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April 2006 Briefing - Family Practice

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Family Practice for April 2006. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Sudden Cardiac Death Main Cause of Firefighter Fatalities

FRIDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of fatalities for volunteer and career firefighters, and the second-leading cause is traumatic injury due to motor vehicle accidents, according to a report in the April 28 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Spontaneous Cerebral Emboli Associated with Alzheimer's

FRIDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- There is a significant association between spontaneous cerebral emboli and both Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia, according to a study published April 28 in BMJ Online First.

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Black Men Have Less Coronary Obstruction Than Whites

FRIDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Black Americans have less coronary obstruction than their white counterparts, despite the fact that they have higher coronary disease mortality risk, according to a study published in the May 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiologists.

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Medical Students Need More Training in Skin Cancer Exams

THURSDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- One in four medical students has never been trained to, or performed, a skin cancer examination, and less than one-third feel confident in their own skill at performing such exams, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Dermatology. Medical students need more consistent training in performing skin cancer examinations, the study authors conclude.

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Aging Disease-Gene Defect Active in Normal Cell Aging

THURSDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- A splicing defect in the lamin A gene is known to cause premature aging diseases, and the same defect has now been linked to the normal process of cellular aging, according to a report published April 27 in Sciencexpress, the early online edition of Science. Reversing the defect causes fibroblasts to lose some age-related characteristics, and cells from 80- and 90-year-olds proliferate more like a child's.

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Asians with Large Nevi May Have Low Melanoma Risk

THURSDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Although white patients with large congenital melanocytic nevi (LCMN) can have a lifetime melanoma risk as high as 10 percent, none of 36 Asians with LCMN developed cancer after almost 17 years, according to the results of a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Daily Combing of African Hair May Maintain Length

THURSDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- African hair tends to break off with combing, and daily combing may have the effect of a regular haircut, according to a report published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Codeine No Better Than Placebo for Cough in COPD Patients

THURSDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Although codeine is the standard by which new treatments are judged, the drug is no better than a placebo in treating coughs in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study in the April issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Antioxidants Don't Cut Risk of Preeclampsia, Perinatal Harm

WEDNESDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Supplementation with vitamins C and E during pregnancy does not reduce the risk of preeclampsia or perinatal complications and may even cause harm to the mother, according to a study in the April 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Goiter Patients with Gastritis May Require More Thyroxine

WEDNESDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with euthyroid multinodular goiter and H. pylori-related gastritis or atrophic gastritis may require increased doses of thyroxine, according to a study published in the April 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Hepatitis B Virus Can Be Resistant to Adefovir

WEDNESDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- A rare variant of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) can be resistant to the reverse-transcriptase inhibitor adefovir after initial resistance to lamivudine, according to a report in the April 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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CT Scan May Predict Therapy Success in Acute Lung Injury

WEDNESDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- The percentage of potentially recruitable lung in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) varies and is associated with the response to positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP), according to a study in the April 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA Warns of Danger of Oxygen Regulator Fires

WEDNESDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received 12 reports of incidents in which oxygen regulators used with oxygen cylinders have exploded or burned, in some cases causing injury. The accidents appear to be caused by re-use of plastic crush gaskets designed for single use, resulting in an improper seal and oxygen leakage, according to the FDA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

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Sharp Rise in Uninsured Middle-Income Americans

WEDNESDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Over 40 percent of moderate-income to middle-income Americans, making $20,000 to $40,000 per year, spent at least part of the past year without health insurance, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Fund, titled "Gaps in Health Insurance: An All-American Problem." This represents a dramatic increase from 2001, when levels were at 28 percent.

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FDA Drug Advisory Committee Conflicts of Interest Assessed

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Conflict-of-interest disclosures are common at U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Drug Advisory Committee meetings and may warrant excluding members who have large financial interests, according to a study in the April 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Low Compliance Hinders Calcium Therapy in Elderly

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Calcium supplements are not very effective for preventing bone fractures in elderly women, largely due to poor compliance, according to a report in the April 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Airflow Obstruction Improves with Montelukast

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Asthmatic children treated with an eight-week course of montelukast have better outcomes than those who are not given the therapy, according to a study in the April issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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FDA Opposes Medical Marijuana

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Noting that voters in a growing number of states have backed measures legalizing marijuana smoking under physician supervision, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has taken a stand against the medical use of smoked marijuana.

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Weight Loss, Exercise Cut Frailty in Older Obese Adults

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate weight loss and exercise training improve fitness and reduce frailty in older obese adults, and should be standard therapy for such patients, according to a report in the April 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Not All Apple Varieties Cause Same Allergic Reaction

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who are allergic to apples may not have the same adverse reaction to all varieties of the fruit, as some apples appear to be more allergenic than others, according to a study in the April issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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Most Physicians Would Halt Chemo at Patient's Request

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of physicians would halt chemotherapy if a terminal cancer patient insisted, but fewer would comply with a patient's request to speed death with drugs, according to a survey of physicians in six European countries and Australia published in the April 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Coffee Has No Impact on Coronary Heart Disease Risk

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Coffee-drinking has no significant impact on the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a study published in the May 2 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Depression After Heart Attack Common in Younger Women

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Following a myocardial infarction, relatively young female patients have higher rates of depression than relatively young men, older men or older women, according to a study in the April 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Blacks Less Likely Than Whites To Trust Health Care Providers

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The scarcity of quality interactions with physicians could be one reason that black patients in the United States are less likely to trust their health care providers than white patients are, according to the results of a study published in the April 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Nearly half of black patients report low trust in health care providers, versus one-third of white patients, the authors say.

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Blood Tests More Accurate Than Skin Test in TB Diagnosis

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Two blood tests, T-SPOT.TB and QuantiFERON-TB Gold, are more accurate in detecting tuberculosis (TB) than the standard tuberculin skin test, according to an article in the April 22 issue of The Lancet.

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Proportion of Preterm Births Up 22 Percent in Past Decade

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The number of preterm births in Denmark has grown dramatically -- rising 22 percent between 1994 and 2004, according to a study published in the April 22 issue of BMJ.

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Older Diabetics Not Receiving Recommended Medications

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of older diabetics aren't taking angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) to help protect their hearts and kidneys, according to a study published online in the April issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Telephone Support Boosts Cancer-Screening Rates

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Telephone support can increase rates of breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening among minority and low-income women, according to a study published in the April 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Green Tea and Coffee Cut Type 2 Diabetes Risk

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking green tea and coffee is associated with a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, a finding that is especially pronounced in women and overweight men, according to a study of Japanese adults reported in the April 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Mortality Risk Higher in Diabetics with Peptic Ulcer

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with diabetes are at higher risk of short-term mortality from peptic ulcer bleeding and perforation, according to a study published in the April issue of Diabetes Care.

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Researchers Chart Natural Course of Beta-Cell Function

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- New data sheds light on the natural course of beta-cell function in diabetic and non-diabetic patients, according to a study published in the April issue of Diabetes.

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Obesity Contributed to Increase in New Diabetes Cases

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity was in large part to blame for a 41 percent increase in new diabetes cases diagnosed between 1997 and 2003 in U.S. adults, according to a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Mouse Study Identifies Possible Alcoholism Genes

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Gene expression studies of nine mouse strains have identified a number of candidate genes that may be involved in excessive alcohol consumption, according to a study published April 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study advances the understanding of the biological underpinnings of human alcoholism, the authors report.

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Hypoglycemia May Enhance Cognitive Function

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Recurrent hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetes may preserve and enhance cognitive function, according to the results of an animal study published in the April issue of Diabetes.

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Statin Fails to Prevent Type 1 Diabetes in Mice

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Although atorvastatin inhibits pathogenic beta-cell-specific CD8 T-cells, it does not prevent the development of type 1 diabetes in mice, according to a study published in the April issue of Diabetes.

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Raloxifene Equals Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer Prevention

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Raloxifene is equal to tamoxifen at preventing invasive breast cancer and may offer some advantages over tamoxifen, including a lower risk of uterine cancer and blood clots, according to preliminary results of the Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR) trial released this week by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

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U.S. Injuries Cost $80 Billion in Medical Bills A Year

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Physical injuries that are often preventable cost Americans about $80 billion a year in medical bills alone, according to an analysis of 2000 data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Fiber Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Patients

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Insoluble dietary fiber improves insulin sensitivity in only three days, according to a small study of obese or overweight patients published in the April issue of Diabetes Care.

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CDC Reports U.S. Death Rate Has Fallen to Record Low

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- The United States death rate has fallen to a record low, life expectancy is increasing and the life expectancy gender gap is narrowing, according to a summary report, issued April 19 by the National Center for Health Statistics.

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Many Disadvantaged Men Satisfied with Retirement

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Many men who were socially disadvantaged in their younger years are happy with their retirement regardless of the health and economic woes that complicated early adulthood and midlife, according to a report in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Lawnmower Injuries More Common in Teens, Elderly

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- People aged 60 to 69 are the most likely to be injured in a lawnmower accident, followed by adolescents aged 15 to 19 years, according to a study published online in April in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. There was a trend towards increased lawnmower injuries in the United States between 1996 and 2004, suggesting more should be done to prevent such injuries, the report indicates.

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PTSD More Likely in Vets with Combat Stress Reaction

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Combat veterans who experience stress reactions during their time in the military are more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a report in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry. In addition, PTSD can reemerge as the veterans age and symptoms may develop at the 20-year mark, even in those without combat stress reaction, the authors found.

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Cancer Patients Have More Physical Limitations with Aging

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer patients experience a higher number of functional limitations as they age than those who have never been diagnosed with cancer, according to a report in the April issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Health care interventions are needed to help cancer patients regain or maintain physical activity as they age, the authors indicate.

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Benign Lesions Linked to Higher Risk of Anal Cancer

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- There is a significant link between benign inflammatory anal lesions and long-term risk of anal cancer, although hemorrhoids don't appear to be a risk factor, according to a study in the May issue of Gut.

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Genes Play a Role in Susceptibility to Hepatitis C

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of certain APOE gene polymorphisms may determine susceptibility to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, according to a study in the May issue of Gut.

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Self-Help Measures for IBS Can Cut Primary Care Costs

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- When patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are given a self-help guidebook as part of the treatment for their condition, they visit primary care settings less frequently and report a perceived improvement in their condition, according to a study in the May issue of Gut.

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Corticosteroid May Harm Respiratory Distress Patients

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Methylprednisolone is no better than placebo at improving mortality rates in patients with persistent acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and may increase the risk of death if started more than two weeks after the onset of ARDS, according to a study published April 20 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Ondansetron Curbs Vomiting in Pediatric Gastroenteritis

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- A single dose of oral ondansetron reduces vomiting and increases oral rehydration in children with gastroenteritis and dehydration, according to a study published April 20 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Substance P Levels Elevated in Depression and PTSD

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Concentrations of the pain-transmitting neuropeptide substance P are elevated in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and they increase when PTSD symptoms are provoked, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Some U.S. Foodborne Infections Drop 30-50 Percent

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of many foodborne infections in the United States dropped 30 to 50 percent between the mid-1990s and 2005, but stepped-up efforts are needed to fight Salmonella and other pathogens, according to data reported online April 14 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Adult ADHD Frequently Goes Undetected

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- An estimated 4.4 percent of adults in the United States have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but the majority of cases go undetected and untreated, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Men Who Use Steroids Have Narrow View of Masculinity

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Stereotypical ideals of masculinity and poor body image are common among men who use anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Short and Long Pregnancy Interval Affects Outcome

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have a pregnancy interval of less than six months or more than 59 months are more likely to experience an adverse outcome than women with other lengths of time between pregnancies, according to an analysis of more than 11 million pregnancy outcomes published in the April 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Less Educated Have Higher Coronary Artery Calcium

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- People with the least amount of education are two to four times as likely to have coronary artery calcium (CAC) deposits as those with the most education, according to a study in the April 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Mercury Fillings Don't Affect Child's IQ or Behavior

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- There are no significant differences in neuropsychological and neurobehavioral function in children whose dental cavities are treated with mercury amalgam fillings or mercury-free resin composite materials, according to two studies published in the April 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Study Finds Wrong-Site Surgery Is Rare

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- An analysis of over 2.8 million surgeries at institutions in the United States finds that while wrong-site surgery is unacceptable, it is "exceedingly rare" and major injury from it is even rarer. The results are published in the April issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Half of Health Workers Would Work During Flu Pandemic

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Only about half of public health workers say they would likely report to work during an influenza pandemic, with clinical staff more likely to report as well as those who think they would be asked to report, according to a study in the April issue of BMC Public Health.

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Cancer Patients Need Support in Talking to Their Children

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Children of breast cancer patients often know something is wrong before they are told, and find their mother's chemotherapy and hair loss especially stressful, according to a study published online April 13 in BMJ, which suggests parents should get more support on discussing life-threatening illnesses with children.

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Mediterranean Diet Linked to Lower Risk of Alzheimer's

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer disease, with a 40 percent reduction in risk for those most adherent, according to a study in the April issue of Annals of Neurology.

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Melanoma Recurs More Often Than Thought

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Melanomas may recur more frequently than previous studies have shown, according to research published in the April issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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UV Tanning Routinely Marketed to Teens

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Tanning parlors, including those that use carcinogenic ultraviolet (UV) radiation, habitually target teens by advertising in school newspapers and offering discounts and special promotions, according to a study in the April issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Sleep Study Recommended for Young Down Syndrome Kids

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Obstructive sleep apnea is common in young children with Down syndrome, but parents' impressions of sleep problems do not correlate with the findings of overnight polysomnography (PSG), according to a study in the April issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology--Head & Neck Surgery. The authors recommend baseline PSG be conducted on all 3- and 4-year-olds with Down syndrome.

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Two Methods of Glycemia Monitoring Evaluated

MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Two tests for glycemia in diabetes offer different ways of monitoring the disease and helping to prevent complications, according to a clinical review published in the April 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Two Airline Passengers May Have Spread Mumps

MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- State and federal health officials in the United States are investigating an outbreak of mumps in Iowa and other states and report that two passengers who traveled on nine commercial flights on two airlines between March 26 and April 2 may have spread the infection, according to a report published April 14 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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High Levels of Cadmium in Young Smokers

MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Cadmium and strontium are present at high levels in the blood of young smokers and cadmium has multiple effects on the vascular endothelium, according to a study in the April issue of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

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'Cytokine Storm' May Explain U.K. Clinical Trial Disaster

MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- The experimental antibody drug TGN1412 that caused organ failure in six British men but not in test animals may have triggered a "cytokine storm" immune reaction, according to a news report published in the April 13 issue of Nature.

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Youthful Goths May Be More Likely to Harm Themselves

MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who belong to the Goth subculture may be at high risk of self-harm -- including cutting, scratching or scoring -- according to a study published April 13 by BMJ Online First.

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Arrhythmia Risk High in Sleep-Disordered Breathing

MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Complex nocturnal arrhythmias are two to four times more likely in people who have severe sleep-disordered breathing, according to a study in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Helium-Oxygen Mix Improves Endurance in COPD Patients

MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Inhaling a mixture of helium and oxygen enables patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to walk farther with less shortness of breath, according to a study in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Probiotics Can Prevent Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- The use of probiotics can reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile disease, according to a meta-analysis published in the April issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Heavy Smoking Depletes Protective B Vitamins

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Heavy cigarette smoking depletes B vitamins in the bodies of smokers, decreasing the protective effect against genetic damage, according to research published in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Therapy Combination Helps NYC Firemen Quit Smoking

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- An anti-smoking program that combines counseling, treatment, and nicotine medication helped 37 percent of rescue workers from the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) to quit smoking for at least a year, according to the New York City Fire Department World Trade Center Tobacco Cessation Study published in the April issue of Chest.

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Half of Parents Would Skip Antibiotics for Child's Fever

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Now that most children receive a pneumococcal vaccine, parents may prefer a wait-and-see approach rather than a test-and-treat approach for young children with unexplained fever, according to a study in the April issue of Pediatrics.

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Twin Study Suggests Genetic Link to Fall Risk in Elderly

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic factors may play a role in whether or not older women are susceptible to falls, according to a study in twins published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Genetic Variant Linked to Adult and Childhood Obesity

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- A common genetic variant found near the fat metabolism gene INSIG2 is linked to adult and childhood obesity, according to a study in the April 14 issue of Science. About 10 percent of people have the polymorphism and such individuals are 33 percent more likely to be obese than their same-age peers.

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Gastric Electrical Stimulation May Help Treat Obesity

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Gastric electrical stimulation (GES), in which mucosal electrodes are endoscopically placed in the fundus, may be a potential treatment for obesity, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Infant Snoring Linked to Parents' Snoring in Atopic Families

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- About 15 percent of the infants of atopic parents are frequent snorers, and frequent snoring in infants is strongly associated with snoring in their parents, but not with environmental tobacco smoke, according to research published in the April issue of Chest.

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Depression in Elderly Predicts Nursing Home Admission

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly people who report themselves to be sad or depressed are significantly more likely to be admitted to a nursing home, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Replacing Some Carbs with Lean Meat Cuts Blood Pressure

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Replacing some dietary carbohydrates with lean red meat decreases blood pressure in patients with hypertension, according to research published in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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One-Third of Cancer Patients Are Malnourished

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- About a third of cancer patients are malnourished at the start of radiation treatment, which can worsen after radiotherapy, particularly in patients with head and neck cancers, according to a Turkish study in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Dietary Supplement Use Common in Cancer Patients

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of cancer patients in a veterans' hospital report using dietary supplements, with a risk existing for interactions between the supplement and prescription medications, according to a study in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Patent Foramen Ovale Closure Improves Migraine

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with patent foramen ovale (PFO), transcatheter defect closure may be an effective and safe treatment for PFO-associated migraine headache with aura (MHA), according to a study in the April issue of the American Heart Journal.

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FDA Proposes Rule to Prevent Medical Gas Mix-Ups

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Because medical gas mix-ups have resulted in at least eight deaths and 18 serious injuries since 1996, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposed rule this week that is intended to make the contents of medical gas containers more readily identifiable.

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Multiple Cognitive Impairment Predicts Vascular Dementia

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Mild cognitive impairment with multiple impaired cognitive domains (mcd-MCI) may be an early stage of subcortical vascular dementia (VaD), according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Telithromycin May Be Effective as Asthma Treatment

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Telithromycin may benefit patients with acute exacerbations of asthma, according to a study published in the April 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Stress Not Associated with Inflammatory Bowel Relapse

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Stressful life events do not seem to trigger symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in patients whose symptoms have been inactive prior to the event, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Problem Snoring in Women Linked to Age, Body Mass Index

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Habitual snoring in women is most prevalent among those aged 50 to 59 and in women with a higher body mass index (BMI), according to research published in the April issue of Chest.

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Excess Abdominal Fat May Forecast Lung Trouble

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Excess abdominal fat is a better predictor of poor lung function than body mass index, according to research published in the April issue of Chest.

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Dietary Fiber May Reduce C-Reactive Protein Levels

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- A fiber-rich diet may have a protective effect against elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), which is associated with heart disease and diabetes, according to research published in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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FDA Approves First Skin Patch for ADHD

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first methylphenidate-containing transdermal patch for treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Known as Daytrana, the patch is designed for use in children ages 6 to 12 and is applied each morning to the alternating hip and worn for nine hours.

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C-Reactive Protein Predicts Heart Failure Mortality

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Systemic inflammation, as measured by C-reactive protein, is an independent predictor of mortality in congestive heart failure patients, according to a study in the April issue of the American Heart Journal.

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Post-MI Ventricular Arrhythmia Increases Death Risk Sixfold

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Ventricular arrhythmias (VA) are common after myocardial infarction (MI) and increase mortality risk sixfold, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Heart Journal.

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Reviewers Biased Toward U.S. and English-Speaking World

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Reviewers of abstracts tend to be biased toward authors from the United States, other English-speaking countries and prestigious institutions, a problem that can be partially overcome by using blinded reviewing, according to a study in the April 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Modern Chemotherapy Over 50 Percent More Effective

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer and node-positive tumors, biweekly treatment with doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide and paclitaxel produces a more than 50 percent lower rate of recurrence and mortality, compared with low-dose cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and fluorouracil, according to a study in the April 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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HRT After Hysterectomy Does Not Raise Breast Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) does not raise the risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women with prior hysterectomy, according to a study in the April 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Glucose Swings May Be Worse Than Chronic Hyperglycemia

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Acute variations in glucose, either after meals or at other times, appears to trigger more oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes than chronic hyperglycemia, according to a study in the April 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings could have "enormous clinical implications" if confirmed by larger studies, according to an editorial by Michael Brownlee, M.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and a colleague.

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Fusarium Keratitis May Be Linked To Saline Solution

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with microbial keratitis should be evaluated for possible Fusarium keratitis, a rare but serious fungal infection that is thought to have occurred in more than 100 U.S. patients in 17 states, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many of the cases were reported in patients who wear soft contact lenses and have used Bausch & Lomb's ReNu brand contact lens solution or a generic brand manufactured by the same company.

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Hormone Therapy Linked to Breast Cancer in Blacks

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Hormone therapy is associated with an increased risk for breast cancer in black women, especially for those with a low body mass index (BMI), according to a report in the April 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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ACE Inhibitors Can Reduce Coronary Artery Disease Risks

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors can reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke and death for patients with coronary artery disease but preserved left ventricular function, according to a report in the April 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Tests Predict Outcome After Living Donor Liver Transplant

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Two liver function tests remain altered in donors and recipients after living donor liver transplantation (LDLT), and a noninvasive test may be useful in predicting graft function after transplantation, according to two studies in the April issue of Liver Transplantation.

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More Rapid Memory Decline in Those With Stroke History

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Memory and abstract/visuospatial performance decline more rapidly in elderly patients with a history of stroke than in their same-age peers who have not had a stroke, according to a study in the April issue of Archives of Neurology.

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Prescription Drug Prices Rose at Twice Inflation in 2005

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Average prices of brand-name prescription drugs used most often by older Americans rose at about twice the rate of inflation in 2005 compared with the previous year, while generic drug prices remained relatively constant, according to a report published online April 10 by the AARP.

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Epstein-Barr Antibody Titers Elevated in Multiple Sclerosis

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus are elevated 15 years to 20 years before the onset of symptoms in multiple sclerosis patients, with a four-fold increase in antibody titers associated with a doubling of the multiple sclerosis risk, according to a study published online April 10 in Archives of Neurology.

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Estrogen Increases Risk of Venous Thromboembolism

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women lacking a uterus are at increased risk of developing venous thromboembolism after estrogen therapy, particularly in the first two years, according to a study in the April 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

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CDC Recommends No Changes in Menactra Administration

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Despite case reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome among recipients of the MCV4 meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra), providers should continue to use the vaccine under recommended guidelines and be alert for and report any side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), according to an update report in the April 7 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Acidic Urine Linked to Nephrolithiasis in Diabetics

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Low urine pH may be the reason why type 2 diabetics are at greater risk of forming uric acid kidney stones, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Vision Problems Associated with Lower Cognitive Function

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Poor vision and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are linked to lower cognitive performance in older persons, according to the 16th report from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) Research Group published in the April issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Older Men at Greater Risk from Excessive Alcohol Intake

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Older men with conditions such as gout, anxiety disorder, hepatitis, ulcer disease and those on medication for conditions such as insomnia, allergies or pain should be given lower recommended thresholds for safe drinking, according to a study published online March 30 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Platinum Stents Useful in Treating Aortic Coarctations

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Cheatham-platinum stents are a safe and viable option for patients with aortic coarctations who develop an aneurysm or have complications from conventional stents, or who are at high risk of complications due to age or complex lesions, according to a study in the April 4 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Secondhand Smoke May Increase Diabetes Risk

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- People who have never used tobacco but who have been exposed to secondhand smoke are at higher risk of developing glucose intolerance than even previous smokers, according to a study published online April 7 in BMJ.

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Sleep Apnea Therapy Reverses Cardiac Structure Changes

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Continuous positive airway pressure can improve symptoms and heart function in patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea, according to a study in the April 4 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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For Some, Cardiac MRI Better at Predicting Heart Disease

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with clinical risk factors, adenosine cardiac magnetic resonance imaging is better at predicting the future risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and death in troponin-negative patients with chest pain and acute myocardial infarction, according to a study in the April 4 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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BCG Vaccination Cost Effective for Tuberculosis Prevention

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- BCG vaccination for prevention of severe childhood tuberculosis is cost effective and should be retained in high-incidence countries located in South East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the western Pacific, according to a report in the April 8 issue of The Lancet.

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Gestation Length Influenced by Maternal, Paternal Factors

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Heritable factors related to both father and mother may influence the length of gestation, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Moderate Alcohol Intake Linked to Cognition in Women

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Older women who drink moderate amounts of alcohol, less than two drinks per day, have higher scores on a basic cognitive performance test than nondrinkers, according to a study reported online April 6 in Stroke.

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Antihypertensive Treatment Reduces Risk of Dementia

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment for high blood pressure may protect against dementia in older patients, according to a report published online April 6 in Stroke.

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Children's Car Safety Compromised by Obesity

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Significant numbers of children are too heavy for the child car seats that are currently on the market, putting them at risk as passengers, according to a study published in the April issue of Pediatrics.

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Nicotine May Reduce Efficacy of Lung Cancer Chemotherapy

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Nicotine in cigarettes or patches may block the ability of some chemotherapy drugs to kill lung cancer cells, a finding that agrees with clinical studies showing that patients who smoke have worse survival rates, according to a study published online April 6 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Low Vitamin D Linked to Cancer Risk in Men

THURSDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Men with lower levels of vitamin D may be at higher risk than other men of developing cancer, particularly of the digestive system, according to a study in the April 5 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Both Parents and Adolescents Value Family Meal

THURSDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- The ritual of the family meal is perceived positively by both parents and adolescents and offers opportunities for family togetherness and role modeling by parents, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Promoting family dinners with healthy meals can help reduce consumption of less healthy meals eaten outside the home, the authors say.

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Treatment Guidelines Issued for Diabetes Pain Management

THURSDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- The first-ever Consensus Guidelines for the Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain (DPNP) are being published as a continuing medical education supplement to the April issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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IOM Report Stresses Sleep Disorder Care, Research

THURSDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Too little research and health care resources are being devoted to sleep disorders, which affect between 50 and 70 million Americans and cost the nation billions in medical expenses and lost productivity each year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute of Medicine.

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Prevnar Cuts Antibiotic Resistant S. pneumoniae Rates

WEDNESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of antibiotic-resistant invasive Streptococcus pneumoniae declined significantly in the United States, both in vaccinated and in unvaccinated individuals, after the introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevnar) in 2000, according to a report in the April 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Report Suggests Half of Cancer Deaths Preventable

WEDNESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- At least half of all deaths due to cancer are preventable, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Cancer Society. Tobacco use, physical inactivity, obesity and poor nutrition are the major preventable causes of cancer-related deaths, and there has been progress in some areas, but not in others, the report indicates.

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About 5 Percent of U.S. Children Diagnosed with ADHD

WEDNESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- About 5 percent of all U.S. children are diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but children who are female, black and Hispanic are less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and diagnoses are higher in some regions than others, according to a study published in the April issue of Pediatrics.

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Black Children in U.S. Less Often Breast-Fed Than Whites

WEDNESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- More non-Hispanic white children are breast-fed than non-Hispanic black children, according to results of an analysis from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the March 31 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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U.S. Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity Rises Again

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- The number of obese and overweight children and teens continues to rise, as does the number of obese men, according to data collected between 1999 and 2004 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and published in the April 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. One in every three adults in the United States is now obese, although there was no increase in obesity in women in the six-year period.

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Cutting Calories Shows Positive Effects on Longevity Markers

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- A low-calorie diet reduces fasting insulin levels and core body temperature, both markers of longevity, and may increase human life span as it does in rodents, according to a report in the April 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Steamy Media Linked to Early Sex Among White Teens

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- White teens between the ages of 12 and 14 who are exposed to a heavy sexual media diet are more than twice as likely to have had sex at ages 14 to 16, according to a study in the April issue of Pediatrics.

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Less Sleep Associated with Twice the Hypertension Risk

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- People who sleep five hours a night or less have about twice the risk of developing hypertension compared with people who sleep between seven and eight hours a night, according to a study published online April 3 in Hypertension.

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Factors Predict Osteoarthritis-Related Mobility Problems

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Women with lower extremity osteoarthritis are at risk of developing difficulties performing daily activities, however two potentially modifiable risk factors, high weight and lower knee extensor strength, contribute to the risk, according to a study in the April 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Video Games Labels May Omit Some Violent Content

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the rating information on M-rated (for "mature") video games, many in this category contain unlabeled content that is potentially harmful to children and adolescents, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Lifestyle Changes Benefit Patients With Prehypertension

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension, lifestyle modifications can improve blood-pressure control and reduce the risk of chronic disease, according to a study published April 4 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Long-Term Etanercept Use Safe for Elderly with RA

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of etanercept to treat elderly patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is safe, the drug is well-tolerated, and the risk of adverse events is no greater than in younger patients, according to a study in the March issue of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Most High-Risk Cardiovascular Patients Get Appropriate Care

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients with poor control of cardiovascular risk factors are given a therapy modification within six months, a new quality-of-care measure, according to a study published April 4 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Diabetes Care Improving, But Still Short of Optimal

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Although the quality of diabetes care has become better over the past decade, many diabetics still have poor glycemic control, LDL cholesterol control and blood pressure control, according to a study published April 4 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Only Minority of MI Patients Receive Angioplasty

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- While primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is considered the best procedure for most of the 400,000 ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients seen each year in the United States, the treatment is only offered to a minority and access should be widened, according to an American Heart Association (AHA) consensus statement published online March 28 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Improvement in Two X-CGD Patients After Gene Therapy

MONDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- The use of gene therapy to replace the gp91phox gene found mutated in X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (X-CGD) has led to clinical improvement in two affected adults, according to a report published online April 2 in Nature Medicine.

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No Significant Risk Reduction from Chest Protectors

MONDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Twelve commercially available chest protectors typically used by young athletes do not significantly reduce the risk of ventricular fibrillation from baseball or lacrosse ball strikes, according to a study of juvenile pigs published in the March issue of Pediatrics.

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Hormone Predicts Pulmonary Hypertension in Lung Patients

MONDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of the hormone brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) can predict pulmonary hypertension and mortality in patients with chronic lung disease, according to a study in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Combination Treatment Benefits COPD Patients

MONDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have less inflammation and improved lung function after treatment with a combination of the beta2-agonist salmeterol and the corticosteroid fluticasone propionate, according to a study in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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C-Reactive Protein Inhibits Weight Regulation by Leptin

MONDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- C-reactive protein (CRP), a circulating plasma factor, has been found to bind to and inhibit the function of the weight regulating hormone leptin, according to a report published April 2 online in Nature Medicine. The results may explain why leptin therapy has failed in initial trials for weight loss.

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Cardiac Medications Help in Peripheral Arterial Disease

MONDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), the use of statins, beta-blockers, aspirin and ACE inhibitors reduces the long-term risk of death, according to a study published March 21 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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