Circumcision helps prevent three STDs
Circumcision not only protects against HIV in heterosexual men, but it also helps prevent two other sexually transmitted diseases, a large new study found. Circumcised males reduced their risk of infection with HPV, or human papillomavirus, by 35 percent and herpes by 28 percent. Landmark studies from three African countries including Uganda previously found circumcision lowered men's chance of catching the AIDS virus by up to 60 percent. The new study stems from the research in Uganda. The findings are reported in today's New England Journal of Medicine. Worldwide, only about 30 percent of men are circumcised, but in the United States about 79 percent of men are, according to surveys by the National Center for Health Statistics. Still, researchers wrote, "It must be emphasized that protection was only partial, and it is critical to promote the practice of safe sex." The American Academy of Pediatrics has said there was not enough evidence to recommend routine circumcision, but is reviewing its position based on recent studies. Researchers think the procedure may protect men because cells in the foreskin of the penis appear susceptible to HPV and the herpes virus.
Keep exercising after heart attack
Some important benefits of exercising after a heart attack can vanish in weeks if the exercise is stopped, a new study has found. The researchers measured the flexibility of arteries in 228 heart attack survivors. They found that among those who performed resistance training, aerobic exercise or both, their arteries expanded just as those of healthy people did. But subjects who stopped the exercise for four weeks found their levels return to the initial, post-attack level. The study was published in the March 16 issue of the journal Circulation.
Alzheimer's trials seek participants
Free clinical trials on a new drug are now open to Tampa Bay area residents with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Though the drug will not cure the disease or repair existing damage, it may boost production of the neurotransmitting chemicals that brain cells need to form memories. To participate in the 12- to 16-week experiment, people must be between 55 and 90 years old and take medication such as Aricept or Exelon, but not Namenda. For more information, go to www.ThinkAlz.com or call Meridien Research in Brooksville at (352) 398-4232; Stedman Clinical Trials in Tampa at (813) 642-7333; or Innovative Research in Clearwater at (727) 466-4135.
On the calendar
USF professor and director of the Alzheimer's Research Laboratory Dave Morgan will be the featured speaker at a public lecture today from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Museum of Science & Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $5 for MOSI members and $10 for nonmembers. Reservations required. Call (813) 987-6000 or toll-free 1-800-995-6674.
Staff and wire reports