Bad knees through the ages

first_imgThe average American today is twice as likely to be diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis as in the years before World War II, Harvard scientists say. And the reasons are less clear than you might think.Based on a study of more than 2,000 skeletons from cadaveric and archaeological collections across the United States, a Harvard report is the first to definitively show that knee osteoarthritis prevalence has dramatically increased in recent decades.The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also upend the belief that the disease is a wear-and-tear condition widespread today because people live longer and are more likely to be obese.“Before this study, it was assumed without having been tested that the prevalence of knee osteoarthritis has changed over time,” said first author Ian Wallace, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Daniel Lieberman, the Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences and senior author of the study.“We were able to show, for the first time, that this pervasive cause of pain is actually twice as common today than even in the recent past. But the even bigger surprise is that it’s not just because people are living longer or getting fatter, but for other reasons likely related to our modern environments.”Osteoarthritis affects an estimated one-third of Americans over age 60, and is implicated in more disability than almost any other musculoskeletal disorder.“Understanding the origins of knee osteoarthritis is an urgent challenge because the disease is almost entirely untreatable apart from joint replacement, and once someone has knee osteoarthritis, it creates a vicious circle,” Lieberman said. “People become less active, which can lead to a host of other problems, and their health ends up declining at a more rapid rate.”Wallace and Lieberman think that their study has the potential to change the popular perception of knee osteoarthritis as an inevitable consequence of aging, creating momentum behind efforts to prevent the disease — much like we now do with heart disease.“There are a lot of well-understood risk factors for heart disease, so doctors can advise their patients to do certain things to decrease their chances of getting it,” Lieberman said. “We think knee osteoarthritis belongs in the same category because it’s evidently more preventable than commonly assumed. But to prevent the disease more work needs to be done to figure out its causes.”Knee arthritis is twice as common today as in the mid-20th century says first author Ian Wallace. “It’s not just because people are living longer or getting fatter, but for other reasons likely related to our modern environments.” Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe researchers’ initial goal was to determine how old the disease actually is, and whether it is really on the rise.“There are famous examples in the fossil record of individuals, even Neanderthals, with osteoarthritis,” Lieberman said. “But we thought, let’s look at the data, because nobody had really done that in a comprehensive way before.”Wallace crisscrossed the country to examine skeletons spanning more than 6,000 years to search for a telltale sign of osteoarthritis.“When your cartilage erodes away, and two bones that comprise a joint come into direct contact, they rub against each other, causing a glass-like polish to develop,” Wallace said. “That polish, called eburnation, is so clear and obvious that we can use it to very accurately diagnose osteoarthritis in skeletal remains.”The data Wallace collected was combined with analyses from other researchers, creating a large pool of older individuals from three broad time periods — prehistoric times, early industrial times (mainly the 1800s), and the modern post-industrial era.“The most important comparison is between the early industrial and modern samples,” Lieberman said. “Because we had data on each individual’s age, sex, body weight, ethnicity, and in many cases, their occupation and cause of death, we were able to correct for a number of factors that we considered important covariates. So using careful statistical methods, we are able to say that if you were born after World War II you have approximately twice the likelihood of getting knee osteoarthritis at a given age or BMI than if you were born earlier.”Wallace and Lieberman are now working to identify what factors may be behind the increase. An evolutionary approach has been critical, they said.“Epidemiology typically looks at large cohorts of individuals living today to search for associations between a disease and risk factors,” Lieberman said. “That’s a powerful and valuable method, but it has one critical imitation, which is that the world today is different in many ways from the world in the past, hiding important risk factors that are either no longer prevalent or have become ubiquitous. An evolutionary perspective opens new opportunities to test for associations we might not be able to study in populations like modern-day America.”Ultimately, Wallace and Lieberman hope their work inspires new research aimed at preventing knee osteoarthritis.“Knee osteoarthritis is not a necessary consequence of old age,” Lieberman said. “We should think of this as a partly preventable disease. Wouldn’t it be great if people could live to be 60, 70, or 80 and never get knee osteoarthritis in the first place? Right now, our society is barely focusing on prevention in any way, shape, or form, so we need to redirect more interest toward preventing this and other so-called diseases of aging.”The study was supported with funding from the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation and the American School of Prehistoric Research (Harvard University).last_img read more

Law enforcement to financial institutions: SARS are being used to put away the bad guys

first_img 38SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Last week, several of my NAFCU colleagues and I attended the 11th Mid-Atlantic Anti-Money Laundering Conference, a multi- day symposium held here in Washington, DC, and presented by the FBI, ICE, U.S. Secret Service, IRS and DEA.  This conference is a useful one in that it gives financial institution attendees the opportunity to hear law enforcement cases that illustrate how the “bad guys” are using the U.S. financial system to launder their ill-gotten proceeds.  It’s also helpful to hear that the information you all submit doesn’t just disappear into a black hole.The information provided in Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) is useful and appreciated.  During the conference, multiple law enforcement investigators noted how important SARs are to their investigations and in one illustrated case, a SAR was the actual trigger for the investigation.  Whether a SAR starts an investigation or enhances an ongoing one, law enforcement stresses that such information sharing is vital.Some additional takeaways from the conference: continue reading »last_img read more

Lakers dysfunctional? The answer depends on who’s doing the talking

first_imgLeBron doesn’t play —> Lakers lose a big game on national TV —> Guys confront Luke afterwards and it leaks —> The perception grows that Luke has lost the team but it’s not on LeBron because he didn’t play. This is all going according to plan.— Sean Highkin (@highkin) February 3, 2019It sure does not feel like the Lakers are in charge of the Lakers.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) February 3, 2019We’ll need to wait for future episodes to get some real answers to the above questions. Maybe something will spill before the Feb. 7 trade deadline, or maybe it will spill after, especially if the Lakers fail to yank Anthony Davis from the Pelicans. That’s the same Anthony Davis who shares reps with LeBron and is now saying he wants out of NOLA. Are the Lakers falling apart, and if so, are LeBron James and his reps orchestrating the crackup in a plot to overthrow coach Luke Walton?Those familiar questions re-emerged Saturday night after it was reported that Lakers players and Walton almost came to blows after a loss to the Warriors in Oakland. The narrative of Walton losing control of his team gained steam.center_img MORE: Pelicans may make counter-offer to LakersAs uncertainty surrounds Lakers into deadline week, several veterans — including Michael Beasley — had an emotionally-charged verbal exchange with head coach Luke Walton postgame tonight, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium. It stopped short of turning physical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 3, 2019Then came the pushback, presumably from people with direct knowledge:Source called what happened tonight: “way overhyped.” Stuff like this happens in locker rooms often but Lakers are under ton of scrutiny right now. With vets on 1-year deals + young guys going through 1st trade deadline hearing their names, Lakers locker room can be tense lately— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) February 3, 2019Texted a few folks about whatever it was that happened in Lakers lockeroom tonight. One described it as typical lockeroom stuff & said, “It never got close to getting out of control, people are always emotional after a loss.”— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) February 3, 2019New story: Luke Walton challenged his players to not play selfishly after blowing a 2nd half lead in GSW. Beasley & McGee, in particular, took offense to it. A “heated” exchange ensued and quickly blew over. And time keeps on ticking to the trade deadline— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 3, 2019Also… doesn’t seem like @StephensonLance was really involved in whatever it was. In other words, go back to your Netflix— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) February 3, 2019Spin cycle? Perhaps, but it got fingers pointing back at Team LeBron for the initial report.Was King James’ camp going back into its bag of tricks to take out Walton and not have it come back to its meal ticket? (See Miami and Cleveland Part Deux.)last_img read more


first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (May 16, 2015)–Under aggressive handling from Rafael Bejarano, Bob Baffert’s Fantastic Style cruised to a 3 ¼ length win in Saturday’s $75,000 Angels Flight Stakes at Santa Anita. Sent from the gate in a field of five 3-year-old fillies, Fantastic Style set fractions of 22.39, 44.70 and 1:08.10 en route to a final clocking of 1:20.38.“I knew we were the speed in the race and it looked like the track was pretty fast in the first race,” said Bejarano. “We had a clean break and I decided to take advantage of it and take care of business. She likes to run this way and she gave me a big kick.”The second choice at 2-1, Fantastic Style paid $6.40, $2.60 and $2.10. Owned by Kaleem Shah, who along with Baffert, is at Pimlico Race Course today to see Santa Anita Derby winner Dortmund run in the Preakness, Fantastic Style returned to Southern California following a third place finish in the Grade II, seven furlong Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland April 12 to register her third win from five starts. With the winner’s share of $47,400, she increased her earnings to $152,000.“I didn’t necessarily think she would ‘romp’ in here, but I did think she would run well,” said Baffert assistant Mike Marlow. “She made a nice lead and the fast track today just kind of carried her. She ran very well.”Ridden by Mike Smith and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, favored Tara’s Tango sat second down the backside and around the turn but could never get on terms with the winner and had to settle for second money, finishing 1 ½ lengths in front of Ben’s Duchess. Off at 3-5, Tara’s Tango paid $2.40 and $2.10.Ben’s Duchess, who was ridden by Joe Talamo, broke from the far outside and pressured the favorite around the turn but was third best. Off at 9-2, she paid $2.10 to show.The Angels Flight was carded as the second race on an 11-race Preakness Day card.last_img read more