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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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Eating During Pregnancy

PregnancyAug 24 05

To eat well during Pregnancy you must do more than simply increase how much you eat. You must also consider what you eat. Although you need about 300 extra calories a day - especially later in your Pregnancy, when your baby grows quickly - those calories should come from nutritious foods so they can contribute to your baby’s growth and development.

Why It’s Important to Eat Well When You’re Pregnant
Do you wonder how it’s reasonable to gain 25 to 35 pounds (on average) during your Pregnancy when a newborn baby weighs only a fraction of that? Although it varies from woman to woman, this is how those pounds may add up:

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Testicular cancer risk linked to mothers’ weight

CancerAug 24 05

Pregnant women’s weight is apparently associated with the subsequent risk of Testicular cancer in male offspring once they become adults, according to a Scandinavian study.

Higher maternal weight leads to higher levels of estrogens, which can be transferred from mother to fetus via the placenta.

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Nervousness, worry may predict suicide attempt

Psychiatry / PsychologyAug 23 05

Men and women who describe themselves as nervous or anxious seem to be more likely than their calmer counterparts to be hospitalized at some point for a suicide attempt, according to a study involving adults in Sweden.

“Health personnel should pay attention to patient anxiety in their diagnostic procedures, especially among men,” said study co-author Dr. Mans Rosen, of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare in Stockholm. “Self-perceived anxiety is a rather good predictor of premature mortality and severe morbidity.”

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New Meningitis Vaccine Being Recommended

InfectionsAug 23 05

A new vaccine that protects against meningococcal disease is among the recommended immunizations for adolescents and college students this year.

Menactra, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in January.

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Birth order doesn’t influence MS risk, study shows

Children's HealthAug 23 05

Contrary to what the “hygiene hypothesis” suggests, the youngest children in a family are not less likely than older siblings to develop multiple sclerosis (MS), new research suggests.

According to the hygiene hypothesis, being too clean is not a good thing.

Infections at an early age actually trains the immune system to respond appropriately to the environment, and this protects kids against certain diseases like asthma and MS, so the argument goes.

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Women with diabetes face significantly greater risk of a fatal heart attack

DiabetesAug 20 05

Diabetic women have a much greater risk of suffering a fatal Heart attack, according to Swedish research, which suggests women with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus face as much as a 3.1 times greater risk than healthy women, while diabetic men have a 1.9 times higher risk than their healthy counterparts.

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Benefits of cataract surgery last in most patients

Eye / Vision ProblemsAug 20 05

Visual function after cataract surgery may decrease over time in some patients, but many still show improvement years after surgery, Swedish researchers report in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Drs. Mats Lunstrom and E. Wendel, from Blekinge Hospital, Sweden, examined how long patients’ improved visual function lasts following a cataract surgery.

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Hearing tests for all infants may improve outcomes

Ear / Nose / ThroatAug 20 05

Universal newborn screening for hearing impairment is more effective than waiting to screen until 8 months of age in achieving early referral for complete hearing assessments, the results of a study in the UK suggest. Early referral for children with hearing loss is believed to be a critical element in minimizing speech impairment by the time the child reaches school age.

Although universal newborn screening for hearing impairment has been recommended by the National Institutes of Health since 1993, the benefit of such programs has been disputed, Dr. Colin Kennedy and his associates explain in the current issue of The Lancet.

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Massage improves weight gain in preterm infants

Children's HealthAug 20 05

Moderate-pressure massage therapy increases weight gain in preterm infants by improving stomach motion, investigators at the University of Miami School of Medicine report.

Clinical trials have documented greater weight gain in premature infants after 5 to 10 days of massage, even though food intake and total sleeping time are not increased, Dr. Miguel A. Diego and his associates point out in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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