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August 2007 Briefing - Internal Medicine

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Internal Medicine for August 2007. 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.

Death Risk Higher in Stroke Survivors Who Stop Statins

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke survivors who discontinue prescribed statin therapy have a nearly triple risk of dying within a year compared to those who remain adherent, according to a study published online Aug. 30 in Stroke.

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High Blood Sugar in Moms Linked to Overweight Kids

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Children born to women with hyperglycemia during pregnancy face an increased risk of obesity around the age of 6, researchers report in the September issue of Diabetes Care.

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Stressed Out Moms More Likely to Hold Babies on the Right

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Mothers who are stressed show an increased tendency to cradle their infants on their right side, according to a report published online Aug. 22 in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

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Pre-Menopausal Oophorectomy Linked to Brain Disorders

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Women who undergo oophorectomy before menopause may be at higher risk of developing cognitive impairment, dementia or Parkinson disease, suggesting that estrogen plays a neuroprotective role, according to two studies published online Aug. 29 in Neurology.

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Gout May Increase Overall Risk of Death in Men

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged and elderly men with a history of gout have a higher risk of death, including death from cardiovascular and coronary heart disease, according to a report published in the Aug. 21 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Staphylococcus aureus Infections on the Rise

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of skin and soft tissue infections due to community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is rising, researchers report in a study published in the August issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Most of these cases are due to the USA300 clone, and researchers postulate that the clone's growing virulence is to blame.

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Children's Resistance to Eating New Foods Is Inherited

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Children can inherit a resistance to eating new foods, but individual reactions to environmental factors also play a role, according to the results of a twin study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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High-Intensity Workouts May Deter Exercisers

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- People who exercise report that shorter, high-intensity workouts are less pleasurable than longer, moderate-intensity ones, even though they involve the same total work and calories burned, researchers report in the August issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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Heavier Women Tend to Stop Breast-Feeding Sooner

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The higher a woman's body mass index before she becomes pregnant, the earlier she is likely to stop breast-feeding her baby, even in social settings where breast-feeding is strongly encouraged, according to the results of a large Danish study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Methylphenidate Works on Brain to Decrease Appetite

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Methylphenidate reduces people's appetite for fat and reduces their energy intake, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy May Increase Skin Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who undergo biologic therapy may have an increased risk of skin cancer but not other tumor types, researchers report in the September issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Living in Damp, Moldy Home Linked to Depression

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Living in a damp or moldy home is associated with a higher risk of depression, according to a recent study reported online Aug. 29 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Helicobacter pylori Strain Linked to Gastric Cancer

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Infection with strains of Helicobacter pylori expressing the cytotoxin-associated (cagA) gene is strongly associated with precancerous gastric lesions, reports a study published online Aug. 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Long-Term Health Good in Rabies Patient Treated by Coma

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A 15-year-old girl treated with induced coma and antiviral agents after contracting rabies is in good health more than two years later, with few physical and no mental difficulties, according to a letter to the editor published in the Aug. 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Resistant Bacteria in Hospitals a Growing Problem

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs), antibiotic use, older age and comorbid conditions are risk factors for colonization with extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing bacteria, according to a report published in the August issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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Resistance Training Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Resistance training improves cognitive function and quality of life in the elderly, according to a report in the August issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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Labor Induction May Lower Caesarean Delivery Rates

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Greater use of prostaglandin-induced labor may cut Caesarean delivery rates by half, researchers report in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Intensive Behavioral Program Can Help with Weight Loss

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- An intensive behavioral program comprising meal replacements and low-energy diets can help some severely obese people lose over 100 pounds with few risks, according to study findings published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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No Immediate Vascular Gains Found in 'Healthy' Fast Food

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The acute cardiovascular effects of "healthy" fast-food meals and conventional fast-food meals are essentially the same, according to study findings published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Less Frequent Screening for Prostate Cancer May Be OK

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Screening for prostate cancer every two years versus every four years does not lead to lower rates of aggressive cancers, according to study findings published online Aug. 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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In Vitro Fertilization Education May Lower Twin Rates

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Infertile couples who are educated about the risks of multiple pregnancies are less likely to desire such pregnancies resulting from in vitro fertilization. Also, a mandatory single embryo transfer policy at fertility clinics can maintain pregnancy rates while dramatically reducing the rate of twinning, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of Fertility and Sterility.

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Fatness and Fitness Affect Cardiovascular Risk in Kids

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Fitness and fatness are important factors in assessing the risk of cardiovascular disease in children and adolescents, researchers report in the August issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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Pollen, House Mites Have Different Effects on Asthma

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- House dust mites and pollens are associated with different effects on disease of the airways, according to a report published in the August issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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Tubal Occlusion Type Affects Fertility Treatment Outcome

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In women with unilateral proximal tubal occlusion, pregnancy rates resulting from ovarian hyperstimulation and intrauterine insemination are similar to those in women with unexplained infertility. But outcomes are worse in patients with mid-distal or distal tubal occlusion, according to a report published in the August issue of Fertility and Sterility.

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Evidence Suggests HPV Link to Oropharyngeal Cancer

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the overall declining incidence of head and neck cancers in the United States, the rate of oropharyngeal cancer has plateaued and even risen in some populations, according to a review published online Aug. 27 in Cancer.

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Natural Compound in Broccoli May Combat Skin Disease

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Sulforaphane, a natural compound found in broccoli, dramatically reduced skin blistering in a mouse model of the rare genetic disease epidermolysis bullosa simplex, according to a report published online Aug. 27 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Embryonic Stem Cells Treat Infarcted Rat Hearts

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Transplanted heart cells derived from human embryonic stem cells improve heart function in rats, suggesting that similar transplants could benefit humans after a heart attack, according to a report published online Aug. 26 in Nature Biotechnology.

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Brain Abnormality Predicts Multiple Sclerosis Severity

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with multiple sclerosis, hyperintense lesions on non-enhanced T1-weighted magnetic resonance images are common indicators of disease severity and may be a clinically relevant biomarker, according to a report published in the September issue of Radiology.

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Effects of Aeroallergens on Children Increase with Age

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of aeroallergen sensitivity in children are high and increase as children get older, whereas perennial allergens predominate in children under the age of 3 years, according to a study published in the August issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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Crystal Deposition Observed in Intervertebral Discs

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In human intervertebral discs, crystal deposition is a common occurrence and may have the same degenerative effects that it does in articular cartilage matrix, according to study findings published in the July/August issue of the Spine Journal.

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Obesity Rates Climbing in 31 States, Falling in None

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Although Americans spend more than $35 billion on weight-loss products and services annually, obesity rates climbed in 31 states during the past year, according to a new report from a non-profit health organization.

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Cardiovascular Side Effects of Vioxx Potentially Identified

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors such as Vioxx increase the production of a protein that initiates blood coagulation, possibly explaining the cardiovascular side effects associated with these drugs, according to the results of a study published online Aug. 27 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

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Stopping Statin Treatment May Increase Death After Stroke

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients who stop taking statins immediately after hospitalization for stroke run a greater risk of death or dependency, according to a report in the Aug. 28 issue of Neurology.

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Zolmitriptan Nasal Spray Relieves Cluster Headaches

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Zolmitriptan nasal spray safely relieves cluster headaches, researchers report in the Aug. 28 issue of Neurology.

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Family, Friends Learn CPR When Young Teens Given Kits

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Distributing kits and instructional materials for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to young adolescents increases CPR training among their family and friends, too, though it has no effect on the incidence of bystander CPR in the short term, according to a report published online Aug. 27 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Most Cardiac Arrests in Schools Occur in Adults

MONDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- About 90 percent of cases of cardiac arrest in schools occur in adults -- such as faculty, staff and other adults including visitors -- not students, according to study findings published online Aug. 27 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Researchers Characterize Persistent Placoid Maculopathy

MONDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Persistent placoid maculopathy -- a previously unreported clinical entity -- is similar to macular serpiginous choroiditis, but has a distinct clinical course, according to a new study published in the August issue of Ophthalmology.

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FDA Sunscreen Proposal Gives Consumers More Information

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed a new regulation to change the way sunscreens are labeled, tested and created. These new standards would particularly address these products' ability to protect consumers against ultraviolet A (UVA) light.

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Calcium, Vitamin D Reduce Fracture Risk in People Over 50

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Calcium supplementation alone or with vitamin D reduces the risk of fracture and the rate of bone loss in middle-aged and elderly individuals, according to a review of published studies in the Aug. 25 issue of The Lancet.

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Recent Myocardial Infarction Linked to Diabetes Risk

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with recent myocardial infarction, one-third develop impaired fasting glucose or diabetes within 3.5 years, researchers report in the August issue of The Lancet. Lifestyle factors of smoking and higher body mass index appear to be independent risk factors for developing diabetes, whereas a Mediterranean-type diet appears to confer protection.

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Researchers Spur 'Out-of-Body' Sensation in Healthy Subjects

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- European researchers have induced healthy people to have an "out-of-body" experience by visually tricking them into believing that their body is somewhere else, according to two reports published in the Aug. 24 issue of Science.

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Theater Training Improves Residents' Bedside Manner

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Theater training can help residents improve their clinical empathy skills and bedside manner, according to a report in the August issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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FDA Warns That Supplements Contain Sibutramine

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced the voluntary recall of a single lot of Metabolism Apple Cider Vinegar Brand Dietary Supplement Capsules, which was mostly sold in Canada. The supplements, made by Confidence, Inc., contain the weight-loss drug sibutramine.

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Magnetic Field Speeds Cutaneous Healing in Animal Study

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Exposing rats to pulses of a low-amplitude magnetic field speeds wound healing, researchers report in the August issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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Risperdal Approved to Treat Teens with Schizophrenia

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Risperdal (risperidone) to treat children and adolescents with two major psychiatric conditions. A short-term course can now be prescribed to treat manic or mixed episodes of bipolar I disorder in children and adolescents aged 10 to 17, and can also be used to treat adolescents aged 13 to 17 with schizophrenia.

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Annual Infusion of Reclast Approved to Treat Osteoporosis

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Reclast (zoledronic acid) to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis, according to the manufacturer, Novartis. The drug, which had previously been approved to treat Paget's disease, is administered in a single, annual dose as a 15-minute intravenous infusion.

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Sexual Activity Often Continues into Older Age

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Many older adults in the United States continue to have sex into their 70s and 80s, although they do have a high prevalence of sexual problems compared to younger patients, researchers report in the Aug. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Bariatric Surgery Increases Longevity for Obese

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In severely obese patients, bariatric surgery leads to sustained weight loss and reduces the risk of death, according to two studies published in the Aug. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Ultrasound Device Stimulates Heart Without Pacing Lead

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A new ultrasound device that achieves cardiac stimulation without a pacing lead is safe and effective in patients in the short term, researchers report in a study published in the Aug. 28 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Stem Cell Population Improves Healing in Diabetic Mice

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A population of bone marrow stem cells improves wound closure in diabetic mice, researchers report in the August issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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Newer Skin Tightening Method Rates High with Patients

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Newer methods of non-surgical skin tightening using monopolar radiofrequency with lower-energy probes and multiple passes reduce heat pain and increase patient satisfaction with treatment expectations, according to a report published in the August issue of Dermatologic Surgery.

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Heavy Drinking Increases Stroke Risk in Chinese Men

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged and older men who consume more than 21 alcoholic beverages per week may have an increased risk of stroke, according to the results of a study of Chinese men published online Aug. 20 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Resident Duty-Hour Cuts Curb Surgeon Job Satisfaction

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Reforms limiting resident duty hours are increasing surgeons' workloads and may be negatively affecting patient care, researchers report in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Genetic Studies Claiming Gender Differences Often Flawed

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Studies that claim that the genetic effects for common diseases or traits vary depending on gender are often insufficiently documented or spurious, researchers report in the Aug. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Hypertension Frequently Undiagnosed in Children

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Hypertension and prehypertension are frequently undiagnosed in children and adolescents, with factors such as age and frequency of abnormal blood pressure readings increasing the likelihood of diagnosis, researchers report in the Aug. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Cognitive Therapy Improves Irritable Bowel Syndrome

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Cognitive behavior therapy works to reduce the overall symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, which in turn helps reduce patients' psychological distress, according to study findings published in the August issue of Gastroenterology.

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Insurance Status Liked to Laryngeal Cancer Stage

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients who are diagnosed with laryngeal cancer, advanced-stage disease is significantly more common among those who are uninsured or covered by Medicaid, according to a report published in the August issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

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Port-Wine Stains Respond Best to Variable-Pulse Laser

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Variable-pulse pulsed dye laser treatment is more effective than conventional pulse dye laser therapy for the treatment of port-wine stains, but neither treatment can effectively treat vessels less than 30 μm in diameter, according to study findings published in the August issue of Dermatologic Surgery.

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Implantable Defibrillators May Reduce Mortality

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In adult patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs, effectively reduce the risk of death, according to a systematic review published in the Aug. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Chronic Sinusitis Linked to Smell Impairment

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Several illnesses, including chronic sinusitis, are significantly associated with smell disturbance in managed care patients, researchers report in the August issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

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Liver Transplantation Safe in Older Patient Populations

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Liver transplantation in septuagenarians results in similar rates of survival compared to younger transplant recipients, assuming other risk factors are controlled, according to a report published in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Women with Dementia Lose Weight Long Before Diagnosis

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Dementia in women is characterized by a steady loss of weight that begins years before the condition is diagnosed, according to a report published in the Aug. 21 issue of Neurology. The study found no evidence of weight loss associated with dementia in men.

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Color Doppler Enhances Prostate Cancer Detection

FRIDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Contrast-enhanced color Doppler targeted biopsy identifies prostate tumors with higher Gleason scores than does ultrasound-guided systematic biopsy, according to a report published in the August issue of the Journal of Urology.

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FDA OKs Updated Warfarin Label That Reflect Genetics

FRIDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved new labeling for warfarin and the brand-name version of the drug, Coumadin, that explain how a patient's genetic makeup may affect their reaction to treatment. Patients with certain variants of the CYP2C9 and VKORC1 genes can have an unexpected response to the initial dose.

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Second-Line Antibiotics More Effective in Acute Bronchitis

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, second-line antibiotics may be more effective than first-line antibiotics, according to study findings published in the August issue of Chest.

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Older Type 1 Diabetics Fare Better Than Thought

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have lived with type 1 diabetes for 50 years or more demonstrate fewer microvascular complications than expected, according to a survey-based cross-sectional study published in the August issue of Diabetes Care.

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Hypoglycemia May Hamper Memory in Type 1 Diabetics

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Night-time hypoglycemic episodes during sleep may interfere with memory function in patients with type 1 diabetes, researchers report in the August issue of Diabetes Care.

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Portable Oxygen May Not Benefit Some with COPD

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term ambulatory oxygen therapy may not help patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) function better in terms of their activities of daily living, according to a report in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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FDA Issues Advisory for Pediatric Cough, Cold Remedies

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee will meet in October to discuss the safety and efficacy of over-the-counter pediatric cough and cold medicines in light of reports of serious adverse events due to misuse. The FDA also issued a public health advisory recommending that children under 2 years of age not be given any cough and cold products unless prescribed by a health care provider, in addition to other recommendations.

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Heart Failure Common with Preserved Systolic Function

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Heart failure is prevalent among patients with preserved systolic function, according to a report published in the Aug. 21 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Consumer Drug Ad Spending Continues to Rise

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Despite criticism of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising in recent years, more money is being spent on promoting drugs directly to patients, researchers report in the Aug. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. At the same time, the proportion of broadcast advertisements that were reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before being aired dropped from 64 percent in 1999 to 32 percent in 2004.

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Opioid Dependence May Affect Outcomes in Spine Patients

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic disabling occupational spinal disorders and opioid dependence disorder are less likely to return to, and retain, work following interdisciplinary rehabilitation than are their counterparts without this comorbid psychiatric condition, researchers report in the Aug. 1 issue of Spine.

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Diuretics Improve Sleep Apnea in Patients with Heart Failure

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with obstructive sleep apnea and diastolic heart failure who are treated with diuretics have improvements in disordered breathing, increases in oropharyngeal junction area and improved airflow rates, according to a report published in the August issue of Chest. These findings suggest that upper airway edema contributes to sleep-disordered breathing.

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Childhood Asthma Associated with Cytokine Response

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Production of interleukin-5 (IL-5) T-cell cytokines in response to the house dust mite, the most common local inhalant allergen, is associated with the development of asthma in 5-year-old children, according to study findings published in the August issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Air Pollution May Diminish Lung Growth in Children

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Prolonged exposure to ozone, nitrogen dioxide and microscopic particulates can slow the rate of lung growth in school-age children, according to a report published Aug. 15 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Glaucoma Progression Affected by Pressure Fluctuations

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with glaucoma, long-term intraocular pressure fluctuations affect the progression of visual field deterioration, even in patients whose intraocular pressure is low (18 mm Hg or less) after undergoing surgery, according to a report published in the August issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Novel Treatment for Barrett's Esophagus Shows Promise

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with short-segment Barrett's esophagus (SSBE), banding without resection appears to be a safe and effective way to eradicate the diseased tissue, according to study findings published in the August issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Hormonal Blockade in Prostate Cancer May Lead to Bone Loss

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In men with prostate cancer undergoing their first year of androgen deprivation therapy, longer duration of the therapy is associated with decreased bone mineral density while higher body mass index, calcium/vitamin D supplementation and alcohol use are associated with a greater bone mineral density, according to a study published in the July issue of Urology.

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Modern Roller Coasters Can Cause Heart Arrhythmias

TUESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Modern roller coasters subject riders to physical forces that can significantly elevate heart rates and cause arrhythmias, according to a research letter published in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Apolipoprotein Levels Predict Coronary Heart Disease Risk

TUESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Although serum levels of some apolipoproteins are as predictive of coronary heart disease as traditional lipids, they do not provide any extra risk-prediction value over established risk factors such as the ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, researchers report in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Diabetics Fare Worse After Acute Coronary Syndrome

TUESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acute coronary syndrome, 30-day and one-year mortality rates are significantly higher among those who have diabetes compared to those who do not, researchers report in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Spirometry Under-Used in Both Men and Women with COPD

TUESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to one recent report, women with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are not less likely than their male counterparts to undergo spirometry. But only about one-third of all newly diagnosed patients undergo the diagnostic procedure, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of Chest.

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Increasing Waist-to-Hip Ratio Linked to Atherosclerosis

TUESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- An increasing waist-to-hip ratio is independently associated with atherosclerosis and may be a better indicator of coronary artery calcification than either waist circumference or body mass index, according to study findings published in the Aug. 21 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Vitamins May Not Help Prevent Cardiovascular Events

MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin C and other antioxidant vitamins do not help prevent cardiovascular events in women at high risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a report published Aug. 13 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Hospitalization in Heatwave Affects Long-Term Health

MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly patients who reside in institutions, are bedridden, use antihypertensive medication or have psychiatric illnesses are at greater risk of death during heatwaves than those who are able to leave their home daily, have more social connections and make greater use of baths, fans and air conditioners to keep cool, according to two studies published online Aug. 13 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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High-Dose Verapamil for Headache May Affect Heart

MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive higher doses of verapamil for cluster headaches may be at greater risk of developing electrocardiographic abnormalities than those given lower doses, according to study findings published in the Aug. 14 issue of Neurology.

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Few Patients Seek Screening for Colorectal Cancer

MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than 15 percent of Canadians with average risk of colorectal cancer are up-to-date with screenings for the disease, despite recent national guidelines recommending screening, according to the results of a population-based random telephone survey published in the August issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Two Gene Variations Predict Citalopram Response

MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A newly identified marker -- a variation in the GRIK4 gene -- may help identify depressed patients who are more likely to respond to citalopram, researchers report in the August issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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High Costs Associated with Treating Shingles Pain

MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Undiagnosed progression of herpes zoster results in millions of dollars in additional health care expenditures to treat patients with persistent pain, suggesting the need for early interventions, according to the results of a study in the August issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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FDA Sees No Heart Risk With Heartburn Drugs

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The popular heartburn drugs Prilosec and Nexium don't cause heart problems, U.S. health officials said Thursday. The sudden announcement followed a government safety review after reports of a possible risk emerged from preliminary studies.

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Probiotics Have Varying Efficacy in Childhood Diarrhea

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Not all probiotic preparations are effective in the treatment of children with acute diarrhea. Their efficacy appears to depend on which strains of bacteria they contain, according to the results of a randomized trial published online Aug. 9 in BMJ.

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World's First Human Embryonic Stem Cells from Egg Alone

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Human embryonic stem cells that Korean researchers had claimed were derived by somatic cell nuclear transfer were actually derived by parthenogenesis of the oocyte, according to a study published online Aug. 2 in Cell Stem Cell.

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Heatwave Length, Not Intensity, Spurs Hospital Visits

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital admissions of elderly patients are more influenced by a heatwave's duration than by its intensity, according to the results of a study published Aug. 9 in the journal BMC Public Health. The study also suggests that patients do not necessarily adapt to the effects of repeated heatwaves over the course of a summer.

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Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Could Occur Locally in U.S.

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should be aware of the early signs of dengue hemorrhagic fever, particularly due to an increase in cases in Latin American and Mexico as well as sporadic dengue fever outbreaks in south Texas that could allow local occurrences of the more severe form of the disease, according to a report in the Aug. 10 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Videocapsule Endoscopy Effective for Celiac Disease

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Videocapsule endoscopy, which examines the entire small bowel, has a high sensitivity and specificity in detecting celiac disease, researchers report in the August issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Statins Do Not Strongly Protect Against Colorectal Cancer

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Statins, a common class of cholesterol-lowering medicines, do not appear to strongly protect against colorectal cancer, according to a large meta-analysis published in the Aug. 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Warfarin Reduces Stroke Risk in Atrial Fibrillation

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In elderly patients with atrial fibrillation, anticoagulant agents such as warfarin may reduce the risk of stroke with an acceptable risk of bleeding, according to study findings published in the Aug. 11 issue of The Lancet.

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Brain Injury Can Cause Auditory Hallucinations

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Auditory hallucinations can result from trauma to the brain, not just from psychotic disorders, according to the authors of a case report published in the Aug. 11 issue of The Lancet.

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Multiple Assessments Help Identify Elder Abuse

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In hospitalized older adults, three assessment tools may be needed to accurately identify those at high risk of elder abuse, especially in cases where patients do not disclose abuse and physicians cannot detect visible signs of abuse, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Migraine with Aura May Increase Women's Stroke Risk

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Women of child-bearing age who have migraine headaches with aura may be at increased risk of ischemic stroke, according to study findings published online Aug. 9 in Stroke.

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Vitamins, Minerals Don't Reduce Liver Cancer Mortality

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Certain combinations of vitamin and mineral supplements do not reduce the overall risk of liver cancer mortality, but may benefit certain subgroups of patients, according to study findings published online Aug. 8 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Tai Chi Reduces Falling Risk in Healthy Older Adults

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In relatively healthy older adults, a weekly tai chi class may significantly reduce the risk of multiple falls, according to a report published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Iron Deficiency in Infants Affects Attention and Memory

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Infants who are iron-deficient have a developmental delay in attention and memory compared with iron-sufficient infants, according to a report in the August issue of Pediatrics.

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Community-Based Studies May Be Biased

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Community-based studies, particularly those with a low participation rate, may be prone to participation bias, researchers report in the August issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. In a myocardial infarction study, non-participants had a higher mortality rate, more co-morbidities, were older and were more likely to be non-white than participants.

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Vitamin B6 Intake May Influence Ability to Conceive

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have a vitamin B6 deficiency are less likely to conceive and more likely to have early pregnancy loss than women with adequate intake, according to a study of Chinese women published in the August issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Four Out of Five Obesity Cases Are Undocumented

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Only one in five obese patients is diagnosed as such by their primary care physician, and those who are given a formal diagnosis are more likely to have an obesity management plan, according to a study published in the August issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Dietary Choline Linked to Risk of Colorectal Adenomas

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A higher dietary intake of choline, which is found in organ meats, eggs and wheat germ, is associated with an increased risk of colorectal adenomas in women, contrary to the expectations of researchers, according to a report published online Aug. 8 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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High Triglyceride Levels Linked to Clearance of Hepatitis C

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals exposed to the hepatitis C virus (HCV) may demonstrate favorable lipid profiles despite the association to glucose intolerance. Furthermore, patients with elevations in triglycerides may have an increased ability to clear the virus, according to study findings published in the August issue of Gut.

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Combination Cancer Therapy May Increase Coronary Risk

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Chemotherapy combined with the anticancer drug bevacizumab is associated with a higher risk of arterial thrombosis, but not blood clots of the veins, when compared with chemotherapy treatment alone, according to the results of a study published online Aug. 8 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Diethylstilbestrol May Have Transgenerational Effect

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The mothers of some babies with esophageal atresia and associated tracheoesophageal fistula (EA/TEF) were exposed in utero to diethylstilbestrol, indicating that the synthetic estrogen may have a transgenerational effect, according to study findings published in the July issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Researchers Fault Recent Meta-Analysis on Rosiglitazone

TUESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetic patients who take rosiglitazone (Avandia) have neither an increased nor decreased risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular death, according to an article published online Aug. 7 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Patients Given Statin Still Try to Stick with Healthy Diet

TUESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Most people who are prescribed a statin for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease do not use it as an excuse to up their intake of fatty food, according to a report in the August issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. In fact, many patients starting a statin say they wanted more time to try to lower their cholesterol with dietary changes before starting medication.

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Many Find Health Insurance Doesn't Cover Costs

TUESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- About 29 percent of Americans have health insurance that is inadequate and leaves them struggling to pay medical bills, according to a survey in the September issue of Consumer Reports. When added to the 16 percent of Americans who lack health insurance, this implies that 45 percent of Americans have inadequate access to health care.

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Physician Counsel Has No Effect on Motor Vehicle Safety

TUESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- There is little evidence that primary care providers who counsel patients about the correct use of child safety seats and seat belts -- and the importance of not drinking and driving -- have a significant effect, according to two reports published in the Aug. 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Common Geriatric Conditions Linked to Disability

TUESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults, geriatric conditions that are not part of the traditional disease model of medicine are significantly associated with disability, according to the results of a study published in the Aug. 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Caffeine May Reduce Risk of Cognitive Decline

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Women who drink three or more cups of a caffeinated drink such as coffee or tea per day seem to have a lower risk of cognitive decline after age 65 than women who drink one or fewer cups per day, according to a report published online Aug. 6 in Neurology.

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Depressed Dopamine Activity Seen in Adult ADHD

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a blunted response to methylphenidate in the left and right caudate, and they have a lower dopamine release than those without the disorder, researchers report in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Many Pharmacies Can't Talk to Non-English Speakers

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- As many as two-thirds of pharmacies are rarely if ever able to verbally communicate with their non-English speaking clients, according to a study of Wisconsin pharmacies published in the August issue of Pediatrics.

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Many Workers Suffer from Hand Contact Dermatitis

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Health care workers and machine operators are among the most likely to be exposed to allergens that cause hand contact dermatitis, largely due to their use of rubber gloves, researchers report in the August issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Triple Therapy Reverses Type 1 Diabetes in Mice

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A triple therapy regimen that both induces immune tolerance and decreases inflammation restores euglycemia in a mouse model of type 1 diabetes mellitus, according to a report published online Aug. 1 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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FDA Warns of Botulism Risk Linked to Canned Green Beans

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Friday that some brands of French cut, canned green beans may possibly be contaminated with botulinum toxin. The 14.5-ounce cans were produced by Lakeside Foods Inc., of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and sold under a variety of labels.

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Sickle Cell Trait Increases Risk of Blood Clots in Blacks

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Blacks with the sickle cell trait have an increased risk of venous thromboembolism and pulmonary embolism, according to a study published in the Aug. 1 issue of Blood.

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Maternal Thyroid Disease May Increase Risk of Birth Defect

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal thyroid disease may increase the risk of an infant having craniosynostosis, a premature fusion of one or more cranial sutures, researchers report in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Alcohol May Block Protective Effects of Estrogen

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Consuming large amounts of alcohol may offset the protective effects of estrogen supplementation, according to the results of a study in ovariectomized mice published in the August issue of Endocrinology.

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Adult Drugs Prescribed for Insomnia in Children

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Most children under 17 who are treated for insomnia or sleep difficulties are given prescription drugs that are only FDA-approved for adults and whose effects during formative growth years are unknown and should be examined, according to a report published in the Aug. 1 issue of Sleep.

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New Biomarker May Predict Acute Kidney Injury Early

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Measuring levels of urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL), a protein usually found in low levels in the urine, may help predict acute kidney injury earlier than currently available tests opening a critical window of opportunity for reducing morbidity, according to new study findings published Aug. 2 in Critical Care.

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Early Use of Interferon Beneficial in Multiple Sclerosis

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Initiating the use of interferon beta-1b soon after a suspected diagnosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis can help prevent progression to clinically definite multiple sclerosis as well as disability, according to research published in the Aug. 4 issue of The Lancet.

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Nutrition May Influence Facial Acne in Young Men

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A low-glycemic-load diet with sufficient protein may be effective in reducing lesions in mild to moderate facial acne in young men, according to the results of a dietary intervention study published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Hemophilia Life Expectancy Still 3-15 Years Lower

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Despite advances in treatment, British hemophiliacs who are not infected with HIV have a current median life expectancy that is still 3 to 15 years lower than in the general population, according to a study in the Aug. 1 issue of Blood.

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Tobacco Additives May Be Harmful to Public Health

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The tobacco industry has experimented with hundreds of additives in cigarettes that should require regulatory oversight, including 100 that may enhance the addictive effects of nicotine, sweeten the taste of tobacco, and mask the odor of secondhand smoke, according to a study published in the August issue of American Journal of Public Health.

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Nitric Oxide for Adjusting Asthma Drugs Not Superior

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The use of exhaled nitric oxide to determine corticosteroid therapy for asthma exacerbations was no better than traditional management, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Bowel and Orthopedic Diseases Share Genetic Link

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A case-control study of Icelanders has offered "the first direct evidence to support a common genetic component for inflammatory bowel disease and ankylosing spondylitis," say researchers in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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CDC Urges Health Check, Vaccines for Preteens

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a national campaign for parents and physicians to promote vaccinations of preteens. The campaign coincides with National Immunization Awareness Month in August.

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Combination Therapy Benefits Fabry Disease Patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Adding both an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and an angiotensin-receptor blocker to enzyme replacement therapy with agalsidase-beta may stop the progressive loss of kidney function seen in some patients with Fabry disease, according to a new report published online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Physicians 'Awaken' Man 6 Years After Severe Brain Injury

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In a scene reminiscent of Oliver Sacks' book Awakenings, physicians have managed to partially rekindle the mind of a man who had been in a minimally conscious state for six years, according to a report published in the August 2 issue of Nature.

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Gene Linked to Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Variations in a previously uncharacterized gene called FLJ10986 may increase the risk for developing sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, according to a new genome-wide analysis published early online Aug. 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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U.S. Death Rates for Pulmonary Fibrosis Rising

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Pulmonary fibrosis-related deaths increased in the United States between 1992 and 2003, rising 41.3 percent in women and 28.4 percent in men, according to a study in the August issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Binge Drinkers Have Lower Intake of Essential Fatty Acids

WEDENSDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Men who binge-drink are less likely to consume essential fatty acids found in fish and other food than men who do not, according to a study in the August issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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Patients With Oral Diseases May Have Contact Allergies

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Contact allergies, particularly to potassium dicyanoaurate, nickel sulfate and gold sodium thiosulfate, are common in patients with oral diseases, such as stomatitis and gingivitis, according to a study in the August issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Patient Referral Compliance Increases With Doctors' Help

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A high rate of patients complete specialist referrals when their primary care physician uses the simple low-cost strategy of scheduling the appointments for them, according to a study published in the July/August issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

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Irradiated Curcumin Inhibits Rapid Skin Cell Growth

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Combining low doses of the dietary pigment curcumin with ultraviolet light (UVA) or visible light can activate apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death, in rapidly-growing epidermal cells, suggesting a therapeutic approach to treating hyperproliferative skin diseases, according to a study published in the August issue of Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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