More evidence that coffee consumption may be neuroprotective.

Drink your morning coffee, and don't skimp on it, says this article from the AHA journal Circulation this November.




Published online before print November 16, 2015,

doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.017341

Association of Coffee Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in Three Large Prospective Cohorts

Running title: Ding et al.; Coffee and Total and Cause-specific Mortality Authors: Ming Ding, MD; Ambika Satija, BA; Shilpa N. Bhupathiraju, PhD; Yang Hu, MS ;Qi Sun, MD, DSc; Jiali Han, DSc; Esther Lopez-Garcia, PhD; Walter Willett, MD, DrPH; Rob M. van Dam, PhD; Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD

Background—The association between consumption of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and risk of mortality remains inconclusive.

Methods and Results—We examined the associations of consumption of total, caffeinated, and decaffeinated coffee with risk of subsequent total and cause-specific mortality among 74,890 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), 93,054 women in the NHS 2, and 40,557 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Coffee consumption was assessed at baseline using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. During 4,690,072 person-years of follow-up, 19,524 women and 12,432 men died. Consumption of total, caffeinated, and decaffeinated coffee were non-linearly associated with mortality. Compared to non-drinkers, coffee consumption one to five cups/d was associated with lower risk of mortality, while coffee consumption more than five cups/d was not associated with risk of mortality. However, when restricting to never smokers, compared to non-drinkers, the HRs of mortality were 0.94 (0.89 to 0.99) for 1 cup/d, 0.92 (0.87 to 0.97) for 1.1-3 cups/d, 0.85 (0.79 to 0.92) for 3.1-5 cups/d, and 0.88 (0.78 to 0.99) for > 5 cups/d (p for non-linearity = 0.32; p for trend < 0.001). Significant inverse associations were observed for caffeinated (p for trend < 0.001) and decaffeinated coffee (p for trend = 0.022).

Significant inverse associations were observed between coffee consumption and deaths due to cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, and suicide. No significant association between coffee consumption and total cancer mortality was found.

Conclusions—Higher consumption of total coffee, caffeinated coffee, and decaffeinated coffee was associated with lower risk of total mortality.

Dengue on the Big Island

There's been a recent small outbreak (15 19 23 27 33 56 65 72 79 88 92 101 cases in the past month) of dengue on the Kona (west) side of the Big Island here in Hawaii. Dengue is a public health problem in much of the tropics. It is seldom fatal, but can cause hospitalizations. Occasional neurological complications include encephalitis, brachial neuritis, and Guillain-Barre.

Dengue is not transmitted from person to person: it requires a mosquito (Aedes aegypti or less often Aedes albopictus) as an obligate intermediate host. If a mosquito bites a person with the dengue virus from about 1.5 days before the onset of fever to about 8 days after fever onset, the mosquito can become infected with the virus (yes, this virus infects insects and humans alike). The infection starts in the mosquito's gut, and after about 10 days spreads up to the salivary glands, at which point the mosquito can transmit the infection to a human that is bitten. The female mosquito bites during a 20 to 50 day period of its tropical life cycle, so a typical mosquito can spread the virus for a month, if it bites for that duration, rather than stopping after its first meal. On the other hand, people with dengue can only infect mosquitoes for about 12 days at most. Unfortunately, that probably includes short periods of time where there is no sign of infection in the human, yet a mosquito can contract the virus from biting the asymptomatic individual.



Front Immunol. 2014; 5: 290.

Published online 2014 Jun 17. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2014.00290

PMCID: PMC4060056

Human to Mosquito Transmission of Dengue Viruses

Lauren B. Carrington and Cameron P. Simmons

The successful transmission of dengue virus from a human host to a mosquito vector requires a complex set of factors to align. It is becoming increasingly important to improve our understanding of the parameters that shape the human to mosquito component of the transmission cycle so that vaccines and therapeutic antivirals can be fully evaluated and epidemiological models refined. Here we describe these factors, and discuss the biological and environmental impacts and demographic changes that are influencing these dynamics. Specifically, we examine features of the human infection required for the mosquito to acquire the virus via natural blood feeding, as well as the biological and environmental factors that influence a mosquito’s susceptibility to infection, up to the point that they are capable of transmitting the virus to a new host.

An alternative to Kim's physicalism

In his book Physicalism, or Something Near Enough , Jaegwon Kim says: The final picture that has emerged is this: P is a cause of P*, wi...