Payback and a Hormone

     This is admittedly bizarre, but when I read today’s article (Thanks, Rex, for posting it on Facebook’s TCO page) I got to thinking about how we never really know when it’s all going to end for us.   No one likes to think about that, least of all someone with a chronic illness.
 
     Those of you who know me personally know my life consisted of one rough patch after another back East, but has been wonderful since I moved to Arizona almost nine years ago.  I’ve always believed in giving of myself and did it even during the rough patches, but found it difficult to find a way to do that here in the land of volunteers.
 
     I finally hit upon it: I act in Christian values films gratis.  That is the only acting I do gratis and I do it because, even though I’m Jewish, I see how their messages can help people.  Take a look at www.fivetalentfilms.com.  Maybe you’ll end up thinking about some kind of payback yourself.
 
     Here’s the article from Healthday.com that got me to thinking about payback:
 

Hormone Linked to Death Risk in Those With Early Kidney Disease

 

Strength of the association with mortality surprised researchers

TUESDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) — Patients with early-stage chronic kidney disease are more likely to die if they have elevated levels of a certain hormone, a new study says.

Endocrine hormone fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23) regulates phosphorus metabolism. It was known that levels of FGF-23 increase as kidney function declines and that high levels of the hormone are associated with increased risk of death in patients with kidney failure.  But little was known about how elevated levels of FGF-23 affect outcomes of patients with early-stage chronic kidney disease.

This study looked at 3,879 patients with early-stage chronic kidney disease. During a median follow-up of 3.5 years, 266 of the patients died and 410 progressed to kidney failure. The researchers found that median FGF-23 levels were higher in these patients than in those who remained “event-free.”

Patients with the highest levels of FGF-23 were 4.3 times more likely  to die than those with the lowest levels, according to the study in the June 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers said they were surprised to find that high FGF-23 levels were more strongly associated with death than other factors, including cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease-specific risk factors such as reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR, a measure of the kidney’s ability to filter out and remove waste products) and proteinuria (excessive protein in the urine).

The reasons for the link between elevated FGF-23 levels and increased risk of death aren’t known.

“If the results of the current study are confirmed and experimental studies support the hypothesis of direct toxicity of FGF-23, future research should evaluate whether therapeutic or preventative strategies that lower FGF-23 can improve outcomes,” Dr. Tamara Isakova, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and colleagues said in a news release from the journal.

— Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, news release, June 14, 2011

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

     If you’d like to read the original article, it’s at this URL:  http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=653835
 
     I hope I’ve given you plenty to think about during the weekend. Payback doesn’t have to be drudgery.  I’ve recorded books for the Blind and Visually Impaired, organized food and clothing donations, been a hospice volunteer and, of course, the acting in the films.  I’ve enjoyed each experience, even as a hospice volunteer.  Just keep it in the back of your mind and let the idea percolate.
 
Until Tuesday,
Keep living!
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Published in: on June 17, 2011 at 10:53 am  Leave a Comment  

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