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Study: Vitamin D deficiency may increase risk of MS in children

BY Michael Johnsen
BOSTON – Children of mothers with vitamin D deficiency during early pregnancy appeared to be at greater risk for multiple sclerosis in adulthood, according to an article published Monday online by JAMA Neurology.
 
While elevated levels of vitamin D have been associated with a decreased risk of MS in adulthood, some previous research also has suggested that vitamin D exposure in utero may be a risk factor for MS in later life.
 
Kassandra Munger of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, and coauthors examined whether serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels in early pregnancy were associated with the risk of MS in children. 
 
The authors identified 193 individuals (163 of them female) with a diagnosis of MS whose mothers were part of the Finnish Maternity Cohort and matched 176 case patients with 326 control participants for comparison. 
 
The majority of maternal blood samples (70%) to measure 25(OH)D levels had been collected during the first trimester and the average maternal vitamin D levels were in the insufficient vitamin D range.
 
The risk of MS as an adult was 90% higher in children of mothers who were vitamin-D deficient (25(OH)D levels less than 12.02 ng/mL) compared with the children of mothers who were not vitamin D deficient, according to the results. 
 
The authors noted that two prior studies examining the association between 25(OH)D levels in pregnancy/early life did not find an association with future MS risk in children. In the current study, the authors acknowldedged a few limitations, including that maternal 25(OH)D levels during pregnancy are not a direct measure of the 25(OH)D levels to which the developing fetus is exposed. 
 
The study concludes that “while our results suggest that vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy increases MS risk in the offspring, our study does not provide any information as to whether there is a dose-response effect with increasing levels of 25(OH)D sufficiency. Similar studies in populations with a wider distribution of 25(OH)D are needed.”
 
 
 
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Sam’s Club ‘springs forward’ with latest offering of free health screenings

BY Michael Johnsen
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Studies show that springing forward for Daylight Saving Time can impact people’s health by disrupting sleep cycles and increasing stress, especially for those who are already at risk. To help Americans make a smooth transition into spring, Sam’s Club Pharmacies nationwide will host free health screenings for both members and the public on Saturday, March 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., while supplies last.
 
These “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body” screenings are free, confidential and available to the public at all Sam’s Club locations with a pharmacy (613 locations). The screenings are valued at up to $150. 
 
“Spring is a perfect time to get a better understanding of your health, set new goals and refresh your routine,” stated Jill Turner-Mitchael, SVP Sam’s Club consumables & health and wellness. “With this in mind, as we all spring forward this weekend, we’re proud to offer free screenings as an easy way for people to reset not only their clocks but their health.”
 
In addition to free health screenings, Sam’s Club Pharmacies also provide other savings and preventive care to each community they serve, such as year-round immunizations for children and adults.
 
 
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J&J names proven performer worldwide VP marketing for its Diabetes Care companies

BY DSN STAFF
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Alissa Hsu Lynch has been named to the position of worldwide VP marketing for the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Care companies effective March 14, 2016.  
 
Hsu Lynch was most recently VP sales strategy, operations and global capabilities for Johnson & Johnson Consumer, where she led the strategic development of key retail initiatives across the multi-billion portfolio of U.S. consumer brands.  
 
In her new role, Hsu Lynch will be responsible for global strategy, including identifying insights, innovation and technology to help improve the lives of the millions of people affected by diabetes.
 
 
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