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Colorectal Risk Cut in Half Among Patients Taking Thyroid Drug

CancerNov 01 05

Taking Levothyroxine (L-thyroxine) for at least five years appears to cut the risk for colorectal cancer in half, researchers reported here today.

In a case-control study of 2,102 matched pairs, Israeli investigators reported a significant reduction in colorectal cancer risk among L-thyroxine users (odds ratio, 0.49, 95% confidence interval 0.35-0.68). L-thyroxine is sold under several brand names including Synthroid and Levothroid.

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Drug combo could stretch Tamiflu supplies - doctors

Drug NewsNov 01 05

Scarce supplies of Tamiflu, which is being stockpiled by governments in case of an influenza pandemic, could be stretched by giving it with another drug, doctors said on Tuesday.

Governments have been advised to stock up on Tamiflu, a prescribed drug for seasonal flu, because it will be a first line of defence if the H5N1 bird flu circulating in Asia and reported in other areas mutates into a human pandemic strain.

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“Silent reflux” may cause sleep disturbance

Sleep AidNov 01 05

Gastric reflux that doesn’t cause heartburn may still lead to significant sleep disturbances, resulting in daytime sleepiness and fatigue, investigators reported this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Honolulu.

“For some time we have noted that acid in the esophagus that occurs when people are asleep will produce a brief arousal response, and that if it occurs multiple times over the course of a night it can produce significant sleep disruption,” said lead investigator Dr. William C. Orr.

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Eating uncooked soy lowers cholesterol

DietingNov 01 05

Two servings a day of soy protein—such as that found in tofu, soy milk or soy powder—can lower cholesterol levels by as much as 9 percent as long as the soy is uncooked, a study said on Monday.

Soy-fortified muffins, cereals or nutritional bars in which the soy protein was baked at high temperatures do not provide the benefit, study author James Anderson said.

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Cardiac Rehab Offers Longer Life to Heart Attack Survivors

HeartNov 01 05

Cardiac rehabilitation programs give many heart attack survivors better, longer lives, regardless of whether the programs include supervised exercise.

That is the major finding of researchers here, who pooled data from 63 studies of cardiac rehabilitation or secondary prevention programs into a meta-analysis, which was published in the Nov. 1 Annals of Internal Medicine.

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China steps up watch against bird flu

FluNov 01 05

China is stepping up surveillance of migratory birds and poultry markets, has canceled pigeon races and stocked up on protective clothing to check the spread of bird flu, a state newspaper said on Monday.

Three areas hit by bird flu in the provinces of Hunan and Anhui and the northern region of Inner Mongolia remained closed to outsiders, the official English-language China Daily said.

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Weight loss pep talks by phone can work

Weight LossNov 01 05

Having trouble sticking to your diet and exercise program? Results of a new study suggest that telephone-based weight-loss counseling can help people shed pounds just as well as face-to-face counseling sessions. It’s also more convenient and less expensive.

Early results from a 26-week study show that overweight adults randomly assigned to weight-loss counseling by telephone lost almost as much weight as those receiving weight-loss services by going to meetings.

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George Bush needs more money to cope with bird flu

Public HealthNov 01 05

U.S. President George Bush is about to reveal his plans to fight a flu pandemic and apparently he will ask Congress for funding for a vaccine against bird flu as well as infrastructure to deal with any pandemic.

Mr Bush is due to visit the National Institutes of Health to announce the White House strategy on how to prepare for the next flu pandemic, whether it is caused by the bird flu in Asia or some other super strain of influenza.

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