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December 2009 Briefing - Nursing

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

Precautions and Training Can Reduce Scalpel Injuries

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

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Antidepressants Reduce Odds of Suicidal Teens' Readmission

THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Suicidal adolescents who are prescribed an antidepressant medication on discharge from the hospital are far less likely to be readmitted than those who are not given the drug, but patients who leave with three or more drugs from different drug classes are more likely to end up back in the hospital, according to a retrospective cohort study published in the December issue of The Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

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Prostate-Specific Antigen Velocity Usefulness Examined

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

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Ultrasound Detects Shoulder Dislocation After Birth Injury

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Ultrasound can be used to detect a posterior shoulder dislocation in infants 3 to 6 months old with a permanent brachial plexus birth injury (BPBI), according to a study in the January issue of Radiology.

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Operating Room Nurses Must Know Heart Failure Guidelines

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

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Nausea and Vomiting Found Common Heart Attack Symptoms

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

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Low-Level Laser Therapy for Body Sculpting Assessed

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

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Telemedicine Technology in Intensive Care Units Evaluated

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

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Statins Found to Be Beneficial in Congestive Heart Failure

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

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Health Impact of Body Mass Index May Be Misleading

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

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Over 85s Function Well Despite Disease and Disability

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

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H1N1 Flu Waning, but Many Vaccine Doses Unused

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

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Gene Mutation Impact on Pregnancy Outcomes Assessed

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

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Thromboembolism Uncommon After Sling Surgery in Women

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

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Severe H1N1 Infection Linked to Elevated Cytokine Levels

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

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Surveillance Can Reduce Treatment in Mild Hip Dysplasia

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In infants with mildly dysplastic hips, active surveillance for six weeks, as opposed to immediate abduction splinting can reduce the need for treatment yet lead to similar results at 1 year of age, according to research published online Dec. 21 in Pediatrics.

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CRP Levels Linked to Heart Disease, but Causality Unlikely

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

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Cocaine Use Likely Cause of Agranulocytosis Clusters

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

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Policy Statement Addresses Child Abuse, Neglect Issues

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatricians should be aware of their legal rights and responsibilities when child abuse or neglect is suspected in a clinical setting, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement published online Dec. 21 in Pediatrics.

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Risk of Neurologic Deficit Right After Spinal Surgery Low

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

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Head Count of Epidemiologists Has Dropped Since 2006

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

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Antidepressants Not Found to Increase Heart Risk

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

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Diverting Non-Urgent Cases Cuts Emergency Wait Times

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

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Nurses' Training Can Reduce Patient Handling Injuries

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Nurses are less likely to cause injury to patients through incorrect handling if they are given contextual training on safe handling procedures, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

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Cystic Fibrosis Testing in Italy Linked to Lower Incidence

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Widespread availability of carrier testing for cystic fibrosis in an Italian region was associated with a decline in birth rates of infants with the condition, according to research published in the Dec. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Statins May Provide Benefit Despite Low LDL

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

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Digital Radiography Rapidly Localizes Spine Level

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

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Contraindications to Beta Blockers Linked to Deaths

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

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Emergency Room Reliance Examined in Adolescents

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

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Racial Disparities Seen in Breast Cancer Radiotherapy

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

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Physicians Aware of Choking Game; Few Treat in Practice

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly two-thirds of physicians surveyed were aware of the choking game, an activity typically played by children and teenagers that has been linked to numerous fatalities in recent years, but a small percentage discussed it with adolescent patients, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Pediatrics.

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Weight Loss and Exercise Can Improve Cardiac Function

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

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Part-Time Work Increasingly Common for Pediatricians

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatricians are increasingly working part time, a trend which may keep experienced pediatricians in active practice longer, according to a pair of studies published online Dec. 14 in Pediatrics.

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Post-Myocardial Infarction Bleeding Risk Examined

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

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Lower Speed Limit Reduces Casualties in London

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

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H1N1 Mortality Found to Be Unexpectedly Low in England

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

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CDC: 15 Percent of Americans Have Had H1N1 Flu

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

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Patients Often Lack Knowledge of Their Own Medications

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

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Algorithm Developed for Metal-on-Metal Hip Resurfacing

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

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Variable A1C Linked to Renal Disease in Type 1 Diabetes

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

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Healthy Changes Linked to Weight Loss in Adolescents

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight adolescents who shed pounds appear more likely to use healthy weight control behaviors than their counterparts who don't lose weight, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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Most Early Cases of H1N1 Across China Were Mild

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

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Internet-Addicted Teens More Likely to Harm Themselves

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who are addicted to the Internet may be more likely to harm themselves as compared to their counterparts without Internet addiction, according to a study in the December issue of Injury Prevention.

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Small Caseloads Hinder Gauging Medicare Performance

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

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Soy Foods Linked to Improved Outcomes in Breast Cancer

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

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Team Approach Best for Safe Handling of Cytotoxic Agents

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Cytotoxic agents used in the treatment of bladder tumors present a threat to perioperative nurses' safety, and a team approach is the best way to develop safe handling policies and procedures, according to a study in the December issue of the AORN Journal.

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FDA Issues Recommendations to Prevent Excess CT Radiation

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

Press Release
Initial Notification
Issue a Voluntary Report to the FDA's MedWatch

Depression Linked to Poorer Spinal Surgery Outcomes

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

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New Cervical Spine Surgery Protocol May Reduce Delirium

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

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Low X-Ray Radiation Exposure Found in Neonates

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Among a group of very low-birth-weight infants treated in a neonatal intensive care unit, radiation exposure from conventional radiographs was low compared to yearly natural background radiation, according to research published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Lipid Levels Associated With Pregnancy Complications

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

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Shingles Incidence Following Varicella Vaccination Low

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

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Hysterectomy Linked to Better Cervical Cancer Survival

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

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Beta 2 Adrenergic Agonist Use During Pregnancy Examined

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

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Weight Loss Can Reduce Apnea Disease Severity

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

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HPV Vaccine Can Maintain Effectiveness Beyond Six Years

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (Cervarix) provides protection beyond six years from infection by HPV-16 and HPV-18, the HPV types most commonly associated with cervical cancer, according to a study published online on Dec. 3 in The Lancet.

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

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

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Hospital Report Cards Seldom Lead to Improved Cardiac Care

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

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H1N1 Influenza Rates Drop in Many States

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

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Women Researchers Lag Behind Men in Grant Awards

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

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Physician's Briefing
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