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February 2010 Briefing - OBGYN & Women's Health

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in OBGYN & Women's Health for February 2010. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Removing Opposite Breast Improves Survival Slightly

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Prophylactic removal of the opposite breast has a slight survival benefit in younger women with early-stage estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Older Maternal Age Found to Up Risk of Autism in Offspring

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

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Lasofoxifene Examined in Postmenopausal Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The nonsteroidal selective estrogen-receptor modulator lasofoxifene may reduce the risk of fractures, stroke, estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer, and coronary heart disease in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. However, the drug significantly increases the risk of venous thromboembolic events, according to a study in the Feb. 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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HPV Test Shows Better Long-Term Psychosocial Outcomes

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

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Similar Satisfaction Rates Seen With Contraceptive Pill, Ring

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The vaginal ring has a similar level of acceptability to young women as the oral contraceptive pill, but neither method appears to be particularly popular for long-term use in this population, according to a study in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Awareness of Heart Disease Risk Still Lacking in Women

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

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Physicians Working Fewer Hours for Lower Fees

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

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No Reduction of Premature Birth Risk From Treating Gum Disease

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Treating periodontal disease during pregnancy does not reduce the risk of premature birth and may even increase the risk in some cases, according to a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Maternal Antidepressants May Delay Infant Milestones

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to antidepressants in late pregnancy may affect children's developmental milestones, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Pediatrics.

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Medical Checklists Needed to Improve Care and Outcomes

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

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Contraceptive Shows No Effect on Cardiac Risk in PCOS

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

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Gene Variant Associated With Premenstrual Syndrome

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

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Minimally Invasive Techniques Beneficial for Uterine Fibroids

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Two minimally invasive surgical techniques offer good outcomes and better recovery than laparotomy for the treatment of uterine fibroids, according to a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Active Straight Leg Raising Reliable to Assess Back Pain

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Among women with back pain, the subjective assessment of difficulty when taking the active straight leg raising (ASLR) test generally correlates well with the objectively measured force of the leg raises, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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Many Adults in Utah Report Using Opioids Incorrectly

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

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Hormone Replacement Therapy Linked to Lung Cancer

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Older women who receive estrogen plus progestin hormone replacement therapy (HRT), especially for long periods of time, may have an increased risk of lung cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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LABAs Can Harm Asthma Patients When Used Alone

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

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Breast Cancer Decline Linked to Hormone Therapy Decline

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

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Management of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Assessed

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In the management of hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) in a child or fetus, most pediatric cardiologists and cardiac surgeons discuss a surgical intervention with parents, but only a few mention all of the available options, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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FDA Issues Maalox Total Relief Warning

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

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Newborn Training Has Mixed Effect in Developing Countries

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In developing countries, training birth attendants in the World Health Organization Essential Newborn Care course does not reduce neonatal mortality but does reduce rates of stillbirth, and further training in neonatal resuscitation does not have a significant effect on outcomes, according to a study in the Feb. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Annual Report Shows Increase in U.S. Life Expectancy

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

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Exercise May Lower Risk of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer

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

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New Reports Rank Health of Every U.S. County

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

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Updated Guideline Helps Identify Heart Risks in Women

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

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Aspirin Use Linked to Fewer Breast Cancer Deaths

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

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Genetic Risk Scores Not Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

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

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Racial Disparities Seen in New York Surgical Patients

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

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Risk Factors Often Present in Cases of SIDS

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

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Botox Injections Found to Reduce Migraine Frequency

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

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Poor Sleep Linked to More Car Accidents in Teenagers

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

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Cardiac Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy Studied

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

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Effect of Cigar, Pipe Smoke on Lung Function Assessed

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

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Supplement Shown to Be Helpful in Metformin Patients

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

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Accuracy of Postpartum Screening Tools Evaluated

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

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Gender Differences Seen in CABG Operative Mortality

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

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Treating Herpes May Slow HIV in Co-Infected Patients

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

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Lifestyle Changes Found to Improve Endothelial Function

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

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Physical Activity Surveillance Methods Need Improvement

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

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2009 H1N1-Related Deaths and Hospitalizations Examined

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

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Immunization Information Systems More Widely Used

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

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Stenosis Can Still Exist in Absence of Coronary Calcium

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

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MRI Benefit in Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Questioned

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

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Breast Arterial Calcium Not Found to Be Predictive of CAD

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

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Gout Associated With Higher Heart Attack Risk in Women

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

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Protein May Block Letrozole Therapy in Breast Cancer

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

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Lactation May Protect Women Against Metabolic Syndrome

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

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Hormone Replacement Therapy Linked to Higher Asthma Risk

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

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Laparoscopic Practice Takes Physical Toll on Surgeons

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

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Dietary Supplement Suspected of Causing Selenium Poisoning

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

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Magnesium Found Beneficial for Postmenopausal Women

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

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Study Supports Accelerated Whole-Breast Irradiation

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

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Youth Cardiovascular Risk Factors Linked to Early Death

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

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Reducing Skin Toxicity During Cancer Treatment Studied

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

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Better Quality of Life Linked to Hypofractionated Radiation Doses

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

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

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

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FDA Initiative Aims to Cut Medical Radiation Exposure

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

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Tamoxifen Treatment Linked to Worse Cognitive Function

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

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Bedside Blood Test Found to Detect Anticoagulation Status

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

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Maternal Factors Linked to Fetal Growth Restriction

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Some maternal factors are associated with first-trimester fetal growth, and growth restriction in turn can lead to adverse birth outcomes, according to research published in the Feb. 10 Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Paroxetine May Compromise the Efficacy of Tamoxifen

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

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Older Maternal Age Linked to Incidence of Type 1 Diabetes

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

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Age-Related Treatment and Outcomes in Stroke Examined

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

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CD Increases Knowledge, Comfort With Genetic Testing

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

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Needle Length May Affect Vaccination Results in Obese

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

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Drug Found to Inhibit, Reverse Osteoporosis in Rodents

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

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Economic Status Linked to Anxiety, Depression in Cancer

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Women with low socioeconomic status (SES) who are diagnosed with breast cancer are likely to suffer higher levels of anxiety and depression than women with medium or high SES, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Cancer.

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H1N1 Vaccination Still Highly Recommended

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

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Racial Disparities in Perinatal HIV Infections Decline Slightly

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

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Few Women Taking Tamoxifen to Prevent Breast Cancer

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

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Behavioral Health Factors Linked to HPV Vaccination

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Certain behavioral health factors may potentially be associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine acceptability, according to research published in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Many American Adults Do Not Get Recommended Vaccines

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

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Physical Inactivity, Not Just Lack of Exercise, Harms Health

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

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Coalition Launches Campaign to Limit Residents' Hours

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

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Many African-Americans Do Not Protect Skin From the Sun

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

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Fat Hormone Secretion Suppressed in PCOS

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

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Health Care Spending Makes Record Leap in GDP Share

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

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Diversity Growth Incremental in the Medical Professions

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

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Role of Artemin in Endometrial Cancer Investigated

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

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The Lancet Retracts Study Linking MMR Vaccine, Autism

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

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Symptoms Poor Predictors of Ovarian Cancer

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

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Lower Brain Serotonin Seen in Infants Who Died of SIDS

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Lower levels of medullary serotonin in infants who died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) suggest that a serotonin deficiency may play a role in the condition, according to research published in the Feb. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Medicine Errors More Common When Parents Use Dosing Cups

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Using dosing cups to measure children's medications leads to more frequent dosing errors compared with using other methods, and parents with low levels of health literacy are at greater risk of making dosing mistakes, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Metformin May Help Decrease Body Mass Index in Teens

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Obese adolescents who take extended-release metformin alongside a lifestyle intervention are more likely to see a decrease in body mass index (BMI) than their counterparts who make lifestyle changes alone, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Extended Use of Nicotine Patch Linked to Benefits

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

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Estrogen Levels Linked to Breast Cancer Gene Expression

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

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President Proposes $911 Billion Budget for HHS

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

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Report Finds Pediatric Ovarian Torsion Incidence to Be Low

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In the pediatric population, ovarian torsion is a relatively rare condition, but it occurs in all ages and many cases are treated with oophorectomy, according to an article published online Feb. 1 in Pediatrics.

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BMI Thresholds May Be Too Restrictive for Older Adults

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

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Adrenal Condition's Effects on Women's Fertility Studied

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

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New Rules Require Parity for Mental Health Benefits

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

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