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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > ObesityTobacco & Marijuana


Obesity epidemic not tied to drop in smoking rate

Obesity • • Tobacco & MarijuanaJun 30 07

Decreasing rates of cigarette smoking are not the reason for rising rates of obesity in the US, a researcher from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, Maryland, has concluded.

Writing in the American Journal of Public Health, Dr. Katherine M. Flegal notes that smoking is associated with lower body weight and smoking cessation with weight gain. Thus, it is reasonable to think that part of the reason more people are overweight is the fact that fewer people are smoking—but that’s not what Flegal found.

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Depression may speed bone loss in older women

Depression • • Psychiatry / PsychologyJun 30 07

Depressed older women appear to lose bone at a faster rate than their non-depressed counterparts, new research shows.

In the study, researchers determined depressive symptoms and took two hip bone mineral density (BMD) measurements an average of 4.4 years apart in 4,177 women aged 69 and older participating in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures.

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India looking for “Mr. Condom”

Sexual HealthJun 30 07

India, struggling to promote greater condom use among its population, is looking to hire its own “condom man” to follow the example of a former Thai cabinet minister who successfully pushed for safer sex.

National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) chief Sujatha Rao said that India needed to find someone like Mechai Viravaidya, famous for getting Thais to talk about sex, condoms and AIDS.

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Exercise key in control of type 2 diabetes: study

DiabetesJun 30 07

People with type 2 diabetes may go a long way in managing their condition if they take up regular exercise, a new research review shows.

Researchers found that when they combined the results from 103 studies, there was clear evidence that lifestyle changes helped people with type 2 diabetes gain better control over their blood sugar.

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Money issues strain marriage after prostate cancer

Prostate CancerJun 30 07

For men with prostate cancer, lost work income and increased health care costs can have a damaging effect on their marriage, Swedish researchers report.

It’s likely that the expenses involved in treating prostate cancer have an even larger impact on marital quality for men living in countries where health care is much more expensive than it is in Sweden, for example the United States, Gunnar Steineck of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, the study’s lead author, told Reuters Health.

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Poland wants more babies, hospitals can’t cope

Fertility and pregnancy • • Public HealthJun 28 07

Heavily pregnant Karolina Mrowiec went to a Polish hospital in an advanced stage of labor and was surprised when the nurse asked her what was wrong.

“I am having a baby. Isn’t it obvious?” she replied.

Her story shows how an overstretched hospital system is struggling as Poland experiences its first baby boom in years.

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Triple therapy useful for blindness disorder

Eye / Vision ProblemsJun 28 07

A single session of photodynamic therapy plus injections of the drugs bevacizumab (Avastin) and triamcinolone into the eye may improve or stabilize the vision of patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a study shows.

AMD is the most common cause of blindness in adults 55 years of age and older. Neovascular or “wet” AMD accounts for just 8 percent of cases, but is responsible for 85 percent of the severe vision loss caused by the disease. Photodynamic therapy, a popular treatment for the condition, uses light energy to reduce the abnormal blood vessel formation that occurs in the disease.

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Tainted toothpaste had wider reach than thought

Dental Health • • Public HealthJun 28 07

Chinese-made toothpaste tainted with a potentially poisonous chemical was distributed to more places in the United States than initially thought, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

About 900,000 tubes of toothpaste containing diethylene glycol, an ingredient in antifreeze, were distributed to hospitals for the mentally ill, prisons, juvenile detention centers and some hospitals serving the general population, the Times said.

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Penn researchers develop new method for screening drug-resistant forms of HIV

AIDS/HIVJun 28 07

A growing number of drug-resistant strains of HIV are a threat to the effectiveness of current treatments despite anti-HIV drug cocktails decreasing the number of HIV-related deaths and improving the quality of life for HIV patients. Existing methods of detecting drug-resistant forms of HIV are expensive, time consuming, and often fail to identify small populations of drug-resistant HIV. Now, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have developed a drug resistance screening method that analyzes multiple HIV variants at the same time, while also saving time and money.

By combining two genetic tests, Frederic D. Bushman, PhD, Professor of Microbiology, and colleagues, rapidly obtained gene sequences from multiple drug-resistant HIV samples at once. The study appeared online this month in Nucleic Acids Research.

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Sperm abnormalities seen in male lupus patients

Infections • • Sexual Health • • Skin CareJun 28 07

The prognosis for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disease that mainly affects women in their reproductive years, has improved recently, prompting a shift toward improving quality of life. For men with SLE, concerns have been raised about their future fertility. However, no studies have been conducted to date on testes function and its relevance to sperm abnormalities in male SLE patients. A new study published in the July 2007 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism examined gonad function in male SLE patients and found that they have a high frequency of sperm abnormalities associated with reduced testicular volume.

In addition, the study identified intravenous treatment with the immunosuppressant cyclophosphamide (IV CYC) as the major factor in permanent damage to the testes.

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Patient choice and treatment alternatives for arthritis

ArthritisJun 28 07

Patients with osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) face different treatment options and determining which ones to try can be confusing. Two new studies published in the July 2007 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism examined patients’ decisions regarding therapy for RA and glucosamine for OA and found that most RA patients are reluctant to change their treatment as long as their condition didn’t worsen, and that there are discrepancies in clinical trial results for glucosamine.

Recent advances in RA treatment include multi-drug therapy with anitrheumatic drugs such as methotrexate, as well as improved tools for measuring the response to therapy. Although high-dose aggressive therapy seems to hold promise, patients’ decisions often do not follow this recommendation. Frederick Wolfe and Kaleb Michaud, of the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases in Wichita, KS, queried over 6,000 RA patients about their acceptance and satisfaction with therapy, their willingness to change and their reasons for not changing.

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Computerized Doctors’ Orders Reduce Medication Errors

Drug Abuse • • Public HealthJun 27 07

Doctors are famous for sloppy scribbling — and handwritten prescriptions lead to thousands of medication errors each year. Electronics to the rescue: U.S. hospitals that switched to computerized physician order entry systems saw a 66 percent drop in prescription errors, according to a new review of studies.

Illegible handwriting and transcription errors are responsible for as much as 61 percent of medication errors in hospitals. A simple mistake such as putting the decimal point in the wrong place can have serious consequences because a patient’s dosage could be 10 times the recommended amount.

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FDA grants speedy review for new class of HIV drug

AIDS/HIV • • Drug NewsJun 27 07

U.S. regulators will review Isentress, an investigational drug for HIV infection, on a priority basis, and a decision is anticipated by mid-October, Merck & Co. said on Wednesday.

The oral drug is the first in an HIV drug class called integrase inhibitors. It is generically known as raltegravir, and formerly known as MK-0518. The drug blocks the insertion of HIV’s genetic material into human DNA and thereby prevents the virus from replicating. It should be taken twice daily, and can be taken with or without food.

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Sex, substance use make teens feel older

Sexual HealthJun 27 07

Teens who have sex, drink or use drugs feel “older for their age” than their less-experienced peers, a new study shows.

But it’s not clear if feeling older makes teens more likely to engage in sex or try substances or if these experiences themselves make adolescents feel older, the researchers say. “It could be a bidirectional relationship,” Kelly J. Arbeau of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, the study’s lead author, told Reuters Health.

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Florida man’s headache mystery solved by a bullet

HeadachesJun 27 07

A Florida man awoke with a severe headache and asked his wife to drive him to a hospital, where doctors found a bullet lodged behind his right ear, sheriff’s deputies said.

“The nurse looked at him and said, ‘It appears that you’ve been shot,’” the Fort Pierce Tribune quoted St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara as saying. “And he said, ‘No way.’”

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