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Alternate Names : Dysmenorrhea. Menstrual cramps are the pain and cramping some women experience during their monthly periods. The term dysmenorrhea usually refers to pain and cramps severe enough to prevent normal activity

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China experts say bird flu bigger threat than SARS

FluAug 27 05

Bird flu now poses a bigger and more worrying threat to people than SARS, medical experts in southern China, the region where severe acute respiratory syndrome first surfaced, said on Friday.

The main reason, they said, was that humans had learned how to effectively control the spread of SARS, but had not done the same for bird flu, which can be spread by wild birds.

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Cholera kills hundreds as rain pounds West Africa

InfectionsAug 27 05

Cholera outbreaks triggered partly by heavy rains battering West Africa have killed hundreds of people in the past few months, prompting appeals for medicine to help thousands of sufferers, U.N. officials said on Friday.

The disease has struck as far afield as tiny Guinea-Bissau, where the government has banned sales of water in markets to combat the waterborne disease, to giant Congo, where 16 people travelling in a military convoy died of the infection.

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Heart ailment seems under-recognized in women

HeartAug 27 05

Italian investigators report, that compared to men, women with a hereditary heart condition called Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are substantially more likely to be diagnosed later in life and with more severe symptoms.

This occurs despite the fact that Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy “should theoretically be present in males and females equally,” said Dr. Iacopo Olivotto, because it is a genetic disease with an inheritance pattern that requires only one parent to have the condition.

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US retirees still wary of Medicare drug plan

Public HealthAug 25 05

Most older Americans say they still do not understand how Medicare’s new prescription drug coverage will work and they are split over whether it will be worthwhile, a study released on Thursday found.

In a Kaiser Family Foundation survey of people aged 65 and up, 60 percent said they did not understand the new benefit, which opens for enrollment in November and is scheduled to start in January.

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Drug may keep transplanted kidneys healthier longer

Urine ProblemsAug 25 05

Transplanted kidneys may survive three or four years longer when treated with an experimental Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. drug instead of the standard drug cyclosporine, a study released on Wednesday showed.

A test of 218 transplant recipients at 22 centers in North America and Europe found that the six-month rejection rate for kidneys treated with either drug was equally low.

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Kidney donor exchange programs catching on

Urine ProblemsAug 25 05

Say you wanted to donate a kidney to a relative, but weren’t a match. Would you donate your kidney to a stranger who could use it, in exchange for a kidney from one of their relatives that was a match to your kin?

Seems like a good idea, and such plans are being set up.

A new Living Donor Kidney Exchange Program launched earlier this month by the New York Organ Donor Network will allow potential kidney donor-recipient pairs who are not suitable for reasons such as mismatched blood type to be matched with other willing donor-recipient pairs.

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Sperm banking gives cancer patients emotional lift

CancerAug 25 05

Sperm banking may not only preserve young cancer patients’ ability to have children, but their emotional well-being as well, according to Japanese researchers.

They found that among 51 young men who banked their sperm before undergoing chemotherapy, 80 percent said that the move helped them in the “emotional battle against cancer.” Even those who were unsure whether they wanted to have children in the future gained some peace of mind from sperm banking, according to the researchers.

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WHO hopes drugs will buy time against bird flu

FluAug 25 05

The World Health Organization (WHO) began on Wednesday to build a first line of defense against a feared global bird flu pandemic with a major drug donation from a leading Swiss firm.

The United Nations agency said a donation by Swiss drug maker Roche of enough of its Tamiflu antiviral drug to treat 3 million people could slow the spread of the outbreak among humans, especially in countries too poor to afford their own stockpile.

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Painkillers can cause fatal stomach bleeding

Drug NewsAug 25 05

Approximately one third of all hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding can be attributed to the use of aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) painkillers like ibuprofen, a study in Spain suggests.

Moreover, up to one third of these painkiller-related incidents may be due to low-dose aspirin.

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Lifestyle changes credited in drop in heart deaths

HeartAug 25 05

Healthier eating habits and a decline in smoking may explain a large share of the drop in Heart Disease deaths the UK has seen since the 1980s, a new study suggests.

Research has shown that since the 1980s, Heart Disease deaths have fallen by roughly one-half in many industrialized countries. The relative importance of the various reasons for this decline is not fully clear, however.

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Why blacks less likely to have chemo still unclear

CancerAug 25 05

A recent study showed that black patients are much less likely than white patients to receive recommended chemotherapy after surgery for advanced colon cancer. A new study suggests that there is no single or simple explanation for why this is so.

To try to understand the factors involved in black-white differences in recommended colon cancer treatment, doctors took a look-back at 5,294 black and white patients 66 years of age or older who had surgery for advanced colon cancer. All of them had Medicare health insurance, and therefore the same access to care.

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Gene Linked to Age-Related Blindness

GeneticsAug 24 05

A variation in a single gene is strongly associated with an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of untreatable blindness in the elderly, according to a new study.

Based on the finding, a simple test might be developed that could help identify people at risk for this condition, speculate researchers at the University of Pittsburgh. They believe that identification of the PLEKHA1 gene may also help researchers find more effective ways to prevent this ocular degeneration.

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World health leaders tackle hospital errors

Public HealthAug 24 05

A global initiative to stop hospital errors will focus on the old dictum “first, do no harm” by encouraging health care workers to clean up their acts, health officials said on Tuesday.

They said hospital employees all over the world should heed the advice attributed to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, and the best way to do that is improve hygiene habits.

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Health, wealth seem not to affect dementia risk

Psychiatry / PsychologyAug 24 05

The incidence of dementia does not appear to be influenced by social background or health status, at least in the UK, the results of a study from the Medical Research Council (MRC) has shown.

MRC researchers interviewed and followed 13,000 people from five ethnically uniform sites, ranging from wealthy Cambridge in the east of England to deprived Newcastle in the north, and found that that “health and wealth does not affect the incidence of dementia in England and Wales.”

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Anesthesia doesn’t ease heroin detox

Tobacco & MarijuanaAug 24 05

Heroin detoxification under general anesthesia has been touted as a fast and pain-free way for addicts to get clean, but new research indicates that this method offers no benefit over other protocols that are safer and much less expensive.

“Anyone who might be interested in anesthesia for detox should know that it’s costly, dangerous, and not better than alternative approaches,” Dr. Eric D. Collins told Reuters Health.

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