By Gene Emery (Reuters Health) – An experimental drug-infused ring inserted in the vagina once a month cut the odds of becoming infected with HIV by more than half among women who used the device consistently, in a study in four African countries where the risk of AIDS is high. “Use of the product was enough to demonstrate HIV protection of 27 percent” over placebo, chief author Dr. Jared Baeten, a professor of medicine and global health at the University of Washington in Seattle, told Reuters Health by phone. “And in some groups of women who appeared to use it better, such as women over age 21, the risk of HIV was reduced by more than half.” Such silicone rings, infused with a different drug, are already used for birth control.
Eating peanuts, in small amounts, may reduce the risk of mortality, especially death from cardiovascular disease, a new study Monday showed. Researchers found that consuming peanuts regularly reduced mortality among men and women from all groups, and suggests that eating the nuts — which are relatively affordable — can be an inexpensive and nutritious way to reduce mortality and cardiovascular disease around the world. “We found that peanut consumption was associated with reduced total mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality in a predominantly low-income black and white population in the US, and among Chinese men and women living in Shanghai,” said senior author Xiao-Ou Shu, associate director for Global Health at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC). The risk of death from cardiovascular disease was slashed by between 23 and 38 percent.