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June 2008 Briefing - Internal Medicine

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Internal Medicine for June 2008. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Gastric Bypass May Raise Risk of Kidney Stones

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Morbidly obese patients who undergo Roux-en-Y gastric bypass are at risk of developing kidney stones as early as three months after surgery, researchers report in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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Waist Size Determines Cardiovascular Disease Risk

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Waist circumference is effective in determining the risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, and is as effective as body mass index (BMI) in identifying individuals with cardiovascular risk factors, according to the results of a study published in the July 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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CDC: Diabetes Prevalence on the Rise in the United States

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of diabetes in the United States rose more than 3 million in roughly two years, according to data released June 24 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Sexually Transmitted Infections Rising Among Older Adults

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Between 1996 and 2003, the rate of sexually transmitted infections other than HIV more than doubled among people older than age 45 in the United Kingdom, according to a report published online June 27 in Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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Nurse Understaffing Adversely Affects Patients

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals are routinely dealing with nurse understaffing through the use of voluntary and mandatory overtime, a practice that leads to adverse patient outcomes and increases nurse burnout, according to an article published in the June issue of the AORN Journal.

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Drug Therapy Found Effective in Crohn's Disease

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents are effective in treating both luminal and fistulizing Crohn's disease but further safety studies need to be done, according to an article published in the June issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Declining Hospitalizations for Bleeding Esophageal Varices

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- While the incidence of esophageal bleeding may be declining due to primary and secondary prophylaxis, the pervasiveness of portal hypertension is leading to an increased incidence of non-bleeding esophageal varices, according to an article published in the June issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Gastroenterology Malpractice Claims Analyzed

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- While the procedural nature of gastroenterology leads to a perception of increased legal risk, there are relatively few malpractice claims and payments, according to an article published in the June issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Sudden Hearing Loss Linked to Increased Stroke Risk

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- After an acute episode of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL), individuals have an increased risk of stroke, according to research published online June 26 in the journal Stroke.

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Higher Albuminuria Levels Associated with Hypertension

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Having a higher albumin/creatinine ratio -- even if it's in the range considered "normal" -- is associated with an increased risk of incident hypertension in women without diabetes, according to a report published online June 25 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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One in Eight Taiwanese Has Chronic Kidney Disease

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- About 12 percent of the Taiwanese population has chronic kidney disease, which nearly doubles their risk of death, though most are unaware that they have the disorder, researchers report in the June 28 issue of The Lancet.

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Program Improves Outcomes in Pregnant Substance Abusers

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Perinatal outcomes are significantly better when women with substance abuse problems receive treatment integrated with prenatal visits, according to research published online June 26 in the Journal of Perinatology.

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U.K. Doctors Must Change View of National Health Service

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- As the U.K.'s National Health Service reaches its 60th anniversary, its doctors should revise their vision of the organization from one primarily based on the employee/employer relationship to grapple with the true scale of the challenges that the NHS faces, according to an opinion piece published in the June 28 issue of The Lancet.

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Clean Water for All Can Cut Global Disease Burden

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Safe supplies of drinking water, along with improved sanitation and hygiene, could reduce the global burden in disease by 9.1 percent and reduce it by 15 percent in the 32 worst-affected countries, according to an editorial published in the June 28 issue of The Lancet.

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Most Heterosexual HIV Spread in Africa Within Couples

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of heterosexually acquired HIV transmission in urban Zambia and Rwanda occurs within married or cohabitating couples, suggesting that voluntary counseling or testing for couples is needed, according to a report in the June 28 issue of The Lancet.

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Merits of International Medical Conferences Debated

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Are international medical conferences an outdated luxury the planet can't afford? That's the subject of a "Head to Head" debate published in the June 28 issue of BMJ.

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Buprenorphine Maintenance Best for Heroin Addicts

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Maintenance treatment of detoxified heroin addicts with buprenorphine is more effective in sustaining abstinence and delaying resumption of heroin use compared with naltrexone or placebo, researchers report in the June 28 issue of The Lancet.

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Guanylyl Cyclase C May Offer Therapeutic Cancer Target

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Guanylyl cyclase C (GCC), which is expressed in intestinal epithelial cells and colorectal tumors, may represent a therapeutic target for metastatic colon cancer, according to the results of a study in mice published in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Screening Vital for Relatives of Long-QT Patients

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- It is becoming increasingly common for children to be identified with congenital long-QT syndrome because of family screening, and with appropriate therapy, survival is excellent among both probands and non-probands, according to a report published in the June 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Silent Infarcts Found in Many Without Stroke History

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- More than 10 percent of subjects without a history of clinical stroke showed at least one silent cerebral infarction on MRI, according to research from a Framingham Offspring Study sample published online June 26 in the journal Stroke.

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Proteins Mediate Inflammatory Response in Arthritis Model

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Two proteins involved in the recognition of pathogens are also involved in the inflammatory response in a mouse model of arthritis, according to study findings published online June 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Improvements Needed for Research Reporting Guidelines

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- There are dozens of scientific research reporting guidelines and the way in which they are developed is broadly similar, but they also differ in crucial aspects and many developers lack a strategy for the dissemination and implementation of research guides, according to an article published in the June issue of PLoS Medicine.

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Doctors Urged to Take Action on Climate Change

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Just as doctors helped change public attitudes about smoking, they should lead the way in changing attitudes about climate change, according to a Views & Reviews article published June 28 in BMJ.

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Error in CALHM1 Gene Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- A single-nucleotide polymorphism in the gene CALHM1, found on chromosome 10, may increase the risk of late-onset Alzheimer's disease, researchers report in the June 27 issue of Cell.

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Marijuana Component is Anti-Inflammatory

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- A compound found in marijuana acts as an anti-inflammatory agent without the psychoactive effects of the drug, according to research published online June 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Cisplatin Analogue Shows Anti-Cancer Potential

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- cDPCP, an analogue of cisplatin, may have more tumor-targeting potential than oxaliplatin due to its high cellular accumulation and cell sensitization, according to research published online June 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Non-Steroidal Drugs Don't Protect Against Melanoma

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) doesn't appear to be associated with a lower risk of melanoma, contrary to data supporting their chemopreventive effects for other site-specific cancers, according to research published in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Bisphosphonates Linked to Osteonecrosis of the Jaws

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Because breast cancer patients receiving intravenous bisphosphonates may be at higher risk of developing osteonecrosis of the jaws (ONJ), they should receive early referral by oncologists for baseline dental evaluation, according to a report published online June 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Video May Help Trim Sexually Transmitted Disease Rates

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- New infections among patients at sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics can be reduced by up to 10 percent by showing a brief educational video in the waiting room, according to an article published in the June issue of PLoS Medicine.

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Mothers Often Engage in Risky Infant Care Practices

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Mothers often engage in infant care practices that increase the risk of sudden infant death, including bed-sharing, placing infants in a prone position for sleep in a bassinet, or cluttering the bassinet with objects that can cause suffocation, according to two studies published online June 26 in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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Hospital Volume Linked to Deaths After Cancer Surgery

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Low-volume hospitals have higher perioperative and long-term mortality than high-volume hospitals for cancer surgery, although more deaths could be avoided by initiatives to improve long-term survival, according to a report published online June 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Socioeconomic Status Linked to Post-Cancer Mortality

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Low socioeconomic status appears to influence mortality after cancer diagnosis, but community health advocates and patient assistants may help improve the stage of breast cancer diagnosis among a largely underinsured or uninsured population, according to two studies published online June 25 in Cancer.

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Variant Linked to Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- In children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, those with the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val108/158Met polymorphism are more likely to demonstrate poor task-oriented behavior, according to a report published online June 25 in Neuropsychopharmacology.

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Childhood Intelligence Affects Vascular Dementia Risk

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Adults with vascular dementia are more likely to have had lower cognitive ability scores in childhood than their counterparts without vascular dementia, although there is no association between lower childhood cognitive ability and risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to the results of a study published online June 25 in Neurology.

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High C-Reactive Protein Level Tied to Failed Cardioversion

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Increased levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) are associated with a greater risk of electrical cardioversion failure in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation, researchers report in the June 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Screening Tool May Aid Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- A composite tool consisting of a symptom index and the CA-125 blood test identified more than 80 percent of women with early-stage ovarian cancer and may be useful as part of a multi-step screening process for the disease, which is extremely difficult to detect in its early stages, according to study findings published online June 25 in Cancer.

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Rosuvastatin Effective When Taken Twice Weekly

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Twice-weekly doses of rosuvastatin in patients intolerant of daily statins reduces total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides, according to a report published in the June 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Organ Transplants in Need of Up-Front Consent Policy

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) should create a policy requiring potential organ transplant recipients to go through a comprehensive consent process that allows them to specify whether they'll accept or decline all non-standard organs, according to a Sounding Board feature in the June 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Rivaroxaban Found Superior to Enoxaparin

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- In patients undergoing either total hip replacement or total knee replacement, thromboprophylaxis with rivaroxaban is significantly more effective at preventing adverse events than thromboprophylaxis with enoxaparin, according to two studies published in the June 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine and one study published online June 25 in The Lancet.

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Common Risk Alleles Could Help in Breast Cancer Screening

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Assessing a small number of susceptibility alleles could be helpful in identifying women who are genetically at higher risk of breast cancer and make screening programs more efficient, according to the authors of an article in the June 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Mouse Model Replicates Some Aspects of Learning Disorders

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- A mouse model of tuberous sclerosis, a disorder associated with mental retardation, autism and epilepsy, replicates some aspects of the disorder such as the defects in learning and memory, which can be reversed with a drug, according to study findings published online June 22 in Nature Medicine.

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Source of Cardiomyocyte Progenitors Identified

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- A subset of cells present in the epicardium, the epithelial sheet lying over the heart, can migrate into the heart and differentiate into cardiomyocytes, which could be used someday to repair the heart, according to the results of a study published online June 22 in Nature.

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Discovery Points to Factors in Imatinib Resistance

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- LYN kinase may play a role in imatinib resistance in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia who don't have BCR-ABL mutations, according to research published in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Cannabinoids Don't Alleviate Acute Nociceptive Pain

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Orally administered cannabis extract did not produce significant analgesic or anti-hyperalgesic effects in two well-established human pain models -- sunburn and intradermal capsaicin -- according to study findings published in the July issue of Anesthesiology.

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Imaging Identifies Risk of Recurrent Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- A high-resolution imaging method can accurately predict the risk of tumor recurrence in women with invasive breast cancer, researchers report in the July issue of Radiology.

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Haplotype Blocks in 8q24 Gene Desert Linked to Cancer

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Five specific loci within the 8q24 gene desert are associated with an increased risk of various cancers, according to research published in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Pharmaceutical Firms at Cornerstone of Drug Discovery

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Research and development by private sector pharmaceutical companies complements the work of publicly funded research organizations, and they played a crucial role in bringing to market the 35 most important and most commonly prescribed drugs, according to a report published in June in the Manhattan Institute's sixth Medical Progress Report.

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Nurses' Health Study Meets Many Criteria for Success

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- The long-running Nurses' Health Study (NHS) has been successful in terms of three purposes of epidemiology -- discovery of information, development of control and prevention strategies, and delivery of findings -- according to a commentary in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Prediction Rule Identifies Risk of Osteoporotic Fracture

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- A prediction rule based on a heel stiffness index and four clinical factors can identify which elderly women are at high risk of osteoporotic fracture, according to a report in the July issue of Radiology.

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Anesthesia Types Used in Combat Injuries Compared

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Total intravenous anesthesia, often including ketamine, did not produce better outcomes than volatile gas anesthesia in patients who underwent neurosurgery for combat-related traumatic brain injury, according to a report in the July issue of Anesthesiology.

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Radio Frequency Identification May Be Hazardous

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Radio frequency identification can induce potentially hazardous electromagnetic interference in critical care medical equipment, according to research published in the June 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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New Care Model Improves Blood Pressure Control

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with uncontrolled hypertension can achieve blood pressure control by participating in a new model of care that combines patient Web services, home blood pressure monitoring and pharmacist-assisted care, researchers report in the June 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Outcomes of Drug-Eluting Versus Bare-Metal Stent Analyzed

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- The widespread use of drug-eluting stents has decreased the incidence of repeat revascularization but has not increased the risk of death or ST-elevation myocardial infarction compared to the use of bare-metal stents, according to a report published in the June 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Aldosterone Effect on Cardiac Hypertrophy Studied in Mice

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- The hormone aldosterone can lead to cardiac hypertrophy in mice via the cytokine cardiotrophin-1 (CT-1), according to research published online June 19 in Endocrinology.

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Coronary Calcium Score Shows Usefulness in Two Studies

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Coronary artery calcium (CAC) score was a better predictor for coronary heart disease and total cardiovascular disease than carotid intima-media thickness in middle-aged and older adults, and CAC scoring is effective for stratifying risk even in the elderly, according to studies in the June 23 Archives of Internal Medicine and the July 1 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Weight Gain Increases Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Weight gain over time increases the risk of developing chronic kidney disease, even in men whose weight is in the normal range, according to the results of a study released online May 21 in advance of publication in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Statins Linked to Rise in Some Oxidized Biomarkers

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- The use of statins in individuals with coronary obstructions leads to increases in oxidized phospholipids on apolipoprotein B-100 particles (OxPL/apoB) and malondialdehyde epitopes on apoB particles (MDA/apoB), though these aren't associated with changes in atheroma volume, according to research published in the July 1 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Guidelines for Treatment of Thrombosis Updated

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) has published updated guidelines for the prevention, treatment and management of thrombosis in populations such as pregnant women, children and hospitalized patients in a supplement to the June issue of Chest.

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Seniors Can Sustain Brain Trauma from Falls

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 8,000 American seniors died in 2005 due to traumatic brain injury sustained as the result of a fall, and almost 56,000 were hospitalized, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the June issue of the Journal of Safety Research.

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Overcrowding, Understaffing Stressing Health Care Systems

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital overcrowding and understaffing are putting stress on health care systems and increasing the risk of spreading methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), according to a review in the July issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Automated Imaging Method Identifies Alzheimer's Patients

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- An automated method to measure hippocampal volume can accurately distinguish between patients with Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment or healthy elderly patients, according to research published in the July issue of Radiology.

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Triage Must Comply with Emergency Treatment Act

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- In an emergency department setting, how triage is conducted and who is qualified to conduct triage are two aspects that must comply with the Emergency Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), and compliance is an on-going process, according to an article published in the June issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

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Preeclampsia May Lead to Decreased Insulin Sensitivity

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women with a history of preeclamptic pregnancy respond to increased visceral fat in an enhanced insulin-resistant manner that may be associated with impaired vasodilatation. Also, early-onset preeclampsia is associated with impaired insulin sensitivity later in life, according to the results of a study released online June 23 in advance of publication in the August issue of Hypertension.

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Study Sheds Light on Link Between Smoking, Blood Clots

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Cigarette smokers show a considerable impairment in thrombin-mediated vascular responses, with inhibition of protease-activated receptor type 1 (PAR-1)-mediated endothelial vasomotor and fibrinolytic ability, according to research published in the July 1 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Greater Adherence to Healthy Diet Cuts Women's Death Risk

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women who eat a prudent diet high in vegetables, fruit, legumes, fish, poultry and whole grains may have a significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular and total mortality compared to women who eat a typical Western diet, according to a report published in the July 15 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Racial Disparities Exist in Colorectal Cancer Screening

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- There are racial disparities in the rate of colorectal cancer screening between different ethnic groups, and interventions are required to mitigate these inequalities, researchers report in the June 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Personal Benefit Motivates Medical Research Participation

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Patients participated in the Evaluation of Subcutaneous Proleukin (Interleukin-2) in a Randomized International Trial (ESPRIT) study because they hoped to personally benefit from the results, but they also felt a sense of pride in participating to help others, according to a report published in the June 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Subtle Signs Can Reveal Cognitive Decline

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Older community-dwelling adults who have no overt signs of neurological disease but who have multiple subtle neurological abnormalities are at increased risk of cerebrovascular events and mortality, according to study findings published in the June 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Vitamin D Deficiency Related to Cardiovascular Mortality

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- There is an independent association between low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, although a causal link has yet to be established, according to an article published in the June 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Anti-Cancer Drugs Dampen Immune System

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory inhibitors known as histone deacetylase inhibitors can dampen the immune system and reduce the incidence of graft-versus-host disease in mice after a bone marrow transplant, according to study findings published online June 20 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Weight Loss Linked to Low Levels of Fat Hormone

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Weight loss in obese individuals is associated with changes in brain activity in areas associated with eating behavior that can be reversed by injections of leptin, a hormone secreted by fat cells whose levels appear to fall with weight loss, according to a report published online June 20 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Protein Mediates Damage from Tobacco Pollutants

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Compounds present in cigarette smoke responsible for inflammation of lung nerve endings and respiratory hypersensitivity mediate their effects via an excitatory ion channel, according to a report published online June 20 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Saturated Fat Linked to Poorer Memory, Brain Changes

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- A diet high in cholesterol and saturated fat was associated with memory impairment and hippocampal changes in rats, according to research published in June in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

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Poor Fitness Linked to Mitochondrial Problems

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity is associated with poorer physical fitness, decreased insulin sensitivity, and decreased expression of mitochondrial genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation, independent of genetic factors, according to the results of a twin study released online May 6 in advance of publication in the American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism.

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Low-Dose Ionizing Radiation Seen As Healthful

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic whole-body exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation -- principally gamma radiation -- could reduce the incidence of cancer and cancer mortality, according to an article published in the summer issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

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Combined Therapy May Overcome Cancer Drug Resistance

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- A network of signaling is disrupted in cancer cells resistant to gefitinib, and combination treatment with gefitinib and another inhibitor may be able to overcome this resistance, researchers report in the June 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Long-Pulsed Dye Laser Superior for Sun Damage

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with sun-damaged skin, treatment with long-pulsed dye laser rejuvenation produces better outcomes than treatment with intense pulsed light, according to a report published online June 18 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Myelomas Lacking Master Regulator Gene Die

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Myelomas lacking a protein that acts as a master regulator of gene expression die, regardless of the underlying genetic abnormalities, according to research published online June 22 in Nature.

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Mechanism Explains Toxicity of Late tPA After Stroke

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- A protein activated by tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may explain why administering tPA more than three hours after a stroke can lead to hemorrhagic complications, according to the results of a study published online June 22 in Nature Medicine.

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Lack of Nursing Faculty Threatens Health Care Quality

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- The shrinking pool of experienced nurses and nurse faculty is a direct threat to the quality of health care in the United States, according to an article published in the June issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

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Peacetime Surveys Estimate War Deaths Over 50 Years

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Using data on sibling deaths reported after the end of conflict, over 5 million people died due to war injuries in 13 countries during the period from 1955 to 2002, a far higher estimate than that obtained through eyewitnesses and media reports, according to a report published online June 19 in BMJ Online First.

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Allergies Rampant, Poorly Treated in United Kingdom

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Allergies exert a major expense on society and appear to be rising in prevalence, yet the medical profession in the United Kingdom is handling allergies poorly, according to an editorial published in the June 21 issue of The Lancet.

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Article Examines Use of 'Key Opinion Leaders' in Drug Sales

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Influential doctors known as "key opinion leaders" are paid generous fees to influence their peers to prescribe a company's drugs and may in fact be considered salespeople by the industry, according to an article in the June 21 issue of BMJ.

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Combination Asthma Therapy Compared with Steroids Alone

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Salmeterol plus inhaled corticosteroids may decrease the risk for severe exacerbations, but does not appear to lower the risk of hospitalization, asthma-related deaths or intubations compared with inhaled corticosteroids alone, according to a new meta-analysis published in the July issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Bosentan Beneficial in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Bosentan, a dual endothelin receptor antagonist, was associated with improvements in pulmonary vascular resistance in patients with mildly symptomatic pulmonary arterial hypertension, according to research published in the June 21 issue of The Lancet.

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Oral Fluid Rapid HIV Test Accuracy Questioned

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Oral fluid testing with the OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test is associated with episodic increases in the number of false-positive results, according to a report published in the June 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Diabetics May Be at Increased Risk of Hearing Loss

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Hearing loss is more prevalent among adult diabetics than among the non-diabetic population, according to the results of a study released online June 17 in advance of publication in the July 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Medical Students Need Consent for 'Intimate' Exams

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Asking medical students to perform "intimate" examinations on anesthetized patients without their informed consent is a violation of basic human rights, according to an editorial in the July issue of Student BMJ.

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Experts Discuss Cardiovascular Risks in HIV/AIDS Patients

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- The success of antiretroviral drugs has enabled HIV-infected patients to live longer, but recent studies indicate that they are at higher risk of coronary heart disease, which is now a leading cause of death in this population, according to the proceedings of an American Heart Association scientific conference on the topic, published online June 19 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Statins Benefit Kidney Disease Patients with Dyslipidemia

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with mild-to-moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD) are prone to abnormal lipid metabolism, which can be treated effectively with statins, but evidence of statins' effectiveness in hemodialysis patients is inconclusive, researchers report in the June 24 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Teletriage May Reduce Misuse of Emergency Departments

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- A teletriage program based on standardized guidelines and protocols was potentially helpful in alleviating the chaos in emergency departments caused by misuse by non-emergent cases, according to an article published in the June issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

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Herpes Suppression Drug Not Linked to Less HIV

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Although herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection is associated with increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition, HSV-2 suppressive therapy with acyclovir wasn't associated with a reduced incidence of HIV-1, according to research published in the June 21 issue of The Lancet.

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Multiple Sclerosis Drug Reduces Active Lesions

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, treatment with a higher dosage of laquinimod reduces the formation of active lesions and is well tolerated, according to the results of a study published in the June 21 issue of The Lancet.

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Too Many Asthmatics Don't Get Flu Shots, CDC Warns

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Among asthmatics, influenza vaccination coverage is increasing but remains far below the Healthy People 2010 targets of 60 percent for persons aged 18 to 64 with high-risk conditions and 90 percent for all persons aged 65 and older, according to a report published in the June 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Non-Adherence Raises Mortality Risk for Epilepsy Patients

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Epilepsy patients who regularly fail to take their anti-epileptic drugs have increased risks of mortality and serious clinical events, according to a study published online June 18 in Neurology.

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Drug Improves Islet Transplant in Diabetic Mice

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetic mice receiving a transplant of pancreatic islet cells have improved islet engraftment and function if given liraglutide, a long-acting human glucagon-like peptide 1 analogue, starting on the day of the transplant, according to the results of a study published online May 29 in Endocrinology.

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Vitamin D May Reduce Mortality in Colorectal Cancer

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Having high blood levels of vitamin D reduces the risk of death in patients subsequently diagnosed with colorectal cancer, according to a report in the June 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Apnea Linked to Lower Mammillary Body Volume

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) showed lower mammillary body volumes compared to control subjects, which may be a factor in the memory deficits known to accompany the condition, according to research published in the June 27 Neuroscience Letters.

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Model Compares Post-Kidney Transplant Drug Regimens

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- A calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) withdrawal regimen for de novo kidney transplant patients was associated with better long-term patient and graft survival, compared with common CNI-containing immunosuppressive therapies, according to research published online June 18 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Surface Adhesion Molecule Promotes Immune Signaling

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Surface adhesion molecules can affect normal immune responses by stabilizing the interaction between antigen receptors and cellular structures, favoring the transmission of stimulatory signals, researchers report in the June 13 issue of Immunity.

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High-Fat Diet-Induced Diabetes Involves Brain Pathway

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Mice fed a high-fat diet do not become diabetic if a signaling pathway in the brain regulating insulin levels and insulin resistance is blocked, according to research published online June 12 in Endocrinology.

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A New Pyridopyrimidine Derivative May Treat Diarrhea

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- A newly identified pyridopyrimidine derivative that works against a toxin released by powerful strains of Escherichia coli may be effective against diarrhea, according to study findings published in the June 17 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Anemia Treatment Benefits Myelodysplastic Syndrome

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow malignancy, treatment with erythropoietin plus granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) for anemia can improve survival without affecting the risk of leukemia, according to a report published online June 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Low Income Linked to Post-Heart Attack Death

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Residing in a neighborhood with low income is associated with a higher risk of mortality following a myocardial infarction, according to research published in the June issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Radiofrequency Ablation Benefits Lung Cancer Patients

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Radiofrequency ablation, an accepted treatment for non-surgical liver cancers, can yield sustained complete responses in patients with primary and metastatic lung tumors, according to an article published online June 18 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Stent Thrombosis Patients Require Better Management

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients who have had stent thrombosis have more adverse events and poorer early clinical outcomes than de novo STEMI patients, and require better care to narrow the gap, according to a paper published in the June 24 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Olfactory Bulb Volume Is Indicator of Smell Function

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Olfactory bulb volume is a useful prognostic indicator of impaired sense of smell caused by trauma or infection because of its plasticity and responsiveness to individual changes in olfactory function, according to a report in the June issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Ultrasonic Instruments Linked to Some Surgical Benefits

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- The use of ultrasonic surgical instrumentation such as scalpels and shears is safe and effective in a variety of surgical procedures, and is associated with some procedure-specific advantages, researchers report in the June Archives of Surgery.

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Central Blood Pressure Beats Brachial As Prognostic Tool

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Central blood pressure is a superior predictor of cardiovascular events than brachial blood pressure and should be considered in determining the effectiveness of treatment on patients, according to research published in the June 24 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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No Advances Made in Two Studies of Heart Failure Patients

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- A rhythm-control strategy didn't reduce the death rate from cardiovascular causes compared to a rate-control strategy in patients with atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure, and the antiarrhythmic drug dronedarone was associated with worsening heart failure, according to two studies published in the June 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Electronic Records Lacking in Many U.S. Doctors' Offices

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Only a small minority of U.S. physicians have electronic health record systems in their offices, with cost the most commonly cited barrier to adoption among those without access to a system, according to an article released online June 18 in advance of publication in the July 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Patient's Immune System Eradicates Melanoma

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- A patient's own T cells primed against a melanoma antigen can eradicate metastatic melanoma with no evidence of toxicity, according to a case report published in the June 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Cardiac Abnormality Predicts Death in Myotonic Dystrophy

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Severe electrocardiogram (ECG) abnormalities and diagnosis of atrial tachyarrhythmia are independent predictors of sudden death in adults with myotonic dystrophy type 1, according to research published in the June 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Drugs Modulate Protein Important in Alzheimer's

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can bind to the amyloid-β protein, affecting the production of a pathogenic peptide and inhibiting its aggregation, which may be useful in reducing the deposition of amyloid-β in patients with Alzheimer's disease, researchers report in the June 12 issue of Nature.

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Older Patients May Only Need Systolic Pressure Measured

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Patients 50 years of age or older are best tested for high blood pressure using systolic blood pressure only, because the burden of cardiovascular disease is due largely to systolic pressure, according to an editorial published online June 17 in The Lancet.

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Test May Help Clarify Tinnitus Status in Normal Listeners

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- People with normal hearing and tinnitus performed slightly differently than normal listeners without tinnitus on an auditory brainstem response test, indicating the test may be useful in evaluating these patients and providing possible evidence of subtle hearing loss, according to a report in the June issue of the Archives of Otolarynology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Positive Outcomes for Drug-Eluting Stents in Diabetics

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Two types of drug-eluting stents result in a low need for repeat revascularization in patients with diabetes, with similar rates of revascularization, major adverse cardiac events and stent thrombosis, according to research published in the June 24 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Lifestyle Changes Lead to Benefits in Prostate Cancer

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Men with low-risk prostate cancer who undertake an intensive nutrition and lifestyle intervention have beneficial changes at the molecular level in the prostate, according to the results of a study in the June 17 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Nature of Casualties Changed in Iraq Following Invasion

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- The types of casualties that the U.S. Marine Corps Forward Resuscitative Surgery System units in Iraq have treated have evolved since the invasion of Iraq due to factors including improvised explosive devices and longer transport times, according to research published in the June issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Sixty-Second Hair Count Assesses Shedding

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Counting the number of hairs shed after combing for 60 seconds in the morning is a simple and reliable way to assess hair shedding, according to a report in the June issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Squirt System Best Way to Apply Nasal Dysfunction Drugs

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Sinonasal disease patients' poor response to treatment with corticosteroids may be due to the way therapies are applied, according to a paper published in the June 16 issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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HIV Screening in Those Over 55 Often Cost-Effective

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- In tested populations with an HIV prevalence of at least 0.1 percent, it is cost-effective to screen those in the 55 to 75 age group as long as streamlined counseling is offered and screened patients have an at-risk partner, researchers report in the June 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Endovascular Aortic Repair Shows Mortality Benefit

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- The availability of endovascular repair for patients with ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm led to a reduction in early overall mortality, according to research published in the June issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Ketosis-Prone Diabetes Associated with Herpes Virus

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- In a sub-Saharan African patient population, antibodies for the human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) are associated with ketosis-prone type 2 diabetes mellitus, researchers report in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Salvage Radiation Improves Prostate Cancer Survival Time

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- In men with a recurrence of prostate cancer and a prostate-specific antigen doubling time of less than six months, salvage radiation can increase disease-specific survival, according to a report published in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Two-Way Link Between Depression and Diabetes

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- There is a modest association between incident type 2 diabetes and depressive symptoms at baseline, according to the results of a study published in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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U.S. Survey Highlights Newborn Breast-Feeding Practices

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Maternity practices that could potentially interfere with breast-feeding are common in U.S. hospitals and birth centers, according to survey results published June 13 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Electronic Linkage Most Accurate in Recording AIDS Deaths

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- An electronic record linkage found that a large number of deaths in people with AIDS who lived in or received their diagnosis in Washington, D.C. had not previously been reported to the D.C. HIV/AIDS Reporting System (HARS), according to research published in the June 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Amniotic Membranes Effective for Serious Skin Disease

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- A patient with a rare life-threatening skin disease involving detachment of the skin over half the body recovered completely after being given intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and placing amniotic membranes on the affected areas, according to a case study reported in the June issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Blood Pressure Tracking from Childhood Important

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Blood pressure tracking from childhood to adulthood is useful because childhood blood pressure is correlated with blood pressure in adulthood, according to a report published online June 16 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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FDA Issues Safety Warning for Older Antipsychotic Drugs

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Labels for older or so-called "conventional" antipsychotic drugs will have to carry boxed warnings of increased risk of death among elderly dementia patients who take the drugs off-label for behavioral problems, similar to warnings already required for newer or "atypical" antipsychotic drugs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced June 16.

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Genetic Variant Affects Response to Cholesterol Drugs

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- A genetic variation called alternative splicing may explain why some individuals respond poorly to cholesterol-lowering drugs, according to research published online June 16 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Insulin Resistance Linked to Peripheral Arterial Disease

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Insulin resistance is strongly associated with peripheral arterial disease, and modifies the relationship between inflammation and peripheral arterial disease, according to research published online June 16 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Heavy Coffee Consumption May Lower Risk of Death

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking large amounts of coffee lowers the risk of death, mostly due to fewer deaths from cardiovascular disease, according to the results of a study published in the June 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Similar Risk of Lung Cancer in Male and Female Smokers

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Female smokers are no more likely than male smokers to develop lung cancer, although among never-smokers, women may be at modestly higher risk compared with men, according to the results of a study published online June 14 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Intervention Increases Teens' Dual Contraceptive Use

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In high-risk women, a transtheoretical model-tailored intervention significantly increases dual contraceptive use but does not affect the incidence of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, according to study findings published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Blood Substitute Can Be Alternative to Transfusion

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In the largest randomized controlled study to date of hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier (HBOC) use in elective orthopedic surgical patients, the majority of patients treated with HBOC-201 were able to safely avoid red blood cell transfusions, researchers report in the June issue of the Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care.

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Surgical Technique More Effective for Low Rectal Cancer

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Abdominoperineal excision of low rectal cancer removes more tissue around the tumor if a cylindrical technique performed in the prone position is used rather than the standard approach, according to a report published online June 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Severe Diarrhea May Be Rising Threat to Pregnant Women

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In pregnant women, severe Clostridium difficile-associated disease may be an emerging threat, according to a report published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Vitamin D May Reduce Children's Diabetes Risk

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Lower exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation in regions that are more distant from the equator is associated with a higher incidence of childhood type 1 diabetes, supporting the concept that vitamin D may play a role in reducing risk of the disease, according to research published online June 12 in Diabetologia.

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Overtime Workers Prone to Anxiety and Depression

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Employees who work overtime are at increased risk of anxiety and depression, according to the results of a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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U.S. Death Rates Declined Sharply in 2006

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Death rates in the United States dropped significantly in 2006, and life expectancy reached a record high, according to a report released this week from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

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Sorafenib Effective for Advanced Thyroid Cancer

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In advanced thyroid cancer, sorafenib improves or maintains disease control in about three-quarters of patients, with acceptable toxicity, according to research published online June 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Post-Liver Transplant Surgical Infection Risks Explored

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In a group of patients who underwent liver transplantation, 8.8 percent developed surgical site infections; certain procedures, previous transplants and amount of transfused blood were all associated with risk of infections, according to research published in the June issue of Liver Transplantation.

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Weight Not a Factor in Sirolimus-Eluting Stent Outcomes

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with multivessel coronary artery disease who are treated with sirolimus-eluting stents, body mass index has no effect on short-term outcomes, according to the results of a study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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SPINK1 Implicated in Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- The oncogene SPINK1 is a biomarker detectable in urine that's associated with prostate cancer aggressiveness, with outlier expression identified only in a subset of ETS-negative cancers, researchers report in the June issue of Cancer Cell.

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Red Yeast Rice Extract Shows Heart Benefits

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of an extract of red yeast rice in patients with a previous myocardial infarction and average low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels significantly reduced the recurrence of coronary events, according to research published in the June 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Nurse-Led Cardiology Program Shows Some Benefits

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- A preventive cardiology program coordinated by nurses that encouraged family lifestyle change, dietary changes and other improvements in risk factors helped patients with coronary heart disease and those at high risk make some healthier changes compared to usual care, according to research published in the June 14 issue of The Lancet.

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Melanoma Should Trigger Regular Eye Checks

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of melanoma is increasing more quickly than any other cancer in the United States, and patients with metastatic cutaneous melanoma should be periodically given an ophthalmic examination to screen for metastasis to the eye, lids and orbit, according to a study published in the May/June issue of the Survey of Ophthalmology.

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Carbocisteine Linked to Fewer COPD Exacerbations

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- The use of carbocisteine reduced the number of exacerbations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and improved their quality of life, according to research published in the June 14 issue of The Lancet.

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S. Maltophilia Hasn't Earned Its 'Superbug' Label

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Despite public concerns about the threat of the "superbug" Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, the bacterium actually has trouble meeting the criteria of a true superbug, according to an editorial in the June 14 issue of BMJ.

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Fish, Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Reduce Macular Degeneration

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Consumption of fish twice or more per week and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), but the meta-analysis which led to this observation was based on very limited studies, according to a report published in the June issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Subclinical Hypothyroidism Linked to Kidney Disease

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- People with poor kidney function appear to have a greater frequency of subclinical primary hypothyroidism than those with normal kidney function, with the prevalence rising as kidney function declines, according to a report published online June 11 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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CT Lung Cancer Screenings Show Mixed Results

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- In patients at high risk for lung cancer, regular helical computed tomographic screening may reduce long-term lung cancer-specific mortality. Because of other mortality risks associated with smoking, however, it may have a less significant effect on reducing overall mortality, according to research published in the July issue of Radiology.

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Aspergillosis Is Potentially Serious Hazard for Gardeners

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- A 47-year-old U.K. man died of aspergillosis after exposure to aspergillis spores in decaying plant matter, which he inhaled during the course of working on his garden, according to a case report published in the June 14 issue of The Lancet.

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'Transplant Tourism' May Be Inappropriate Term

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- When patients cross borders to receive organ transplants, there may be serious ethical, clinical, social and economic problems, which the term "transplant tourism" does not suggest, according to an article in the June 14 issue of BMJ.

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Smoking Needs Recognition as a Chronic Disorder

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Tobacco addiction must be recognized as a chronic disorder that may require long-term treatment, which will have more success when treatments are better matched with patients, according to an article published in the June 14 issue of The Lancet.

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Rate of Underinsured Adults Climbing in United States

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- The number of underinsured adults in the United States climbed steeply between 2003 and 2007, with the risks of being underinsured often affecting those with higher incomes, according to a report published online June 10 in Health Affairs.

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Experts Debate Whether Organ Donors Should Be Paid

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- The high success rate of kidney transplants has created demand for organ donations that far exceeds supply and raises ethical dilemmas about paying donors, according to a series of articles in the June 14 issue of BMJ.

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Early Stroke Risk High After Transient Ischemic Attack

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have recently had a transient ischemic attack (TIA) and intracranial atherosclerosis are at high risk of having a subsequent stroke in the region of the blocked artery within 90 days, researchers report in the June issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Hereditary Rickets and Multiple Sclerosis Linked

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Hereditary rickets due to altered vitamin D metabolism is associated with multiple sclerosis, according to study findings published in the June issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Cardiac Device Implantation Overused in Very Ill Patients

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Advanced heart failure patients may be undergoing cardiac device implantation that does not help them and increases their risk of in-hospital mortality because they are too ill to benefit from the treatment, according to research published online June 3 in the American Heart Journal.

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Death Risk Charts Put Disease Risk in Context

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Simple charts that give the 10-year risk of death based on age, sex and smoking status could help put disease risk in context and help patients decide where to focus on reducing risk, researchers report in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Rosiglitazone May Delay Diabetic Retinopathy Onset

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients treated with rosiglitazone have delayed onset of proliferative diabetic retinopathy and also experience less visual acuity loss, according to a report published in the June issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Study of Cancer Stem Cells Marks Paradigm Shift

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- The field of cancer stem cell research represents a paradigm shift in cancer diagnosis and treatment, according to a series of articles on the role of stem cells in various malignancies published in the June 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Alcohol Use Doesn't Raise Risk of Aging Macula Disorder

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol consumption is not a risk factor for early or late aging macula disorder (AMD) in the general population, according to a paper published in the June issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Oxypurinol May Not Improve Heart Failure

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with oxypurinol didn't result in improvements in individuals with moderate to severe heart failure, although the underlying mechanism of oxypurinol may benefit patients with elevated serum uric acid, according to the results of a study published in the June 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Blood Proteins Upregulated in Pancreatic Cancer Identified

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Proteins present at high levels in the blood of a mouse model of pancreatic cancer at various stages are also upregulated in human patients with pancreatic cancer and could be useful for early detection, researchers report in the June issue of PLoS Medicine.

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Golf Cart-Related Injuries Have Soared Since 1990

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Since 1990, the number of golf cart-related injuries has steadily increased, and the high rate of injuries among children suggests that new guidelines are needed, according to a report published in the July issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Additional Funding Sought for FDA in Fiscal Year 2009

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- The Bush administration has submitted a budget amendment that would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) an additional $275 million in 2009 to improve food and medical product safety, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt announced this week.

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Once Daily Leukemia Drug Dose Effective, Less Toxic

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Dasatinib, a BCR-ABL inhibitor considerably more potent than imatinib, has similar efficacy but less toxicity at a dose of 100 mg once a day compared with the approved 70 mg twice a day in patients with chronic-phase chronic myelogenous leukemia who have failed imatinib treatment, according to study findings published online June 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Vaccine Shows Promise Against H5N1 Avian Influenza

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Two doses of a whole-virus vaccine against H5N1 avian influenza produced on Vero cell cultures induced neutralizing antibodies against multiple H5N1 strains, indicating its usefulness against this virus with pandemic potential, according to research published in the June 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Drug Effective for Severe Hemangiomas in Children

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Propranolol is effective in treating severe capillary hemangiomas in children, relieving redness, and softening and flattening the lesions, according to an article in the June 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Brain Hemorrhage Risk Higher Among Mexican Americans

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Mexican Americans and women appear to be at higher risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage compared with non-Hispanic whites and men, respectively, according to a report published online June 11 in Neurology.

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Myeloma Drug Relieves Lupus Pathology in Mice

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Treating mice with lupus with bortezomib, a drug approved to treat multiple myeloma, eliminates autoreactive plasma cells, reduces glomerulonephritis and improves survival, according to study findings published online June 8 in Nature Medicine.

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Drug May Cut Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer in Some Women

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Raloxifene, a selective estrogen receptor (ER) modulator, lowers the risk of invasive ER-positive breast cancers but not other types of breast cancers in women who have or are at high risk of coronary heart disease, researchers report in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Vitamin D Synthesis Linked to Colitis in Mice

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of the enzyme that synthesizes vitamin D3, the active form of vitamin D important in immunity, are altered in the kidney and colon of a mouse model of colitis, and mice lacking the enzyme are more susceptible to colitis, according to a report published online June 5 in Endocrinology.

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Colorectal Cancer Screening Lacking Among At-Risk Blacks

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Black patients with a family history of colorectal cancer have lower rates of risk-appropriate colorectal cancer screening than either blacks at average risk or whites at increased risk, according to the results of a study published in the July 15 issue of the journal Cancer.

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ASIC1a May Have Role in Stopping Seizures

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Adding to previous discoveries linking acidosis with seizure inhibition, investigations with mice found that acid-sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a) may mediate the seizure-terminating effects when brain pH falls, according to research published online June 8 in Nature Neuroscience.

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Toothbrushing May Pose Greater Risk of Endocarditis

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Because it is done so frequently, routine toothbrushing may pose a greater cumulative threat to people at risk of infective endocarditis than single-tooth dental extractions, undertaken with or without prophylactic amoxicillin, according to research published online June 9 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Middle-Aged Smokers at Risk of Memory Loss

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged smokers are at greater risk of poor memory, but studying the impact of smoking on cognition is hampered by the greater rate of loss to follow-up by death and non-participation in tests compared to non-smokers, according to study findings published in the June 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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CRP Has Poor Predictive Value for Later Heart Events

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- C-reactive protein (CRP) measurement at three time points in patients with acute coronary syndromes was unable to predict a composite of death, non-fatal myocardial infarction and unstable angina at one year, according to research published in the June 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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A Third of In-Hospital Deaths After CABG Were Preventable

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately one-third of in-hospital deaths following coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) were preventable and occurred regardless of hospitals' low all-cause mortality rates, according to a report in the June 10 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Cancer Costs Increasing Due to More Treatment

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- The costs associated with treating cancer in the elderly have largely increased due to more patients receiving surgery and adjuvant treatment, and rising prices for these therapies, researchers report in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Medical School Performance Predicts Licensing Board Action

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Medical students who have low scores for professionalism are more likely to face disciplinary action by state licensing boards later in their careers, according to a report published in the June 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Vitamin D Deficiency Increases Myocardial Infarction Risk

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Men with low levels of plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D are more likely to have a myocardial infarction, even when other coronary artery disease risk factors are taken into account, according to the results of a study published in the June 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Bright Light Can Help Treat Dementia Symptoms

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Bright light can be used to treat patients with dementia and has a modest positive effect on some cognitive and non-cognitive symptoms, but melatonin should be used only in combination with lights to counteract its negative impact on mood, according to a report published in the June 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Electrical Dyssynchrony Studied in Heart Failure Patients

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction who are hospitalized for worsening heart failure are likely to have a prolonged QRS duration, which is an independent risk factor for high rates of post-discharge morbidity and mortality, researchers report in the June 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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St. John's Wort Does Not Help Treat Hyperactivity Disorder

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- The herb Hypericum perforatum, more commonly known as St. John's wort, has no effect on the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to the results of a study published in the June 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Peptide Level Points to Future Decompensated Heart Failure

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) assessment six months after hospital discharge for decompensated heart failure identifies a long-term risk of future decompensation even in low-risk individuals with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy, according to research published in the June 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Urology Residency Interview Process Can Be Costly

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- For recent medical school graduates, the cost of interviewing for urology residency programs is substantial and could prevent some qualified applicants from reaching their full potential, according to an article published in the June issue of Urology.

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Infant Pertussis Outbreak Traced to Hospital Worker

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- An outbreak of pertussis in the summer of 2004 in 11 infants born in a Texas hospital was linked to a health care worker at the hospital's newborn nursery with the illness, according to a report in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's June 6 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Hispanic Work-Related Deaths Higher Than U.S. Average

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- The death rate due to work-related injuries was consistently higher for Hispanic workers than the general U.S. workforce from 1992 to 2006, according to a report in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's June 6 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Blocking TGF-β Signaling Reduces Plaques in Mice

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Blocking innate immune transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling in mice resulted in up to a 90 percent reduction of β-amyloid plaques in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, contrary to expectations of researchers who were anticipating the opposite scenario, according to research published online June 1 in Nature Medicine.

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Blood Urea Nitrogen Helps Predict Heart Failure Mortality

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Blood urea nitrogen may be a better predictor of mortality than glomerular filtration rate in patients with stage B and C heart failure, according to research published in the June 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Gender Doesn't Affect Post-PCI Mortality

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- After adjusting for risk, men and women have similar mortality rates following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), with overall mortality declining in the past 25 years, particularly for women, researchers report in the June 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Douching Cessation May Reduce Risk of Bacterial Vaginosis

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Women who regularly use douching products to cleanse the vagina after menstruation may reduce the risk of bacterial vaginosis by stopping the practice, according to research published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Racial Disparities Widespread in Diabetes Care

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Racial disparities in diabetes outcomes are largely the result of variations in individual physicians' care of patients and, to a lesser extent, of sociodemographic factors, according to a report published in the June 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Device Allows Imaging of Eye in Glaucoma Patients

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- An optical coherence tomography device allows non-invasive imaging of the drainage angle and its structures in healthy individuals and patients with glaucoma, researchers report in the June issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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FDA Adds Cancer Warning to Regranex Label

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have added a boxed warning to the label of Regranex (becaplermin) -- a cream that is used to treat diabetic foot ulcers that fail to heal -- due to an increased risk of cancer mortality in patients who use three or more tubes of the drug.

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New PET Probe Images Immune System

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- A new probe for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging targeting the immune system allows imaging of lymphoid organs and can be used to monitor treatments involving the immune system, according to research published online June 8 in Nature Medicine.

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Many Nurses Not Trained for Potential Bioterrorist Attack

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Many perioperative nurses may feel unprepared for the challenges of a bioterrorism event, but a relatively brief self-study guide can help improve their sense of preparedness, according to research published in the May AORN Journal.

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Serotonin Affects Response to Perceived Unfairness

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Changing serotonin function can affect the way individuals react to perceived unfairness, according to a brief report published online June 5 in Science.

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Nocturia Linked to Sleep Apnea in Younger Men

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Nocturia -- defined as two or more voidings per night -- may be associated with obstructive sleep apnea in men younger than age 50, according to the results of a study published in the June issue of Urology.

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Exercise Blood Pressure Responses Predict CVD

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- In middle-aged adults, elevated diastolic blood pressure -- but not elevated systolic blood pressure -- during low-intensity exercise and recovery is associated with an increased long-term risk of incident cardiovascular disease, researchers report in the June issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Endovascular Aneurysm Treatment Rises; Mortality Falls

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- During a recent 10-year period, endovascular treatment for cerebral aneurysms became more common, and mortality fell significantly for endovascular therapy and surgical clipping to treat aneurysms, according to research published in the June issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery.

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Long Distance Mentors Do Not Prevent Burnout

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Long-distance mentoring of new chairs of departments of obstetrics and gynecology does not reduce the risk of burnout, according to an article published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Dietary Interventions Benefit Heart Attack Survivors

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- In heart attack survivors who adopt either a low-fat or a Mediterranean-style diet, overall and cardiovascular event-free survival is similar and significant, according to study findings published in the June issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Needle Guide Type Affects Prostate Biopsy Complications

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- In men undergoing transrectal prostate biopsy, the use of a disposable ultrasound needle guide may significantly reduce the rate of infectious complications, according to research published in the June issue of Urology.

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Obesity in Pregnancy Increases Risk of Neural Tube Defects

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Being overweight or obese increases the risk of having a pregnancy affected by neural tube defects, with the risk for severely obese women triple that of normal weight women, according to a review published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Thrombus Aspiration Before Stenting Improves Outcomes

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Thrombus aspiration during angioplasty resulted in slightly lower cardiac death rates one year after the procedure than conventional angioplasty alone and lower rates of non-fatal reinfarction, according to research published in the June 7 issue of The Lancet .

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Human Fetal Cells Rescue Mouse Myelination Defect

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Transplanting human fetal cells into the brains of newborn mice lacking myelin leads to widespread myelination, restoration of normal neural function and increased survival, according to research published in the June issue of Cell Stem Cell.

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Mild Hypothermia Can Reduce Post-Ischemic Injury

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Use of mild hypothermia following an ischemic injury appears to reduce permanent damage to tissue function if treatment is administered within hours of the event and, following treatment, the body is re-warmed slowly, researchers report in the June 7 issue of The Lancet.

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Prevalence of Conn's Syndrome Lower Than Thought

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of hyperaldosteronism, also known as Conn's syndrome, in people with hypertension is much lower than previously thought, according to a report in the June 7 issue of The Lancet.

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Drug Relieves Anemia in Chronic Kidney Disease

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Intravenous ferumoxytol, an iron oxide nanoparticle, is more effective than oral iron in alleviating anemia in patients with chronic kidney disease, according to the results of a study published online June 4 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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NHS Reforms Threaten Best Aspects of U.K. Patient Care

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Changes under way in the U.K. National Health Service (NHS) threaten to destroy patient-led personal care that is at the heart of the organization's ethos and success, according to an article published in the June 7 issue of BMJ.

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Membrane Sweeping Doesn't Increase Prelabor Ruptures

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- The overall rate of prelabor rupture of membranes in women with uncomplicated pregnancies was not significantly higher among those who received membrane sweeps than among those who did not, researchers report in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Meningitis C Vaccine Booster Dose May Help Protect Teens

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the fact that meningitis C vaccination is part of the United Kingdom's routine infant vaccination program, one in five adolescents has insufficient protection from the disease and may need a booster shot to maintain immunity, according to a report published June 5 in BMJ Online First.

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Trachoma Eradication Effort May Be Nearing Success

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Trachoma -- a keratoconjunctivitis caused by ocular infection with Chlamydia trachomatis -- is still common in many poor regions of the world. But a World Health Organization (WHO) program launched in 1998 -- the Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020 -- has helped place this blinding disease on the brink of extinction, according to a seminar published in the June 7 issue of The Lancet.

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Osteoporosis Coordinators Seen As Beneficial

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- At tertiary care centers, the hiring of a part-time osteoporosis coordinator to manage outpatients and inpatients who have fragility fractures may reduce the incidence of future hip fractures and save significant hospital costs, researchers report in the June issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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For U.K. Patients, Consent Becoming a Matter of Choice

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- New guidelines from the U.K. General Medical Council lack the detail necessary to help clinicians change the way they seek patient consent for surgical procedures, but they are part of a broader trend toward perceiving consent as a form of choice rather than acceptance of advice, according to an editorial published in the June 7 issue of BMJ.

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Knee Problems Linked to Cartilage Loss in Osteoarthritis

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Medial meniscal damage and varus malalignment, and lateral meniscal damage predicted tibial and femoral cartilage loss over a two-year period in patients with knee osteoarthritis, according to research published in the June issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Alcohol May Protect Against Rheumatoid Arthritis

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol consumption reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, particularly in smokers, with the degree of reduction dependent on the amount of alcohol consumed, according to a report published online June 5 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Low Doses of Resveratrol Slow Aging in Mice

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Resveratrol, a natural molecule found in red wine, appears to be as effective as calorie-restricted diets in slowing some aspects of aging in mice, based on gene expression profiling analysis, according to study findings published in the June 4 issue of PLoS One.

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B Cell Subsets Point to Effects of Rituximab

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- In people with rheumatoid arthritis, the behavior of certain memory B cell subsets may play a role in the efficacy of rituximab, response to the drug and disease relapse after taking it, according to research published in the June issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Stimulation May Help Gait in Parkinson's Patients

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Functional electrical stimulation can improve some gait-related measurements and reduce falls in patients with Parkinson's disease, with some lasting benefits after discontinuation of use, according to research published in Neuromodulation in April.

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Serotonin Regulates Fat and Feeding Independently

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Serotonin regulates fat content and feeding rate independently in worms, suggesting that weight is not solely determined by feeding behavior, researchers report in the June 4 issue of Cell Metabolism.

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Diabetes Adds to Risk for Liver Cancer in Hepatitis C

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have chronic hepatitis C and advanced cirrhosis face an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma if they also have diabetes, according to research published in the June issue of Hepatology.

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Study Says ICU Patients' Death Risk Higher with Certain Doctors

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Critically ill patients in intensive care units (ICUs) in the United States are more likely to die if they receive care entirely from physicians trained in critical care medicine, even after taking illness severity into account, according to an article in the June 3 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Hospital Factors Affect Pay-for-Performance Outcomes

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- If pay-for-performance programs are enacted nationwide, teaching hospitals that perform a high volume of hip and knee replacements may be most likely to benefit, according to a report published in the June issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Low-Dose Estradiol Spray Decreases Hot Flashes

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- A low-dose estradiol spray (E2) may significantly decrease hot flashes in healthy postmenopausal women with vasomotor symptoms, according to a new study published in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Methotrexate for Rheumatoid Arthritis Linked to Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with methotrexate have a higher risk of developing cancer than the general population, particularly melanoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and lung cancer, researchers report in the June 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Experts' Evaluation of Cervical Images Often Differ

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Experienced colposcopists' evaluations of cervical lesion grades based on static digital images have fair to poor reproducibility, according to a report published in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Metals in Canadian Farmed and Wild Salmon at Safe Levels

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of mercury and other metals are low enough to account for only 2 percent of dietary intake and the fish continue to be a safe source of omega-3 fatty acids, according to the results of a study published in the June issue of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

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Higher Quality Foster Care Produces Healthier Adults

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Better quality foster care has important repercussions for the mental and physical well being of foster care alumni, according to a report published in the June issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Long-Term Outcomes Differ After Adolescent Back Surgery

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Although the long-term health-related quality of life is good for patients who received surgical treatment for idiopathic scoliosis or spondylolisthesis during adolescence, long-term outcomes are better among those treated for scoliosis, researchers report in the June issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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One Billion Dollars Slated for Health Hazard Preparedness

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has allocated almost $1.1 billion to be made available to public health departments, hospitals and other health care organizations in order to help them better respond to public health and medical emergencies of a terrorist or naturally occurring nature.

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Excision Rates Useful Measure of Rectal Cancer Treatment

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Although the overall rates of abdominoperineal excision for rectal cancer have declined in the United Kingdom, there are significant variations in its application that cause unequal quality of care, according to a report published online June 5 in Gut.

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Aliskiren May Protect Against Diabetic Nephropathy

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Type 2 diabetics struggling with nephropathy and hypertension had significantly lower albumin levels following treatment with losartan and aliskiren, a newly FDA-approved drug, according to a report in the June 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Weaning Doesn't Improve HIV-Free Survival for Infants

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Studies seeking an optimal approach to preventing HIV transmission between HIV-infected breast-feeding mothers and their newborn babies found that stopping breast-feeding early (at 4 months) ultimately did not reduce HIV-free survival in infants; however, giving extended preventative therapy demonstrated a short-term positive impact. The studies were published online June 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA Performing Safety Review of TNF Blockers

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is performing a safety review of drugs that block tumor necrosis factor (TNF), used to treat diseases such as arthritis and psoriasis, due to reports of cancers in young patients prescribed the drugs.

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Assays of Cholesterol Function Needed to Evaluate Therapies

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Measuring changes in circulating high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) levels is inadequate to determine the effectiveness of a therapeutic intervention designed to lower atherosclerotic risk, and reliable assays of HDL function and surrogate markers of efficacy are needed, according to a review in the June 10 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Drug Improves Outcomes in Diabetics with Stents

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetics who receive stents have a reduced risk of death or myocardial infarction with longer clopidogrel use, according to the results of a study published in the June 10 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. In a related study, patients receiving drug-eluting stents for unprotected left main coronary artery disease generally have good long-term outcomes.

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Dietary Flavonoids Linked to Lower Lung Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- A diet that supplies greater amounts of flavonoid compounds such as epicatechin, catechin, quercetin and kaempferol may help lower the risk of lung cancer in smokers, according to research published in the May 15 issue of the journal Cancer.

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Gene Variants May Influence Smoking Cessation Success

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- An investigation into genes that may help smokers achieve successful cessation suggests that molecular genetics may soon help provide anti-smoking therapies to those most likely to benefit from them, according to research published in the June Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Schizophrenia Linked to Genetic Copy Number

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Sporadic cases of schizophrenia lacking a family history are strongly associated with newly arising variations in genetic copy numbers, according to study findings published online May 30 in Nature Genetics.

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Drug Reduced Symptoms in Parkinson's Patients

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with istradefylline resulted in a reduction in daily awake time in the "off" state in patients with Parkinson's disease, without a significant increase in "on" time with troublesome dyskinesia, according to research published in the June 3 issue of Neurology.

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No Consensus on Screening Tests for Psoriasis Patients

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- There is no strong evidence either for or against the use of screening and monitoring of psoriasis patients treated with biologic agents, and the extent of monitoring should be decided on an individual patient basis, according to a report published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Liver, Kidney Disease Linked in Type 2 Diabetes

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- In people with type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with a moderately increased risk of chronic kidney disease, according to research released online April 2 in advance of publication in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Heart Failure Patients Overestimate Life Expectancy

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Ambulatory patients with heart failure tend to overestimate how long they will live relative to life expectancy predicted by a well-validated model, researchers report in the June 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Genetic Lowering of 'Good' Cholesterol May Not Be Bad

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- While low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol are a known risk factor for ischemic heart disease, genetically reduced HDL levels due to mutations in a cholesterol transport gene do not confer an increased risk of heart disease, according to an article published in the June 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Diabetes Trials Tend to Assess Surrogate Outcomes

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Many planned and ongoing diabetes trials do not measure patient-important outcomes, such as mortality and quality of life, but rather assess laboratory or surrogate outcomes, researchers report in an article published in the June 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Family History of Colon Cancer Portends Better Prognosis

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with stage III colon cancer who receive adjuvant chemotherapy and who have a family history of colorectal cancer have an improved prognosis compared to those without a family history, according to an article published in the June 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Black Athletes at Higher Risk of Heart Abnormalities

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Elite black athletes are more likely to have abnormal electrocardiograms and left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy than white athletes, according to two studies published in the June 10 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Mechanism Proposed

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Metastatic prostate cancers may adapt to low systemic testosterone levels and maintain intratumoral androgens by modulating enzymes involved in intracrine steroidogenesis and androgen catabolism. This mechanism may explain why nearly all patients eventually develop castration-resistant disease despite anorchid serum androgen levels, researchers report in the June 1 issue of Cancer Research.

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Melanoma Treatment May Lead to Ocular Autoimmunity

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- An effective immunotherapy against melanomas in mice targeting a melanocyte antigen is associated with autoimmunity in the eye, according to a report published online June 3 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Eating Disorder Risk Factors Vary with Gender and Age

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- The risk factors for eating disorders such as binge eating and purging are different for boys and girls, and change from one age group to another in females, according to the results of a study published in the June issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Heavy Cannabis Use Causes Structural Brain Damage

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Heavy daily use of cannabis over a prolonged period of time causes structural damage to the hippocampus and amygdala, researchers report in the June issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Exposure Therapy Can Avert Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with acute stress disorder, exposure-based therapy prevents progression to post-traumatic stress disorder better than trauma-focused cognitive restructuring, according to an article published in the June issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Injuries Common Among High School Baseball Players

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Although baseball is relatively safe compared to other high school sports, injuries are common -- including serious injuries resulting from being hit with a batted ball -- and could be reduced by requiring players to use appropriate safety equipment, according to a report published in the June issue of Pediatrics.

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Study Sheds Light on Role of T3 in Male Rat Reproduction

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have found expression of iodothyronine 5'-deiodinase (5'-D), an enzyme that creates the active form of triiodothyronine (T3) from thyroxine (T4), in several tissues in the male reproductive tract, according to study findings released online May 8 in advance of publication in Endocrinology. These findings may help shed light on the poorly understood role of thyroid hormones in regulating reproductive function in reproduction organs other than gonads.

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Tuberculosis False Positive Rate High in U.S. Army

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Outbreaks of tuberculin skin test conversions among U.S. Army personnel are likely to be false positives, and the personnel have a low risk of tuberculosis infection due to limited exposure to locals, researchers report in the June 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Tomato Ingredient May Offer Prostate Protection

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- The ketosamine FruHis, found in tomato powder, may interact with lycopene to offer protection against prostate cancer, according to research from rat studies published in the June 1 issue of Cancer Research.

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Compound Promising for Neurodegenerative Diseases

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists have discovered that a small polyphenol molecule that interferes with protein folding can be used to block the formation of toxic β-sheet-rich amyloid aggregates implicated in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, according to an article published online May 30 in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

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Guidelines Address Vaccination During Pregnancy

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- A new report -- Guiding Principles for Development of ACIP Recommendations for Vaccination During Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding -- approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in March, may help standardize procedures for policy formulation and presentation of the rationale and recommendations for the vaccination of pregnant and breast-feeding women, according to an article published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's May 30 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Prenatal Cigarette Smoke May Affect SIDS Risk

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Rats prenatally exposed to cigarette smoke are more likely to have gasping breathing patterns after hypoxia and take longer to recover normal breathing after hypoxia at higher temperatures, investigators have found. The research suggests that prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke may affect the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to a report in the June 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Following Quake, China Responds to Medical Challenges

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- The massive earthquake in southwestern China on May 12 left more than 62,000 people dead, over 23,000 missing and an estimated 360,000 injured survivors, creating a multitude of medical challenges, according to an article in the May 31 issue of The Lancet.

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Low-Dose Rotigotine Can Help Treat Restless Legs Syndrome

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Both the daytime and nighttime symptoms of restless legs syndrome can be relieved using a 24-hour transdermal patch containing low-dose rotigotine, according to study findings published online May 31 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Nearly 14 Million Young U.S. Adults Lack Health Insurance

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- In 2006, 13.7 million U.S. adults aged 19 to 29 lacked health insurance, according to a report published May 30 by The Commonwealth Fund.

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Cell Proliferation Plays Role in β-Thalassemia

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- The results of a study in mice challenge the conventional wisdom that apoptosis is the sole cause of ineffective erythropoiesis in β-thalassemia, by showing that limited differentiation of a large number of proliferating cells is also partly responsible, according to the results of a study published online May 14 in Blood.

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Physician's Briefing
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