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Tamiflu Maker Stops Shipping to Private Sellers

Drug NewsOct 30 05

Amid worries about bird flu, demand for a flu medicine is so extreme that the drug’s maker has stopped shipping it to private U.S. suppliers just as consumers fret over whether they should try to stock up on the drug.

Tamiflu, a prescription drug designed to treat regular flu, is becoming scarce because of worries the bird flu in Asia might morph into a contagious human flu that circles the globe.

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A Simple Plan for Weight Loss

Weight LossOct 30 05

The math is pretty simple. One pound of fat equals 3500 calories. Want to lose a pound a week? Then you need to consume 3500 calories less per week than you use. That’s about 500 calories a day. By cutting out 500 calories a day from your normal daily diet, while keeping your activity level the same, you can lose approximately one pound a week.

All right - that doesn’t sound like much, especially if you’re more than 25 pounds overweight. Study after study has shown, though, that those people who lose weight gradually - at a rate of 1-2 pounds per week -are far more likely to keep the weight off and maintain a normal weight for a lifetime.

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Earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancer possible

CancerOct 29 05

Symptoms associated with ovarian cancer, especially abdominal bloating and pain, often start several months prior to diagnosis, a study shows, suggesting that with appropriate testing the diagnosis can be made earlier than it is currently. Ovarian cancer is much more curable when detected early.

In the October 1st issue of Cancer, the study team says their observations “provide objective evidence that patients with ovarian cancer, as a group, are distinguishable symptomatically from controls at least 6 months prior to diagnosis.”

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Exercise good for those at risk for osteoarthritis

ArthritisOct 29 05

Moderate regular exercise may strengthen knee cartilage in people at high risk of developing knee osteoarthritis—the leading cause of disability in adults, Swedish researchers report.

“Exercise may have important implications for disease prevention in patients at risk of developing knee osteoarthritis,” the authors conclude.

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Russia registers new birdflu outbreaks

FluOct 29 05

Russia’s Agriculture Ministry said on Friday that new bird flu outbreaks had been registered in three Russian regions already hit by the virus.

A ministry statement said outbreaks had been confirmed in the Tambov region, 400 km (298 miles) southeast of Moscow, in Omsk region in eastern Siberia and Kurgan in southern Urals.

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Bird flu virulence key concern for scientists

FluOct 29 05

No one can predict when or where a bird flu virus will mutate into a human pandemic strain, but scientists are preparing so that when it does, they will be ready to pounce on it, a leading virologist said on Friday.

While surveillance centres dotted around the globe are keeping an eye on changes in the H5N1 bird flu virus, Dr Jim Robertson and scientists at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Controls (NIBSC) in England are working on vaccines in case it becomes highly infectious in humans.

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Big SAfrican firms to help smaller ones fight AIDS

AIDS/HIVOct 29 05

An initiative to expand testing and treatment of HIV-infected workers in mid-sized companies in South Africa was launched on Friday, to help fight a disease affecting one in nine people in the country.

Big companies, which run successful in-house HIV/AIDS testing and treatment facilities and pay for their workers’ life-prolonging drugs, have teamed up with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to try to offer similar care to smaller businesses.

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Complete control - new guidlines for asthmatics

AsthmaOct 28 05

A Mayo Clinic allergist and his colleagues have announced that they are revising the old classification of asthma patients by disease severity to determine treatment, and moving to a new expectation for all asthma patients: excellent symptom control.

Every year, nearly 500,000 Americans with asthma are hospitalized, and more than 4,000 die from disease-related causes.

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Weight loss lowers hormone levels in obese kids

Weight LossOct 28 05

A condition involving abnormally high levels of androgens (steroid hormones) known in medical circles as “hyperandrogenemia” starts early in obese children, a study shows, possibly placing them at increased risk for the metabolic syndrome—a cluster of conditions such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels that raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

The study also shows that weight loss leads to decreasing androgen levels. Weight loss is the “therapy of choice” for obese children with elevated androgen levels, said Dr. Thomas Reinehr.

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Drinking during pregnancy may damage baby’s vision

PregnancyOct 28 05

Infants whose mothers regularly drank during pregnancy may show poor vision by the age of 6 months, according to a new study.

Prenatal alcohol exposure is known to put babies at risk of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), a cluster of problems such as poor growth, delayed mental development and unusual facial features. Because it’s unclear how much alcohol is needed to put the developing fetus at risk, women who are pregnant or might become pregnant are advised to avoid drinking.

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Pinworms, an Easily Treated but Persistent Infection

InfectionsOct 28 05

One of the prices of having children is pinworm (Enterobius vermiculari), a small white intestinal parasite that makes the human cecum and appendix its home.

The pinworm is generally innocuous, though insidious and persistent. During the night, while an infected person sleeps, a female pinworm creeps from the anus and deposits eggs on the surrounding skin, perhaps 10,000 of them. Then she dies.

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Terminating Unwanted First Pregnancy Doesn’t Add to Risk of Depression

DepressionOct 28 05

Women who terminate an unwanted first pregnancy are no more likely to develop depression than women who carry unwanted first pregnancies to term.

This finding emerged from a survey of 1,247 American women who had unwanted first pregnancies, reported Nancy Felipe Russo, Ph.D, a professor of psychology at Arizona State, and Sarah Schmiege, Ph.D., of the University of Colorado in Boulder.

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Mutant Gene Linked to Increased Risk of Breast Cancer

Breast CancerOct 28 05

Close relatives of women with a faulty version of the CHEK2 gene as well as bilateral breast cancer are at increased risk for breast tumors of their own, British researchers have reported.

First-degree female relatives of women with bilateral breast cancer and a normal CHEK2 gene are already at high cumulative risk of breast cancer - 23.8% by age 80 compared with an expected cumulative risk of 7.9% for the population as a whole, according to Nicola Johnson, D.Phil., of the Institute of Cancer Research here.

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Cruciferous Vegetables May Protect Some Against Lung Cancer

Lung CancerOct 28 05

Eating cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli might help protect against lung cancer—if the right genes go with them—researches here reported today.

In persons with inactive alleles of the genes for glutathione-S-transferase enzymes, those who ate cruciferous vegetables on a weekly basis decreased their risk of lung cancer by 72% compared with those who rarely ate cruciferous vegetables.

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Childhood Growth Pattern Linked to Heart Disease Risk

HeartOct 27 05

Children who start out skinny and small, but gain weight relatively rapidly after the age of two are at increased risk for coronary heart disease later in life, researchers here reported.

Conversely, rapid weight gain between birth and two years is good, said David Barker, M.D., Ph.D., of the Oregon Health and Science University’s heart research center here.

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