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October 2006 Briefing - Family Practice

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

Constraint Therapy Helps Arm Function After Stroke

TUESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients who force themselves to use a paretic upper extremity by restraining their less-impaired arm can improve motor function in the impaired arm within a year, according to a report in the Nov. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Methamphetamine Crosses Placenta to Fetus

TUESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Methamphetamine, or "crystal meth," can cross the placenta from the mother to fetus, with a significant correlation between levels in mother and neonate, according to an analysis of hair samples published online Oct. 31 in the Fetal and Neonatal Edition of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Depression Linked to Bone Loss in Mice

TUESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Depressed mice have bone loss due to reduced bone formation that may be mediated through an overactive sympathetic central nervous system, according to a study published Oct. 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition. What's more, antidepressants appear to reverse the loss of bone mass.

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New Strain of Avian Flu Found in Southern China

TUESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- A new strain of avian influenza has been found in market poultry in southern China in the last year, which has already spread throughout Southeast Asia and is responsible for some recent cases of human infection in China, according to a study published Oct. 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition. The researchers suggest that this variant may be responsible for a third wave of avian flu.

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Exercise Improves Heart Risk Factors in Obese Teens

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Six months of exercise can boost vascular function in obese adolescents and improve their cardiovascular disease risk factors, including a reduction in carotid intima-media thickness, researchers report in the Nov. 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Decorative Contact Lenses Under U.S. FDA Jurisdiction

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about the serious risks of using decorative contact lenses and notes that since an amendment to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in November 2005, all contact lenses are considered medical devices under the FDA's jurisdiction.

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One in Four Long-Term Smokers Will Develop COPD

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term smokers have a one in four chance of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the results of a study published in the November issue of Thorax.

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Regular Exercise May Reduce Risk of Common Cold

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In postmenopausal women, a year of regular, moderate-intensity exercise training may reduce the risk of colds, according to study findings published in the November issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

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Distention and Bloating Differ in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Abdominal distention and bloating in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may be pathophysiologically different and related to bowel habit subtype, with distention more commonly seen in patients who report constipation, according to a report in the October issue of Gastroenterology.

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Fat Reduction Enhances Cancer Cell Death in Mice

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise or surgical fat removal stimulate the death of damaged skin and skin cancer cells in mice, suggesting that fat cells promote carcinogenesis by blocking the death of damaged cells, according to the results of a study published online Oct. 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Tattooing of Nipple-Areola Complex Usually Successful

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In women who have undergone mastectomy and breast reconstruction, tattooing the nipple-areola complex is a simple and safe procedure that results in a high patient-satisfaction rate, according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery.

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U.S. Decline in Smoking May Be Stalled

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Data from a 2005 survey indicates that 20.9 percent of U.S. adults smoke cigarettes, a finding that could mean the number of adult smokers in the United States has not declined for the first time in eight years, according to a report in the Oct. 27 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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CDC Recommends Shingles Vaccine for Older Patients

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- People aged 60 and older should be vaccinated against the Varicella zoster virus to reduce the likelihood of developing shingles, according to a recommendation made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

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Data On Flu Vaccine's Effectiveness Questioned

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Although public policy worldwide advises using inactivated influenza vaccine against seasonal flu outbreaks, systematic reviews show that the flu vaccine's performance is questionable, according to a report published in the Oct. 28 issue of BMJ.

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Platelet-Rich Plasma Improves Pain of Tennis Elbow

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic elbow tendinosis that is unresponsive to non-surgical treatments may benefit from treatment with platelet-rich plasma, which can improve pain considerably, researchers report in the November issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Genome Scan Finds Inflammatory Bowel Disease Gene

THURSDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A gene encoding part of the receptor for the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-23 has been linked to inflammatory bowel disease in a genome-wide association study published online Oct. 26 in Science. The "highly significant" link suggests that the cytokine may be a promising therapeutic target, according to the authors.

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FDA Approves Drug for Chronic Hepatitis B in Adults

THURSDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Tyzeka (telbivudine) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) in adults. Manufactured by Novartis Pharma Stein AG in Stein, Switzerland, and marketed by Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., Tyzeka is a new molecular entity.

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FDA Issues Updated Alert on Fake Glucose Strips

THURSDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has updated its earlier nationwide alert on fake blood glucose test strips, adding two additional lot numbers of counterfeit products that have been distributed to pharmacies and stores across the country.

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Nearly Four Out of Ten Youths Migraine-Free in 10 Years

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-third of youths with migraine headaches are symptom-free 10 years later, but nearly 42 percent continue to have persistent migraines, researchers report in the Oct. 24 issue of Neurology.

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Half of U.S. States Meet Goal for Children's Vaccination

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Although more than half of U.S. states report meeting the Healthy People 2010 goal of 95 percent coverage for child immunizations, the vaccines themselves and survey methods vary by state. In addition, most states use school reports instead of health department audits, a practice that could lead to mistakes in coverage estimations, according to a report in the Oct. 20 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Twins More Likely to Have Premature Menopause

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Twins, both monozygotic and dizygotic, are more likely to have premature ovarian failure compared with their singleton counterparts, according to a report published online Oct. 25 in Human Reproduction.

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Internet Addiction Could Be Widespread Among U.S. Adults

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A sizeable proportion of the U.S. population may be engaging in addictive or problematic Internet use, according to a report in the October issue of CNS Spectrums.

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Lymphoma Risk Low Among Psoriasis Patients

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Although patients with psoriasis have a higher relative risk of lymphoma, the absolute risk remains low because the disease is rare and the magnitude of association is small, according to a report in the October issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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Minorities Seen Less Often at High-Volume Hospitals

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Non-whites, Medicaid recipients and the uninsured are less likely to receive treatment at high-volume hospitals in California, which are associated with better outcomes, according to a report in the Oct. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Flu Vaccine Found to Be Safe in Youngest Children

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The trivalent inactivated flu vaccine is safe for children aged 6 months to 23 months, with no serious adverse events, according to a large trial reported in the Oct. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Racial Disparities Seen in Medicare Managed Care Plans

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Quality of care is worse for black Medicare managed-care enrollees than their white counterparts, largely due to different outcomes in the same plan, not plan selection, according to a new analysis in the Oct. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Vegetable Intake Linked to Slower Cognitive Decline

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Consumption of vegetables, but not fruit, is associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline in older age, according to study findings published in the Oct. 24 issue of Neurology.

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Moderate Drinking Decreases Men's Heart Attack Risk

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate drinking may lower the risk of heart attack in healthy men, researchers report in the Oct. 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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FDA Approves Omnaris for Hay Fever

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the nasal spray Omnaris (ciclesonide) for the treatment of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis among adults and children aged 12 and older.

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Testosterone Levels Affect Men's Risk of Falling

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Older men with low testosterone levels have an increased risk of falling, according to study findings reported in the Oct. 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome More Common in the Obese

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight and obese women have five times the incidence of polycystic ovary syndrome than do leaner women, according to the results of a Spanish study published in the Oct. 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Thromboprophylaxis Effective in Post-Acute Care of Elderly

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- An evidence-based, multifaceted venous thromboprophylaxis intervention designed to increase clinicians' compliance with clinical guidelines significantly decreased the incidence of deep venous thrombosis in elderly post-acute care patients, according to a paper in the Oct. 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Bread Intake Linked to Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- A diet with a high bread intake is associated with an increased risk of renal cell carcinoma, while consuming high amounts of both raw and cooked vegetables is associated with a lower risk, according to the results of a large case-control study published online Oct. 20 in the International Journal of Cancer.

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U.S., Canada, Mexico Target Fake Diabetes Cures on Web

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has joined forces with the Federal Trade Commission and government agencies from Canada and Mexico to halt Web sales of phony diabetes treatments and cures. The FDA also launched a new campaign in English, Spanish and French aimed at educating the public about fraudulent diabetes cures.

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Sleep Deprivation Contributes to Obesity in Children

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Children who do not sleep enough at night may be at risk for obesity, and banning cell phones, computers and televisions from children's bedrooms could help combat the problem, according to an article published online Oct. 20 in the Archives of Diseases in Childhood.

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Popular Press Distorts Reality of Coma Patients

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Although few news stories about coma contain gross inaccuracies, they are skewed toward younger victims of motor vehicle crashes and violence, according to study findings published in the October issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Brain Abnormalities Observed in Migraine Patients

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Migraine patients appear to have increased thickness in two areas of the brain cortex associated with motion-processing, according to a study published in the October issue of the open-access journal PLoS-Medicine.

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Surgical Guidelines Often Ignored in Colorectal Cancer

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients with locally advanced colorectal cancer do not received multivisceral resection as recommended by the National Cancer Institute and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, according to a study published in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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FDA, Novartis Issue Gleevec Safety Alert

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Novartis Pharmaceuticals have issued a safety alert for possible severe congestive heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction in patients taking Gleevec (imatinib mesylate).

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Antibiotic Use for Otitis Media Should Be Limited

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotics for otitis media seem the most beneficial for patients under age 2 who have bilateral infections or children of any age who also have otorrhea, researchers report in the Oct. 21 issue of The Lancet. Other children, which make up more than half of all such patients, could be treated with watchful waiting, a strategy that could cut down on drug-resistant bacteria.

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Celiac Disease Increases Susceptibility to Active TB

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of developing active tuberculosis is four times higher among those with celiac disease than those with no gluten intolerance, according to a study published online Oct. 17 in Thorax.

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SSRIs Linked to Sleep Disturbances in Older Women

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Older women who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are more likely to experience sleep disturbances regardless of whether or not they show evidence of depression compared with women who don't take antidepressants, according to a cross-sectional study in the October issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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New Drug Promising for Immune Thrombocytopenia

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The thrombopoiesis-stimulating agent, AMG 531, appears to be safe and effective for boosting platelet counts in patients with immune thrombocytopenic purpura, according to a preliminary study in the Oct. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Study Sheds Light on Oral Contraceptives, Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Oral contraceptive use is associated with a small increase in premenopausal breast cancer risk, especially in parous women who use them for four or more years before a first full-term pregnancy, according to a meta-analysis published in the October issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Valacyclovir Reduces Herpes Simplex Virus 2 Shedding

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In immunocompetent patients infected with herpes simplex virus 2, treatment with the drug valacyclovir significantly reduces viral shedding, according to a study published in the October issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Bacterial Meningitis Has Classic Presentation in Elderly

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly patients with community-acquired Streptococcus pneumoniae bacterial meningitis commonly present with classic symptoms and have a much higher incidence of morbidity and mortality compared to younger adults, according to research in the October issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Gene Affects Aspirin Prevention of Colorectal Adenomas

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin therapy may help reduce the risk of colorectal adenomas in patients with certain ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) gene polymorphisms, but not in patients without that particular genotype, according to a study in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Infant Lung Function May Predict Childhood Asthma

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Newborns with reduced lung function may have an increased risk of developing asthma by age 10, according to a study published in the Oct. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Anti-Aging Hormone Supplements Not Effective

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Neither dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) nor low-dose testosterone replacement therapy are effective as anti-aging supplements for elderly women and men, according to a two-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Oct. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Fluoxetine Increases Aggression in Young Hamsters

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- While low-dose fluoxetine decreases aggression in adult male hamsters, it increases aggression in juvenile hamsters, possibly by dysregulating their immature serotonin systems. This may help explain why some human adolescents become violent when treated with fluoxetine, according to a study published in the October issue of Behavioral Neuroscience.

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Study Highlights Problems of Polypharmacy in Elderly

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- More than 40 percent of seniors who take five or more medications may take inappropriate drugs and/or miss out on potentially beneficial ones, according to the results of a new cross-sectional study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Trigeminal Neuralgia Case Linked to Tongue Piercing

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- An 18-year-old woman who presented with a two-month history of neuropathic facial pain that she described as "electrical shocks" was found to have atypical trigeminal neuralgia due to a recent tongue piercing, according to a research letter published in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Sexually Transmitted Disease Re-Infection Risk Is High

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with sexually transmitted infections are at high risk of being re-infected after treatment and should be re-screened after three months, according to study findings published Oct. 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Childhood Cancer Survivors Have Higher Preterm Birth Risk

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Female survivors of childhood cancer are more likely to have problems during pregnancy including having premature births, researchers report in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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In-Office Treatment Safe for Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Non-melanoma skin cancer should be managed in an office-based setting because it is more cost-efficient, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of Dermatologic Surgery.

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Pandemic Flu Priorities Lacking in One-Third of Countries

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The World Health Organization has established preparedness guidelines in the event of an outbreak of pandemic influenza, but only about 70 percent of nations have prioritized who would receive vaccines and drugs in the event of an outbreak, according to a study published in the October issue of PLoS Medicine.

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Adverse Drug Events Lead to Emergency Department Visits

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Adverse drug events, or ADEs, may account for more than 700,000 emergency department visits in the United States each year, and the elderly are at higher risk of visits and hospitalizations than younger patients, researchers report in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Fish Intake is Healthy Despite Risk of Contaminants

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The health benefits of seafood consumption outweigh the risk of contaminants contained in some fish, but young women and nursing mothers should limit themselves to two weekly servings of certain species only, researchers report in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). A separate report from the Institute of Medicine was also released Tuesday in an effort to help consumers sort through information on the risks and benefits of seafood consumption.

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New Diabetes Drug Januvia Wins FDA Approval

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first in a new line of drugs that increase the body's glucose-lowering potential. The drug, called Januvia (sitagliptin phosphate), is made in tablet-form by Merck & Co., and is to be used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, along with exercise and diet.

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Study Suggests Facial Expressions Are Hereditary

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals who are blind from birth move their facial muscles when expressing emotions in a similar way as their sighted relatives, suggesting that facial expressions might be hereditary, according to study findings published online Oct. 16 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study may shed light on conditions that affect facial expression, such as autism.

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Toenail Fungus Can Be Reservoir for Skin Mycosis

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of toenail onychomycosis may not only cure toenail lesions but could be critical in preventing the spread of disease to other body sites, according to research published in the October issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Delivery of Pediatric Flu Shots Delayed in U.S.

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a statement warning parents in the United States that delivery of influenza vaccines will be delayed until at least November. The delay affects children aged 6 months to 3 years.

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Fracture Risk Increased in Rheumatoid Arthritis

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Rheumatoid arthritis patients have an increased risk of osteoporotic fractures due to a combination of disease activity, low body mass index and use of oral glucocorticoids, according to study findings published in the October issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Fluoxetine Increases Bone Mass in Mice

MONDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In mice, fluoxetine increases bone mass under normal physiologic and inflammatory conditions, but does not prevent bone loss associated with estrogen deficiency, according to a study published online Oct. 13 in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry.

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FDA Issues Alert for Fake Blood Glucose Test Strips

MONDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a nationwide alert for counterfeit blood glucose test strips sold for use with LifeScan, Inc., OneTouch Brand Blood Glucose Monitors. The strips -- OneTouch Basic/Profile (lot #272894A, 2619932 or 2606340) and OneTouch Ultra (lot #2691191) -- could show false blood glucose levels, causing patients to take too little or too much insulin.

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U.S. Hospital Mortality Rates Improve, But Quality Varies

MONDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Although mortality rates at U.S. hospitals are generally improving, the quality varies widely, with a typical Medicare patient having a 69 percent lower chance of dying in the best hospitals compared with the worst hospitals, according to a report published Oct. 16 by HealthGrades, an independent health care rating group.

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Telomere Study Hints at Causes of Osteoarthritis, Ageing

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- There could be shared mechanisms between osteoarthritis and aging, according to a study of telomere length in leukocytes. The findings, which suggest that oxidative stress and chronic inflammation may play a role in both conditions, were published online Oct. 12 in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

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Loss of Medicaid Negatively Impacts Health Care

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Adults who lost or had disruptions in Medicaid coverage in Oregon after cost-saving changes were implemented were less likely to receive primary care and more likely to have unmet medical needs and medical debt, researchers report in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Proteolysis Elevated in HIV+ with Insulin Resistance

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Fasting proteolysis is significantly higher in patients with HIV infection who have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than in HIV-negative patients and HIV-infected patients without IGT, according to a report published in the October issue of Diabetes. The increase in proteolysis may exacerbate hyperglycemia in HIV-infected patients.

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Chronic Diseases Increase Psychological Distress

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with multiple chronic diseases such as arthritis or diabetes are more likely to experience psychological distress with increasing disease severity, according to the results of a study published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Gene Variants Associated with Common Obesity

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Bardet-Biedl syndrome gene variants are associated with the risk of common obesity in children and adults, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of Diabetes.

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Self-Management of Arthritis Does Not Reduce Pain

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Self-management programs for arthritis patients improve their perceived handling of their condition but have no impact on pain, physical functioning or the amount of time they spend visiting the doctor, according to study findings published online Oct. 13 in BMJ.

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Living Close to Heavy Industry May Raise Lung Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term residence close to heavy industry areas may cause a modest increase in the risk of females developing lung cancer, according to a study published online Oct. 13 in Thorax.

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Race, Sex, Age Impact Level-I Trauma Center Transfers

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Even after controlling for injury severity, non-clinical factors such as race, gender, age and insurance status significantly impact a patient's risk for hospital transfer to level-I trauma centers, researchers report in the October issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

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Low Elder Abuse Reporting Related to Physician Concerns

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Concern over the patient-physician relationship and patient quality of life may each play a role in why physicians have a low rate of reporting suspected elder abuse, researchers report in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Toenail Fungus Test Is Both Accurate and Affordable

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The best diagnostic test for toenail onychomycosis is potassium hydroxide preparation with chlorazol black E (KOH-CBE) due to a combination of test sensitivity and cost-effectiveness, researchers report in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Gene Polymorphism Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Complications

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 2 diabetes, a polymorphism in the alpha-adducin 1 (ADD1) gene is associated with an increased risk of macrovascular complications and death, according to a brief report published in the October issue of Diabetes.

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Serious Complications for Undiagnosed Diabetes Cases

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one-third of diabetes cases in the United States remain undiagnosed, and many of these already have diabetes-associated complications, including nephropathy, according to a report in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Family History of Lung Cancer Increases Lung Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Having a family history of lung cancer increases the risk of developing lung cancer, particularly for women and non-smokers, researchers report in the October issue of Chest.

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Sputum Test Quick, Accurate for Drug-Resistant TB

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A single microscopic-observation drug-susceptibility (MODS) assay of a sputum sample provides more sensitive and faster detection of tuberculosis and multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis than conventional methods, according to study findings published in the Oct. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Weight Maintenance Program Helps Dieters Keep Weight Off

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A daily self-regulated weight management program seems to help those who recently lost weight keep the pounds off, according to a report in the Oct. 12 New England Journal of Medicine.

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Vision and Hearing Loss Go Hand-in-Hand in Older Adults

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with vision loss are more likely to be hearing impaired than adults without vision loss, according to a study published in the October issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology. The findings suggest that such sensory impairments may share common risk factors or biologic aging markers including exposure to oxidative stress, atherosclerosis or cigarette smoking.

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Drug May Help Female Smokers Kick the Habit

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In female smokers, a combination of behavioral therapy, nicotine patches and the opiate blocker naltrexone may increase the odds of quitting, according to study findings published in the October issue of Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

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Hypnotherapy Helps Relieve Non-Cardiac Chest Pain

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Hypnotherapy relieves pain, improves well-being and reduces medication usage in patients with non-cardiac chest pain, according to a study in the October issue of Gut.

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Health of Bar Workers Improves After Smoking Ban

TUESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Since Scotland banned smoking in public places, bar workers have shown improvements in respiratory function and inflammation, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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U.S. Leprosy Case Linked to Exposure to Armadillos

TUESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A 57-year-old woman living in the state of Georgia developed borderline tuberculoid leprosy (Hansen's disease) due to exposure to armadillos, which burrowed in a garden where she worked, according to a report published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. The woman had not traveled outside the United States, and had not been in any contact with known cases of leprosy.

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High BMI Associated with Lower Cognitive Function

TUESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Higher body mass index (BMI) in healthy, middle-aged adults is associated with lower cognitive function and a higher risk of cognitive decline, according to a report in the Oct. 10 issue of Neurology.

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Walnuts May Help Reverse Effects of High-Fat Meal

TUESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Walnuts improve arterial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) immediately after a high-fat meal, and walnuts and olive oil acutely conserve protective arterial endothelial cells after such a meal, according to a report published online Oct. 9 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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FDA Needs 'Sweeping Changes' to Safely Regulate Drugs

MONDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration needs to undergo radical change to effectively regulate drug safety, according to a special article in the Oct. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Isotretinoin iPLEDGE Risk Management Program Revised

MONDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S Food and Drug Administration and the iPLEDGE program of Conshohocken, Penn., has announced a change to its iPLEDGE risk management program for isotretinoin that will make it easier for some patients to fill repeat prescriptions of the acne treatment. The program, which aims to reduce the risk of fetal exposure to isotretinoin, has eliminated its 23-day lock-out period for males and females of non-childbearing potential.

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Too Few Americans Receive Annual Flu Shots

MONDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza vaccinations for the 2004-2005 season almost doubled for children up to 2 years of age but declined in those 65 years and older, according to two reports in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Oct. 6 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The number of older Americans receiving recommended influenza vaccines falls far short of the Healthy People 2010 goal of 90 percent.

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Age-at-Onset Criteria for Adult ADHD May Be Too Strict

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The age-at-onset criteria used to diagnose attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults may too strict, and those adults with ADHD have greater deficits in executive function associated with lower academic performance than adults who do not meet the criteria for ADHD, according to two studies in the October issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Four Care Standards Prolong Hemodialysis Patients' Lives

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Hemodialysis patients treated according to four quality standards for the care of patients with end-stage renal disease are less likely to die or go to the hospital than those whose care reaches no such standards, researchers report in the Oct. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Agents Search Calif. Spinach Farms in E. coli Outbreak

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as other federal and California authorities continue to investigate causes of the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with fresh spinach. On Oct. 4, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California announced the execution of search warrants on Growers Express in Salinas, and Natural Selection Foods LLC in San Juan Bautista, to investigate allegations of insufficient safety precautions before shipping spinach out-of-state.

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Cola Drinking Linked to Lower Bone Density in Women's Hips

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Women who drink cola daily have a lower bone density in the hip than women who do not drink colas, researchers report in the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The association was not seen in men, or in women who consumed other types of carbonated beverages.

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Misoprostol Can Reduce Acute Postpartum Hemorrhage

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Oral administration of misoprostol immediately after childbirth significantly reduces the rate of acute postpartum hemorrhage in low-resources settings, according to a report published in the Oct. 7 issue of The Lancet.

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Food, Drug Cravings Activate Similar Parts of Brain

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- In obese patients, the sensation of satiety activates the hippocampus and other regions of the brain that have been previously shown to be involved in drug craving, according to a report published online Oct. 5 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Drug Company Reviews Should Be Read with Caution

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Drug reviews supported by the pharmaceutical industry are less transparent and more likely to reach a favorable conclusion compared with independent research, and as such should be read with caution, according to a report published online Oct. 6 in BMJ.

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Physical Activity Doesn't Prevent Obesity in Preschoolers

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Physical activity does not have an impact on obesity levels among preschool children but the benefits it confers in terms of motor and movement skills may help to foster an increase in activity levels and therefore have long-term benefits, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in BMJ.

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Gene Abnormalities Predict Endometrial Cancer Prognosis

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The pathologic expression of the tumor suppressor genes p53 and p16 in curettage specimens may identify high-risk endometrial carcinoma patients with a poor prognosis, according to a study in the October issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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FDA Approves Fifth U.S. Flu Vaccine

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted accelerated approval to another influenza vaccine for use during the 2006-2007 flu season. The vaccine, FluLaval, will be distributed by GlaxoSmithKline and is the fifth flu vaccine to be approved for use in the United States.

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Light Deprivation Impairs Sleep Regulation

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The body's ability to regulate sleep patterns is impaired by severe light deprivation, according to a study of rats published in the October issue of Sleep.

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Sex Steroid Levels Associated with Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Circulating levels of sex steroid hormones may be important in the etiology of premenopausal breast cancer, according to a study in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Ranibizumab Slows Macular Degeneration

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Ranibizumab -- a humanized monoclonal antibody Fab targeting vascular endothelial growth factor A -- prevents visual decay and can even improve visual acuity in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration, according to the results of two large, randomized trials published in the Oct. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Ragweed Vaccine Shows Promise for Allergic Rhinitis

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A pilot study of a ragweed pollen vaccine has shown promising long-term results for treatment of allergic rhinitis, according to a report in the Oct. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Psychiatry Team Doesn't Improve Depression Outcome

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Depressed patients who are treated by a primary care physician aided by a support team including a psychiatrist and nurse are more likely to be satisfied with care and to receive antidepressants, but these patients are no more likely to have an improvement in depression than patients whose doctors don't have the extra support, according to a report in the Oct. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Health Care Utilization Drops After Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Women with obstructive sleep apnea have higher medical bills and visit the doctor more often than other women in the two years before diagnosis, but after diagnosis health care utilization and costs tend to decline, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 1 issue of Sleep.

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Male Mice with Mutant Mitochondria Are Infertile

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Male mice containing high levels of mutant mitochondria are infertile due to lower sperm numbers and reduced sperm motility, according to a report released online ahead of publication in the Oct. 10 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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One in 10 U.K. Men Surveyed Pay for Sex

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- One in 10 men pay for sex, almost half of whom have a partner, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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Failure to Order Test Common Mistake in Malpractice Claims

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A failure to order an appropriate diagnostic test is the most common mistake that results in harm to patients in the ambulatory care setting, although multiple breakdowns and individual and system factors play a role, according to a review of malpractice claims in the Oct. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Hormone Therapy May Increase Ovarian Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The prolonged use of hormone-replacement therapy, including estrogen alone and estrogen plus progestin, may increase a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to study results published in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Exercise Study Shows Mixed Results in Knee Osteoarthritis

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Strength training may slow the progress of knee osteoarthritis but it doesn't increase isokinetic quadriceps strength, according to a report published in the October issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Genetic Polymorphisms Affect Antidepressant Response

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with late-life depression, antidepressant response is significantly affected by the presence of monoamine transporter gene polymorphisms, according to the results of a preliminary study published in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. If the findings are confirmed, they could lead to a more refined selection of antidepressant treatment, the authors write.

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MRI Scans Recommended for Children with Cerebral Palsy

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- All children with cerebral palsy should have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan because there is a strong correlation with clinical findings and the scan can help predict children's future needs, as well as possibly help prevent future cases, researchers report in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. More than 40 percent of such children have white-matter damage of immaturity and only about 12 percent have no abnormalities on MRI.

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Sudden Cardiac Deaths Decline in Young Italian Athletes

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- After the 1982 introduction of a systematic, nationwide cardiovascular screening program for young athletes in Italy, the annual incidence of sudden cardiovascular deaths has significantly declined, according to a study published in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Anti-Obesity Drug Deemed a Clinical Failure

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The investigational anti-obesity drug MK-0557, a selective neuropeptide Y5 receptor antagonist, does not lead to a clinically meaningful weight loss in obese patients, according to a study published in the October issue of Cell Metabolism.

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Selective Magnesium Sulfate May Double Eclampsia Rate

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Two studies shed light on the best ways to use magnesium sulfate in the prevention of eclampsia, with some editorialists calling for an end to the use of this therapy for delaying preterm labor, according to research in the October issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Weight Loss Is Best Protection for Those at Diabetes Risk

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The best safeguard against diabetes for those at diabetes risk is to lose weight, with a 16 percent drop in risk for each kilogram lost, according to a report published in the September issue of Diabetes Care.

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Parent-Voice Smoke Alarm Rouses Sleeping Children

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A personalized parent-voice smoke alarm is superior to a conventional, residential, tone smoke alarm at rousing children from deep sleep, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

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Discrimination Affects Immigrants' Mental Health

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Among black and Latino immigrants, racial and ethnic discrimination is associated with poor mental health status, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Billing for Some Pediatric Phone Care Acceptable

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) outlines when clinicians might appropriately charge health care payors for telephone care and services. The statement is published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

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One-Third of U.S. Adolescents Physically Unfit

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately one-third of teenagers in the United States do not meet the recommended standard of cardiorespiratory fitness, according to a study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Insomnia Drug May Lack Potential for Abuse

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Ramelteon (Rozerem), a recently approved insomnia drug, does not appear to have the potential for abuse and does not impair motor or cognitive function more than a placebo, according to an industry-funded study in the October issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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U.S. Suicide Rates Declined from 1970-2002

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. suicide rates have fluctuated by age group since 1970, but have demonstrated a general downward trend that might be attributable to an increase in healthy life expectancy and a decline in substance abuse, according to study results published in the Oct. 1 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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FDA Approves Nerve Toxin Antidote for Civilians

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Duodote (atropine and pralidoxime chloride auto-injector) as an antidote for organophosphorous toxic nerve agents, including sarin and insecticides, in civilian patients. Duodote is manufactured by Meridian Medical Technologies, Inc. in Columbia, Md. In 2002, atropine and pralidoxime chloride were first approved for use in the military as a single injection to counter toxic nerve agents.

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