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Archive for November 12, 2012

Black Sea Bass with Chile Salt

Black Sea Bass with Chile Salt


  • 1 habanero or serrano chile, seeded, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 6-oz. skin-on black bass, striped bass, or pink snapper fillets
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1 avocado, cut into 1/2″ wedges (optional)
  • Cilantro sprigs (optional)
  • Corn tortillas (optional)


  • Build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Mix chile and salt in a small bowl to blend; set aside.
  • Pat fish dry with paper towels; drizzle skin side of fish with oil; spread chile-salt mixture all over skin side of fillets (if you don’t like to eat the skin, coat the flesh side). Place fillets, skin side down, on grill. Cook for 5 minutes; turn fish over and grill, flesh side down, until cooked through, 1–2 minutes longer. Serve fish with lime wedges for squeezing over. If you’d like to make fish tacos, serve with avocado, cilantro sprigs, and tortillas.


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Depression in pregnancy ‘risk to future mental health’

Pregnant woman
Depression can happen during pregnancy too

More than a third of women who become depressed during their pregnancy have suicidal thoughts, suggests a snapshot survey carried out by the Royal College of Midwives and Netmums.

The poll of 260 mothers with antenatal depression found they were at greater risk of worsening mental health problems then women with postnatal depression.

Only 22% sought help from their GP.

Experts say women with the condition need more support.

The Department of Health has announced that £25m will be made available to improve maternity facilities for mothers and babies, and an NHS information service for parents is to include videos on how to spot signs of postnatal depression.

If we can identify women as early as possible then we could prevent them declining into much more serious mental health problems”

Cathy Warwick Royal College of Midwives

‘Greater risk’

Antenatal depression, which occurs during pregnancy, is less known and talked about than postnatal depression, which happens after the birth of a baby.

This small survey suggests that those who suffer from depression during pregnancy are at greater risk of worsening mental health problems than those who have postnatal depression alone.

According to the survey, 80% of women with depression in pregnancy also went on to have postnatal depression.

About 56% of those surveyed had problems during their first pregnancy but almost 66% said they had problems during their second.

Just over half of the women said their illness had affected their relationship with their baby and 38% said they had problems bonding with their baby.

Only 30% were warned about antenatal depression by midwives and most of the women said it took a few months before they realised that they had a problem.

Just 22% sought medical help from their GP at that point – perhaps because only one in three women were aware of the possibility of becoming depressed during pregnancy.

Just 27% reported being asked how they felt emotionally during their pregnancy.


Hayley was 12 weeks pregnant when she started feeling awful.

“I had bad sickness and I just thought I was really tired, but it was getting worse,” she says.

“I was constantly crying. I didn’t want to talk about being pregnant and I kept imaging things were wrong with the baby.”

Everyone kept telling Hayley she was lucky to be pregnant, particularly since she had been told she would never conceive.

She went to GP for help but was given no support.

“Everyone is so aware of postnatal depression. They give you advice on the warning signs after you’ve had baby.”

Instead, she was crippled with fear and anxiety during her pregnancy and couldn’t get excited about the arrival of her first child.

“I went from being happy to living under black cloud.”

When Toby was born, everything changed and Hayley was on a real high.

During her second pregnancy, Hayley did not suffer antenatal depression, but she was diagnosed with delayed postnatal depression when her son Zac was two.

“I hit the black cloud again – but this time help was there immediately.”

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said the survey showed an urgent need to identify and help women with antenatal and postnatal depression.

“If we can identify women as early as possible then we could prevent them declining into much more serious mental health problems.”

‘Be open’

Sally Russell, co-founder of Netmums, said depression and anxiety could make life very difficult for parents with a new baby.

“Midwives can do a lot to help and reassure, so they should be open with mothers and fathers-to-be about the condition and trained to spot the signs.

“Those suffering often don’t know who to talk to, so it’s essential they know they can be open and honest about how they are feeling with midwives.”

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter, who announced the £25m fund to improve maternity services, said hospitals would be able to bid for en suite facilities, rooms where fathers can stay overnight or facilities like birthing pools.

“A new arrival in the family is a joyous time but can present challenges for mums and families, particularly new families. I want to help women and their partners as much as possible,” he said.

The NHS Information Service for Parents is available to every new parent to sign up to if their chid is under six months old. From next year it will support parents with babies and young children up to 18 months old.

Dr Poulter added: “Women with postnatal depression need care and support, not stigma. That’s why early diagnosis for this traumatic condition and support for parents is so important.”

In May, the government also pledged to recruit an extra 4,200 health visitors and give them training to diagnose postnatal depression.


First liver cancer ‘chemo-bath’ in the UK

Chemotherapy treatment
Chemotherapy affects the whole body and can cause side effects
A “chemo-bath” which delivers toxic cancer drugs to just one organ in the body has been used on patients in the UK for the first time, say doctors.

Chemotherapy drugs kill rapidly growing cells such as cancers, but they also attack healthy parts of the body.

Doctors at Southampton General Hospital believe targeting just one organ can prevent side effects.

They also say it means they can give higher doses without causing damage to the patient.

Chemotherapy drugs are normally injected into the veins of patients. However, the whole body, rather than just the tumour, is exposed. It results in side effects such as fatigue, feeling sick, hair loss and damage to fertility.


Two patients in the UK have now received chemotherapy focused on just their liver. Both had a rare eye cancer which had spread to the liver.

The operation works by inflating balloons inside blood vessels on either side of the liver to isolate it from the rest of the body.

The liver is then pumped full of chemotherapy drugs, which are filtered out before the liver is reconnected to the main blood supply.

It means only a tiny fraction of the chemotherapy dose ends up in the body.

Dr Brian Stedman, a consultant interventional radiologist, said: “To cut off an organ from the body for 60 minutes, soak it in a high dose of drug and then filter the blood almost completely clean before returning is truly groundbreaking.

“Previously, the outlook for patients specifically suffering from cancer which has spread to the liver has been poor because standard chemotherapy’s effect is limited by the unwanted damage the drug causes to the rest of the body.”

The surgery took place in the past three months and both patients are said to be doing well and their tumours “all look smaller”, he said.

Dr Stedman told the BBC: “In 20 years’ time the idea of injecting a drug which poisons the whole body for a cancer in just one small area will seem bonkers.”

He suggested that any organ which could be easily separated from the blood supply, such as the kidney, pancreas and lungs, would be suitable for this kind of approach.

However, he said the method was “in its infancy” and he was “not sure this is the finished product or the end of the story”.

The technique is also being tested in the US and elsewhere in Europe.


Lung cancer in women ‘to soar’ by 2040

Woman smoking
Cigarette smoking increases lung cancer risk

The number of women living with lung cancer in the UK is set to rise significantly faster than the number of men with the disease over the next 30 years, experts say.

Macmillan Cancer Support estimates cases in women will rise from about 26,000 in 2010 to 95,000 in 2040.

Cases in men will increase from 39,000 to 42,000.

Macmillan warn that lung cancer gets just a quarter of the research funding given to breast cancer.

Lung cancer kills more people in the UK than any other cancer. Cases of lung cancer reflect smoking rates two to three decades earlier, and about 80% of cases are linked to tobacco.

The peak time for smoking in women was in the 1960s – 20 years after the peak in male smoking.

And while cases in women will far exceed those in men, the charity says that by 2040 fewer than half (47%) of women with lung cancer will be alive at least five years from diagnosis compared with three-fifths (59%) of men.

An analysis by King’s College London for Macmillan suggests there will be an overall doubling of lung cancer cases from 65,000 in 2010 to 137,000 in 2040.

Lung cancer is often overlooked among cancers”

Ciaran Devane, Macmillan Cancer Support

It says this will largely be due to an ageing population.

Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Lung cancer is often overlooked among cancers but these figures should serve as a firm reminder that it is still very much a cancer killer.

“For most cancers in the UK we are looking at how we can cope with a population of long-term survivors with health complications.

“With lung cancer we are a long way from even being able to consider these issues.”

He said research was a key part of improving lung cancer outcomes, and added: “It is nonsensical that research in this area receives such minimal funding compared with other cancers. This has to change.”


Hormones in menstrual cycle ‘affect asthma’

Period pain
Period pain is not the only symptom linked to a woman’s menstrual cycle, the study suggests

A woman’s menstrual cycle affects the severity of respiratory symptoms, potentially worsening conditions such as asthma, a study suggests.

Norwegian researchers studied almost 4,000 women, and found worse symptoms around ovulation.

Writing in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, they said it may be possible to adapt women’s medication.

Asthma UK said it could help women with asthma manage their condition better.

All the women studied had regular menstrual cycles lasting 28 days or less, and none were taking hormonal contraceptives.

Of those studied, 28.5% were smokers and 8% had been diagnosed with asthma.

Wheezing symptoms were worse between days 10 to 22 of cycles, with a slight dip near the point of ovulation for most.

Shortness of breath was worse on days seven to 21, again with a slight fall around ovulation.

The study found it was not just women diagnosed with asthma who experienced these symptoms and variations.

Coughing was worse following ovulation for those with asthma, those who were overweight and smokers.

‘Pronounced’ variations

When an individual woman has her period is determined by complex hormonal processes over the course of her cycle.

This research is really interesting, and could help women with asthma to manage their condition better ”

Dr Samantha Walker, Asthma UK

Throughout, levels of different hormones rise and fall – and body temperature rises around ovulation.

The researchers suggest that these fluctuations may have direct effects on airways. and indirect effects on inflammatory responses to infection.

Writing in the journal, the researchers led by Dr Ferenc Macsali, of the Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway, said: “We found that respiratory symptoms varied significantly during the menstrual cycle.

“There were large changes in symptom incidence through the cycle for all symptoms.”

They also found “pronounced” symptom variations during the menstrual cycle in women with asthma, and say the findings suggest women might need tailored medication regimes.

“Adjustment of asthma medication to the menstrual cycle may potentially improve the efficacy of asthma treatment and reduce disability and health costs related to asthma in women.”


Dr Macsali added: “Our results point to the potential for individualising therapy for respiratory diseases according to individual symptom patterns.

“Adjusting asthma medication, for example, according to a woman’s menstrual cycle might improve its efficacy and help reduce disability and the costs of care.”

Dr Samantha Walker, of Asthma UK, said: “This research is really interesting, and could help women with asthma to manage their condition better.

“Asthma can be triggered by many different things, and this varies from person to person – but we always encourage people with asthma to be aware of things that trigger their symptoms so that they can take steps to control them.

“If women with asthma notice that their symptoms are worsening at key times of the month then they can take preventive measures such as having inhalers that are within date, working and contain enough doses of medicine to see them through the times when they are most affected.”















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