Tauck has unveiled its 2017 roster of Tauck Bridges trips designed specifically for families, and for the coming year, lucky guests on three special departures of the company’s eight-day Castles & Kings: London to Paris itinerary will enjoy a true once-in-a-lifetime experience when they tour the legendary Louvre museum after it’s been closed to the general public for the day.Home to the Mona Lisa and countless other treasures, the Louvre is the world’s most popular museum, drawing well over nine-million visitors annually. By special arrangement, guests on next year’s 2, 9 and 23 July departures (from $5490 per person, double occupancy, plus airfare) will tour the Louvre at their leisure and without the customary crowds. Tauck already offers a similar after-hours experience to its guests at the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, on its tours visiting Rome. Like the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel tours, the after-hours tours of the Louvre are built into Tauck’s all-inclusive prices.In all, the Connecticut-based guided tour and cruise company will operate a total of 19 Tauck Bridges family itineraries across North America, Europe, Latin America and Africa next year, including a new family river cruise on the Seine. First announced in March (when Tauck unveiled its 2017 European river cruising plans), the company’s new eight-day Family Fun Along the Seine: Paris to Normandy river cruise begins with an included two-night hotel stay and guided sightseeing in Paris.A subsequent five-night cruise along the Seine aboard Tauck’s newly reconfigured ms Sapphire riverboat includes a full-day excursion to Normandy’s D-Day Beaches and a guided excursion to Claude Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny. Several additional days provide a choice between a more active option (such as a hike to a medieval chateau or a bicycle tour highlighting the gardens of Versailles and Marie Antoinette’s farm) and a more relaxed activity (a walking tour in the village of Les Andelys or a tour of the Palace of Versailles).‘Family Fun Along the Seine’ (from $4290 per person, plus airfare) will be Tauck’s fourth river cruise designed specifically for families, along with its other family-focused itineraries on the Danube, Rhône and Rhine. For the coming year, Tauck is doubling its family river cruise departures from 10 to 20.Tauck has also added enhancements to a number of its other existing Bridges itineraries for 2017. The company has upgraded three of the four featured accommodations on its eight-day Costa Rica: Jungles and Rainforests journey, for example, and replaced an extended motor coach transfer between Tortuguero and Arenal with a time-saving flight. In Europe, an after-hours visit to the Oetzi Village archeological park in Umhausen, Austria, has been added to Tauck’s Alpine Adventure itinerary. That same Bridges tour now also boasts a two-night stay in nearby Längenfeld at the Aqua Dome hotel, which features a children’s water park with water slides and two swimming pools.Tauck’s Bon Voyage! France Family River Cruise on the Rhône River has been bolstered with a guided bike ride in Paris and a chocolate art demonstration, while the Grand European Family Holiday in England, France and Italy now features an included dinner at chef Alain Ducasse’s modern bistro Champeaux in Paris. Finally, on the Tauck Bridges exploration of Majestic California, family travellers will now enjoy a guided visit to Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park, and learn about San Francisco sourdough bread traditions at a bakery dating back to the Gold Rush era.
Source:https://www.utsouthwestern.edu/newsroom/articles/year-2018/hypertension-algorithm.html Jul 3 2018Using data from large clinical trials, UT Southwestern researchers developed a way to predict which patients will benefit most from aggressive high blood pressure treatment.The machine learning algorithm they devised combines three variables routinely collected during clinic visits and demonstrates how the emerging field of bioinformatics could transform patient care. Their work, available online now and publishing July 15 in the American Journal of Cardiology, describes a risk prediction model in which patient age, urinary albumin/creatinine ratio (UACR), and cardiovascular disease history successfully identified hypertensive patients for whom the benefits of intensive therapy outweigh the risks.”Large randomized trials have provided inconsistent evidence regarding the benefit of intensive blood pressure lowering in hypertensive patients,” said corresponding author Dr. Yang Xie, Director of the Quantitative Biomedical Research Center at UT Southwestern and of the University’s Bioinformatics Core Facility. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to identify a subgroup of patients who derive a higher net benefit from intensive blood pressure treatment.”Researchers used patient data from two National Institutes of Health-funded randomized controlled trials that tested intensive vs. standard blood pressure-lowering treatments – the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) and the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial. The SPRINT trial included 9,361 nondiabetic hypertensive adults at an elevated risk of cardiovascular event, while ACCORD enrolled 10,251 patients with Type 2 diabetes.”I think our algorithm can help us identify high-risk patients who will most likely benefit from intensive blood pressure reduction. Long-term intensive HBP drug therapy can reduce risk of heart failure and death, but it carries an increased risk of side effects,” said co-author Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin, Professor of Internal Medicine and holder of the Norman and Audrey Kaplan Chair in Hypertension and the Fredric L. Coe Professorship in Nephrolithiasis Research in Mineral Metabolism.Related StoriesNew method improves detection of atrial fibrillation in stroke survivorsMothers with gestational diabetes transferring harmful ‘forever chemicals’ to their fetusStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsThe researchers’ machine learning method determined three simple criteria to identify adults with high blood pressure who are at the highest risk for early major adverse cardiovascular events – such as cardiovascular death, heart attack, or stroke. Those criteria are: an age of 74 or older, a UACR of 34 or higher, and a history of clinical cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease, stroke, or heart failure. Patients who met one or more of the three criteria were predicted to be among a high-risk group who had a greater benefit from intensive blood pressure-lowering treatment. In contrast, the team found that patients younger than age 74 who had a UACR less than 34 and no history of cardiovascular disease may do equally as well with less intensive treatment.”We feel that our findings have major clinical implications, since in addition to its predictive effects, the model generated here is simple and easy to implement in clinical practice without additional lab tests or computational tools,” said Dr. Xie, who is also an Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences and Bioinformatics. “We hope that clinicians can someday use this algorithm to identify which patients should receive standard versus intensive treatment, and we hope to design a prospective clinical trial to further validate this algorithm.”