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New research review shows that your family doctor may be the key to quitting smoking

Tobacco & MarijuanaNov 27 07

Scientists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) are defining the most effective ways to treat tobacco dependence, and in an article released in the November issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) they highlight the surprisingly significant role that the health practitioner can play in helping people quit smoking. Many people’s attempts to quit are unsuccessful, so effective interventions are critical for the 4.5 million smokers in Canada alone.

“Advising patients to quit, even just once, helps to double quit rates,” write CAMH researchers Dr. Bernard Le Foll and Dr. Tony George.

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Cholesterol disturbances impair stroke recovery

StrokeNov 27 07

New research suggests that people are at an increased risk of memory problems and greater disability after stroke if they have low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and high levels of homocysteine, an amino acid acquired mostly from eating meat.

“These findings show metabolic stress plays a significant role in stroke recovery,” lead author Dr. George C. Newman, from the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, said in a statement.

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High glycemic index diet may boost diabetes risk

Diabetes • • DietingNov 27 07

Regular consumption of foods with a high glycemic index appears to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in African-American and Chinese women, according to the results of two studies published Monday.

Glycemic index refers to how rapidly a food causes blood sugar to rise. High-glycemic index foods, like white bread and potatoes, tend to spur a quick surge in blood sugar, while low-glycemic index foods, such as lentils, soybeans, yogurt and many high-fiber grains, create a more gradual increase in blood sugar.

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Early Tamiflu treatment helps kids with influenza

Children's Health • • Flu • • InfectionsNov 23 07

Expeditious treatment with the anti-viral drug Tamiflu, known generically as oseltamivir, can markedly reduce the duration of illness, symptom severity, and complications in children with influenza, according to study findings presented earlier this month at the World Society for Pediatric Infectious Disease meeting in Bangkok.

This is “the first time that a dramatic reduction in influenza severity duration, complications and antibiotic use” has been shown when Tamiflu was started within 24 hours of illness onset, study researcher Dr. Keith Reisinger, from Primary Physicians Research in Pittsburgh, told Reuters Health.

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When mom has AIDS, kids’ mental health may suffer

AIDS/HIV • • Psychiatry / PsychologyNov 23 07

Uninfected children of HIV-infected mothers should be screened and followed up long-term for psychiatric problems, pediatricians from New York recommend, based on their experience.

Over 2 years, Dr. Laurie J. Bauman from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx measured the mental health of a group of 8- to 12-year-old children whose mothers had late-stage HIV/AIDS.

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Obese teens may be at risk of depression later

Depression • • ObesityNov 23 07

Obese teenage girls may be more likely than their thinner peers to develop depression or anxiety disorders as adults, a study suggests.

Researchers found that among nearly 800 children and teenagers followed for 20 years, girls who were obese as teens had a roughly four-times higher risk of clinical depression or anxiety disorders in adulthood.

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Pregnant women pass on the effects of smoking

Pregnancy • • Tobacco & MarijuanaNov 23 07

Smoking during pregnancy has many adverse effects on fetal development. A new study in mice by Andrea Jurisicova and colleagues at the University of Toronto, Canada, now adds the possibility that smoking before pregnancy or while breast-feeding might substantially decrease the fertility of female offspring to the long list of possible negative outcomes.

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Obesity Associated With Lower PSA Levels in Men With Prostate Cancer

Obesity • • Prostate CancerNov 21 07

Higher body mass index (BMI) is associated with higher plasma volume, which may be related to lower prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels among obese men, according to a study in the November 21 issue of JAMA.

Recent evidence has suggested that prostate cancer screening may be adversely affected by increased BMI. The ability to accurately detect prostate cancer can be compromised by any factor that decreases PSA concentration in the circulation, according to background information in the article. Several studies have found that obese men have lower PSA concentrations than non-obese men. “However, men with higher BMIs also have larger plasma volumes, which could decrease serum concentrations of soluble tumor markers—a phenomenon known as hemodilution,” the authors write.

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Survey reveals drug and alcohol abuse in British teens

Psychiatry / Psychology • • Tobacco & MarijuanaNov 19 07

According to a government survey in the UK almost half of all youngsters between the age of 10 and 15 say they have consumed alcohol. This survey on the lifestyles and concerns of children has revealed startling drug and alcohol abuse problems.

The online ‘TellUs2’ survey for watchdog Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) interviewed 111,000 children and teenagers and found that 14 per cent of children in the 12-15 age group said they had experimented with drugs such as cannabis.

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Fewer soldiers losing limbs after battlefield injury

TraumaNov 19 07

In previous wars, battlefield surgeons often had to take the limb of a soldier with a bleeding leg or arm wound in order to save his life, but now with advances in vascular surgery, lives can often be saved without sacrificing a limb, a new study indicates.

“The purpose of our study was to show that with the proper resuscitation strategy, you have the option of saving the limb,” lead researcher Dr. Charles J. Fox, from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, told Reuters Health.

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Hypnosis may calm kids’ irritable bowels

Bowel Problems • • Psychiatry / PsychologyNov 19 07

Gut-directed hypnotherapy is “highly effective” for children with long-standing abdominal pain or irritable bowel syndrome (known as IBS), researchers have found.

“We advocate that hypnotherapy become the treatment of choice in children with persisting complaints of either functional abdominal pain or IBS in whom first-line therapies such as education and dietary advice have failed,” Dr. Arine M. Vlieger of St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, and colleagues conclude in a report in the journal Gastroenterology.

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Few overweight people trim down after heart attack

Heart • • Obesity • • Weight LossNov 19 07

Overweight people lose virtually no weight after suffering a heart attack, according to the first study to evaluate factors associated with post-heart attack weight changes.

“On average less than a half of a percent change in body weight occurred, and that’s really small,” Dr. John A. Spertus of the Mid America Heart Institute of Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, one of the study’s authors, told Reuters Health. People need to lose at least 5 percent of their body weight to significantly improve their heart health, he added.

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Experts call for vaccine to fight severe diarrhoea

Children's Health • • ImmunologyNov 16 07

Paediatricians are urging governments in Asia to bolster national immunization programs with vaccines against the rotavirus, the most common cause of severe diarrhoea in young children.

Rotavirus kills about 611,000 children worldwide each year, or a child every minute. Africa and Asia account for 90 percent of these deaths, with more than 180,000 occurring in Asia.

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Long-term pharmacotherapy for obesity and overweight: updated meta-analysis

Drug News • • Obesity • • Weight LossNov 16 07

Patients taking anti-obesity drugs will only see “modest” weight loss and many will remain significantly obese or overweight, according to a study published on bmj.com today.

The study, which looked at the long-term effectiveness of anti-obesity medications, found that three drugs recommended for long-term use - orlistat, sibutramine and rimonabant, reduced weight by less than 5kg (11 pounds). This equated to a loss of less than 5% of total body weight. Guidelines from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommend stopping the use of anti-obesity drugs if 5% of total body weight is not lost after three months.

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Histochemistry is the golden standard in the diagnosis of carcinosarcomas

CancerNov 15 07

A case study of carcinosarcoma has been published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology on November 7, 2007. The patient in the study was the first case of gastric carcinosarcoma obtained in this part of the world . The patient was admitted by Dr. Tomislav Randjelovic as surgeon and Dr. Branka Filipovic as gastroenterologist. The operation was performed by Dr. Randjelovic and his team; the anatomical and patoanatomical evaluation of macroscopic and microscopic features of the tumor were performed by Dr. Babic, Dr. Cemerikic and Dr. Filipovic.

Carcinosarcomas are very rare malignancies in the Western Balkans.

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