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December 2009 Briefing - Internal Medicine

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Internal Medicine for December 2009. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Precautions and Training Can Reduce Scalpel Injuries

THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Although less common than needle-stick injuries, cuts from scalpels also put operating room personnel at risk and can be reduced by closely following safety precautions and taking advantage of new technology, according to a study in the December issue of the AORN Journal.

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Psychotropic Medications Linked to Pregnancy Outcomes

THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- In pregnant women, the use of psychotropic medications, especially benzodiazepines, is associated with adverse perinatal outcomes, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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LDL Cholesterol Not the Only Culprit in Heart Disease

THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Though low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is usually the primary target of lipid-lowering therapies, high levels of non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and triglycerides, and a high total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio also carry an elevated risk for coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a study in the Dec. 29/Jan. 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Therapy Found Ineffective for Chronic Low Back Pain

THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) is not recommended for treating chronic low back pain, though it appears effective in treating the pain of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, according to an American Academy of Neurology guideline published online Dec. 30 in Neurology.

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H1N1 Transmissibility Similar to Other Flu Viruses

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The 2009 H1N1 influenza virus proved to be less transmissible within households than viruses that caused previous pandemics, according to a study published in the Dec. 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, while a second study of an outbreak in a school found that the natural history of the virus was similar to that of other flu viruses.

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Discharge Planning Measures May Not Cut Readmissions

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals that collate and make publicly available discharge planning data do not necessarily have lower readmission rates than those that do not collate the data, according to a study in the Dec. 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Study Assesses Safety of Figitumumab in Sarcoma

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Figitumumab -- a fully human IgG2 monoclonal antibody -- appears safe for use in sarcoma, with observable anti-tumor activity, according to research published online Dec. 24 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Omeprazole, Surgery Found Effective for Reflux Disease

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease, more patients stayed in clinical remission after anti-reflux surgery than with long-term omeprazole, though surgery was associated with postoperative complaints, according to research published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Study Sheds Light on Factors Involved in Brain Tumors

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The transcription factors C/EBPβ and Stat3 appear to work together to trigger and regulate the mesenchymal transformation seen in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), according to research published online Dec. 23 in Nature.

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Declines Found in Diabetes-Related Renal Disease

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Among individuals with diabetes, the incidence of diabetes-related end-stage renal disease (ESRD) declined in recent years, which suggests that efforts to prevent ESRD are successful, according to research published in the January issue of Diabetes Care.

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Prostate-Specific Antigen Velocity Usefulness Examined

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate-specific antigen velocity (PSAV) may be useful in identifying men with clinically significant prostate cancer, according to research published in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Efficacy of Glyburide for Gestational Diabetes Studied

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In women with gestational diabetes, glyburide is more effective than metformin for achieving glycemic control, according to a study in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents Possibly Dangerous

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with renal function impairment, the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents is risky because it can lead to the development of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, according to a study in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Part-Time Ob-Gyn Faculty Projected to Increase

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The number of full-time faculty in obstetrics and gynecology has more than doubled since the 1970s, although the number of part-time faculty is projected to increase in the next five years, according to a study in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Operating Room Nurses Must Know Heart Failure Guidelines

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Perioperative nurses caring for patients requiring surgical treatment for heart failure need a working knowledge of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic heart failure, according to an article in the December issue of the AORN Journal.

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Nausea and Vomiting Found Common Heart Attack Symptoms

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) that occurs in both inferior and anterior AMIs, but the frequency of these symptoms are unlikely related to the infarct location, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Low-Level Laser Therapy for Body Sculpting Assessed

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Low-level laser therapy can reduce the circumference of certain areas of the body by reducing the adipose tissue layer, according to a study in the December issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Medical Device Studies for Premarket Approval Assessed

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Premarket approval (PMA) of cardiovascular medical devices based on early-stage studies are typically not statistically powered adequately and may potentially be biased, according to a study in the Dec. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Ginkgo biloba May Not Reduce Cognitive Decline in Adults

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Ginkgo biloba, an herbal extract used to prevent memory loss and cognitive decline, was not effective in reducing the incidence of cognitive decline in individuals 72 to 96 years of age with normal brain function or mild cognitive impairment, according to the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory study published in the Dec. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Telemedicine Technology in Intensive Care Units Evaluated

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The use of telemedicine (tele) technology to remotely monitor multiple intensive care units (ICUs) at different hospital locations is unlikely associated with improvements in patient mortality rates, complications and length of hospital stay, according to an observational study published in the Dec. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Drugs Not Linked to β-Cell Improvement in Diabetes

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The use of insulin, exenatide, and the immunosuppressant daclizumab doesn't lead to improved function of surviving β-cells in patients with long-standing type 1 diabetes, according to research published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Immunocompromised Patients Need Aggressive Flu Treatment

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with hematologic malignancies who develop seasonal or H1N1 influenza, aggressive treatment may be required, according to a study published online Dec. 15 in Blood.

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Life Years Lost Due to Pneumoconiosis Increasing

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The number of potential years of life lost due to coal workers' pneumoconiosis has been increasing since 2002, and preventive measures should be stepped up, according to a report published in the Dec. 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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New Tool Assesses Cardiac Death Risk in Heart Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Duke University researchers have developed a tool to stratify risk among patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), and identify those at highest risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD), according to a report in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Maternal Occupation May Impact Risk for Birth Defects

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Certain occupations may be either positively or negatively associated with one or more birth defects, according to a large population-based case-control study in the January issue of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Metabolic Syndrome and Heart Disease Risk in Men Studied

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged men with metabolic syndrome are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death, and this applies regardless of their body mass index, although those without metabolic syndrome who are overweight or obese are also at increased risk, according to a study published online Dec. 28 in Circulation.

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Progenitor Cells May Counter Chemotherapy Damage

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- It may be possible to prevent cardiomyopathy caused by chemotherapy by obtaining cardiac progenitor cells before initiating treatment and using them for prevention or management of heart failure, according to the findings of a study in rats published online Dec. 28 in Circulation.

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Prostate-Specific Antigen Lower Among Statin Users

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In men preparing to undergo radical prostatectomy for cancer, those using statins have lower prostate-specific antigen (PSA), according to research published in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Ultrasound-Guided Injection Can Benefit Lateral Hip Pain

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with gluteus medius tendinopathy, peritendinous ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injection may be an effective treatment, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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PPIs Linked to Lower Cancer Risk in Barrett's Esophagus

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with Barrett's esophagus who take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have a lower risk of high-grade dysplasia and esophageal cancer, according to research published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Claustrophobia Common Cause of Refusing Breast Screening

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Only about 60 percent of women at high risk of breast cancer who are undergoing regular mammography and ultrasound screenings agree to supplemental screening by magnetic resonance imaging, with claustrophobia being the most common reason, according to a study in the January issue of Radiology.

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Statins Found to Be Beneficial in Congestive Heart Failure

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with heart failure, statins are safe, improve left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), and decrease the risk of hospitalization for worsening heart failure, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Therapies for CAD Patients With Kidney Disease Compared

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) used with medical therapy or medical therapy used singly improved angina symptoms similarly among patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Review Discusses Anti-HIV Benefits of Male Circumcision

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Findings from three randomized trials in Africa lend support to the use of adult male circumcision to reduce the incidence of HIV, according to a review published in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Technique Found Effective, Safe in Spinal Stabilizations

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients undergoing spinal stabilization, intraoperative computed tomography in combination with neuronavigation improves the accuracy of screw placement, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of Spine.

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Study Evaluates New Assays for Diagnosing Liver Diseases

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- New assays may aid in the diagnosis of chronic autoimmune liver disorders, according to research published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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H1N1-Affected Lungs From Deceased Show Damage

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all patients who died of H1N1 flu show evidence of lung damage and an aberrant immune response, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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History of Foot Ulcers Can Increase Mortality in Diabetes

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who have a history of developing foot ulcers are at higher risk of death than those who do not have a history, and should be more closely monitored by clinicians, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Prothrombin Mutation Studied in Obstetric Complications

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Presence of the prothrombin G20210A mutation does not increase the risk of obstetric complications, calling into question the practice of screening pregnant women for the mutation, according to a study in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Certain Medications May Alter Quad Screen Results

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A pregnant woman's use of certain prescription drugs may skew results of the standard Quad screening and increase the rate of screen-positives for neural tube defects, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Air Pollution Linked to Pneumonia in the Elderly

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) In the elderly, exposure to high levels of air pollution is associated with a higher risk of being hospitalized with pneumonia, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Higher Surgery Risks in Elderly Demand Special Attention

FRIDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Common and emergency surgery carries elevated risks of mortality and complications in the elderly, and clinicians should counsel patients on these risks and make every effort to mitigate them, according to a pair of studies in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Longer Maternity Leave Found Beneficial for Working Mothers

FRIDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Female urologists who take nine weeks or more of maternity leave are more likely to report satisfaction with leave arrangements than their counterparts who take less time off; however, they often take a shorter postnatal break due to financial and peer-group pressures, according to a study in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Pruritic Symptoms Linked to Psychological Stress

FRIDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In the general population, frequency of pruritic symptoms is strongly associated with psychological stress, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Mental and Physical Activity Can Boost Cognitive Function

FRIDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Elders at risk for cognitive impairment can improve cognitive function with increased mental and physical activity, according to a study in the December issue of the Journals of Gerontology.

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Injectable Fat Reduction Therapies in the Pipeline

FRIDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- There are a number of novel therapies that use injectable chemicals to reduce fat, but they are not an alternative to liposuction and none have been given regulatory approval anywhere in the world, according to a study in the December issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Environmental Factors Play Key Role in Skin Aging

THURSDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Certain environmental factors are strongly associated with skin aging, according to a twin study in the December issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Some Pre-Op Weight Loss Cuts Gastric Bypass Complications

THURSDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Increased weight loss before gastric bypass surgery is associated with fewer complications after surgery, according to a study reported in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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History of Cancer Associated With Lower Alzheimer's Risk

THURSDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Caucasian older adults with Alzheimer's disease are less likely than their counterparts without the condition to have cancer, and Caucasian older adults with a history of cancer are less likely to have Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in Neurology.

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Statins May Not Target All Lipid Abnormalities

THURSDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Although statin therapy is effective at lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, it has no effect on high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. Nearly 50 percent of new statin users may require additional therapy to achieve optimal lipid levels, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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2009 H1N1 Took High Toll on Pregnant Women, Children

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic took a high toll on pregnant or recently-pregnant women and on children, according to a pair of studies from California and Argentina published online Dec. 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Novel Gene Linked to Early-Onset Asthma in Children

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a novel gene linked to early-onset asthma, with different alleles causing the predisposition in children of European and African descent, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Novel Gene Variants Associated With Heart Disease

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have discovered two novel gene variants that are linked to increased lipoprotein(a) levels and increased risk of coronary disease, according to a study in the Dec. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Drug Treatments Compared in Bipolar Disorder

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Bipolar disorder patients are less likely to have a relapse if they take lithium monotherapy or lithium combined with valproate than if they take valproate alone, but there is no evidence to support the use of combination therapy over lithium alone, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in The Lancet.

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Health Impact of Body Mass Index May Be Misleading

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The adverse impact of low body mass index (BMI) on risk of respiratory disease and lung cancer mortality may be overstated, while the negative impact of high BMI on cardiovascular disease mortality may be underestimated, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in BMJ.

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Over 85s Function Well Despite Disease and Disability

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Elders over the age of 85 report good health and functional ability despite the fact that they have to contend with a range of diseases and disabilities; however, as the fastest growing segment of the world's population, the health needs of future generations of over 85s represent a profound challenge, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in BMJ.

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Uric Acid Concentrations May Affect Pregnancy Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In normotensive pregnant women, high uric acid concentrations in mid-pregnancy are associated with insulin resistance and lower birth weights, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Ethnic, Racial Disparities Seen in Florida Melanoma Cases

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In Florida, the incidence of melanoma is rapidly increasing among white non-Hispanics and white Hispanics, and there is a significant racial disparity in the proportion of cases presenting with advanced disease, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Scanner Identifies Many Coronary Artery Stenoses

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The 64-MDCT scanner technology can accurately identify coronary artery stenoses in many (but not all) patients, according to a study in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help Brain Cope With Overload

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Low intake of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the brain's ability to handle sensory overload, which could explain some of the symptoms seen in conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and attention-deficit disorder, according to an animal study published in the December issue of Behavioral Neuroscience.

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H1N1 Flu Waning, but Many Vaccine Doses Unused

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although the number of cases of people infected with H1N1 influenza continues to decline and the vaccine supply is now plentiful, not enough people have been inoculated, a top U.S. health official said during a Dec. 22 press briefing held by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Cycling Not Linked to Effect on Prostate-Specific Antigen

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Bicycle riding at a professional level doesn't influence serum levels of total and free prostate-specific antigen (PSA), according to research published in the December issue of Urology.

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Factors Linked to Bone Loss With Contraceptive Identified

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Women who take the contraceptive depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) are at higher risk of bone loss if they smoke, consume insufficient amounts of calcium, or have never had a child, according to a study in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Coxibs May Inhibit Effects of Low-Dose Aspirin

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Celecoxib and other coxibs may interfere with the antiplatelet activity of low-dose aspirin, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Chronic Maxillary Sinus Disease Linked to Allergy

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic disease of the maxillary sinuses (CDMS) is often associated with nasal allergy and may be monitored by radiography and ultrasound, according to a study in the December issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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TAK1 Protein Found Essential for Proper Liver Function

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Deletion of a cellular signaling protein specifically in hepatocytes leads to hepatocyte death and compensatory liver damage and cancer, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Contraceptives Have Benefits Beyond Pregnancy Prevention

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Hormonal contraceptives have useful non-contraceptive benefits, including prevention of endometrial and ovarian cancer and treating menstruation-related disorders, according to an American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists practice bulletin published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Gene Mutation Impact on Pregnancy Outcomes Assessed

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Most inherited thrombophilia mutations are not associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, with the exception of mutations in the prothrombin gene, according to a study in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Effects of Screw Length on Spine Reconstruction Studied

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In treating spinal disorders that require spino-pelvic reconstruction, short screws have similar biomechanical strength as long screws if augmented by bone cement, according to a study in the December issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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Thromboembolism Uncommon After Sling Surgery in Women

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of thromboembolism following an isolated sling procedure for stress urinary incontinence in women is low, but the rate is higher when prolapse repair is also performed, according to research published in the December issue of Urology.

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Severe H1N1 Infection Linked to Elevated Cytokine Levels

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalized patients with severe novel H1N1 virus (nvH1N1) infection at 10 Spanish hospitals had high levels of the Th17 and Th1 cytokines, indicating either a robust immune response to the infection or an over-response similar to that found in autoimmune diseases, according to research published online Dec. 11 in Critical Care.

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Cytologic Regression Common in Some Gynecologic Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In women with atypical squamous cells of unknown significance and a negative human papillomavirus (HCII) test, nearly all achieve cytologic regression within two years, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Glycemic Index Education Helps Manage Type 2 Diabetes

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Educating people with type 2 diabetes about how to incorporate foods with a lower glycemic index into their diets results in improvements in weight, serum glucose levels, and insulin sensitivity, according to a study in Public Health Nutrition.

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Study Assesses Cardiac Rehab Impact on Mortality Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare beneficiaries with coronary heart disease who have exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation sessions have lower odds of death and myocardial infarction on a dose-dependent basis, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Circulation.

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High-Density Lipoprotein Pros Missing for Diabetes Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The vasoprotective effects of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) seen in healthy people are absent in those with type 2 diabetes, but the impact of diabetes can be mitigated with extended-release niacin therapy, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Circulation.

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Bystander Resuscitation Found to Rarely Cause Injury

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) based on directions are unlikely to sustain an injury as a result, even if they are not in arrest, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Circulation.

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CRP Levels Linked to Heart Disease, but Causality Unlikely

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- C-reactive protein (CRP) blood concentration is associated with risk of a range of diseases, including heart attack, stroke, cancer death and chronic lung disease, but most of the associations between CRP levels and heart disease are explained by risk factors already known to cause heart disease, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in The Lancet.

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Cocaine Use Likely Cause of Agranulocytosis Clusters

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Four separate clusters of agranulocytosis may potentially be linked to the ingestion of a veterinary drug, levamisole, which is commonly used as an added ingredient during cocaine manufacturing, according to a study published in the Dec. 18 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Gefitinib Found Beneficial in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), gefitinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor, may provide longer progression-free survival as compared to standard platinum doublet chemotherapy with cisplatin and docetaxel, according to a Japanese study published online Dec. 21 in The Lancet.

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Prenatal Aspirin Not Linked to Adverse Infant Outcomes

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Among infants born preterm, low-dose aspirin (LDA) during pregnancy is not associated with fetal or infant deaths, infant cerebral damage, or brain development disorders, according to research published online Dec. 21 in Pediatrics.

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Risk of Neurologic Deficit Right After Spinal Surgery Low

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The likelihood of developing a major neurologic deficit immediately after spinal surgery is low, according to a study in the December issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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Head Count of Epidemiologists Has Dropped Since 2006

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Since 2006 there has been a 10 percent decline in the number of epidemiologists working in state health departments, according to a study published in the Dec. 18 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Medical Expulsive Therapy Uncommon in Stone Disease

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Though the use of medical expulsive therapy (MET) increased for urinary stones in a recent period, it remained a seldom-used treatment, according to research published in the December issue of Urology.

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Parents Not Stressed by Child's Genetic Risk for Diabetes

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of children with diabetes-associated autoantibodies did not report an increased level of stress until there was an actual diabetes diagnosis, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Resistance Exercise Benefits Elderly Overweight Men

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A regimen of resistance exercise two or three times a week appears to be an effective approach to weight management and metabolic control in elderly overweight men, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Many Support Screening Newborns for More Disorders

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Most prospective Dutch parents favor adding childhood-onset disorders to the national newborn screening program even if they're untreatable, according to research published online Dec. 21 in Pediatrics.

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Study Examines Low Back Pain Therapy Techniques

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with low back pain, a clinical prediction rule may be generalizable to additional thrust manipulation techniques but not to non-thrust manipulation techniques, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of Spine.

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Antidepressants Not Found to Increase Heart Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women taking antidepressants, whether they are tricyclic medications or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are not at increased risk of coronary heart disease compared to their counterparts not taking the drugs, but there is a modestly higher risk of mortality and stroke, according to a study in the Dec. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Goal Achievement Impacts Spine Patients' Satisfaction

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic disabling spinal disorders who complete a functional restoration program, goal achievement may be a valuable patient-centered measure of treatment outcome, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of Spine.

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Reduction Technique Effective for Shoulder Dislocation

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- For the reduction of an anterior shoulder dislocation, the new FARES (Fast, Reliable, and Safe) method is significantly more effective, faster, and less painful than conventional methods, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Cost of Treatment for Heart Disease and Stroke Increasing

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The estimated cost of treatment for cardiovascular disease and stroke in the United States in 2010 is estimated to be $503.2 billion, a 5.8 percent increase over the previous year, according to the American Heart Association's Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics -- 2010 Update, published online Dec. 17 in Circulation.

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Aspirin Benefits Seem Similar Regardless of Diabetes Status

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The benefit of aspirin for the primary prevention of cardiovascular events and death appears to be similar in people with and without diabetes, according to research published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Study Ties Ambulatory BP Monitoring to Disturbed Sleep

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Ambulatory monitoring of blood pressure is associated with reduced sleep and physical activity, and may increase the likelihood that blood pressure will not follow normal circadian rhythms, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence Increases

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Improved documentation and identification of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) may have contributed to a rise in prevalence from 2002 to 2006, but an increased risk of developing an ASD should not be discounted, according to a surveillance summary published Dec. 18 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Cisplatin Linked to Complete Response in Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer patients who are carriers of mutations in a breast cancer susceptibility gene are more likely to have a complete response after treatment with cisplatin, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In a related study published in the same journal at the same time, researchers report that geriatric assessment domains can predict treatment response and mortality in elderly breast cancer survivors.

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Editorial

Incidence of Adverse Events in Contact Lens Wear Studied

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of adverse events from wearing contact lenses varied by lens type and lens-solution combinations, but was lowest with hydrogen peroxide solution, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Melanoma-Associated Retinopathy Biomarkers Found

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of antibodies to aldolase A and aldolase C proteins may be useful as markers of melanoma-associated retinopathy (MAR), while other antibodies may indicate if the disease has an autoimmune component, according to a study in the December issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Acrylamide Exposure Linked to Decrease in Serum Insulin

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to the common compound acrylamide from smoking or in foods is associated with reduced blood insulin and insulin resistance, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Sudden Loss of Kidney Function May Up Risk of Death

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with a sudden loss of kidney function have a higher death rate after being discharged from the hospital even if their kidney function returned to normal, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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SIRT1 Alleles Linked to Reduced Obesity Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A Dutch study has found that two alleles of the SIRT1 gene are linked to less weight gain over time and decreased risk of obesity, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes.

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Amino Acids Found to Restore Function After Brain Injury

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Feeding amino acids to mice who have had a traumatic injury to a part of the brain important for learning and memory restores neural activity and cognitive function, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Mouse Study Suggests Type 2 Diabetes Potential Treatment

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers in Brazil have found that the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor PD153035 improves insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in mice fed on a high-fat diet, and may offer a treatment approach for type 2 diabetes, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes.

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ACTN2 Implicated in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations in the alpha-actinin-2 (ACTN2) gene appear to cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), according to research published online Dec. 16 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Most Stroke Survivors Take an Antithrombotic Agent

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A large proportion of stroke survivors used antithrombotic agents during a recent period, according to research published in the January issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Improvement Threshold Defines Low Back Pain Success

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with low back pain, a successful outcome may be defined as at least a 50 percent improvement on the Modified Oswestry disability index, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of Spine.

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Risk of Microemboli Reduced in Some Stenosis Patients

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis (ACS), the presence of microemboli is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular events, but intensive medical therapy may reduce the risk of microemboli, according to research published online Dec. 14 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Stroke Education Program Improves Student Knowledge

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A stroke education program for middle-school students in a largely Hispanic population, which has a higher incidence of stroke than other groups, improves knowledge of stroke signs and treatment, according to a study published online in Health Promotion Practice.

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Animals and Food May Be a Reservoir for E. coli

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Animals and food may be a reservoir for pathogenic Escherichia coli bacteria, according to two studies in the January issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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Diverting Non-Urgent Cases Cuts Emergency Wait Times

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency department wait times can be significantly reduced if non-urgent follow-up cases are diverted to a satellite clinic instead of being treated in the emergency department, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

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Dramatic Increase in Myopia in Recent Decades

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of myopia has increased dramatically in the United States over the past three decades, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Work-Related Stress May Raise Women's Diabetes Risk

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged women who are under psychosocial stress at work have a higher risk of developing diabetes than their non-stressed counterparts, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Intensive Lipid-Lowering Cuts Risk of Repeat Cardiac Events

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Follow-up analyses of two studies on intensive versus less intensive lipid-lowering regimens conclude that intensive lipid-lowering is superior for preventing recurrent cardiovascular events, according to two studies in the Dec. 15/22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Tool May Predict Additional Strokes Over Short Term

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A tool called the recurrence risk estimator at 90 days (RRE-90), which includes clinical and imaging factors that are usually available to clinicians when patients are admitted, appears useful in predicting 90-day risk of recurrent stroke, according to research published online Dec. 16 in Neurology.

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Immune System Linked to Leprosy Susceptibility

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Host genetic factors involving the innate immune system are associated with susceptibility to leprosy infection, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Gene Variant Linked to Improved Lung Function

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A gene variant has been associated with better lung function in children with asthma and adult smokers, as well as with a reduced risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study published online Dec. 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Information Offered on Effect of H1N1 Vaccine Schedules

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A single 15-µg dose of vaccine provides H1N1 influenza protection in most individuals, though another dose can boost immune response in children and the elderly, according to the results of two studies in the Dec. 17 New England Journal of Medicine.

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Smoking Status Predicts Long-Term Survival After First AMI

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who quit smoking before or after a first heart attack significantly improve their odds of long-term survival, and smokers who reduce their consumption after a heart attack also have a modest survival benefit, according to a study in the Dec. 15/22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Personality Traits May Predict Medical School Success

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- During medical school, personality traits such as extraversion, openness and conscientiousness are increasingly predictive of academic success, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology.

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Combination Therapies Prove Best to Help Smokers Quit

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Combination pharmacotherapies offered in the primary care setting are more effective than monotherapies in helping smokers quit, according to a study published in the Dec. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Generic Aricept Approved for Alzheimer's Dementia

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) --Generic versions of the drug Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) that will dissolve instantly on the tongue have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat dementia resulting from Alzheimer's disease, the agency said Tuesday.

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No Adverse Effect of Statins Seen on Lymphoma Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Statins have no effect on outcomes in patients with B-cell lymphoma treated with rituximab, but improve event-free survival in patients with follicular lymphoma regardless of rituximab treatment, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Coffee and Tea Intake Associated With Diabetes Risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of tea and coffee consumption, whether caffeinated or decaffeinated, are inversely associated with risk of diabetes, according to a study in the Dec. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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More Computed Tomography May Mean More Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The growing use of computed tomography (CT) scans will cause thousands more cases of cancer in the future, according to a study published in the Dec. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, while a second study in the same issue found that the dose and cancer risk of CT scans varies widely from case to case.

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Primary Care Teaching Centers Mooted to Boost Work Force

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A system of primary care teaching health centers within expanded community health centers could help solve the current staffing crisis and boost the number of physicians working in underserved areas, according to a proposal published online Dec. 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Implantable Defibrillator Can Cut Mortality in Heart Failure

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Older heart failure patients who received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) had lower mortality over three years than patients who did not receive the device, according to a study published online Dec. 15 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

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Glucose Marker Helps Measure Prostate Surgery Fluid Uptake

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Adding glucose to an electrolyte-containing irrigation fluid helps detect absorption in bipolar transurethral resection of the prostate, according to a study in the December issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia.

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American Indians Have Far Higher H1N1 Flu Death Rate

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The pandemic influenza A (H1N1) mortality rate among American Indians and Alaska Natives is four times that of all other racial/ethnic groups combined, according to a study in the Dec. 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Tarenflurbil Not Found to Reduce Declines in Alzheimer's

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Tarenflurbil, an amyloid-β-lowering treatment, isnt associated with reduced cognitive decline or functional loss in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease, according to research published in the Dec. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Leptin Linked to Lower Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with higher leptin levels may have a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia in general, according to research published in the Dec. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Statins May Provide Benefit Despite Low LDL

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Based on data from an earlier trial, individuals with low levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and high levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) may benefit from statins to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease, according to a study in the Dec. 15/22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Digital Radiography Rapidly Localizes Spine Level

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Digital radiography is considerably faster than conventional radiography in localizing the cervical spine level during surgery, which may reduce hospital costs, according to a study in the December issue of The Spine Journal.

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Contraindications to Beta Blockers Linked to Deaths

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Contraindications to early beta-blocker use become more common with increasing age and are associated with a higher risk of hospital death in patients with acute coronary syndromes, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Mutations Less Common in Nonsmokers With Lung Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Lung cancer patients who never smoked are less likely to have gene mutations commonly found in smokers, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In a related study published at the same time in the same journal, researchers report that childhood cancer survivors who had indicated an intention to smoke were more likely to start smoking within five years.

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Breast Cancer Needle Biopsy Results Similar to Open Biopsy

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Using stereotactic- and ultrasound-guided core needle biopsy to conduct breast biopsies gives results almost as accurate as open surgical biopsy, and carries a lower risk of complications, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Perceived Age Correlates With Survival and Functioning

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A follow-up analysis to the Longitudinal Study of Aging Danish Twins suggests that the perceived age of an elderly person correlates with their physical and mental functioning as well as survival, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in BMJ.

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Emergency Room Reliance Examined in Adolescents

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency department reliance (EDR), the percentage of health care visits occurring in the emergency department (ED), may provide information on whether children who are frequent ED users lack sufficient access to primary care, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Pediatrics.

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Comorbidity Affects Outcome of Glycemic Control in Diabetes

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The cardiovascular benefits of intensive glycemic control in type 2 diabetes patients are reduced if they have high levels of comorbidity, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Spiritual Care Often Benefits Terminally Ill Cancer Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In terminally ill cancer patients, adequate spiritual support is associated with an increased usage of hospice care and an improved quality of life, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Popular Children's Song Slips From Hit Parade on CPR Chart

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Pacing the compressions of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to the children's song Nellie the Elephant, successfully achieved an approximation of the recommended 100-compressions-per-minute rate, but not the required depth of compression, according to a study published Dec. 13 in BMJ.

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Diabetes Patients Report Many Hypoglycemic Driving Events

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Hypoglycemia-related events while driving may be common in individuals with type 1 diabetes, according to research published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Racial Disparities Seen in Breast Cancer Radiotherapy

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Older Caucasian women with invasive breast cancer were more likely to receive radiotherapy following surgery than women of other races, a disparity seen nationwide, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Cancer.

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Milk Thistle Could Be Useful During Leukemia Treatment

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The use of the herb milk thistle may reduce liver toxicity in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia undergoing chemotherapy, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Cancer.

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Chronic Kidney Patients Can Benefit From Carotid Surgery

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic kidney disease and high-grade carotid stenosis are at higher risk of stroke than those with preserved renal function, and they benefit more from carotid endarterectomy, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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SSRIs Linked to Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are associated with an increased risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding, which warrants caution when prescribing these drugs in patients at elevated risk for this type of bleeding, according to research published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Weight Loss and Exercise Can Improve Cardiac Function

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise and losing weight improves cardiac function at any age, but some of those benefits can be lost when weight is regained, according to a pair of studies in the Dec. 15/22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Heart Disease Risk Factors May Increase With Menopause

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The risk factors for coronary heart disease increase in women in the year before and the year after their final menstrual period (FMP), making that transition a crucial time to monitor lipid profiles and lifestyle risk factors, according to a study in the Dec. 15/22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Diverse Reasons Cited for Skipping Diabetes, Pain Meds

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Financial pressures may cause patients who take both pain and diabetes medications to forgo both, but those who selectively cut out only diabetes medications often do so because of depression or negative beliefs about the medications, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Post-Myocardial Infarction Bleeding Risk Examined

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For patients receiving antithrombotic drugs post heart attack, the risk of hospitalization for bleeding increases as the number of drugs increases, according to a study in the Dec. 12 issue of The Lancet.

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Lower Speed Limit Reduces Casualties in London

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In London, the introduction of 20 mph speed zones has significantly reduced road injuries and deaths, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in BMJ.

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Factors Affecting Back-Pain Sick Leave in Chile Identified

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Chileans are more likely to take longer sick leave for low back pain if they have a history of sick leave for low back pain, do manual labor, or were seen by an orthopedic surgeon, similar to other Western populations, according to a study in the December issue of The Spine Journal.

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H1N1 Mortality Found to Be Unexpectedly Low in England

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In England, mortality from the H1N1 pandemic is lower than expected, but disease patterns suggest that the vaccination program should be extended beyond high-risk groups, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in BMJ.

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Protocol Leads to Ileitis Diagnosis in Most Likely Cases

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A standard protocol for investigating suspected acute ileitis can lead to a definitive diagnosis in the majority of cases, according to research published in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Spinal Surgeries May Improve Back Pain and Sexual Function

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Total disc replacement and posterior fusion both lead to improvements in not only lower back pain but also sexual function, according to a study in the December issue of The Spine Journal.

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No Strong Ties Found Between Body Mass Index, PSA Level

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A man's body mass index (BMI) does not appear significantly associated with his level of prostate specific antigen (PSA), and need not be considered in evaluating PSA tests for the possibility of prostate cancer, according to a study in the December issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Treatment After Stenting Affects Thrombosis Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with drug-eluting stents, 24 months of treatment with aspirin and clopidogrel is associated with a lower risk of very late thrombosis than a shorter treatment regimen, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Airways Compared in Smoking, Nonsmoking Asthma Patients

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers with asthma have significantly greater epithelial changes in their airways than asthma patients who have quit smoking or have never smoked, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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CDC: 15 Percent of Americans Have Had H1N1 Flu

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- H1N1 has sickened nearly 50 million Americans -- which is one in six people -- and killed almost 10,000, mostly children and young adults, a federal health official said in a Dec. 10 press briefing.

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Urinary Symptoms Tied to Psychiatric Issues in Women

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Female veterans who have lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) have high rates of psychiatric comorbidity and history of sexual trauma compared to women in the general population, according to a study in the December issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Atrial Fibrillation Type Affects Outcomes for Heart Condition

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with acute coronary syndromes who develop new-onset atrial fibrillation have worse short-term outcomes, while a history of atrial fibrillation is associated with higher long-term mortality, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Myelosuppression Risk During Thiopurine Therapy Is Concern

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of severe myelosuppression in patients with inflammatory bowel disease using thiopurine therapy warrants monitoring the patients during their first two months of therapy, according to research published in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Myocardial Velocities Differ Based on Age and Gender

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Left ventricle velocities determined by magnetic resonance tissue phase mapping show differences based on gender and age, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.

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Myocardial Perfusion Imaging Judging Method Evaluated

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Evaluating the appropriateness of myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) is possible in a clinical setting using an automated system, which may help reduce imaging overuse, according to research published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Patients Often Lack Knowledge of Their Own Medications

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients routinely under-report, or even over-report, their outpatient and inpatient medications, and should be included in hospital medication management to improve safety, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Algorithm Developed for Metal-on-Metal Hip Resurfacing

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Ideal candidates for metal-on-metal hip resurfacing may be identified with a new algorithm, according to a study in the November supplement of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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New DNA-Based Bacteria Tests Yield Faster Results

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new DNA-based microarray platform can detect and identify bacterial species with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity and faster than the current gold-standard culture-based method, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in The Lancet.

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Variable A1C Linked to Renal Disease in Type 1 Diabetes

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 1 diabetes, greater variability in A1C levels over time is associated with higher risk of microalbuminuria, progression of established renal disease, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, according to research published in the November issue of Diabetes.

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Pandemic Flu Could Lead to Shortages in Blood Supply

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Preparation for an influenza pandemic should include evaluating how the event could affect a nation's blood supply, since shortages could have potentially fatal outcomes, according to research published online Dec. 9 in Transfusion.

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Aggressive Identification of Patients Cuts Hip Fractures

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Aggressive identification and management of patients at risk for osteoporosis-related hip fractures can substantially reduce the incidence rate, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 supplement of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Transplantation Technique Feasible for Spinal Cord Injury

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In the treatment of spinal cord injury, transplantation of readily available mono-nuclear bone marrow cells may be an alternative to the use of bone marrow stromal cells, according to an animal study published in the Nov. 15 issue of Spine.

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Male Breast Cancers Resemble Advanced Female Cancers

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Though rare, male breast cancers often resemble late-onset female breast cancers, and breast cancer incidence and death rates have not declined in males as much as females over the last few decades, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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New Technique Effective in L5 Radicular Syndrome

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with L5 radicular syndrome, an ultrasound-guided L5 nerve root block using electrical nerve stimulation is safe and effective, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of Spine.

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Symptom Responses in Spinal Pain Found of Limited Use

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In the conservative management of spinal pain, clinically induced changes in spinal symptoms (i.e., symptom responses) have limited prognostic value, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of Spine.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Helps Elders With Depression

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly patients with depression respond well to cognitive behavioral therapy, and such counseling is more helpful than talking to a warm and empathic listener, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Blood Lead Levels Associated With Risk of Depression

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults in populations with low levels of environmental exposure to lead are at increased risk of depression and panic disorders if they have higher levels of blood lead, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Most Early Cases of H1N1 Across China Were Mild

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Most cases of H1N1 influenza seen in China during the early summer were mild, and initiating oseltamivir within 48 hours of symptom onset could reduce the duration of viral shedding, according to research published online Dec. 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Treatment May Reverse Sickle Cell Disease in Adults

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A treatment regimen that includes stem cell transplantation can lead to stable grafts and reversal of disease in adults with sickle cell disease, according to a study in the Dec. 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Two Diets Linked to Similar Insulin-Sensitivity Effect

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets had similar effects on insulin sensitivity in overweight individuals, but the latter diet was linked to a possible detrimental effect on vascular health, according to research published in the December issue of Diabetes.

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Quality Varies on Internet Urological Cancer Information

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The quality of Web sites providing information about urological cancers may have improved in recent years, but many sites offer reason for concern, according to research published in the November issue of Urology.

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Model Compares Impact of Breast Cancer Mutations

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A computer model can help compare the impact of various treatment strategies on survival in women with mutations in the BRCA genes that increase the risk of breast cancer, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In a related study published at the same time in the same journal, researchers report that BRCA mutations are associated with lower responses to fertility treatment.

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Young Cancer Survivors Face Later Cardiovascular Risks

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer in childhood or adolescence substantially increases the risk of a cardiac condition later in life, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in BMJ.

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Lab Monitoring Offers Little Benefit to African HIV Efforts

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Africa can be successfully carried out without constant laboratory monitoring, allowing limited funds to be reallocated to drugs, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in The Lancet.

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Anti-Epileptic Drugs Found Safe to Treat Bipolar Disorder

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of suicidality among bipolar disorder patients treated with anti-epileptic drugs does not increase relative to those taking lithium or no drugs, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Celecoxib Benefits Not Seen in Acute Renal Colic Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with ureteral stones and acute renal colic, the use of celecoxib was not associated with time until stone passage or decreased pain, according to research published in the November issue of Urology.

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Oxygen Useful in Treating Cluster Headache Pain

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Inhaling high-flow oxygen may provide relief from the pain of cluster headaches within 15 minutes, according to research published in the Dec. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Small Caseloads Hinder Gauging Medicare Performance

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Most primary care physicians participating in Medicare work in practices with too few Medicare beneficiaries to reliably assess their practices' performance on common measures of quality and cost performance, according to research published in the Dec. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Soy Foods Linked to Improved Outcomes in Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Among female breast cancer survivors, eating soy foods is associated with a lower risk of death and breast cancer recurrence, according to research published in the Dec. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Study Finds Vasectomy Use Differs Between Races

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) African-American and Hispanic men appear less likely to undergo vasectomy than Caucasian men, according to research published in the November issue of Urology.

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FDA Issues Recommendations to Prevent Excess CT Radiation

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Following news that 206 patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles were overexposed to radiation during computed tomography (CT) perfusion imaging over an 18-month period, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued interim recommendations to help prevent similar incidents.

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Study Explores Genetics of Microalbuminuria in Diabetes

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, the Ala12 allele of the Pro12Ala polymorphism of peroxisome proliferatoractivated receptor-γ2 (PPAR-γ2) may reduce the risk of persistent microalbuminuria, according to research published in the December issue of Diabetes.

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Crucial Pediatric Drug Trial Safety Data Often Ignored

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Important safety data from pediatric drug trials often go unpublished, and articles that are published do not focus on adverse events and labeling changes, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Prenatal Microbe Exposure Protects Against Asthma

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Prenatal exposure to environmental microbes protects the offspring from developing asthma, supporting the "hygiene hypothesis," or the idea that the increasing prevalence of allergies and asthma is due to decreasing exposure to environmental microbes, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

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Oxytocin Not Found to Aid Removal of Retained Placenta

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A high-dose injection of oxytocin into the placenta of women with a retained placenta does not reduce the need for manual removal, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in The Lancet.

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Medroxyprogesterone Found Helpful in Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In men receiving hormone therapy for prostate cancer, medroxyprogesterone should become the new standard treatment for preventing hot flushes, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Most Head Start Programs Outperforming Federal Targets

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- School-based obesity prevention interventions conducted under the Head Start program are exceeding federal performance targets in terms of healthy eating and gross motor activity, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Smoking, Drinking Linked to Multiple Cancer Effects

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term cigarette smoking is linked to a higher risk of colorectal cancer, and alcohol consumption before or after diagnosis of head or neck cancer reduces the chance of survival, according to two studies in the December Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Carcinogen Levels Similar in Herbal, Regular Cigarettes

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers of regular cigarettes and herbal cigarettes -- products containing tobacco and extracts of Chinese medicinal herbs that are gaining popularity in China -- have similar levels of nicotine and carcinogens, according to research published in the December issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Childbirth Linked to Milder Multiple Sclerosis Course

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) who have children, particularly after the onset of the disease, may have a milder disease course than women without children, according to research published online Nov. 25 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

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Low Back Pain Management Guidelines Have Improved

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Guidelines on the management of acute and chronic low back pain have improved in recent years but still require greater transparency, applicability and editorial independence, according to a study in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.

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Depression Linked to Poorer Spinal Surgery Outcomes

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) patients who undergo decompressive surgery are more likely to report poorer outcomes from surgery if they were suffering from depression prior to surgery or in the early stages of recovery, according to a study in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.

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Deaths Linked to Undiagnosed Infection in Young Women

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Undiagnosed Clostridium infection is associated with toxic shock deaths in women of childbearing age who have undergone various obstetrical or gynecological procedures, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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New Cervical Spine Surgery Protocol May Reduce Delirium

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A modified perioperative protocol for elderly patients undergoing cervical spine surgery that involves early commencement of mobilization, resumption of normal circadian rhythm, and reduction or avoidance of methylprednisolone may reduce postoperative delirium risk, according to a Japanese study published in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.

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Lipid Levels Associated With Pregnancy Complications

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of triglycerides during pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus or preeclampsia, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Guidance for Platelet Therapy Before Surgery Provided

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with coronary artery disease who need an elective endoscopic gastrointestinal procedure with a high risk of bleeding, cessation of antiplatelet treatment should be avoided for at least six months after undergoing revascularization and stent placement, according to a review in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Shingles Incidence Following Varicella Vaccination Low

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of shingles (herpes zoster) resulting from the reactivation of the latent varicella-zoster virus following vaccination for chicken pox is very low, but the risk may be higher for children with asthma or those vaccinated later, according to a study in the December issue of Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

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Research Finds Exercise Helps Men With Prostate Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- An exercise program improves muscle mass and strength, function, and well-being in men with prostate cancer undergoing androgen suppression treatment, according to a study published online Nov. 30 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In another study published at the same time in the same journal, researchers identify risk factors for impaired fertility in male survivors of childhood cancers.

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Hysterectomy Linked to Better Cervical Cancer Survival

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Radical hysterectomy may provide better survival outcomes compared with radiation in women with early-stage cervical cancer whose tumors are less than 6 cm in diameter, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Passive Smoking May Increase Risk of Breast, Lung Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In nonsmokers, exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with a modestly increased risk of breast cancer and a significantly increased risk of lung cancer, according to two studies published in the December Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Study Tracks Prevalence of Down Syndrome in America

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In several regions across the country, one in 971 children and adolescents had Down syndrome in 2002, according to research assessing the prevalence of the condition published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Beta 2 Adrenergic Agonist Use During Pregnancy Examined

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The use of beta 2 adrenergic agonist medications in pregnancy can disrupt the fetus's sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system activity, possibly resulting in autism spectrum disorders, poor cognition, impaired motor function, psychiatric problems, high blood pressure and poor school performance, according to a review published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Insect Repellent Associated With Hypospadias Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The use of insect repellent during the first trimester of pregnancy may be associated with a higher risk of hypospadias in infants, according to research published online Dec. 1 in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Study Compares Cardiac, Death Risks of Diabetes Drugs

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Use of the sulphonylurea class of drugs for diabetes carries elevated risks of cardiac and all-cause death, while among drugs in the thiazolidinedione class, pioglitazone posed the lowest risk, according to an analysis published online Dec. 3 in BMJ.

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Weight Loss Can Reduce Apnea Disease Severity

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Obese men with obstructive sleep apnea who lost significant weight on a stringent diet markedly reduced the severity of their disease in comparison with a control group that did not diet, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in BMJ.

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Tool Helps Predict Mortality in Hemodialysis Patients

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A new prognostic tool may help physicians give hemodialysis patients a six-month prognosis, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Protein May Be Useful Target for Cancer Therapy

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In several types of tumors, targeting the cell surface protease known as fibroblast activation protein (FAP) can inhibit tumor growth, according to research published in the Dec. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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End-of-Life Video May Change Preferences of Cancer Patients

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced cancer who watch a video with end-of-life options after a verbal description of those options are more likely to prefer symptom relief and avoid life-prolonging care such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) compared with patients who only receive the verbal description, according to a study published online Nov. 30 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Breast-Feeding May Protect Against Metabolic Syndrome

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Women who breast-feed -- including those with a history of gestational diabetes -- may have a significantly decreased risk of developing metabolic syndrome, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in Diabetes: A Journal of the American Diabetes Association.

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Vitamin D Use Low in Primarily Breast-Fed Babies

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Relatively few infants who were mostly breast-fed for at least six months were given supplemental vitamin D, contrary to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations, according to research published online Nov. 30 in Pediatrics.

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Osteoarthritis Proves Costly for Individuals and Insurers

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Osteoarthritis (OA) is responsible for a substantial burden in health care expenditures, particularly in women, according to research published in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Community-Associated Superbug Poses Threat

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections have nearly doubled in the last decade and are adding to the problem of hospital-associated MRSA, according to a study in the December issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles Toxic in Mice

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Titanium dioxide nanoparticles, found in products such as paint and cosmetics, damage DNA and cause inflammation in mice, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of Cancer Research.

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Contrast Medium Can Increase DNA Breakage in CT Scan

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The use of contrast medium (CM) in computed tomography (CT) scanning can significantly increase DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in the peripheral blood lymphocytes, according to a study in the December issue of Radiology.

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Metabolic Syndrome Prevalent After Liver Transplant

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive liver transplants are at high risk for developing metabolic syndrome and resulting cardiovascular complications, but the impact on mortality and long-term survival are inconclusive, according to a review in the December Liver Transplantation.

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Kalbitor Approved for Hereditary Angiodema

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Kalbitor (ecallantide) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat dangerous flares of sudden fluid buildup in people with hereditary angiodema (HAE), the agency said.

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Ecstasy Identified as Risk Factor for Sleep Apnea

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The use of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea in young adults, according to research published online Dec. 2 in Neurology.

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Diabetes in Pregnancy Hikes Risk for Metabolic Syndrome

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) or gestational impaired glucose tolerance (GIGT) are at increased risk for developing metabolic syndrome after they deliver their infants, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Door-to-Balloon Alliance Has Reached Treatment Target

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The national quality campaign, the Door-to-Balloon Alliance, has succeeded in reaching the goal of 75 percent of patients presenting with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention within 90 minutes of arrival at hospital, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Volume CT Scans May Improve Lung-Cancer Workups

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients at high risk for lung cancer, volume computed tomography (CT) scanning of non-calcified pulmonary nodules over time may provide important diagnostic information, according to a study in the Dec. 3 New England Journal of Medicine.

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Increased Obesity Outweighs Gains of Decreased Smoking

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In terms of life expectancy, the positive effects of decreasing smoking are increasingly outweighed by the adverse consequences of escalating obesity, according to a study in the Dec. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Mutation Classes Linked to Cystic Fibrosis Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In cystic fibrosis patients, the classification of severity of mutations that is applied to the pancreas may also help predict pulmonary outcomes, according to research published in the December issue of Radiology.

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Lipid Profile of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Determined

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFL) have increased lipid production and changes in enzymes involved in the metabolism of lipids and fatty acids, according to a study in the December issue of Hepatology.

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Cetuximab Linked to Resection of Liver Metastases

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with colorectal liver metastases, chemotherapy with cetuximab was associated with high rates of tumor response and resection of metastases, according to research published online Nov. 25 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Rural Residents More Likely to Have Total Joint Replacement

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare beneficiaries living in rural areas may be more likely to have total knee or hip replacement surgery than urban beneficiaries, contrary to factors that would suggest the opposite relationship, according to research published in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Short-Term Follow-Up Enough for Some Benign Breast Lumps

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Women with palpable breast lesions with benign imaging features can be given short-term follow-up and have similar outcomes to those who undergo biopsy, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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Stem Cells May Improve Outcomes After Heart Attack

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Perfusing stem cells into the heart to promote repair after a heart attack is safe and improves outcomes such as cardiac arrhythmias, pulmonary function, left ventricular function and overall symptoms, according to a study in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Zegerid OTC Approved for Frequent Heartburn

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Merck & Co.'s Zegerid OTC (omeprazole/sodium bicarbonate) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat frequent heartburn, the company said Wednesday in a news release.

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Hospital Report Cards Seldom Lead to Improved Cardiac Care

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Issuing public report cards on hospitals did not result in significant improvements in cardiac care, according to a Canadian study in the Dec. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study was released early online to coincide with its presentation at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 14 to 18 in Orlando, Fla.

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H1N1 Influenza Rates Drop in Many States

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- H1N1 influenza rates are declining across the United States, but many experts say there will probably be another surge this winter, a federal health official announced Dec. 2.

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New Self-Assessment Tool for Undiagnosed Diabetes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers from Cornell University have developed a new risk-scoring model and simple self-assessment survey that can identify people who should be medically screened for diabetes, according to a study reported in the Dec. 1 Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Enzyme Therapy Brings Relief in Fabry's Disease

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with Fabry's disease improved their cardiac hypertrophy, reduced their pain, and improved their quality of life after five years of agalsidase alfa enzyme replacement therapy, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in The Lancet.

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Patient Participation Affects Medical Decision Making

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with increased responsibility for medical decision making may be less likely to accept risky treatment options, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Study Looks at Worldwide Prevalence of ICU Infections

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Over half of the patients in intensive care units (ICUs) had some kind of infection in a one day snapshot of ICU infection around the world, according to a study in the Dec. 2 Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Morphologic Changes Gauge Liver Cancer Therapy Response

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A method to assess the effect of chemotherapy on liver tumors based on morphologic changes observed on computed tomography (CT) was found to be significantly associated with pathologic response as well as with patient survival, according to a study in the Dec. 2 Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Tenofovir DF-Emtricitabine Is Effective Initial HIV Therapy

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- As initial therapy in patients with HIV-1, treatment with abacavir-lamivudine may be less successful than treatment with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (DF)-emtricitabine, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Observing Antiretroviral Therapy Yields Little Benefit

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy who administer the drugs themselves achieve similar rates of adherence to the drug regimen as those who are directly observed taking their medication, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in The Lancet.

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High-Dose Statins Found to Improve Cardio Outcomes

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- High-dose statin treatment reduces the incidence of serious cardiovascular events in patients with acute coronary syndromes who have undergone percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to a study in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Southern Residence Linked to Increased Stroke Mortality

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Birth in a Stroke Belt state and adult residence there are associated with stroke mortality risk, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of Neurology.

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Women Researchers Lag Behind Men in Grant Awards

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Female physicians with a proven interest in research are less likely to receive prestigious research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than are male physicians, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Mortality Lower With Aspirin After Therapy for Ulcer

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have experienced peptic ulcer bleeding on low-dose aspirin and who undergo endoscopic hemostatic therapy for their ulcers have increased risk for recurrent bleeding if they resume taking aspirin, but have lowered risk of death, according to a study published online Nov. 30 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Consideration of Competing Events Important for Survival

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Several risk factors may help predict the chances of competing mortality -- or death from non-cancer causes -- in patients with head and neck cancer, according to research published online Nov. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Study Links Exercise to Vasculoprotective Effects

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In mice as well as humans, exercise helps regulate telomere-stabilizing proteins and prevent stress-induced vascular apoptosis, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of Circulation.

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