New Standards For Bariatric Surgery

Researchers at the OSU Wexner Medical Center along with their colleagues at 45 worldwide scientific and medical institutions are trying to change guidelines so that more people with chronic diseases linked to obesity can qualify for bariatric weight loss surgery.
Researchers said that patients with obesity who are interested in the surgery have to qualify for it based on arbitrary and outdated (by three decades) standards based on their BMI.

The old standards say that only patients with a BMI of 40 or higher or 35 if they also have a related dangerous disease such hypertension, type-2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease should qualify for the surgery.

Meanwhile, many studies have demonstrated the benefits of bariatric surgery for patients with lower BMIs. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery believe in this enough that they have drafted new guidelines for patients with lower BMIs, but who have diabetes.

The last step is for referring physicians and insurance companies to widely adopt the new standards.

OSU Studies Rate of Carding for Tobacco in Columbus

A new study by OSU researchers and published in the American Journal of Health Promotion found that young people have less of a chance of being carded for cigarettes depending on the kind of shop, especially so in shops which emphasize tobacco advertisement.

The study demonstrated that people 20 and 21 years of age were not carded 60 percent of the time, even when the city was close to banning tobacco sales to people under 21 years of age. As stated these young adults were far less likely to be carded in shops with lots of tobacco ads.

The study used fieldworker visits to 103 randomly chosen tobacco retailers in Columbus, OH.

The study was intended to gather baseline data on how young adults near the cutoff were carded so the information could inform future enforcement. The study found that well over half, 64 percent, of grocery stores checked ID with only 34 percent of tobacco shops and convenience stores checking IDs. Alcohol stores, bars and restaurants only ID 29 percent of the time.

Though the numbers are disappointing from a public health standpoint they do help confirm data gathered in previous studies.

OSU Researchers Worry About Warblers

OSU researchers studying a migratory songbird that finds its breeding grounds central and eastern United States only lives in just one country in South America during winter.

The Prothonotary Warbler is the bird, 34 of them were fitted with tracking technology that told researchers that after breeding the fly to Colombia and live in area only 20% of the size of their breeding grounds in the US.

Strangely enough most of the tracked warblers made stops in the same three locations in Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula.

While the results are fascinating the are at least equally concerning. The are they winter in is threatened by deforestation. These warblers are a species of concern here in the US as well as in other states because of their population decline in the past century.

The lead author is Chris Tonra.


Ancient People Experience Modern Problems

Residents of one of the first farming communities, some 9,000 years old, were some of the first human beings to experience the dangers of urban living. These 8,000 some agrarians had to deal with infectious diseases, violence, overcrowding and environmental problems.

In this ambitious 25 year study of the dig at Catalhoyuk much is revealed about these early agrarians. Catalhoyuk started as a small settlement around 7100 B.C. They probably built and lived mud-brick huts. Using stable carbon isotope ratios from the bones of these ancient agrarians it was determined they ate mostly rye, barely and wheat in addition to many kinds of non-domesticated plants.

One disease of civilization that occurred from the grain-heavy diet was tooth decay. 10 to 13 percent of teeth found in adult remains showed decay.

Researchers also found that over time leg bone shapes changed demonstrating that later residents probably did more walking. Researchers think this as time went on farming and cattle raising were moved further and further out from the city center.

Other evidence including where domiciles were built and samples taken from the walls suggest that housing was crowded and that both animal and human feces were present in most of the homes which probably accounts for the high rates of evidence of infection found in the bone remains of residents.

These conditions were probably were also the cause of rather high levels of violence among residents. From 93 skulls sampled, 25 residents showed evidence of healed fractures. Some had multiple fractures accumulated over time. The shape of the injuries suggest many were caused by tools found at the site.

Clark Spencer Larsen, professor of anthropology at OSU, was the lead author of the study.