Headlines @ U.Va.
WAIT A FEW MINUTES: BLOOD PRESSURE READINGS LOWER WHEN PATIENTS SLOW DOWN
After rushing to make your appointment, your name is called to be seen by the doctor. You are escorted to a room, where you sit on a table wrapped in crinkly white paper to have your temperature and blood pressure measured. Although a familiar scene, nurses at the U.Va. Health System have confirmed a major problem with this scenario. According to a new study from a team of nurses headed by Melly Turner, R.N., systolic blood pressure can be an average of 14 points higher when taken immediately after arriving in the exam room and sitting on an examination table rather than sitting in a chair with your back supported and feet flat on the floor. In fact, all study participants had lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements when seated in a chair versus the exam table. With a desirable blood pressure reading around 120/80, and the American Heart Association’s definition of hypertension as 140/90 or greater on two consecutive tests, a 14-point difference can mean the difference between a clean bill of health and an inaccurate diagnosis. (Science Daily, April 20)
URBAN CHRONICLES/CITIES REBOUNDING, SUBURBS DECLINING, NEW STUDY SHOWS
Although it doesn’t include the city, a just-released study seems pertinent to Baltimore. The study, by University of Virginia planning professors William Lucy and David Phillips, compared income and housing values in nearly two dozen cities in the first four years of the decade with their surrounding metropolitan areas. Its findings? “Per capita income and median owner-occupied housing value increased on average in 22 central cities in large metropolitan areas relative to their suburbs between 2000 and 2004, improving on their performance in the 1990s,” they wrote in a follow-up to their book, “Tomorrow’s Cities, Tomorrow’s Suburbs,” which postulates that cities are rebounding while some middle-age suburbs are showing increasing signs of decline. (Baltimore Sun, April 20)
REWINDING THE PROCESS OF CELL DIVISION
The process of a parent cell dividing its genetic code into two identical daughter cells has always been thought to be a one-way street — once the cells begin the splitting process, there was no way to stop it. But in a discovery that could have important implications for treating cancer, birth defects and other conditions, scientists report Thursday that they’ve found a way to control a key protein responsible for such division, and thus reverse the process. By manipulating the protein, called Cdk1, researchers from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and U.Va. found they were able to interrupt the dividing. (Scripps Howard News Service, April 13)
YOU WANT IT CLEAN? YOU CLEAN IT!
[...] Forty years after feminism promised to free women from drudgery, we are still talking about housework, and we are still talking as if it were all about women. ... Authors, like New Yorker writer Caitlin Flanagan, are writing books about it (hers, out this month, is “To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing our Inner Housewife”). Academics like those at the University of Maryland and U.Va. are studying it. (The first found that women have squeezed working hours out of their day by reducing the amount they sleep and the amount of housework they do, while the second found that working women were happiest in marriages in which husbands earned more, even if wives did more housework.) (New York Times, April 9)