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December 2007 Briefing - Family Practice

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Family Practice for December 2007. 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.

Psychoeducation Does Not Improve Melanoma Outcome

MONDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Psychoeducation has no impact on the recurrence-free interval or survival rates of patients with primary malignant melanoma, according to the results of a study published in the Dec. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Neuroimaging Predicts Cigarette Craving

MONDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- MRI of smokers' brains shows that abstinence-produced cravings are associated with increased activity in areas related to attention, behavioral control, memory and reward, according to a report in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Cancer Deaths Worldwide Will Exceed Seven Million in 2007

MONDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- An estimated 7.6 million people worldwide are expected to die of cancer in 2007, with wide regional and economic disparities in types of malignancy and in access to treatment, according to a Global Cancer Facts and Figures 2007 report by the American Cancer Society.

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Reduced Alzheimer's Risk with NSAIDs Depends on Genetics

MONDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly individuals who take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have a lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease, although the reduction for Alzheimer's is found only in individuals with a particular genetic background, researchers report in the Jan. 1 issue of Neurology.

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Growth Hormone Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer

MONDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- A mutation leading to lack of growth hormone reduced incidence of cancer and resulted in less invasive tumors in an animal model of aggressive prostate cancer, according to a report published online Dec. 13 in Endocrinology.

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Toremifene May Protect Bones During Cancer Treatment

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Toremifene, a second-generation selective estrogen receptor modulator, increased bone mineral density in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer, suggesting that the drug may decrease fracture risk in this population, according to research published in the January issue of the Journal of Urology.

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Child's Tantrum Style May Indicate Mental Disorder

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In preschool children, certain tantrum behaviors may be signs of a psychiatric disorder requiring medical attention, researchers report in the January issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.

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Obesity May Hinder Access to Kidney Transplantation

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who need a kidney transplant, obesity is associated with a decreased likelihood of receiving one, according to a study published online Dec. 19 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Fabry Disease Patients Have Gastrointestinal Symptoms

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- About half of patients with the genetic disorder Fabry disease have gastrointestinal symptoms similar to diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, which are somewhat resolved after enzyme replacement therapy, according to a report in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Selective Thyromimetic Lowers LDL Cholesterol

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with a synthetic, selective thyromimetic improves dyslipidemia without apparent cardiac side effects related to thyroid hormone, according to a report published online Dec. 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Dermatomyositis Diagnosis Varies By Medical Specialty

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Dermatomyositis patients may receive different diagnoses depending on whether they're seen by a dermatologist or rheumatologist, and also according to the degree of their disease, researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Percent Free PSA Questioned for Cancer Diagnosis

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Using percent free prostate specific antigen (PSA) added no benefit in diagnosing prostate cancer compared to using total PSA, according to research published in the January issue of the Journal of Urology.

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B12 Deficiency, Higher Serum Folate Causes Adverse Effects

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Among people with low serum vitamin B12 concentrations, high plasma folate is associated with higher concentrations of the two indicators of impaired B12 status: total homocysteine and methylmalonic acid, researchers report in the Dec. 11 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Relaxin Receptor Variants May Play Role in Parturition

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Three splice variants of the relaxin receptor that are differentially expressed in fetal membranes during the peripartum period and which may have functional significance in parturition, have been identified by researchers, according to an article published online Dec. 13 in Endocrinology.

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Protein Expression Affects Odds of Lymphoma Survival

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, those who express the LMO2 protein respond better to treatment with anthracycline-based regimens with or without rituximab, according to a report published online Dec. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Inherited Mental Retardation Reversed in Mice

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Many of the neurological and psychiatric symptoms of Fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of mental retardation, can be reversed by reducing the expression of a gene unrelated to the underlying genetic defect of the disease in mice, according to the results of a study published in the Dec. 20 issue of Neuron.

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Liver Dysfunction in Sickle Cell Disease Takes Many Forms

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The patterns of liver disease encountered in patients with sickle cell disease are diverse but with considerable overlap, defying broad characterization, reports an article published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology in December.

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Oophorectomy, Chemo Ups Breast Cancer Survival Odds

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In premenopausal women with operable breast cancer, adjuvant oophorectomy and tamoxifen improves the odds of survival, according to a report published online Dec. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Older Adults Respond Well to Supervised Activity Training

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Older, sedentary adults who participate in an active training program are more likely to adhere to an exercise regimen than those who participate in a classroom-based health education program, according to a report published in the November issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy Cuts Lung Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women who've taken hormone replacement therapy have a lower risk of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and particularly estrogen receptor-positive tumors, according to a study published in the Dec. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Combination of Stroke, Genetics Linked to Dementia

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly individuals who have both the apolipoprotein E (APOE) 4 allele and have had a stroke are at higher risk of developing dementia, according to the results of a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of Neurology.

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Gene Variants Linked to Refractory Celiac Disease

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of a MYO9B gene variant may be a risk factor for refractory celiac disease type II (RCD II), a severe form of the disease that carries a high risk of enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma (EATL), according to an article published in Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology in December.

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Structure of Synaptic Protein May Provide Clues to Autism

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A new study provides insight into the molecular structure of neuroligins, a family of postsynaptic cell adhesion proteins required for neural synapse formation. These findings are relevant to the study of autism because mutations in the genes encoding neuroligins have been implicated in autism spectrum disorders and mental retardation. The research is published in the December issue of Neuron.

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Distinct Arterial Remodeling in Young Patients with AMI

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Younger Japanese patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) were more likely to have a constrictive type of arterial remodeling as the culprit atherosclerotic lesion than middle-aged and older patients, researchers report in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Study Questions Epirubicin After Tumor Resection

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The use of a single instillation of epirubicin after transurethral bladder tumor resection may only prevent small recurrences that could easily be fulgurated with local anesthesia, according to research published in the January issue of the Journal of Urology.

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Alexandrite Laser Effective in Treating Facial Hirsutism

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In women with polycystic ovary syndrome, the GentleLase alexandrite laser is more effective at reducing facial hirsutism than the Lumina IPL system, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Photodynamic Therapy Targets Root Canal Microorganism

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Photodynamic therapy can inactivate Enterococcus faecalis in experimentally infected root canals of extracted teeth after their sensitization with methylene blue, according to a report published in the December issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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PSA, Alkaline Phosphatase Predict Prostate Cancer Survival

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- For men with metastatic prostate cancer undergoing hormone treatment, measurements of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) at the start of treatment and measurement of ALP and prostate specific antigen (PSA) after 6 months, are better predictors of survival than baseline PSA, according to research published in the January issue of the Journal of Urology.

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Poor Results from Octogenarian Cancer Surgery

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Population-based data show that high-risk cancer surgery on octogenarians has worse outcomes than previously reported case series and survival statistics indicate, researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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Telmisartan Combined with Ramipril Curbs Strokes in Rats

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Combined doses of telmisartan and ramipril are effective at preventing strokes and lowering blood pressure in stroke-prone rats, researchers report in the November-December issue of the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension.

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Early Cholecystectomy Cuts Pancreatitis Hospital Stay

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with mild to moderate gallstone pancreatitis, early cholecystectomy reduces the length of time spent in hospital with no additional risk of mortality or complications, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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Mortality Rate Increased in Crohn's Disease Patients

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with inflammatory bowel disease, mortality is increased in those with Crohn's disease compared to ulcerative colitis, and medication has varying associations with mortality in both conditions, according to research published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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OTC Wart-Freezing Products May Not Be Cold Enough

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Patients should be cautioned against claims that over-the-counter (OTC) wart-freezing products are comparable to in-office cryotherapy, according to a report published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Catheter Ablation Reduces Defibrillator Shock Frequency

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Ablation of arrhythmic cardiac tissue combined with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) reduces the frequency of pacing and shocks better than an ICD alone in patients with a history of myocardial infarction, according to study findings published in the Dec. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Combination Breast Cancer Treatment May Improve Survival

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Paclitaxel plus bevacizumab increases progression-free survival but not overall survival compared with paclitaxel alone in patients with metastatic breast cancer, researchers report in the Dec. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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COL4A1 Mutations Implicated in Proposed New Syndrome

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations in the COL4A1 gene may be the cause of a proposed new syndrome: hereditary angiopathy with nephropathy, aneurysms and muscle cramps (HANAC), according to research published in the Dec. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Telling Patients They Are at High Risk Influences Decisions

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- People who believe they are at higher-than-average risk of developing a disease may be more inclined to take a treatment despite the risk of side effects, researchers report in the December issue of Patient Education and Counseling.

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Adverse Events with Platelet Drop in Coronary Syndromes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes have a higher risk of adverse outcomes such as death or heart attack if they develop thrombocytopenia, according to the results of a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Survival Superior for Living Donor Liver Transplantation

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In adults with chronic liver disease, living donor liver transplantation results in a significant survival benefit compared to either waiting for or receiving a deceased donor liver transplantation, according to study findings published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Surgical Smoke Plume An Underrated Biohazard

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- All operating rooms should have a smoke evacuation system to eliminate surgical smoke plume, the gaseous by-product of processes such as electrosurgery, laser ablation and ultrasonic scalpel dissection, according to a paper published in the December issue of the AORN Journal.

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Effect of Helminth Treatment on HIV Unclear

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Existing data is insufficient to establish the potential benefit of eradicating helminth infections in adults also infected with HIV-1; however, data from a handful of studies indicate that it may reduce plasma viral load. These findings were published Dec. 19 in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

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ASCO Report Documents Cancer Advances in 2007

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer researchers made significant strides in 2007, according to "Major Research Advances in Cancer Treatment, Prevention, and Screening," the third annual report from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) published in the Jan. 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Repeat Abortions More Common in Older Women

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Women seeking an abortion are more likely to have had a previous abortion if they are older or abuse drugs or alcohol, according to a report in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Study Ranks Prevalence of BRCA1 in Racial, Ethnic Groups

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A survey of BRCA1 mutation carriers among ethnic populations found the highest prevalence among Ashkenazi Jews followed by Hispanics and the lowest prevalence in Asian Americans, researchers report in the Dec. 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Team Training Improves Patient Safety Awareness

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A team-based training program that uses customized, highly interactive methods to help clinicians implement pre- and post-operative briefings, standardize communication and improve teamwork can increase awareness of patient safety and facilitate the process of continuous improvement, according to a paper published in the December issue of the AORN Journal.

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Previously Uninsured Enjoy Better Health with Medicare

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The health of people who don't have health insurance improves once they acquire Medicare coverage at the age of 65, especially if they have cardiovascular disease or diabetes, researchers report in the Dec. 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Information Technology Linked with Better Patient Outcomes

TUESDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Greater adoption of information technology (IT) systems in hospitals is associated with improved measures of patient safety, according to research published in the November/December issue of the Journal of Healthcare Management.

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Stress Regulates Inflammatory Pathways in Brain

TUESDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Stress mediators regulate inflammatory pathways in the rat brain cortex in response to acute restraint stress, according to research published online Dec. 13 in Endocrinology.

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Most General Surgeons Don't Discuss Breast Reconstruction

TUESDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Only one-third of women about to undergo surgery for breast cancer have discussions with their general surgeons about breast reconstruction, but women who do have such discussions are four times as likely to have mastectomies as those who do not, according to a report published online Dec. 21 in the journal Cancer.

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Pneumococcal Rates Fall Despite Vaccination Shortage

TUESDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Programs to vaccinate children against invasive pneumococcal disease in the United States got off to a fast start in 2001-2002, but many children did not receive a complete series of recommended doses during a period of vaccine shortages, according to a report published in the January issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Gonadotrophin Linked to Acceptable Multiple Birth Rate

TUESDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In women with one or two mature ovarian follicles measuring 14 millimeters or more, treatment of intrauterine insemination with gonadotrophin results in an acceptable multiple live birth rate, according to research published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Australian Rules Footballer Commits Party Foul

MONDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- While participating in festivities, it's wise to limit consumption of alcoholic beverage containers to zero, according to an article published in the Dec. 22 issue of BMJ.

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Brain Activity Codes for Speech at Abstract Level

MONDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Neural activity in some left hemisphere regions of the brain codes for speech at an abstract level independent of its visual or auditory features, researchers report in the Dec. 20 issue of Neuron.

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Urinary Incontinence Is Costly for Female Patients

MONDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- In community-dwelling women, urinary incontinence is associated with significant annual out-of-pocket costs, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Elderly Are Under-Triaged in Emergency Departments

MONDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Older patients who present at emergency departments with "normal" vital signs may in fact be in need of immediate attention, according to an article published in the December issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

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Neonatal Heart Can Grow After Valve Surgery

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In neonates who underwent surgery for aortic valve stenosis, some left heart structures can eventually reach normal size, according to the results of a study published in the Dec. 18/25 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Researchers Rap Infantile Hemangiomas Web Sites

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Among Internet sites that address infantile hemangiomas, most do not accurately depict the full disease spectrum from innocuous to severe, and many present a biased view of treatment options, researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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FDA Issues New Warning on Fentanyl Skin Patch

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Ongoing concerns about the fentanyl transdermal system, which is marketed under the brand name Duragesic and is also available in generic versions, have prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue its second safety warning in two years. The FDA's Dec. 21 warning emphasizes the need to exactly follow directions on the product label and patient package insert in order to avoid accidental overdoses.

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300-Year History of U.K. Hospital Visiting Times Reviewed

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A review of visiting times for patients in U.K. hospitals during the past three centuries reveals an evolving philosophy influenced by fears of infection, concerns about stress caused to the patient from visitors, and staff sentiments about interference from outsiders. The review was published in the Dec. 22 issue of BMJ.

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We Only Use 10 Percent of Our Brains, and Other Myths

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The belief that people need to drink eight glasses of water a day is widely held but unsupported by evidence, as is the belief that we only use 10 percent of our brains, according to an article in the Dec. 22 issue of BMJ.

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Sentinel Lymph Node Sites Identified for Cervical Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with invasive cervical cancer, the most common sentinel node locations are external iliac, obturator and parametrium, according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Active Video Games Require More Energy to Play

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The newer generation of video games, in which players move in simulated sports activities, require significantly greater expenditures of energy than passive video games, researchers report in the Dec. 22 issue of BMJ.

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Signaling Pathway Defective in Osteoporotic Osteoblasts

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Signaling through the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I) receptor is impaired in osteoblasts from osteoporotic patients, possibly explaining the impaired osteoblast proliferation in osteoporosis, according to the results of a study published online Dec. 13 in Endocrinology.

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Higher Mortality Risk with Severe Psoriasis

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with severe psoriasis have a higher risk of mortality than those without the skin condition, researchers report in the December issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Disadvantage Follows Children Through Time, Location

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Living in a severely disadvantaged neighborhood reduces the later verbal ability of black children by a magnitude comparable to losing a year or more of school, according to a report published online Dec. 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Sex Education Linked to Abstinence, Later First Sex

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who receive sex education prior to the initiation of sexual activity are more likely to abstain from sex, postpone the initiation of sexual activity, and use contraception the first time they have sex, according to an article published in the January issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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H. Pylori May Protect Against Esophageal Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Despite Helicobacter pylori's well-established link with gastric cancer, a meta-analysis suggests that H. pylori infection may confer protection against Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma, according to an article published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Early Stem Cell Transplant Improves Lymphoma Survival

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation improve survival, particularly if patients are in remission at the time of treatment, according to the results of a study published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Hospital Surgeries for Female Fecal Incontinence Stable

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The number of women undergoing in-hospital surgical treatments for fecal incontinence remained stable between 1998 and 2003, but total charges for the procedures rose substantially, researchers report in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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Maximum Heart Rate Lower During Sex Than Exercise

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Sexual activity results in a lower maximum heart rate and blood pressure than treadmill exercise in adult men and women, according to study findings published in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Epidemiology of Herpes Zoster Reviewed

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Herpes zoster occurs primarily in immunocompetent individuals aged 50 and older, according to a report published in the November issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The researchers also report that herpes zoster complications increase with age and affect one in four patients.

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CDC: Defer Hib Boosters Until Vaccine Supply Improves

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- In response to a shortage of Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that health care providers temporarily defer routine Hib vaccine boosters in children aged 12 to 15 months until the vaccine situation improves, according to a report in the Dec. 19 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published by the CDC.

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Gleason Grade Linked to Signal Intensity Ratio on MRI

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- MRI may offer a non-invasive method for helping evaluate the aggressiveness of prostate cancer, according to research published in the January issue of Radiology.

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Cardiovascular Disease to Cost $449 Billion in 2008

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Although death rates from cardiovascular disease fell nearly 25 percent between 1994 and 2004, it remains the leading cause of death in the United States, killing an American every 37 seconds, according to the American Heart Association's 2008 heart disease and stroke statistics update, published online Dec. 17 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Bacteria May Form 'Communities' in Bladder Cells

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Bladder infections in some women may follow a pathway recently demonstrated in mice, with bacteria invading epithelial cells and forming intracellular bacterial communities that could serve as reservoirs for recurrent infections, according to research published online Dec. 18 in PLoS Medicine.

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Mechanical Factors Worsen Acid Reflux in Elderly

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The increased severity of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms in the elderly may be due to age-related degradation of the gastroesophageal junction barrier and impaired esophageal clearance, according to an article published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Pioglitazone May Reduce Risks of Chronic Kidney Disease

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic kidney disease are at greater risk of serious cardiovascular complications, and some of these risks can be reduced by treatment with pioglitazone, according to a study published online Dec. 5 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Mouse Study Points to Shorter Tuberculosis Drug Treatment

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- A daily or three times weekly regimen including rifapentine and moxifloxacin might cut the treatment time for tuberculosis from the current six-month duration to three months or less, according to the results of a mouse study published online Dec. 18 in PLoS Medicine.

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Total Thyroidectomy for Cancer Gets Economic Nod

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with low-risk papillary thyroid cancer, treatment with total thyroidectomy is probably a more cost-effective initial surgical treatment than hemithyroidectomy, though some caveats apply, according to research published in the December issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Sleep Apnea Patients Clustered by Intention to Exercise

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- An analysis of intention to exercise in obstructive sleep apnea patients has identified four patient types based on their attitude and inclination to exercise, researchers report in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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Aldosterone Mediators of Cardiac Injury Identified

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The ability of aldosterone to generate superoxide and cause cardiovascular injury is mediated by several cellular mediators including NAD(P)H oxidase and Rac1, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in Endocrinology.

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Smoke Exposure in Infancy May Cause Atopic Sensitization

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Children exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke in early infancy may be at increased risk of developing atopic sensitization to common inhalant and food allergens, according to an article published online Dec. 18 in Thorax.

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Physical Activity May Lower Vascular Dementia Risk

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly individuals who are physically active appear to have a reduced risk of developing vascular dementia, while the risk of Alzheimer's disease may be unchanged, according to an article published online Dec. 19 in Neurology.

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Review Article Addresses Nevi, Melanoma During Pregnancy

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Although confusion persists among practitioners about the impact of pregnancy and female hormones on melanocytic nevi and melanoma, recent studies offer guidance for effective management, according to a continuing medical education article published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Telbivudine Tops Lamivudine for Chronic Hepatitis B

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic hepatitis B who are hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) positive, telbivudine is associated with improved rates of therapeutic response, and, regardless of HBeAg status, superior viral suppression and less development of resistance compared to lamivudine, according to an article published in the Dec. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Study Explores Patient Outcomes in Hospitalist Model

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients hospitalized with common medical conditions who are cared for by hospitalists do not have improved mortality rates or readmission rates compared to those treated by general internists or family practice physicians, according to the results of a study published in the Dec. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. However, care by a hospitalist is associated with modestly shorter hospital stays compared to traditional models.

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Role of Tumor Suppressor Gene in Cancer Studied

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations in the tumor-suppressor protein p53 (TP53) gene are associated with reduced survival in squamous-cell head and neck cancer, and TP53 mutations in the stroma of non-hereditary invasive breast tumors may lead to metastatic spread to lymph nodes, according to two studies published in the Dec. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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More Use of BNP Test in Heart Patients May Be Warranted

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In a national sample, B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels were measured in only one-fifth of patients with non-ST-segment-elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE ACS), even though elevated levels are associated with higher mortality risk in these patients, according to research published in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Fetal Alcohol Exposure Affects Infant Response to Alcohol

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Rats exposed to alcohol in utero demonstrate an increased affinity for alcohol as infants that may be mediated by the effect of ethanol on the developing olfactory system, according to two articles published in Behavioral Neuroscience in December.

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Caution Urged in Screening for Carotid Artery Stenosis

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The number of strokes that would be avoided by screening asymptomatic individuals for carotid artery stenosis and treatment with carotid endarterectomy is too low to justify the potential risks, researchers report in the Dec. 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Oncologists Missing Chances to Show Empathy to Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Oncologists seldom respond with empathy when their patients express emotional concerns, according to research published in the Dec. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. This could cause physicians to miss opportunities to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship and improve patient adherence.

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Virtual Visits As Good As Traditional Rounds

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Robotic telerounds deliver the same standard of care and patient satisfaction as traditional rounds after urologic surgery, according to study findings published in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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More Study Needed on Programs to Prevent Falls in Elderly

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- There is little evidence to show intervention programs aimed at preventing older people from falling are effective, according to a review of studies published online Dec. 18 in BMJ Online First.

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Abortion Raises Risk of Future Preterm Delivery

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have had previous abortions are more likely to give birth to low birth weight and premature babies, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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Older Women More Likely to Discontinue Tamoxifen

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Among elderly women with breast cancer, factors such as age, comorbidities, and having breast-conserving surgery without radiotherapy affect the likelihood that they will discontinue tamoxifen treatment before the recommended five years, according to a report published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Accidental Poisoning, Suicide Push Mortality Rates Up

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- For the first time in 25 years, injury mortality rates in the United States rose between 1999 and 2004, according to a report published in the Dec. 14 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Pulmonary Embolism Imaging Techniques Compared

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) is not inferior to ventilation-perfusion (V/Q) scanning in ruling out pulmonary embolism, according to an article in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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False-Positive Cardiac Cath Lab Activations Common

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Between 9 to 14 percent of all cardiac catheterization laboratory activations in a regional ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) network are false positives, where no culprit coronary lesion is identified and/or cardiac biomarkers are negative, according to research published in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Childhood Environment Affects Adult Liver Function

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Environmental exposures during early life affect adult liver function, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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FDA Approves New Beta Blocker for Hypertension

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced this week that it has approved Bystolic (nebivolol) for the treatment of hypertension. Bystolic is a beta blocker, a class of commonly prescribed antihypertensive medications that reduce the force of the heart's contraction.

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Antibiotics Sharply Reduce Vaginal Streptococcus in Labor

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Vaginal group B streptococcus (GBS) colony counts fall quickly and dramatically with intrapartum doses of penicillin-G, researchers report in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Drug-Eluting Stents' Benefits Appear to Outweigh Risks

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence suggests that the net benefit of drug-eluting stents in relieving obstructive coronary artery disease exceeds the risks of stent thrombosis, according to the authors of a perspective paper published online Dec. 18 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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U.S. Influenza Activity Low This Season

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Since the current U.S. influenza season began on Sept. 30, activity to Dec. 1 has been low, according to an article published in the Dec. 14 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Many Agents Help Prevent Osteoporotic Fractures

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A systematic review of studies on pharmacological treatments for preventing fractures in patients with osteoporosis identified numerous effective agents but found insufficient evidence to make comparisons between them, according to a report published online Dec. 18 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Surgery Offers Best Chance in Laryngeal Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with stage IV laryngeal cancer, total laryngectomy is associated with better chance of survival than radiation therapy alone or combined chemotherapy and radiation, according to research published in the December Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

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Post-Surgical Massage May Help Manage Pain and Anxiety

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Massage may be an effective and safe adjuvant therapy for the relief of acute post-operative pain and anxiety, according to study findings published in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Telomerase Activity High in Plaque Neutrophils in Angina

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The activity of telomerase, which regulates cell aging, is significantly higher in coronary plaque neutrophils than circulating neutrophils in patients with unstable angina, according to study findings published in the Dec. 18/25 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Imaging Accuracy for Stenoses Unaffected by Heart Rate

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Heart rate has no significant effect on the accuracy of dual-source computed tomography (DSCT) coronary angiography in diagnosing coronary artery stenosis, researchers report in the Dec. 18/25 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Prostate-Specific Antigen Testing Dramatically Increases

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Since 1995, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing rates have significantly increased -- especially among black men and younger men -- despite a lack of evidence showing that such tests lead to reductions in prostate cancer-related mortality, according to a study published in the Dec.10/24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Healthy Preterm Infants Have Altered Lung Development

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Healthy premature infants exhibit decreased airway function throughout the first two years of life even though their lung volumes are normal, suggesting that premature birth may be associated with altered lung development, researchers report in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine.

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Exercise Improves Metabolic Syndrome in Obese Adults

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate-intensity exercise for 170 minutes a week -- the equivalent of walking about 12 miles -- can significantly improve metabolic syndrome, which supports the amount that major exercise guidelines recommend, according to research published in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Maternal Corticosteroid Use Linked to Orofacial Clefts

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal use of corticosteroids during early pregnancy may moderately increase the risk of orofacial clefts in infants, according to a report published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Guidelines for ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction Updated

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Managing patients with acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction should not only be about drugs and devices, but also emphasize an integrated team system of care, according to updated guidelines published online Dec. 10 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Secretoneurin Promotes Neuroprotection After Stroke

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Secretoneurin, a neuropeptide derived from secretogranin II, may promote neuroprotection and neuronal plasticity after a stroke, according to a report published online Dec. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Pros & Cons of Bariatric Procedures Reviewed

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In the surgical treatment of obesity, the decision of which bariatric surgery method to use should take patient factors into account and include an individualized discussion of benefits and risks of each method, according to a review article published in the Dec. 15 issue of The Lancet.

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Traffic Linked to Worse Lung Measures in Kids with Asthma

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Traffic-related exposures are associated with reduced lung volumes and increased airway inflammation in children with asthma, according to research published in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine.

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Pergolide Increases Valve Disease Risk in Parkinson's

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Treating patients with Parkinson's disease with pergolide, a dopamine receptor agonist, increases the risk of moderate to severe heart valve disease in a dose-dependent manner, researchers report in the December issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Wearable Kidney Safe and Effective

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A wearable artificial kidney appears to be largely safe and effective in patients with end-stage kidney failure, according to study findings published in the Dec. 15 issue of The Lancet.

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FDA: Lovastatin Should Remain a Prescription Medication

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- By a 10-2 vote with one abstention, a joint U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Nonprescription Drugs and Endocrinologic and Metabolic Advisory Committee recommended Dec. 13 against accepting Merck & Co.'s proposal to switch its cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin (Mevacor) from a prescription to an over-the-counter (OTC) medication. It's the third time that an FDA committee has turned down Merck's OTC-switch application for lovastatin.

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Cancer Risk Studied in Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Carriers of a genetic mutation associated with Nijmegen breakage syndrome, which in homozygotes is associated with an increased risk of cancer, also have an increased cancer risk, according to study findings published in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Sharp Decline of Comorbidity of Tuberculosis and HIV

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Comorbid cases of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV declined sharply in the United States between 1993 to 2004, researchers report in the Dec. 10/24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Neuropeptide Biomarker May Predict Preterm Delivery

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal serum levels of urocortin, a neuropeptide produced by gestational tissues, may be a useful biomarker in predicting preterm delivery in women with threatened preterm labor, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Obesity Affects Pregnancy Chances in Subfertile Women

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Subfertile women with a body mass index above 29 kg/m2 have lower odds of getting pregnant than their normal-weight counterparts, with the probability of spontaneous pregnancy declining by 4 percent per kg/m2 increase, according to a study published online Dec. 11 in Human Reproduction.

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New European Laws to Improve Child Drug Safety

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Legislation introduced by the European Parliament will help the pharmaceutical industry to produce high-quality research into pediatric use of drugs and should stimulate interest in pediatric clinical pharmacology, according to an editorial in the Dec. 15 issue of BMJ.

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FDA: New Tubal Sterilization Method Safe, Effective

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The Adiana System of tubal sterilization, which involves application of radio frequency energy to the fallopian tubes via a hysteroscopically-placed catheter, followed by placement of a biomaterial matrix to occlude the tubes, appears to be a safe and effective method of permanent contraception, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel.

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Obesity Fight Needs Wider Action Led by Health Sector

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The policy agenda to tackle obesity should shift focus toward the wider social factors and inequalities within and between countries that are fueling the global obesity epidemic, according to an article published in the Dec. 15 issue of BMJ.

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Pig Study Shows Vasopressin's Effect on Blood Flow

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The use of low-dose vasopressin in a pig model of septic shock caused substantial redistribution of splanchnic regional and microcirculatory blood flow, resulting in significantly lower total liver blood flow and a marked decrease in microcirculatory blood flow in the pancreas, according to research published in the December issue of Critical Care.

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FDA Approves Drug for Treatment of Phenylketonuria

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it has approved Kuvan (sapropterin dihydrochloride) for the treatment of tetrahydrobiopterin-responsive phenylketonuria (PKU). PKU is a rare genetic disorder in which an enzyme deficiency leads to build-up of phenylalanine in the body to toxic levels, resulting in mental retardation, seizures and other neurologic complications.

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Lumbar Lordosis Aids Balance in Pregnant Women

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women cope with the significant weight gain associated with pregnancy by adjusting the degree of lumbar lordosis, and the additional shearing forces this generates are mitigated by incorporating three vertebrae in the process of dorsal wedging, rather than the two that are used by men, according to a letter published in the Dec. 13 issue of Nature.

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Genetic Variant Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A genetic variant of a putative prostate tumor suppressor gene is associated with aggressive prostate cancer, according to research published in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Surgery Benefits Subclinical Cushing's Syndrome

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Adrenalectomy often improves clinical and metabolic outcomes in patients with subclinical Cushing's syndrome, according to a study in the December issue of Surgery.

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Simulation Training Improves Airway Management Skills

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Among medical residents, scenario-based training with a computerized patient simulator leads to better initial airway management skills than traditional training consisting of two years of clinical experience, according to study findings published in the December issue of the journal Chest.

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Predictors of Hemorrhagic Stroke Explored

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who have had a recent stroke or transient ischemic attack, treatment with atorvastatin, hemorrhagic stroke as an entry event, male sex, increased age and stage 2 hypertension may be associated with an increased risk of subsequent hemorrhagic stroke, according to study findings published online Dec. 12 in Neurology.

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Many with Psoriasis Undertreated, Survey Finds

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to major guidelines and consensus statements on recommended treatments for psoriasis, a sizable percentage of people with the condition report they're receiving no treatment, according to survey results published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Baclofen Helps Alcoholics with Cirrhosis Stay Abstinent

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with baclofen enables alcoholics with liver cirrhosis to safely maintain abstinence and reduce liver damage, researchers report in the Dec. 8 issue of The Lancet.

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Low-Weight Heparin Reduces Bleeding in Coronary Surgery

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) significantly reduces major bleeding better than unfractionated heparin (UFH) in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention without affecting the risk of ischemic complications such as death or heart attack, according to a report in the Dec. 10/24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Novel Drug Combination Effective for Multiple Sclerosis

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients treated for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis with a combination of interferon beta-1a and doxycycline experienced a reduction in number of enhancing plaques on MRI exams. The drug combination was also safe and well-tolerated, according to the results of a study published online Dec. 10 in the Archives of Neurology.

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FDA & CDC Advise Public on Childhood Vaccine Recall

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Merck & Co. has voluntarily recalled 1.2 million doses of the Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine due to an error in manufacturing that could allow the potential for contamination. But the vaccine does not pose a health threat to children, announced officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week.

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High Colon Cancer Risk for Schizophrenic Patients

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with schizophrenia are at a higher risk of colon cancer but have a lower risk of respiratory cancer compared to the general population, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Imaging Technique Localizes Belief/Disbelief Processing

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Brain imaging might one day be a feasible method of distinguishing belief from disbelief, researchers postulate, based on the results of a new study published online Dec. 10 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Yeast Unrelated to Pustular Condition in Newborns

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Colonization of newborns' skin with Malassezia yeast is common after the first week of life, and the yeast does not appear to be correlated with the development of neonatal cephalic pustulosis, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Less QT Prolongation with Buprenorphine for Addiction

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In contrast to levomethadyl and methadone, buprenorphine is much less likely to prolong the QT interval and may be a safer alternative to treat opioid addition, researchers report in the Dec. 10/24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Virtual Colonography Inferior to Colonoscopy

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with a positive fecal occult blood test, computerized tomography colonography (CTC) is less accurate and effective, and potentially more expensive than standard colonoscopy in detecting colorectal neoplasia, according to a report published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Conflicting Data on Steroid Use in Bacterial Meningitis

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A study of adults in sub-Saharan Africa with acute bacterial meningitis showed no benefit of corticosteroid adjuvant therapy, while a study of Vietnamese adults and adolescents reported a beneficial effect in only those with microbiologically confirmed disease, according to research published in the Dec. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Resynchronization Studied in Narrow QRS Heart Failure

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiac-resynchronization therapy (CRT), previously shown to improve outcomes in heart failure patients with prolonged QRS interval, does not improve oxygen consumption in patients with moderate-to-severe heart failure and narrow QRS complexes, reports an article published in the Dec. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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First Partial Face Transplant Proves Successful

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The surgeons who performed the first partial face transplantation on a woman with severe disfigurement from a dog bite report a positive functional and cosmetic result 18 months after the surgery, according to an article published in the Dec. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA: Carbamazepine Risks in Asians Reflected in Label

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that manufacturers of drugs containing carbamazepine have agreed to add a recommendation to the drugs' labeling that patients of Asian descent undergo blood testing prior to initiating therapy, to identify individuals at increased risk of developing serious skin complications. Carbamazepine is used in the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar disorder and neuropathic pain, and is sold under the trade names Carbatrol, Equetro and Tegretol.

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Medicare Beneficiaries Miss Colon Cancer Screenings

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Only one-quarter of elderly patients receive recommended screenings for colon cancer despite being covered by Medicare, according to a report released online Dec. 10 in advance of publication in the Jan. 15 issue of the journal Cancer.

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Obesity Impairs Anti-Bacterial Immune Response

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Obese mice display an impaired immune response to bacterial infection, developing more severe periodontitis and alveolar bone loss than lean mice, according to study findings published online Dec. 12 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Insulin Response Improved in Heart Cell Study

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Ciglitazone and 9-cis retinoic acid (RA), which are agonists of the nuclear receptor complex PPARγ/RXR, increased insulin- and metabolic stress-stimulated glucose transport in rat cardiomyocytes, according to a report published online Dec. 6 in the journal Endocrinology.

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Technique Stabilizes Vertebra in Patients with C2 Tumors

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Transoral kyphoplasty, a technique involving injection of bone cement into a balloon-created space within a vertebral body, is safe and effective in restoring mobility and reducing pain in patients with tumors affecting the second cervical vertebra (C2), according to an article published in the November-December issue of the Spine Journal.

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Increased Cancer Risk Shortly After Blood Transfusion

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of cancer increases shortly after a blood transfusion, with the risk of alcohol- and tobacco-related cancers persisting much longer, researchers report in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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TrkB Agonist Shows Promise in Treating Obesity

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with Neurotrophin-4 (NT4), a natural ligand for the tyrosine kinase receptor trkB, suppressed appetite, reduced body fat, and improved triglycerides and blood sugar in obese rodents, according to research published online Dec. 6 in Endocrinology.

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Second-Trimester Pregnancy Losses Often Recurrent

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Women who lose a child in the second trimester of pregnancy are at significantly greater risk of having a recurrent second-trimester loss in a subsequent pregnancy, researchers report in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Red Meat Intake Linked to Various Cancers

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- People who eat diets rich in red meat may be at an increased risk of developing cancers of the esophagus, liver, colorectum and lung, while those with a high processed meat intake may have a greater risk of colorectal and lung cancer, according to research published in PLOS Medicine in December.

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Common Pollutant Transported into Breast Milk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Perchlorate, exposure to which is common in the United States, is transported into breast milk by the sodium-iodine symporter and would affect thyroidal iodine uptake, according to the results of a study in rats published online Dec. 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Sugary Beverages May Promote Alzheimer's Disease

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Sugar-sweetened beverages can worsen memory and promote the development of plaques in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, researchers report in the Dec. 14 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

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Overlap in Inheritance of Schizophrenia and Cognition

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- There is a significant correlation between schizophrenia and intelligence, as well as working memory, with most of the covariance accounted for by shared genetic influences, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Intervention Improves Care of Low-Income Seniors

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- An integrated, home-based geriatric care intervention improved quality of care and reduced emergency department visits of low-income seniors compared to those treated with usual care, according to research published Dec. 12 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Thiazolidinediones Linked to Mortality in Older Diabetics

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A heightened risk of congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction and death has been found among older diabetic patients who are treated with thiazolidinediones (TZDs), according to the results of a study published in the Dec. 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Strong Link Found Between Smoking and Diabetes

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A review of studies on the relationship between smoking and the risk of type 2 diabetes concludes that there is an association between the two, researchers report in the Dec. 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Wide Variation in Mammography Interpretation

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The interpretive performance of radiologists reading diagnostic mammograms varies widely due to factors not associated with patient characteristics, according to study findings published in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Urinary Marker Linked to Graves Ophthalmopathy

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with Graves ophthalmopathy, the most frequent extrathyroidal manifestation of Graves disease, a marker of oxidative stress is high with active disease and drops after treatment with corticosteroids, according to a report in the December issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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High Mortality Follows Periprosthetic Femur Fractures

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients face a high risk of mortality in the year after surgery for a periprosthetic femoral fracture -- similar to the risk following treatment for a hip fracture, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Hypertension Increases Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly individuals with a history of hypertension are at greater risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, particularly the non-amnestic type, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Bystander CPR Improves Survival in Cardiac Arrests

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Chances of surviving cardiac arrests are enhanced when bystanders initiate either conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or cardiac-only resuscitation, researchers report in the December 18/25 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Immigrants Report Less Family History of Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Immigrants are much less likely than individuals born in the United States to report a family history of cancer, which may lead to health care providers underestimating immigrants' true cancer risk and ordering fewer cancer screening tests, according to a report published online Dec. 10 in Cancer.

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Progression of Ossification Common After Spinal Fusion

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In patients treated with anterior cervical arthrodesis with plates, those developing degenerative changes in adjacent discs within one year after surgery have a high likelihood of progressing to advanced ossification by two years, reports a study published in the November-December issue of the Spine Journal.

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FDA: No Increased Heart Risk with Prilosec or Nexium

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced this week that a comprehensive review of safety data on the gastroesophageal reflux drugs Prilosec (omeprazole) and Nexium (esomeprazole) did not find an increased risk of cardiovascular events associated with long-term use.

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Better Physical Functioning Points to Lower Stroke Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged and older people with good physical functional health have a lower risk of stroke, and measuring this factor could help doctors identify and better manage patients who are at elevated risk, according to research published in the Dec. 11 issue of Neurology.

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Blood Pressure Linked to Physical Activity in Children

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Children who are more physically active have lower blood pressures, according to the results of a study published online Dec. 10 in Hypertension.

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Waist-Hip Ratio Predicts Heart Disease Better Than BMI

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Waist-hip ratio is a better predictor of coronary heart disease than body mass index (BMI) in men and women, according to a report in the December 18/25 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Coronary Calcium Increases Cardiovascular Risk in Women

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Women with any coronary artery calcium are at modestly increased risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular events, and women with advanced coronary artery calcium are at even higher risk, according to a report in the Dec. 10/24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Hypertension Is a Major Cardiovascular Comorbidity

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Among adult patients with cardiovascular comorbidities, nearly three-fourths have hypertension, and in many cases their hypertension is inadequately controlled despite treatment, researchers report in the Dec. 10/24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Secondhand Smoke May Reduce One's Quality of Life

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- People exposed to secondhand smoke experience poorer health-related quality of life, and the association is particularly strong in women, according to research published in the Dec. 10/24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Mediterranean Diet Linked to Reduced Risk of Death

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Following a Mediterranean-style diet is associated with a lower risk of mortality, including risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease, according to the results of a large study published in the Dec. 10/24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Transfusions During Surgery Increase Risk of Infection

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Women undergoing cardiac surgery are more likely to receive blood transfusions than men, which may increase their risk of infection and may explain the higher mortality rates among women after surgery, researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of Women's Health.

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Key BRCA1-Related Tumor Suppressor Identified

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations in the BRCA1 gene, which have a known link to the basal-like breast cancer subtype with poor prognosis, can lead to breast cancer by causing inactivating mutations in the PTEN tumor suppressor gene, according to study findings published online Dec. 9 in Nature Genetics.

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Oxidative Stress Related to Drug-Induced Psychosis

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The schizophrenia-like syndrome caused by abuse of drugs such as ketamine may be due to increased oxidative stress mediated by increased activity of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase, according to a report in the Dec. 7 issue of Science.

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Steroids for Trigger Finger Less Effective in Diabetics

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Corticosteroid injections for trigger finger are not as effective in diabetics as in non-diabetics, and in fact, among diabetic patients, they may be no better than placebo, according to the results of a small study published in the December issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Cortisol May Block Breakdown of Corpus Luteum

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Locally generated cortisol may act on the corpus luteum through glucocorticoid receptors and block luteolysis during maternal recognition of pregnancy, researchers report in the December issue of Endocrinology.

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More Depression Screening Needed for Veterans with Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Screening for depression in veterans with cancer at a midwestern veterans' facility has improved, but rates of depression screening among these patients are still lower than in the general veteran population both nationwide and at the facility, according to a report in the November-December issue of General Hospital Psychiatry.

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U.S. Emergency Departments Lack Pediatric Preparedness

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The pediatric preparedness of U.S. hospital emergency departments is only average and is in much need of improvement, according to a report published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Maternal Depression Linked to Higher Risk of Child Injury

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Recognizing and treating maternal depression may help reduce the risk of injuries and behavioral problems in children, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of Injury Prevention.

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Head Injuries on the Rise in Skiers and Snowboarders

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries are increasing among alpine skiers and snowboarders, especially in young males who perform daredevil stunts, researchers report in the December issue of Injury Prevention.

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CDC Reports Decline in Childhood Cancer Death Rates

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Mortality due to childhood cancers declined overall from 1990 to 2004 in the United States, but there were significant variations across regions and between ethnic/racial groups, according to a report in the Dec. 7 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Body Dysmorphic Disorder Alters Perception of Faces

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- People with body dysmorphic disorder have a different perception of other people's faces than someone without the condition, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Role for Regulatory T Cells in Thyroiditis

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Regulatory T cells (Treg) may be involved in the progression of hyperthyroidism in Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, according to the results of a study in mice published in the December issue of Endocrinology.

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Patients' Charter Raises Range of Ethical Questions

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- A patients' charter, which spells out the responsibilities of health care service users, should be discarded in favor of the concept of health responsibilities instead, but even such a charter can raise ethical issues that are difficult to resolve, according to an analysis published in the Dec. 8 issue of BMJ.

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Medical Indications for Male Circumcision Sparse

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- One in six of the world's males are circumcised, predominantly for religious or cultural rather than medical reasons, according to a review published in the Dec. 8 issue of BMJ.

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Surgeon Preferences in Scoliosis Treatment Explored

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Orthopedic surgeons report greater satisfaction with Universal Spine System implants for surgical correction of scoliosis, despite the fact that patient outcomes do not differ between that system and the Moss Miami system, researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Workers May Too Often Attribute Arm Pain to Their Job

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- People who report having arm pain are likely to overestimate the degree to which that pain is work-related, according to the results of a study published online Dec. 4 in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Computer Tool Improves Spine X-Ray Interpretation

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Standard techniques for interpreting flexion-extension X-rays of the spine may be unreliable in characterizing spine stability, but use of computer-assisted methods dramatically improves agreement among physicians reading these X-rays, according to a report published in the Spine Journal in December.

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Grief Can Compromise Physical and Mental Health

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Although most people cope with grief without needing any professional intervention, the process of mourning can lead to a range of physical and mental ailments and high-risk groups may require targeted psychological help, according to an article published in the Dec. 8 issue of The Lancet.

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Americans Getting More Daily Calories from Liquids

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- American adults consumed a far greater percentage of their daily caloric intake from beverages in 2002 than they did in 1965, and beverage consumption patterns during that period became much more complex, researchers report in the November issue of Obesity Research.

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Fever Reduces Aberrant Behavior in Autistic Children

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- When children with autism spectrum disorders experience a fever, aberrant behavior may decline, which may add to the understanding of autism's causative mechanisms and treatment opportunities, according to a report published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Patterns of Gene Expression Linked to Aging

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have uncovered patterns in alterations of gene expression and major regulators related to aging with the transcription factor NF-κB most strongly associated with age-dependent changes, according to research released online Nov. 30 in Genes and Development.

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Crohn's Disease Has Low Odds of Surgery

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The outlook for Crohn's disease patients is better than was previously thought, with only a low risk of requiring surgery, but 90 percent of patients will experience a relapse, according to a study published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Relatives of Parkinson's Patients Prone to Depression

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Relatives of patients with Parkinson's disease are more prone to depression and anxiety than those with no family members affected by the disease, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Head & Neck Movements of Whiplash Patients Studied

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with whiplash-associated disorders demonstrate normal control of head and neck movements, but they take more time to reach peak force during movements compared to controls, researchers report in the November/December issue of the Spine Journal.

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Hysterectomy, Ablation Both Effective for Uterine Bleeding

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Both hysterectomy and endometrial ablation are effective treatments for dysfunctional uterine bleeding, although hysterectomy is associated with more adverse events and endometrial ablation with more reoperation, researchers report in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Perfusion CT Detects Early Signs of Pancreatic Necrosis

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with severe acute pancreatitis, pancreatic necrosis is preceded by ischemic changes that can be detected by perfusion computerized tomography (CT), according to a study published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Worldwide Burden of Chronic Disease Targeted

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Experts address the worldwide chronic disease epidemic in a series of articles published online Dec. 5 in The Lancet. The authors review the burden of chronic disease in developing countries and discuss cost-effective strategies to mitigate this burden in keeping with the World Health Organization's (WHO) global goal of reducing chronic disease mortality by 2 percent over the next decade.

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Embryonic Heart Cells Protect Mice from Arrhythmias

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Transplanting embryonic cardiomyocytes into mice who have had a heart attack protects them against ventricular arrhythmias by enhancing intercellular electrical coupling within the engrafted infarct, according to a report in the Dec. 6 issue of Nature.

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FDA Advisory Committee Votes Against Avastin

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Oncology Drug Advisory Committee voted 5-4 on Wednesday against recommending that the drug Avastin (bevacizumab) be approved as a treatment for breast cancer. The non-binding vote will be considered when FDA regulators meet Feb. 23 to make their final decision.

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Tesamorelin Associated with Reduction in Visceral Fat

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The growth hormone-releasing factor tesamorelin may be helpful in reducing visceral fat and improving lipid profiles in patients with HIV who are receiving antiretroviral therapy, according to research published in the Dec. 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Traffic Linked to Reduced Lung Function in Asthmatics

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to vehicle traffic can result in a significant reduction in lung function in adults with asthma, and reducing exposure to airborne particulates may slow lung-function decline in adults, according to two studies published in the Dec. 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Obese Youths at Higher Risk of Future Heart Disease

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Children with a high body mass index (BMI) are at an increased risk of coronary heart disease in adulthood, according to a study published in the December issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. A second study estimates future morbidity based on current obesity trends in teens.

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Higher Liability Premiums Tied to Rising Caesarean Rates

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Rising medical professional liability premiums for obstetrician-gynecologists in Illinois may be partly to blame for increased rates of Caesarean deliveries in that state, reports a study published in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Sleep Durations Associated with Diabetes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Risk of diabetes is associated both with short- and long-duration sleep patterns, however confounding factors are likely to account for the long-duration association, according to a report in the December issue of Sleep.

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Scaled-Up Drug Treatment Could Prevent Deaths

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Scaling up treatment of individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease with an evidenced-based, multidrug regimen would reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease in 23 countries by almost 18 million over a decade, at an average annual cost of only about $1 per person, according to an article published online Dec. 5 in The Lancet.

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Simple Strategies Could Cut Chronic Disease Deaths

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing individuals' salt intake by 15 percent and enacting four tobacco control measures could have a substantial impact on mortality from chronic disease in 23 developing countries at a very modest economic cost, researchers report in an article published online Dec. 5 in The Lancet.

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Seizures Prompt New FDA Guidelines for Desmopressin

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- New prescribing guidelines have been issued for the anti-diuretic drug desmopressin acetate after reviews of 61 cases of hyponatremic-related seizures associated with its use, according to a Dec. 4 announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Education for Trainees May Counter Drug-Industry Pressure

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In academic medical centers, educational interventions may help foster attitudes and behaviors in medical trainees that help them resist pressure from the pharmaceutical industry, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Proton Pump Inhibitors Raise Gastroenteritis Risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Acid-suppressing proton pump inhibitors raise the risk of Campylobacter and Salmonella gastroenteritis, but histamine-2 receptor antagonists do not have this effect, according to a report published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Immigrant Children at High Risk for Lead Poisoning

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Foreign-born children living in the United States, and especially those who have recently immigrated, are at an increased risk of lead poisoning compared to U.S.-born children, according to an article published online Nov. 29 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Troubled Teens Show High Hepatitis C Exposure

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Research on juvenile male legal offenders in Australia revealed findings that could be used in diagnosing early liver disease in adolescents, according to study findings published in the December issue of Hepatology.

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Sex Hormones Implicated in Etiology of Eating Disorders

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The higher incidence of anorexia nervosa in women compared to men may be related to intrauterine sex hormone exposure, according to a report published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. A second study also points to the involvement of genetic effects in the development of disordered eating.

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Hormone Patterns in Sleep Disturbances Examined

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Sleep disturbances in postmenopausal women are influenced by lower estradiol levels and especially by higher luteinizing hormone levels, researchers report in the December issue of Sleep.

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Fitness Level Predicts Mortality Risk in Seniors

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Regardless of weight, cardiorespiratory fitness is a predictor of mortality in older adults, according to the results of a study published in the Dec. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Acute Sinusitis Does Not Respond Well to Medication

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In a primary care setting, neither antibiotics nor topical steroids effectively treat acute sinusitis, according to study findings published in the Dec. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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No Ideal Drug Regimen for Acute Coronary Syndromes

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Patients on different regimens to treat moderate- and high-risk acute coronary syndromes have similar outcomes in terms of composite ischemia and mortality, according to research published in the Dec. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Deferring administration of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors made no difference in ischemia and mortality rates for those undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention, and resulted in a significant reduction in major bleeding at 30 days.

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Measures Stratify Mortality Risk for Heart Attack Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Measures of autonomic tone and cardiac electrical substrate can identify patients at high risk of death after myocardial infarction, according to two studies published in the Dec. 11 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Breast-Feeding, Early Diet Affect Infant Food Choices

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Breast-fed infants whose mothers regularly eat certain fruits and vegetables may be more likely to accept those foods after weaning. But in both breast-fed and formula-fed infants, repeated dietary exposure to such foods may be more important in determining acceptability, researchers report in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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No Benefit of Antioxidants in Preventing Preeclampsia

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Taking vitamin C and vitamin E during pregnancy does not appear to protect against preeclampsia in high-risk patients, and women who gain substantial weight between pregnancies may be at increased risk of developing preeclampsia in the second pregnancy, according to two studies published in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Sleep Deprived Suffer More Severe GERD Symptoms

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is known to cause sleep deprivation related to nighttime heartburn or amnestic arousals during sleep. Recent findings suggest an inverse relationship of GERD symptoms and lack of sleep, with sleep deprivation resulting in heightened perception of GERD symptom severity, according to a report published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Hepatitis B Vaccine Not Linked to Childhood-Onset MS

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Being vaccinated against hepatitis B virus does not increase the risk of multiple sclerosis in children, researchers report in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Sporadic & Familial Hemiplegic Migraine Have Genetic Link

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Some individuals with sporadic hemiplegic migraine (SHM) -- a severe migraine subtype that involves transient hemiparesis -- carry gene mutations that are associated with familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM), suggesting that the two diseases may be part of a disease spectrum with similar pathogenesis, researchers report in an article published in the Dec. 4 issue of Neurology.

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Bradykinin Protects Against Hepatic Fibrosis

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Bradykinin, the main effector of the kallikrein-kinin system (KKS), exerts a protective effect against hepatocyte damage and fibrosis in chronic liver disease, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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ACP Article Proposes Fixes for U.S. Health System

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the high quality of health care and the latest medical technology that is available to Americans with adequate insurance coverage or financial means, the United States could learn many lessons from the positive attributes of health care systems in other nations, according to a three-part article developed for the Health and Public Policy Committee of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and published online Dec. 4 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Utility of Breath Tests for GI Disorders Reviewed

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The urea breath test for Helicobacter pylori is an accurate, non-invasive way to identify gastrointestinal (GI) infection before and after antibiotic therapy, researchers report in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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U.S. Task Force Stands by Hypertension Recommendation

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Following a literature search on the benefits and harms of screening for hypertension in adults and the harms of early treatment, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) found no reason to change its 2003 recommendation that supported screening. The research is published in the Dec. 4 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Study of Rare Brain Disorder Provides Clues to Dyslexia

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with the rare genetic brain malformation, periventricular nodular heterotopia (PNH), which is characterized by faulty neuronal migration and consequent abnormalities in white matter organization, share behavioral features with individuals with dyslexia, according to research published in the Dec. 4 issue of Neurology. The study authors postulate that structural brain changes may underlie the reading difficulties seen in PNH and propose that PNH might serve as a useful model in understanding dyslexia and other cognitive impairments.

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Three Meds Linked to Many Adverse Drug Events in Elderly

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Of the adverse drug events among older adults treated in U.S. emergency departments over a recent two-year period, relatively few involved drugs found on a commonly used list of medications deemed potentially inappropriate for older adults, according to study findings published in the Dec. 4 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Metabolic Syndrome in Child Follows Obesity in Mom

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The waist circumference of a mother predicts the presence of metabolic syndrome in her child, researchers report in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Katrina Survivors Suffer from Anxiety-Mood Disorders

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Hurricane survivors faced with ongoing stressors are more likely to experience anxiety-mood disorders, according to a report published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Dextromethorphan Loses to Honey As Cough Remedy

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of children with upper respiratory tract infections rate buckwheat honey as the most effective treatment for nighttime coughing compared to honey-flavored dextromethorphan (DM) or placebo, according to a report in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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New Classification System Categorizes Infant Lung Disease

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A new classification system for disorders presenting with diffuse lung disease in infants provides new information on disease frequency, clinical settings and outcome, researchers report in the Dec. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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PPAR-γ Agonist Rosiglitazone Implicated in Osteoporosis

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have shown that the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) promotes osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption in a mouse model, raising concerns that PPAR-γ agonists like the diabetes drug rosiglitazone (Avandia) could cause osteoporosis. This research was published online Dec. 2 in Nature Medicine.

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Pancreatic Islet Yield Higher from Living Donors

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The yield of pancreatic islets isolated from living donors is higher than cadaveric donors, even though they function at similar levels, according to study findings published in the November/December issue of Clinical Transplantation.

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Statin-Induced Muscle Breakdown Linked to Gene

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Lovastatin-induced muscle fiber breakdown, a side effect of therapy, is associated with induction of the atrogin-1 gene that may be a critical mediator of damage, according to a study in the December issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Serum CRP Is Prognostic Factor in Endometrial Cancer

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with surgically treated endometrial cancer, elevated serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are associated with a less favorable prognosis, according to an article published in Obstetrics & Gynecology in December.

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Needs of Female Survivors of Human Trafficking Detailed

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Female survivors of human trafficking commonly experience severe post-trauma symptoms and require assistance and adequate time for recovery before making decisions about legal action or returning to their home countries, researchers report in an article published in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Cytomegalovirus Retinitis Is Neglected HIV Complication

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In developing nations, cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis is a commonly overlooked but highly treatable complication of HIV infection, according to a report published in the December issue of PLoS Medicine.

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Peanut Allergies Are Developing Earlier in Infants

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Despite medical recommendations urging the delayed introduction of peanuts to infants with a family history of allergy, the age of first exposure and reaction in peanut-allergic children appears to be declining, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Out-of-Hours Medical Services Get Suboptimal Reviews

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In a recent survey of patients utilizing out-of-hours primary medical services in the United Kingdom, users reported concerns and expressed uncertainty in when and how to best utilize the service, however most were satisfied with care received, according to an article published in the December issue of Quality & Safety in Health Care.

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Adverse Events Common During Stay in Hospital

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In U.K. hospitals, common, serious adverse events that could be prevented affect almost one in 10 patients, undermining quality of care and increasing the length of stay, researchers report in the December issue of Quality & Safety in Health Care.

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Test Vaccine Shows Promise Against Japanese Encephalitis

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A novel inactivated vaccine for Japanese encephalitis virus provides at least an equivalent immunogenicity benefit as a licensed vaccine that is no longer being produced for developed countries, according to research published in the Dec. 1 issue of The Lancet.

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Snoring and Apnea Affect Teens' Academic Performance

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Teenagers who snore or have sleep apnea perform more poorly in school, as do teens who do not get enough sleep in general, researchers report in the December issue of the journal Sleep.

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