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April 2008 Briefing - Internal Medicine

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Internal Medicine for April 2008. 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.

Genetic Variations Predict Outcomes in Acute Leukemia

WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- While cytogenetic markers have known prognostic value in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), new research shows that among patients with cytogenetically normal AML who lack these traditional markers, genomic disruptions in leukemic cells can be used to predict outcomes and response to treatment, according to two studies published in the May 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Exercise Key to Maintaining Weight Loss in Obesity

WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- While caloric restriction leads to short-term weight loss, increases in physical activity may be necessary to overcome the body's tendency to re-establish the original body weight and prevent weight regain, according to an article in the May 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Potential Susceptibility Genes for Osteoporosis Identified

WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Genes associated with bone mineral density and low-energy fractures in European populations have been identified, according to a report published online April 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Cancer Disproportionately Affects Polynesians

WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Among the indigenous Polynesian people who live in the Pacific triangle -- a vast area that stretches from New Zealand to Hawaii -- there are significant disparities in cancer incidence, mortality and survival, according to a review article published in the May issue of The Lancet Oncology.

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Inflammation, Albuminuria Predict Heart Failure

WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Markers of inflammation and albuminuria serve as predictors of congestive heart failure, and the association between obesity and the condition may be related to inflammation, according to research published in the May 6 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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FDA Approves Drug for Women with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced this week that it has approved Amitiza (lubiprostone) for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) in women aged 18 and older.

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Most Meeting Abstracts Eventually Published

WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- About three-quarters of abstracts presented at the 2000 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting were eventually published, though in some cases there were differences in the primary end point and conclusions, according to a report in the May 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Factors Affect Quality of Dual-Source Computed Tomography

WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Heart rate variability and calcification, but not heart rate, have significant effects on image quality in patients undergoing dual-source computed tomography for known or suspected coronary artery disease, researchers report in the May issue of Radiology.

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Rising Insurance Premiums Outpace Salary Increases

WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- The cost of family health insurance plans in the United States is increasing 10 times faster than salary increases, meaning that a growing share of workers' earnings are eaten up by health care costs, according to a report issued April 29 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Doctors Overestimate Ability to Make Right Diagnosis

WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians have a tendency to underappreciate the scope to make wrong diagnoses and are overconfident in their diagnostic decisions, according to an article published in a supplement to the May issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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New Cushing's Syndrome Guideline Published

WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- A new clinical practice guideline will improve physicians' ability to detect and diagnose Cushing's syndrome, according to an article published in the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Medicare Cancer Costs Substantial, Vary by Tumor Site

WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- The burden of elderly cancer care on the Medicare system varies according to tumor site, phase of care and stage at diagnosis, as well as the survival rates of patients, but overall the costs are substantial, according to a report published in the May 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Treating Hypertension Doesn't Halt Chronic Kidney Disease

WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic kidney disease in hypertensive black patients will still continue to progress when treated with antihypertensive and renin-angiotensin system-blocking therapy, according to research published in the April 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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FDA Clears Coronary Plaque Imaging Device

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it has cleared for marketing a device that physicians can use during cardiac angiography to assess the fat content of atherosclerotic plaques on coronary arteries.

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Blood Substitutes May Raise Risk of Heart Attack, Death

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Using hemoglobin-based blood substitutes increases the risk of death by 30 percent and the risk of myocardial infarction by 2.7 times, according to a report published online April 28 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Receptors Increase in Brain of Mouse Stroke Model

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- The expression of mineralocorticoid receptors increases in the brain in a mouse model of non-fatal stroke, and a drug that blocks the receptor is neuroprotective, according to study findings published online April 24 in Endocrinology.

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Physicians Lack Feedback on Accuracy of Diagnoses

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical diagnosis is a largely open-loop system in which there is no systematic way for clinicians to obtain feedback on the outcome of their diagnoses, according to an article published in a supplement to the May issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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Insulin-Like Growth Factor I Shown to Help Aging Rats

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Treating aging male rats with low doses of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) is associated with increased testosterone levels, improved glucose and lipid metabolism, and reduced oxidative damage in the brain and liver, according to a report published in the May issue of Endocrinology.

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Fluvastatin Cuts Occurrence of Coronary Spasm

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Adding daily fluvastatin to conventional calcium-channel blocker therapy to treat coronary spasm reduced the occurrence of spasm compared to using conventional therapy only, according to research published in the May 6 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Secondhand Smoke's Cellular Effects Measured

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to secondhand smoke, at levels often found in the smoking areas of bars and restaurants, leads to acute vascular injury and an increased level of circulating dysfunctional endothelial progenitor cells, researchers report in the May 6 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Increasing Incidence of Pre-Pregnancy Diabetes Alarming

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of gestational diabetes has remained stable over time and is similar across different racial and ethnic groups, but the rising number of young, pregnant women with pre-existing diabetes is cause for concern, according to a report published in the May issue of Diabetes Care.

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Inhibition of Human T-Cell Protein Blocks HIV Replication

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Inhibition of a T-cell protein that is required for T-cell activation blocks HIV replication in in vitro experiments, according to an article published online April 28 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences Early Edition.

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Phenytoin Accelerates Bone Loss in Premenopausal Women

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- In premenopausal women with epilepsy, phenytoin monotherapy is associated with a significant loss of bone mineral density over a one-year period, according to the results of a study published in the April 29 issue of Neurology.

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Oral Cefixime Availability Improves

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Availability of cefixime, the standard treatment for uncomplicated urogenital or rectal gonorrhea, should improve as it is now being manufactured by Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Baltimore, according to an article published in the April 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Endocannabinoid Pathway Activated by Nerve Agents

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Organophosphorus nerve agents augment the endocannabinoid pathway in the brain, resulting in clinical effects such as that caused by the exogenous cannabinoid, marijuana. Selective activation of this pathway could be used to obtain desirable therapeutic effects such as analgesia, while avoiding unwanted side effects such as hypomotility and cognitive dysfunction, according to research findings published online April 27 in Nature Chemical Biology.

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Hormone Therapy Increases Stroke Risk Despite Timing

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- In postmenopausal women, hormone therapy is associated with a significantly increased risk of stroke regardless of the type of regimen or the timing of therapy initiation, according to a report published in the April 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Alendronate May Raise Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Alendronate may increase the risk of developing atrial fibrillation, according to an article published in the April 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Thiazolidinediones May Raise Risk of Hip, Wrist Fractures

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with diabetes who take the oral insulin-sensitizing drugs rosiglitazone and pioglitazone may be at an increased risk of suffering hip and wrist fractures, according to an article published in the April 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Palliative Care Can Improve Patient Care Most, Poll Finds

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- In an international poll conducted by BMJ to determine which area of health care would enable doctors to make the greatest difference to patients, palliative care for non-malignant disease received the most votes, the BMJ Group announced at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care in Paris this week.

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Changes in Use of Diagnostic Procedures for Heart Attack

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients hospitalized with myocardial infarction since 1987, mortality rates and the use of some diagnostic procedures have changed with time and differ based on gender and race, according to study findings published in the May issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Rising Imaging Use, Costs Call for Examination

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- A recent rise in the use of advanced imaging technology warrants examination of the causes and significance of the trend, as well as possible remedial actions, according to an editorial published in the May issue of Medical Care.

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Studies Support Gene Therapy for Retinal Conditions

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- A pair of studies published online April 27 in the New England Journal of Medicine offer support for research into gene therapy to treat Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA), a group of inherited disorders marked by retinal degeneration and severe vision loss.

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Drug Prevents Restenosis in Coronary Syndromes

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Abciximab modestly prevents restenosis compared with placebo in patients with acute coronary syndromes undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention, researchers report in the May issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Extra Estrogen in Utero Leads to Gonadal Defects

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- The male and female offspring of pregnant mice treated with the estrogenic compound diethylstilbestrol have defects in differentiation and cell proliferation in the gonads, according to research published online April 24 in Endocrinology.

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Blood Pressure Predicts Survival for Coronary Patients

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Diastolic blood pressure is an independent predictor of long-term survival after hospital discharge in patients with acute coronary syndromes, researchers report in the May issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Method Images Oxygenation and Metabolites in Tumors

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- A real-time method combining functional and anatomic imaging can produce a map of oxygenation and metabolite levels in tumors, according to study findings published online April 22 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Protein Implicated in Gastric Inflammation, Tumors

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence from animal studies points to aberrant activation of STAT1 and STAT3 -- mediated by the cytokine IL-11 -- in chronic gastric inflammation and gastric tumors, according to research published in the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Pre-Pregnancy Diet Choices Linked to Sex of Baby

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Women with a higher calorie intake before conception are more likely to bear boys, according to research published online April 22 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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FDA Approves Drug for Opioid-Induced Constipation

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced this week that it has approved Relistor (methylnaltrexone bromide) to help restore bowel function in patients with late-stage, advanced illness requiring chronic opioids for pain control.

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Skin Exams Quick With or Without Dermoscopy

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to an expectation many physicians may have, a complete skin examination -- even using a dermoscope -- takes less than three minutes, according to research published in the April Archives of Dermatology.

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Gene Variants Linked to C-Reactive Protein Levels

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Variants of the HNF1A gene encoding hepatocyte nuclear factor 1-alpha are strongly associated with plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, according to two studies published online April 24 in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Ridker Abstract
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Triglycerides May Explain Cognition Problems in Obesity

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Experiments with mice suggest that triglycerides play a major role in obesity-related cognitive disturbance and that lowering triglycerides can improve such impairment, according to research published in the May issue of Endocrinology.

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Clinical Observation Alone Effective in HIV Management

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- For HIV patients on the World Health Organization-recommended first-line regimen of stavudine, lamivudine and nevirapine, the use of clinical observation alone does not have a significantly adverse effect on patient survival or development of resistance when compared with observation that includes monitoring of viral load or CD4 cell count, according to a study published in the April 26 issue of The Lancet.

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Tethered Inhibitor More Effective for Alzheimer's

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- An inhibitor of an Alzheimer's disease target that is tethered to the cell membrane is more effective than the free inhibitor, and the approach could be used to design more effective inhibitors, according to a study in the April 25 issue of Science.

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Aspects of Coronary Syndromes in India Studied

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- In India, patients who present with acute coronary syndromes have a higher rate of ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) than patients in developed countries. In addition, patients with lower socioeconomic status are less likely to receive evidence-based treatments and have a higher 30-day mortality rate, according to a study published in the April 26 issue of The Lancet.

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Inequitable Access to Early Angiography Affects Outcome

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Although early access to coronary angiography for patients presenting with suspected angina reduces the risk of coronary events, it is underused in older people, women, South Asians and people from socially deprived areas, according to a study published online April 24 in the BMJ.

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Biofuels Partially to Blame in Global Food Crisis

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- The global food shortage, which threatens millions of people with starvation, is due to a number of factors, including the growing use of biofuels -- potential food crops that are used as fuel for car engines -- and requires that the international community address the root causes of the crisis, according to an editorial published in The Lancet in April.

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Stem Cell Work Offers Insight Into Heart's Origins

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiovascular progenitors that show cardiac, endothelial and vascular smooth muscle potential during in vitro and in vivo experiments shed light on the earliest stages of human cardiac development, according to research published in the April 24 issue of Nature.

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Researchers Present Updated Discussion of Avian Flu

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Because H5N1 influenza A viruses have the potential to cause a worldwide pandemic with mortality rates as high as 60 percent, the development of broadly protective vaccines is imperative, according to a seminar published in the April 26 issue of The Lancet.

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Wide Variations in Health Care Seen Across Europe

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- The wide diversity of health care provision in European countries makes any regionwide legislation mandating a unified approach unfeasible, and quality of care across countries will likely be ensured through more informal mechanisms, according to an article published in the April 26 issue of the BMJ.

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Wealth Can Predict Stroke Among Middle-Aged

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Among people aged 50 to 64, wealth is an independent predictor of stroke, but it cannot be used to predict stroke among the elderly, according to a study published online April 24 in Stroke.

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Treatment of Hirsutism Addressed in Guideline

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Testing for elevated androgen levels should be considered in premenopausal women who have moderate to severe hirsutism and in those with milder hirsutism accompanied by menstrual dysfunction, obesity or clitoromegaly, according to a clinical practice guideline published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in April.

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Laparoscopic Reflux Procedure Complications Drop

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- During the first 10 years of laparoscopic fundoplication to treat reflux in Finland, the rate of serious complications declined, as did the rate of serious complications following open surgery, according to research published in the April issue of Archives of Surgery.

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Practice Advisory Addresses Operating Room Fires

THURSDAY, April 24(HealthDay News) -- Appropriate strategies can help prevent or manage operating room fires, which are estimated to occur in the United States 50 to 200 times each year and can result in serious injury or death, according to a practice advisory published in the May issue of Anesthesiology.

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Protein State Affects Behavior of Alzheimer's Protein

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- In neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease that involve abnormalities in the tau protein (tauopathies), a tau-regulating protein has opposite effects on tauopathy in mice depending on whether the tau is normal or mutant, according to a study published online April 22 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Oral Contraceptive Use May Increase in Acne Treatment

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Recently changed guideline stating that physicians no longer need to perform a pelvic examination and Papanicolaou smear before prescribing oral contraceptive pills may encourage more dermatologists to prescribe the pills as an acne treatment for women of childbearing age, according to an article published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Predictors Identified for Incident DSM-IV Disorders

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The one-year incidence rates for substance use and mood and anxiety disorders vary by gender, age and ethnicity, according to a study published online April 22 in Molecular Psychiatry.

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Simplified Rabies Vaccine Regimen is Immunogenic

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- A new simplified and economical four-site intradermal postexposure rabies vaccine regimen is as immunogenic as other regimens and may be more suitable for use in developing countries, according to a study published in the April issue of PLoS -- Neglected Tropical Diseases.

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Individualized Treatments for Multiple Myeloma Possible

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- New drugs with novel mechanisms of action and a better understanding of the biology of multiple myeloma will lead to more individualized treatments for the disease, according to a study published online April 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy Safe and Effective

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Full-endoscopic interlaminar and transforaminal lumbar discectomy produces results similar to those of conventional microsurgery without the same risk of damage due to trauma, according to a study published in the April 20 issue of Spine.

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Heparin Contaminant Activates Contact System

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The serious allergic-type reactions recently reported in patients receiving intravenous heparin appear to be due to the presence of a contaminant, oversulfated chondroitin sulfate (OSCS), which leads to activation of the contact system and release of vasoactive mediators, according to an article first published online April 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Spinal Fracture Outcome Same With or Without Surgery

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Over the medium to long term, operative and nonoperative treatment for traumatic thoracic and lumbar spinal fractures result in similar overall outcomes, according to a study published in the April 20 issue of Spine.

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Leukemia Drug Toxic at Higher Doses

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Higher doses of lenalidomide can lead to serious adverse outcomes including tumor flare in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to a study published online April 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Risedronate Protects Bone Mass in Breast Cancer Patients

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Once-weekly risedronate protects against chemotherapy-related bone loss in women with breast cancer, according to an article published online April 21 in The Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Magnetic Resonance Images of Herniated Disc Reliable

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Readers of magnetic resonance images of intervertebral disc herniation are able to accurately and reliably assess disc morphology, according to a study published in the April 20 issue of Spine.

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Gene Mutations Found in Hypothyroid Patients

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Research published in the April 24 New England Journal of Medicine reports on mutations found in DEHAL1 -- the gene encoding a thyroid enzyme that controls the reuse of iodide for thyroid hormone synthesis -- that resulted in problems including hypothyroidism, goiter and mental deficits in four patients.

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Regular Mammography Helpful in Older Women

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly women who develop breast cancer may present with the disease at earlier stages and have better breast cancer-specific five-year survival if they've had regular mammograms, according to research published online April 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Drug Reduces Biomarkers in Coronary Heart Disease

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Darapladib reduces lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) activity and other inflammatory markers in patients with coronary heart disease who are receiving statins, according to a study in the April 29 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. A related study found that statins have variable effects on oxidative stress markers in patients with high cholesterol.

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Statistics Reveal Mortality Inequalities Between Counties

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- An investigation into trends of mortality and mortality disparities in the United States, focused on the county level, found that mortality inequality across counties rose between 1983 and 1999, according to research published in the April issue of PLoS Medicine.

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GRK5 Polymorphism Protects Against Death in Heart Failure

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- A polymorphism in GRK5 (G protein-coupled receptor kinase) creates a type of genetic β-blockade that lowers β-adrenergic receptor signaling and offers protection against early death in black individuals with heart failure, according to research published April 20 in Nature Medicine.

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Employee Screening Program Reduced Melanoma Mortality

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Workplace educational campaigns that promote self-examination and targeted screening for melanoma may significantly reduce melanoma mortality, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Lab Studies Link Brd4 to Breast Cancer Inhibition

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Activation of the bromodomain protein Brd4 inhibits tumor growth and metastasis in mice and helps predict outcome in human breast cancer, according to research published online April 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

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Link Between Obesity and Renal Dysfunction Explored

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that adiponectin may protect the kidney against oxidant stress, and the lower levels of adiponectin seen in obese individuals may predispose them to kidney dysfunction and the development of albuminuria, according to an article published online April 22 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Nasal Surgery Can Improve Quality-of-Life Scores

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Nasal surgery can improve quality of life in adults with obstructive sleep apnea and symptoms of nasal obstruction, according to research published in the April issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

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Antibiotic-Tolerant Bacteria Have Window of Sensitivity

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Bacteria that are in a dormant persister state associated with tolerance to antibiotics are actually not dormant for a brief period, during which they are sensitive to antibiotics, according to a study in the April 22 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Aural Symptoms Common in Headache Disorders Subset

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Symptoms of temporomandibular disorder (TMD), a subset of primary headache disorders, often include ear pain and other aural symptoms, according to a study in the April issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

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FDA Approves New Biologic Drug to Treat Crohn's Disease

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this week the approval of Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) for the treatment of moderate to severe Crohn's disease in patients who have not responded to conventional therapies.

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Latest Flu Vaccine Gave Poor Protection, CDC Says

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza vaccine had limited efficacy during the last flu season, uptake of the rotavirus vaccine is encouraging and researchers who have contact with a virus related to smallpox should be vaccinated, according to three articles in the April 18 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Since Medicare Part D, Seniors Less Likely to Skip Meds

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- While the Medicare Part D drug program appears to have had some success in reducing the financial burden of medications for seniors, many report confusion over their benefits and persistent financial difficulties, according to two articles published in the April 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Everolimus Stent Superior to Paclitaxel Stent

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- An everolimus-eluting stent has a lower late loss than a paclitaxel-eluting stent as well as a similar target vessel failure rate and fewer major adverse cardiac events in patients with coronary artery disease, according to a study in the April 23/30 issue of JAMA.

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Two Arthritis Drugs Found to be Cost-Effective

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors etanercept and adalimumab are more likely to be cost-effective for treating rheumatoid arthritis in the Medicare population than infliximab, according to research published in the April Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Bivalirudin Improves Cardiac Outcomes for Diabetics

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetic patients with acute coronary syndromes have higher rates of adverse clinical outcomes than nondiabetics, and treatment with bivalirudin results in a lower rate of adverse outcomes than treatment with heparin plus glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibition (GPI), according to a study in the April 29 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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ACS: Report Details Cancer Prevention Trends in U.S.

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Several favorable trends linked to falling cancer rates in the United States may be in jeopardy, according to a report issued by the American Cancer Society, which points out that the decline in smoking appears to be leveling off and that mammography rates are no longer increasing and may even be decreasing.

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Chemotherapy Drug Damages Mouse Central Nervous System

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- The chemotherapeutic drug 5-fluorouracil causes acute and delayed damage to progenitor cells and myelin in the mouse central nervous system (CNS), which may explain the cognitive problems experienced by some cancer patients, according to a study published online April 22 in the Journal of Biology.

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Insulin Resistance Differs Among Teenage Boys and Girls

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Insulin resistance develops differently in boys and girls as they transition from late childhood through adolescence, according to a study published online April 21 in Circulation.

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Black Individuals Receive Good Care for Heart Failure

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Black individuals hospitalized for heart failure have similar or better quality of care and outcomes than nonblacks, according to a study in the April 29 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Obesity, Inactivity Undermine Cancer Survivors' Prognosis

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer survivors in Canada may be at higher risk from disease because they have low levels of physical activity and a high prevalence of obesity, according to a study published online April 21 in Cancer.

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Skin Lesion Diameter Criteria Useful Guide for Biopsy

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- The current guidelines for investigation of skin lesions, whereby a lesion larger than 6 millimeters in diameter triggers a decision to do a biopsy, should continue to be observed, as they provide a useful parameter in combination with other criteria, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Admission Time Does Not Affect Outcome of Heart Attack

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who are hospitalized in off-hours after acute myocardial infarction do not have a higher risk of mortality than those who are admitted during regular hours despite the fact that they experience significantly longer door-to-balloon times and are less likely to undergo primary percutaneous coronary intervention, according to a study published online April 21 in Circulation.

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Migraine Sufferers Are Most At Risk for Allodynia

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Cutaneous allodynia is more common in people who have migraine headaches than it is among people with other types of severe or chronic headaches, according to a study published in the April 22 issue of Neurology.

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Scalp and Neck Melanomas Have Lower Survival Odds

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with melanomas on the scalp and neck have a worse prognosis than their counterparts with the cancer on other parts of the body, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Health Care Workers Affected By Staph Infections

WEDNESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- While only 5 percent of health care workers become colonized with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection, they are more frequently vectors of the disease, according to a review published in the May issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Number of Surgeons Decreases 26 Percent in 25 Years

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- From 1981 to 2005 there was a 25.91 percent drop in the number of surgeons in the United States, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Mouse Model Sheds Light on Scleroderma Lung Damage

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Transforming growth factor Β may play a key role in determining fibrosis after epithelial lung injury, and lung fibroblasts may regulate the response of alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) to injury, offering insight into factors underlying scleroderma-associated pulmonary fibrosis (SSc-PF), according to research in the April Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Adiponectin Linked to Left Ventricular Dysfunction

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- High serum levels of adiponectin -- a protein hormone exclusively secreted by fat cells -- may independently predict moderate to severe left ventricular systolic dysfunction in patients who have been referred for coronary angiography, according to a study published in the April 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Cesarean is Independent Risk Factor for Postpartum Stroke

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Women who undergo cesarean delivery have a higher risk of postpartum stroke than those who deliver vaginally, according to research published in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Hormone Receptors Linked to Breast Cancer Recurrence

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of local recurrence and distant metastases is associated with hormone receptor status in women who underwent breast-conserving therapy for breast cancer, according to a study published online April 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Fluoxetine Linked to Plasticity in Adult Rats' Vision

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic fluoxetine use restores ocular dominance plasticity in adult rats and also promotes the restoration of visual function in adult rats with amblyopia, according to research published in the April 18 Science.

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Epilepsy's Effect on Brain Aging Poorly Understood

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Although there is a paucity of data examining the effect of chronic epilepsy on cognitive and brain aging, available evidence suggests that individuals with chronic epilepsy may be at increased risk for dementia, according to an article published in the current issue of Epilepsia.

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Laser Lithotripsy Fragments Salivary Stones In Vitro

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Laser lithotripsy can effectively fragment salivary stones in an in vitro model, suggesting that lasers may be useful for the management of salivary stones in humans, according to research published online April 15 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Elderly on Antipsychotics Face Higher Pneumonia Risk

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- The use of antipsychotic medications is associated with an increased risk of pneumonia in elderly patients, particularly shortly after they begin treatment, according to research published in the April Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Photodynamic Treatment for Arthritis Promising

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Photodynamic treatment of inflamed joints reduces the severity of arthritis in a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis, according to an article published online April 15 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Work Disability Caused by Arthritis is Common

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of work disability is 35 percent among individuals who have had rheumatoid arthritis for at least 10 years, but this may be an improvement from a prevalence of 50 percent reported in a 1987 study, according to an article published in the April 15 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Causes and Mechanism of Chronic Cough Explored

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic cough, defined as a cough lasting eight weeks or longer, is common in the community and can be caused by environmental exposures to such things as cigarette smoke and pollution as well as by a number of common and rare diseases, according to an article published April 19 in The Lancet.

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Palliative Care and Legal Euthanasia Can Coexist

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Although palliative care and legal euthanasia are usually perceived as antagonistic camps, this need not be the case, and euthanasia can be linked to the development of palliative care, according to an article published in the April 19 issue of BMJ.

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Merits of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Debated

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- The recent decision by the United Kingdom's Department of Health to establish programs to screen all men aged 65 for abdominal aortic aneurysm within 10 years is based on data showing that screening reduces mortality, but some feel that screening may cause more harm than good. This controversy is covered in a Head to Head article published in the April 19 issue of BMJ.

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Treatment Regimen Benefits Colorectal Cancer Patients

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy combined with bevacizumab significantly improves progression-free survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, according to two studies published in the April 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Better Outcomes Using 'Box' Lesion for Atrial Fibrillation

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Connecting the pulmonary veins by two lesions (the "box" lesion) rather than one to isolate the posterior left atrium in patients undergoing the Cox maze procedure for atrial fibrillation is associated with less early atrial tachyarrhythmias, less recurrence of atrial fibrillation and lower use of anti-arrhythmic drugs, according to a report in the April issue of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

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Serum Creatinine Higher in Blacks Than Others on Dialysis

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with chronic kidney disease using hemodialysis, black individuals had significantly higher serum creatinine concentrations, which are associated with a lower risk of death in dialysis patients, according to research published online April 16 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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ISA247 Safely Reduces Psoriasis Area, Severity

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new drug for moderate to severe psoriasis has been shown to be safe and effective for 24 weeks, according to study findings published in the April 19 issue of The Lancet.

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Two Methods Equal for Pulmonary Embolism Exclusion

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with suspected pulmonary embolism, D-dimer measurement and multislice computed tomography (MSCT) is as effective as D-dimer measurement, venous compression ultrasonography of the leg and MSCT for exclusion of pulmonary embolism, researchers report in the April 19 issue of The Lancet.

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Upsurge in U.S. Patients with Hip, Knee Replacements

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- The number of primary knee and hip replacements performed in the United States is increasing at a steep rate, requiring that the health care community take steps to prepare for this demand and manage its economic burden, according to a report in the April 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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No Benefit to Self-Monitoring Glucose in Early Diabetes

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Self-monitoring of blood glucose in individuals with non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes is associated with higher costs, worsened quality of life and little or no improvement in glycemic control, according to two articles published online April 17 in BMJ.

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Pulsed-Dye Laser Effective in Treating Rosacea

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Pulsed-dye laser can be used to safely and effectively treat rosacea, according to an article published online April 15 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Obese Mice Have Impaired Brain Insulin Transport

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Obese mice have impaired transport of insulin into the brain, which regulates weight, and which is reversed by starvation or triglycerides, according to research published online April 10 in Endocrinology.

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Prostate Cancer Mortality Higher in U.K. Than U.S.

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- There was a dramatic decline in prostate cancer mortality in the United States from 1994 to 2004, which coincided with a significant increase in uptake of prostate-specific antigen testing and which was not mirrored in the United Kingdom, according to a report published online April 17 in The Lancet Oncology.

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CDC Reports Declining Birth Rate for Women Under 25

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- The proportion of pregnancies among U.S. women under the age of 25 has declined during the period from 1990 to 2004, according to a report prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

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Thyrotropin Receptor Antibody Binding Site Identified

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Key amino acid residues in the human thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) are crucial for its binding by a monoclonal antibody, according to the results of a study published online April 3 in Endocrinology.

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Longer Androgen Deprivation Beneficial in Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term androgen-deprivation therapy significantly improves many outcomes in locally advanced prostate cancer, except survival, although survival is also improved in patients with more aggressive cancers, according to a report published online April 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Anemia Predicts Cardiac Events After Vascular Surgery

THURSDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who undergo elective vascular surgery, preoperative anemia is a significant predictor of perioperative and long-term cardiac events, researchers report in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Fluvastatin May Be Helpful in Chronic Hepatitis C

THURSDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Fluvastatin appears to be safe for lowering cholesterol in chronic carriers of hepatitis C virus, and the drug may actually exert an antiviral effect, according to research published in the April issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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No Change in U.S. Rates of Foodborne Illness

THURSDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence rates for various foodborne illnesses have stabilized after a period of decline, according to a report published in the April 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Low-Fat Diet Reduces Progression to Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing dietary fat can slow the transition from prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia to invasive prostate cancer in mice genetically prone to developing the disease, according to a report in the April 15 issue of Cancer Research.

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Respiratory Retraining May Help Lung Disease Patients

THURSDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- A program of exercise training plus ventilation-feedback (VF) training to modify the respiratory pattern resulted in improved exercise tolerance in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to research published in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Diabetic Retinopathy a Risk Factor for Heart Failure

THURSDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetic retinopathy is an independent risk factor for heart failure in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a report published in the April 22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency Protects Against Malaria

WEDNESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with pyruvate kinase deficiency enjoy protection against malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum, suggesting that mutant pyruvate kinase alleles may have contributed to a relative survival advantage against malaria in endemic areas, according to an article published online April 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Adjuvant Chemo with Taxanes Studied in Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- In the treatment of breast cancer, weekly dosing of paclitaxel after a standard doxorubicin-cyclophosphamide chemotherapy regimen may improve survival, according to an article published in the April 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Road Transport Pollution Linked to Excess Deaths

WEDNESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of air pollution caused by road transport are associated with increased rates of death from cancer and other diseases, particularly pneumonia, according to study findings published in the May issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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Combo Treatment Improves Lipid Profile in Hyperlipidemia

WEDNESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of ezetimibe, simvastatin and extended-release niacin is more effective than the individual agents in improving the lipid profile of patients with hyperlipidemia, researchers report in the April 22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Novel Stent Has High Revascularization Rates

WEDNESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- A drug-eluting stent containing a novel bioresorbable polymer has similar rates of death and myocardial infarction as an otherwise similar stent in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention, but much higher rates of target vessel revascularization, researchers report in the April 22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Electronic Medical Records Improve Elderly Patient Care

WEDNESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly and diabetic patients are better served by the use of electronic medical and health records, according to two studies published in the April issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Vioxx Court Documents Show Minimized Mortality Risk

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Court documents related to Vioxx (rofecoxib) litigation and published clinical trials have shown that Merck minimized mortality risk and often recruited academically affiliated investigators as first authors even though the manuscripts were written by Merck employees, according to two studies published in the April 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Single Question Can Help Evaluate Over-Sleepy Patients

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Asking patients to rate their daytime sleepiness on a scale from zero (none) to 10 (high) is an effective screening tool that can be easily implemented in a non-specialist setting, researchers report in the April 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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Antidepressants Linked to Lower Suicide Rates

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Most older adults who commit suicide were not receiving treatment at the time of death, and antidepressant treatment can account for about 10 percent of the reduction in suicide rates in the late 1990s, according to the results of a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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Jury Still Out on Testosterone for Low Libido in Women

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Although intermediate-dose testosterone supplementation modestly improves measures of sexual function in premenopasual women with low libido, more robust evidence of efficacy is needed before the treatment can be recommended, report the authors of an article published in the April 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Effective in Mice

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- A peptide vaccine targeting human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) protects mice against the virus as well as other HPV subtypes, according to a report published online April 14 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Complex Relationship Between Estrogen, Eye Disease Risk

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal hormone use is associated with an increased risk of early signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) but a reduced risk of neovascular AMD, the late stage of the disease, according to an article published in the Archives of Ophthalmology in April.

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Domestic Generic Drugs More Cost Effective Than Imports

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- The most cost-effective way for U.S. consumers to obtain prescription drugs is not from international markets, but by appropriate purchase of domestic generic drugs, posits an article published in the April 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Drug Resistance Threatens Gonorrhea Control

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- The emerging resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to multiple antimicrobial agents is a major public health challenge, and heightened surveillance of antimicrobial resistance patterns and improved screening practices are necessary for adequate prevention and control of gonorrhea, according to an article published in the April 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Suicide Leading Cause of Violent Deaths

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of all violent deaths in the United States are caused by suicide, with higher rates among males than females, according to a report published in the April 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Plant Sterol Esters May Cause Harm As Well As Good

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Plant sterol esters, used in foods such as margarine to reduce cholesterol, increase sterol concentrations in humans and may have a negative health impact, according to research published in the April 22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Higher Pulse Pressure Linked to Lower Headache Risk

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- A study investigating the association between blood pressure and headache reports that a high pulse pressure appears to protect against both migraine and non-migraine headaches. The research is published in the April 15 issue of Neurology.

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Method Detects Extracolonic Lesions Over Colonoscopy

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Abdominal computed tomography with colonography (CTC) is more effective and less costly than optical colonoscopy (OC) for the detection of extracolonic findings such as abdominal aortic aneurysms and extracolonic cancers, according to an article in the April 14 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Mutations Linked to Higher Parkinson's Disease Risk

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Relatives of early-onset Parkinson's disease patients who carry a mutation in the Parkin gene have a significantly higher risk of developing the disease before 65 years of age, according to study findings published in the April issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Statins Reduce Blood Pressure in Normotensive Subjects

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Statins modestly reduce blood pressure in men and women with normal blood pressure, according to a report in the April 14 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. A related study in the same issue notes that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, low in dairy products, and low in animal proteins is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in women.

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Loop Diuretics Linked to Bone Loss in Older Men

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Loop diuretics may lead to accelerated hip bone loss in older men, researchers report in the April 14 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Prenatal Ultrasound Limited in Congenital Cytomegalovirus

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- In women who contract primary cytomegalovirus infection during pregnancy, ultrasound predicts whether their infants will have symptomatic congenital cytomegalovirus in only one-third of cases, according to research published in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Quality Clinical Trials Should Follow GCP Guidelines

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Oncologists wishing to design and conduct quality clinical trials should follow Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines, with sites wishing to exceed these standards incorporating additional attributes, according to a statement published online April 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Risk of Lumbar Degeneration After Spinal Fusion Varies

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- In patients undergoing low lumbar spinal fusions, floating L4/5 fusions are more likely to result in degenerative changes in adjacent segments than L4/S1 or L5/S1 fusions, according to an article published in Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques in April.

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New Guidelines Issued for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- New clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis issued by the North American Spine Society (NASS) provide clinicians with the latest evidence-based recommendations for delivering optimal care to patients with the spinal disorder. The guidelines are published in the March/April issue of the Spine Journal.

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Glitazones Not Superior to Older Diabetes Drugs

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- There is no convincing evidence that glitazones are superior as a monotherapy compared to older type 2 diabetes treatments, according to a review published in the April issue of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.

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Exercise Helps Elders Maintain Independence

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly people who stick to a regimen of regular aerobic exercise are more likely to retain functional independence and can reduce their biological age by 10 years or more, according to study results published online April 10 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Gene Linked to Ethanol-Induced Liver Damage

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Deleting a gene involved in protecting cells against xenobiotic and oxidative stress leads to liver damage and death in mice fed an ethanol diet, researchers report in the April issue of Gastroenterology.

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Hyperthyroidism in Mice Linked to Lower HDL Cholesterol

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Severe hyperthyroidism is associated with a 40 percent drop in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels in mice, according to study findings published online April 3 in Endocrinology.

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Mucosal Anthrax Vaccine Protective in Mice

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Detoxified anthrax lethal toxin elicits strong antibody responses and completely protects mice against anthrax, according to research published in the April issue of Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.

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Individualized Health Care Budgets Improve Care

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- The U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) should allow patients individual control of their health care budgets, an approach that has been shown in pilot studies to improve outcomes and patient satisfaction in a cost-effective manner, according to an analysis published April 12 in BMJ.

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Survey Examines Spine Surgery Complication in Japan

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- In Japan, the incidence of vertebral artery injury during cervical spine surgery is similar to or slightly less than that reported in the literature. In many cases, this potentially catastrophic complication can be successfully managed with tamponade, according to a report published in the April issue of Spine.

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Estrogen Therapy Linked to Reflux Symptom Risk

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal estrogen hormone therapy is associated with a higher risk of reflux symptoms, while oral contraceptives appear to have no association, according to the results of a study published in the April issue of Gastroenterology.

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Drug Protects Animals Against Radiation Damage

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- A drug that activates a cellular pathway used by cancer cells to avoid death can protect against radiation damage and improve survival when given before or after irradiation of mice and primates, researchers report in the April 11 issue of Science.

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Spinal Fusion Works in Elderly Despite Osteoporotic Bone

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Using surgical rods and screws that are specially designed for osteoporotic bone allows good outcomes in elderly patients who undergo lumbar arthrodesis for severe lumbar stenosis, according to an article published in the April issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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Subjective Measures Inform Success of Back Surgery

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- While objective measures are commonly used to gauge the success of surgery for lumbar canal stenosis, several subjective measures can gauge patient satisfaction and should be used in evaluating surgical outcomes, according to an article published in the March/April issue of the Spine Journal.

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New Schema for Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer Proposed

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- A new model of ovarian cancer that distinguishes between slow-growing and rapidly growing tumors may allow more targeted screening and a more rational treatment approach, according to a review article published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology in April.

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Cardiac Rehabilitation Referral Does Not Boost Enrollment

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Use of the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-based clinical pathway at one medical center resulted in a significantly higher referral rate to cardiac rehabilitation after acute myocardial infarction than has been previously reported. But only about one in three referred patients enrolled in a rehabilitation program, and minority patients were especially unlikely to enroll, according to a report published in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Heart Function Unimproved After Stem Cell Stimulation

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Stem cell mobilization by granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) is no better than placebo at improving heart function after a heart attack, according to a pooled analysis in the April 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Non-Organic Sign Testing Reliable in Low Back Pain

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- When trained observers perform non-organic sign testing in patients with chronic low back pain, the interobserver reliability of the Waddell score is moderate and the intraobserver reliability is good, according to research published in the April issue of Spine.

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Raloxifene Effectiveness Unaffected by Kidney Disease

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Raloxifene increases bone mineral density at the hip and spine better than placebo in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis and chronic kidney disease, and also reduces vertebral fractures, according to study findings published online April 9 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Benign Breast Disease Linked to Equine Estrogen

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women taking conjugated equine estrogen have about double the risk of developing benign proliferative breast disease, which is associated with increased breast cancer risk, compared with women taking placebo, researchers report in the April 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Lumbar Decompression Doesn't Lead to Weight Loss

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- After successful lumbar decompression surgery, most overweight and obese patients either maintain or gain body weight despite significant improvements in physical function and symptoms such as neurogenic claudication, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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No Effect of High-Dose Chemo on Lung Cancer Survival

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Raising the chemotherapy dose intensity in patients with small cell lung cancer does not improve survival and has substantial toxicity, researchers report in the April 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Impaired Insulin Secretion Increases Alzheimer's Risk

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- An impaired insulin response at 50 years of age is associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to research published online April 9 in Neurology.

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Surgical Technique Prevents Nerve Pain After Back Surgery

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Postoperative nerve pain after posterior lumbar interbody fusion surgery (PLIF) can be prevented with careful surgical technique, according to an article published in the March/April issue of the Spine Journal.

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Intake of Eggs Has No Impact on Cardiovascular Risk

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Although eggs are a significant source of dietary cholesterol, altering intake of eggs does not seem to have any impact on the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the results of a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Consider Health Literacy Level When Writing for Patients

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Giving patients clearly written educational materials that convey key messages without resorting to jargon is an important part of engaging patient compliance with treatment and can contribute to health literacy, according to an article published in the April issue of Chest.

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Many Cancers Express Embryonic Stem Cell Genes

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Many cancers express genes normally expressed in embryonic stem cells, and activation of these genes in normal cells can cause them to become cancerous, according to research published in the April 10 issue of Cell Stem Cell.

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Genetic Loci Linked to Psoriasis Identified

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- A number of new genetic loci associated with psoriasis have been identified, with the class I region of the major histocompatibility complex showing the strongest association, according to study findings published April 4 in PLoS Genetics.

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Transplant Teams Should Be Aware of Donor Tuberculosis

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- An estimated 0.35 percent to 6.5 percent of organ recipients in the United States and Europe will become infected with tuberculosis (TB) via the transplanted organ, according to a report published in the April 4 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Carotid Stenosis Treatments Similar in High-Risk Patients

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Carotid artery stenting with an emboli-protection device and carotid endarterectomy result in similar three-year outcomes in high-risk patients with carotid artery stenosis, according to research published April 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Most Mumps Cases Occurred in Immunized Young Adults

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Despite high national coverage rates with two doses of mumps vaccine, the largest outbreak of mumps in two decades occurred in 2006, suggesting that changes to the mumps vaccine or vaccine policy may be needed to avert future outbreaks, researchers report in the April 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Susceptibility Gene for Asthma Identified

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a gene conferring susceptibility to asthma in populations of European descent, according to research published online April 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Study Shows Advantage of Breast Cancer Staging Method

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- In breast cancer patients who were staged node-negative by conventional single-section pathology, current sentinel lymph node biopsy techniques detect occult axillary node metastases that are prognostically significant, according to an article published in the April 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Cyst Growth Slowed in Model of Polycystic Kidney Disease

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Drugs that block a chloride transport channel in the kidney, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein, result in slowed expansion of cysts in a mouse model of polycystic kidney disease, suggesting that CFTR inhibitors could be used to reduce cyst growth in humans affected by polycystic kidney disease, according to research first published online April 2 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Optimal Range of Motion Found After Knee Replacement

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- After total knee arthroplasty with a posterior cruciate-retaining prosthesis, a range of motion between 128 and 132 degrees is associated with an optimal outcome, according to research published in the April 1 issue of the Journal of Joint & Bone Surgery.

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Little Difference with Further Chemo for Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer patients who initially respond to chemotherapy have similar outcomes with further cycles of chemotherapy, while patients who do not initially respond and are treated with further chemotherapy or a different chemotherapy regimen also have similar outcomes, according to two studies published in the April 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Paternal Obesity Linked to Liver Injury

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Early-onset paternal, but not maternal, obesity is associated with a higher risk of having high levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), a marker of liver injury associated with obesity, researchers report in the April issue of Gastroenterology.

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Doctors Vote on the Ways to Make Biggest Difference

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- The BMJ has begun accepting votes on which areas of health care allow doctors to make the biggest difference to patient care, with a shortlist of six areas each being championed by eminent doctors and researchers. The winning topic will gain special coverage in the BMJ and the BMJ Group's 24 other specialist journals and online education products.

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Switch in Castration Method with Insurance Change

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Reductions in U.S. Medicare reimbursement for medical castration, used to treat prostate cancer by androgen deprivation, in 2003 resulted in a switch from medical to surgical castration, according to an article published online Apr. 7 in Cancer.

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Possible Person-to-Person Transmission of Bird Flu

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Person-to-person transmission of bird flu may have taken place between a father and son in China in late 2007, according to a study published online April 8 in The Lancet.

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Parkinson's Tissue Transplant Shows Signs of Disease

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- The embryonic stem cell graft received by a woman with Parkinson's disease 14 years ago shows characteristic signs of the disease, suggesting that the graft is as susceptible as the host neurons to the disease process, according to a report published online April 6 in Nature Medicine.

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids Don't Prevent Crohn's Relapse

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Omega-3 free fatty acids are not effective in maintaining remission in patients with Crohn's disease, according to study findings published in the April 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Combined Therapy Promising in Unresectable Liver Cancer

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with large unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma tumors, treatment with transarterial chemoembolization followed by radiofrequency ablation leads to improved survival compared to treatment with either of the two modalities alone, according to research published in the April 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Lower Lipid and Blood Pressure Goals May Help Heart

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and systolic blood pressure beyond traditional targets resulted in regression of atherosclerosis in individuals with type 2 diabetes, according to research published in the April 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Childhood Abuse May Raise Adult Inflammation Levels

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Depressed adults with a history of maltreatment in childhood tend to have higher levels of C-reactive protein than their counterparts without a history of abuse, putting them at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a report published in the April issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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AHA Advises on Resistant Hypertension Management

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Resistant hypertension, defined as blood pressure that remains elevated despite the concurrent use of three or more antihypertensive medications, is often multifactorial in origin and requires a comprehensive management strategy, according to an American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Statement published online April 7 in advance of publication in the June issue of Hypertension.

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Factors Affecting Respiratory Distress Risk Identified

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- A number of factors increase the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in patients on mechanical ventilation, including high airway pressures, positive fluid balance, plasma transfusion, sepsis and tidal volume, according to research published in the April issue of the journal Chest.

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Depressive Symptoms Not Linked to Alzheimer's Risk

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly individuals with depressive symptoms or with no increase in depressive symptoms do not have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, although those with a history of depression are at increased risk, researchers report in two studies published in the Archives of General Psychiatry and Neurology in April.

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Blood Pressure Lowering in Hemorrhagic Stroke Studied

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Early intensive blood pressure-lowering therapy in patients with acute intracerebral hemorrhage appears safe and may decrease hematoma size, but more research is needed to see if this strategy improves outcomes, according to research published online April 7 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Genetic Influence on Fears Changes Over Time

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic and environmental factors both have an impact on fears in middle childhood and early adulthood but they act in a dynamic way and change over time, according to a report published in the April issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Function Predicts Mortality in Peripheral Artery Disease

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Office-based measures of walking ability can predict mortality independently of the ankle brachial index in patients with peripheral artery disease, according to the results of a study published in the April 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Kidney Function Predicts Risk of Cardiac Arrest in Women

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Impaired kidney function is an independent predictor of sudden cardiac death among women with heart disease, according to research published online April 7 in Hypertension.

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Drug Reduces Clotting Risk After Hip Replacement

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- A synthetic oligosaccharide with anti-factor Xa and IIa activities reduces the rate of venous thromboembolism after hip replacement surgery, researchers report in the April 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Model Predicts Survival Factors in Gallbladder Cancer

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- A model based on patient and tumor characteristics can predict the value of adjuvant radiotherapy for overall survival in patients with gallbladder cancer, according to a report released online March 31 in advance of publication in the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Symptoms of Unexplained Dyspnea Identified

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Symptoms that can be used to discriminate between patients with medically unexplained dyspnea and patients with cardiopulmonary diseases have been identified, researchers report in the April issue of the journal Chest.

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Over 90,000 U.S. Infants Non-Fatally Mistreated Annually

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- From October 2005 through September 2006, approximately 905,000 U.S. children, nearly 20 percent of whom were younger than 1 year of age, were victims of maltreatment, according to a report published in the April 4 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Women's Heart Disease Risk Not Predicted By Sex Life

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Although there is a modest association between dissatisfaction with sexual activity and prevalence of incident peripheral arterial disease in women, sexual dissatisfaction does not predict incident cardiovascular disease in women, according to a report published in the April issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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Caffeine May Protect Blood Brain Barrier in Alzheimer's

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic caffeine ingestion appears to protect against disruptions in the blood brain barrier caused by a cholesterol-enriched diet in rabbits, suggesting that caffeine might be useful in Alzheimer's disease and other disorders characterized by breakdown of the blood brain barrier, according to research published April 3 in the Journal of Neuroinflammation.

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Some Increased Cancer Survival Due to Cure Rate

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment advances have increased the life expectancy of late-stage colorectal and testicular cancer patients mostly by increasing the percentage cured, while the increase in life expectancy for ovarian cancer patients is primarily due to longer survival of uncured patients, according to study findings published online April 7 in Cancer.

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Cytokine Facilitates Breast Cancer Metastasis to Lung

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer metastasis to the lung is dependent on the induction of a cytokine that increases the permeability of lung capillaries and facilitates the passage of tumor cells, researchers report in the April 4 issue of Cell.

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The Lancet Launches Two New Global Partnerships

FRIDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- The Lancet has entered into two new partnerships that will address issues of global health and global warming, according to two commentaries published in the April 5 issue of The Lancet.

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Obesity Reduces Ability to Oxidize Fat During Exercise

FRIDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Among pubertal boys, those who are obese have a reduced ability to oxidize fat during moderate exercise compared to those who are lean, possibly because of differences in muscle fiber distribution, according to a report published online April 2 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Presence of Varicocele May Be Hereditary

FRIDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Varicocele, the most common correctable cause of male infertility, may be a hereditary condition as it is more prevalent among first-degree relatives, particularly brothers, of men with known varicocele, researchers report in the April issue of Urology.

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Childhood Cancer Survivors Need Risk-Based Follow-Up

FRIDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Survivors of childhood cancer often experience late effects of their treatment, but not all patients need to be recalled to a cancer clinic for follow-up, according to an editorial published in the April 5 issue of BMJ.

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Local Research, Production Can Boost Global Vaccine Use

FRIDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Lack of access to vaccines in low- and middle-income countries causes over 2 million avoidable deaths a year, according to an article published in the April 5 issue of BMJ.

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Allopurinol Does Not Halt Procedure-Related Pancreatitis

FRIDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Pre-procedure treatment with allopurinol does not appear to reduce the risk of pancreatitis caused by endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) but may be of benefit in patients at highest risk of the complication, according to research published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology in April.

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Provider Input Affects Post-Mastectomy Reconstruction

FRIDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Disparities in rates of breast reconstruction following mastectomy for breast cancer may in part depend on whether physicians discussed breast reconstruction with their patients, according to an article published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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Prematurity, Income Loss Studied in Relation to Autism

FRIDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- A sample of toddlers who were born extremely prematurely had a high prevalence of autism spectrum behaviors, and families of children with autism tend to face a substantial loss of household income, according to two studies published in the April 1 issue of Pediatrics.

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Domestic Violence Affects Women's Long-Term Health

FRIDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Even one incident of male-on-female intimate partner violence can have lasting and adverse effects on women's physical and mental health, according to a report published in the April 5 issue of The Lancet.

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Veterinary Work Increases Risk of Miscarriage

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant veterinarians who are exposed to unscavenged anesthetic gases at work have a more than doubled risk of miscarriage than those who are not exposed to such gases, according to study findings published online April 3 in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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No Consensus on Optimum Water Intake

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Although increased water intake is associated with a range of health benefits, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims, according to an editorial published online April 2 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Cervical Threats May Arrive Without Human Papillomavirus

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Out of any sizeable population, the occasional woman with cervical precancer will test negative for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) for a variety of possible reasons, according to research published in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Tai Chi Beneficial in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- A Tai Chi exercise program may help reduce HbA1c and improve immune function in adults with diabetes, and also may improve indicators of metabolic syndrome in adults, according to two small studies published online April 2 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Gynecologists Are Good Source of Preventive Services

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Women who receive their health care from gynecologists -- either alone or in conjunction with general physicians -- are more likely to receive preventive services than women who only see general physicians, researchers report in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Reduced Constipation May Help Women's Pelvic Floor

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- A 42-day course of gradually increasing fiber intake improved constipation symptoms in women, which may reduce their risk for pelvic organ prolapse, according to research published in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Controversy Highlights Need for Funding Disclosure

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- An editorial published April 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine disclosed that a previously published study reporting a favorable prognosis among individuals with stage I lung cancers detected by screening had received a large amount of funding from a foundation with links to the cigarette industry, highlighting the necessity of full disclosure of funding sources of biomedical research.

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Men Less Willing Than Women to Question Doctors

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical patients are more likely to ask doctors and nurses factual questions, and if they do ask challenging questions they are more likely to direct them at nurses than doctors, according to an article published in the April issue of Quality & Safety in Health Care.

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Corneas from Older Donors Fine for Transplant

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- A new landmark study reports that corneas from older donors can be used as successfully as those from younger donors for corneal transplants, findings that may allow expansion of the donor pool, according to an article published in Ophthalmology in April.

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Obesity Reduces Prostate-Specific Antigen Levels

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing body mass is associated with a modest reduction in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentrations among men without prostate cancer, according to a review published in the April issue of Urology.

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Practices Vary Among Cell Transplant Physicians

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Transplant practices vary worldwide among both pediatric and adult hematopoietic cell transplantation physicians, suggesting the need for clinical trials or observational data to guide the best practice, according to the results of a study published online March 31 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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FDA: Safety Warning Issued for Influenza Drug Relenza

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- The maker of the antiviral drug Relenza (zanamivir) informed health care professionals this week of a potential risk of behavioral changes and delirium associated with the drug's use. Relenza is approved for the treatment of influenza A and B.

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Cream Effective for Treating Vulvar Neoplasia

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- An imiquimod cream is effective in treating vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, reducing lesion size, itching and pain, according to a report in the April 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Obesity Boosts Use of Health Care Services in Pregnancy

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Women who are overweight or obese before pregnancy or early in pregnancy use more health care services and have longer hospital stays for delivery, researchers report in the April 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Researchers Identify Gene Behind Vitamin B12 Defect

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations responsible for the cblD defect, one of nine defects of intracellular cobalamin (vitamin B12) metabolism, have been found in the MMADHC gene on chromosome 2, according to a report published in the April 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Short-Term Starvation May Improve Chemotherapy

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Short-term starvation can protect normal mammalian cells -- but not cancer cells -- against high-dose chemotherapy, according to a study published online March 31 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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HIV Drugs May Increase the Risk of Heart Attack

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- HIV patients who have taken either abacavir or didanosine for six months or less may have an increased risk of heart attack, according to study findings published online April 2 in The Lancet.

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Perceived Singing Handicap Predicts Vocal Disorders

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Among amateur and professional singers, the perception of a singing handicap as measured by the Singing Voice Handicap Index (SVHI) -- a newly validated singing voice-specific health status instrument -- may predict the presence of vocal disorders, according to a report published in the April issue of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

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Adverse Effects of Shock Waves for Kidney Stones Studied

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Shock wave lithotripsy treatment of renal or ureteral stones does not appear to increase the rate of new-onset hypertension or diabetes mellitus, according to research published in the April issue of Urology.

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Psoriasis Linked to Multiple Comorbidities

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with psoriasis are likely to have comorbidities that should be assessed by their primary health care providers and addressed with health screening tests, preventative exams and referrals, according to a clinical consensus statement from the National Psoriasis Foundation published in April in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Chemotherapy Anemia Linked to Breast Cancer Relapse

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Premenopausal patients with early-stage primary breast cancer who develop anemia after receiving adjuvant cyclophosphamide/methotrexate/5-fluorouracil chemotherapy have a significantly increased risk of local relapse, according to research published in the April 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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Adding Clopidogrel to Aspirin Reduces Cardiac Risk

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with aspirin plus clopidogrel reduces the risk of major cardiovascular events in high-risk patients but has no effect on mortality compared with aspirin alone, although the risk of major bleeding is much higher with combination treatment, according to the results of a study published in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Assay Helps Diagnose Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- New diagnostic methods are effective for more quickly diagnosing multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and for distinguishing Mycobacterium avium-complex pulmonary disease (MAC-PD) from pulmonary tuberculosis, according to two studies in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Phototherapy Seems to Help in Bile-Duct Cancer Survival

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with unresectable cholangiocarcinoma, photodynamic therapy used with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) may improve survival compared with just ERCP, according to research published in the March issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Coronary Calcification Linked to Greater Statin, Aspirin Use

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Men with coronary artery calcification are about three times more likely to take statin drugs or aspirin, researchers report in the April 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Genetic Data Adds to Breast Cancer Risk Stratification

TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Gene expression signatures may offer a valuable source of information to use with clinical risk stratification to enhance prognosis of breast cancer, according to research published in the April 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Lifestyle Changes Reverse Angina in Many Patients

TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients with coronary artery disease and angina become angina-free after undergoing a lifestyle intervention program, according to study findings published in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Tobacco Dependence Deserves Chronic Disease Status

TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Tobacco dependence is a chronic disease that deserves the same status as other chronic conditions in order to ensure that effective treatments are made available to those who need them, researchers report in the April 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Hands-Only Compressions Beneficial in Sudden Heart Attack

TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Bystanders who witness an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and want to help need only perform continuous compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and do not need to have mouth-to-mouth contact, according to an article published online March 31 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Human Papillomavirus Widespread Among U.S. Women

TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- The human papillomavirus (HPV) strains that put women at high risk of cervical cancer are widespread among U.S. women who undergo cervical screening, a finding that could influence whether or not testing for the virus is included in routine screening for cervical cancer, according to a report published in the April 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Cerebral Microbleeds Prevalent in Older Adults

TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults, the prevalence of cerebral microbleeds may be significantly higher than commonly believed and risk factors vary according to microbleed location, according to study findings published in the April 1 issue of Neurology.

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Pulse Wave Velocity Predicts Increases in Blood Pressure

TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Pulse wave velocity, a non-invasive index of arterial stiffness, predicts longitudinal increases in blood pressure in hypertensive individuals as well as incident hypertension, researchers report in the April 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Kidney Damage May Lead to Hypertension

TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Hypertension and kidney disease commonly co-exist, and new research published in the April 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine points to kidney damage as a risk factor for subsequent hypertension.

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CDC: Atlas Shows Geographic Variation in U.S. Strokes

TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Among Medicare beneficiaries, blacks and individuals residing in certain parts of the southeastern United States are those most likely to be hospitalized for stroke, according to a report released March 28 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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Diabetics Should Receive Cardiovascular Prophylaxis

TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetics aged 30 and older are at similar risk of cardiovascular disease as non-diabetics with a history of myocardial infarction, according to a report released online March 31 in advance of publication in the April 15 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Physician's Briefing