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'Feel Good' Hormone Won't Help Ease Kids' Autism, Study Finds

THURSDAY, Oct. 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Despite hints of promise from early research, a new clinical trial finds no evidence that kids with autism benefit from nasal sprays containing the "love" hormone oxytocin.

Researchers called the findings disappointing.

But they said the study also offers important information: Some parents of children with autism are al...

Testosterone Levels Matter for Men's, Women's Sex Lives

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- What launches guys on serial sexual conquests and prompts solo activity among women?

It's testosterone, of course.

As the primary male sex hormone, it plays a leading role in the sexual development of guys. But folks often overlook the role it plays in female sexuality. Yes, women have testosterone, too, though much le...

Lengthening Menstrual Cycles Near Menopause Could Predict Heart Health

The length of a woman's menstrual cycle as she nears menopause could reflect her future risk of heart disease, researchers report.

Some women's menstrual cycles become longer as they approach menopause, while others' cycles remain stable. This new study found that the women whose cycle increased in length two years before menopause had better measures of vascular health than those who had...

Common Hormone Disorder in Women Costs U.S. $8 Billion a Year

Treating polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) — the most common hormone disorder in women of child-bearing age — is costly.

In 2020, diagnosing and treating this disorder cost an estimated $8 billion in the United States, according to a new economic a...

Transgender People Face Twice the Odds for Early Death: Study

Transgender people have double the odds of dying early compared to folks whose identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth (cisgender), a long-term study finds.

And the added risk did not decrease over time, according to an analysis of data collected from more than 4,500 transgender people in the Netherlands between 1972 and 2018.

Study author Martin den Heijer said the ri...

HRT Could Raise Odds for Asthma

Millions of women who take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to ease their transition through menopause may be unknowingly upping their risk for asthma.

The concern follows a study that spent more than two decades tracking a potential link between HRT and late-onset asthma among roughly 380,000 Danish women.

Two New York City physicians who were not involved in the study said the fi...

Could Men's Testosterone Play Role in COVID Survival?

Men with low testosterone levels have a much higher risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, a new study from Italy finds.

The study included nearly 300 symptomatic male COVID-19 patients who arrived at the emergency department and were admitted to San Raffaele University Hospital in Milan during the first wave of the pandemic.

The lower the patients' levels of the hormone te...

Testosterone Might Influence COVID Severity in Men

Low testosterone levels may increase men's risk of severe COVID-19, according to a new study.

On average, men fare worse with COVID-19 than women.

"During the pandemic, there has been a prevailing notion that testosterone is bad. But we found the opposite in men," said senior study author Dr. Abhinav Diwan. He's professor of medicine, cell biology and physiology at Washington Univer...

Closely Monitor Heart Health in Cancer Patients Who Get Hormonal Therapies: AHA

If hormones are part of your treatment for breast or prostate cancer, your heart health should be closely monitored, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement.

Hormonal therapies for breast and prostate cancer increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, the authors noted. This increased risk is greater in patients who already have two or more heart risk factors...

Hormone Treatments May Raise Blood Pressure in Transgender People

Monitoring blood pressure is important for transgender people, according to new research, which found changes in systolic blood pressure after the start of gender-affirming hormone therapy.

Transgender men and transgender women have a higher burden of heart attack, stroke and related conditions, the study noted.

Gender-affirming hormone therapy isn't new. Doctors have prescribed the...

A Woman's Exposure to DDT Could Affect Her Granddaughter's Health Today

A long-banned pesticide may be having health effects that ripple across generations, a new study suggests.

At issue is DDT, a once widely used pesticide that was banned in the United States in 1972. That ban, however, was not the end of the story.

DDT is a persistent organic pollutant, a group of chemicals that are slow to break down and linger in the environment for years. So ...

Drug Used to Prevent Miscarriages May Be Upping Cancer Rates Decades Later

Kids born to moms who took a drug widely used to prevent miscarriages in the 1950s and 1960s may be twice as likely to develop cancer in adulthood.

The drug in question, hydroxyprogesterone caproate, also known as OHPC or 17-OHPC, is a man-made version of the hormone progesterone. It is no longer used to reduce the chances of miscarriage, but it's still prescribed to prevent preterm birth...

New Drug Combo Could Be Advance Against Uterine Fibroids

A new combo pill can substantially reduce bleeding caused by uterine fibroids -- possibly offering some women yet another alternative to surgery, a new trial finds.

The once-daily medication, which combines a drug called relugolix with estrogen and progestin, is not yet approved in the United States. But it is under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to drugmaker M...

Many Psych Meds Trigger Weight Gain, But New Research Points to Better Options

Scientists may have uncovered the reason critical medications for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder cause weight gain and diabetes -- findings they hope will lead to better drugs.

The medications, known as antipsychotics, help control the hallucinations, delusions and confused thoughts that plague people with schizophrenia. They can also help stabilize extreme mood swings in those with b...

Gene Study Probes Origins of Addison's Disease

Gene variants associated with a rare autoimmune disorder called Addison's disease have been pinpointed, according to researchers.

"By studying the single largest collection of samples from patients with Addison's disease, we've been able to carry out the first genetic study of the disease that spans the entire human genome," said study co-leader Daniel Eriksson, a researcher in the experi...

Estrogen Taken During Gender-Affirming Surgeries Won't Raise Blood Clot Risk: Study

Most transgender women can safely continue their estrogen treatments during gender-affirming surgery, a new study finds.

Estrogen therapy and surgery can increase the risk of blood clots, so experts have suggested that transgender women stop taking the hormone when having gender-affirming surgery.

But the sudden loss of estrogen was sometimes very uncomfortable, causing symptoms sim...

Toxic Metals Might Affect Pregnancy, Study Finds

Exposure to metals may disrupt pregnant women's hormones and boost the odds of complications such as preeclampsia, preterm birth and low birth weight, according to a new study.

Metals such as nickel, arsenic, cobalt and lead have been associated with pregnancy complications, but it's been unclear why.

"A delicate hormonal balance orchestrates pregnancy from conception to delivery an...

Sugary Drinks' Effect on Hormones Could Spur Weight Gain: Study

It could be more than just added calories: New research gives insight into why sugary drinks are a leading cause of obesity.

Sugar-sweetened drinks are the largest source of calories from added sugar for U.S. adults, and researchers now report that the drinks also hinder hormones that quell hunger and regulate appetite.

"Our study found that when young adults consumed drinks contain...

Some Older Breast Cancer Patients Can Safely Cut Down on Chemo

More women with early-stage breast cancer may be able to safely skip chemotherapy after having surgery, according to initial results from a major clinical trial.

The trial, conducted in nine countries, found that adding chemotherapy to hormone-blocking drugs brought no added benefit to a particular group of patients. Those were postmenopausal women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer tha...

Could the Pill Reduce Asthma Attacks?

Women with asthma may suffer fewer severe symptom attacks if they are on birth control pills, a large new study suggests.

The study of more than 83,000 women with asthma found that those who used birth control pills for at least three years tended to have fewer severe flare-ups.

The difference between pill users and non-users was small, and the findings do not prove a cause-and-effe...

Transgender People Often Have Heart Risks: Study

Many transgender people who take hormone therapy have unaddressed risks for heart disease and stroke, a new study finds.

These patients often have undiagnosed high blood pressure and high cholesterol, even in young adulthood, researchers found.

"Previous research has shown that transgender individuals are less likely to have access to health care or to utilize health care for a vari...

'Love Hormone' Could Hold Key to Treating COVID

The so-called love hormone, oxytocin, may be worth investigating as a treatment for COVID-19, a new study suggests.

One of the most serious complications of infection with the new coronavirus is a "cytokine storm," in which the body attacks its own tissues.

There are currently no U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for COVID-19, which means that "repurposin...

Thyroid Drug May Not Help After Heart Attack: Study

If a heart attack survivor also has an underactive thyroid, treating them with supplemental thyroid hormone probably won't help, new research shows.

The study found that use of the hormonal drug, called levothyroxine, didn't improve heart muscle function in heart attack patients diagnosed with "subclinical hypothyroidism" -- an underactive thyroid.

In fact, "screening for an...

Stressful Days, Worse Blood Sugar Control for People With Diabetes

When something as routine as grocery shopping might lead to a deadly COVID-19 infection, stress is inevitable -- and that extra tension can make it harder for people with diabetes to manage their disease.

The reason? The stress hormone cortisol is linked to higher blood sugar levels, according to a new study.

Under stress, the body releases cortisol, which leads to an inc...

'Broken Heart Syndrome' Has Risen During Pandemic: Study

Doctors at one Ohio hospital system have discovered yet another possible consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic: More cases of "broken heart syndrome."

The condition -- which doctors call stress cardiomyopathy -- appears similar to a heart attack, with symptoms such as chest pain and breathlessness. But its cause is different: Experts believe it reflects a temporary weakness in the hear...

Hormones May Explain Greater Prevalence of Alzheimer's in Women

Women have more Alzheimer's disease-related changes in the brain than men, and this may be linked to hormonal disruptions at menopause, researchers say.

"About two-thirds of people living with Alzheimer's are women, and the general thinking has been it's because women tend to live longer," said study author Lisa Mosconi of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

"Our findin...

'Stress Hormone' Levels May Indicate Severity of COVID-19

High levels of the stress hormone cortisol are associated with an increased risk of death among COVID-19 patients, according to a new study.

The findings could be used to identify COVID-19 patients who are more likely to require intensive care, the researchers suggested.

Cortisol levels can rise when the body is stressed due to illness. High levels are dangerous, leading to...

Not a Myth -- Contraceptives Can Cause Weight Gain

Genetics may explain why some women gain weight when using a popular method of birth control, researchers say.

"For years, women have said that birth control causes them to gain weight but many doctors failed to take them seriously," said lead study author Dr. Aaron Lazorwitz. He's assistant professor of obstetrics/gynecology and family planning at the University of Colorado School of...

Prostate Cancer Drug Could Be 'Game Changing,' Researchers Say

For men with advanced prostate cancer, a new hormone therapy pill works better than standard injections -- and carries a much lower risk of heart attack or stroke, a clinical trial has found.

The drug, called relugolix, is not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. If it gets the green light, however, it would be "game-changing," said Dr. Neal Shore, lead researcher on...

Could a Hormone Help Spur High Blood Pressure?

Many people with high blood pressure may have an unrecognized hormonal condition driving their numbers up, a new study suggests.

The condition, called primary aldosteronism, arises when the adrenal glands overproduce the hormone aldosterone. That causes the body to retain sodium and lose potassium, spurring a spike in blood pressure.

Doctors have long considered the conditio...

Drug Might Curb Dangerous Urges in Pedophiles: Study

A testosterone-lowering drug can reduce male pedophiles' risk of sexually abusing children, according to a new Swedish study.

The drug, called degarelix, is used to treat prostate cancer and turns off production of testosterone. It's given by injection every three months and can lower testosterone levels within hours, according to researchers.

The study included 52 male pedo...

Could Lower Testosterone Help Men Ward Off COVID-19?

Many drugs are being tested to fight COVID-19, but now researchers report that blocking testosterone might help prevent the infection in men.

Italian men with prostate cancer on androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) were less likely to get infected with COVID-19 and had less severe cases if they were infected, the researchers found.

Lead researcher Dr. Andrea Alimonti, an onc...

Common Treatment May Not Help Seniors With Underactive Thyroid

MONDAY, May 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The medication Synthroid (levothyroxine) is often used to treat a condition called subclinical hypothyroidism, but a new study suggests the treatment might be a waste of time.

For the study, researchers followed 638 people aged 65 and older with subclinical hypothyroidism, also known as mild thyroid failure. About half of the patients were give...

Transgender Teens Have High Rates of Depression, Suicidal Thoughts

Depression, suicidal thoughts and self-injury are common among U.S. transgender teens, new research shows.

The study also found that hormone therapy leads to significant improvements in gender dysphoria -- the feeling of being uncomfortable with the gender they were assigned at birth.

For the study, the researchers analyzed the medical records of 158 transgender teens treate...

A Woman's Guide to Skin Care During and After Menopause

People sometimes refer to menopause as "the change of life," but many women are surprised that one of the things that changes is their skin, an expert says.

"Although fluctuating hormones during menopause can result in a number of skin changes, these don't need to be disruptive to daily life," said New York City dermatologist Dr. Diane Berson. "With the right care, women can continue ...

Mom-to-Be's Cosmetics Chemicals Could Lead to Heavier Baby

When pregnant women use cosmetics containing parabens, their children may have a greater likelihood of becoming overweight, a new study suggests.

Parabens are chemicals that have long been used as a preservative in cosmetics and body care products. A number of studies have suggested that parabens mimic estrogens in the body and may disrupt the normal function of hormones.

In...

High Testosterone Levels Have Different Health Impact for Men and Women

High levels of the sex hormone testosterone may trigger different health problems in men and women, a new study reveals.

In women, testosterone may increase the risk for type 2 diabetes, while in men it lowers that risk. But high levels of testosterone increase the risk for breast and endometrial cancer in women and prostate cancer in men, the researchers reported.

"Our fi...

Is Suppressing Puberty the Right Course When a Child Questions Their Gender?

Suppressing puberty in a child who's questioning their gender identity might seem extreme, but the therapy is relatively safe and could significantly lower their risk of suicide, a new study reports.

Adolescents who wanted and received puberty suppression were 60% less likely to have considered suicide within the past year and 30% less likely to consider suicide throughout lif...

Regular Exercise Cuts Odds for 7 Major Cancers

Exercise may reduce the odds you'll develop any of seven types of cancer -- and a new study suggests the more you exercise, the lower your risk.

That's the conclusion of researchers who pooled data from nine published studies that included more than 750,000 men and women.

"We found that the recommended amount of physical activity was in fact associated with significantly r...

How Does Your Choice of Birth Control Affect Sexual Desire?

Many women use birth control pills or other hormone-based contraceptives to enjoy sex without fear of an unplanned pregnancy. But could they kill your mojo?

There has been some concern that a woman's sex drive can drop after starting a new form of hormone-based birth control. Sex drive studies involving the pill, the patch and hormone-releasing intrauterine devices (IUDs) have been m...

BPA Levels in Humans Are Underestimated: Study

Levels of the widely used chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in people's bodies are much higher than once thought, according to scientists who say they've created a more accurate way to measure them.

BPA is used in many plastic products, including food and drink containers, and animal studies have shown that it can interfere with hormones. Exposure to BPA in the womb has been linked to growth...

Birth Control Pill May Alter Part of Women's Brains

A small, preliminary study suggests that a brain area called the hypothalamus appears to be about 6% smaller in women who use birth control pills.

But exactly what that means isn't yet clear. In this study, women on the pill had statistically significant increases in anger. Researchers also found a possible link with depression symptoms.

The good news: They didn't see ...

Testosterone Supplements Double Men's Odds for Blood Clots: Study

Testosterone therapy appears to double a man's risk of suffering a potentially life-threatening blood clot, a new study warns.

Men had twice the risk for a deep vein blood clot if they'd been receiving testosterone during the previous six months, researchers reported in the Nov. 11 online edition of JAMA Internal Medicine.

The increased risk occurred whether or not a ...

More Hot Flashes Could Mean Higher Odds for Heart Trouble

Women, if you're bothered by frequent hot flashes, it may be more than a mere annoyance.

New research offers evidence that frequent or persistent hot flashes are linked to higher odds of heart attack and stroke. The finding stems from a 20-year study of about 3,300 women during menopause.

Of those women, 231 had a heart attack, stroke or heart failure.

Women who ha...

How to Keep Your Bones Strong and Prevent Fractures

If you're a young adult, start thinking about your bone health, an expert advises.

Most people reach peak bone mass -- the strongest bones they'll ever have -- between 25 and 30 years of age, according to Dr. Philip Bosha, a physician with Penn State Sports Medicine in State College, Pa.

"To some extent, genetics determines the peak, but lifestyle influences, such as diet an...

Some Transgender Women May Be Able to Make Sperm

Researchers are exploring fertility preservation in transgender women. And while they say there are no guarantees, they report it's possible to start producing sperm after stopping drugs that suppress maleness.

In a new case report, researchers found one of two patients produced sperm after discontinuing her puberty-halting medication. However, the other patient wasn't able to produc...

High Levels of Estrogen in Womb Might Raise Autism Risk

New British research is bolstering the theory that elevated levels of sex hormones in the uterus could play a role in autism risk.

Prior studies had already implicated higher uterine concentrations of male sex hormones -- androgens -- in increasing the odds for an autism spectrum disorder, noted a team led by Simon Baron-Cohen. He directs the Autism Research Center at the University o...

Plastics Chemicals Meant to Replace BPA May Not Be Any Safer for Kids

Manufacturers have been phasing out the plastics chemical bisphenol A because of evidence it might harm human health. Now a new study raises questions about the chemicals that have replaced it.

Bisphenol A, or BPA, has long been used in plastics. It was once in a wide range of products -- including the lining of food cans, food storage containers, water bottles and even the coating on...

Trans Women Have Raised Odds of Breast Cancer, But Risk Still Small: Study

Transgender women on gender-confirming hormone therapy have increased odds of breast cancer, but the overall risk is low and not as high as it is for the general female population, a new study finds.

Trans women are those who were declared male at birth but identify as female.

Previous research has shown that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases breast cancer risk in ...

Testosterone Supplements Not All They're Cracked Up to Be

SATURDAY, May 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Buyer beware: When it comes to testosterone supplements, men should know a new study finds there is precious little evidence to support claims they will boost testosterone levels, sex drive, strength and overall energy.

To come to this conclusion, the researchers first broke down 50 testosterone supplements into th...