September 2007 Briefing - Internal Medicine

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Internal Medicine for September 2007. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Factors Within Tumor Impair Cancer Drugs' Efficacy

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The ability of anti-cancer drugs to exert a lethal effect on tumor cells is limited by a number of often-overlooked factors in the microenvironment of the tumor, according to the authors of a review published in the Oct. 3 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Antibiotics Overprescribed for Respiratory Symptoms

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- General practitioners label most acute respiratory tract episodes as infections and overprescribe antibiotics as a result, rather than using evidence-based criteria, according to a report published online Sept. 20 in BMC Family Practice.

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New Design for Phase II Cancer Trials Proposed

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Phase II cancer trials, which measure a drug's anti-tumor activity by categorizing patients as responders or non-responders, require large sample sizes to detect clinically meaningful differences. By treating tumor size as a continuous variable, a newly proposed trial design minimizes the number of required subjects, making future phase II trials more feasible, according to a report published in the Oct. 3 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Sleep Apnea Treatment Improves Atherosclerosis

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) improves early markers of atherosclerosis, suggesting that sleep apnea contributes to the development of atherosclerosis, according to research published in the American Journal of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine in October.

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Dramatic Improvement in Diabetic Wound Healing in Mice

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Wound healing in diabetic, obese mice can be significantly hastened by a systematic application of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies, which dramatically reduce the presence of inflammatory macrophages, according to a report in the September issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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Access to Fast-Food Affects Obesity Rates

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Areas with a predominantly black population have a higher proportion of fast-food outlets compared to predominantly white neighborhoods, which may partially explain racial differences in rates of obesity, according to a report published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Kaposi's Sarcoma Can Persist Despite Good HIV Control

THURSDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- HIV-infected patients can have persistent Kaposi's sarcoma despite good viral control and reasonable CD4 cell counts by maximal antiretroviral therapy, according to a letter published in the Sept. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Adding Single Insulin to Oral Meds Fails Most Diabetics

THURSDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Only a minority of diabetic patients with suboptimal glycemic control on oral drugs achieve target glycated hemoglobin levels with the addition of a single type of insulin, according to a study published online Sept. 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Basal insulin was slightly less effective than regimens with short-acting insulin, but was associated with a lower risk of weight gain and hypoglycemic events.

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Breast Cancer Mortality Continues to Drop

THURSDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer death rates continue to drop in the United States, likely due to advances in early detection and treatment. Yet significant racial disparity persists, with black patients 36 percent more likely to die of the disease than whites, according to a report released from the American Cancer Society on Sept. 25.

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Guidelines Proposed for Medical Emergency Research

THURSDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A risk-based stratified template would help institutional review boards in the approval process for research conducted in emergency situations where it is difficult or impossible to obtain patient consent, according to recommendations published online Sept. 24 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Post-Heart Attack Cardiac Rehabilitation Underused

THURSDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Older patients are missing out on cardiac rehabilitation, despite the fact that it has been proven to prolong survival and reduce disability, according to a report published online Sept. 24 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Hypertension, Overweight Are Harbingers of Heart Failure

THURSDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- There is a positive association between higher blood pressure and body mass index in midlife and an increased risk of heart failure during later life, according to the results of a study published online Sept. 24 in Hypertension.

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Genes Affect Treatment in Patients with HIV, Hepatitis C

THURSDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic factors can influence the degree to which persons co-infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV respond to pegylated interferon treatment, researchers report in the September issue of the Journal of Hepatology.

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FDA Issues Warning on 'Organic Pastures Raw Cream'

THURSDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes -- the organism that causes Listeriosis -- prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue a consumer warning Sept. 21 against consuming raw cream labeled as "Organic Pastures Grade A Raw Cream," which is packaged in one-pint plastic bottles coded "SEP 14" through "SEP 21."

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Antibodies Increase Risk of Kidney Transplant Rejection

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of antibodies against a particular surface antigen increases the likelihood of kidney transplant rejection, even when the patient and kidney are well matched, researchers report in the Sept. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Stress Induces Changes in Esophageal Mucosa in Rats

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Acute stress in rats increases esophageal permeability and widens intercellular spaces, researchers report in a study published in the September issue of Gut. By allowing greater exposure of sensory nerve endings to refluxed gastric contents, this stress-induced permeability may help explain the link between stress and heartburn symptoms in humans.

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Prevalence of Gastrointestinal Disorders Stable

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of gastrointestinal disorders has been stable over a 12-year period in a Minnesota county, with more than half of those with symptoms at baseline continuing to have symptoms at follow-up, researchers report in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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Simple Interventions Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Targeted and tailored interventions can significantly increase colorectal cancer screening rates, according to a report published online Sept. 24 in the journal Cancer.

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Norepinephrine May Improve Survival in Hemorrhagic Shock

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In the treatment of trauma victims with uncontrolled bleeding and shock, early-phase fluid resuscitation plus norepinephrine may offer a new strategy for improving the odds of survival, according to the results of an animal study published in the October issue of Anesthesiology.

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Consistent Control of Psoriasis Elusive for Many Patients

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Over the long term, most psoriasis patients experience occasional rather than consistent improvement of their condition, despite treatment, according to a report in the September issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Review Questions Influenza Vaccine Benefits for Seniors

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults may have reaped significantly fewer survival benefits from influenza vaccination than is commonly believed, according to a review article published in the October issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Prognosis of Bilateral Breast Cancer Varies with Timing

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Younger women diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer within five years after first cancer diagnosis have more than triple the risk of death than unilateral breast cancer patients, whereas women developing a second cancer after 10 years have a similar prognosis to unilateral breast cancer patients, researchers report in the Sept. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Hippocampus Affected During Memory Process in Psychosis

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Memory formation in patients with a first episode of psychosis is selectively affected in the hippocampus only during the encoding of arbitrary pairs of images and not during successful memory encoding and associative processing, according to a report in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Protein S100B a Marker for Post-Stroke Hemorrhage

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients who have elevated blood levels of the calcium-binding protein S100B are more likely to develop brain hemorrhages after receiving thrombolytic therapy, researchers report in the September issue of Stroke.

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Hispanic Ethnicity No Barrier to Hypertension Control

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the fact that blood pressure control among Hispanic populations has been suboptimal, once cost and access barriers are overcome there are no racial disparities in prevention of hypertension, according to a report published online Sept. 10 in Hypertension.

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Immunosuppression Benefits Crohn's Disease Patients

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In Crohn's disease patients treated with infliximab, concomitant immunosuppressive therapy improves infliximab pharmacokinetics and reduces formation of antibodies to infliximab, according to study findings published in the September issue of Gut.

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Familiar Doctor Linked to More Satisfaction for Urgent Care

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive urgent medical care from family physicians or after-hours clinics affiliated with their physicians are more likely to be satisfied with the encounter than patients who use other sources of urgent care, according to research published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Hospitalist Care Linked to Shorter Hospital Stays

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalized patients who are under the care of a hospital-based general physician -- or hospitalist -- may have shorter stays than those under conventional hospital care, according to the results of a study in the Sept. 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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One-Fifth of U.S. Adults Get Preventive Health Exams

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately 44.4 million U.S. adults receive a preventive health exam each year at a total cost to the health care system of almost $8 billion, despite the fact that major clinical organizations do not recommend them, according to research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine on Sept. 24.

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Acupuncture May Benefit Patients with Low Back Pain

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with low back pain, both traditional Chinese verum acupuncture and sham acupuncture may be more effective than conventional therapy, researchers report in the Sept. 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Racial Disparities Seen in Emergency Asthma Care Needs

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Among those with asthma, black patients are significantly more likely than white patients to visit the emergency department or be hospitalized regardless of disease severity, according to a report in the Sept. 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Obesity in Old Age Not Linked to Cognitive Decline

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight and obesity in old age does not appear to predispose to cognitive decline, according to study findings published online Sept. 19 in Neurology.

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Medications, Diet May Help Prevent Prostate Cancer

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- During the past 15 years, prostate cancer prevention has become a major area of scientific and clinical investigation, and ongoing studies may soon identify effective chemoprevention strategies, according to a report published online Sept. 24 in the journal Cancer.

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Region of Brain Found to Play Role in Sensory Perception

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The ventrolateral nucleus of the thalamus (VL) in the brain is believed to be involved in motor functions, but new research suggests it is also involved in sensory processing, and damage to the area results in neural reorganization that impacts sensory perception, according to a report published online Sept. 24 in the Annals of Neurology.

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New Method Detects Avian Virus Quickly, Economically

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A new system for rapidly and inexpensively detecting avian influenza virus from a throat swab is described by researchers in an article published online Sept. 23 in the journal Nature Medicine.

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Cirrhosis Complication May Affect Driving Skills

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Cirrhotics have significantly higher rates of self-reported traffic violations and accidents than the general population, with the highest rates seen in cirrhotics with minimal hepatic encephalopathy, according to the results of a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Many Women Unfamiliar with 'Women's Health' Findings

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the widespread publicity of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) clinical trial published in 2002 -- which found that the risk-benefit ratio of estrogen plus progestin made it an unwise choice for preventing disease -- only a minority of women were aware of these results two years later, researchers report in the September/October issue of Menopause.

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Risk of Stroke May Be Due to Childhood Residence

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- People who grew up in the group of seven southern states known as the "Stroke Belt" or who live there as adults are at greater risk of stroke than people elsewhere in the United States, according to a report in the September issue of Stroke.

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Moderate Drinking May Help Protect the Liver

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Light to moderate alcohol consumption -- 70 to 280 grams per week or between five and 20 drinks -- may be liver-protective in men, according to study findings published in the September issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Resection Eradicates Genetic Abnormalities in Barrett's

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Stepwise radical endoscopic resection of the Barrett's segment with early neoplasia eliminates pre-existing genetic abnormalities, according to a report published in the September issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery Beneficial to Patients

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who have undergone previous cardiac surgery, minimally invasive, video-assisted keyhole valve surgery is associated with high patient satisfaction and lower mortality than open-chest valve surgery, according to study findings published in a cardiovascular surgery supplement to the Sept. 4 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Current Risk Estimates for Face Transplant Inaccurate

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Previous estimates of the immunologic risks of facial transplantation, which have influenced a number of major organizations' positions on the procedure, are based on factors deemed irrelevant to facial transplantation, researchers report in the Sept. 1 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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Proton Pump Inhibitors Useful in Iron Overload Diseases

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with hereditary hemochromatosis, treatment with proton pump inhibitors reduces phlebotomy requirements and absorption of non-heme iron from meals, suggesting that such therapy could complement phlebotomy in the management of iron-overload diseases, according to a report published in the September issue of Gut.

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Flu Vaccine Rates Dropping in United States

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza vaccination rates for Americans dropped during the 2005-2006 flu season to levels below those prior to the 2004 flu vaccine shortfall, according to a report in the Sept. 21 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Methamphetamine Use in Pregnancy Detectable in Hair

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Mothers who use methamphetamine during pregnancy can transfer the drug through the placenta to their babies, according to a report in the September issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood -- Fetal and Neonatal Edition.

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Diabetes Drug Sulfonylurea Shows Benefit for Stroke

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Type 2 diabetes patients may be more likely to have successful recoveries from strokes if they are taking sulfonylurea drugs, researchers report in the September issue of Stroke.

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Blister Transplants Prove Advantageous for Vitiligo

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A study comparing different techniques for treating vitiligo found advantages in using suction blister transplantation compared to transplantation of cultured autologous melanocytes. The research was published in the September issue of Dermatologic Surgery.

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Silicone Implants Do Not Lead to Paraproteinemias

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Women with silicone implants who subsequently developed connective-tissue disease do not appear to be at increased risk for paraproteinemias, according to study findings published in Arthritis Research & Therapy in September.

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FDA Approves Rapid Test for Platelet Contamination

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a disposable test strip that can be used in hospitals to detect bacterial contamination of blood platelets prior to transfusions. The Platelet Pan Genera Detection Test System is made by Verax Biomedica Inc. of Worcester, Mass., and can be used to retest platelets shortly before use.

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FDA Clears Genetic Test for Warfarin Sensitivity

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared a new genetic test for determining a patient's sensitivity to warfarin (Coumadin). The Nanosphere Verigene Warfarin Metabolism Nucleic Acid Test detects variants of two genes, CYP2C9 and VKORC1, which have been shown to account for some of the variation in response to the drug.

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Mutations Found in Patients with Hyper-IgE Syndrome

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations in a signaling protein that regulates interleukin-6 have been found in patients with inherited and sporadic cases of hyper-IgE syndrome, a rare immunodeficiency syndrome characterized by dermatitis, boils, infections and bone abnormalities, according to a report published online Sept. 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Gene Variation Linked to Greater Risk of Scleroderma

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The G-945C polymorphism in the connective-tissue growth factor gene is strongly associated with systemic sclerosis, making it a candidate gene for scleroderma, according to study findings published in the Sept. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Modified Wheat Flour May Benefit Celiac Disease Patients

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The gluten in wheat flour can be detoxified by transamidation with a food-grade enzyme and an appropriate amine donor that blocks T cell-mediated gliadin activity, suggesting that such interventions may help prevent cereal toxicity in patients with celiac disease, according to the results of a study published in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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Urethral Strictures Associated with Early Urinary Retention

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Men who develop early urinary retention after radical prostatectomy are more likely to develop a symptomatic urethral stricture, according to a prospective database report published in the August issue of Urology.

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FDA Approves FluMist for Use in 2- to 5-Year-Olds

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the FluMist intranasal influenza vaccine for children ages 2 to 5. The vaccine should not be given to any patient with asthma or children under 5 with wheezing as it may increase the risk of wheeze.

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Medical Schools Vary in Approach to Case Reports

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Most medical school institutional review boards (IRBs) don't treat individual case reports as "research," as it's defined by the United States Government Code of Federal Regulations, according to a research letter published in the Sept. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Sleep Positions May Influence Development of Kidney Stones

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The positions in which people sleep affect the degree of blood perfusion in their kidneys, which may in turn influence their development of kidney stones, according to a report in the August issue of Urology.

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Nocturnal Hemodialysis Improves Cardiac Health

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Dialysis patients randomized to receive hemodialysis six nights a week experienced improvements in left ventricular mass, blood pressure and select measures of quality of life compared to those undergoing conventional hemodialysis, researchers report in the Sept. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Apolipoprotein E2 Linked to Favorable Cardiac Profile

TUESDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Apolipoprotein E (apoE) genotypes correlate linearly with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels and coronary risk, and the e2 genotype is associated with the lowest cardiovascular risk, according to the results of a large meta-analysis in the Sept. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Zoledronic Acid Cuts Mortality After Hip Fracture

TUESDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with low-trauma hip fracture, an annual infusion of zoledronic acid starting within 90 days of surgical repair of the fracture may decrease the risk of new fractures and improve survival, according to a study published online Sept. 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA Approves Panel of Blood-Typing Tests

TUESDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved 15 blood-typing reagents for use in analyzing donor blood. The new reagents, including several for rare blood types, had not previously been licensed for use in the United States.

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In U.S., Only One in Four Aware of Peripheral Arterial Disease

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The risks associated with peripheral arterial disease are poorly understood by the general public, and only one in four people over age 50 report that they've heard of the condition, according to a survey in the Sept. 18 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Heart-Patient Discharge Protocol Adherence Faulted

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Improved adherence to the American Heart Association's Get With the Guidelines discharge protocols could help prevent secondary cardiovascular events in patients who are hospitalized for heart disease, especially those who undergo coronary artery bypass graft surgery, according to a study published in a supplement to the Sept. 4 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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NSAID Users Benefit from Proton Pump Inhibitors

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may have a lower risk of gastropathy when they are co-prescribed a proton pump inhibitor, according to study findings published in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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FDA Approves Evista to Prevent Invasive Breast Cancer

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved raloxifene (Evista) for the prevention of invasive breast cancer in high-risk, postmenopausal women as well as those postmenopausal women taking the drug to prevent osteoporosis.

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Proportion of New HIV Cases in Patients Over 50 Rising

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The proportion of patients over age 50 with newly diagnosed HIV grew significantly from 1992 to 2004 and warrants greater attention in the design of HIV prevention educational programs, researchers report in the September issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Genetic Variations Affect Response to Venlafaxine

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have an adverse reaction to the antidepressant venlafaxine may metabolize the drug more slowly than other patients and should be considered for genotyping, according to a report in the September issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Off-Pump Bypass Surgery Improves Women's Survival

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Women who undergo off-pump coronary artery bypass graft surgery are less likely to die or suffer strokes or heart attacks than women who undergo conventional on-pump surgery, and more likely to achieve outcomes comparable to those of male bypass patients, according to study findings published online Sept. 11 in a cardiovascular surgery supplement to Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Cholesterol Screening Should Be Done in Childhood

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Cholesterol screening is most effective when done in childhood, and experts recommend that children be screened at age 15 months at the time of childhood immunizations, according to a report published online Sept. 13 in BMJ.

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Older Adults at Risk from Emergency Room Prescriptions

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial number of older adults who are prescribed medications upon discharge from emergency departments are at risk of receiving prescriptions that have potentially dangerous interactions with other medications or with pre-existing conditions, according to a report in the September issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Risk of Childhood Asthma Higher in Affluent Countries

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Children with atopic sensitization for asthma who live in affluent countries are more likely to develop symptoms of the disease, according to the results of a large cross-sectional study published in the Sept. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Less Intensive Eye Patching for Amblyopia May Be OK

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Children with amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, who receive three to six hours of daily eye occlusion have similar visual improvement as those who receive six to 12 hours per day, according to a report published online Sept. 13 in BMJ.

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Chlorine in Pools Can Pose Chemical Poisoning Risk

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A 6-year-old boy was severely poisoned by over-exposure to chloramines in a motel indoor swimming pool in 2006, highlighting the danger posed by pools with poor ventilation and inadequate water chemistry management, according to a report in the Sept. 14 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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New Guidelines for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic obstructive lung disease is a "preventable" health problem that can and should be treated, according to the newly revised standards of the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). An executive summary of the updated guidelines is published in the Sept. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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New Genetic Link Associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A new genetic locus associated with rheumatoid arthritis in European populations has been identified, according to the results of a study published Sept. 6 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Dabigatran Etexilate Reduces Hip Surgery Blood Clot Risk

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Oral dabigatran etexilate reduces the risk of venous thromboembolism after hip replacement surgery just as effectively as subcutaneous enoxaparin, according to a report published in the Sept. 15 issue of The Lancet.

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Pneumocystis Pneumonia Prophylaxis Thresholds Identified

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- In non-HIV immunocompromised adults whose risk of Pneumocystis pneumonia is greater than 3.5 percent, prophylaxis is warranted despite the risk of severe side effects. Because the risk of side effects is lower in children, prophylaxis may be warranted at an even lower incidence level in these patients, according to study findings published in the September issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Linked to Reproductive Failure

THURSDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Age-associated increases in follicle-stimulating hormone may accelerate female reproductive failure despite no exhaustion of ovarian reserve, according to the results of an animal study published in the September issue of Endocrinology.

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Work is Americans' Number One Enemy of Sleep

THURSDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The waking activities that are most likely to impinge on people's sleep time are work, travel (including commuting) and socializing/relaxing/leisure, in that order, according to the results of a study published in the Sept. 1 issue of Sleep.

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Stem Cell Rescue Not Beneficial in AL Amyloidosis

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with systemic immunoglobulin-light-chain amyloidosis, treatment with high-dose melphalan plus autologous stem cell rescue is not superior to treatment with standard chemotherapy, according to a report in the Sept. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Idraparinux Not Superior for Venous Thromboembolism

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with venous thromboembolism, initial and extended treatment with idraparinux yields only marginal benefits compared to standard treatment, according to two reports published in the Sept. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Diesel Exhaust Has Ischemic and Thrombotic Effects

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In men with stable heart disease, even limited exposure to diesel exhaust fosters myocardial ischemia and inhibits endogenous fibrinolytic capacity, according to a report in the Sept. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Tamoxifen May Help Reduce Mania in Bipolar Disorder

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Tamoxifen reduces mania in patients with bipolar disorder in as little as five days, researchers report in the September issue of Bipolar Disorders.

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Early Macular Degeneration Linked to Cancer Death

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In black patients but not whites, early age-related macular degeneration may be associated with a significantly increased risk of cancer mortality, according to a report published in the September issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Children of Trauma Survivors Display Lower Cortisol Levels

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Holocaust survivors with post-traumatic stress disorder tend to have children with lower cortisol levels than the children of Holocaust survivors without post-traumatic stress disorder or those with parents who have not experienced trauma, according to a study in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. The finding may shed light on why such children are at higher risk of PTSD themselves.

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Seniors Stop Taking Medication If Insurance Caps Benefits

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly patients whose health insurance caps drug benefits are more likely to stop taking their medication for diabetes and other chronic ailments than those with plans that do not cap drug benefits, researchers report in the September/October issue of Health Affairs.

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Breastfeeding Does Not Reduce Allergy, Asthma Risk

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Neither extended nor exclusive breast-feeding have an impact on the risk of allergy and asthma development in children, according to research published online Sept. 11 in BMJ.

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Higher Education Linked to Lower Cancer Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of education are strongly associated with decreased mortality from cancers of the lung, breast, prostate and colon/rectum in black men, white men and white women, according to study findings published in the Sept. 19 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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More U.S. Blacks Report Sleeping Too Much or Too Little

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Blacks are more likely than whites to have health-threatening sleep patterns, as are those who live in inner-city environments as opposed to non-urban areas, researchers report in the Sept. 1 issue of Sleep.

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Birth Control Pills Associated with Lower Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Taking oral contraceptive pills may reduce the overall risk of developing certain types of cancer, according to the results of a study published online Sept. 11 in BMJ.

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Higher Serum Calcium Linked to Smaller Infarct Volumes

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acute ischemic stroke, those with the highest serum calcium levels had the smallest infarct volume, according to a report published in the September issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Strategies Needed to Treat Comorbid Chronic Diseases

TUESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Rather than treat a specific disease in older adults, clinicians may better improve overall health by identifying associated conditions and developing appropriate intervention strategies, according to a research letter published in the Sept. 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Carotenoids May Reduce Risk of Macular Degeneration

TUESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults, high consumption of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin found in yellow and dark leafy vegetables may help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, according to a study published in the September issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Supplement Recalled Due to Undeclared Sildenafil

TUESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced the recall of a dietary supplement known as Zencore Tabs due to the presence of analogs of the erectile dysfunction drugs tadalafil and sildenafil. These undeclared ingredients may interact with nitrates found in prescription drugs, such as nitroglycerin.

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Adverse Drug Events Nearly Tripled Since 1998

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The number of adverse events reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has nearly tripled since 1998, with 20 percent of drugs accounting for 87 percent of those events, researchers report in the Sept. 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Children's Blood Pressure on the Rise in United States

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of high blood pressure and pre-high blood pressure among U.S. children and adolescents is on the rise, which may result in an increased risk of early organ damage and cardiovascular disease, according to study findings published online Sept. 10 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Weight Gain Predicts Heart Failure Hospitalization

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Weight gains of as little as two pounds are associated with a greater risk of hospitalization in patients with heart failure, according to a study published online Sept. 10 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Mediterranean Diet May Benefit Alzheimer's Patients

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The Mediterranean diet -- already linked to a lower risk of developing Alzheimer disease -- may also increase the longevity of patients with established disease, researchers report in the Sept. 11 issue of Neurology.

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Vitamin D Modestly Reduces Death Risk from Any Cause

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D supplements modestly reduce the risk of mortality from any cause, according to a report in the Sept. 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Citalopram Benefits Dementia Patients with Psychosis

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In dementia patients with psychotic symptoms and agitation, treatment with the antidepressant citalopram may be just as effective -- and safer -- than treatment with the antipsychotic risperidone, according to study findings published online Sept. 10 in advance of publication in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

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Depression Hinders Heart Rate Recovery in Coronary Patients

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The heart rate variability of depressed acute coronary syndrome patients decreases when their depression fails to improve, according to the results of a study published in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Less Sleep in Early Childhood May Impact Learning

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Children who slept fewer than 10 hours a night as infants are more likely to be described as hyperactive-impulsive and to score lower on cognitive performance tests than children who consistently slept 10 hours or more, according to a report published in the Sept. 1 issue of Sleep.

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Depression Exacts Higher Toll Than Chronic Conditions

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Depression, especially when accompanied by other chronic physical health conditions, has a greater effect on reducing mean health scores than conditions such as angina, arthritis, asthma and diabetes alone, according to study findings published in the Sept. 8 issue of The Lancet.

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U.K. Doctors Deviating from Asthma Guidelines

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Prescription records suggest that physicians in the United Kingdom are overprescribing oral beta-agonists and inhaled combinations of long-acting beta-agonists and steroids in children with asthma, according to research published online Sept. 4 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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FDA Approves Drug for Treatment of Acromegaly

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted approval for Somatuline Depot (lanreotide acetate) to be used for the treatment of patients with acromegaly who don't respond to or who are not candidates for surgery or radiation. The injectable drug, which was approved under the orphan drug program, is marketed by Tercica, Inc., of Brisbane, Calif.

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Many Patients' Mental Health Needs Unmet Worldwide

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patient usage of mental health services for anxiety, mood and substance use disorders is low worldwide, especially in less-developed countries, researchers report in the Sept. 8 issue of The Lancet. Delivery of adequate service is also low in many countries worldwide, including the United States.

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Knee Monoarthritis Signals Lung Cancer in Some Patients

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In some patients, monoarthritis of the knee may be a warning sign of non-small cell lung cancer, according to research published online Sept. 3 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Tympanometry Preferable for Middle Ear Effusion Diagnosis

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Spectral gradient acoustic reflectometry (SGAR) is "slightly less" discerning than tympanometry in diagnosing or ruling out middle ear effusion in children under 2, according to research presented in the September issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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U.S. Teen, Young Adult Suicide Rates Are on the Rise

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Youth and young-adult suicides steadily declined for 13 years in the United States, then jumped by 8 percent in 2003-2004, particularly among teenage girls, according to a report in the Sept. 7 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Heart Disease Patients' Families Should Be Screened

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Screening the families of premature heart disease patients could prevent more than one-third of premature heart attacks, according to the results of a study published in the Sept. 8 issue of BMJ.

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HIV Patients Feel Stigmatized by Health Care Providers

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Low-income patients with HIV may feel stigmatized by health care providers, which may prevent them from receiving an optimal level of care, according to the results of a study published in the September issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs.

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Gene Variant Linked to Increased Human Stature

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A common variant in the HMGA2 oncogene is associated with increased height in children and adults, according to the results of a study published online Sept. 2 in Nature Genetics.

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Newer Cell Phones Still Interrupt Medical Equipment

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- New-generation mobile phones should still be kept at least one meter away from hospital equipment, as they can cause electromagnetic interference with critical care devices, according to a report published online Sept. 6 in Critical Care.

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Bipolar Diagnoses Among Youth Increase Dramatically

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The number of young people diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the United States has increased dramatically -- nearly 40-fold -- in recent years, and the medications they receive to treat the disorder are similar to those adults receive, researchers report in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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FDA Halts Sale of Injectable Tanning Product

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned a Tennessee-based company, Melanocorp, Inc., to cease the sale and marketing of an injectable tanning product called Melanotan II on the basis that it is unapproved and mislabeled.

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FDA Grants Approval for Generic Versions of Coreg

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted approval to companies to manufacture the first generic versions of Coreg (carvedilol) for the treatment of high blood pressure, mild to severe chronic heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction after myocardial infarction.

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New Atrial Fibrillation Treatments Found Effective

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Dronedarone, a new antiarrhythmic agent, and dual-chamber minimal ventricular pacing are effective treatments for patients with atrial fibrillation, according to two studies published in the Sept. 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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U.S. Cocaine Use Drops Only Among Educated Users

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Cocaine use dropped dramatically in the 1980s and 1990s among educated users, but persistent use among those who did not graduate from high school remained stable over those two decades, according to a report published online Aug. 29 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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UGT1A1 Gene Affects Risk of Irinotecan-Induced Toxicity

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer patients with a UGT1A1*28/*28 genotype who receive medium to high doses of irinotecan may have a significantly increased risk of neutropenia, according to a report published in the Sept. 5 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Movies Linked to Adolescents' Risk of Smoking Later On

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents' exposure to movies that feature characters who smoke is associated with their risk of becoming established smokers, according to the results of a study published in the September issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Pop Stars Have Higher Risk of Early Mortality Than Masses

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Pop stars often abuse drugs and alcohol and have about twice the risk of early mortality as other people their age, according to a report published online Sept. 4 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

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Diabetics Misunderstand Blood Glucose Monitoring

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients with type 2 diabetes are uncertain about the benefit of blood glucose monitoring, partly because they perceive a lack of interest on the part of their providers, researchers report in the September issue of BMJ.

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FDA Approves New Smallpox Vaccine

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new smallpox vaccine, ACAM2000, which is intended for use among those at high risk of exposure and as a preventive measure during a bioterrorist attack. The only other FDA-approved smallpox vaccine, Dryvax, is no longer manufactured and supplies are limited.

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Childhood Abuse Common in Depressed Women with Migraine

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have migraines and who are also depressed are more likely to have experienced childhood abuse than non-depressed women, researchers report in the Sept. 4 issue of Neurology.

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HIV Protease Inhibitors Can Also Kill Cancer Cells

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Clinically approved HIV protease inhibitors such as nelfinavir are effective in killing many types of cancer cells, including drug-resistant cancers, according to a report in the Sept. 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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Funding Affects Quality of Medical Education Research

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The quality and impact of medical education research depends on the extent of funding, according to a report in the Sept. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Residents Lack Tools to Interpret Medical Literature

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Many medical residents have a suboptimal knowledge of basic biostatistics, which may hamper their ability to correctly interpret many of the results in published clinical research, according to a report in the Sept. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Resident Work-Hour Limits May Have Improved Mortality

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Resident work-hour reform, implemented by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in 2003, does not appear to have had a negative effect on patient outcomes and may actually have improved mortality rates, according to two studies published in the Sept. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Poor Bedside Manner Linked to Patient Complaints

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians with the lowest patient communication scores on a national clinical skills exam are more likely to have a patient complain to regulatory authorities than physicians with high scores, according to study findings published in the Sept. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Approves Test for West Nile Virus in Blood Donors

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an additional test that can detect the West Nile virus in donated blood, cells and other tissues shortly after infection. The cobas TaqScreen WNV test, which is made by Roche Molecular Systems Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., is the second such test to be approved.

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Children Show Signs of Stress Long Before School Starts

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Children entering primary school have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol months before school begins, U.K. researchers report in a study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

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Parents' Concerns About Asthma Meds May Lower Use

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of children with asthma have concerns about the medications their children take, although they feel those medications are necessary, and their degree of concern is associated with the consistency with which they administer those medications, according to a cross-sectional survey published in the September issue of Pediatrics.

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Glucose-Sensing Neurons Key to Blood Sugar Regulation

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The function of special glucose-sensing neurons in the hypothalamus is impaired by obesity, suggesting these cells have a role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online Aug. 29 in Nature.

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Breast Cancer Screening Reassuring for At-Risk Women

MONDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Young women with a family history of breast cancer are reassured by annual mammograms and take false positive results in stride, according to a report published in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Gluten-Free Diet Reduces Immunity in Skin Disease

MONDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with dermatitis herpetiformis, an inflammatory skin disease, have normal levels of serum interleukin-8 (IL-8) if they follow a gluten-free diet, researchers report in the September issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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When Ambulances Travel Farther, Deaths Increase

MONDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Longer ambulance trips to the hospital are associated with greater risk of mortality among severely ill patients, researchers report in the September issue of the Emergency Medicine Journal.

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Parental Smoking May Damage Women's Reproductive Health

MONDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Women who were exposed to secondhand smoke before birth or during their childhood may experience poorer reproductive health as adults, researchers report in the Sept. 1 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Teenagers Use of Cell Phones At Night Interrupts Sleep

MONDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents frequently use their cell phones after "lights out" at night, and those who do so are more likely to feel tired, according to study findings published in the Sept. 1 issue of Sleep.

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