Showing posts with label New Study. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Study. Show all posts

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Study Finds 70% Reduction in Maternal Deaths and Nearly 50% Decline in Newborn Deaths Are Within Reach

3 Dec 2009 13:00 Africa/Lagos

New Study Finds 70% Reduction in Maternal Deaths and Nearly 50% Decline in Newborn Deaths Are Within Reach

Targeted Investments Can Also Radically Reduce Unintended Pregnancies and Unsafe Abortion and Lower Poverty Levels

NEW YORK, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Maternal deaths in developing countries could be slashed by 70% and newborn deaths cut nearly in half if the world doubled investment in family planning and pregnancy-related care, shows a new report by the Guttmacher Institute and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. Currently, more than half a million maternal deaths and 3.5 million newborn deaths, many of them easily preventable, occur each year in developing countries.

The new report, Adding It Up: The Costs and Benefits of Investing in Family Planning and Maternal and Newborn Health, also found that investments in family planning boost the overall effectiveness of every dollar spent on the provision of pregnancy-related and newborn health care. Simultaneously investing in both family planning and maternal and newborn services can achieve the same dramatic outcomes for $1.5 billion less than investing in maternal and newborn health services alone.

"Investing in a handful of basic health services, like family planning and routine delivery care, can save millions of women and babies," says Dr. Sharon Camp, president of the Guttmacher Institute. "It's not rocket science. These are mostly simple services that can be provided inexpensively at the local level, supplemented by provision of urgent care when needed."

Adding it Up documents that the benefits of meeting the need for both family planning and maternal and newborn health services would be dramatic. Compared with the current situation:

-- the deaths of nearly 400,000 women and 1.6 million infants would be
-- unintended pregnancies would decline by more than two-thirds;
-- unsafe abortions and resulting complications would both drop by about
75%; and
-- a host of other benefits would occur, including reduced poverty and
increased economic development in poor countries.

The new report shows that the total investment needed is $24.6 billion -- a little more than double the current spending.

"It is a win-win situation. We know what must be done, we know what it will cost, and we now know that the needed investment is modest in relation to the vast benefits that will follow," says Ms. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, executive director of UNFPA.

Currently, the world spends approximately $12 billion a year on family planning and maternal health programs in developing nations, with developing countries and families providing the bulk of the total. Still, research shows that 215 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using an effective method of contraception, and only about half of the 123 million women who give birth each year receive the antenatal, delivery and newborn care they need. Millions of those with major complications get no treatment and either die or suffer from severe and debilitating conditions such as obstetric fistula.

Investing in family planning and maternal health would also have profound additional benefits the report shows: Increases in condom use for pregnancy prevention would simultaneously curb transmission of HIV and other STIs; preventing unwanted pregnancies would increase women's educational and employment opportunities, enhancing their social and economic status; and family savings and investment would rise, spurring economic growth and reducing poverty. These advances would make social and economic development goals easier to achieve.

"It is critical to the progress of the world's most disadvantaged countries and regions to address the high rates of maternal and newborn death that have long been endemic. Investing simultaneously in family planning and in maternal and newborn health is cost-effective," says Ms. Obaid.

"The report outlines how to best focus resources to achieve the greatest gains. Investing in women has enormous benefits, not just for individuals and families, but for societies as a whole. It can truly transform the future of developing nations," added Dr. Camp.

Regional fact sheets accompany the report, providing a more focused look at the benefits of investing in family planning and maternal and newborn health in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean (also en espanol), Sub-Saharan Africa (also en francais) and the Arab countries (also in Arabic). In addition, the report's executive summary is available in Arabic, French and Spanish.

All Adding It Up materials are available at and

Source: UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund

CONTACT: Jessica Malter of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund,
+1-212-297-5190, +1-646-732-0047,; or Rebecca Wind of
Guttmacher Institute, +1-212-248-1111, ext. 2203,

Web Site:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Study Finds Men and Women May Respond Differently to Danger

29 Nov 2009 06:01 Africa/Lagos

New Study Finds Men and Women May Respond Differently to Danger

AT A GLANCE -- An fMRI study of men and women showed that their brains respond differently to positive and negative stimuli. -- Women associate positive images with memories. -- Men may be more likely to act when confronted with danger.

CHICAGO, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study brain activation have found that men and women respond differently to positive and negative stimuli, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"Men may direct more attention to sensory aspects of emotional stimuli and tend to process them in terms of implications for required action, whereas women direct more attention to the feelings engendered by emotional stimuli," said Andrzej Urbanik, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Radiology at Jagiellonian University Hospital in Krakow, Poland.

For the study, Dr. Urbanik and colleagues recruited 40 right-handed volunteers, 21 men and 19 women, between the ages of 18 and 36. The volunteers underwent fMRI while viewing pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS), a widely used, standardized testing system comprised of several thousand slides of various objects and images from ordinary life designed to evoke defined emotional states. The images were displayed in two runs. For the first run, only negative pictures were shown. For the second run, only positive pictures were shown.

While viewing the negative images, women showed decidedly stronger and more extensive activation in the left thalamus, which relays sensory information to and from the cerebral cortex, including the pain and pleasure centers. Men exhibited more activation in the left insula, which gauges the physiological state of the entire body and then generates subjective feelings that can bring about actions. Information from the insula is relayed to other brain structures involved in decision making.

"The brain activation seen in the women might indicate stronger involvement of the neural circuit, which is associated with identification of emotional stimuli," Dr. Urbanik said. "The more pronounced activation of the insular cortex in the men might be related to the autonomic components, such as elevated heart rate or increased sweating, that accompany watching emotional material."

The autonomic nervous system controls involuntary functions, including respiration, heart rate and digestion, and helps to adjust certain functions in response to stress or other environmental stimuli. It is responsible for the body's "fight or flight" response to threatening situations.

"In men, the negative images on the slides were more potent in driving their autonomic system," Dr. Urbanik said. "This might signal that when confronted with dangerous situations, men are more likely than women to take action."

While viewing positive images, women showed stronger and more extensive activation in the right superior temporal gyrus, which is involved in auditory processing and memory. Men exhibited stronger activation in the bilateral occipital lobes, which are associated with visual processing.

Dr. Urbanik believes these differences indicate that women may analyze positive stimuli in a broader social context and associate the positive images with a particular memory. Viewing a picture of a smiling toddler might evoke memories of a woman's own child at this age. Conversely, male responses are more perceptual.

"Positive images are devoured by mens' visual and motivational systems," Dr. Urbanik said.

Co-authors are Lilianna Podsiadlo, Ph.D., Michal Kuniecki, Ph.D., Justyna Kozub, M.Sc., and Barbara Sobiecka, M.Sc. Eng.

Note: Copies of RSNA 2009 news releases and electronic images will be available online at beginning Monday, Nov. 30.

RSNA is an association of more than 44,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (

Editor's note: The data in these releases may differ from those in the printed abstract and those actually presented at the meeting, as researchers continue to update their data right up until the meeting. To ensure you are using the most up-to-date information, please call the RSNA Newsroom at 1-312-949-3233.

For patient-friendly information on fMRI, visit

Source: Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)

CONTACT: Media, RSNA Newsroom, +1-312-949-3233; Before 11/28/09 or after
12/3/09, RSNA Media Relations, +1-630-590-7762; or Linda Brooks,
+1-630-590-7738,, or Maureen Morley, +1-630-590-7754,, both of Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)

Web Site: