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February 2010 Briefing - Internal Medicine

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Internal Medicine for February 2010. 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.

Replacement Therapy Approved for Gaucher Disease

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Velaglucerase alfa for injection (VPRIV) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat a rare inherited disorder called Gaucher disease, the agency said Friday.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Peripheral Arterial Disease Location Impacts Prognosis

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The general prognosis in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is worse in those with proximal disease than those with more distal disease, according to research published in the March 2 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Spinal Manipulation Shows Benefit for Treating Headache

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The use of chiropractic spinal manipulation for the neck and upper thoracic spine may be useful in treating cervicogenic headache (CGH), according to research published in the February issue of The Spine Journal.

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Arm Ischemia Reduces Damage After Heart Attack

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Intermittently blocking blood flow in the arm, known as remote conditioning, during the ambulance ride to the hospital (before stenting) reduces damage to the heart after a heart attack, possibly by activating protective mechanisms in the heart, according to a study in the Feb. 27 issue of The Lancet.

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Triple Combination Safely Improves Lipoprotein Parameters

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The triple combination therapy of ezetimibe/simvastatin (E/S) plus niacin safely improves several lipoprotein parameters better than E/S alone, according to a study in the Feb. 15 American Journal of Cardiology.

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Behavioral Intervention Found to Improve Low Back Pain

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A behavioral intervention that encourages physical activity in patients with chronic lower back pain reduces disability and pain and is cost-effective, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in The Lancet.

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Score May Help Determine Death Risk in Heart Failure

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A risk score that includes patient information available at discharge can identify the risk of mortality in individuals hospitalized with advanced decompensated heart failure, according to research published in the March 2 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Body Mass Index Predicts Adverse Cardiac Outcomes

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Obese and overweight patients who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to receive drug-eluting stents, are at higher risk of adverse outcomes by one-year follow-up than normal weight patients, according to a study in the Feb. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Aspirin Use in Vascular Disease Patients Assessed

THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- About 70 percent of vascular disease patients take aspirin, mainly for secondary prevention. While some non-aspirin users take other antithrombotic agents, almost 15 percent of patients take no antithrombotic agent at all, according to research published in the Feb. 15 American Journal of Cardiology.

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Link Between Diabetes and Neuroleptic Drugs Outlined

THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Mice lacking a dopamine receptor have an impaired insulin response and glucose intolerance, which may explain why certain neuroleptic drugs that block this receptor cause hyperinsulinemia or diabetes, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in Endocrinology.

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Older Maternal Age Found to Up Risk of Autism in Offspring

THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Women who give birth over the age of 40 are more likely than their younger counterparts to have a child with autism, but the father's age only affects the odds of autism when the mother is under 30, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Autism Research.

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One-Third of 20-Somethings in U.S. Lack Health Insurance

THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A large proportion of young adults in the United States are without health insurance, and men in this age group are more likely to be uninsured than women, according to a new report issued Feb. 24 by the National Center for Health Statistics.

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Questionnaire May Help Predict Chronic Low Back Pain

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with (sub) acute low back pain, the Acute Low Back Pain Screening Questionnaire Dutch Language Version (ALBPSQ-DLV) may help identify those at risk of developing chronic low back pain because of psychosocial factors, according to a study in the Feb. 15 issue of Spine.

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HPV Test Shows Better Long-Term Psychosocial Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have a test for the human papillomavirus (HPV) after receiving a borderline abnormal cervical smear result have better psychosocial outcomes over the long term than women who have a repeat smear test, according to a study published Feb. 23 in BMJ.

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Iron Treatment for Anemia May Not Help After Hip Surgery

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Iron supplementation for anemia after hip fracture surgery does not significantly improve hemoglobin levels, bringing into question the current practice of iron supplementation after orthopedic surgery, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Awareness of Heart Disease Risk Still Lacking in Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Despite some gains in public awareness, almost half of all American women are unaware that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, according to research published online Feb. 10 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Platelet Function Tests Only Modestly Predict Outcomes

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Three tests of platelet function can modestly predict outcomes such as death and stroke in patients taking clopidogrel (Plavix) and undergoing elective coronary stent implantation, but they do not identify patients at higher risk of bleeding, according to a study in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Physicians Working Fewer Hours for Lower Fees

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians in the United States have been working fewer hours for lower fees in the past decade, according to research published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Reviewing Safety of HIV Antiretroviral Combination

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has alerted health care professionals and consumers that the HIV drug combination of saquinavir (Invirase) and ritonavir (Norvir) may increase the risk of potentially serious cardiac arrhythmias in a dose-dependent manner. This is an early communication from the FDA with ongoing review of the data.

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Exercise Found to Decrease Anxiety in Chronic Illness

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In physically inactive patients with chronic conditions, exercise training may significantly reduce anxiety, according to a systematic review published in the Feb. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Novartis Updates Exjade Prescribing Information

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Novartis Oncology has alerted health care professionals about changes in the prescribing information for deferasirox (Exjade), a treatment for chronic iron overload due to blood transfusions in patients 2 years of age and older, according to a Feb. 18 safety alert issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Multi-Disciplinary Teams Cut Intensive Care Mortality

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Multi-disciplinary teams conducting daily rounds may lower the risk of mortality among medical patients in intensive care units, according to a study in the Feb. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, while another study found that there is a growing need for internal medicine education to include training in the medical management of surgical patients, in line with the growing trend of comanagement of hospitalized patients.

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Residents Want to Spend Less Time on Paperwork

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Completing clerical documentation eats up valuable time and too often does not generate any meaningful feedback for internal medicine residents, according to a study in the Feb. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Hospital-Acquired Infections Impose Heavy Burden

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital-acquired sepsis and pneumonia impose a significant financial and clinical burden, according to a study published in the Feb. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, while another study found that hospitals that keep costs down do not necessarily have poorer quality of care or higher readmission rates.

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Strategies Assist Doctors in Saying 'No' to Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- When primary care physicians need to deny patient requests for tests and treatments, strategies that incorporate the patient perspective may be most effective, according to a study in the Feb. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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FDA Reviewing Avandia Cardiovascular Safety

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has informed health care professionals that the organization is currently reviewing cardiovascular safety data associated with rosiglitazone (Avandia), a type 2 diabetes drug, from the Rosiglitazone Evaluated for Cardiovascular Outcomes and Regulation of Glycemia in Diabetes (RECORD) study as well as from other recently published safety analyses.

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Quinine Derivatives for Muscle Cramp Treatment Examined

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although quinine derivatives appear effective for muscle cramps, these agents should be avoided for routine treatment of muscle cramps due to the possibility of serious side effects, according to an article published in the Feb. 23 issue of Neurology.

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New Strategies Needed to Treat Hypertension

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- New strategies are needed to combat hypertension, which affects nearly one-third of U.S. adults and accounts for about one in six adult deaths each year, according to the new report, A Population-Based Policy and Systems Change Approach to Prevent and Control Hypertension, released Feb. 22 by the Institute of Medicine.

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Profiles of Episodic, Chronic Migraine Patients Compared

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- There are significant differences between chronic and episodic migraine sufferers in terms of sociodemographic factors and comorbidities, according to research published online Feb. 17 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

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Toxic Chemicals Released During Cooking Can Be Harmful

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Pan-frying foods such as beefsteak produces more hazardous fumes when done over a gas stove burner than on an electric cooker, which may contribute to or cause adverse health effects, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Cell-Free DNA Integrity May Serve as Marker in Kidney Cancer

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Serum cell-free DNA (cf-DNA) integrity may serve as a predictive marker for the diagnosis and detection of clear renal cell carcinoma (cRCC), according to a study in the February issue of Urology.

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Menveo Vaccine Approved for Bacterial Meningitis

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The Novartis vaccine Menveo has been approved to prevent bacterial meningitis and other health problems caused by meningococcal disease, the drug maker said in a news release.

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Bevacizumab Reduces Nose Bleeds in Inherited Condition

MONDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor bevacizumab administered by intranasal injection, or even by topical nasal spray, can effectively treat epistaxis from hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), according to reports published in The Laryngoscope.

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Medical Checklists Needed to Improve Care and Outcomes

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The checklists so common in aviation and many professions are underused in medicine and, if more widely adopted, would provide powerful tools to standardize care and improve patient outcomes, according to an article published Dec. 31 in Critical Care.

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Hormone Level of Little Help in Predicting Parathyroid Surgery

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Baseline intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) levels don't appear useful for deciding whether to perform parathyroidectomy in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), according to research published in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Enoxaparin and Unfractionated Heparin Compared

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Enoxaparin used in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) reduces the risk of adverse cardiac outcomes compared to standard therapy with unfractionated heparin (UFH), according to a study in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.

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Contraceptive Shows No Effect on Cardiac Risk in PCOS

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Oral contraceptives containing the progestin drospirenone have no effect on markers of cardiovascular risk in lean and overweight women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), according to a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Gene Variant Associated With Premenstrual Syndrome

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Female mice with a common variant of a gene affected by estrogen levels are more anxious and have impaired memory, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings could explain behavioral changes occurring during the menstrual cycle associated with conditions such as premenstrual syndrome.

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Halting Anticoagulants Lowers Post-Ablation Stroke Risk

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who undergo atrial fibrillation ablation are less likely to have a stroke if they stop taking oral anticoagulants after a few months, according to a study in the Feb. 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Intensive Statin Therapy Cuts Recurrent Cardiac Events

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- For patients who have had a cardiovascular event, intensive statin therapy reduces the risk of recurrent events better than less-intensive therapy, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Tobacco Use Linked to HPV+ Oropharynx Cancer Recurrence

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with advanced human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (SCCOP) who achieve a complete response to chemoradiation therapy, current smokers are at higher risk of disease recurrence and tend to have worse disease-specific survival, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Clinical Cancer Research.

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Many Adults in Utah Report Using Opioids Incorrectly

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In 2008, one-fifth of adults in Utah had been prescribed an opioid pain medication in the past year, with some respondents reporting use of these medications despite no prescription for them, according to an article in the Feb. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Clinical Decision Rule Predicts High-Risk Syncope Patients

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A clinical decision rule for use in patients with syncope has high sensitivity and negative predictive value, and, in combination with B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) measurement, may help identify those at high risk of serious outcomes and death, according to a study in the Feb. 23 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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New System Aims to Improve Blood Transfusion Safety

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has started a national surveillance system to monitor adverse events in patients who receive blood transfusions, the agency has announced.

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Avosentan Reduces Protein Loss, Has Serious Side Effects

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The endothelin antagonist avosentan reduces urinary protein loss in patients with type 2 diabetes and nephropathy, but substantially increases the risk of cardiovascular events, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Program Found to Increase Flu Vaccination Rates

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Through methods such as multiple vaccination sites and online monitoring of vaccination status, a campaign to increase flu vaccination rates among employees and health care workers at Johns Hopkins has proven effective, according to a study in the February issue of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

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Use of Drug-Eluting Stents in Multivessel Disease Examined

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Off-label use of drug-eluting stents has a similar or better safety profile as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and bare-metal stents in patients with multivessel disease after five years, with major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular event (MACCE) rates higher than CABG but lower than bare-metal stenting, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Drug Addition Found to Reduce Multiple Sclerosis Activity

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of daclizumab to interferon beta treatment reduces brain lesion formation in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis, possibly by increasing the number of a subset of natural killer cells, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Drug Combo Shows Benefits in Chronic Kidney Disease

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In hypertensive patients with high cardiovascular risk, benazepril and amlodipine are better at reducing progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) than benazepril with hydrochlorothiazide, according to research published online Feb. 18 in The Lancet.

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LABAs Can Harm Asthma Patients When Used Alone

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) should never be used alone to treat asthma in children or adults.

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Happy People Less Likely to Develop Heart Disease

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- People who are happy and have a positive attitude are less likely to develop heart disease, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in the European Heart Journal.

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Breast Cancer Decline Linked to Hormone Therapy Decline

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The rise and fall in U.S. breast cancer rates from 1992 to 2005 mainly reflects affluent white (non-Hispanic) women initially adopting then abandoning hormone replacement therapy (HRT) because of its breast cancer risk, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Initial Clopidogrel Response May Predict Final Response

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), a slow clopidogrel response within the first hour after loading may identify those with a low response after 24 hours and high post-treatment platelet reactivity, according to a study in the Feb. 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Revisional Bariatric Surgery Appears Safe, Effective

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Revisional bariatric surgery performed at experienced centers appears safe and effective despite a higher risk of perioperative complications compared to the primary procedures, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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FDA Issues Maalox Total Relief Warning

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to mistake Maalox Total Relief, a gastrointestinal and anti-diarrhea medication, for Maalox antacids (Maalox Advanced Regular Strength and Maalox Advanced Maximum Strength), as this could result in serious side effects.

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Platelet Transfusion Dose Has No Effect on Bleeding

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with hypoproliferative thrombocytopenia, the platelet dose in prophylactic transfusions given after a trigger threshold of 10,000 platelets per cubic millimeter or lower is reached has no significant effect on the incidence of bleeding, according to a study in the Feb. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Annual Report Shows Increase in U.S. Life Expectancy

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Advances in medical technology are transforming health care and improving life expectancy and quality of life, but equal access to technology continues to be a problem, according to Health, United States, 2009, the 33rd annual report on the nation's health status released Feb. 17 by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.

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Statins Linked to Slightly Increased Diabetes Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Although statin therapy is associated with a slightly increased risk of diabetes, the risk is outweighed by a significantly decreased risk of coronary events, according to a review article published online Feb. 17 in The Lancet.

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Exercise May Lower Risk of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In previously inactive, mostly overweight, postmenopausal women, participation in a program of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise may result in sex hormone changes that are associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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New Reports Rank Health of Every U.S. County

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- For the first time, the nation's physicians, patients, and government officials can see how their county ranks in terms of health and longevity, according to a new set of reports released Feb. 17 at a press briefing in Washington, D.C.

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Social Support Associated With Heart Attack Recovery

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients recovering from myocardial infarction who have low levels of social support (SS) are more likely to suffer from angina, be more depressed, and have poorer quality of life than patients with high levels of SS, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in Circulation: Quality and Outcomes.

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Socioeconomic Bias of New Clinical Aptitude Test Assessed

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A new aptitude test, the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT), used to assess medical and dental school applicants, does not completely reduce inherent socioeconomic bias associated with aptitude testing but may be better than using academic achievement alone, according to a study published Feb. 16 in BMJ.

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Updated Guideline Helps Identify Heart Risks in Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The updated 2007 American Heart Association guideline for cardiovascular disease prevention in women identifies cardiovascular risk with accuracy similar to that of current Framingham risk categories. However, women were underrepresented in randomized clinical trials that led to creation of the guideline, according to two reports published online Feb. 16 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality Outcomes.

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Hormone Oxytocin Offers Possible Autism Treatment

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with the hormone oxytocin improves social interactions and performance, and enhances feelings of trust in subjects with high-functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome during simulated social interaction, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Study Finds Low Heritability for Tinnitus in General

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic factors appear to be of relatively low importance in tinnitus, according to research published in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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New Monitor Detects, Quantifies Atrial Fibrillation

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Reveal XT -- the first implantable, leadless cardiac monitor with dedicated atrial fibrillation detection capabilities -- can accurately detect and quantify atrial fibrillation, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.

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Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents Safety Plan Approved

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Under a new safety plan approved Feb. 16 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, physicians will be required to provide all patients prescribed Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents (ESAs) with a Medication Guide, and to receive specific training and certification for the proper use of these agents in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

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Aspirin Use Linked to Fewer Breast Cancer Deaths

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Women with breast cancer who take aspirin several days a week have a lower risk of death or recurrence, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Lumbar Fusion Linked to Improved Driver Reaction Time

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The driver reaction time (DRT) in patients a week after lumbar fusion surgery is not significantly slower than their preoperative DRT, and after three months recovery their DRT may be faster than their preoperative DRT, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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Genetic Risk Scores Not Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Comprehensive literature-based genetic risk scores do not improve the prediction of cardiovascular risk among Caucasian women, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Chronic Conditions Becoming More Common in Children

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic health conditions have become increasingly more common in children in recent decades, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Genomic Markers Linked to Heart Disease

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in chromosome 9p21 are associated with heart disease, particularly in younger people, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Photodynamic Therapy Found to Strengthen Rat Vertebrae

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Photodynamic therapy (PDT) improves the spinal bone structure, stiffness and strength in rats and may offer a way to ablate metastatic tumor tissue and strengthen the spines of human cancer patients, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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Racial Disparities Seen in New York Surgical Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In New York City, minority patients are significantly less likely than Caucasians to use high-volume surgeons and hospitals when undergoing procedures with an established volume-mortality association, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Risk Factors Often Present in Cases of SIDS

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is often accompanied by multiple risk factors, many of which are modifiable, which call for more inclusive and comprehensive risk-reduction education, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Modest Genetic Differences Seen in Streptococcus Strains

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Group A Streptococcus strains from successive epidemics have relatively modest genetic differences but very different global gene expression, which may provide clues about their biology, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Botox Injections Found to Reduce Migraine Frequency

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Migraineurs who received botulinum toxin type A (BTX) injections have substantially decreased frequency of migraine headaches, but the relief is highly dependent on the type of migraine, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Poor Sleep Linked to More Car Accidents in Teenagers

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Poor sleep habits are associated with a higher risk of car accidents among teenagers, according to a study in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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Superficial Venous Thrombosis May Herald Greater Risks

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Given that many patients with superficial venous thrombosis (SVT) also have deep venous thrombosis (DVT) at presentation, and a considerable number develop thromboembolic complications in following months, SVT may be more of a concern than previously thought, according to research published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Outcomes Found to Be Poor in South Carolina Stroke Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In South Carolina, patients hospitalized for an initial stroke have an elevated short- and long-term risk of recurrent stroke, heart attack, vascular death, and all-cause death, according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of Neurology.

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Cardiac Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy Studied

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Hormone replacement therapy that includes estrogen plus progestin may not reduce the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) during the first several years of treatment in women who started hormone therapy near menopause, according to research published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Effect of Cigar, Pipe Smoke on Lung Function Assessed

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Cigar and pipe smoking have been linked with higher urine cotinine levels and airflow obstruction, even in those who have never smoked cigarettes, according to research published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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NSAIDs Not Found to Affect Skin Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) does not have any effect on the risk for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), according to a California study published online Feb. 15 in the Archives of Dermatology.

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Supplement Shown to Be Helpful in Metformin Patients

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) taking metformin, folic acid supplementation may help enhance metformin's benefits on the vascular endothelium, and maintain homocysteine (Hcy) levels, according to research published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Accuracy of Postpartum Screening Tools Evaluated

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Depression is common in postpartum, low-income, urban mothers attending well-child care (WCC) visits, which may be identified by pediatricians with three screening tools, but cutoff scores may need to be changed to more accurately identify depression depending on the population and the screening tool utilized, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Metastatic Prostate Cancer Mechanism Identified

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- An oncogene tumor-suppressor cascade may drive metastatic prostate cancer, according to research published online Feb. 14 in Nature Medicine.

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Severe Sleep Apnea Linked to Fewer Nightmares

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) report fewer nightmares, according to a study in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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Gender Differences Seen in CABG Operative Mortality

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Women who undergo coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery have significantly higher operative mortality (OM) than men having the same surgery, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Treating Herpes May Slow HIV in Co-Infected Patients

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In patients co-infected with HIV-1 and herpes simplex virus type 2, treating the herpes infection with acyclovir likely delays the progression of HIV, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in The Lancet.

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Seminal Plasma, Not Cells May Be Key to HIV Transmission

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In HIV infection resulting from men having sex with men (MSM), the infection is likely transmitted via HIV RNA in the plasma constituent of semen, not by the HIV DNA located in seminal cells, according to a study in the Feb. 10 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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Lifestyle Changes Found to Improve Endothelial Function

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Lifestyle changes such as a low-fat diet and regular exercise improve endothelial function and inflammatory markers of atherosclerosis in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Physical Activity Surveillance Methods Need Improvement

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Relying on self-reported data to study disparities in physical activity can produce misleading information about population-wide trends, and surveillance should be revised to use more objective methods of data collection, according to research published online Feb. 10 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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2009 H1N1-Related Deaths and Hospitalizations Examined

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided updated estimates of the 2009 H1N1 cases, related hospitalizations and deaths, with approximately 57 million cases occurring between April 2009 and January 2010.

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Immunization Information Systems More Widely Used

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Immunization information systems (IIS) that consolidate vaccination data from different health care providers and can be used to remind and recall patients are becoming more widely used by vaccination grantees, according to an article published in the Feb. 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Decaffeinated Coffee May Impair Glucose Metabolism

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Although earlier research has linked decaffeinated coffee to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, the beverage has been found to impair glucose metabolism in healthy young men, but less so than caffeinated beverages, according to research published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Fenofibrate Linked to Lower Creatinine Clearance

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of fenofibrate in type 2 diabetes is linked to lowered measures of renal function but has no effect on albumin excretion rate, according to research published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Eating Walnuts May Improve Diabetic Endothelial Function

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A diet rich in walnuts helps type 2 diabetes patients improve endothelium-dependent vasodilatation, and may in turn reduce their overall cardiac risk, according to a study published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Stenosis Can Still Exist in Absence of Coronary Calcium

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In contradiction of professional guidelines, the absence of coronary calcification in blood vessels does not rule out the potential existence of stenosis, and should not be used to decide if revascularization is needed, according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Emotional Stress Can Trigger Acute Coronary Syndrome

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Emotional stress, such as that experienced by a spectator at a major sporting event, can increase serum levels of inflammatory biochemicals that can trigger an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) event, according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Antiplatelet Therapy Approaches for PCI Evaluated

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive a loading dose of clopidogrel just before percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) have similar ischemic and mortality outcomes to those who receive the antiplatelet therapy well in advance of the procedure (as recommended in professional guidelines), according to research published in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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MRI Benefit in Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Questioned

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in addition to the usual triple assessment for breast cancer diagnosis does not reduce the risk of repeat operation and is not a good use of resources, according to a study published in the Feb. 13 issue of The Lancet.

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Mnemonic Device for Patient Decision-Making Assessed

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Clinicians who must quickly assess a patient's capacity to make an emergency treatment decision can now fall back on a new mnemonic device, "CURVES," developed at Johns Hopkins University and reviewed in the February issue of Chest.

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Breast Arterial Calcium Not Found to Be Predictive of CAD

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Breast arterial calcium (BAC) deposits that show up on mammograms are not a useful tool for predicting the odds of coronary artery disease in women who are at medium or high risk, according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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BP Drugs, Retinal Vessel Diameter in Diabetes Studied

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus who have normal blood pressure, neither angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors nor angiotensin-receptor blockers have an effect on retinal arteriole or venule diameter, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Gout Associated With Higher Heart Attack Risk in Women

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Gout is associated with an increased risk of heart attack in women, as previously observed in men, although the risk is higher in women, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Study Finds Speckle Tracking Aids in Patient Selection

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Radial dyssynchrony by speckle tracking may be useful in predicting response to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) in patients with borderline QRS and wide QRS durations, according to research published in the February Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging.

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Protein May Block Letrozole Therapy in Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The overexpression of low-molecular-weight cyclin E (LMW-E) in the tumors of many menopausal women with estrogen-receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancers nullifies the effects of letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor. However, letrozole's effect can be restored by adding the cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) inhibitor roscovitine to treatment, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in Clinical Cancer Research.

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Lactation May Protect Women Against Metabolic Syndrome

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Longer duration of breast-feeding can help women, particularly those who developed gestational diabetes mellitus, by reducing their risk of developing the metabolic syndrome, according to a study in the February issue of Diabetes

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FDA: Automated External Defibrillators Recalled

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiac Science Corporation has announced the worldwide voluntary recall of a number of their automated external defibrillators (AEDs) due to the inability of these devices to deliver therapy during resuscitation, which can result in serious complications and death, according to a Feb. 9 safety alert issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Hormone Replacement Therapy Linked to Higher Asthma Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women who use hormone replacement therapy consisting of estrogen alone are at higher risk of developing asthma, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Thorax.

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Systemic Treatment Deemed Effective for Giant-Cell Tumor

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Denosumab, an antibody that targets cells involved in bone destruction, is the first systemic treatment shown to be effective in treating giant-cell tumor, a rare osteolytic tumor that can metastasize to the lung, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Laparoscopic Practice Takes Physical Toll on Surgeons

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Many surgeons who perform laparoscopic surgery suffer pain, numbness, stiffness, fatigue and other physical symptoms, often as a result of high case load, according to a study published online Dec. 24 ahead of print in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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Needleless Intravenous Valve Cause of Worldwide Recall

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) and Acacia, Inc. have announced the voluntary recall of any products containing the Q-Syte Luer Access Device, including BD's Nexiva Closed Intravenous (IV) Catheter System and Acacia's IV Extension Sets. The use of affected devices may cause an air embolism or fluid leakage, which can result in serious complications and death.

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Dietary Supplement Suspected of Causing Selenium Poisoning

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A liquid dietary supplement that contained 200 times the labeled concentration of selenium caused a widespread outbreak of selenium poisoning affecting 201 people in 10 states, according to a study published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Migraine Associated With Cardiovascular Events, Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Migraines -- both with and without aura -- are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular events and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to research published online Feb. 10 in Neurology.

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Magnesium Found Beneficial for Postmenopausal Women

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In postmenopausal women, increased magnesium intake is associated with lower levels of some markers of systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, according to a study in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Study Finds Link Between Genetic Variations, Stuttering

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Some cases of stuttering may be related to variations in genes that play a role in lysosomal metabolism, according to research published online Feb. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Study Supports Accelerated Whole-Breast Irradiation

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Whole-breast irradiation spread over fewer days (accelerated, hypofractionated radiation) following breast-conserving surgery for cancer appears non-inferior to standard radiation treatment, according to research published in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. This adds to a study recently released Online First in The Lancet Oncology, which showed that hypofractionated radiotherapy for breast cancer patients may provide a better quality of life with no evidence of an increase in adverse effects.

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Youth Cardiovascular Risk Factors Linked to Early Death

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiovascular risk factors in childhood are associated with a higher rate of premature death from endogenous causes, according to research published in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Draft Diagnostic Criteria for DSM-5 Are Released

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Proposed revisions to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) were released Feb. 10 by the American Psychiatric Association.

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Rural Diabetes Impact Calls for Variety of Outreach Solutions

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The burden of diabetes in rural communities points to a need for strategies to improve diabetes care in these areas, according to an article published in the Jan. 1 issue of Clinical Diabetes.

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Reducing Skin Toxicity During Cancer Treatment Studied

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Preemptive treatment reduces the development of high-grade skin toxicity (the most common adverse event observed with inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor) by more than half in patients with colorectal cancer receiving panitumumab-containing therapy, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Better Quality of Life Linked to Hypofractionated Radiation Doses

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Radiation given as fewer but larger doses (hypofractionated radiotherapy) is associated with better quality of life than the standard treatment of more lower doses in women with early-stage breast cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in The Lancet Oncology.

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AHRQ: U.S. Adults Seeing Big Barriers to Specialty Care

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In 2007, about one in 13 of U.S. adults reported that access to specialist care was a "big problem," according to a December report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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FDA Initiative Aims to Cut Medical Radiation Exposure

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new initiative that aims to reduce exposure to radiation from computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies and fluoroscopy, the three procedures that are the main sources of medically-related radiation exposure.

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Tamoxifen Treatment Linked to Worse Cognitive Function

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women with breast cancer have worse cognitive function after treatment with tamoxifen but not exemestane, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Active Bowel Disease May Increase Blood Clot Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a much greater risk of suffering a venous thromboembolism than people in the general population without the bowel condition, particularly during periods of active disease, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in The Lancet.

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Bedside Blood Test Found to Detect Anticoagulation Status

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new bedside blood test can be used to determine the sufficiency of anticoagulation in patients who are about to undergo catheterization or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Neutralizing Antibodies to Interferon Beta May Persist

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- After cessation of interferon beta therapy for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, neutralizing antibodies to interferon beta can persist, and their presence is associated with poorer clinical outcomes, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Crestor Approval Expanded

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for Crestor (rosuvastatin) has been widened to include people who have no obvious symptoms of heart disease, Dow Jones reported.

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Pathway Activation Profiles Linked to Cancer Survival

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), particular oncogenic pathway activation profiles are associated with recurrence-free survival, and these profiles vary depending on the age and gender of the individual, according to research published in the Feb. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Use of Feeding Tubes in Adults With Dementia Varies Widely

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Feeding tube insertions in older individuals with advanced cognitive impairment -- a practice that has drawn scrutiny in the literature -- varied widely in U.S. hospitals during a recent period, according to research published in the Feb. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Gastric Banding Tested for Weight Loss in Obese Teens

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In a study of obese Australian adolescents, 84 percent who underwent laparoscopic gastric banding lost more than half their excess weight compared to just 12 percent in a lifestyle-intervention program, according to a study in the Feb. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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New Research Points to Threat in Thirdhand Tobacco Smoke

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Nicotine left on surfaces from tobacco smoke can combine with ambient nitrous oxide to create carcinogens, raising new concern over the health effects of so-called thirdhand smoke, according to research published online Feb. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Executive Dysfunction With High BP May Help Predict Dementia

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In elderly adults, executive dysfunction -- but not memory dysfunction -- accompanied by hypertension may help predict progression to dementia and provide an opportunity to intervene, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Paroxetine May Compromise the Efficacy of Tamoxifen

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Women with breast cancer who take tamoxifen and the antidepressant paroxetine (Paxil), which has been hypothesized to reduce the effectiveness of tamoxifen, may be at higher risk of dying of breast cancer, according to research published online Feb. 8 in BMJ.

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Older Maternal Age Linked to Incidence of Type 1 Diabetes

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A small percentage of older mothers may be more likely to give birth to children with type 1 diabetes, according to a meta-analysis published in the February issue of Diabetes.

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Age-Related Treatment and Outcomes in Stroke Examined

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Older people who suffer ischemic stroke are more likely to die in the hospital than younger stroke victims, though disparities in care by age group have been reduced or eliminated in recent years, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Circulation.

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Bevacizumab May Benefit Choroidal Neovascularization

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Intravitreal bevacizumab treatment produces superior results in treating juxtafoveal choroidal neovascularization secondary to pathologic myopia compared with laser treatment and photodynamic therapy, according to a pilot study published online Feb. 8 in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Reimbursement Changes in Office Endoscopies Studied

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A 2005 increase in Medicare reimbursement to encourage office-based endoscopic surgeries for bladder cancer instead of more costly hospital surgeries had the unintended effect of disproportionately increasing in-office procedures and driving up Medicare costs, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Cancer.

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CD Increases Knowledge, Comfort With Genetic Testing

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A CD-based educational aid can increase knowledge of and comfort with genetic testing in patients at high risk of developing cancer, and may facilitate informed consent, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Impact of HIV Drug Adherence Programs Evaluated

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In HIV patients treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the efficacy of interventions promoting adherence to the drug regimen appears linked to how well standard care is delivered, according to a review published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Outcomes Improving in Asymptomatic Carotid Stenosis

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis (ACS), intensive medical therapy has significantly reduced microemboli on transcranial Doppler as well as cardiovascular events, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Needle Length May Affect Vaccination Results in Obese

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The reduced immune response seen in obese adolescents and adults following hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination may be due in part to insufficient needle penetration of muscle, according to research published online Feb. 8 in Pediatrics.

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Coronary Risk Information May Benefit High Risk Patients

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Adults at moderate to high risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) may be more likely to seek treatment if they are given a quantitative estimate of their risk odds in the form of CHD risk information, but the population-wide effect of disseminating such information remains unclear, according to a review published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Glaucoma Drugs Associated With Lower Mortality

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Among glaucoma patients, the use of any class of glaucoma drug is associated with a significantly lower likelihood of dying, according to a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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AHA/ACC Offer Guidance for Dangerous Arrhythmia

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalized patients taking QT-prolonging drugs may be at risk for drug-induced long-QT syndrome (LQTS) and should be closely monitored by electrocardiogram (ECG) for the incidence of the serious arrhythmia known as torsade de pointes (TdP), according to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology Foundation published online Feb. 8 in Circulation.

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Drug Found to Inhibit, Reverse Osteoporosis in Rodents

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- An investigational drug that blocks the synthesis of serotonin in the gut prevents and reverses osteoporosis in a rodent model of the disease by promoting bone formation, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in Nature Medicine.

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Fewer States Preempting Local Smoke-Free Rules

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Some progress has been made on the Healthy People 2010 goal of eliminating state laws which enable states to preempt local restrictions on smoke-free areas that are more stringent than state laws, according to an article published in the Feb. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Soft Drinks Linked to Pancreatic Cancer in Chinese

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Consuming two or more soft drinks per week may be associated with a higher risk of pancreatic cancer in middle-aged and elderly Chinese individuals, although results from previous studies in primarily Caucasian populations have been mixed, according to a study in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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H1N1 Vaccination Still Highly Recommended

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Despite H1N1 virus levels stabilizing, transmission remains an issue and vaccination continues to be an effective option for prevention of this potentially serious condition, according to a Feb. 5 press briefing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

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Racial Disparities in Perinatal HIV Infections Decline Slightly

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Racial disparities in perinatal HIV diagnoses have declined in recent years, although African-Americans and Hispanics still account for the majority of infections, according to research published in the Feb. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Few Women Taking Tamoxifen to Prevent Breast Cancer

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Well below 1 percent of American women without a personal history of breast cancer have been taking tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer in the past decade, according to a report in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Many American Adults Do Not Get Recommended Vaccines

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although most parents ensure their children are vaccinated, adults often do not receive recommended vaccinations themselves, according to a new report, Adult Immunization: Shots to Save Lives.

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Physical Inactivity, Not Just Lack of Exercise, Harms Health

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Sedentary behavior and a lack of whole-body movement are independent predictors of increased mortality and increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, regardless of level of physical exercise, according to an article published online Feb. 4 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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FDA Warns of Link Between Natalizumab, Brain Infection

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- On Feb. 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified health care professionals and patients that the risk of developing a rare but serious brain infection increases as the number of natalizumab (Tysabri) infusions received increases.

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Study Examines Effects of Different Meals After Exercise

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Maintaining a carbohydrate or energy deficit after an exercise session appears to be associated with different effects on insulin sensitivity, according to research published online Dec. 31 ahead of print in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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Coalition Launches Campaign to Limit Residents' Hours

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- To prevent medical errors caused by doctor fatigue, a coalition of public interest and patient safety groups is urging the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to limit the amount of time residents must work without sleep to 16 hours and to increase resident supervision.

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Study Assesses Survival in Patients With Liver Disease

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) have a higher risk of death than the general population, according to research published in the February issue of Hepatology.

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GAD Antibodies Linked to Increased Risk of Diabetes

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals are more likely to develop diabetes if they produce high levels of glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (GADAs), regardless of a family history of diabetes, according to a study in the February issue of Diabetes.

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Thomas Medical Announces Recall of Safesheath Product

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Thomas Medical Products Inc. have notified health care professionals of a recall of certain lots of the Safesheath Coronary Sinus Guide Hemostatic Introducer System with Infusion Sideport.

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Cyclin D2 Shows Role in β-Cell Expansion in Mouse Model

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The cell cycle protein cyclin D2 appears necessary for β-cell mass to expand in response to insulin resistance, suggesting that it may be useful in preventing or curing type 2 diabetes, according to research published online Jan. 26 in Diabetes.

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Many African-Americans Do Not Protect Skin From the Sun

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Many African-Americans are not protecting their skin from sun damage, with less than a third always using even one form of sun protection, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Fat Hormone Secretion Suppressed in PCOS

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Secretion of the hormone adiponectin from adipocytes in response to cytokines or adipose tissue macrophages is suppressed in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), according to a study in the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Diabetes Patients, Doctors May Have Different Health Priorities

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- While diabetes patients with comorbidities and their primary care providers are usually in concordance over what their health priorities are, concordance tends to be lower among the least healthy patients and those with non-health competing demands, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Closed-Loop Insulin Delivery Helps Young Diabetes Patients

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Young type 1 diabetes patients could be at reduced risk of nocturnal hypoglycemia if they use closed-loop insulin delivery, which responds to blood sugar levels to deliver insulin, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in The Lancet.

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Whole Grain Intake Found Deficient in Young People

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The mean daily consumption of whole grains by adolescents and young people is far below the recommended minimum of three servings a day, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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Blood Sugar Levels Shown to Affect Reward Preferences

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Blood glucose levels appear to affect whether a person is more likely to prefer a reward now or later, according to a study published online Jan. 20 in Psychological Science.

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Health Care Spending Makes Record Leap in GDP Share

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A growth in health spending in 2009, coupled with a sagging economy, created the largest one-year jump in health care's share of the nation's gross domestic product since 1960, according to an article published online Feb. 4 in Health Affairs.

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No Rebound Seen in Platelet Aggregation After Clopidogrel

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- There was no rebound in platelet aggregation (PA) observed in cardiovascular patients who stopped taking clopidogrel abruptly or tapered off the medication gradually after the prescribed course of treatment, according to a study in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Positive Dipstick Heme Results Appear to Need More Scrutiny

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Patients testing positive on dipstick heme tests should have confirmation with microscopic urinalysis before they're further evaluated or referred to a urologist, according to research published in the February issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Herbal Remedies Linked to Asthma Medicine Adherence

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Inner-city asthma patients who use herbal remedies are less likely to take their asthma medication, possibly due to concerns about adverse effects, according to a study in the February issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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Worldwide Burden of Retinal Vein Occlusion Evaluated

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Retinal vein occlusion may affect 16.4 million adults worldwide, according to an article in the February issue of Ophthalmology.

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Views of Physicians, Patients Differ on Spinal Surgery

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Surgeons, family physicians, and their patients have different perceptions of what constitutes good grounds for spinal surgery, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.

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Steroids in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Studied

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) may have only a modest benefit in preventing disease exacerbations, according to a systematic review and metaregression published in the February issue of Chest.

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Drugs May Be Beneficial in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration, intravitreal bevacizumab or ranibizumab may help stabilize the loss of visual acuity, according to a study in the February issue of Ophthalmology.

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Latent Tuberculosis Infection Therapy Compliance Examined

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Shorter regimens and interventions for latent tuberculosis infection targeting patients that reside in a nursing home, jail or shelter; injection drugs users; and employees of health care facilities may improve treatment completion, according to a study in the February issue of Chest.

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Diversity Growth Incremental in the Medical Professions

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- One hundred years after the Flexner Report recommended closing five of the seven African-American medical schools then extant, African-Americans and other minorities remain grossly underrepresented in the medical professions, according to an article in the February issue of Academic Medicine.

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Study Finds Antibiotics Benefit Buruli Ulcer Treatment

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Early and limited Buruli ulcer, an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, can be safely and effectively treated with antibiotics without surgery, according to a study published online on Feb. 4 in The Lancet.

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Surgery Not Necessarily Better for Lumbar Disc Herniation

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Both surgical and non-surgical treatments for lumbar disc herniation are effective, and the relative long-term benefits of surgery may differ depending on whether or not the patient has workers' compensation, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Linked to Depression

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be at an increased risk of developing depression, according to a study in the February issue of Chest.

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Communication Found Possible With Some Coma Patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Basic communication can be established with some disorders-of-consciousness patients who are otherwise unresponsive, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure neuroanatomically specific, blood-oxygenation-level-dependent responses to mental imagery tasks, according to a study published online Feb. 3 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Lower Serum Vitamin D Levels Linked to Asthma Severity

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Lung function tends to be worse and glucocorticoid response poorer in asthma patients who have lower serum levels of vitamin D, according to a study published online Jan. 14 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Not All Terminally Ill Receive Desired End-of-Life Care

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Most terminally ill patients receive end-of-life care consistent with their stated preferences, and are more likely to receive the care they prefer if they have discussed their preferences with a physician, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Visual Impairment Linked to Increased Risk of Falls

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In Latino adults, central visual impairment and peripheral visual impairment are independently associated with an increased risk of falls and fall-related injuries, according to a study in the February issue of Ophthalmology.

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Vendors of Imaging Equipment Urged to Allow Tracked Exposure

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Due to the increasing exposure to diagnostic radiation, vendors of imaging equipment should allow tracking of radiation exposure, according to an opinion article in the February Journal of the American College of Radiology. A related opinion in the same issue notes that diagnostic radiation exposure has the potential to harm not only the individual but also future generations through processes such as epigenetics.

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Role of Artemin in Endometrial Cancer Investigated

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Endometrial tumors that produce high levels of artemin are more oncogenic and invasive, according to a study published online Jan. 29 in Endocrinology.

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The Lancet Retracts Study Linking MMR Vaccine, Autism

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- On Feb. 2, The Lancet retracted a controversial 1998 study that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism and gastrointestinal problems.

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Symptoms Poor Predictors of Ovarian Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Despite a recent consensus statement encouraging use of certain symptoms in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer, symptoms such as abdominal pain or urinary urgency are poor predictors of the disease, particularly early-stage disease, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Hippocampal Volume Found to Increase With Aerobic Exercise

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Aerobic exercise can increase the volume of the hippocampus in schizophrenia patients, and may have a role in the treatment of disabilities associated with the condition, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Xiaflex Approved for Rare Hand Condition

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Collagenase clostridium histolyticum (Xiaflex) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the first drug to treat a disabling hand condition called Dupuytren's contracture.

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Study Assesses Computer Use in Individuals With RA

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Many people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can type on a computer as quickly as someone without the condition, but their use of a mouse may be slower, according to research published in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Cost Barrier Linked to Less Health Behavior Counseling

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- When patients are required to pay for previously free health behavior counseling, use of the services drops dramatically, according to research published online Feb. 2 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Clinicians Need to Be Aware of Patient Use of Herbal Products

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Health care professionals need to be aware of their patients' use of herbal remedies, which can adversely interact with many common cardiovascular medications, according to a review in the Feb. 9 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Growth Hormone Deficiency Not Found to Affect Lifespan

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Isolated growth hormone deficiency (IGHD) has no effect on longevity once the individual reaches adulthood, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Computed Tomography Shows Advantage in Heart Disease

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Computed tomography (CT) appears to hold an advantage over magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for ruling out coronary artery disease, according to research published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Significance of Proteinuria Levels in Kidney Failure Studied

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- At a given level of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), individuals with higher levels of proteinuria face greater risks of mortality, myocardial infarction, and progression to kidney failure, according to research published in the Feb. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Anticoagulation and Risk of VTE Studied in Suspected DVT

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with suspected lower extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT), those with a negative whole-leg compression ultrasound (CUS) and no anticoagulation therapy are at low risk of venous thromboembolism, according to a meta-analysis reported in the Feb. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Antidepressant May Aid Post-Stroke Cognitive Recovery

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients who receive the antidepressant escitalopram within three months of their stroke show improvement in cognitive functioning as compared to those receiving either placebo or Problem Solving Therapy, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Omega-3s May Reduce Risk of Developing Psychotic Disorder

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Young people with subclinical psychotic symptoms who take omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may have reduced risk of progression to a full-blown psychotic disorder, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Cognitive Test May Predict Brain Infarction in Elderly Men

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In elderly men, impaired performance on a cognitive test is an independent predictor of brain infarction, according to a study published in the Feb. 2 issue of Neurology.

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Androgen Deprivation Therapy and Cardiac Risk Link Assessed

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The use of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) to treat prostate cancer may be associated with cardiovascular risk, according to an article published online Feb. 1 in Circulation.

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Extended Use of Nicotine Patch Linked to Benefits

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The use of transdermal nicotine patches for an extended duration, compared to the standard eight-week therapy, may improve the chances of smoking abstinence, according to research published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Estrogen Levels Linked to Breast Cancer Gene Expression

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Plasma estrogen levels are correlated with the expression of estrogen-dependent genes in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancers, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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President Proposes $911 Billion Budget for HHS

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- As part of his 2011 budget proposal, President Barack Obama has proposed $911 billion for the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, according to a Feb. 1 announcement by the secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius.

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Study Doesn't Support Drug for Pericardial Effusion

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with pericardial effusion following heart surgery, the use of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac doesn't reduce the size of the effusions or lower the risk of late cardiac tamponade, according to research published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Grouping Primary Care Disciplines May Distort Policy

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The practice of grouping pediatrics, internal medicine and family medicine under the classification of primary care may result in distorted data because the three groups may not share the same view of health economics or have the same economic preferences underlying their choice of career, according to an article published online Feb. 1 in Pediatrics.

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Transplant Type Found to Have No Effect on Leukemia Survival

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In leukemia patients, long-term survival rates are similar in those who were transplanted with either peripheral blood stem cells or bone marrow, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Antioxidants Found to Alter Muscle Oxygen Use in Rats

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Antioxidants alter the pattern of oxygen delivery and consumption in resting and contracting muscle in aged rats, according to recent studies at Kansas State University, including research originally published in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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BMI Thresholds May Be Too Restrictive for Older Adults

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Body mass index thresholds are too restrictive for older adults, who are at no greater risk of mortality if they are overweight versus normal weight, according to a study in the February issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Postpartum Period Good Time to Help Parents Quit Smoking

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The immediate postpartum hospital stay presents a good opportunity for a health intervention to encourage smoking parents to quit, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Pediatrics.

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Adrenal Condition's Effects on Women's Fertility Studied

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Women with nonclassical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (NC-CAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency have only mild fertility problems, but clinicians should consider treating them with glucocorticoids to lower their risk of miscarriage, according to a study published online Jan. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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New Rules Require Parity for Mental Health Benefits

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Group health plans will no longer be able to limit benefits for mental health or substance abuse disorders, or require patients to pay more for these benefits, according to new rules issued by the U.S. government on Jan. 29.

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FDA Revises Label for the HIV Drug Didanosine

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with HIV, use of Videx or Videx EC (didanosine) may increase the risk of non-cirrhotic portal hypertension, according to a Safety Announcement released Jan. 29 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has revised the Warning and Precautions section of the didanosine drug label to assure safe use of the medication.

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