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December 2009 Briefing - Family Practice

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Family Practice for December 2009. 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.

Precautions and Training Can Reduce Scalpel Injuries

THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Although less common than needle-stick injuries, cuts from scalpels also put operating room personnel at risk and can be reduced by closely following safety precautions and taking advantage of new technology, according to a study in the December issue of the AORN Journal.

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Psychotropic Medications Linked to Pregnancy Outcomes

THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- In pregnant women, the use of psychotropic medications, especially benzodiazepines, is associated with adverse perinatal outcomes, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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LDL Cholesterol Not the Only Culprit in Heart Disease

THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Though low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is usually the primary target of lipid-lowering therapies, high levels of non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and triglycerides, and a high total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio also carry an elevated risk for coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a study in the Dec. 29/Jan. 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Antidepressants Reduce Odds of Suicidal Teens' Readmission

THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Suicidal adolescents who are prescribed an antidepressant medication on discharge from the hospital are far less likely to be readmitted than those who are not given the drug, but patients who leave with three or more drugs from different drug classes are more likely to end up back in the hospital, according to a retrospective cohort study published in the December issue of The Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

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Therapy Found Ineffective for Chronic Low Back Pain

THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) is not recommended for treating chronic low back pain, though it appears effective in treating the pain of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, according to an American Academy of Neurology guideline published online Dec. 30 in Neurology.

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H1N1 Transmissibility Similar to Other Flu Viruses

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The 2009 H1N1 influenza virus proved to be less transmissible within households than viruses that caused previous pandemics, according to a study published in the Dec. 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, while a second study of an outbreak in a school found that the natural history of the virus was similar to that of other flu viruses.

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Discharge Planning Measures May Not Cut Readmissions

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals that collate and make publicly available discharge planning data do not necessarily have lower readmission rates than those that do not collate the data, according to a study in the Dec. 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Study Assesses Safety of Figitumumab in Sarcoma

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Figitumumab -- a fully human IgG2 monoclonal antibody -- appears safe for use in sarcoma, with observable anti-tumor activity, according to research published online Dec. 24 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Omeprazole, Surgery Found Effective for Reflux Disease

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease, more patients stayed in clinical remission after anti-reflux surgery than with long-term omeprazole, though surgery was associated with postoperative complaints, according to research published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Study Sheds Light on Factors Involved in Brain Tumors

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The transcription factors C/EBPβ and Stat3 appear to work together to trigger and regulate the mesenchymal transformation seen in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), according to research published online Dec. 23 in Nature.

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Declines Found in Diabetes-Related Renal Disease

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Among individuals with diabetes, the incidence of diabetes-related end-stage renal disease (ESRD) declined in recent years, which suggests that efforts to prevent ESRD are successful, according to research published in the January issue of Diabetes Care.

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Family Medical History Sharing With Adopters Debated

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- More specific adoption guidelines on the sharing of family medical history information with adoptive parents are needed to ensure the welfare of the adoptee and family medical record confidentiality, according to a study in the January issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Prostate-Specific Antigen Velocity Usefulness Examined

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate-specific antigen velocity (PSAV) may be useful in identifying men with clinically significant prostate cancer, according to research published in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Efficacy of Glyburide for Gestational Diabetes Studied

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In women with gestational diabetes, glyburide is more effective than metformin for achieving glycemic control, according to a study in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents Possibly Dangerous

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with renal function impairment, the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents is risky because it can lead to the development of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, according to a study in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Ultrasound Detects Shoulder Dislocation After Birth Injury

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Ultrasound can be used to detect a posterior shoulder dislocation in infants 3 to 6 months old with a permanent brachial plexus birth injury (BPBI), according to a study in the January issue of Radiology.

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Part-Time Ob-Gyn Faculty Projected to Increase

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The number of full-time faculty in obstetrics and gynecology has more than doubled since the 1970s, although the number of part-time faculty is projected to increase in the next five years, according to a study in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Operating Room Nurses Must Know Heart Failure Guidelines

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Perioperative nurses caring for patients requiring surgical treatment for heart failure need a working knowledge of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic heart failure, according to an article in the December issue of the AORN Journal.

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Nausea and Vomiting Found Common Heart Attack Symptoms

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) that occurs in both inferior and anterior AMIs, but the frequency of these symptoms are unlikely related to the infarct location, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Low-Level Laser Therapy for Body Sculpting Assessed

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Low-level laser therapy can reduce the circumference of certain areas of the body by reducing the adipose tissue layer, according to a study in the December issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Medical Device Studies for Premarket Approval Assessed

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Premarket approval (PMA) of cardiovascular medical devices based on early-stage studies are typically not statistically powered adequately and may potentially be biased, according to a study in the Dec. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Ginkgo biloba May Not Reduce Cognitive Decline in Adults

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Ginkgo biloba, an herbal extract used to prevent memory loss and cognitive decline, was not effective in reducing the incidence of cognitive decline in individuals 72 to 96 years of age with normal brain function or mild cognitive impairment, according to the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory study published in the Dec. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Telemedicine Technology in Intensive Care Units Evaluated

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The use of telemedicine (tele) technology to remotely monitor multiple intensive care units (ICUs) at different hospital locations is unlikely associated with improvements in patient mortality rates, complications and length of hospital stay, according to an observational study published in the Dec. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Drugs Not Linked to β-Cell Improvement in Diabetes

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The use of insulin, exenatide, and the immunosuppressant daclizumab doesn't lead to improved function of surviving β-cells in patients with long-standing type 1 diabetes, according to research published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Immunocompromised Patients Need Aggressive Flu Treatment

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with hematologic malignancies who develop seasonal or H1N1 influenza, aggressive treatment may be required, according to a study published online Dec. 15 in Blood.

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Life Years Lost Due to Pneumoconiosis Increasing

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The number of potential years of life lost due to coal workers' pneumoconiosis has been increasing since 2002, and preventive measures should be stepped up, according to a report published in the Dec. 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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New Tool Assesses Cardiac Death Risk in Heart Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Duke University researchers have developed a tool to stratify risk among patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), and identify those at highest risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD), according to a report in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Maternal Occupation May Impact Risk for Birth Defects

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Certain occupations may be either positively or negatively associated with one or more birth defects, according to a large population-based case-control study in the January issue of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Metabolic Syndrome and Heart Disease Risk in Men Studied

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged men with metabolic syndrome are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death, and this applies regardless of their body mass index, although those without metabolic syndrome who are overweight or obese are also at increased risk, according to a study published online Dec. 28 in Circulation.

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Progenitor Cells May Counter Chemotherapy Damage

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- It may be possible to prevent cardiomyopathy caused by chemotherapy by obtaining cardiac progenitor cells before initiating treatment and using them for prevention or management of heart failure, according to the findings of a study in rats published online Dec. 28 in Circulation.

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Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Affluent Children Examined

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiorespiratory fitness among 10-year-old children continues to decline at an alarming rate, mostly independent of changes in body mass index (BMI), at least in girls, according to a study in the January issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Prostate-Specific Antigen Lower Among Statin Users

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In men preparing to undergo radical prostatectomy for cancer, those using statins have lower prostate-specific antigen (PSA), according to research published in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Flu-Related School Closures Have Big Impact on Families

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Almost one-third of parents whose children's schools close due to an outbreak of influenza have to take time off work to provide child care, but the vast majority of parents still support the decision to close, according to a report published in the Dec. 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Ultrasound-Guided Injection Can Benefit Lateral Hip Pain

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with gluteus medius tendinopathy, peritendinous ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injection may be an effective treatment, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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CT Preferred in Diagnosis of Pulmonary Embolism

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism, nearly all emergency physicians and radiologists prefer computed tomography, according to a study in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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Claustrophobia Common Cause of Refusing Breast Screening

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Only about 60 percent of women at high risk of breast cancer who are undergoing regular mammography and ultrasound screenings agree to supplemental screening by magnetic resonance imaging, with claustrophobia being the most common reason, according to a study in the January issue of Radiology.

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Statins Found to Be Beneficial in Congestive Heart Failure

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with heart failure, statins are safe, improve left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), and decrease the risk of hospitalization for worsening heart failure, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Review Discusses Anti-HIV Benefits of Male Circumcision

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Findings from three randomized trials in Africa lend support to the use of adult male circumcision to reduce the incidence of HIV, according to a review published in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Technique Found Effective, Safe in Spinal Stabilizations

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients undergoing spinal stabilization, intraoperative computed tomography in combination with neuronavigation improves the accuracy of screw placement, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of Spine.

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H1N1-Affected Lungs From Deceased Show Damage

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all patients who died of H1N1 flu show evidence of lung damage and an aberrant immune response, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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History of Foot Ulcers Can Increase Mortality in Diabetes

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who have a history of developing foot ulcers are at higher risk of death than those who do not have a history, and should be more closely monitored by clinicians, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Certain Medications May Alter Quad Screen Results

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A pregnant woman's use of certain prescription drugs may skew results of the standard Quad screening and increase the rate of screen-positives for neural tube defects, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Air Pollution Linked to Pneumonia in the Elderly

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) In the elderly, exposure to high levels of air pollution is associated with a higher risk of being hospitalized with pneumonia, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Longer Maternity Leave Found Beneficial for Working Mothers

FRIDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Female urologists who take nine weeks or more of maternity leave are more likely to report satisfaction with leave arrangements than their counterparts who take less time off; however, they often take a shorter postnatal break due to financial and peer-group pressures, according to a study in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Mental and Physical Activity Can Boost Cognitive Function

FRIDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Elders at risk for cognitive impairment can improve cognitive function with increased mental and physical activity, according to a study in the December issue of the Journals of Gerontology.

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Flu Vaccine for Seniors Approved

THURSDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Fluzone High-Dose, a seasonal flu vaccine for people 65 and older, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency said in a news release.

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Statins May Not Target All Lipid Abnormalities

THURSDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Although statin therapy is effective at lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, it has no effect on high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. Nearly 50 percent of new statin users may require additional therapy to achieve optimal lipid levels, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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2009 H1N1 Took High Toll on Pregnant Women, Children

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic took a high toll on pregnant or recently-pregnant women and on children, according to a pair of studies from California and Argentina published online Dec. 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Novel Gene Linked to Early-Onset Asthma in Children

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a novel gene linked to early-onset asthma, with different alleles causing the predisposition in children of European and African descent, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Novel Gene Variants Associated With Heart Disease

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have discovered two novel gene variants that are linked to increased lipoprotein(a) levels and increased risk of coronary disease, according to a study in the Dec. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Drug Treatments Compared in Bipolar Disorder

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Bipolar disorder patients are less likely to have a relapse if they take lithium monotherapy or lithium combined with valproate than if they take valproate alone, but there is no evidence to support the use of combination therapy over lithium alone, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in The Lancet.

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Health Impact of Body Mass Index May Be Misleading

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The adverse impact of low body mass index (BMI) on risk of respiratory disease and lung cancer mortality may be overstated, while the negative impact of high BMI on cardiovascular disease mortality may be underestimated, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in BMJ.

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Study Evaluates Postnatal Depression Screening

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Routine screening for postnatal depression is not cost-effective, largely because of the expense incurred in treating women with an incorrect postnatal depression diagnosis, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in BMJ.

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Over 85s Function Well Despite Disease and Disability

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Elders over the age of 85 report good health and functional ability despite the fact that they have to contend with a range of diseases and disabilities; however, as the fastest growing segment of the world's population, the health needs of future generations of over 85s represent a profound challenge, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in BMJ.

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Uric Acid Concentrations May Affect Pregnancy Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In normotensive pregnant women, high uric acid concentrations in mid-pregnancy are associated with insulin resistance and lower birth weights, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Ethnic, Racial Disparities Seen in Florida Melanoma Cases

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In Florida, the incidence of melanoma is rapidly increasing among white non-Hispanics and white Hispanics, and there is a significant racial disparity in the proportion of cases presenting with advanced disease, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Scanner Identifies Many Coronary Artery Stenoses

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The 64-MDCT scanner technology can accurately identify coronary artery stenoses in many (but not all) patients, according to a study in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help Brain Cope With Overload

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Low intake of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the brain's ability to handle sensory overload, which could explain some of the symptoms seen in conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and attention-deficit disorder, according to an animal study published in the December issue of Behavioral Neuroscience.

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H1N1 Flu Waning, but Many Vaccine Doses Unused

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although the number of cases of people infected with H1N1 influenza continues to decline and the vaccine supply is now plentiful, not enough people have been inoculated, a top U.S. health official said during a Dec. 22 press briefing held by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Cycling Not Linked to Effect on Prostate-Specific Antigen

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Bicycle riding at a professional level doesn't influence serum levels of total and free prostate-specific antigen (PSA), according to research published in the December issue of Urology.

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Factors Linked to Bone Loss With Contraceptive Identified

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Women who take the contraceptive depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) are at higher risk of bone loss if they smoke, consume insufficient amounts of calcium, or have never had a child, according to a study in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Coxibs May Inhibit Effects of Low-Dose Aspirin

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Celecoxib and other coxibs may interfere with the antiplatelet activity of low-dose aspirin, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Chronic Maxillary Sinus Disease Linked to Allergy

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic disease of the maxillary sinuses (CDMS) is often associated with nasal allergy and may be monitored by radiography and ultrasound, according to a study in the December issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Contraceptives Have Benefits Beyond Pregnancy Prevention

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Hormonal contraceptives have useful non-contraceptive benefits, including prevention of endometrial and ovarian cancer and treating menstruation-related disorders, according to an American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists practice bulletin published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Gene Mutation Impact on Pregnancy Outcomes Assessed

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Most inherited thrombophilia mutations are not associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, with the exception of mutations in the prothrombin gene, according to a study in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Severe H1N1 Infection Linked to Elevated Cytokine Levels

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalized patients with severe novel H1N1 virus (nvH1N1) infection at 10 Spanish hospitals had high levels of the Th17 and Th1 cytokines, indicating either a robust immune response to the infection or an over-response similar to that found in autoimmune diseases, according to research published online Dec. 11 in Critical Care.

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Cytologic Regression Common in Some Gynecologic Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In women with atypical squamous cells of unknown significance and a negative human papillomavirus (HCII) test, nearly all achieve cytologic regression within two years, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Glycemic Index Education Helps Manage Type 2 Diabetes

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Educating people with type 2 diabetes about how to incorporate foods with a lower glycemic index into their diets results in improvements in weight, serum glucose levels, and insulin sensitivity, according to a study in Public Health Nutrition.

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Study Assesses Cardiac Rehab Impact on Mortality Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare beneficiaries with coronary heart disease who have exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation sessions have lower odds of death and myocardial infarction on a dose-dependent basis, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Circulation.

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High-Density Lipoprotein Pros Missing for Diabetes Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The vasoprotective effects of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) seen in healthy people are absent in those with type 2 diabetes, but the impact of diabetes can be mitigated with extended-release niacin therapy, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Circulation.

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Bystander Resuscitation Found to Rarely Cause Injury

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) based on directions are unlikely to sustain an injury as a result, even if they are not in arrest, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Circulation.

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Surveillance Can Reduce Treatment in Mild Hip Dysplasia

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In infants with mildly dysplastic hips, active surveillance for six weeks, as opposed to immediate abduction splinting can reduce the need for treatment yet lead to similar results at 1 year of age, according to research published online Dec. 21 in Pediatrics.

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CRP Levels Linked to Heart Disease, but Causality Unlikely

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- C-reactive protein (CRP) blood concentration is associated with risk of a range of diseases, including heart attack, stroke, cancer death and chronic lung disease, but most of the associations between CRP levels and heart disease are explained by risk factors already known to cause heart disease, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in The Lancet.

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Cocaine Use Likely Cause of Agranulocytosis Clusters

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Four separate clusters of agranulocytosis may potentially be linked to the ingestion of a veterinary drug, levamisole, which is commonly used as an added ingredient during cocaine manufacturing, according to a study published in the Dec. 18 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Policy Statement Addresses Child Abuse, Neglect Issues

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatricians should be aware of their legal rights and responsibilities when child abuse or neglect is suspected in a clinical setting, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement published online Dec. 21 in Pediatrics.

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Single H1N1 Vaccine Dose Likely Safe and Effective

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A single dose of influenza A(H1N1) vaccination is effective and safe in infants and children 6 months to less than 9 years of age, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Gefitinib Found Beneficial in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), gefitinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor, may provide longer progression-free survival as compared to standard platinum doublet chemotherapy with cisplatin and docetaxel, according to a Japanese study published online Dec. 21 in The Lancet.

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Prenatal Aspirin Not Linked to Adverse Infant Outcomes

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Among infants born preterm, low-dose aspirin (LDA) during pregnancy is not associated with fetal or infant deaths, infant cerebral damage, or brain development disorders, according to research published online Dec. 21 in Pediatrics.

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Risk of Neurologic Deficit Right After Spinal Surgery Low

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The likelihood of developing a major neurologic deficit immediately after spinal surgery is low, according to a study in the December issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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Parents Not Stressed by Child's Genetic Risk for Diabetes

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of children with diabetes-associated autoantibodies did not report an increased level of stress until there was an actual diabetes diagnosis, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Resistance Exercise Benefits Elderly Overweight Men

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A regimen of resistance exercise two or three times a week appears to be an effective approach to weight management and metabolic control in elderly overweight men, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Antidepressants Not Found to Increase Heart Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women taking antidepressants, whether they are tricyclic medications or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are not at increased risk of coronary heart disease compared to their counterparts not taking the drugs, but there is a modestly higher risk of mortality and stroke, according to a study in the Dec. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Cost of Treatment for Heart Disease and Stroke Increasing

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The estimated cost of treatment for cardiovascular disease and stroke in the United States in 2010 is estimated to be $503.2 billion, a 5.8 percent increase over the previous year, according to the American Heart Association's Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics -- 2010 Update, published online Dec. 17 in Circulation.

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Aspirin Benefits Seem Similar Regardless of Diabetes Status

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The benefit of aspirin for the primary prevention of cardiovascular events and death appears to be similar in people with and without diabetes, according to research published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence Increases

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Improved documentation and identification of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) may have contributed to a rise in prevalence from 2002 to 2006, but an increased risk of developing an ASD should not be discounted, according to a surveillance summary published Dec. 18 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Melanoma-Associated Retinopathy Biomarkers Found

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of antibodies to aldolase A and aldolase C proteins may be useful as markers of melanoma-associated retinopathy (MAR), while other antibodies may indicate if the disease has an autoimmune component, according to a study in the December issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Twins' Academic Success and Classroom Situation Studied

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In twin children, sharing or not sharing classrooms during primary school years does not affect academic achievement, according to a study in the January issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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SIRT1 Alleles Linked to Reduced Obesity Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A Dutch study has found that two alleles of the SIRT1 gene are linked to less weight gain over time and decreased risk of obesity, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes.

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Amino Acids Found to Restore Function After Brain Injury

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Feeding amino acids to mice who have had a traumatic injury to a part of the brain important for learning and memory restores neural activity and cognitive function, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Most Stroke Survivors Take an Antithrombotic Agent

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A large proportion of stroke survivors used antithrombotic agents during a recent period, according to research published in the January issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Improvement Threshold Defines Low Back Pain Success

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with low back pain, a successful outcome may be defined as at least a 50 percent improvement on the Modified Oswestry disability index, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of Spine.

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Stroke Education Program Improves Student Knowledge

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A stroke education program for middle-school students in a largely Hispanic population, which has a higher incidence of stroke than other groups, improves knowledge of stroke signs and treatment, according to a study published online in Health Promotion Practice.

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Animals and Food May Be a Reservoir for E. coli

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Animals and food may be a reservoir for pathogenic Escherichia coli bacteria, according to two studies in the January issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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Diverting Non-Urgent Cases Cuts Emergency Wait Times

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency department wait times can be significantly reduced if non-urgent follow-up cases are diverted to a satellite clinic instead of being treated in the emergency department, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

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Dramatic Increase in Myopia in Recent Decades

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of myopia has increased dramatically in the United States over the past three decades, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Work-Related Stress May Raise Women's Diabetes Risk

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged women who are under psychosocial stress at work have a higher risk of developing diabetes than their non-stressed counterparts, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Intensive Lipid-Lowering Cuts Risk of Repeat Cardiac Events

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Follow-up analyses of two studies on intensive versus less intensive lipid-lowering regimens conclude that intensive lipid-lowering is superior for preventing recurrent cardiovascular events, according to two studies in the Dec. 15/22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Gene Variants Linked to High Fasting Glucose Levels

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of certain gene variants controlling fasting levels of glucose can help identify children at risk for hyperglycemia with the risk increasing the more variants they have, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes.

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Tool May Predict Additional Strokes Over Short Term

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A tool called the recurrence risk estimator at 90 days (RRE-90), which includes clinical and imaging factors that are usually available to clinicians when patients are admitted, appears useful in predicting 90-day risk of recurrent stroke, according to research published online Dec. 16 in Neurology.

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Immune System Linked to Leprosy Susceptibility

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Host genetic factors involving the innate immune system are associated with susceptibility to leprosy infection, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Information Offered on Effect of H1N1 Vaccine Schedules

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A single 15-µg dose of vaccine provides H1N1 influenza protection in most individuals, though another dose can boost immune response in children and the elderly, according to the results of two studies in the Dec. 17 New England Journal of Medicine.

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Smoking Status Predicts Long-Term Survival After First AMI

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who quit smoking before or after a first heart attack significantly improve their odds of long-term survival, and smokers who reduce their consumption after a heart attack also have a modest survival benefit, according to a study in the Dec. 15/22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Personality Traits May Predict Medical School Success

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- During medical school, personality traits such as extraversion, openness and conscientiousness are increasingly predictive of academic success, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology.

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Club Participation Is Healthy for Most Adolescents

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In adolescents, participation in formal clubs is associated with positive health behavior and should be prompted, according to a study in the January issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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Combination Therapies Prove Best to Help Smokers Quit

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Combination pharmacotherapies offered in the primary care setting are more effective than monotherapies in helping smokers quit, according to a study published in the Dec. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Non-Safety, Voluntary Recall of H1N1 Flu Vaccine Issued

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately 800,000 pediatric doses of H1N1 influenza vaccine have been recalled by the manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, because of reduced potency, according to information provided Dec. 15 by federal officials.

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Generic Aricept Approved for Alzheimer's Dementia

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) --Generic versions of the drug Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) that will dissolve instantly on the tongue have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat dementia resulting from Alzheimer's disease, the agency said Tuesday.

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No Adverse Effect of Statins Seen on Lymphoma Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Statins have no effect on outcomes in patients with B-cell lymphoma treated with rituximab, but improve event-free survival in patients with follicular lymphoma regardless of rituximab treatment, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Coffee and Tea Intake Associated With Diabetes Risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of tea and coffee consumption, whether caffeinated or decaffeinated, are inversely associated with risk of diabetes, according to a study in the Dec. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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More Computed Tomography May Mean More Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The growing use of computed tomography (CT) scans will cause thousands more cases of cancer in the future, according to a study published in the Dec. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, while a second study in the same issue found that the dose and cancer risk of CT scans varies widely from case to case.

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Primary Care Teaching Centers Mooted to Boost Work Force

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A system of primary care teaching health centers within expanded community health centers could help solve the current staffing crisis and boost the number of physicians working in underserved areas, according to a proposal published online Dec. 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Implantable Defibrillator Can Cut Mortality in Heart Failure

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Older heart failure patients who received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) had lower mortality over three years than patients who did not receive the device, according to a study published online Dec. 15 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

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Glucose Marker Helps Measure Prostate Surgery Fluid Uptake

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Adding glucose to an electrolyte-containing irrigation fluid helps detect absorption in bipolar transurethral resection of the prostate, according to a study in the December issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia.

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American Indians Have Far Higher H1N1 Flu Death Rate

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The pandemic influenza A (H1N1) mortality rate among American Indians and Alaska Natives is four times that of all other racial/ethnic groups combined, according to a study in the Dec. 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Tarenflurbil Not Found to Reduce Declines in Alzheimer's

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Tarenflurbil, an amyloid-β-lowering treatment, isnt associated with reduced cognitive decline or functional loss in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease, according to research published in the Dec. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Cystic Fibrosis Testing in Italy Linked to Lower Incidence

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Widespread availability of carrier testing for cystic fibrosis in an Italian region was associated with a decline in birth rates of infants with the condition, according to research published in the Dec. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Tainted Teething Medication Killed 54 Nigerian Children

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Fifty-four Nigerian infants and toddlers died as a result of ingesting diethylene glycol contained in an acetaminophen-based teething medication, according to a study published in the Dec. 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Statins May Provide Benefit Despite Low LDL

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Based on data from an earlier trial, individuals with low levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and high levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) may benefit from statins to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease, according to a study in the Dec. 15/22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Digital Radiography Rapidly Localizes Spine Level

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Digital radiography is considerably faster than conventional radiography in localizing the cervical spine level during surgery, which may reduce hospital costs, according to a study in the December issue of The Spine Journal.

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Contraindications to Beta Blockers Linked to Deaths

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Contraindications to early beta-blocker use become more common with increasing age and are associated with a higher risk of hospital death in patients with acute coronary syndromes, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Mutations Less Common in Nonsmokers With Lung Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Lung cancer patients who never smoked are less likely to have gene mutations commonly found in smokers, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In a related study published at the same time in the same journal, researchers report that childhood cancer survivors who had indicated an intention to smoke were more likely to start smoking within five years.

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Breast Cancer Needle Biopsy Results Similar to Open Biopsy

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Using stereotactic- and ultrasound-guided core needle biopsy to conduct breast biopsies gives results almost as accurate as open surgical biopsy, and carries a lower risk of complications, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Perceived Age Correlates With Survival and Functioning

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A follow-up analysis to the Longitudinal Study of Aging Danish Twins suggests that the perceived age of an elderly person correlates with their physical and mental functioning as well as survival, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in BMJ.

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Rome II Criteria Beneficial for Gastrointestinal Disorders

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Family pediatricians can properly diagnose and manage functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) using the so-called Rome II criteria, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Pediatrics.

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Emergency Room Reliance Examined in Adolescents

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency department reliance (EDR), the percentage of health care visits occurring in the emergency department (ED), may provide information on whether children who are frequent ED users lack sufficient access to primary care, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Pediatrics.

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Comorbidity Affects Outcome of Glycemic Control in Diabetes

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The cardiovascular benefits of intensive glycemic control in type 2 diabetes patients are reduced if they have high levels of comorbidity, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Spiritual Care Often Benefits Terminally Ill Cancer Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In terminally ill cancer patients, adequate spiritual support is associated with an increased usage of hospice care and an improved quality of life, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Popular Children's Song Slips From Hit Parade on CPR Chart

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Pacing the compressions of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to the children's song Nellie the Elephant, successfully achieved an approximation of the recommended 100-compressions-per-minute rate, but not the required depth of compression, according to a study published Dec. 13 in BMJ.

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Diabetes Patients Report Many Hypoglycemic Driving Events

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Hypoglycemia-related events while driving may be common in individuals with type 1 diabetes, according to research published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Racial Disparities Seen in Breast Cancer Radiotherapy

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Older Caucasian women with invasive breast cancer were more likely to receive radiotherapy following surgery than women of other races, a disparity seen nationwide, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Cancer.

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Physicians Aware of Choking Game; Few Treat in Practice

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly two-thirds of physicians surveyed were aware of the choking game, an activity typically played by children and teenagers that has been linked to numerous fatalities in recent years, but a small percentage discussed it with adolescent patients, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Pediatrics.

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SSRIs Linked to Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are associated with an increased risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding, which warrants caution when prescribing these drugs in patients at elevated risk for this type of bleeding, according to research published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Weight Loss and Exercise Can Improve Cardiac Function

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise and losing weight improves cardiac function at any age, but some of those benefits can be lost when weight is regained, according to a pair of studies in the Dec. 15/22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Heart Disease Risk Factors May Increase With Menopause

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The risk factors for coronary heart disease increase in women in the year before and the year after their final menstrual period (FMP), making that transition a crucial time to monitor lipid profiles and lifestyle risk factors, according to a study in the Dec. 15/22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Diverse Reasons Cited for Skipping Diabetes, Pain Meds

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Financial pressures may cause patients who take both pain and diabetes medications to forgo both, but those who selectively cut out only diabetes medications often do so because of depression or negative beliefs about the medications, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Post-Myocardial Infarction Bleeding Risk Examined

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For patients receiving antithrombotic drugs post heart attack, the risk of hospitalization for bleeding increases as the number of drugs increases, according to a study in the Dec. 12 issue of The Lancet.

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Lower Speed Limit Reduces Casualties in London

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In London, the introduction of 20 mph speed zones has significantly reduced road injuries and deaths, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in BMJ.

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Factors Affecting Back-Pain Sick Leave in Chile Identified

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Chileans are more likely to take longer sick leave for low back pain if they have a history of sick leave for low back pain, do manual labor, or were seen by an orthopedic surgeon, similar to other Western populations, according to a study in the December issue of The Spine Journal.

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H1N1 Mortality Found to Be Unexpectedly Low in England

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In England, mortality from the H1N1 pandemic is lower than expected, but disease patterns suggest that the vaccination program should be extended beyond high-risk groups, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in BMJ.

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CDC: 15 Percent of Americans Have Had H1N1 Flu

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- H1N1 has sickened nearly 50 million Americans -- which is one in six people -- and killed almost 10,000, mostly children and young adults, a federal health official said in a Dec. 10 press briefing.

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Airways Compared in Smoking, Nonsmoking Asthma Patients

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers with asthma have significantly greater epithelial changes in their airways than asthma patients who have quit smoking or have never smoked, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Urinary Symptoms Tied to Psychiatric Issues in Women

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Female veterans who have lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) have high rates of psychiatric comorbidity and history of sexual trauma compared to women in the general population, according to a study in the December issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Myelosuppression Risk During Thiopurine Therapy Is Concern

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of severe myelosuppression in patients with inflammatory bowel disease using thiopurine therapy warrants monitoring the patients during their first two months of therapy, according to research published in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Myocardial Velocities Differ Based on Age and Gender

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Left ventricle velocities determined by magnetic resonance tissue phase mapping show differences based on gender and age, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.

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Patients Often Lack Knowledge of Their Own Medications

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients routinely under-report, or even over-report, their outpatient and inpatient medications, and should be included in hospital medication management to improve safety, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Algorithm Developed for Metal-on-Metal Hip Resurfacing

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Ideal candidates for metal-on-metal hip resurfacing may be identified with a new algorithm, according to a study in the November supplement of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Variable A1C Linked to Renal Disease in Type 1 Diabetes

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 1 diabetes, greater variability in A1C levels over time is associated with higher risk of microalbuminuria, progression of established renal disease, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, according to research published in the November issue of Diabetes.

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Pandemic Flu Could Lead to Shortages in Blood Supply

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Preparation for an influenza pandemic should include evaluating how the event could affect a nation's blood supply, since shortages could have potentially fatal outcomes, according to research published online Dec. 9 in Transfusion.

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Aggressive Identification of Patients Cuts Hip Fractures

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Aggressive identification and management of patients at risk for osteoporosis-related hip fractures can substantially reduce the incidence rate, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 supplement of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Transplantation Technique Feasible for Spinal Cord Injury

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In the treatment of spinal cord injury, transplantation of readily available mono-nuclear bone marrow cells may be an alternative to the use of bone marrow stromal cells, according to an animal study published in the Nov. 15 issue of Spine.

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Male Breast Cancers Resemble Advanced Female Cancers

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Though rare, male breast cancers often resemble late-onset female breast cancers, and breast cancer incidence and death rates have not declined in males as much as females over the last few decades, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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New Technique Effective in L5 Radicular Syndrome

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with L5 radicular syndrome, an ultrasound-guided L5 nerve root block using electrical nerve stimulation is safe and effective, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of Spine.

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Healthy Changes Linked to Weight Loss in Adolescents

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight adolescents who shed pounds appear more likely to use healthy weight control behaviors than their counterparts who don't lose weight, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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Symptom Responses in Spinal Pain Found of Limited Use

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In the conservative management of spinal pain, clinically induced changes in spinal symptoms (i.e., symptom responses) have limited prognostic value, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of Spine.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Helps Elders With Depression

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly patients with depression respond well to cognitive behavioral therapy, and such counseling is more helpful than talking to a warm and empathic listener, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Blood Lead Levels Associated With Risk of Depression

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults in populations with low levels of environmental exposure to lead are at increased risk of depression and panic disorders if they have higher levels of blood lead, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Most Early Cases of H1N1 Across China Were Mild

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Most cases of H1N1 influenza seen in China during the early summer were mild, and initiating oseltamivir within 48 hours of symptom onset could reduce the duration of viral shedding, according to research published online Dec. 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Daytime Incontinence Linked to Nighttime Bedwetting

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Children are at increased risk of nocturnal incontinence if they also experience encopresis or daytime incontinence, according to a study published in the December issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Internet-Addicted Teens More Likely to Harm Themselves

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who are addicted to the Internet may be more likely to harm themselves as compared to their counterparts without Internet addiction, according to a study in the December issue of Injury Prevention.

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Two Diets Linked to Similar Insulin-Sensitivity Effect

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets had similar effects on insulin sensitivity in overweight individuals, but the latter diet was linked to a possible detrimental effect on vascular health, according to research published in the December issue of Diabetes.

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Quality Varies on Internet Urological Cancer Information

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The quality of Web sites providing information about urological cancers may have improved in recent years, but many sites offer reason for concern, according to research published in the November issue of Urology.

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Model Compares Impact of Breast Cancer Mutations

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A computer model can help compare the impact of various treatment strategies on survival in women with mutations in the BRCA genes that increase the risk of breast cancer, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In a related study published at the same time in the same journal, researchers report that BRCA mutations are associated with lower responses to fertility treatment.

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Young Cancer Survivors Face Later Cardiovascular Risks

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer in childhood or adolescence substantially increases the risk of a cardiac condition later in life, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in BMJ.

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Lab Monitoring Offers Little Benefit to African HIV Efforts

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Africa can be successfully carried out without constant laboratory monitoring, allowing limited funds to be reallocated to drugs, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in The Lancet.

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Anti-Epileptic Drugs Found Safe to Treat Bipolar Disorder

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of suicidality among bipolar disorder patients treated with anti-epileptic drugs does not increase relative to those taking lithium or no drugs, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Urine Test May Help Detect Sleep Apnea in Children

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Concentrations of certain proteins and protein combinations in the urine of children may be useful in the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Celecoxib Benefits Not Seen in Acute Renal Colic Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with ureteral stones and acute renal colic, the use of celecoxib was not associated with time until stone passage or decreased pain, according to research published in the November issue of Urology.

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Distribution of Pediatric Subspecialists Still Uneven

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- There was an increase in the number of pediatric subspecialists from 2003 to 2006, but this did not lead to significant improvements in the distribution of subspecialists across hospital referral regions in the short term, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Oxygen Useful in Treating Cluster Headache Pain

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Inhaling high-flow oxygen may provide relief from the pain of cluster headaches within 15 minutes, according to research published in the Dec. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Small Caseloads Hinder Gauging Medicare Performance

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Most primary care physicians participating in Medicare work in practices with too few Medicare beneficiaries to reliably assess their practices' performance on common measures of quality and cost performance, according to research published in the Dec. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Soy Foods Linked to Improved Outcomes in Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Among female breast cancer survivors, eating soy foods is associated with a lower risk of death and breast cancer recurrence, according to research published in the Dec. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Study Finds Vasectomy Use Differs Between Races

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) African-American and Hispanic men appear less likely to undergo vasectomy than Caucasian men, according to research published in the November issue of Urology.

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Bruising Pattern Can Predict Likelihood of Child Abuse

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Bruising characteristics based on age can be used to predict whether a child's injuries are likely to be due to physical abuse or an accident, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in Pediatrics.

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Study Explores Genetics of Microalbuminuria in Diabetes

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, the Ala12 allele of the Pro12Ala polymorphism of peroxisome proliferatoractivated receptor-γ2 (PPAR-γ2) may reduce the risk of persistent microalbuminuria, according to research published in the December issue of Diabetes.

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Crucial Pediatric Drug Trial Safety Data Often Ignored

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Important safety data from pediatric drug trials often go unpublished, and articles that are published do not focus on adverse events and labeling changes, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Prenatal Microbe Exposure Protects Against Asthma

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Prenatal exposure to environmental microbes protects the offspring from developing asthma, supporting the "hygiene hypothesis," or the idea that the increasing prevalence of allergies and asthma is due to decreasing exposure to environmental microbes, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

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Oxytocin Not Found to Aid Removal of Retained Placenta

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A high-dose injection of oxytocin into the placenta of women with a retained placenta does not reduce the need for manual removal, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in The Lancet.

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Most Head Start Programs Outperforming Federal Targets

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- School-based obesity prevention interventions conducted under the Head Start program are exceeding federal performance targets in terms of healthy eating and gross motor activity, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Smoking, Drinking Linked to Multiple Cancer Effects

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term cigarette smoking is linked to a higher risk of colorectal cancer, and alcohol consumption before or after diagnosis of head or neck cancer reduces the chance of survival, according to two studies in the December Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Carcinogen Levels Similar in Herbal, Regular Cigarettes

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers of regular cigarettes and herbal cigarettes -- products containing tobacco and extracts of Chinese medicinal herbs that are gaining popularity in China -- have similar levels of nicotine and carcinogens, according to research published in the December issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Childbirth Linked to Milder Multiple Sclerosis Course

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) who have children, particularly after the onset of the disease, may have a milder disease course than women without children, according to research published online Nov. 25 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

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Physicians Found to Have Fair Knowledge of Food Allergies

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians have fair knowledge of food allergies, but there is room for improvement, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in Pediatrics, while another study in the same issue found that late introduction of solid food may increase the risk of developing allergies.

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Low Back Pain Management Guidelines Have Improved

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Guidelines on the management of acute and chronic low back pain have improved in recent years but still require greater transparency, applicability and editorial independence, according to a study in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.

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Children's Sexual Debut Often Precedes Parental Discussion

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Parents do discuss sexual matters with their children, but topics such as birth control and partner condom refusal are often brought up after the child's sexual debut, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in Pediatrics.

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Study Calls Coverage of Antidepressants Insufficient

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The news media often failed to convey important health messages regarding pediatric antidepressants after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned of an increased suicidality risk in children taking the drugs, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in Pediatrics.

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New Cervical Spine Surgery Protocol May Reduce Delirium

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A modified perioperative protocol for elderly patients undergoing cervical spine surgery that involves early commencement of mobilization, resumption of normal circadian rhythm, and reduction or avoidance of methylprednisolone may reduce postoperative delirium risk, according to a Japanese study published in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.

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Low X-Ray Radiation Exposure Found in Neonates

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Among a group of very low-birth-weight infants treated in a neonatal intensive care unit, radiation exposure from conventional radiographs was low compared to yearly natural background radiation, according to research published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Guidance for Platelet Therapy Before Surgery Provided

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with coronary artery disease who need an elective endoscopic gastrointestinal procedure with a high risk of bleeding, cessation of antiplatelet treatment should be avoided for at least six months after undergoing revascularization and stent placement, according to a review in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Shingles Incidence Following Varicella Vaccination Low

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of shingles (herpes zoster) resulting from the reactivation of the latent varicella-zoster virus following vaccination for chicken pox is very low, but the risk may be higher for children with asthma or those vaccinated later, according to a study in the December issue of Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

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Passive Smoking May Increase Risk of Breast, Lung Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In nonsmokers, exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with a modestly increased risk of breast cancer and a significantly increased risk of lung cancer, according to two studies published in the December Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Study Tracks Prevalence of Down Syndrome in America

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In several regions across the country, one in 971 children and adolescents had Down syndrome in 2002, according to research assessing the prevalence of the condition published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Beta 2 Adrenergic Agonist Use During Pregnancy Examined

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The use of beta 2 adrenergic agonist medications in pregnancy can disrupt the fetus's sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system activity, possibly resulting in autism spectrum disorders, poor cognition, impaired motor function, psychiatric problems, high blood pressure and poor school performance, according to a review published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Study Compares Cardiac, Death Risks of Diabetes Drugs

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Use of the sulphonylurea class of drugs for diabetes carries elevated risks of cardiac and all-cause death, while among drugs in the thiazolidinedione class, pioglitazone posed the lowest risk, according to an analysis published online Dec. 3 in BMJ.

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Weight Loss Can Reduce Apnea Disease Severity

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Obese men with obstructive sleep apnea who lost significant weight on a stringent diet markedly reduced the severity of their disease in comparison with a control group that did not diet, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in BMJ.

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Post-Op Thromboembolism Risk Persists in Women

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged women who undergo inpatient surgery have a greatly elevated risk of venous thromboembolism in the weeks and months after surgery compared to women who have not had surgery, according to a study published Dec. 3 in BMJ.

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Protein May Be Useful Target for Cancer Therapy

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In several types of tumors, targeting the cell surface protease known as fibroblast activation protein (FAP) can inhibit tumor growth, according to research published in the Dec. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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HPV Vaccine Can Maintain Effectiveness Beyond Six Years

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (Cervarix) provides protection beyond six years from infection by HPV-16 and HPV-18, the HPV types most commonly associated with cervical cancer, according to a study published online on Dec. 3 in The Lancet.

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Breast-Feeding May Protect Against Metabolic Syndrome

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Women who breast-feed -- including those with a history of gestational diabetes -- may have a significantly decreased risk of developing metabolic syndrome, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in Diabetes: A Journal of the American Diabetes Association.

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Vitamin D Use Low in Primarily Breast-Fed Babies

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Relatively few infants who were mostly breast-fed for at least six months were given supplemental vitamin D, contrary to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations, according to research published online Nov. 30 in Pediatrics.

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Osteoarthritis Proves Costly for Individuals and Insurers

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Osteoarthritis (OA) is responsible for a substantial burden in health care expenditures, particularly in women, according to research published in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles Toxic in Mice

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Titanium dioxide nanoparticles, found in products such as paint and cosmetics, damage DNA and cause inflammation in mice, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of Cancer Research.

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Childhood Stroke Mortality Affects Boys More Than Girls

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood stroke mortality disproportionately affects boys more than girls, and rates have plateaued since the 1980s, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Metabolic Syndrome Prevalent After Liver Transplant

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive liver transplants are at high risk for developing metabolic syndrome and resulting cardiovascular complications, but the impact on mortality and long-term survival are inconclusive, according to a review in the December Liver Transplantation.

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Kalbitor Approved for Hereditary Angiodema

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Kalbitor (ecallantide) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat dangerous flares of sudden fluid buildup in people with hereditary angiodema (HAE), the agency said.

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Ecstasy Identified as Risk Factor for Sleep Apnea

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The use of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea in young adults, according to research published online Dec. 2 in Neurology.

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Diabetes in Pregnancy Hikes Risk for Metabolic Syndrome

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) or gestational impaired glucose tolerance (GIGT) are at increased risk for developing metabolic syndrome after they deliver their infants, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Door-to-Balloon Alliance Has Reached Treatment Target

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The national quality campaign, the Door-to-Balloon Alliance, has succeeded in reaching the goal of 75 percent of patients presenting with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention within 90 minutes of arrival at hospital, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Volume CT Scans May Improve Lung-Cancer Workups

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients at high risk for lung cancer, volume computed tomography (CT) scanning of non-calcified pulmonary nodules over time may provide important diagnostic information, according to a study in the Dec. 3 New England Journal of Medicine.

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Increased Obesity Outweighs Gains of Decreased Smoking

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In terms of life expectancy, the positive effects of decreasing smoking are increasingly outweighed by the adverse consequences of escalating obesity, according to a study in the Dec. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Mutation Classes Linked to Cystic Fibrosis Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In cystic fibrosis patients, the classification of severity of mutations that is applied to the pancreas may also help predict pulmonary outcomes, according to research published in the December issue of Radiology.

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Lipid Profile of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Determined

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFL) have increased lipid production and changes in enzymes involved in the metabolism of lipids and fatty acids, according to a study in the December issue of Hepatology.

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Cetuximab Linked to Resection of Liver Metastases

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with colorectal liver metastases, chemotherapy with cetuximab was associated with high rates of tumor response and resection of metastases, according to research published online Nov. 25 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Rural Residents More Likely to Have Total Joint Replacement

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare beneficiaries living in rural areas may be more likely to have total knee or hip replacement surgery than urban beneficiaries, contrary to factors that would suggest the opposite relationship, according to research published in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Short-Term Follow-Up Enough for Some Benign Breast Lumps

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Women with palpable breast lesions with benign imaging features can be given short-term follow-up and have similar outcomes to those who undergo biopsy, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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Stem Cells May Improve Outcomes After Heart Attack

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Perfusing stem cells into the heart to promote repair after a heart attack is safe and improves outcomes such as cardiac arrhythmias, pulmonary function, left ventricular function and overall symptoms, according to a study in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Zegerid OTC Approved for Frequent Heartburn

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Merck & Co.'s Zegerid OTC (omeprazole/sodium bicarbonate) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat frequent heartburn, the company said Wednesday in a news release.

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More Preterm Births in Lower Socioeconomic Areas

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- English women living in areas of reduced socioeconomic status are more likely to give birth prematurely compared to their higher-status counterparts, but survival rates and neonatal care are similar across different socioeconomic groups, indicating equity of access to neonatal health services, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in BMJ.

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Cardiovascular Effects of Type 1 Diabetes in Youth Studied

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D) but normal weight, body composition, and serum lipid profile may still have insulin resistance (IR) and impaired cardiovascular function, traits usually associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Hospital Report Cards Seldom Lead to Improved Cardiac Care

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Issuing public report cards on hospitals did not result in significant improvements in cardiac care, according to a Canadian study in the Dec. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study was released early online to coincide with its presentation at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 14 to 18 in Orlando, Fla.

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H1N1 Influenza Rates Drop in Many States

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- H1N1 influenza rates are declining across the United States, but many experts say there will probably be another surge this winter, a federal health official announced Dec. 2.

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New Self-Assessment Tool for Undiagnosed Diabetes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers from Cornell University have developed a new risk-scoring model and simple self-assessment survey that can identify people who should be medically screened for diabetes, according to a study reported in the Dec. 1 Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Enzyme Therapy Brings Relief in Fabry's Disease

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with Fabry's disease improved their cardiac hypertrophy, reduced their pain, and improved their quality of life after five years of agalsidase alfa enzyme replacement therapy, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in The Lancet.

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Patient Participation Affects Medical Decision Making

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with increased responsibility for medical decision making may be less likely to accept risky treatment options, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Study Looks at Worldwide Prevalence of ICU Infections

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Over half of the patients in intensive care units (ICUs) had some kind of infection in a one day snapshot of ICU infection around the world, according to a study in the Dec. 2 Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Morphologic Changes Gauge Liver Cancer Therapy Response

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A method to assess the effect of chemotherapy on liver tumors based on morphologic changes observed on computed tomography (CT) was found to be significantly associated with pathologic response as well as with patient survival, according to a study in the Dec. 2 Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Tenofovir DF-Emtricitabine Is Effective Initial HIV Therapy

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- As initial therapy in patients with HIV-1, treatment with abacavir-lamivudine may be less successful than treatment with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (DF)-emtricitabine, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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High-Dose Statins Found to Improve Cardio Outcomes

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- High-dose statin treatment reduces the incidence of serious cardiovascular events in patients with acute coronary syndromes who have undergone percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to a study in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Women Researchers Lag Behind Men in Grant Awards

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Female physicians with a proven interest in research are less likely to receive prestigious research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than are male physicians, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Sugar and Skin Contact May Be Best Painkiller for Babies

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Newborns given a combination of 25 percent oral dextrose solution and skin-to-skin contact feel less pain during hepatitis B vaccination than if they are given either pain relief method on its own, according to a study in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Mortality Lower With Aspirin After Therapy for Ulcer

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have experienced peptic ulcer bleeding on low-dose aspirin and who undergo endoscopic hemostatic therapy for their ulcers have increased risk for recurrent bleeding if they resume taking aspirin, but have lowered risk of death, according to a study published online Nov. 30 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Consideration of Competing Events Important for Survival

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Several risk factors may help predict the chances of competing mortality -- or death from non-cancer causes -- in patients with head and neck cancer, according to research published online Nov. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Study Links Exercise to Vasculoprotective Effects

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In mice as well as humans, exercise helps regulate telomere-stabilizing proteins and prevent stress-induced vascular apoptosis, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of Circulation.

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