ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
CANCER
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
Antioxidants Pose No Melanoma Threat
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Timing May Matter in Organ Donation Decisions
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Fatty Acid in Olive Oil Wards Off Hunger
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
Agent Orange Exposure Tied to Prostate Cancer Return
EYE CARE, VISION
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
FITNESS
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
What you need to know about swine flu.
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
SENIORS
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Add your Article

Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA

SUNDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Breathing polluted air for even a short period of time can cause some genes to undergo reprogramming, which may affect a person's risk of developing cancer and other diseases, say Italian researchers.

Comparisons of blood DNA samples from healthy workers who were exposed to high levels of airborne particulates at a foundry near Milan revealed that after only three days of exposure, changes occurred in four genes that have been linked to tumor suppression, according to research presented Sunday at the International Conference of the American Thoracic Society, in San Diego.

This finding indicates "that environmental factors need little time to cause gene reprogramming, which is potentially associated with disease outcomes," investigator Dr. Andrea Baccarelli, assistant professor of applied biotechnology at the University of Milan, said in a news release issued by the conference's sponsor.

"As several of the effects of particulate matter in foundries are similar to those found after exposure to ambient air pollution, our results open new hypotheses about how air pollutants modify human health," Baccarelli said.

The changes in the foundry workers' genes may have been caused by DNA methylation, a chemical transformation process that has been linked to gene reprogramming and has been found in the blood and tissue samples of lung cancer patients, Baccarelli noted.

"The changes in DNA methylation we observed are reversible, and some of them are currently being used as targets of cancer drugs," said the researcher, who added that it might be possible to design early interventions that could program that gene back to normal and mitigate the increased health risks of air pollutants.

"We need to evaluate how the changes in gene reprogramming we observed are related to cancer risk," Baccarelli said.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about lung disease.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: American Thoracic Society, news release, May 17, 2009

Last Updated: May 18, 2009

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