January 2009 Briefing - Family Practice

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

Extreme Preterm Infants Likely to Test Positive for Autism

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In infants born before 28 weeks' gestation, major motor, cognitive, visual and hearing impairments account for more than 50 percent of positive Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) screens, according to a report published online Jan. 30 in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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Number of Low Birth Weight Babies Rises in Massachusetts

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The steady rise in the number of low birth weight babies in Massachusetts from 1997 to 2004 can only partially be explained by the increased use of assisted reproductive technology, according to a report published in the Jan. 30 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Motility Studies Useful in Neonatal Dysphagia

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In neonatal dysphagia, pharyngoesophageal motility studies combined with clinical observations during evaluation can play a useful role in the development of well-structured multidisciplinary feeding strategies, researchers report in the February issue of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

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Anticholinergic Agents Linked to Cognitive Impairment

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Cumulative long-term use of anticholinergic medications can lead to cognitive impairment, including poor memory and executive function, according to study findings published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Americans Face Soaring Health Insurance Premiums

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Health insurance premiums in America will double by 2016 unless there are major health care reforms, according to a report titled Health Care in Crisis: How Special Interests Could Double Health Costs and How We Can Stop It, published Jan. 28 by the Public Interest Research Group.

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Mammography Benefits High-Risk Women in Late 30s

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- For women carrying mutations in the BRCA gene, who are advised to begin mammography screening at as early as 25 to 30 years of age, the reduction in breast cancer mortality outweighs the risk of radiation-induced cancer mortality in women screened annually at 35 to 39 years of age but maybe not younger age groups, according to the results of a study published in the Feb. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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FX06 Cuts Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Injury

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention to treat acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), using intravenous FX06, a fibrin-derived naturally occurring peptide, significantly reduces the necrotic core zone, but does not change scar size or troponin I levels, according to study findings published online Jan. 28 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Estrogen Protects Against Effects of High-Fat Diet

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Modulation of the estrogen receptor α (ERα) pathway may protect against insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, suggesting it is an effective target for high-fat diet-induced type 2 diabetes, according to the results of a study in mice published online Jan. 22 in Endocrinology.

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Parental Support Program May Reduce Child Maltreatment

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The Triple P - Positive Parenting Program -- a multi-level system of parenting support that integrates local media, public seminars and parent consultation by specially trained providers in clinics, schools, churches and community centers -- may help reduce child maltreatment, according to a report published online Jan. 22 in Prevention Science.

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Arterial Stiffness Predicts Hypertension Drug Response

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with hypertension and high levels of arterial stiffness are less likely to respond to antihypertensive drugs, researchers report in the Feb. 3 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Newer Antidepressants Not All the Same

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- There are significant differences in terms of efficacy and acceptability between 12 new-generation antidepressants, according to an article published online Jan. 29 in The Lancet.

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Bisphenol A Levels Do Not Decrease with Fasting

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Bisphenol A, an industrial chemical used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics, epoxy resins and polyvinyl chloride plastic, may accumulate in body tissue or be ingested via substantial non-food sources, according to study findings published online Jan. 28 in Environmental Health Perspectives.

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Gene Appears to Play Role in Epilepsy EEG Trait

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A mutation in a non-coding region of the Elongator Protein Complex 4 ELP4 gene appears to be associated with rolandic epilepsy, which is marked by nocturnal seizures that begin in childhood and remit in adolescence, according to research published online Jan. 28 in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

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Weight Loss Reduces Urinary Incontinence in Obese Women

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In overweight and obese women with urinary incontinence, a six-month weight-loss program significantly reduces the frequency of self-reported incontinence episodes, researchers report in the Jan. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Clopidogrel/Proton Pump Inhibitor Combo Questioned

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Heart attack patients who take both clopidogrel and a proton pump inhibitor other than pantoprazole have an increased risk of reinfarction and may lose the beneficial effects of clopidogrel, according to research published online Jan. 28 in CMAJ, the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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Glucose Control Important for Acute Coronary Syndrome

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiologists should be aware of the link between admission hyperglycemia and increased mortality in patients with acute coronary syndrome, according to an article published Feb. 3 in a supplement to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology devoted to glucose issues.

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Rapidly Changing Moles Associated with 'Sun Tan Jab'

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- An untested, injectable drug that is sold on the Internet for its tanning properties is associated with rapidly changing moles, according to an article published online Jan. 27 in BMJ.

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Insulin Therapy Linked to Better Pediatric ICU Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The use of insulin to target blood glucose to age-adjusted normal fasting values was associated with improved outcomes in infants and children in intensive care, according to research published online Jan. 27 in The Lancet.

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Longer Antibiotic Regimen Superior in Pregnant Women

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A one-day regimen of the antibiotic nitrofurantoin is markedly less effective than a seven-day regimen to treat asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnant women, according to research published in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Early Blood Transfusion Increases Respiratory Risk

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Early transfusion of packed red blood cells, particularly in large amounts, increases the risk of developing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in trauma patients, researchers report in the February issue of Anesthesiology.

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Keeping Ovaries Safe in Some Endometrial Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Premenopausal women with early-stage endometrial cancer do not have higher odds of five-year survival if they undergo oophorectomy in addition to hysterectomy, according to study findings published online Jan. 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Faster Response Linked to Improved Cardiac Survival

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- During a recent period, improvements in the "chain of survival" were linked to increased survival following out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in a region of Japan, according to research published online Jan. 26 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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British Breast Screening Leaflet Lacks Information

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The U.K. breast cancer screening information leaflet, "Breast Screening: the Facts," downplays the risks of screening to the extent that it cannot be relied upon to help a patient make a genuinely informed decision, according to an article published online Jan. 27 in BMJ.

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Chronic Hyperglycemia Linked to Cognitive Dysfunction

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 2 diabetes, higher A1C levels are associated with lower scores on cognitive tests, researchers report in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Acupuncture Offers Only Minimal Pain Relief

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Acupuncture offers some pain relief but at a level below clinical significance, according to a report published online Jan. 28 in BMJ.

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BNP Levels Not a Superior Guide for Heart Failure Therapy

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Using N-terminal brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels to guide heart failure therapy does not improve overall clinical outcomes or patient quality of life compared to using symptoms to guide treatment, according to a report published in the Jan. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Low Mammogram Rates Among Pediatric Cancer Survivors

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Despite recommended guidelines, a number of women who received chest radiation for a childhood cancer have not had mammography screening for breast cancer in the previous two years, according to the results of a study published in the Jan. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Secondhand Smoke Leads to Erectile Dysfunction in Mice

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Secondhand smoke reduces erectile function in mice, but the effects can be reversed by treatment with sildenafil, researchers report in the February issue of the Journal of Urology.

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Caloric Restriction Improves Memory in Elderly

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing calorie intake by 30 percent improves memory in elderly individuals, according to research published online Jan. 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Good Survival Post-Cardiac Arrest After Angiography

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who are resuscitated after a heart attack have good survival and neurological recovery after undergoing emergent angiography and revascularization, particularly if they are alert post-resuscitation, according to a report in the Feb. 3 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Counseling Helps Prevent Excessive Pregnancy Weight Gain

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Excessive weight gain during pregnancy is effectively prevented with a consistent counseling program focused on diet and lifestyle, according to an article published in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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AHA Supports Omega-6 for Possible Heart Protection

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The American Heart Association recommends that at least 5 to 10 percent of individuals' calories should come from omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, according to a science advisory published online Jan. 26 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Overnight Rostral Fluid Shift Linked to Impaired Sleep

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In non-obese men, overnight fluid displacement from the legs to the neck related to prolonged sitting may play a previously unrecognized role in the development of obstructive sleep apnea, according to research published in the February issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Psychosis Linked to Attention-Deficit Disorder Drugs

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In children receiving drug treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms may be a sign of an adverse drug reaction, according to a report published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Exercise Can Reduce Insulin Resistance in Obese Elders

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Combining resistance and aerobic exercise is the best way to reduce functional limitations and insulin resistance in elderly patients with abdominal obesity, according to study findings published in the Jan. 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Imaging Detects Cardiac Abnormalities in Endocarditis

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Multislice computed tomography (CT) is effective in detecting valvular abnormalities in patients with suspected infective endocarditis compared with transesophageal echocardiography and surgical specimens, researchers report in the Feb. 3 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Clinical Information Technology Leads to Safer Hospitals

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals that make use of clinical information technology to automate notes, records, order entry and clinical decision support have lower mortality rates, fewer complications and also save money, according to a report published in the Jan. 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Prolonged Use of Loop Diuretics May Raise Fracture Risk

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women who use loop diuretics are at increased risk of fractures, according to a report published in the Jan. 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Meditation Practice Linked to Less Pain Sensitivity

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Experience in Zen meditation is associated with reduced pain sensitivity, a finding supporting the value of mindfulness-based meditation, according to research published in the January issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.

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Accidental Infant Bed Deaths Have Quadrupled Since 1984

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- For unknown reasons, the infant mortality rate attributable to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed has quadrupled since 1984 in the United States, according to study findings published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Alcohol-Use Disorders Are Common, But Treatable

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- About one-quarter of individuals with alcohol-use disorders will seek help for their problems, and health care providers should routinely screen for alcohol dependence or abuse, according to a seminar published online Jan. 26 in The Lancet.

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea Linked to Insulin Resistance

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with insulin resistance in obesity and also independently of obesity, which may increase the risk of developing other chronic conditions, according to two studies published in the February issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Rates of Severe Obstetric Complications on the Rise

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Severe obstetric complications have occurred at an increasing rate, and many are associated with a mirrored increase in the rate of Caesarean deliveries, according to research published in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Prostate Cancer May Be Underdiagnosed in Poor Men

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Although the detection of low-risk prostate cancers has been increasing in the United States due to screening, this is not the case among low-income, disadvantaged men, researchers report in the February issue of the Journal of Urology.

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AHA Reveals Top 10 Heart Disease Research Advances

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The American Heart Association (AHA) has released its annual top 10 list of advances in research into heart disease and stroke, with a study on the impact of smoke-free legislation on hospitalizations for acute coronary syndrome topping the list.

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CDC Reports Increase of Hib Infections in Minnesota

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Five children in Minnesota have become ill with Haemophilus influenzae serotype b (Hib) in the past year, and one of them died, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Jan. 23.

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Smoking Causes Over 440,000 US Deaths Each Year

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- There were an estimated 443,000 deaths a year from 2000 to 2004 attributable to smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke in the United States, according to a report published in the Jan. 23 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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More Recess Time Leads to Better Classroom Behavior

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Elementary school-age students who receive at least one daily recess period of 15 minutes or more are likely to show better behavior in the classroom, according to study findings published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Teenage Obesity Linked to Poor Maternal-Fetal Outcomes

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight and obesity in teenage mothers is associated with an increased risk for adverse perinatal outcomes, according to research published in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Impaired Kidney Function Linked to Mortality in Elderly

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Impaired kidney function is associated with a higher risk of death and cardiovascular disease in elderly individuals at risk of vascular disease, while statins reduce the risk of death and heart attack in patients with impaired kidney function, according to the results of a study published online Jan. 20 in PLoS Medicine.

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No Evidence Base to Support Smoker-Free Workplace Rule

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Smoker-free workplace policies unfairly discriminate against smokers and lack an evidence base to support claims that they reduce smoking, according to an article published online Jan. 23 in Tobacco Control.

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Seat Belt, Air Bag Protect Against Spinal Fracture

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although the occurrence of spinal fractures among drivers and front-seat passengers in motor vehicle crashes has increased despite increases in seat belt and air bag use, their combined use is protective against spinal fractures, according to study findings published in the February issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

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Salmonella Outbreaks Highlight Risk from Live Poultry

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to live poultry caused two separate outbreaks of Salmonella in the United States in 2007, according to a report published in the Jan. 23 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Spousal Violence Increases Odds of Fetal Loss

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Women whose husbands are violent toward them are more likely to experience single or recurrent fetal loss, researchers report in the Jan. 24 issue of The Lancet.

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Abuse of Dementia Patients by Carers Is Common

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- It is common for people with dementia to be abused by family carers, most often with verbal abuse, although frequent and physical abuse seems to be rare, according to the results of a study published online Jan. 22 in BMJ.

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Ethical HIV Testing in Poor Countries Needed

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Testing a patient's blood without their consent for HIV is important for HIV surveillance, but needs to be carefully implemented in developing countries to ensure that testing is done ethically, according to an article published online Jan. 20 in PLoS Medicine.

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Educational Booklets Don't Affect Neck-Pain Outcomes

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In neck-pain patients receiving workers' compensation, the use of educational booklets has no significant effect on improving outcomes, according to study findings published in the Jan. 15 issue of Spine.

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Novel Biomarkers Predict Death, Myocardial Infarction

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- When patients are admitted to the hospital with ischemic-type chest pain, two novel biomarkers can provide useful prognostic information, according to research published in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Occupational Exposures Increase Nurses' Asthma Risk

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Nurses who are exposed to occupational cleaning products and disinfectants may have an increased risk of new-onset asthma, according to a report published online Jan. 22 in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Cholesterol Particle Size Associated with Coronary Risk

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- There is an association between the risk of coronary artery disease and both size and concentration of high-density lipoprotein, although the former is explained by markers associated with the metabolic syndrome, according to research published in the Jan. 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Car Crashes Among US Elderly Declined in Past Decade

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Fatal crash rates among the elderly have fallen in the past decade in the United States, according to research published in a recent issue of the Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine. A related study published online Jan. 21 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews notes that studies examining the effect of vision testing on traffic accidents among elderly individuals do not exist.

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Vaginal Herpes Microbicide Protects Against Infection

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A vaginal microbicide targeting a herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) gene and a host gene protects mice against infection for a week, researchers report in the Jan. 22 issue of Cell Host & Microbe.

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Baby with Seizures Had Rickets and Anemia

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A 9-month-old baby who presented with seizures and a bulging fontanelle was diagnosed as having rickets due to vitamin D deficiency, iron deficiency anemia and severe protein-calorie malnutrition, according to a case report published in the Jan. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Peanut Butter Crackers, Dog Snacks Among Recalled Items

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The list of recalled products resulting from the recent Salmonella typhimurium outbreak has grown, and officials believe a processing plant in Blakely, Ga., may be the source of the outbreak, according to officials speaking at a teleconference conducted Jan. 21 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Warfarin-Related Genotyping Not Cost-Effective

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic testing prior to initiation of warfarin therapy is only cost-effective in patients who are at high risk for hemorrhage, and is not cost-effective for typical patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, according to a report published in the Jan. 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Less Air Pollution Linked to Higher Life Expectancy

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Reductions in air pollution over the last few decades in the United States are associated with increases in life expectancy, researchers report in the Jan. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Prednisolone Ineffective for Virus-Induced Wheezing

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The oral corticosteroid prednisolone should not be routinely given to children with wheezing due to a viral infection, according to research published in the Jan. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Supplements Can Contain Excess Iodine

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Some over-the-counter supplements contain high levels of iodine that may interfere with radioiodine treatment in patients with thyroid cancer, according to a case study published in the Jan. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Schizophrenics Experience High Rates of Discrimination

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with schizophrenia experience high rates of both anticipated and experienced discrimination, according to an article published online Jan. 21 in The Lancet.

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Novel Laser Technique to Treat Osteonecrosis of the Jaw

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Bisphosphonate-induced osteonecrosis of the jaw may be effectively treated by a laser bone ablation technique, according to research published in the January issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Preterm Infants May Be Exposed to Toxic Additives in Meds

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- After birth, premature babies are exposed to multiple, potentially toxic excipients, suggesting that strategies are needed to reduce the excipient load, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal and Neonatal Edition.

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Children's Eating Habits Decline When They Start School

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- School-aged children eat more snack foods, consume more sweetened drinks and watch more television than their preschool counterparts, according to a report published in the January issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

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Industrial Chemical May Be Human Carcinogen

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The chemical 2-mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT) -- a vulcanizing agent in the rubber manufacturing industry, corrosion inhibitor in auto radiator and metalworking fluids, and stabilizer in the manufacture of plastics -- may be carcinogenic, according to an article published online Jan. 21 in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Novel Light Imaging Technique Detects Melanoma

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Multimodal polarized light imaging using tetracycline or methylene blue is an effective strategy to image dysplastic and benign nevi in melanoma, researchers report in the January issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Many Support Surrogate Consent in Dementia Research

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Most participants in a sample of older Americans supported allowing families to provide surrogate consent decisions as part of research on dementia, and most would also participate in surrogate-based research, according to the results of a study published in the Jan. 13 issue of Neurology.

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Escitalopram Modestly Improves Anxiety in Elderly

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor escitalopram modestly improves anxiety symptoms and role functioning compared with placebo in elderly adults with anxiety disorder, according to study findings published in the Jan. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Food Supplementation Reduces Wasting in African Children

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Short-term food supplementation reduces wasting among children in Niger, but does not reduce the death rate, researchers report in the Jan. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Genetic Variants Predict Heart Disease in Women

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Although genetic variations in chromosome 9p21.3 are associated with incident cardiovascular disease in white women, they do not add to the predictive value of traditional risk factors, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein or a family history of premature heart attack, according to a report published in the Jan. 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Severity of Myocardial Infarction Has Declined

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- There was a decline in the severity of myocardial infarction from 1987 to 2002, which could help explain the reduction in mortality due to coronary heart disease, according to the results of a study published online Jan. 19 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Low Neuroticism Linked to Decreased Dementia

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Low neuroticism and high social extraversion is associated with a decreased risk of dementia, although low neuroticism lowers risk even among socially isolated persons, according to an article published in the Jan. 20 issue of Neurology.

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Endoluminal Therapies Effective for Treatment of GERD

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Endoluminal therapies, including full-thickness plication and endoscopic radiofrequency, provide symptomatic relief and lead to reduced reliance on proton pump inhibitor drugs in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), according to research published in the January issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Community Intervention Boosts Activity Levels

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Residents of Recife, Brazil, who participated in a community-based intervention designed to boost levels of physical activity were more likely than their non-participating counterparts to engage in more physical leisure pursuits, according to research published in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Awareness of Peripheral Arterial Disease Lacking

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with knowledge of other cardiovascular diseases, the Canadian public is unaware of the risks of peripheral arterial disease, according to study findings published in the January issue of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

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Coronary Artery Calcium Helps Predict Cardiac Outcome

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The absolute coronary artery calcium score is a better predictor of cardiovascular outcomes than age, sex and race/ethnicity, according to a report published in the Jan. 27 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Psoriasis Support Sites Linked to Perceived Improvements

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Virtual communities of psoriasis patients allow users to benefit from educational resources as well as psychological and social support systems, researchers report in the January issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Heart Risk Linked to Metabolic Syndrome and Smoking

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- In China, older adults with metabolic syndrome who are exposed to either active or passing smoking have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a report published in the Jan. 27 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Life-Support Allocation Policy Needed for Public Emergencies

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Current recommendations concerning who should receive scarce life support during a public health emergency such as an influenza pandemic are in need of refinement, according to research published in the Jan. 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Pediatric MRSA Infections Increase Alarmingly

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The nationwide prevalence of pediatric methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) head and neck infections grew 16.3 percent between 2001 and 2006, according to a study published in the January issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

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Increased Mortality Linked to Topical Retinoid Usage

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Topical tretinoin, a frequently prescribed retinoid cream, is associated with increased all-cause mortality, according to study results published in the January issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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New Guidelines Issued for Tuberculosis Testing

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Although culture remains the gold standard for laboratory confirmation of tuberculosis, nucleic acid amplification testing should be standard practice in suspected cases because it shortens the amount of time required to diagnose the disease from one or two weeks to one or two days, according to updated guidelines published in the Jan. 16 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Hospitalizations Decline in Young Children with Pneumonia

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In 2005 and 2006, the incidence rates for all-cause pneumonia hospitalizations among children under age 2 significantly declined compared with the 1997-1999 rates, suggesting an association with the introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) in 2000, according to a report published in the Jan. 16 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Many Inmates Don't Receive Proper Health Care

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- While incarcerated, many inmates with serious chronic health needs do not receive proper care, and many inmates with mental illnesses were not on their treatment when they were arrested, according to research published online Jan. 15 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Women's Blood Mercury Levels Vary Geographically

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In recent years, among American women of childbearing age, elevated blood mercury has been more common in those living in coastal areas, and broken down by region, the Northeast has had the highest percentage of women with blood concentrations above a level of concern, according to research published in the January Environmental Health Perspectives.

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Metabolic Syndrome Common Among Football Linemen

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Collegiate football linemen may be at risk of cardiovascular disease because of metabolic syndrome, according to a study published in the November/December issue of the Journal of Athletic Training.

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Initial Placebo Doesn't Change Response in Depressed Teens

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Depressed adolescents initially treated with a placebo followed by active treatment respond just as well as patients who received active treatment from the beginning, according to a study published online Jan. 15 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Maternal La Crosse Encephalitis Virus Identified

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The first known case of La Crosse encephalitis virus (LACV) infection in a pregnant woman, with evidence of possible congenital infection of her infant, occurred in 2006-2007 in West Virginia, according to a report published in the Jan. 16 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Moderate Drinking Associated with Less Risk of Disability

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Light to moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with a lower risk of disability in older, healthy adults, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Laparoscopic Pyloromyotomy Benefits Infants Most

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Both open and laparoscopic pyloromyotomy are safe and effective in treating pyloric stenosis in infants, although infants undergoing laparoscopy achieve full enteral feeding faster and have shorter hospital stays, according to a study published online Jan. 17 in The Lancet.

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Child Restraints Help Protect Youngsters in Major Wrecks

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The use of child safety seats dramatically reduces the risk of death in young children during traffic collisions, according to research published in the February issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Smoking Teens at Risk of Obesity in Adulthood

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who smoke are more likely to develop abdominal obesity in later life than their non-smoking counterparts, according to research published in the February issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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US Cancer Screening Uptake Still Suboptimal

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Use of colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening nearly doubled between 2000 to 2005, but screening rates for breast and cervical cancer have remained flat, according to a report from the American Cancer Society published in the January/February issue of CA, A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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Diabetes, Obesity Significantly Impact Hospital Costs

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Obese patients consume considerable hospital resources, according to an upcoming study in Value in Health. In a related study, hospitals have room for improvement to achieve standards for hospital diabetes care from the American Diabetes Association, researchers report in the January issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Intimate Partner Violence Linked to Mental Health

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Urban adult males involved in intimate partner violence are more likely to disclose adverse health behaviors such as substance abuse and show evidence of poor mental health, according to a report published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Combined Screening More Effective for Cervical Cancer

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Screening for cervical cancer by first testing for human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA followed by triaging with cytology and further HPV tests is more effective than performing a Pap smear alone, according to research published online Jan. 13 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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High Taxes on Alcohol Reduce Consumption

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Raising the price of alcohol through public policy mechanisms effectively reduces drinking, according to a review published online Jan. 15 in Addiction.

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Financial Strain Predicts Mortality in Older Women

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In community-dwelling older women, especially black women, self-reported financial strain accurately predicts the risk of five-year mortality, according to a report published in the November issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences.

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Families Show Genetic Link Between Mental Disorders

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder appear to share a substantial genetic association, according to research published in the Jan. 17 issue of The Lancet.

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No Link Between Cellphone Use and Uveal Melanoma

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Regular mobile phone use does not increase the risk of developing uveal melanoma, according to the results of a study published online Jan. 13 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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In-Home Intervention Can Help Postpartum Moms

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Specially trained "health visitors" offering in-home psychological interventions to new mothers were associated with reduced symptoms of depression, according to research published online Jan. 15 in BMJ.

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Stepwise Dyspepsia Treatment Effective; Order Affects Cost

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Treating dyspepsia patients stepwise with three drugs in a particular order is as effective but less costly than stepwise treatment with the same three drugs in the reverse order, researchers report in the Jan. 17 issue of The Lancet.

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Sepsis Treatment Not Tied to Benefit in Premature Infants

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The prophylactic use of granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor was not associated with a reduction in systemic sepsis or mortality in extremely premature infants, according to research published in the Jan. 17 issue of The Lancet.

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Gender Disparity Seen in Emergency Service Time

THURSDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Women with cardiac symptoms are 50 percent more likely than men to be delayed during emergency medical services (EMS) intervention, according to a report published online Jan. 13 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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More Beneficiaries of Statin Therapy Identified

THURSDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Statin therapy may benefit people without elevated low-density lipoprotein levels but with elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels, according to study findings published online Jan. 13 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Admission Lipid Levels Often Not Ideal in Heart Disease

THURSDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients hospitalized for coronary artery disease often have non-ideal lipid levels at admission and few are taking lipid-lowering medications before admission, according to a report in the January issue of the American Heart Journal.

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Multiple Factors Determine Childhood Asthma Prescriptions

THURSDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patient, family and physician characteristics all play a significant role in driving the prescription of asthma medication to children, researchers report in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Improvements Needed for Colorectal Cancer Screening

THURSDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Improvements to colon cancer screening implementation, including better and broader delivery of the service as well as offering guidance to physicians for better adherence to established guidelines, are important strategies to allow patients to achieve the best screening results, according to several studies published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Video Gaming Improves Cognitive Function in Adults

THURSDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Playing a strategic video game can improve many cognitive functions in older adults, according to research published in the December issue of Psychology and Aging.

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Post-G8 Work Focuses on Strengthening Health Systems

THURSDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In an atmosphere that emphasizes the strengthening of health systems rather than disease-specific approaches, some efforts growing out of the 2008 G8 summit in Toyako, Japan, have focused on health work force, health finance and health information, according to a policy review published online Jan. 15 in The Lancet.

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Post-Communist Privatization Linked to Higher Mortality

THURSDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Rapid mass privatization programs in post-Communist countries in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union were associated with short-term increases in mortality in working-age men, according to research published online Jan. 15 in The Lancet.

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Ratio of Sodium to Potassium Affects Heart Disease Risk

THURSDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A high ratio of excreted sodium to potassium is associated with a subsequently higher risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a report published in the Jan. 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Dramatic Decline Seen in Pneumococcal Meningitis

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Since the pediatric heptavalent pneumococcal vaccine (PCV7) was introduced in 2000, rates of pneumococcal meningitis among children and adults have substantially declined in the United States. But there has been a worrisome recent increase in meningitis caused by non-PCV7 serotypes, according to an article published in the Jan. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Atypical Antipsychotics Linked to Sudden Cardiac Death

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Current users of atypical antipsychotic drugs have a comparable dose-dependent increased risk of sudden cardiac death as users of typical antipsychotic drugs, according to study findings published in the Jan. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Stent Placement Technique Leads to Superior Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with multivessel coronary artery disease who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention with drug-eluting stents, routine measurement of fractional flow reserve in addition to angiography is associated with significantly improved outcomes compared to angiography alone, according to a report published in the Jan. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Survey Respondents Frown on UK's Plans for Flomax

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Most readers surveyed by the journal Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin are not in favor of the UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency's plans to possibly make trimethoprim and tamsulosin (Flomax) available over the counter, according to findings released Jan. 14.

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Evidence Scarce for Herbal Menopause Remedies

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Studies examining the use of black cohosh for menopausal symptoms are equivocal, and little evidence supports or refutes the benefits of some other commonly used herbal products, according to a review published in the January Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, a publication of BMJ Journals.

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Experts Call for Acute Heart Failure Syndrome Research

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients admitted to the hospital with acute heart failure syndromes, the majority have coronary artery disease, according to a consensus summary published in the Jan. 20 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Early Atherosclerosis Tied to Lifetime Cardiovascular Risk

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- In individuals with a low 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease, having a high lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease is associated with more signs of subclinical atherosclerosis, according to a report published online Jan. 12 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Weight Loss Linked with Liver Improvement

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Orlistat induces moderate weight loss associated with significant improvements in insulin resistance, steatosis and liver histology, according to the results of a study published in the January issue of Hepatology.

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Antidepressants May Be Useful in Treating Fibromyalgia

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Antidepressants appear to offer some benefits in treating pain, sleep problems and depression, and for improving health-related quality of life in people with fibromyalgia syndrome, according to the results of a meta-analysis published in the Jan. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Diet High in DHA May Benefit Girls Born Prematurely

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In premature girls, a diet containing high-dose docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was associated with improved scores at 18 months' corrected age on a test of mental development, according to research published in the Jan. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Treadmill Use Beneficial in Peripheral Arterial Disease

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Treadmill training improved walking endurance in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), both with and without symptoms of intermittent claudication, according to research published in the Jan. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Veteran Co-Pay Increase Affected Medication Adherence

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- After the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) increased 30-day prescription co-payments from $2 to $7 in February 2002, veterans' adherence to lipid-lowering medications significantly declined, according to a report released online Jan. 12 in advance of publication in an upcoming issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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No Consensus on the Pill and Cardiovascular Risks

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- There is no clear consensus on the possible protective benefits of oral contraceptives against atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events, researchers report in the Jan. 20 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Rates of Chlamydia, Syphilis Rising in United States

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Noteworthy elements in the U.S. surveillance of sexually transmitted diseases for 2007 include a high rate of chlamydia, especially in women; increasing syphilis, especially in men who have sex with men; and ongoing racial disparities, according to an annual report issued Jan. 13 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Hormone Therapy Linked to Reduced Brain Size

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women receiving hormone treatment have reductions in brain volume and cognitive deficits, although there are no significant changes in ischemic brain lesion volume, according to two studies published in the Jan. 13 issue of Neurology.

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Stroke Risk Associated with Job-Related Stress

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of incident stroke is higher among men with job strain-related occupational stress, according to the results of a study of Japanese men published in the Jan. 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Congestion Therapy's Link to Respiratory Distress Studied

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In ferrets, exposure to Vicks VapoRub was associated with effects that might explain the respiratory symptoms seen in some young children given the product intranasally, according to research published in the January issue of Chest.

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Relapses More Common in Pediatric-Onset Multiple Sclerosis

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis are more likely to experience relapses than those with adult-onset disease, suggesting that their disease course may be more inflammatory, according to study findings published in the January issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Outdoor Temperature Affects Blood Pressure in Elderly

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- There is a strong association between outdoor air temperature and blood pressure in the elderly, and monitoring should be stepped up during times of extreme heat or cold, according to a report published in the Jan. 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Glaucoma Linked to Slower Reading, Reading Impairment

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In elderly adults with advanced bilateral field loss, glaucoma is associated with slower reading and increased reading impairment, according to research published in the January issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Poor Sleep Habits Raise Risk of Common Cold

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to rhinovirus is more likely to lead to the development of a cold in people who have less than seven hours' sleep each night compared to their better-rested counterparts, according to a report published online Jan. 12 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Diabetes Status Affects Brain Damage in Dementia

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly dementia patients with or without diabetes appear to have distinct patterns of cerebral damage, according to study findings published online Jan. 12 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Treatment Response Studied in Attention-Deficit Disorder

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Variability in response to methylphenidate treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is likely not due to common genes of large effects, according to research published Dec. 5 in a special issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B.

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Saliva Difference Distinguishes Autistic Children

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Many children with autism and related disorders have lower levels of a protein modification on four salivary proteins, suggesting that this could be used to distinguish these children from others, according to a report released online in November in advance of publication in the Journal of Proteome Research.

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Adding Two Biomarkers Improves Prediction of Stroke

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Stratification of ischemic stroke risk is greatly improved with the use of two markers -- lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), according to research published in the January issue of Stroke.

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Review Explores Benefits of Injections for Back Pain

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Randomized controlled trials examining injection treatment for lower back pain show no beneficial effect and are often of poor quality, according to a review in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.

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Contrast-Enhanced Computed Tomography Safe, Effective

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Intravenous low-osmolar contrast-enhanced computed tomography is a safe procedure for localizing pheochromocytoma in patients, according to research published in the Jan. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Tobacco Use Significantly Declines in Panamanian Youth

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Among Panamanian teens aged 13 to 15, cigarette smoking, other tobacco use and the likely initiation of smoking in the next year by never smokers significantly declined between 2002 and 2008, according to a report published Jan. 9 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Arthritis Patients, Providers Disagree About Knee Surgery

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with osteoarthritis and their providers often disagree about the severity of their disease, and the risks and benefits of knee replacement surgery, which affects patient satisfaction and likelihood of adhering to treatment recommendations, according to a report in the Jan. 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Melanoma an Increasing Burden in United States

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Improved access to screening for malignant melanoma does not explain the increased incidence of the disease in the United States, according to a study published online Jan. 8 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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Arthritic Teens Need Help in Adult Health Care Transition

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- While adolescents with arthritis often discuss adult health care needs and self-management with their provider, few discuss specifics such as acquiring adult health insurance or switching to an adult provider, according to an article in the Jan. 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Racial Disparity Seen in US Spina Bifida Decline

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandate to add folic acid to all enriched cereal grain products by January 1998 has led to a significant decrease in the prevalence of spina bifida among non-Hispanic black mothers but not among other racial/ethnic groups, according to a report published Jan. 9 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Home Prepared Lunches Don't Meet Daycare Children's Needs

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Sack lunches prepared by parents may not meet the nutritional needs of children enrolled in child-care centers, according to a report published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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Quitting Smoking Gradually Improved with Nicotine Gum

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Nicotine gum markedly increases the probability that a person will be able to gradually quit smoking, according to research published online Jan. 6 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Outdoor Activity May Protect Children from Myopia

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Children with higher levels of outdoor sport and leisure activities may have a lower risk of myopia, according to several studies presented at the 12th International Myopia Conference held in Queensland, Australia, July 8 to 11, 2008, and published in the January issue of Optometry and Vision Science.

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Heredity Plays Key Role in Risk of Disc Degeneration

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to the common view that disc degeneration is a result of aging and wear and tear, heredity plays a significant role in the risk of lumbar degeneration, researchers report in the January issue of The Spine Journal.

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Labor Patterns Differ for Vaginal and Caesarean Delivery

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The direction and timing of contractions during labor are different for vaginal and Caesarean deliveries, according to study findings published in the January issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Pulse Oximetry Screening Promising for Heart Defects

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Using pulse oximetry to screen babies in maternity units significantly improved detection of duct dependent circulation before the babies were discharged, with evidence suggesting such screenings were cost-effective, according to research published online Jan. 8 in BMJ.

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Health Care Another Victim of Gaza Blockade

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The widespread erosion of human rights in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza strip is denying Palestinians access to basic health care and preventing medical schools from functioning properly, according to correspondence published online Jan. 9 in The Lancet.

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UK Anti-Obesity Initiative Triggers Skepticism

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A new anti-obesity initiative, Change4Life, was recently implemented in the United Kingdom. An editorial published in the Jan. 10 issue of The Lancet discusses the implications of this new campaign.

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Risk Factors Falter in Predicting Heart Issues

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The use of traditional risk factors in predicting cardiovascular mortality or coronary atherosclerotic disease faces shortcomings, according to two studies published online Jan. 8 in BMJ and in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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Teens' Externalizing Behavior Linked to Adulthood Troubles

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who showed externalizing behavior in school were more likely to face a variety of problems across their adult lives, including financial and family difficulties, according to research published online Jan. 8 in BMJ.

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Defibrillators May Benefit High-Risk Groups

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In older patients and those with a limited number of major comorbid conditions, the survival benefits and cost-effectiveness of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy are similar to those observed in younger, healthier patients, according to a report published online Jan. 6 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Menopausal Hormone Therapy Tied to Less Colorectal Cancer

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Hormone therapy during menopause was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer, particularly estrogen plus progestin use, according to research published in the January issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.

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US Teen Births Up Again in 2006 After 14-Year Decline

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Teen births in the United States rose by 3 percent in 2006 after 14 straight years of decline, according to a report, Births: Final Data for 2006, issued this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Night-Shift Nurses at Higher Risk of Early Preterm Birth

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Nurses who work part-time may be at lower risk of preterm birth, while those who work night shifts are at higher risk of early, but not late, preterm birth, according to research published in the January issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Coronary Revascularization Use Guidelines Released

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Appropriate use guidelines for coronary revascularization -- developed jointly by the American College of Cardiology, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, American Heart Association, and American Society of Nuclear Cardiology -- were released online Jan. 5 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, as well as in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions and Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Meals with Others Promote Young Adults' Healthy Eating

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults who take the time to sit down and share a meal with others rather than eating on the run are more likely to have a healthy diet, according to research published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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Garlic Has Minimal Cancer-Prevention Effects

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence suggests that garlic consumption has little or no effect in reducing the risk of many common cancers, according to a report published in the January issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Soda Consumption Increasing Dramatically in US Adults

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- American adults are consuming significantly larger amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages -- especially soda -- and consumption is highest among subgroups with an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to study findings published in the January issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Gene Linked to Worse Childhood Leukemia Prognosis

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Deletions in a gene regulating B-cell development are associated with a worse prognosis in children with high-risk B-cell-progenitor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), according to a report published online Jan. 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Schistosoma Japonicum Reduced After Intervention

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing the rate of Schistosoma japonicum transmission is possible with the use of a comprehensive strategy of interventions, researchers report in the Jan. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Postponing Elective Caesarean May Prevent Adverse Events

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Adverse events that may occur following an elective Caesarean delivery at 37 weeks' gestation may be preventable if delivery is postponed to 39 weeks, according to study findings published in the Jan. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Risks Identified

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking and family history of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage are independently associated with an increased risk of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, researchers report in the Jan. 6 issue of Neurology.

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Suicide Prevention Should Focus on High-Risk Periods

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The first 12 weeks after psychiatric hospitalization are the highest risk period for suicide, and health systems with limited resources should focus their suicide prevention efforts there, according to research published in the January issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders.

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Ovarian Cancer Risk Higher in Obese Women

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Obese women are at modestly higher risk of developing ovarian cancer, particularly if they never used menopausal hormone therapy, according to a report published online Jan. 6 in Cancer.

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Decreased Fitness Seen with Small-Screen Recreation

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Health-related fitness is inversely associated with sedentary behavior and small-screen recreation among adolescent girls, but not boys, according to research published online Jan. 6 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Lancet Lambastes U.N.'s Inability to Protect Innocents

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The current conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza highlights the United Nations' continuing failure to protect innocent civilians in war-torn regions, according to an editorial published online Jan. 7 in The Lancet.

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Selenium Decreases Bladder Cancer Risk in Some Patients

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Although selenium has no overall association with bladder cancer, high concentrations may decrease the risk in women and moderate smokers and increase the risk in heavy smokers, according to a report in the January issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

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Europe Falling Short in Measles Elimination Goal

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Despite 20 years of routine childhood measles vaccination in Europe, suboptimum coverage in some countries probably will prevent the continent from reaching its goal of eliminating the disease by 2010, according to an article published online Jan. 7 in The Lancet.

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Controls on Indoor Radon Could Cut Lung Cancer Deaths

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- By concentrating on the minority of homes with high radon levels, the British government is missing out on a chance to reduce radon-related deaths in homes with lower levels of exposure to the natural air pollutant, according to research published online Jan. 6 in BMJ.

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Health Care Expenditure Growth Rate Is Decelerating

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- In 2007, the U.S. health care spending growth rate decelerated to its lowest level since 1998, primarily because of decreased drug spending, according to an article published in the January/February issue of Health Affairs.

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Deep Brain Stimulation Benefits Parkinson's Patients

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with advanced Parkinson's disease, those who receive deep brain stimulation treatment may experience greater improvement in movement skills and quality of life than those who receive conventional therapy, according to a report published in the Jan. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Drugs Linked to Survival in Some Heart Failure Patients

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Initiating beta-blocker therapy upon hospital discharge was linked to improved survival in older heart failure patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction, but not those with preserved systolic function, according to research published in the Jan. 13 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Health-Care Associated Cases Have More Severe Pneumonia

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with health care-associated pneumonia had more severe disease and higher mortality than those with community-acquired pneumonia, according to research published in the Jan. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Cardiocerebral Resuscitation May Improve Survival

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiocerebral resuscitation (CCR) -- an alternative approach to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for patients with cardiac arrest -- emphasizes chest compressions over mouth-to-mouth ventilation for bystanders and new protocols for emergency responders, according to an article in the Jan. 13 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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School-Age Activities May Have Lasting Bone Benefits

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Weight-bearing exercise at a young age may offer benefits to bone health 40 years later, according to research published online Jan. 5 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Genes Convert Harmless Flu to 1918-Like Flu

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Adding four genes from the 1918 pandemic influenza virus, which may have caused 50 million deaths worldwide, to a relatively harmless contemporary flu virus can convert the virus into a 1918-like virus, according to research published online Dec. 29 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Bulimia Linked to Impulsivity, Brain Circuit Abnormalities

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to women without eating disorders, women with bulimia nervosa respond more impulsively during psychological testing and show brain circuit abnormalities, according to study findings published in the January issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Childhood Trauma Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood trauma may be a significant risk factor for chronic fatigue syndrome. It also appears to be associated with a hallmark feature of chronic fatigue syndrome: neuroendocrine dysfunction, according to the results of a study published in the January issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Hundreds Acquired Hepatitis B, C in US Health Care Settings

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- More than 400 people were found to have acquired hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) in non-hospital health care settings since 1998 in the United States, with more than 60,000 estimated to have been at risk during these outbreaks, according to research published in the Jan. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Depression Linked to Higher Heart Costs in Women

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Depression, as defined via several different methods, was associated with higher cardiovascular costs over five years in women with suspected myocardial ischemia, according to research published in the Jan. 13 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Sex, Substance Use References Common on MySpace Profiles

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- References to health risk behaviors, such as substance use and sexual behaviors, are common on adolescents' MySpace pages, but a brief e-mail from a doctor can help reduce sexual references on these profiles, according to two studies published in the January issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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FDA Approves New Test to Screen for HIV in Donated Blood

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first nucleic acid test that screens for the presence of two divergent HIV types in donated blood and tissue, according to a news release issued by the FDA on Dec. 30.

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Clinical Pharmacy Services Are Financially Beneficial

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical pharmacy services provide a significant investment return, although methods used to evaluate their economic impact need to be improved, according to research published in the January issue of Pharmacotherapy.

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Unpasteurized Milk Likely Source of Campylobacter Outbreak

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- An outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni that occurred in Kansas during 2007 was likely due to the consumption of fresh cheese produced from unpasteurized milk, according to a report in the Jan. 2 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Obesity Linked to Diverticular Disease in Older Men

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In older men, obesity significantly increases the risks of diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding, researchers report in the January issue of Gastroenterology.

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Great Cost Associated with Being Sleepless in Quebec

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Insomnia has a substantial economic impact in both direct and indirect costs, according to the results of a study in Quebec, Canada. The findings are published in the January issue of Sleep.

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Celiac Disease in Sibling Ups Risk of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Celiac disease patients have a significantly increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and the risk has steadily declined in the last 40 years, but siblings of celiac disease patients also have an increased risk of NHL, according to study findings published in the January issue of Gastroenterology.

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Headaches Common in Soldiers with Mild Brain Injury

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Among U.S. soldiers who suffered explosion-related mild traumatic brain injuries in Iraq, those with residual neurocognitive deficits are likely to experience frequent and severe headaches, according to a report published in the December issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development.

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Cervical Cancer Cofactors Linked to Secondary Cancers

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Among survivors of cervical cancer, the risk of a second smoking-related cancer is significantly higher in cervical squamous cell carcinoma patients than in adenocarcinoma patients, according to study findings published online Dec. 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Immunization Schedules for 2009 Released

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Three health groups have released updated immunization schedules that include new influenza vaccination recommendations, according to a report published in the Jan. 2 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Smoke-Free Law Cuts Heart Attacks Over Three-Year Period

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalizations due to heart attacks were markedly reduced in the three years following the enactment of a Pueblo, Colo., city law banning smoking in workplaces and public places, according to a report published in the Jan. 2 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Oral Bisphosphonate Use Linked to Osteonecrosis of the Jaw

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Osteonecrosis of the jaw may be more common in people who have used the oral bisphosphonate Fosamax than data has previously reported, especially following tooth extraction, according to an article published online Jan. 1 in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

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Short Maternity Leaves Don't Foster Breast-Feeding

FRIDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Among full-time working women, a short maternity leave is associated with an increased risk of either not establishing breast-feeding or breast-feeding cessation, according to study findings published in the January issue of Pediatrics.

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Decontamination Reduces Death in Intensive Care Unit

THURSDAY, Jan. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Decontaminating the digestive tract or the oropharynx with antibiotics to avoid infection reduces the likelihood of death in critically ill patients in the intensive care unit (ICU), according to an article in the Jan. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Congenital Immune Syndrome Linked to Mutated Gene

THURSDAY, Jan. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A gene mutation that abolishes enzyme function is associated with severe congenital neutropenia, a syndrome associated with life-threatening bacterial infections early in life, few mature neutrophils, and cardiac and urogenital abnormalities, according to a report in the Jan. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Osteoporosis Drug Increases Bone-Resorbing Cells

THURSDAY, Jan. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term treatment with the osteoporosis drug alendronate is associated with a higher number of bone-resorbing osteoclasts that are often abnormal in appearance and undergoing protracted death, researchers report in the Jan. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Physician's Briefing