Thursday, 29 June 2017


Schistosomiasis (bilharzia) 


Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia, is an infection caused by a parasitic worm that lives in fresh water in subtropical and tropical regions.
The parasite is most commonly found throughout Africa, but also lives in parts of South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia. The Travel Health Pro website has a map of where schistosomiasis is found.
You often don't have any symptoms when you first become infected with schistosomiasis, but the parasite can remain in the body for many years and cause damage to organs such as the bladder, kidneys and liver.
The infection can be easily treated with a short course of medicine, so see your GP if you think you might have it.

This page covers:

How you get schistosomiasis

The worms that cause schistosomiasis live in fresh water, such as:
  • ponds
  • lakes
  • rivers
  • reservoirs
  • canals
Showers that take unfiltered water directly from lakes or rivers may also spread the infection, but the worms aren't found in the sea, chlorinated swimming pools or properly treated water supplies.
You can become infected if you come into contact with contaminated water – for example, when paddling, swimming or washing – and the tiny worms burrow into your skin. Once in your body, the worms move through your blood to areas such as the liver and bowel.
After a few weeks, the worms start to lay eggs. Some eggs remain inside the body and are attacked by the immune system, while some are passed out in the person's urine or poo. Without treatment, the worms can keep laying eggs for several years.
If the eggs pass out of the body into water, they release tiny larvae that need to grow inside freshwater snails for a few weeks before they're able to infect another person. This means it's not possible to catch the infection from someone else who has it.

Symptoms of schistosomiasis

Many people with schistosomiasis don't have any symptoms, or don't experience any for several months or even years.
You probably won't notice that you've been infected, although occasionally people get small, itchy red bumps on their skin for a few days where the worms burrowed in.

After a few weeks, some people develop:
These symptoms, known as acute schistosomiasis, often get better by themselves within a few weeks. But it's still important to get treated because the parasite can remain in your body and lead to long-term problems (see below).

Long-term problems caused by schistosomiasis

Some people with schistosomiasis, regardless of whether they had any initial symptoms or not, eventually develop more serious problems in parts of the body the eggs have travelled to.
This is known as chronic schistosomiasis.
Chronic schistosomiasis can include a range of symptoms and problems, depending on the exact area that's infected. For example, an infection in the:
  • digestive system can cause anaemia, abdominal pain and swelling, diarrhoea and blood in your poo
  • urinary system can cause irritation of the bladder (cystitis), pain when peeing, a frequent need to pee, and blood in your urine
  • heart and lungs can cause a persistent cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing up blood
  • nervous system or brain can cause seizures (fits), headaches, weakness and numbness in your legs, and dizziness
Without treatment, affected organs can become permanently damaged.

When to seek medical advice

Visit your GP if you develop the symptoms above and you've travelled in parts of the world where schistosomiasis is found, or if you're concerned that you may have been exposed to the parasites while travelling.
Tell your GP about your travel history and whether you think you may have been exposed to potentially contaminated water.
If your GP suspects schistosomiasis, they may refer you to an expert in tropical diseases. The diagnosis is usually made by testing a sample of your blood. In some cases, eggs may be seen in a sample or your urine or poo.

Treatments for schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis can usually be treated successfully with a short course of a medication called praziquantel, that kills the worms.
Praziquantel is most effective once the worms have grown a bit, so treatment may be delayed until eight weeks after you were infected, or repeated again after this time.

Steroid medication can also be used to help relieve the symptoms of acute schistosomiasis, or symptoms caused by damage to the brain or nervous system.

Preventing schistosomiasis

There's no vaccine for schistosomiasis, so it's important to be aware of the risks and take precautions to avoid exposure to contaminated water.

You can check whether the area you're visiting is known to have a problem with schistosomiasis using Travel Health Pro's country information section.
If you're visiting one of these areas:
  • avoid paddling, swimming and washing in fresh water – only swim in the sea or chlorinated swimming pools
  • take waterproof trousers and boots with you if there's a chance you'll need to cross a stream or river
  • boil or filter water before drinking – as the parasites could burrow into your lips or mouth if you drink contaminated water
  • avoid medicines sold locally that are advertised to treat or prevent schistosomiasis – these are often either fake, substandard, ineffective or not given at the correct dosage
  • don't rely on assurances from hotels, tourist boards or similar that a particular stretch of water is safe – there have been reports of some organisations downplaying the risks
Applying insect repellent to your skin or quickly drying yourself with a towel after getting out of the water aren't reliable ways of preventing infection, although it's a good idea to dry yourself as soon as possible if you're accidentally exposed to potentially contaminated water.
There's some evidence that applying insect repellent containing 50% DEET to exposed areas each night after showering kills the parasite in the skin before it moves deeper into the body.
Page last reviewed: 29/06/2017
Next review due: 05/07/2017


Schistosomiasis Treatment & Management

Approach Considerations

Prehospital care should include treating acute complications, such as acute intestinal bleeding. Stabilize patients who have acute complications. If appropriate, include schistosomiasis as one of the differential diagnoses.

Send urine or stool samples to the parasitology laboratory with a special request to look for eggs indicative of schistosomiasis.
Patients with severe complications, such as GI bleeding, GI obstruction, renal failure, cardiac failure, bacteremia due to Salmonella, and CNS complications, need inpatient care.

Acute schistosomiasis and Katayama fever

Patients should receive antischistosomal drugs and corticosteroids, especially if acutely ill. Steroids reduce inflammation and help suppress changes that result from killing of the parasites. As maturing schistosomes are less susceptible to therapy than adult worms, a second course of treatment is necessary. This is given several weeks after the first course of therapy.

The drug of choice for treating all species of schistosomes is praziquantel. Cure rates of 65-90% have been described after a single treatment with praziquantel. In individuals not cured, the drug causes egg excretion to be reduced by 90%. [55Praziquantel affects the membrane permeability of the parasite, which causes vacuolation of the tegument. It paralyses the worm and exposes it to attack by the host immune system. However, as praziquantel is ineffective on developing schistosomula, it may not abort early infection. Praziquantel can be used in pregnant and lactating women.[56Resistance to praziquantel occurs in the field and is well defined. [5758Adverse effects include dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, bloody stool, urticaria, and fever following initiation of treatment. These are usually mild and last about 24 hours. These are reactions from dying worms.

Neurologic disease

Treatment of schistosomiasis affecting the CNS consists of praziquantel with glucocorticoids. In CNS disease, corticosteroids are used to reduce inflammation and edema around eggs. If patients present with seizures, anticonvulsant therapy may also be needed. Observe patients with suspected or known cysticercosis as they may develop seizures or neurologic effects from dying cysticerci.

Surgical care

Surgical care includes removal of tumor masses, ligation of esophageal varices, and porta-caval shunt surgeries. Large granulomas in urinary bladder or lungs may warrant surgical extirpation.


Appropriate consultations depend on the suspected complications but may include an infectious disease physician, urologist, gynecologist, or gastroenterologist.

Saturday, 24 June 2017


Leukemia: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Leukemia is cancer of the blood or bone marrow (which produces blood cells). A person who has leukemia suffers from an abnormal production of blood cells, generally leukocytes (white blood cells).

People sometimes confuse leukemia and lymphoma. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood; lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system (lymph glands). The word Leukemia comes from the Greek leukos, which means "white", and aima, which means "blood".
The DNA of immature blood cells, mainly white cells, becomes damaged in some way. This abnormality causes the blood cells to grow and divide continuously. Healthy blood cells die after a while and are replaced by new cells, which are produced in the bone marrow.
The abnormal blood cells do not die when they should, and accumulate, occupying more space. As more cancer cells are produced, they impede the function and growth of healthy white blood cells by crowding out space in the blood. Essentially, the bad cells crowd out the good cells in the blood.
Fast facts on leukemia
Here are some key points about leukemia. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
  • According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 60,140 people were expected to be diagnosed with leukemia in 2016.
  • There are about 54,270 new cases of leukemia in the United States each year.
  • Although leukemia is among the most common childhood cancers, it most often occurs in older adults.
  • Leukemia is slightly more common in men than women.
  • People with leukemia have many treatment options, and treatment for leukemia can often control the disease and its symptoms.

Leukemia symptoms

Blood clotting is poor - As immature white blood cells crowd out blood platelets, which are crucial for blood clotting, the patient may bruise or bleed easily and heal slowly - he may also develop petechiae (a small red to purple spot on the body, caused by a minor hemorrhage).
Affected immune system - The patient's white blood cells, which are crucial for fighting off infection, may be suppressed or not working properly. The patient may experience frequent infections, or his immune system may attack other good body cells.
Anemia - As the shortage of good red blood cells grows the patient may suffer from anemia - this may lead to difficult or labored respiration (dyspnea) and pallor (skin has a pale color caused by illness).
Other symptoms - Patients may also experience nausea, fever, chills, night sweats, flu-like symptoms, weight loss, bone pain, and tiredness. If the liver or spleen becomes enlarged the patient may feel full and will eat less, resulting in weight loss.
Weight loss can also occur independent of hepatomegaly (enlarged liver) or splenomegaly (enlarged spleen). Headache is more common among patients whose cancerous cells have invaded the CNS (central nervous system).
As all these symptoms could be due to other illnesses, a diagnosis of leukemia can only be confirmed after medical tests are carried out.

Leukemia risk factors

Some factors put certain people at higher risk of developing leukemia. The following are either known or suspected factors:
  • artificial ionizing radiation
  • viruses - HTLV-1 (human T-lymphotropic virus) and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)
  • benzene and some petrochemicals
  • alkylating chemotherapy agents used in previous cancers
  • maternal fetal transmission (rare)
  • hair dyes
  • smoking
Genetic predisposition - some studies researching family history and looking at twins have indicated that some people have a higher risk of developing leukemia because of a single gene or multiple genes.
Down syndrome - people with Down syndrome have a significantly higher risk of developing leukemia, compared with people who do not have Down syndrome. Experts say that because of this, people with certain chromosomal abnormalities may have a higher risk.
Electromagnetic energy - studies indicate there is not enough evidence to show that ELF magnetic (not electric) fields that exist currently might cause leukemia. The IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) says that studies which indicate there is a risk tend to be biased and unreliable.

Leukemia and bone marrow function

The bone marrow is found inside of bones. The marrow in the large bones of adults produces blood cells. Approximately 4 percent of our total bodyweight consists of bone marrow.
Leukemia cells
There are two types of bone marrow:
  1. Red marrow, made up mainly of myeloid tissue.
  2. Yellow marrow, made up mostly of fat cells.
Red marrow can be found in the flat bones, such as the breast bone, skull, vertebrae, shoulder blades, hip bone, and ribs. Red marrow can also be found at the ends of long bones, such as the humerus and femur.
White blood cells (lymphocytes), red blood cells, and platelets are produced in the red marrow. Red blood cells carry oxygen, white blood cells fight diseases. Platelets are essential for blood clotting. Yellow marrow can be found in the inside of the middle section of long bones.
If a person loses a lot of blood the body can convert yellow marrow to red marrow in order to raise blood cell production.
White blood cells, red blood cells and platelets exist in plasma - blood plasma is the liquid component of blood, in which the blood cells are suspended.

Leukemia types

Experts divide leukemia into four large groups. These groups are classified as acute vs. chronic and lymphocytic vs. myelogenous

Chronic and acute leukemia

There are several stages of maturation in a white blood cell's lifespan. Acute leukemia is a rapidly progressing disease that results in the accumulation of immature, useless cells in the marrow and blood. They are squeezed out of the bone marrow too early and are not functional. Chronic progresses more slowly and allows more mature, useful cells to be made. In other words, acute leukemia crowds out the good cells more quickly than chronic leukemia.

Lymphocytic and myelogenous leukemia

Leukemias are also subdivided into the type of affected blood cell. If the cancerous transformation occurs in the type of marrow that makes lymphocytes, the disease is called lymphocytic leukemia. A lymphocyte is a kind of white blood cell inside the vertebrae immune system. If the cancerous change occurs in the type of marrow cells that go on to produce red blood cells, other types of white cells, and platelets, the disease is called myelogenous leukemia.
To recap, there are two groups of two groups - four main types of leukemia, as you can see in the illustration below:
Diagram of the types of leukemia

Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)

Also known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia - this is the most common type of leukemia among young children, although adults can get it as well, especially those over the age of 65. The 5-year survival rate is greater than 85 percent among children.
The following are subtypes of ALL: precursor B acute lymphoblastic leukemia, precursor T acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Burkitt's leukemia, and acute biphenotypic leukemia.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

This is most common among adults over 55, although younger adults can get it as well. It is the most common type of leukemia in adulthood. CLL hardly ever affects children. The majority of patients with CLL are men, over 60 percent. The 5 year survival rate of treated CLL patients is 82 percent. Experts say CLL is incurable. A more aggressive form of CLL is B-cell prolymphocytic leukemia.

Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)

AML is more common among adults than children, and affects males significantly more often than females. Patients are treated with chemotherapy. In children diagnosed with AML, the 5-year survival rate is 60-70 percent, though the overall survival rate is 26.6 percent.
Under the WHO classification system, there are six main groups of AML: AML with recurrent genetic abnormalities, AML with myelodysplasia-related features, therapy-related AML and MDS, AML not otherwise specified, myeloid sarcoma, and myeloid proliferations related to Down Sydrome.

Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)

The vast majority of patients are adults. According to the National Cancer Institute, the 5-year survival rate is 65.1 percent. However, many people with CML have a gene mutation that responds to targeted cancer therapy, called Gleevec. Gleevec (imatinib) is commonly used to treat CML, as well as some other drugs. For those people whose cancer is susceptible to Gleevec, their survival rate can be as high as 90 percent. Chronic monocytic leukemia is a subtype of CML.

Leukemia treatments

As the various types of leukemias affect patients differently, their treatments depend on what type of leukemia they have. The type of treatment will also depend on the patient's age and his state of health.
In order to get the most effective treatment the patient should get treatment at a center where doctors have experience and are well trained in treating leukemia patients. As treatment has improved, the aim is complete remission - that the cancer goes away completely for a minimum of five years after treatment.

Acute leukemia treatments

Treatment for patients with acute leukemias should start as soon as possible. The mainstay of treatment is still chemotherapy, which will be tailored to the type of cancer a patient has. Sometimes, chemotherapy may be given in three phases: induction, consolidation and maintenance. In some cases, a bone marow transplant may be warranted (allogeneic stem cell transplantation).

Chronic leukemia treatments

Chronic leukemia treatment is tailored to the type of cancer a person has and what phase it is in. Types of treatment include targeted therapy, interferons, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery and stem cell transplant. Targeted therapy is different than chemotherapy, because it attacks a specific part of the cancer cell. Examples of this include Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) for CML, Sprycel (dasatinib), and Tarigna (nilotinib).
In some cases of CLL, treatment isn't necessary in the early stages. Instead, an oncologist may opt for watchful waiting with frequent doctor's visits.
A bone marrow transplant is the only current way of curing a patient with CML. The younger the patient is the more likely the transplant will be successful.

Leukemia prognosis and life expectancy

All leukemia patients, regardless of what type they have or had, will need to be checked regularly by their doctors after the cancer has gone (in remission). They will undergo exams and blood tests. The doctors will occasionally test their bone marrow. As time passes and the patient continues to remain free of leukemia the doctor may decide to lengthen the intervals between tests.

Friday, 23 June 2017


What your blood type says about you

Science and Japanese tradition suggest that your blood type can reveal much about your personality and your health.

Blood type personality
Here's what science has to say about your blood type. (Photo: Gumirova Elvira Ildusovna/Shutterstock)
Blood is blood, right? Well, yes and no. Human blood is made of the same basic elements, but within that realm there are distinctions that account for four different blood types (further dinstinguished by negative and positive). What makes the four types of blood groups different is their antigens — the immune defense systems — on the surface of the red blood cells.
In 1930, a Japanese professor by the name of Tokeji Furukawa published a paper claiming that the individual blood types — A, B, AB and O — reflected the personalities of those who possessed them. Since then, blood type categorization, “ketsueki-gata,” has become firmly entrenched in Japanese culture. Much like astrological horoscopes, Japanese television and newspapers offer blood type horoscopes, and books that detail the link between blood type and personality are perpetual bestsellers. There are even matchmakers who specialize in finding future spouse based on blood types. But much like astrology, a scientific correlation between blood type and personality remains unproven.
That said, there’s been plenty of research detailing how blood types can reveal patterns of personal health — and that's fascinating in and of itself. It’s thought that different blood types may protect us from different diseases; scientists have been finding links between blood types and illness since the middle of the 20th century. With that in mind, here’s what the science has to say about your blood type. And for fun, we’ve thrown in a little ketsueki-gata as well.
If you have blood type A
Type A only has A antigens on red cells and B antibodies in the plasma; if you have type A blood, you can donate red blood cells to types A and AB.
The makeup of a person’s antigens on red blood cells can determine how much of a certain hormone gets released. If you have type A blood, you're more likely to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body, according the National Institutes of Health. There are a number of health risks that are associated with type A blood, such as a 20 percent higher chance of developing stomach cancer compared to types O and B, and a 5 percent increased risk for heart disease compared to those with type O.
In addition, if you have type A blood, you are at higher risk for several types of cancer, such as some forms of pancreatic cancer and leukemia; according to the BBC, you are also more prone to smallpox infections and severe malaria. Ironically, those with type A also have been found to be less magnetic to mosquitoes — so there's reason to rejoice!
According to ketsueki-gata, if you have blood type A, you have some great traits. You are earnest, creative, sensible, reserved, patient and responsible (even if you are also stubborn and tense).

If you have blood type B
If you have type B blood, you only have the B antigens on red cells and A antibodies in the plasma; you can donate red blood cells to those with types B and AB blood.
Those with type B have an 11 percent increase in risk of heart disease over those with type O. A study at Harvard University found that women with AB or B blood have a raised risk of developing ovarian cancer, but if you have type B, it’s not all bad news. Those with type B blood have up to 50,000 times the number of strains of friendly bacteria than people with either type A or O blood, which means all kinds of good things.
And in terms of ketsueki-gata? You can be proud of your passion, active nature, creativity and strength. On the other hand, you’re also selfish, irresponsible, unforgiving and erratic.
If you have blood type AB
Those with AB blood have both A and B antigens on red cells, but neither A nor B antibody in the plasma. If you have AB positive blood, you are universal plasma donor.
People with type AB have been found to have a 23 percent increased risk of heart disease over those with type O blood. Having AB blood may double the liklihood that a pregnant mother will suffer from the blood pressure condition called pre-eclampsia.
One intriguing blood type study published in the journal Neurology found that those with type AB blood were 82 percent more likely to have cognitive difficulties — specifically in areas like memory recall, language and attention — than people with other blood types. The researchers suspect that the clotting protein known as coagulation factor VIII is to blame. “Since factor VIII levels are closely linked to blood type, this may be one causal connection between blood type and cognitive impairment,” said study author Mary Cushman.
When it comes to ketsueki-gata, if you have type AB blood you're cool, controlled, rational and adaptable … and critical, indecisive, forgetful and irresponsible.

If you have blood type O
If you fall into the O blood group, you have neither A nor B antigens on your red cells, but both A and B antibodies in your plasma. O positive is the most common blood type; O negative is the universal donor type, meaning those with this blood type can donate red blood cells to anybody.
For those with type O, it’s a mixed bag. If you have type O, you are more likely to get ulcers — and believe it or not, to rupture your Achilles tendons. You are also at higher risk of cholera. The good news is that people with type O blood are at a lower risk for pancreatic cancer and face a lower risk of dying from malaria than people with other blood groups; that said, if you have type O, you are twice as likely to be a mosquito magnet than those with type A blood.
If you have type O blood, ketsueki-gata suggests that you are confident, self-determined, strong-willed and intuitive; unfortunately, you are also self-centered, cold, unpredictable and potentially a workaholic.
Do you know what your blood type is? Does any of this ring true to you?


Kama wengi wetu tunavyofahamu, damu ya binadamu imegawanyika katika makundi makuu manne; A, B, AB, na O. Lakini pia makundi haya kutokana na aina ya mfumo kinga wa Rh.
Mfumo huo wa RH yamegawanyika zaidi katika makundi madogo kama vile kundi A (hasi), kundi A (chanya), kundi B (hasi), kundi B (chanya), kundi AB (hasi), kundi AB (chanya), kundi O (chanya) na kundi O (hasi). Binadamu yeyote lazima awe mojawapo ya makundi hayo.
Historia inaonyesha kuwa makundi haya ya damu yaligundulika kutokana na jitihada za wataalamu wa tiba za kujaribu kuokoa maisha ya wagonjwa waliokuwa wanapungukiwa damu.
Wataalamu hawa walipojaribu kuwaongezea watu damu za wanyama au za binadamu wengine, mara nyingi walipoteza maisha na hii ilichochea udadisi ili kujua zaidi kuhusu damu.
Tofauti za makundi yetu ya damu zinatokana na urithi wa vinasaba vinavyotofautiana kutoka kwa wazazi wetu.
Kwa mujibu wa J.R. Storry na M.L. Olsson katika utafiti wao uliochapishwa katika jarida la kisayansi la Immunohematology toleo la 25 mwaka 2009, vinasaba vya urithi vinaweza kuamua kuwepo kwa tofauti za makundi ya damu kwa kutengeneza mifumo tata na iliyo tofauti ya kinga dhidi ya magonjwa katika ukuta wa nje wa chembechembe nyekundu za damu.
Hata hivyo kila kundi lina faida na hasara zake pale tunapoyahusisha makundi ya damu na uwezekano wa kuchangia kutokea kwa magonjwa au kutukinga dhidi ya magonjwa yasiyoambukiza na magonjwa ya kuambukiza.
Kwa kipindi cha takribani miaka 20 sasa, wanasayansi wa maswala ya afya na tiba wamekuwa wakifanya tafiti mbalimbali kuhusiana na uwezekano wa makundi mbalimbali ya damu kuchochea au kuzuia utokeaji wa magonjwa kadhaa ambayo binadamu anaweza kuyapata.
Ushahidi wa tafiti nyingi umeonyesha kuwepo kwa mahusiano ya karibu baina ya makundi ya damu na hali ya afya ya mtu.
Katika utafiti wa hivi karibuni ulio ongozwa na N.A. Zakai wa Chuo Kikuu cha Tiba cha Vermont nchini Marekani na kuchapishwa katika jarida la kitabibu lijulikanalo kwa jina la Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis toleo la 12(4) la mwaka huu, ilibainika kuwa watu wenye kundi la damu la AB wanakabiliwa na uwezekano mkubwa wa kupata ugonjwa wa kiharusi.
Katika utafiti mwingine wa mwaka 2006 ulioongozwa na Siripen Kalayanarooj wa Taasisi ya Afya ya Watoto ya Malkia Sirikit ya nchini Thailand (Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health, Bangkok, Thailand ), pia ilibainika kuwa watu wenye kundi la damu la AB, wako katika hatari kubwa ya kupata homa ya Dengue kuliko watu wengine.
Utafiti huo ulichapishwa kwenye jarida la magonjwa ya kuambukiza (The Journal of Infectious Diseases) toleo la 195(7).
Utafiti mwingine uliofanyika nchini Pakistan mnamo mwaka huu nao ulionyesha kuwa watu wenye ‘kundi A la damu’ wako katika hatari kubwa ya kupata magonjwa ya moyo.
Ushahidi wa kisayansi pia unaonyesha kuwa kundi hili la damu lina uhusiano wa karibu na ongezeko la lehemu mbaya mwilini. Aina hii ya lehemu imekuwa ikihusishwa na kuziba kwa mishipa ya damu na kusababisha magonjwa ya moyo, kiharusi pamoja na kupanda kwa shinikizo la damu.
Kundi A pia limekuwa likihusishwa na ongezeko la kutokea kwa saratani mbalimbali ikiwa ni pamoja na ya mishipa ya fahamu, utumbo, mifuko ya mayai, mfuko wa kizazi na mlango wa kizazi kwa wanawake.
Lakini pia kundi hili limekuwa na uhusiano wa karibu na saratani za kibofu cha mkojo, figo, kongosho na tezi za mate.
Utafiti mwingine wa hivi karibuni uliochapishwa katika jarida la tafiti za afya la Journal of Clinical & Diagnostics Research, ulibaini pia kuwa watu wenye kundi A la damu wako katika hatari kubwa ya kupata saratani ya kinywa, tezi za mate na umio. Lakini pia utafiti huo ulibainisha kuwa watu wenye kundi B wana hatari kubwa ya kupata saratani ya koo.
Tafiti zingine zinabainisha kuwa watu wenye kundi A na B, wana uwezo mkubwa wa kukabiliana na ugonjwa wa kipindupindu, lakini pia watu wenye kundi AB wana uwezo mkubwa zaidi wa kukabiliana na ugonjwa huo.
Katika utafiti wake Dk Ali S.T. Al Ghamdi wa Kitivo cha Sayansi za Tiba ya Kinywa na Meno katika Chuo Kikuu cha Mfalme Abdulaziz Jeddah, Saudi Arabia yeye alibaini kuwa watu wenye kundi B la damu wako kwenye hatari kubwa zaidi ya kupata ugonjwa mkali zaidi wa uvimbe wa fizi.
Utafiti wa hivi karibuni uliofanywa na Chuo Kikuu cha Pennsylvania chini ya uongozi wa Dk Muredach Reilly uliowahusisha washiriki 20,000 na ulibaini kuwa watu wenye kundi O la damu wenye vinasaba ya kijenetiki aina ya Adamts7 hawana hatari kubwa ya kupata ugonjwa wa shambulio la ghafla la moyo kama ilivyo kwa watu wenye makundi mengine ya damu.
Hata hivyo baadhi ya watafiti wanaonyesha kuwa watu wenye kundi la O hawana kinga ya kutosha dhidi ya kipindupindu lakini wana kiasi fulani cha kinga dhidi ya Kifua Kikuu(TB), Malaria isiyo kali, saratani za kongosho, tumbo, matiti na mlango wa kizazi.
Watafiti wengine wanadai kuwa kundi hili la damu huchochea kwa kiwango kikubwa kutokea kwa saratani za ngozi na uambukizo wa bakteria aina ya Helicobacter pylori wanaosababisha vidonda vya tumbo.
Uhusiano wa makundi ya damu na kutokea kwa aina mbalimbali za saratani kwa mara ya kwanza ulielezwa na wanasayansi D.E. Anderson na mwenzake C. Haas katika jarida la maswala ya saratani mwaka 1984.
Utafiti mwingine wa hivi karibuni uliofanywa na timu ya wanasayansi kutoka katika Chuo Kikuu cha Tiba cha Vermont nchini Marekani nao ulibaini kuwepo kwa uhusiano wa kundi la damu la AB na kupungua haraka kwa uwezo wa akili katika kufikiri unaowakabili wazee.
“Utafiti wetu ulikuwa unachunguza uhusiano uliopo kati ya makundi ya damu na kupungua kwa uwezo wa kufikiri lakini tafiti nyingi zimekwisha onyesha kuwa kuna mambo mengine yanayopunguza uwezo wa kufikiri kama vile shinikizo la damu, ugonjwa wa kisukari na ongezeko la lehemu mbaya mwilini” anasema Dk Mary Cushman, mmoja wa wanatimu wa utafiti huo walioutoa mwaka huu.
Katika utafiti mwingine uliowahusisha wanawake 82,000 wa nchini Ufaransa, watafiti wanadai wamebaini kuwepo kwa hatari kubwa zaidi kwa wanawake wenye damu kundi B kupata ugonjwa wa kisukari aina ya pili ikilinganishwa na wengine wenye makundi tofauti ya damu.
Utafiti huo ulioongozwa na Guy Fagherazzi, wa Kituo cha Utafiti wa vyanzo vya Magonjwa katika Jamii (CREP) cha Taasisi ya Gustave Roussy iliyoko Villejuif Ufaransa, ulibaini kuwepo kwa ongezeko la asilimia 35 zaidi ya hatari hiyo.
Baadhi ya wasomi wameipokea taarifa ya utafiti huo iliyochapishwa katika jarida la Diabetologia toleo la Desemba 18 mwaka huu kwa hisia tofauti.
Matatizo mengine ya kiafya ambayo yamekuwa yakihusishwa na makundi ya damu ni kuharibika kwa mimba au watoto kufia tumboni.
Hii inatokana na kutokupatana kwa makundi ya damu ya watoto na wazazi pamoja na uwezo wa kupata mimba kwa baadhi ya wanawake.
Baadhi ya watafiti wanadai kuwa wanawake wenye kundi O la damu wana uwezo mdogo wa kutunga mimba ikilinganishwa na wale wenye kundi A.
Katika utafiti mmoja uliowahusisha wanawake 560 walio katika umri wa kuzaa waliokuwa wanakabiliwa na tatizo la ugumba, ilibainika kuwa wanawake wenye kundi O la damu walikuwa na uwezekano mkubwa mara mbili zaidi ya wengine wa kuwa na mayai kidogo tena yasiyokuwa na afya njema.

Akizungumzia hali hiyo mtafiti Edward Nejat wa Chuo cha New York’s Albert anasema: “Sababu mahususi ya uhusiano wa kundi la damu na uwezo mkubwa wa mifuko ya mayai kuwa na mayai ya kutosha na yenye afya haikuwa bayana.
“Kwa wanawake wenye kundi O wanaohitaji kupata watoto, wanaweza kutumia matokeo ya tafiti hizi kuzaa mapema wakati ambapo mifuko ya mayai inapozalisha mayai kwa wingi ili kuepuka tatizo la ugumba linaloweza kujitokeza hapo baadaye.”
Mmoja wa watafiti wa maswala ya uhusiano kati ya makundi ya damu na magonjwa kutoka katika Kitivo cha Afya ya Jamii cha Chuo Kikuu cha Harvard, Profesa Lu Qi, anasema:
“Ingawa watu hawawezi kubadilisha makundi yao ya damu, utafiti wetu unaweza kusaidia madaktari kufahamu vizuri zaidi ni mtu gani yuko kwenye hatari zaidi ya kupata aina ya ugonjwa fulani.”
Ni vema kujua kundi lako la damu sawa na ilivyo vema kujua mambo mengine yanayochangia kuwa na afya njema. Hii itakuza uwezo wako wa kufahamu hatari zinazo kukabili kutokana na kundi la damu ulilo nalo na kuepuka hatari hizo kwa kutumia mtindo wa maisha unaofaa.
Magonjwa mengi yanaweza kuepukwa kwa kuzingatia usafi wa mwili na mazingira, mlo kamili, kufanya mazoezi, kupunguza uzito na kuepuka matumizi ya tumbaku, pombe pamoja na dawa za kulevya.
Uwezo wa kuzaa na kuepuka saratani mbalimbali pia unaweka kuwa nzuri kama magonjwa yasambazwayo kwa njia ya kujamiiana kusiko salama na utoaji wa mimba kiholela, vitaepukwa.