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LifeScan introduces talking glucose meter in India

BY Michael Johnsen

MUMBAI, India — LifeScan on Thursday kicked off the global launch of its new blood-glucose monitoring device specifically designed to make self-monitoring simple.

Called OneTouch SelectSimple, the blood-glucose monitor is the first meter to be launched with audio alerts, according to the company. There are two alerts corresponding to high and low glucose levels. These alerts automatically go off whenever the readings cross the cut-off limits. The product also has visual alerts via the use of arrows on screen, as well as a high-low alarm reference card where the patients can put down their readings and maintain a record.

“One of the key barriers to self-monitoring that still remain is the lack of confidence in self-care technology," stated Annaswamy Vaidheesh, managing director for Johnson & Johnson Medical India. "The SelectSimple system helps satisfy the previously unmet needs of a large group of people with diabetes who can now test their blood-glucose levels with ease and confidence with high levels of accuracy and precision.”



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Quitting smoking can turn that frown upside down

BY Michael Johnsen

COLUMBIA, Mo. — University of Missouri researchers earlier this week revealed evidence that showed those who quit smoking show improvements in their overall personality.

"The data indicate that for some young adults, smoking is impulsive," stated Andrew Littlefield, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Science. "That means that 18 year olds are acting without a lot of forethought, and favor immediate rewards over long-term, negative consequences."

In the study, MU researchers compared people ages 18 years to 35 years who smoked with those who had quit smoking. They found that individuals who smoked were higher in two distinct personality traits during young adulthood — impulsivity and neuroticism.

"Smokers at age 18 had higher impulsivity rates than nonsmokers at age 18, and those who quit tended to display the steepest declines in impulsivity between ages 18 and 25," Littlefield said. "However, as a person ages and continues to smoke, smoking becomes part of a regular behavior pattern and less impulsive."

Despite the evidence from this study, substance use still is a complex relationship of genetic and environmental factors, Littlefield said.

The study, "Smoking Desistance and Personality Change in Emerging and Young Adulthood," has been accepted by the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. The study was co-authored by Kenneth J. Sher, a professor in the MU Department of Psychology.

 

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Meta-analysis: Magnesium critical partner to calcium supplementation

BY Michael Johnsen

ORANGE, Calif. — Without magnesium, calcium supplements increase risk of heart attacks, according to a meta-analysis recently conducted by Carolyn Dean, medical director of the Nutritional Magnesium Association.

"If we consume too much calcium without sufficient magnesium, the excess calcium is not utilized correctly and may actually become toxic, causing painful conditions, such as some forms of arthritis, kidney stones, osteoporosis and calcification of the arteries leading to heart attack and cardiovascular disease," Dean said.

There needs to be about a 2:1 ration of magnesium to calcium in order for calcium to be effectively absorbed into the body, Dean claimed, making magnesium supplementation more important than calcium in order to maintain both healthy bones and healthy hearts.

The meta-analysis, published in the British Medical Journal, was based on the results of five clinical trials conducted in the United States, Great Britain and New Zealand that involved more than 8,000 people.

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