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February 2010 Briefing - Family Practice

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Family Practice for February 2010. 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.

Arm Ischemia Reduces Damage After Heart Attack

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Intermittently blocking blood flow in the arm, known as remote conditioning, during the ambulance ride to the hospital (before stenting) reduces damage to the heart after a heart attack, possibly by activating protective mechanisms in the heart, according to a study in the Feb. 27 issue of The Lancet.

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Behavioral Intervention Found to Improve Low Back Pain

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A behavioral intervention that encourages physical activity in patients with chronic lower back pain reduces disability and pain and is cost-effective, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in The Lancet.

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Older Maternal Age Found to Up Risk of Autism in Offspring

THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Women who give birth over the age of 40 are more likely than their younger counterparts to have a child with autism, but the father's age only affects the odds of autism when the mother is under 30, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Autism Research.

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One-Third of 20-Somethings in U.S. Lack Health Insurance

THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A large proportion of young adults in the United States are without health insurance, and men in this age group are more likely to be uninsured than women, according to a new report issued Feb. 24 by the National Center for Health Statistics.

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Panel Expands Annual Flu Vaccination Recommendation

THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In an effort to remove barriers to seasonal influenza vaccination, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which advises the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has voted to expand the annual influenza vaccination recommendation to include all individuals 6 months and older, taking effect during the 2010/2011 influenza season.

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Successor to Combination Pneumococcal Vaccine Approved

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The Prevnar 13 vaccine, a combination shot that protects children aged 6 weeks through 5 years from a host of illnesses, including pneumonia and ear infections, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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HPV Test Shows Better Long-Term Psychosocial Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have a test for the human papillomavirus (HPV) after receiving a borderline abnormal cervical smear result have better psychosocial outcomes over the long term than women who have a repeat smear test, according to a study published Feb. 23 in BMJ.

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School-Based, Compulsory Exercise Helps Youth Stay Fit

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A school-based intervention that incorporates compulsory exercise sessions as well as physical education homework helps children become more active and fit and reduces adiposity, according to a study published Feb. 23 in BMJ.

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Similar Satisfaction Rates Seen With Contraceptive Pill, Ring

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The vaginal ring has a similar level of acceptability to young women as the oral contraceptive pill, but neither method appears to be particularly popular for long-term use in this population, according to a study in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Awareness of Heart Disease Risk Still Lacking in Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Despite some gains in public awareness, almost half of all American women are unaware that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, according to research published online Feb. 10 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Critical Illness Linked to Decline in Cognitive Function in Elderly

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly adults who are hospitalized for an acute or critical illness are more likely to experience cognitive decline, and the risk of developing dementia is significantly higher after hospitalization for a non-critical illness, according to research published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Physicians Working Fewer Hours for Lower Fees

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians in the United States have been working fewer hours for lower fees in the past decade, according to research published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Reviewing Safety of HIV Antiretroviral Combination

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has alerted health care professionals and consumers that the HIV drug combination of saquinavir (Invirase) and ritonavir (Norvir) may increase the risk of potentially serious cardiac arrhythmias in a dose-dependent manner. This is an early communication from the FDA with ongoing review of the data.

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Exercise Found to Decrease Anxiety in Chronic Illness

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In physically inactive patients with chronic conditions, exercise training may significantly reduce anxiety, according to a systematic review published in the Feb. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Novartis Updates Exjade Prescribing Information

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Novartis Oncology has alerted health care professionals about changes in the prescribing information for deferasirox (Exjade), a treatment for chronic iron overload due to blood transfusions in patients 2 years of age and older, according to a Feb. 18 safety alert issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Hospital-Acquired Infections Impose Heavy Burden

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital-acquired sepsis and pneumonia impose a significant financial and clinical burden, according to a study published in the Feb. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, while another study found that hospitals that keep costs down do not necessarily have poorer quality of care or higher readmission rates.

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Strategies Assist Doctors in Saying 'No' to Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- When primary care physicians need to deny patient requests for tests and treatments, strategies that incorporate the patient perspective may be most effective, according to a study in the Feb. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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FDA Reviewing Avandia Cardiovascular Safety

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has informed health care professionals that the organization is currently reviewing cardiovascular safety data associated with rosiglitazone (Avandia), a type 2 diabetes drug, from the Rosiglitazone Evaluated for Cardiovascular Outcomes and Regulation of Glycemia in Diabetes (RECORD) study as well as from other recently published safety analyses.

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Quinine Derivatives for Muscle Cramp Treatment Examined

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although quinine derivatives appear effective for muscle cramps, these agents should be avoided for routine treatment of muscle cramps due to the possibility of serious side effects, according to an article published in the Feb. 23 issue of Neurology.

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New Strategies Needed to Treat Hypertension

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- New strategies are needed to combat hypertension, which affects nearly one-third of U.S. adults and accounts for about one in six adult deaths each year, according to the new report, A Population-Based Policy and Systems Change Approach to Prevent and Control Hypertension, released Feb. 22 by the Institute of Medicine.

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No Reduction of Premature Birth Risk From Treating Gum Disease

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Treating periodontal disease during pregnancy does not reduce the risk of premature birth and may even increase the risk in some cases, according to a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Toxic Chemicals Released During Cooking Can Be Harmful

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Pan-frying foods such as beefsteak produces more hazardous fumes when done over a gas stove burner than on an electric cooker, which may contribute to or cause adverse health effects, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Menveo Vaccine Approved for Bacterial Meningitis

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The Novartis vaccine Menveo has been approved to prevent bacterial meningitis and other health problems caused by meningococcal disease, the drug maker said in a news release.

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United Effort Needed to Reduce Choking Risk in Young Children

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Regulatory agencies, pediatricians, parents and caregivers, toy manufacturers, and food companies should take concrete steps to reduce the risk of choking in young children, according to a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics published online Feb. 22 in Pediatrics.

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Minority Pediatricians Treating More Minority Children

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatricians who are members of a minority see substantially more minority patients and more patients who are on public insurance or are uninsured than their non-minority peers, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Pediatrics.

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Pediatric Obesity Affects Survival After In-Hospital CPR

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Obese children who undergo cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the hospital are at greater risk of dying before hospital discharge than normal weight or underweight children, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Pediatrics.

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Bevacizumab Reduces Nose Bleeds in Inherited Condition

MONDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor bevacizumab administered by intranasal injection, or even by topical nasal spray, can effectively treat epistaxis from hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), according to reports published in The Laryngoscope.

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Maternal Antidepressants May Delay Infant Milestones

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to antidepressants in late pregnancy may affect children's developmental milestones, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Pediatrics.

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Medical Checklists Needed to Improve Care and Outcomes

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The checklists so common in aviation and many professions are underused in medicine and, if more widely adopted, would provide powerful tools to standardize care and improve patient outcomes, according to an article published Dec. 31 in Critical Care.

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Hormone Level of Little Help in Predicting Parathyroid Surgery

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Baseline intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) levels don't appear useful for deciding whether to perform parathyroidectomy in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), according to research published in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Contraceptive Shows No Effect on Cardiac Risk in PCOS

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Oral contraceptives containing the progestin drospirenone have no effect on markers of cardiovascular risk in lean and overweight women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), according to a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Gene Variant Associated With Premenstrual Syndrome

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Female mice with a common variant of a gene affected by estrogen levels are more anxious and have impaired memory, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings could explain behavioral changes occurring during the menstrual cycle associated with conditions such as premenstrual syndrome.

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Halting Anticoagulants Lowers Post-Ablation Stroke Risk

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who undergo atrial fibrillation ablation are less likely to have a stroke if they stop taking oral anticoagulants after a few months, according to a study in the Feb. 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Intensive Statin Therapy Cuts Recurrent Cardiac Events

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- For patients who have had a cardiovascular event, intensive statin therapy reduces the risk of recurrent events better than less-intensive therapy, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Flat Head Syndrome Linked to Delayed Neurodevelopment

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Infants with deformational plagiocephaly (DP) -- flat head syndrome -- may be at risk for delayed development of cognition, language, and motor functions, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Minimally Invasive Techniques Beneficial for Uterine Fibroids

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Two minimally invasive surgical techniques offer good outcomes and better recovery than laparotomy for the treatment of uterine fibroids, according to a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Tobacco Use Linked to HPV+ Oropharynx Cancer Recurrence

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with advanced human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (SCCOP) who achieve a complete response to chemoradiation therapy, current smokers are at higher risk of disease recurrence and tend to have worse disease-specific survival, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Clinical Cancer Research.

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Active Straight Leg Raising Reliable to Assess Back Pain

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Among women with back pain, the subjective assessment of difficulty when taking the active straight leg raising (ASLR) test generally correlates well with the objectively measured force of the leg raises, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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Many Adults in Utah Report Using Opioids Incorrectly

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In 2008, one-fifth of adults in Utah had been prescribed an opioid pain medication in the past year, with some respondents reporting use of these medications despite no prescription for them, according to an article in the Feb. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Clinical Decision Rule Predicts High-Risk Syncope Patients

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A clinical decision rule for use in patients with syncope has high sensitivity and negative predictive value, and, in combination with B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) measurement, may help identify those at high risk of serious outcomes and death, according to a study in the Feb. 23 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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New System Aims to Improve Blood Transfusion Safety

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has started a national surveillance system to monitor adverse events in patients who receive blood transfusions, the agency has announced.

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Hormone Replacement Therapy Linked to Lung Cancer

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Older women who receive estrogen plus progestin hormone replacement therapy (HRT), especially for long periods of time, may have an increased risk of lung cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Program Found to Increase Flu Vaccination Rates

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Through methods such as multiple vaccination sites and online monitoring of vaccination status, a campaign to increase flu vaccination rates among employees and health care workers at Johns Hopkins has proven effective, according to a study in the February issue of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

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Drug Combo Shows Benefits in Chronic Kidney Disease

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In hypertensive patients with high cardiovascular risk, benazepril and amlodipine are better at reducing progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) than benazepril with hydrochlorothiazide, according to research published online Feb. 18 in The Lancet.

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LABAs Can Harm Asthma Patients When Used Alone

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) should never be used alone to treat asthma in children or adults.

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Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids Show Benefits in Youth

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In children with severe sensorineural hearing loss in one ear, use of the Baha bone-anchored hearing aid leads to improvements in hearing in noise and improved patient satisfaction, according to research published in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Happy People Less Likely to Develop Heart Disease

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- People who are happy and have a positive attitude are less likely to develop heart disease, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in the European Heart Journal.

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Breast Cancer Decline Linked to Hormone Therapy Decline

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The rise and fall in U.S. breast cancer rates from 1992 to 2005 mainly reflects affluent white (non-Hispanic) women initially adopting then abandoning hormone replacement therapy (HRT) because of its breast cancer risk, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Discussing Video Cases in Groups Aids in Diagnoses

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Viewing and discussing patient video cases with more experienced clinicians may help improve the diagnostic accuracy of newer clinicians, and these learning tools could be useful in training, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Revisional Bariatric Surgery Appears Safe, Effective

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Revisional bariatric surgery performed at experienced centers appears safe and effective despite a higher risk of perioperative complications compared to the primary procedures, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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FDA Issues Maalox Total Relief Warning

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to mistake Maalox Total Relief, a gastrointestinal and anti-diarrhea medication, for Maalox antacids (Maalox Advanced Regular Strength and Maalox Advanced Maximum Strength), as this could result in serious side effects.

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Newborn Training Has Mixed Effect in Developing Countries

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In developing countries, training birth attendants in the World Health Organization Essential Newborn Care course does not reduce neonatal mortality but does reduce rates of stillbirth, and further training in neonatal resuscitation does not have a significant effect on outcomes, according to a study in the Feb. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Annual Report Shows Increase in U.S. Life Expectancy

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Advances in medical technology are transforming health care and improving life expectancy and quality of life, but equal access to technology continues to be a problem, according to Health, United States, 2009, the 33rd annual report on the nation's health status released Feb. 17 by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.

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Statins Linked to Slightly Increased Diabetes Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Although statin therapy is associated with a slightly increased risk of diabetes, the risk is outweighed by a significantly decreased risk of coronary events, according to a review article published online Feb. 17 in The Lancet.

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Exercise May Lower Risk of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In previously inactive, mostly overweight, postmenopausal women, participation in a program of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise may result in sex hormone changes that are associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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New Reports Rank Health of Every U.S. County

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- For the first time, the nation's physicians, patients, and government officials can see how their county ranks in terms of health and longevity, according to a new set of reports released Feb. 17 at a press briefing in Washington, D.C.

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Social Support Associated With Heart Attack Recovery

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients recovering from myocardial infarction who have low levels of social support (SS) are more likely to suffer from angina, be more depressed, and have poorer quality of life than patients with high levels of SS, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in Circulation: Quality and Outcomes.

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Updated Guideline Helps Identify Heart Risks in Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The updated 2007 American Heart Association guideline for cardiovascular disease prevention in women identifies cardiovascular risk with accuracy similar to that of current Framingham risk categories. However, women were underrepresented in randomized clinical trials that led to creation of the guideline, according to two reports published online Feb. 16 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality Outcomes.

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Hormone Oxytocin Offers Possible Autism Treatment

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with the hormone oxytocin improves social interactions and performance, and enhances feelings of trust in subjects with high-functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome during simulated social interaction, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Study Finds Low Heritability for Tinnitus in General

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic factors appear to be of relatively low importance in tinnitus, according to research published in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents Safety Plan Approved

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Under a new safety plan approved Feb. 16 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, physicians will be required to provide all patients prescribed Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents (ESAs) with a Medication Guide, and to receive specific training and certification for the proper use of these agents in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

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Aspirin Use Linked to Fewer Breast Cancer Deaths

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Women with breast cancer who take aspirin several days a week have a lower risk of death or recurrence, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Lumbar Fusion Linked to Improved Driver Reaction Time

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The driver reaction time (DRT) in patients a week after lumbar fusion surgery is not significantly slower than their preoperative DRT, and after three months recovery their DRT may be faster than their preoperative DRT, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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Genetic Risk Scores Not Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Comprehensive literature-based genetic risk scores do not improve the prediction of cardiovascular risk among Caucasian women, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Chronic Conditions Becoming More Common in Children

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic health conditions have become increasingly more common in children in recent decades, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Genomic Markers Linked to Heart Disease

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in chromosome 9p21 are associated with heart disease, particularly in younger people, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Photodynamic Therapy Found to Strengthen Rat Vertebrae

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Photodynamic therapy (PDT) improves the spinal bone structure, stiffness and strength in rats and may offer a way to ablate metastatic tumor tissue and strengthen the spines of human cancer patients, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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Racial Disparities Seen in New York Surgical Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In New York City, minority patients are significantly less likely than Caucasians to use high-volume surgeons and hospitals when undergoing procedures with an established volume-mortality association, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Risk Factors Often Present in Cases of SIDS

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is often accompanied by multiple risk factors, many of which are modifiable, which call for more inclusive and comprehensive risk-reduction education, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Modest Genetic Differences Seen in Streptococcus Strains

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Group A Streptococcus strains from successive epidemics have relatively modest genetic differences but very different global gene expression, which may provide clues about their biology, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Botox Injections Found to Reduce Migraine Frequency

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Migraineurs who received botulinum toxin type A (BTX) injections have substantially decreased frequency of migraine headaches, but the relief is highly dependent on the type of migraine, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Poor Sleep Linked to More Car Accidents in Teenagers

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Poor sleep habits are associated with a higher risk of car accidents among teenagers, according to a study in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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H. Pylori Often Unrelated to Children's Gastrointestinal Pain

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In pediatric patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, Helicobacter pylori infection is not likely associated with recurrent abdominal pain (RAP), but it may be associated with unspecified abdominal pain (UAP) and epigastric pain, according to a review published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Superficial Venous Thrombosis May Herald Greater Risks

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Given that many patients with superficial venous thrombosis (SVT) also have deep venous thrombosis (DVT) at presentation, and a considerable number develop thromboembolic complications in following months, SVT may be more of a concern than previously thought, according to research published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Outcomes Found to Be Poor in South Carolina Stroke Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In South Carolina, patients hospitalized for an initial stroke have an elevated short- and long-term risk of recurrent stroke, heart attack, vascular death, and all-cause death, according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of Neurology.

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Effect of Cigar, Pipe Smoke on Lung Function Assessed

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Cigar and pipe smoking have been linked with higher urine cotinine levels and airflow obstruction, even in those who have never smoked cigarettes, according to research published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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NSAIDs Not Found to Affect Skin Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) does not have any effect on the risk for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), according to a California study published online Feb. 15 in the Archives of Dermatology.

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Supplement Shown to Be Helpful in Metformin Patients

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) taking metformin, folic acid supplementation may help enhance metformin's benefits on the vascular endothelium, and maintain homocysteine (Hcy) levels, according to research published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Accuracy of Postpartum Screening Tools Evaluated

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Depression is common in postpartum, low-income, urban mothers attending well-child care (WCC) visits, which may be identified by pediatricians with three screening tools, but cutoff scores may need to be changed to more accurately identify depression depending on the population and the screening tool utilized, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Metastatic Prostate Cancer Mechanism Identified

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- An oncogene tumor-suppressor cascade may drive metastatic prostate cancer, according to research published online Feb. 14 in Nature Medicine.

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Keeping Vaccination Records Linked to Greater Compliance

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- When parents had children's vaccination records available, children were more likely to be up-to-date on their vaccinations, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Severe Sleep Apnea Linked to Fewer Nightmares

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) report fewer nightmares, according to a study in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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Gender Differences Seen in CABG Operative Mortality

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Women who undergo coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery have significantly higher operative mortality (OM) than men having the same surgery, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Gluten-Free Camp Helpful for Children With Celiac Disease

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- For children and adolescents with celiac disease, attending a gluten-free camp may at least temporarily improve quality of life, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Rapid H1N1 Flu Test Found to Be of Limited Value in Children

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In the diagnosis of pediatric H1N1 influenza A virus infection, the rapid influenza diagnostic test has poor sensitivity but excellent specificity, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Treating Herpes May Slow HIV in Co-Infected Patients

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In patients co-infected with HIV-1 and herpes simplex virus type 2, treating the herpes infection with acyclovir likely delays the progression of HIV, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in The Lancet.

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Seminal Plasma, Not Cells May Be Key to HIV Transmission

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In HIV infection resulting from men having sex with men (MSM), the infection is likely transmitted via HIV RNA in the plasma constituent of semen, not by the HIV DNA located in seminal cells, according to a study in the Feb. 10 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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Lifestyle Changes Found to Improve Endothelial Function

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Lifestyle changes such as a low-fat diet and regular exercise improve endothelial function and inflammatory markers of atherosclerosis in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Physical Activity Surveillance Methods Need Improvement

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Relying on self-reported data to study disparities in physical activity can produce misleading information about population-wide trends, and surveillance should be revised to use more objective methods of data collection, according to research published online Feb. 10 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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2009 H1N1-Related Deaths and Hospitalizations Examined

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided updated estimates of the 2009 H1N1 cases, related hospitalizations and deaths, with approximately 57 million cases occurring between April 2009 and January 2010.

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Immunization Information Systems More Widely Used

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Immunization information systems (IIS) that consolidate vaccination data from different health care providers and can be used to remind and recall patients are becoming more widely used by vaccination grantees, according to an article published in the Feb. 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Decaffeinated Coffee May Impair Glucose Metabolism

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Although earlier research has linked decaffeinated coffee to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, the beverage has been found to impair glucose metabolism in healthy young men, but less so than caffeinated beverages, according to research published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Study Suggests Treatment Target for Enlarged Tonsils

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Phosphoserine phosphatase (PSPH) may play a role in tonsil enlargement in children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and may serve as a target for treating this enlargement, according to research published online Jan. 21 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Fenofibrate Linked to Lower Creatinine Clearance

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of fenofibrate in type 2 diabetes is linked to lowered measures of renal function but has no effect on albumin excretion rate, according to research published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Shoulder Injuries Compared in High School Baseball, Softball

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Although high school baseball and softball players tend to have similar rates of shoulder injuries, there are factors at play that may help improve preventive efforts, according to research published online Feb. 8 in Pediatrics.

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Eating Walnuts May Improve Diabetic Endothelial Function

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A diet rich in walnuts helps type 2 diabetes patients improve endothelium-dependent vasodilatation, and may in turn reduce their overall cardiac risk, according to a study published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Stenosis Can Still Exist in Absence of Coronary Calcium

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In contradiction of professional guidelines, the absence of coronary calcification in blood vessels does not rule out the potential existence of stenosis, and should not be used to decide if revascularization is needed, according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Emotional Stress Can Trigger Acute Coronary Syndrome

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Emotional stress, such as that experienced by a spectator at a major sporting event, can increase serum levels of inflammatory biochemicals that can trigger an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) event, according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Antiplatelet Therapy Approaches for PCI Evaluated

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive a loading dose of clopidogrel just before percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) have similar ischemic and mortality outcomes to those who receive the antiplatelet therapy well in advance of the procedure (as recommended in professional guidelines), according to research published in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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MRI Benefit in Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Questioned

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in addition to the usual triple assessment for breast cancer diagnosis does not reduce the risk of repeat operation and is not a good use of resources, according to a study published in the Feb. 13 issue of The Lancet.

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Vesicoureteral Reflux Treatment in Children Studied

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The treating hospital is the most important factor affecting treatment choice in children with vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), a condition characterized by an abnormal flow of urine from the bladder back into the ureter, according to research published online Feb. 8 in Pediatrics.

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Breast Arterial Calcium Not Found to Be Predictive of CAD

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Breast arterial calcium (BAC) deposits that show up on mammograms are not a useful tool for predicting the odds of coronary artery disease in women who are at medium or high risk, according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Camp Mumps Outbreak Sickens Over 1,500 People

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- An outbreak of mumps that began at a summer camp in New York in June 2009 has since infected 1,521 people in New York and New Jersey as of the end of January 2010, according to an article published in the Feb. 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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BP Drugs, Retinal Vessel Diameter in Diabetes Studied

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus who have normal blood pressure, neither angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors nor angiotensin-receptor blockers have an effect on retinal arteriole or venule diameter, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Gout Associated With Higher Heart Attack Risk in Women

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Gout is associated with an increased risk of heart attack in women, as previously observed in men, although the risk is higher in women, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Lactation May Protect Women Against Metabolic Syndrome

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Longer duration of breast-feeding can help women, particularly those who developed gestational diabetes mellitus, by reducing their risk of developing the metabolic syndrome, according to a study in the February issue of Diabetes

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FDA: Automated External Defibrillators Recalled

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiac Science Corporation has announced the worldwide voluntary recall of a number of their automated external defibrillators (AEDs) due to the inability of these devices to deliver therapy during resuscitation, which can result in serious complications and death, according to a Feb. 9 safety alert issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Hormone Replacement Therapy Linked to Higher Asthma Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women who use hormone replacement therapy consisting of estrogen alone are at higher risk of developing asthma, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Thorax.

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Systemic Treatment Deemed Effective for Giant-Cell Tumor

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Denosumab, an antibody that targets cells involved in bone destruction, is the first systemic treatment shown to be effective in treating giant-cell tumor, a rare osteolytic tumor that can metastasize to the lung, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Myocarditis Linked to Pandemic H1N1 Flu in Children

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Several cases of fulminant myocarditis, a rare complication of viral infection, have been identified among children infected with H1N1 pandemic influenza during a one month period, according to the results of a retrospective chart review published online Feb. 10 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Laparoscopic Practice Takes Physical Toll on Surgeons

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Many surgeons who perform laparoscopic surgery suffer pain, numbness, stiffness, fatigue and other physical symptoms, often as a result of high case load, according to a study published online Dec. 24 ahead of print in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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Needleless Intravenous Valve Cause of Worldwide Recall

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) and Acacia, Inc. have announced the voluntary recall of any products containing the Q-Syte Luer Access Device, including BD's Nexiva Closed Intravenous (IV) Catheter System and Acacia's IV Extension Sets. The use of affected devices may cause an air embolism or fluid leakage, which can result in serious complications and death.

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Dietary Supplement Suspected of Causing Selenium Poisoning

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A liquid dietary supplement that contained 200 times the labeled concentration of selenium caused a widespread outbreak of selenium poisoning affecting 201 people in 10 states, according to a study published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Migraine Associated With Cardiovascular Events, Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Migraines -- both with and without aura -- are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular events and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to research published online Feb. 10 in Neurology.

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Magnesium Found Beneficial for Postmenopausal Women

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In postmenopausal women, increased magnesium intake is associated with lower levels of some markers of systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, according to a study in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Study Finds Link Between Genetic Variations, Stuttering

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Some cases of stuttering may be related to variations in genes that play a role in lysosomal metabolism, according to research published online Feb. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Study Supports Accelerated Whole-Breast Irradiation

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Whole-breast irradiation spread over fewer days (accelerated, hypofractionated radiation) following breast-conserving surgery for cancer appears non-inferior to standard radiation treatment, according to research published in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. This adds to a study recently released Online First in The Lancet Oncology, which showed that hypofractionated radiotherapy for breast cancer patients may provide a better quality of life with no evidence of an increase in adverse effects.

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Youth Cardiovascular Risk Factors Linked to Early Death

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiovascular risk factors in childhood are associated with a higher rate of premature death from endogenous causes, according to research published in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Draft Diagnostic Criteria for DSM-5 Are Released

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Proposed revisions to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) were released Feb. 10 by the American Psychiatric Association.

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Rural Diabetes Impact Calls for Variety of Outreach Solutions

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The burden of diabetes in rural communities points to a need for strategies to improve diabetes care in these areas, according to an article published in the Jan. 1 issue of Clinical Diabetes.

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Reducing Skin Toxicity During Cancer Treatment Studied

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Preemptive treatment reduces the development of high-grade skin toxicity (the most common adverse event observed with inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor) by more than half in patients with colorectal cancer receiving panitumumab-containing therapy, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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AHRQ: U.S. Adults Seeing Big Barriers to Specialty Care

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In 2007, about one in 13 of U.S. adults reported that access to specialist care was a "big problem," according to a December report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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FDA Initiative Aims to Cut Medical Radiation Exposure

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new initiative that aims to reduce exposure to radiation from computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies and fluoroscopy, the three procedures that are the main sources of medically-related radiation exposure.

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Tamoxifen Treatment Linked to Worse Cognitive Function

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women with breast cancer have worse cognitive function after treatment with tamoxifen but not exemestane, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Active Bowel Disease May Increase Blood Clot Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a much greater risk of suffering a venous thromboembolism than people in the general population without the bowel condition, particularly during periods of active disease, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in The Lancet.

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Bedside Blood Test Found to Detect Anticoagulation Status

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new bedside blood test can be used to determine the sufficiency of anticoagulation in patients who are about to undergo catheterization or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Neutralizing Antibodies to Interferon Beta May Persist

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- After cessation of interferon beta therapy for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, neutralizing antibodies to interferon beta can persist, and their presence is associated with poorer clinical outcomes, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Flu Vaccination Found Safe, Immunogenic in Young Infants

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Babies under 6 months of age, for whom no influenza vaccine is currently licensed, developed protective antibodies after vaccination with a standard infant dose of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) with few adverse events, according to a study in the February issue of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

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Crestor Approval Expanded

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for Crestor (rosuvastatin) has been widened to include people who have no obvious symptoms of heart disease, Dow Jones reported.

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Maternal Factors Linked to Fetal Growth Restriction

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Some maternal factors are associated with first-trimester fetal growth, and growth restriction in turn can lead to adverse birth outcomes, according to research published in the Feb. 10 Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Use of Feeding Tubes in Adults With Dementia Varies Widely

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Feeding tube insertions in older individuals with advanced cognitive impairment -- a practice that has drawn scrutiny in the literature -- varied widely in U.S. hospitals during a recent period, according to research published in the Feb. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Gastric Banding Tested for Weight Loss in Obese Teens

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In a study of obese Australian adolescents, 84 percent who underwent laparoscopic gastric banding lost more than half their excess weight compared to just 12 percent in a lifestyle-intervention program, according to a study in the Feb. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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New Research Points to Threat in Thirdhand Tobacco Smoke

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Nicotine left on surfaces from tobacco smoke can combine with ambient nitrous oxide to create carcinogens, raising new concern over the health effects of so-called thirdhand smoke, according to research published online Feb. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Executive Dysfunction With High BP May Help Predict Dementia

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In elderly adults, executive dysfunction -- but not memory dysfunction -- accompanied by hypertension may help predict progression to dementia and provide an opportunity to intervene, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Paroxetine May Compromise the Efficacy of Tamoxifen

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Women with breast cancer who take tamoxifen and the antidepressant paroxetine (Paxil), which has been hypothesized to reduce the effectiveness of tamoxifen, may be at higher risk of dying of breast cancer, according to research published online Feb. 8 in BMJ.

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Older Maternal Age Linked to Incidence of Type 1 Diabetes

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A small percentage of older mothers may be more likely to give birth to children with type 1 diabetes, according to a meta-analysis published in the February issue of Diabetes.

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Age-Related Treatment and Outcomes in Stroke Examined

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Older people who suffer ischemic stroke are more likely to die in the hospital than younger stroke victims, though disparities in care by age group have been reduced or eliminated in recent years, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Circulation.

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Bevacizumab May Benefit Choroidal Neovascularization

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Intravitreal bevacizumab treatment produces superior results in treating juxtafoveal choroidal neovascularization secondary to pathologic myopia compared with laser treatment and photodynamic therapy, according to a pilot study published online Feb. 8 in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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CD Increases Knowledge, Comfort With Genetic Testing

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A CD-based educational aid can increase knowledge of and comfort with genetic testing in patients at high risk of developing cancer, and may facilitate informed consent, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Impact of HIV Drug Adherence Programs Evaluated

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In HIV patients treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the efficacy of interventions promoting adherence to the drug regimen appears linked to how well standard care is delivered, according to a review published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Outcomes Improving in Asymptomatic Carotid Stenosis

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis (ACS), intensive medical therapy has significantly reduced microemboli on transcranial Doppler as well as cardiovascular events, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Needle Length May Affect Vaccination Results in Obese

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The reduced immune response seen in obese adolescents and adults following hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination may be due in part to insufficient needle penetration of muscle, according to research published online Feb. 8 in Pediatrics.

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Coronary Risk Information May Benefit High Risk Patients

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Adults at moderate to high risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) may be more likely to seek treatment if they are given a quantitative estimate of their risk odds in the form of CHD risk information, but the population-wide effect of disseminating such information remains unclear, according to a review published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Glaucoma Drugs Associated With Lower Mortality

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Among glaucoma patients, the use of any class of glaucoma drug is associated with a significantly lower likelihood of dying, according to a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Drug Found to Inhibit, Reverse Osteoporosis in Rodents

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- An investigational drug that blocks the synthesis of serotonin in the gut prevents and reverses osteoporosis in a rodent model of the disease by promoting bone formation, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in Nature Medicine.

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Fewer States Preempting Local Smoke-Free Rules

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Some progress has been made on the Healthy People 2010 goal of eliminating state laws which enable states to preempt local restrictions on smoke-free areas that are more stringent than state laws, according to an article published in the Feb. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Healthy Routines May Reduce Obesity in Children and Teens

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to three household routines is associated with a significantly reduced prevalence of obesity in preschoolers, and an age-appropriate book may help obese girls aged 9 to 13 years lose weight, according to two articles published online Feb. 8 in Pediatrics.

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H1N1 Vaccination Still Highly Recommended

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Despite H1N1 virus levels stabilizing, transmission remains an issue and vaccination continues to be an effective option for prevention of this potentially serious condition, according to a Feb. 5 press briefing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

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Racial Disparities in Perinatal HIV Infections Decline Slightly

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Racial disparities in perinatal HIV diagnoses have declined in recent years, although African-Americans and Hispanics still account for the majority of infections, according to research published in the Feb. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Few Women Taking Tamoxifen to Prevent Breast Cancer

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Well below 1 percent of American women without a personal history of breast cancer have been taking tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer in the past decade, according to a report in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Behavioral Health Factors Linked to HPV Vaccination

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Certain behavioral health factors may potentially be associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine acceptability, according to research published in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Many American Adults Do Not Get Recommended Vaccines

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although most parents ensure their children are vaccinated, adults often do not receive recommended vaccinations themselves, according to a new report, Adult Immunization: Shots to Save Lives.

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Physical Inactivity, Not Just Lack of Exercise, Harms Health

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Sedentary behavior and a lack of whole-body movement are independent predictors of increased mortality and increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, regardless of level of physical exercise, according to an article published online Feb. 4 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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FDA Warns of Link Between Natalizumab, Brain Infection

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- On Feb. 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified health care professionals and patients that the risk of developing a rare but serious brain infection increases as the number of natalizumab (Tysabri) infusions received increases.

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Study Examines Effects of Different Meals After Exercise

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Maintaining a carbohydrate or energy deficit after an exercise session appears to be associated with different effects on insulin sensitivity, according to research published online Dec. 31 ahead of print in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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Coalition Launches Campaign to Limit Residents' Hours

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- To prevent medical errors caused by doctor fatigue, a coalition of public interest and patient safety groups is urging the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to limit the amount of time residents must work without sleep to 16 hours and to increase resident supervision.

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Study Assesses Survival in Patients With Liver Disease

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) have a higher risk of death than the general population, according to research published in the February issue of Hepatology.

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Many African-Americans Do Not Protect Skin From the Sun

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Many African-Americans are not protecting their skin from sun damage, with less than a third always using even one form of sun protection, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Pediatric Amputations Cost $21.6 Million Annually

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Traumatic amputations in children cost nearly $22 million in hospital-associated charges annually in the United States, according to a report in the January issue of the Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care.

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Diabetes Patients, Doctors May Have Different Health Priorities

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- While diabetes patients with comorbidities and their primary care providers are usually in concordance over what their health priorities are, concordance tends to be lower among the least healthy patients and those with non-health competing demands, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Closed-Loop Insulin Delivery Helps Young Diabetes Patients

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Young type 1 diabetes patients could be at reduced risk of nocturnal hypoglycemia if they use closed-loop insulin delivery, which responds to blood sugar levels to deliver insulin, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in The Lancet.

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Backpack Weight Linked to Back Issues in Children

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing backpack loads are associated with more back pain, lumbar asymmetry, and decreases in lumbar disc height in children, according to research published in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.

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Whole Grain Intake Found Deficient in Young People

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The mean daily consumption of whole grains by adolescents and young people is far below the recommended minimum of three servings a day, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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Health Care Spending Makes Record Leap in GDP Share

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A growth in health spending in 2009, coupled with a sagging economy, created the largest one-year jump in health care's share of the nation's gross domestic product since 1960, according to an article published online Feb. 4 in Health Affairs.

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No Rebound Seen in Platelet Aggregation After Clopidogrel

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- There was no rebound in platelet aggregation (PA) observed in cardiovascular patients who stopped taking clopidogrel abruptly or tapered off the medication gradually after the prescribed course of treatment, according to a study in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Positive Dipstick Heme Results Appear to Need More Scrutiny

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Patients testing positive on dipstick heme tests should have confirmation with microscopic urinalysis before they're further evaluated or referred to a urologist, according to research published in the February issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Air Quality Found to Affect the Prevalence of Ear Infections

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- During the past decade, improved air quality has corresponded with a decreased prevalence of frequent ear infections in children, according to a report in the February issue of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

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Herbal Remedies Linked to Asthma Medicine Adherence

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Inner-city asthma patients who use herbal remedies are less likely to take their asthma medication, possibly due to concerns about adverse effects, according to a study in the February issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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Worldwide Burden of Retinal Vein Occlusion Evaluated

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Retinal vein occlusion may affect 16.4 million adults worldwide, according to an article in the February issue of Ophthalmology.

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Views of Physicians, Patients Differ on Spinal Surgery

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Surgeons, family physicians, and their patients have different perceptions of what constitutes good grounds for spinal surgery, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.

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Steroids in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Studied

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) may have only a modest benefit in preventing disease exacerbations, according to a systematic review and metaregression published in the February issue of Chest.

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Drugs May Be Beneficial in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration, intravitreal bevacizumab or ranibizumab may help stabilize the loss of visual acuity, according to a study in the February issue of Ophthalmology.

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Diversity Growth Incremental in the Medical Professions

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- One hundred years after the Flexner Report recommended closing five of the seven African-American medical schools then extant, African-Americans and other minorities remain grossly underrepresented in the medical professions, according to an article in the February issue of Academic Medicine.

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Surgery Not Necessarily Better for Lumbar Disc Herniation

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Both surgical and non-surgical treatments for lumbar disc herniation are effective, and the relative long-term benefits of surgery may differ depending on whether or not the patient has workers' compensation, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Linked to Depression

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be at an increased risk of developing depression, according to a study in the February issue of Chest.

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Communication Found Possible With Some Coma Patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Basic communication can be established with some disorders-of-consciousness patients who are otherwise unresponsive, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure neuroanatomically specific, blood-oxygenation-level-dependent responses to mental imagery tasks, according to a study published online Feb. 3 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Lower Serum Vitamin D Levels Linked to Asthma Severity

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Lung function tends to be worse and glucocorticoid response poorer in asthma patients who have lower serum levels of vitamin D, according to a study published online Jan. 14 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Not All Terminally Ill Receive Desired End-of-Life Care

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Most terminally ill patients receive end-of-life care consistent with their stated preferences, and are more likely to receive the care they prefer if they have discussed their preferences with a physician, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Visual Impairment Linked to Increased Risk of Falls

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In Latino adults, central visual impairment and peripheral visual impairment are independently associated with an increased risk of falls and fall-related injuries, according to a study in the February issue of Ophthalmology.

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Vendors of Imaging Equipment Urged to Allow Tracked Exposure

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Due to the increasing exposure to diagnostic radiation, vendors of imaging equipment should allow tracking of radiation exposure, according to an opinion article in the February Journal of the American College of Radiology. A related opinion in the same issue notes that diagnostic radiation exposure has the potential to harm not only the individual but also future generations through processes such as epigenetics.

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Role of Artemin in Endometrial Cancer Investigated

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Endometrial tumors that produce high levels of artemin are more oncogenic and invasive, according to a study published online Jan. 29 in Endocrinology.

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The Lancet Retracts Study Linking MMR Vaccine, Autism

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- On Feb. 2, The Lancet retracted a controversial 1998 study that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism and gastrointestinal problems.

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Symptoms Poor Predictors of Ovarian Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Despite a recent consensus statement encouraging use of certain symptoms in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer, symptoms such as abdominal pain or urinary urgency are poor predictors of the disease, particularly early-stage disease, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Red Flags for Serious Infection in Children Highlighted

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Cyanosis, rapid breathing and poor peripheral circulation are all significant red flags for serious infection in children in developed country settings, while physicians' instinct and parental concern also play a role, according to a review published online Feb. 3 in The Lancet.

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Hippocampal Volume Found to Increase With Aerobic Exercise

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Aerobic exercise can increase the volume of the hippocampus in schizophrenia patients, and may have a role in the treatment of disabilities associated with the condition, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Xiaflex Approved for Rare Hand Condition

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Collagenase clostridium histolyticum (Xiaflex) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the first drug to treat a disabling hand condition called Dupuytren's contracture.

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Cost Barrier Linked to Less Health Behavior Counseling

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- When patients are required to pay for previously free health behavior counseling, use of the services drops dramatically, according to research published online Feb. 2 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Clinicians Need to Be Aware of Patient Use of Herbal Products

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Health care professionals need to be aware of their patients' use of herbal remedies, which can adversely interact with many common cardiovascular medications, according to a review in the Feb. 9 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Growth Hormone Deficiency Not Found to Affect Lifespan

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Isolated growth hormone deficiency (IGHD) has no effect on longevity once the individual reaches adulthood, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Computed Tomography Shows Advantage in Heart Disease

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Computed tomography (CT) appears to hold an advantage over magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for ruling out coronary artery disease, according to research published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Lower Brain Serotonin Seen in Infants Who Died of SIDS

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Lower levels of medullary serotonin in infants who died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) suggest that a serotonin deficiency may play a role in the condition, according to research published in the Feb. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Antidepressant May Aid Post-Stroke Cognitive Recovery

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients who receive the antidepressant escitalopram within three months of their stroke show improvement in cognitive functioning as compared to those receiving either placebo or Problem Solving Therapy, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Omega-3s May Reduce Risk of Developing Psychotic Disorder

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Young people with subclinical psychotic symptoms who take omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may have reduced risk of progression to a full-blown psychotic disorder, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Advocating Abstinence May Reduce Teen Sexual Behavior

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Abstinence programs may help to prevent sexual involvement among adolescents, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Medicine Errors More Common When Parents Use Dosing Cups

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Using dosing cups to measure children's medications leads to more frequent dosing errors compared with using other methods, and parents with low levels of health literacy are at greater risk of making dosing mistakes, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Metformin May Help Decrease Body Mass Index in Teens

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Obese adolescents who take extended-release metformin alongside a lifestyle intervention are more likely to see a decrease in body mass index (BMI) than their counterparts who make lifestyle changes alone, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Extended Use of Nicotine Patch Linked to Benefits

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The use of transdermal nicotine patches for an extended duration, compared to the standard eight-week therapy, may improve the chances of smoking abstinence, according to research published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Late Mortality May Be Decreasing in Childhood Cancer Survivors

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Late mortality among five-year survivors of childhood cancer has dropped significantly in the past few decades, largely due to fewer deaths from recurrence or progression, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In a related study in the same issue, researchers report that the expression of 34 genes predicts outcomes in patients with rhabdomyosarcoma.

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Estrogen Levels Linked to Breast Cancer Gene Expression

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Plasma estrogen levels are correlated with the expression of estrogen-dependent genes in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancers, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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President Proposes $911 Billion Budget for HHS

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- As part of his 2011 budget proposal, President Barack Obama has proposed $911 billion for the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, according to a Feb. 1 announcement by the secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius.

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Study Doesn't Support Drug for Pericardial Effusion

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with pericardial effusion following heart surgery, the use of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac doesn't reduce the size of the effusions or lower the risk of late cardiac tamponade, according to research published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Grouping Primary Care Disciplines May Distort Policy

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The practice of grouping pediatrics, internal medicine and family medicine under the classification of primary care may result in distorted data because the three groups may not share the same view of health economics or have the same economic preferences underlying their choice of career, according to an article published online Feb. 1 in Pediatrics.

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Report Finds Pediatric Ovarian Torsion Incidence to Be Low

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In the pediatric population, ovarian torsion is a relatively rare condition, but it occurs in all ages and many cases are treated with oophorectomy, according to an article published online Feb. 1 in Pediatrics.

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Transplant Type Found to Have No Effect on Leukemia Survival

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In leukemia patients, long-term survival rates are similar in those who were transplanted with either peripheral blood stem cells or bone marrow, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Antioxidants Found to Alter Muscle Oxygen Use in Rats

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Antioxidants alter the pattern of oxygen delivery and consumption in resting and contracting muscle in aged rats, according to recent studies at Kansas State University, including research originally published in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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Foster Care Quality Linked to Hyperactive Youths' Progress

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The degrees of parental warmth and hostility, as well as the number of foster-care moves, affect the progression of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity among children placed in foster care, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Pediatrics.

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BMI Thresholds May Be Too Restrictive for Older Adults

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Body mass index thresholds are too restrictive for older adults, who are at no greater risk of mortality if they are overweight versus normal weight, according to a study in the February issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Postpartum Period Good Time to Help Parents Quit Smoking

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The immediate postpartum hospital stay presents a good opportunity for a health intervention to encourage smoking parents to quit, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Pediatrics.

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Adrenal Condition's Effects on Women's Fertility Studied

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Women with nonclassical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (NC-CAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency have only mild fertility problems, but clinicians should consider treating them with glucocorticoids to lower their risk of miscarriage, according to a study published online Jan. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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FDA, Eli Lilly Announce Olanzapine Labeling Changes

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- On Jan. 29, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced changes to the prescribing information for olanzapine (Zyprexa).

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Effects of Switching to Fat-Free Milk in Schools Assessed

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to fears from the milk industry that removing whole milk from New York City public schools would reduce demand from students, eliminating full-fat milk and switching from low-fat to fat-free chocolate milk actually increased purchases, according to an article in the Jan. 29 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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New Rules Require Parity for Mental Health Benefits

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Group health plans will no longer be able to limit benefits for mental health or substance abuse disorders, or require patients to pay more for these benefits, according to new rules issued by the U.S. government on Jan. 29.

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Children's Use of Oral Health Care Examined

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Parents who seek oral health care for themselves are more likely to do the same for their children, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Pediatrics; while another study found that Web-based training (WBT) and hands-on training (HOT) can help pediatricians incorporate preventive oral health care into primary care visits.

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FDA Revises Label for the HIV Drug Didanosine

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with HIV, use of Videx or Videx EC (didanosine) may increase the risk of non-cirrhotic portal hypertension, according to a Safety Announcement released Jan. 29 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has revised the Warning and Precautions section of the didanosine drug label to assure safe use of the medication.

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