Posts Tagged ‘heart disease’

The Vitamin-D Debate: How Much is OK?

The Vitamin-D Debate: How Much is OK?

By Alice Park, courtesy of TIME 

 

Danny Kim for TIME

Spend a few minutes soaking up some rays and your body will start to pump out more vitamin D. Many health officials believe Americans are D-deficient, but in the age of sunblock and self-tanners, how many vitamin-D pills should we be popping? New guidelines for the optimal dietary dose are expected in the fall, and definitive studies on vitamin D’s effects on cancer, heart disease and cognition are ongoing. In the meantime, here’s where the science stands.

Cancer
Vitamin D may prevent cancer by suppressing the cell growth and blood-vessel formation that feed tumors. At least that’s the idea, based on animal studies and analyses of human cells. But trials in which patients take vitamin D have not shown a consistent lowering of cancer risk.

One four-year trial of 1,200 postmenopausal women found a 77% lower risk of all cancers among those taking calcium and 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day than among those taking a placebo. A larger study, however, in which subjects took 400 IU of vitamin D — in the absence of an official daily recommended intake, that’s the "adequate" intake for adults ages 51 to 70 — did not show lower breast-cancer risk.

The data are strongest for colorectal cancer: subjects with higher blood levels of vitamin D were half as likely as those with lower levels to develop the disease. 

Heart Disease
Studies on animals and human-cell cultures indicate that vitamin D has a protective effect on the heart, controlling the release of stress hormones that lead to high blood pressure and inflammation.

Studies on human subjects confirm this link. In one trial, men whose blood work showed D levels below 30 nanograms per milliliter — the amount the Institute of Medicine says adults should aim for — were twice as likely to have a heart…
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Why Do Heavy Drinkers Outlive Nondrinkers?

Why Do Heavy Drinkers Outlive Nondrinkers?

By John Cloud, courtesy of TIME 

Side profile of a businessman holding a glass of whiskey at a bar counter Vertical

One of the most contentious issues in the vast literature about alcohol consumption has been the consistent finding that those who don’t drink actually tend to die sooner than those who do. The standard Alcoholics Anonymous explanation for this finding is that many of those who show up as abstainers in such research are actually former hard-core drunks who had already incurred health problems associated with drinking.

But a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that — for reasons that aren’t entirely clear — abstaining from alcohol does actually tend to increase one’s risk of dying even when you exclude former drinkers. The most shocking part? Abstainers’ mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers. 

Moderate drinking, which is defined as one to three drinks per day, is associated with the lowest mortality rates in alcohol studies. Moderate alcohol use (especially when the beverage of choice is red wine) is thought to improve heart health, circulation and sociability, which can be important because people who are isolated don’t have as many family members and friends who can notice and help treat health problems.

But why would abstaining from alcohol lead to a shorter life? It’s true that those who abstain from alcohol tend to be from lower socioeconomic classes, since drinking can be expensive. And people of lower socioeconomic status have more life stressors — job and child-care worries that might not only keep them from the bottle but also cause stress-related illnesses over long periods. (They also don’t get the stress-reducing benefits of a drink or two after work.)

But even after controlling for nearly all imaginable variables — socioeconomic status, level of physical activity, number of close friends, quality of social support and so on — the researchers (a six-member team led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin) found that over a 20-year period, mortality rates were highest for those who had never been drinkers, second-highest for heavy drinkers and lowest for moderate drinkers. 

The sample of those who were studied included individuals between ages 55 and 65 who had had any kind of outpatient care in the previous three years. The 1,824 participants were followed for 20 years. One drawback of the sample: a disproportionate number, 63%, were men. Just over…
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Heart Attack Grill

A Meal To Die For, CBS

Looks like an eventual class action suit to me. 

H/t Tom Burger


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Who Should Take Statins? The Debate Continues

Who Should Take Statins? The Debate Continues

By Alice Park, courtesy of TIME 

It is well known that the cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins can reduce the risk of heart attack among people who already have heart disease. But whether the medications can prevent a heart attack from occurring in the first place is still a hotly contested question among health experts.

Two new studies published on Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine reignite the simmering debate.

One study revisits the merits of the controversial Jupiter trial (or Justification for the Use of Statins in Primary Prevention), which was published in 2008 in the New England Journal of Medicine. That trial concluded that the statin drug Crestor (rosuvastatin) lowered the combined risks of heart attack, stroke, other heart events or heart-related death by 47% in healthy patients with no history of heart problems or high cholesterol but high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker for inflammation. The findings prompted the Food and Drug Administration in February to expand the eligible patient population for Crestor by millions.

Critics of the Jupiter trial have contended that the benefits of the cholesterol drug may have been exaggerated because the trial was stopped early — after two years, instead of the planned five. Had the trial been allowed to continue, critics say, the differences in benefit between the treatment and placebo groups may have disappeared. That is the argument raised again by the new study in the Archives, by an international group of scientists led by Dr. Michel de Lorgeril at the University Joseph Fourier and the National Center of Scientific Research in Grenoble, France.

Jupiter was stopped prematurely when an independent monitoring board gleaned an overwhelming treatment benefit in the statin group. Although the early termination of randomized and blinded control studies is common — to ensure the safety of patients, study leaders frequently monitor the accruing data and stop the trial when one group shows a predetermined amount of benefit over the other — in Jupiter’s case, de Lorgeril’s group argues, the study never made clear what the predetermined benefit was.

What the data did show, however, is that when certain hard clinical endpoints — such as heart-related death — were considered, the difference between the two groups was not significant enough to warrant stopping the trial. Among the entire study population of more than 17,000, there was a total of only 240…
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Tea, Coffee Drinkers Have Lower Heart Risk

Good news, coffee and tea drinkers. Keep drinking--6 cups of tea or 4 cups of coffee. – Ilene 

Tea, Coffee Drinkers Have Lower Heart Risk

Black coffee in ornate coffee cup

Study Shows 3 to 6 Cups of Tea Daily Linked Reduced Risk of Death From Heart Disease 

By Salynn Boyles
WebMD Health News

June 18, 2010 — People who drink a lot of tea or drink coffee in moderation are less likely to die of heart disease than coffee and tea abstainers, new research suggests.

The finding adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that coffee and tea help protect against heart disease, but not stroke.

Researchers followed more than 37,000 people in The Netherlands for 13 years in one of the largest and longest studies ever to examine the impact of coffee and tea drinking on heart health.

They found that:

  • People who drank three to six cups of tea per day had a 45% lower risk of death from heart disease than people who drank less than one cup of tea a day.
  • Drinking more than six cups of tea a day was associated with a 36% lower risk of heart disease, compared to drinking less than one cup.
  • People who drank more than two, but no more than four, cups of coffee a day had about a 20% lower risk of heart disease than people who drank more or less coffee or no coffee at all.
  • Moderate coffee consumption was associated with a slight, but not statistically significant, reduction in death from heart disease, but neither coffee nor tea affected stroke risk.

Continue here.>

See Also:

Tea and coffee reduce heart disease risk, study suggests

By Richard Alleyne, Telegraph 

The researchers believe that the health benefits are down to antioxidants found in both drinks which remove damaging free radicals from the body.

The team, whose research is published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association, also noted that tea and coffee drinkers have different health behaviours – with more coffee drinkers prone to smoke and have a less healthy diet.

This is the latest research into the relative health benefits of two of the world’s favourite beverages.

It has been claimed that they can reduce risks of some cancers, diabetes, stress and even acne.

But they have also been linked to increased rates of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and high blood pressure.

Full article here.>


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FREAK YOURSELF OUT WITH NEW AT-HOME GENETIC TESTING KIT

I’m not likely to ruin my life and take this test, but can see the value. For example, small amounts of alcohol, particularly red wine, may lower the risk of heart disease while simultaneously increasing the risk for certain cancers. If a genetic test revealed a higher than normal risk for heart disease, but not cancer, maybe a glass of wine would be more enjoyable than if the test revealed the opposite results. Knowing one’s risk areas might be of use in financial planning as well.  

Benefit or not, I hope the package includes a lot of disclaimers such as "we are not responsible for the effects of any food or drinking binges in celebration of your low risk test results."  - Ilene 

FREAK YOURSELF OUT WITH NEW AT-HOME GENETIC TESTING KIT

Courtesy of Richard Metzger of Dangerous Minds 

image
 
Attention hypochondriacs! If you are feeling the need to seriously freak yourself out, look no further than your local Walgreens store! Yup, starting Friday you can purchase an at-home test kit that allows people who, well, worry about these things (obsessively) to see if their DNA makes them more likely to develop one (or more!) of dozens of different health conditions. Breast cancer? Check. Heart disease? Check! Alzheimer’s disease? Can do! Just swab your cheek, pop it in the mail and within a week or so, your life will be completely ruined!

From The Chicago Tribune:

The product’s introduction raises immediate concerns among scientists, bio-ethicists and genetic counselors. They worry that consumers will misuse or misunderstand the results of a test so open to interpretation it is potentially meaningless, or frightening, especially without a full medical assessment.

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration told the Tribune it is investigating the medical claims the product’s manufacturer, California-based Pathway Genomics, is making in marketing its genetic test, which hasn’t been approved by U.S. regulators.

Pathway officials say the company’s home genetic test meets federal regulations and doesn’t require FDA approval. “The tests conducted are not an in-vitro medical device and are not intended for use in diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or cure of disease. It does provide information that allows a person to learn about their health to make healthier lifestyle choices,” said Ed MacBean, Pathway’s vice president of product management. “If the FDA contacts us, we will discuss it and address any concerns they


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Hide your children or they’ll be on Statins before you know it.

Boy playing hide and seek

Introduction and post idea, courtesy of John Wrenn, MD - Ilene 

Are you ready for your Crestor?  Maybe lifestyle modification would be just as effective or possibly even more so.

Thanks goodness they listed the absolute risk reduction numbers at the end of the article.  The needed to treat number is 500 to prevent one adverse cardiovascular outcome (stoke/MI). Crestor is $3.50 a day which works out to $638,000 per year for every event avoided and that doesn’t include the cost of the doctor’s visits or the liver function tests to monitor for toxicity or the cost of side effects.

Risks Seen in Cholesterol Drug Use in Healthy People

By DUFF WILSON, NY TIMES 

With the government’s blessing, a drug giant is about to expand the market for its blockbuster cholesterol medication Crestor to a new category of customers: as a preventive measure for millions of people who do not have cholesterol problems.

Some medical experts question whether this is a healthy move.

They point to mounting concern that cholesterol medications — known as statins and already the most widely prescribed drugs in the United States — may not be as safe a preventive medicine as previously believed for people who are at low risk of heart attacks or strokes. 

Continue here.>>

****

See also John’s Take On The Prostate.

Treat the Risk, Not the Cholesterol: Study Challenges Current Cholesterol Recommendations

(Ilene’s yellow highlights)

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new study by the University of Michigan Medical School and VA Ann Arbor Health System challenges the medical thinking that the lower the cholesterol, the better.

Tailoring treatment to a patient’s overall heart attack risk, by considering all their risk factors, such as age, family history, and smoking status, was more effective, and used fewer high-dose statins, than current strategies to drive down cholesterol to a certain target, according to the U-M study.

While study authors support the use of cholesterol-lowering statins, they conclude that patients and their doctors should consider all the factors that put them at risk for heart attack and strokes.…
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Treat the Risk, Not the Cholesterol: Study Challenges Current Cholesterol Recommendations

Here’s a very important – maybe paradigm shifting - press release on a study that challenges the current, broad-based recommendations for people to lower their cholesterol. My highlights. – Ilene

Pharmboy had this comment: 

Good article, and I agree with most of what’s in it, from scientific standpoint.  I am not a Doc, but I have worked on this area of research.  There are a few things in the pipelines of several companies that may help the inflammation of the arteries when someone is on a statin, and [the biotech] VIAP is spearheading the trials for this exact study.  Unfortunately, their drug is for a shorter term treatment, and the real trials will have to be a bodybag trial….either they preserve life, or don’t.  Diet and exercise are the two biggest things we can do to stay healthy. 

Treat the Risk, Not the Cholesterol: Study Challenges Current Cholesterol Recommendations

Increasing Obesity Figures Cause Health Concerns

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new study by the University of Michigan Medical School and VA Ann Arbor Health System challenges the medical thinking that the lower the cholesterol, the better.

Tailoring treatment to a patient’s overall heart attack risk, by considering all their risk factors, such as age, family history, and smoking status, was more effective, and used fewer high-dose statins, than current strategies to drive down cholesterol to a certain target, according to the U-M study.

While study authors support the use of cholesterol-lowering statins, they conclude that patients and their doctors should consider all the factors that put them at risk for heart attack and strokes.

The findings will be released online Monday ahead of print in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

"We’ve been worrying too much about people’s cholesterol level and not enough about their overall risk of heart disease," says Rodney A. Hayward, M.D., director of the Veterans Affairs Center for Health Services Research and Development and a professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends harmful LDL cholesterol levels should be less than 130 for most people. High risk patients should be pushed even lower — to less than 70.

The U-M study took a different approach, called tailored treatment, which uses a person’s risk factors and mathematical models to calculate the expected benefit of treatment, by considering:

  --  A person’s risk of a heart attack or…
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Why Genes Aren’t Destiny

Your genes may not be your destiny, but when your grandmother over-ate that one long summer, that was a killer… Fascinating article on epigenetics. – Ilene

Why Genes Aren’t Destiny

TIME photoBy John Cloud, courtesy of TIME

The remote, snow-swept expanses of northern Sweden are an unlikely place to begin a story about cutting-edge genetic science. The kingdom’s northernmost county, Norrbotten, is nearly free of human life; an average of just six people live in each square mile. And yet this tiny population can reveal a lot about how genes work in our everyday lives.

Norrbotten is so isolated that in the 19th century, if the harvest was bad, people starved. The starving years were all the crueler for their unpredictability. For instance, 1800, 1812, 1821, 1836 and 1856 were years of total crop failure and extreme suffering. But in 1801, 1822, 1828, 1844 and 1863, the land spilled forth such abundance that the same people who had gone hungry in previous winters were able to gorge themselves for months.

In the 1980s, Dr. Lars Olov Bygren, a preventive-health specialist who is now at the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, began to wonder what long-term effects the feast and famine years might have had on children growing up in Norrbotten in the 19th century — and not just on them but on their kids and grandkids as well. So he drew a random sample of 99 individuals born in the Overkalix parish of Norrbotten in 1905 and used historical records to trace their parents and grandparents back to birth. By analyzing meticulous agricultural records, Bygren and two colleagues determined how much food had been available to the parents and grandparents when they were young.

Around the time he started collecting the data, Bygren had become fascinated with research showing that conditions in the womb could affect your health not only when you were a fetus but well into adulthood. In 1986, for example, the Lancet published the first of two groundbreaking papers showing that if a pregnant woman ate poorly, her child would be at significantly higher than average risk for cardiovascular disease as an adult. Bygren wondered whether that effect could start even before pregnancy: Could parents’ experiences early in their lives somehow change the traits they passed to their offspring?

It was a heretical idea. After all, we have had a long-standing deal with biology:…
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Phil's Favorites

Carillion Q&A: The consequences of collapse and what the government should do next

 

Carillion Q&A: The consequences of collapse and what the government should do next

Courtesy of John Colley, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Construction giant Carillion has gone into liquidation. The UK’s second-largest construction firm was one of the government’s biggest contractors, involved in huge infrastructure projects like the HS2 rail link and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. It also provides services across the public sector such as running libraries, schools and prisons. Here’s what you need to know about Carillion’s collapse.

Why did the government keep placing...



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ValueWalk

Nebraska Furniture Mart in the 1980s

By The Acquirer's Multiple. Originally published at ValueWalk.

little gem of a 1980s NBC News story about Rose Blumkin, better known to folks in Omaha as “Mrs. B.”. Rose Blumkin apparently was a fixture in Omaha, and ran a HUGE furniture store in Nebraska. Please don’t confuse Mrs. Blumkin with that dirty word “BLUMPKIN”. That’s not nice.

]]> Get The Full Warren Buffett Series in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Warren Buffett in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues

The post Nebraska Furniture Mart in the 1980s appeared first on ...



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Zero Hedge

North And South Korea Agree To Form Joint Team, Will March Together At Olympic Opening Ceremony

 

North And South Korea Agree To Form Joint Team, Will March Together At Olympic Opening Ceremony

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

In a decision that Yonhap called an "unprecedented breakthrough", North and South Korea have agreed to form their first joint Olympic team and will march together under a unified flag during the opening ceremony. The two Koreas agreed to form a joint women's ice hockey team to take part in the Winter Olympics to be held February 9-25 in Pyeongchang, the two ...



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Digital Currencies

What if the price of Bitcoin is the least interesting thing about it?

 

What if the price of Bitcoin is the least interesting thing about it?

Courtesy of 

Over the summer, I reviewed Steven Johnson’s book about innovation, called The Invention of Air. Johnson shows us how a simple insight by one of the least technically gifted scientists in history led to a massive chain reaction of human understanding about the world we live in and how it truly works.

If you missed my synopsis, it’s here.

...



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Insider Scoop

5 Biggest Price Target Changes For Wednesday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • Goldman Sachs raised Groupon Inc (NASDAQ: GRPN) price target from $4.70 to $5.40. Groupon shares closed at $5.03 on Tuesday.
  • Barclays boosted the price target for Pure Storage Inc (NYSE: PSTG) from $19 to $22. Pure Storage shares closed at $16.16 on Tuesday.
  • Stifel increased the price target for Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) from $161 to $184. Deere shares closed at $167.54 on Tuesday.
  • Mizuho raised the price target on QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ: ...


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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 14, 2017

Courtesy of Blain.

After 3 days of mild “rest” – and the first down day of the year (!!) for the S&P 500, bulls came back with bells on Thursday and Friday, driving indexes to record highs yet again.  This is starting to get “parabolic”… some shades of the type of things we saw in 1999.  (See the S&P 500 and NASDAQ charts below)  The S&P 500 gained 1.6% and the NASDAQ 1.7% for the week.

“This reminds me of January 2000,” said Kent Engelke, chief economic strategist, at Capitol Securities Management, which manages $4 billion in assets, referring to the nearly unceasing climb to records for stocks and the unease it can inspire.  “It’s scary, the unrelenting advance,” he added.

“The move isn’t about fundamentals...



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Biotech

How Alzheimer's disease spreads throughout the brain - new study

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

How Alzheimer's disease spreads throughout the brain – new study

Courtesy of Thomas E CopeUniversity of Cambridge

Harmful tau protein spreads through networks. Author provided

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating brain illness that affects an estimated 47m people worldwide. It is the most common cause of dementia in the Western world. Despite this, there are currently no treatments that are effective in curing Alzheimer’s disease or preventing its relentless progressio...



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Mapping The Market

Trump Admin Bans CDC From Using Words Like 'Science-Based,' 'Diversity'

By Jean-Luc

These are the policies of a theocracy, not a modern democracy:

Trump Admin Bans CDC From Using Words Like ‘Science-Based,’ ‘Diversity’

The Trump administration has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from using words like “science-based,” “diversity,” and “transgender” in their official documents for next year’s budget, according to the Washington Post.

Senior CDC budget leader Alison Kelly met with the agency’s policy analysts on Thursday to announce ...



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Members' Corner

An Interview with David Brin

Our guest David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on a range of topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He is also a well-known and influential futurist (one of four “World's Best Futurists,” according to The Urban Developer), and it is his ideas on the future, specifically the future of civilization, that I hope to learn about here.   

Ilene: David, you base many of your predictions of the future on a theory of historica...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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