence strategies. Our conclusions emphasize the value of geometric long bone analysis in the reconstruction of activity patterns and lifestyles in ancient coastal settlements. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Latest news and product developments

PRESCRIBER, Issue 19 2008
Article first published online: 16 OCT 200
ARBs less effective than ACE inhibitors? The efficacy of angiotensin-II receptor blockers (ARBs) in preventing cardiovascular events in high-risk patients has been challenged by the findings of a large randomised trial (Lancet 2008 published online; doi 10.1016/ S0140-6736(08)61242-8). In the TRANSCEND trial, 5926 patients with cardiovascular disease or diabetes with end-organ damage who could not tolerate ACE inhibitor therapy were randomised to placebo or telmisartan (Micardis) 80mg per day in addition to standard therapies. After 56 months, mean blood pressure was lower with telmisartan (by 4.0/2.2mmHg) but there were no significant differences between telmisartan and placebo in the risk of cardiovascular events , a composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, or hospitalisation for heart failure. Hospitalisation for cardiovascular reasons were slightly but significantly reduced by telmisartan (33 vs 30 per cent). MHRA: fentanyl patch errors potentially fatal Errors in dosing, accidental exposure and enhanced absorption from heat exposure have resulted in life-threatening and fatal incidents with transdermal fentanyl, warns the MHRA in its latest Drug Safety Update (September 2008). There is also evidence that fentanyl patches are being prescribed for nonlicensed indications, including treatment of opioid-naive patients. Other topics in this issue include managing adverse reactions to HPV vaccine and an update on new cases of progressive multifocal leucoencephalopathy associated with natalizumab (Tysabri). Call for DURG research The Drug Utilisation Research Group is inviting abstracts for oral and poster presentations at its 20th annual meeting on 5 February 2009. The theme of the morning session is ,Whose prescribing budget is it anyway?'. Abstracts will be accepted on any drug utilisation research studies and will be published in the Journal of Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. Information is available at www.durg.org.uk the deadline for submissions is 1 December. Early bromocriptine no benefit in Parkinson's Initiating treatment of Parkinson's disease with the dopamine agonist bromocriptine offers no long-term benefit compared with levodopa, the UK Parkinson's Disease Research Group trial has shown (Neurology 2008;71:474-80). After 14 years' follow-up of 166 patients, there were no differences in the prevalence of motor complications, dementia or mortality, but levodopa was associated with superior scores of disability and physical functioning. The authors say the belief that early dopamine agonist treatment is neuroprotective in Parkinson's disease should be abandoned. Ezetimibe with statin cancer risk ,not credible' Analysis of data pooled from two large trials provides ,no credible evidence' that ezetimibe (Ezetrol) is associated with an increased risk of cancer when added to statin therapy (N Engl J Med 2008 published online; doi 10.1056/NEJMsa0806603). A possible link with increased risk of cancer with ezetimibe plus simvastatin was suggested by the SEAS trial (N Engl J Med 2008 published online; doi 10.1056/NEJMoa 0804602). This hypothesis was tested in two trials involving more than 20 500 patients over 1.0-2.7 years. There was no excess of cancer overall or at particular sites; cancer deaths were more numerically but not significantly higher with ezetimibe and there was no evidence of increased risk with duration of treatment. Telmisartan provides no advantage after stroke Adding telmisartan (Micardis) to standard treatment after ischaemic stroke does not reduce morbidity, US investigators report (N Engl J Med 2008 published online; doi 10.1056/NEJMoa 0804593). A total of 20 332 patients with recent ischaemic stroke were randomised to placebo or telmisartan 80mg per day in addition to antiplatelet therapy and antihypertensive agents. After 2.5 years, blood pressure was 3.8/2.0mmHg lower in patients taking telmisartan but there were no significant differences from placebo in the risks of recurrent stroke, cardiovascular events or new-onset diabetes. Copyright © 2008 Wiley Interface Ltd [source]

Latest news and product developments

PRESCRIBER, Issue 17 2008
Article first published online: 15 SEP 200
Small AED suicide risk Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are associated with a small increase in the risk of suicidal thoughts, the MHRA has warned. In the latest Drug Safety Update (2008;2:Issue 1) the MHRA says that, compared with placebo, AEDs are associated with an additional two cases of suicidal thoughts and behaviour per 1000 patients (0.43 vs 0.22 per cent). This may occur as early as one week after starting treatment. It is unclear whether the risk varies among AEDs. Also in this issue, the MHRA warns of an increased risk of tumour progression and reduced survival in patients with cancer treated with recombinant erythropoietin. Other topics include the use of lenalidomide (Revlimid) and thalidomide for multiple myeloma; new restrictions on the use of moxifloxacin (Avelox) due to adverse effects; and a reminder that metronidazole should be administered orally, not by intravenous injection, for the treatment of C. difficile -associated diarrhoea. Low-fat diet least effective option? A low-fat diet is associated with less weight loss and less favourable metabolic changes over two years than a low-carbohydrate (Watkins) diet or a Mediterranean diet in 322 moderately obese patients (mean BMI 30kg per m2; N Eng J Med 2008;359:229,41). Estimated energy intake was similar for all diets. Mean weight loss in all randomised patients was 2.9kg for the low fat diet, 4.4kg for the Mediterranean diet and 4.7kg for the low-carbohydrate diet. The low-carbohydrate diet was associated with greater increases in HDL-cholesterol and greater reductions in triglycerides and total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio compared with the low-fat diet. Among people with diabetes, fasting plasma glucose and insulin resistance were decreased only in those assigned to the Mediterranean diet, and only the low carbohydrate diet significantly decreased HbA1c. Stopping post-MI statins Patients who stop taking a statin first prescribed after an acute MI almost double their risk of death compared with nonusers, a new study shows (Eur Heart J; published online 29 July 2008; doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehn346). The analysis of 9939 MI survivors in the General Practice Research Database showed that, compared with patients who had never used a statin, the risk of death was unchanged for those previously taking a statin who continued treatment after MI. The risk was reduced by 28 per cent for those who started a statin post-MI and continued it but, in those who started a statin but then stopped it, the hazard ratio for death was 1.88 (CI 95% 1.13-3.07). Stopping control medication (aspirin, beta-blockers or proton pump inhibitors) did not alter the risk of death. Smoking quit rates with NRT and varenicline Differences in quit rates between nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and varenicline (Champix) are small, according to a multinational study (Thorax 2008;63:717,24). The trial compared transdermal NRT (21mg to 7mg per day over 10 weeks) with varenicline (1mg twice daily for 12 weeks). Over the final four weeks of treatment, the abstinence rate was significantly higher with varenicline (56 vs 43 per cent). After one year, the four-week abstinence rates were 26 and 20 per cent respectively (p = 0.056) and seven-day point prevalence abstinence rates at 6 or 12 months were not significantly different. Varenicline reduced craving, withdrawal symptoms and smoking satisfaction compared with NRT but at the cost of a higher incidence of nausea (37 vs 10 per cent). Azithromycin goes OTC The MHRA has announced that azithromycin will be available without prescription for the treatment of Chlamydia infection. Under the brand Clamelle, azithromycin will be supplied from pharmacies to over-16s who have tested positive for infection but have no symptoms; their partners may also be treated. A urine testing kit will be marketed to pharmacists. Product news Sodium valproate (Epilim Chronosphere) is now available as modified-release granules to be taken with food or a drink; 30 sachets, in five strengths from 50750mg, cost £30. Boehringer Ingelheim has introduced a higher strength of its telmisartan/hydrochlorothiazide combination (Micardis Plus) for hypertension; 80mg/25mg costs £14.18 for a month's supply. Copyright © 2008 Wiley Interface Ltd [source]

Latest news and product developments

PRESCRIBER, Issue 6 2008
Article first published online: 24 APR 200
Government responds to NICE report The Government has published its response to the Health Select Committee's report into NICE, broadly arguing that the Committee's recommendations are either already being dealt with or are not appropriate. The Committee recommended appraisals for all new drugs, shorter, rapid appraisals to coincide with their launch, and improved mechanisms for setting drug prices. The Government says its negotiations on the PPRS preclude a detailed response but suggests a rapid system may not be transparent or legally robust. It is exploring how high-cost drugs can be brought within the payment-by-results tariff. While defending NICE's reliance on QALYs, the Government accepts the need to explore how wider economic factors can be considered. As for the threshold cost per QALY by which NICE defines cost effectiveness, it says this is being validated scientifically and NICE will continue to determine the threshold. More topically, the Committee criticised the quality of clinical trial data available to NICE. The Government sees no need to compel pharmaceutical companies to disclose information and says NICE is already becoming more involved with research programmes. All clinical trials must be registered (confidentially) with the EU and the Government believes mandatory registration in the UK would be ineffective and illegal. Prescription charge up again from April The Government has raised the prescription charge by 25p to £7.10 per item with effect from 1 April. Prescription prepayment certificates will cost £27.85 for three months and £102.50 for 12 months. The increase, below the annual rate of inflation for the 10th successive year, will be levied on the 12 per cent of prescriptions that are liable for the charge: 5 per cent via prepayment certificates and 7 per cent from other prescriptions. The charge will generate £435 million in England in 2008/09; this excludes money from prescriptions written by dispensing doctors, which is retained by the PCT. Following criticism of the charge by the Health Select Committee, the Government says it has reviewed the charge and is now consulting on ,cost-neutral' options. MHRA safety update The MHRA warns of possible dose errors associated with Boots Medisure Domiciliary Dosage System in its latest issue of Drug Safety Update (2008;1:issue 8). One case has been reported in which incomplete sealing allowed tablets to mix between compartments. No other cases are known and the MHRA says no harm was reported but the risk is serious. The system should be carefully sealed and inspected visually and physically. The MHRA reaffirms its plans to reclassify all pseudoephedrine and ephedrine products to prescription-only status in 2009 if the new restrictions on sales do not reduce misuse. Other topics in this month's Update include revised indications for oral ketoconazole (Nizoral), restricting its use to selected conditions unresponsive to topical therapy; reformulation of the injectable antibiotic Tazocin (piperacillin plus tazobactum); the risk of peripheral neuropathy associated with pegylated interferon and telbivudine (Sebivo) in the treatment of hepatitis B; and serious adverse events associated with modafinil (Provigil). First oral anticoagulant since warfarin In January this year the EMEA issued a positive opinion to recommend marketing authorisation of the oral, fixed-dose, direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran etexilate (Pradaxa) for the primary prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in adult patients that have undergone elective knee or hip replacement surgery. Marketing authorisation for the EU (including the UK) is expected from the European Commission in the next few weeks, making dabigatran the first oral anticoagulant since warfarin was introduced in 1954. Dabigatran etexilate has been shown to be as safe and effective as enoxaparin (Clexane) with a similar adverse event profile in the noninferiority phase III RENOVATE (Lancet 2007;370: 949-56) and RE-MODEL (J Throm Haemost 2007;5:217885) trials, which investigated the efficacy and safety of dabigatran compared to enoxaparin in reducing the risk of VTE after total hip and knee surgery respectively. Dabigatran has the practical advantage over low-molecular-weight heparin of oral postoperative administration and no risk of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and, unlike warfarin, does not require monitoring or dose titration. Risk scale predicts anticholinergic effects US investigators have developed a scale for predicting the risk of anticholinergic side-effects from older patients' medicines (Arch Intern Med 2008;168: 508-13). The scale assigns a score from 1 (low) to 3 (high) for the risk of anticholinergic effects such as dry mouth, constipation and dizziness associated with commonly prescribed medicines. Checking the scale retrospectively in older patients in residential care, a higher score was associated with a 30 per cent increased risk of side-effects after adjustment for age and number of medicines. When this was repeated prospectively in a primary-care cohort, the increased risk was 90 per cent. HRT cancer risk persists The latest analysis of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial of HRT shows that the small increase in the risk of cancer persists for up to three years after stopping treatment (J Am Med Assoc 2008;299:1036-45). WHI was stopped after 5.6 years' follow-up when it became clear the risks of HRT outweighed its benefits. This follow-up after a further three years (mean 2.4) involved 15 730 women. The annual risk of cardiovascular events was similar for HRT (1.97 per cent) and placebo (1.91 per cent). Cancers were more common among women who had taken HRT (1.56 vs 1.26 per cent), in particular breast cancer (0.42 vs 0.33 per cent). All-cause mortality was higher, but not statistically significantly so, with HRT (1.20 vs 1.06 per cent). Tight glycaemic control may increase falls Maintaining HbA1C at or below 6 per cent with insulin is associated with an increased risk of falls, a US study suggests (Diabetes Care 2008;31:391-6). The Health, Aging and Composition study involved 446 older people with type 2 diabetes (mean age 74) followed up for approximately five years. The incidence of falls ranged from 22 to 30 per cent annually. Comparing subgroups with HbA1C of ,6 per cent and >8 per cent, an increased risk of falls was associated with insulin use (odds ratio 4.4) but not oral hypoglycaemic drugs. Copyright © 2008 Wiley Interface Ltd [source]

Family Secrets and Family Functioning: The Case of Donor Assistance

FAMILY PROCESS, Issue 4 2008
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between adult offspring's perception of family functioning and of parental use of topic avoidance to maintain secrecy regarding the use of donor assistance to conceive. A cross-sectional design was used to study a convenience sample of 69 young adult donor offspring who completed a demographic questionnaire, a topic avoidance scale relative to each of their rearing parents, and the Beavers Self Report Family Instrument. Findings indicated that participants perceived both parents as avoiding the topic of donor assistance more than other topics, mothers as avoiding all topics less than fathers, and topic avoidance was negatively associated with family functioning. Mothers' general topic avoidance was the strongest predictor of family functioning. Parents' disclosing together was predictive of higher family functioning. Implications for practice and future research are suggested. RESUMEN El propósito de este estudio era examinar la relación entre la percepción que los hijos adultos tienen del funcionamiento familiar y de la práctica, por parte de los padres, de evitar ciertos temas para mantener en secreto el haber recurrido a un donante para concebir. Se utilizó un diseño transversal para estudiar una muestra de conveniencia de 69 adultos jóvenes hijos de donantes que rellenaron un cuestionario demográfico, una escala de evasión del tema sobre sus padres por separado y el Instrumento Familiar Beavers de Autoinformes (Beavers Self Report Family Instrument). Los resultados indicaron que los participantes percibían que sus padres evitaban el tema de la ayuda del donante más que otros temas, que las madres evitaban temas en general menos que los padres, y que la evasión de temas se veía negativamente asociada al funcionamiento familiar. La evasión por parte de las madres de temas en general era el factor pronóstico más fuerte del funcionamiento familiar. El afrontar el tema por parte del padre y la madre juntos era pronóstico de un funcionamiento familiar más alto. Se sugieren implicaciones para futuras prácticas e investigaciones. Palabras clave: secretos familiares, funcionamiento familiar, evasión de tema [source]

Forum on: the role of recombinant factor VIII in children with severe haemophilia A

HAEMOPHILIA, Issue 2 2009
Summary., The development of recombinant FVIII (rFVIII) products, fuelled by the need for improved safety of treatment arising from the dramatic widespread blood-borne virus transmission in the 1970,1980s revolutionized the care of children with haemophilia A over the last two decades. The larger availability of perceived safer replacement therapy associated with the introduction of rFVIII products reassured the haemophilia community and there was a strong push in some Western countries to treat haemophilic children only with rFVIII. Moreover, this significantly contributed in the 1990s to the diffusion outside Northern Europe of prophylactic regimens implemented at an early age to prevent bleeding and the resultant joint damage (i.e. primary prophylaxis), together with the possibility of home treatment. These changes led to a substantial improvement of the quality of life of haemophilic children and of their families. The general agreement that primary prophylaxis represents the first-choice treatment for haemophilic children has been recently supported by two randomized controlled trials carried out with rFVIII products, providing evidence on the efficacy of early prophylaxis over on-demand treatment in preserving joint health in haemophilic children. However, the intensity and optimal modalities of implementation of prophylaxis in children, in particular with respect to the issue of the venous access, are still debated. A number of studies also supports the role of secondary prophylaxis in children, frequently used in countries in which primary prophylaxis was introduced more recently. With viral safety now less than an issue and with the more widespread use of prophylaxis able to prevent arthropathy, the most challenging complication of replacement therapy for children with haemophilia remains the risk of inhibitor development. Despite conflicting data, there is no evidence that the type of FVIII concentrate significantly influences the complex multifactorial process leading to anti-FVIII alloantibodies, whereas other treatment-related factors are likely to increase (early intensive treatments due to surgery or severe bleeds) or reduce (prophylaxis) the risk. Although the optimal regimen is still uncertain, eradication of anti-FVIII antibodies by immune tolerance induction (ITI), usually with the same product administered at inhibitor detection, should be the first-choice treatment for all patients with recent onset inhibitors. This issue applies particularly to children, as most patients undergo ITI at an early age, when inhibitors usually appear. The availability of a stable and long-lasting venous access represents a leading problem also in this setting. These and other topics concerning rFVIII treatment of haemophilic children were discussed in a meeting held in Rome on 27 February 2008 and are summarized in this report. [source]

Waiter, There's a Fly in My Soup!

HYPATIA, Issue 3 2004
Reflections on the Philosophical Gourmet Report
Editor's note: with this essay, Hypatia inaugurates a new column. We welcome musings on the state of the profession, the life of the independent scholar, political activism, teaching, publishing, or other topics of interest to feminist philosophers. We particularly invite submissions that pick up conversational threads begun by earlier contributions to the column, so that Musings becomes a forum for talking to one another. If you have an idea for the column, please tell us about it. [source]

Presentation and comments on EU legislation related to food industries,environment interactions: organic contaminants (chemicals, pesticides, dioxins, furans, biocides and their waste management)

Ioannis S. Arvanitoyannis
Summary The first part of this review on European Union (EU) legislation related to food industries,environment interactions deals with chemicals which, in their majority, make their way to food. Such substances are the pesticides and fertilizers the residues of which abound in many agricultural produces (both of plant or animal origin). Another crucial issue is the unintentional release of dioxins and furans through combustion. Detergents or sanitizers in conjunction with compounds considered hazardous or corrosive or flammable stand for other topics falling in the general category of chemicals employed in the food industry. The aim of this review is to cover all the current EU legislation in the field of chemicals (dioxins, furans, pesticides, biocides products, fertilizers, sanitizers) coming directly or indirectly in contact with food and their waste management by providing six comprehensive and easy-to-use tables, and a synopsis of the main points of the currently in force EU legislation. [source]

The development and pilot evaluation of a nutrition education intervention programme for pregnant teenage women (food for life)

W. L. Wrieden
Abstract Background A healthy diet in pregnancy is important for both maternal and infant health but this may be difficult to achieve particularly for groups such as teenage pregnant women, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds. To our knowledge this is the first report of a practical nutrition education programme for this group in the UK. Method An intervention was designed incorporating seven informal food preparation sessions, which allowed opportunities for discussion of nutritional, and other topics (e.g. food safety and well-being in pregnancy). Midwives in a community centre setting led the sessions. The acceptability of the package to participants and midwives was recorded and pre- and post-intervention data collected on sociodemographic details, dietary intake (using an eating-habits questionnaire and a 24-h dietary recall) and cooking skills. Results The midwives found the package easy to follow and use. The 16 (of the 120 invited) women who attended found the courses helpful but objective evaluation of dietary intake was not possible because of poor compliance. Conclusions The nutrition education programme was favourably received by midwives and the women who participated. However recruitment was problematic and alternative methods of delivering and evaluating such a package should be investigated. [source]

The origins of American physical anthropology in Philadelphia

Alan Mann
Abstract With its location on a river with easy access to the sea, its central placement between the English speaking colonies to the north and south and its trading connections with the western frontier, there were many reasons Philadelphia became one of the most important towns of prerevolutionary America. In the early 1770s, it was the site of the first meeting organized to deal with the perceived inequities of the British government toward the colonies. It was where Thomas Jefferson wrote much of the Declaration of Independence, whose soaring statements reflecting the Age of Enlightenment spoke of the equality of all men. It was to this debate, centered on just who was included in this declaration that the origins of physical anthropology in America can be traced. Notable men in the early phases of this disputation included Samuel Stanhope Smith and especially Samuel George Morton, considered the founder of American physical anthropology. The American School of Anthropology, which argued for the polygenic origins of human races was substantially founded on Morton's work. Recent accusations that Morton manipulated data to support his racist views would appear unfounded. The publication of The Origin of Species in 1859 and the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862-63 effectively ended the earlier debates. By the time of the American Civil War, 1861-65, physical anthropology was beginning to explore other topics including growth and development and anthropometry. Yrbk Phys Anthropol 52:155,163, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

CB2 cannabinoid receptors: new vistas

K Mackie
Over the years CB2 cannabinoid receptors have received much less attention than CB1 receptors, the latter mediating most of the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Primarily this was due to difficulties in assigning a physiological function to CB2 receptors. In recent years this situation has changed, and CB2 receptors have been implicated in processes as diverse as analgesia, hepatic fibrosis, bone growth, and atherosclerosis. This special issue of the British Journal of Pharmacology addresses these and other topics in CB2 receptor research by compiling a series of reviews and primary research papers stemming from a meeting ,CB22cannabinoid receptors: New vistas' that was held in Banff, Canada, from May 31 to June 3, 2007. British Journal of Pharmacology (2008) 153, 177,178; doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0707617 [source]