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August 2008 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 August 2008. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Growth Factor Linked to Poor Breast Cancer Outcome

FRIDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Stimulating breast cancer cells with insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) caused gene expression changes associated with cell proliferation, metabolism and DNA repair, according to research published in the September issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Molecular Signature Gives Prognosis for Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A 21-gene assay can be used to predict the likelihood of recurrence in patients with operable hormone receptor-positive breast cancer more accurately than standard clinical variables, researchers report in the September issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Lancet Supports WHO Report on Health Inequality

FRIDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The final report by the World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health contains a strong mandate for reducing global inequalities in health care, according to an editorial published in the Aug. 30 issue of The Lancet.

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Obesity Linked to Worse Outcomes After Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Obese and overweight women receiving chemotherapy before surgery for breast cancer are less likely to survive and respond to treatment than normal weight women, researchers report in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Fully Synthetic Vaccine Against Fungus Protective

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Fully synthetic vaccines against the fungus Candida albicans can protect against infection with a normally lethal dose, according to research published online Aug. 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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New Pain Guidelines Released

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has released new medical treatment guidelines for the care of workers with chronic pain syndromes, representing the latest chapter in Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines, available online. A print version of the guidelines will be available in September.

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Magnesium Sulfate May Reduce Cerebral Palsy Rates

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Use of magnesium sulfate in mothers at high risk of early preterm delivery was associated with less occurrence of moderate or severe cerebral palsy in surviving offspring, according to study findings published in the Aug. 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Ayurvedic Medicines Sold on Internet May Contain Metals

TUESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Significant amounts of Ayurvedic medicines available for purchase over the Internet are contaminated with toxic metals, researchers report in the Aug. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Different Risks Linked to Different Breast Cancers

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Reproductive and hormonal factors may pose more risk for some types of breast cancer than others, according to research published online Aug. 25 in Cancer.

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Possible Endometriosis Gene Therapy Vector Identified

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with endometriosis, the Ad-heparanase-luc adenovirus may be a promising vector for gene therapy because it affects endometriotic cells without significantly affecting hepatic cells, according to research published in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Comparable Results Seen in Molecular HPV Assays

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Three molecular assays for the detection and typing of human papillomavirus -- the Amplicor HPV test, the LINEAR ARRAY HPV genotyping test, and the new PapilloCheck with the HotStarTaq DNA polymerase -- yield comparable results when performed after extraction on the easyMAG instrument, according to study findings published in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Codeine Can Pose Extra Risk During Breast-Feeding

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Codeine can present a threat to breast-fed infants, according to research published online Aug. 20 in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

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Hormone Therapy Improves Short-Term Quality of Life

FRIDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In postmenopausal women, combined hormone replacement therapy is associated with some short-term improvements in the quality of life, according to a report published Aug. 21 in BMJ Online First.

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Doxorubicin, Zoledronic Acid Show Anti-Tumor Benefit

FRIDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Administration of doxorubicin followed by zoledronic acid inhibited tumors in a mouse model of breast cancer more than either treatment alone, researchers report in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Drug Combo Improves Symptoms of Menopause in Animal Study

FRIDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of bazedoxifene and conjugated estrogens can improve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, reduced bone mass and increased cholesterol in a rat model, according to the results of a study published online Aug. 14 in Endocrinology.

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Physical Activity May Boost Survival After Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- While physical activity may decrease mortality, inactivity may increase mortality following breast cancer diagnosis, according to a report in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Gene Essential for Female Fertility in Mice

THURSDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Female mice missing a protein in their reproductive system needed for gene regulation are infertile due to abnormal development and function of their reproductive tract, according to a report published online Aug. 14 in Endocrinology.

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Outlook Mixed on US Presidential Candidates' Health Plans

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The health care plans proposed by John McCain and Barack Obama would have uncertain effects on health care coverage in America, but potential problems with each plan are evident, according to a perspective piece in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Preeclampsia Link to End-Stage Renal Disease Studied

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Women with preeclampsia have a low absolute risk of developing end-stage renal disease (ESRD), but preeclampsia in a first pregnancy predicts an increased risk of ESRD during subsequent pregnancies, according to a report published in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Variables Seen in Cost Effectiveness of HPV Vaccine

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Optimizing the cost effectiveness of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination depends on several factors: the duration of vaccine immunity, achieving universal coverage in pre-adolescent girls, targeting catch-up vaccinations among young women and revising screening guidelines, according to a report published in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Zoledronic Acid May Protect Bones During Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Zoledronic acid is associated with preserved bone health in premenopausal women treated for breast cancer, according to the results of two studies, one published online Aug. 18 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and another published online Aug. 20 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Seniors Likely to Find Medicare Health Web Site Unusable

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Even older adults with computer skills may have difficulty using the Medicare.gov Web site to determine eligibility for services and enroll in a drug plan, according to a research letter published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Serum Vitamin D Status Linked to Hip Fracture

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In postmenopausal women, low serum 25(OH) vitamin D concentrations are associated with a significantly higher risk for hip fracture, researchers report in the Aug. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Hormone Therapy Not Linked to Wrinkle Improvements

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Low-dose hormone therapy doesn't offer statistically significant benefits to postmenopausal women with mild to moderate skin aging changes, researchers report in the September issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Screening Changes May Lead to Overdiagnosis of Syphilis

MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Due to syphilis testing laboratories reversing the traditional order of screening, there may be overdiagnosis and overtreatment of syphilis, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report in the Aug. 15 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Sexual Dysfunction in Elderly Not Due to Aging

FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In elderly people, sexual problems are not an inevitable consequence of aging but a result of stressors in multiple life domains, including physical and mental health and relationship quality, and the effect of these stressors may be greater in women than in men, according to the results of a study published online Aug. 13 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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Low Birth Weight Linked to Salt Sensitivity in Children

FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Low birth weight children and those born small for their gestational age are likely to be salt sensitive, according to study findings published online Aug. 11 in Hypertension.

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More U.S. Women Using Contraceptive Services

THURSDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- From 1995 to 2002, receipt of contraceptive services dramatically increased among U.S. women aged 15 to 44, according to research published online Aug. 13 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to Osteoporotic Fractures

THURSDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Taking proton pump inhibitors to treat ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease for long periods of time is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis-related fractures, particularly hip fractures, according to a report in the Aug. 12 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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Recurrence Risk High for Some Breast Cancer Patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer patients treated with systemic therapy who survive disease-free for five years have a substantial risk of cancer recurring up to 10 years after treatment, and late recurrence is associated with certain tumor characteristics, according to a report published online Aug. 11 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Drug Prevents Osteoporotic Fractures But Ups Stroke Risk

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Tibolone, a drug already approved to treat menopausal symptoms and prevent osteoporosis in many countries, prevents vertebral and other fractures in osteoporotic women but increases the risk of stroke, according to a report in the Aug. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Study Details Sickle Cell Disease Effect on Maternal Morbidity

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women with sickle cell disease may have a significantly higher risk of morbidity than previously estimated, according to research published in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Joint Pain Factors Identified in Postmenopausal Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In addition to aromatase inhibitors such as anastrozole, joint pain in postmenopausal women with early breast cancer is associated with factors such as previous hormone replacement therapy, obesity, hormone receptor positivity and previous chemotherapy, according to the results of a study published online Aug. 13 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Domestic Violence Linked to HIV in Indian Women

TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Married Indian women are more likely to be infected with HIV if they experience physical and sexual violence from their husbands, researchers report in the Aug. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Risk Factors Linked to Postpartum Suicide Attempts

MONDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Because women with a diagnosed psychiatric disorder, substance use disorder, or both are at significantly increased risk of postpartum suicide, they should be carefully monitored during and after pregnancy, researchers report in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Nearly One-Quarter of Young U.S. Women Smoke, CDC Reports

MONDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Almost one in four U.S. women of reproductive age -- aged 18 to 44 -- are current smokers, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Aug. 8 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Perceived Discrimination Affects Cancer Screening

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- People who felt they'd been discriminated against in a medical setting due to their racial or ethnic background were less likely to be screened for certain cancers, according to an article published online Aug. 6 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Epirubicin Has Mixed Results in Metastatic Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In women with metastatic breast cancer, the risk of cardiotoxicity from epirubicin treatment is higher than previously expected, but an increasing dose is also associated with improved overall survival, according to a report published in the Aug. 6 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Thromboembolism Prophylaxis Urged for Caesarean Deliveries

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The maternal death rate in the United States could be systematically reduced if all women undergoing Caesarean delivery received thromboembolism prophylaxis, according to research published in the July issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Lapatinib Inhibits Brain Metastases in Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In a mouse model of metastatic breast cancer, lapatinib reduces the number of large brain metastases, according to research published in the Aug. 6 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Expectant Management Best for Some Infertile Couples

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In couples with unexplained infertility, treatment with either clomifene citrate or unstimulated intrauterine insemination does not result in superior live birth rates compared with expectant management, according to study findings published online Aug. 7 in BMJ Online First.

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One in 200 U.S. Mothers Severely Ill During Delivery

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For every 1,000 deliveries in the United States, 5.1 women will be severely ill, a rate 50 times higher than the maternal death rate, according to an article published in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Spirituality Common Practice in Cancer Survivors

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of survivors of common cancers report using prayer or spiritual practices, and only a small percentage use hypnosis or acupuncture, according to research examining the prevalence of complementary medicine methods in cancer survivors, published online Aug. 4 in Cancer.

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Improved Patient Safety Process Has Positive Results

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patient outcomes improved, litigation declined dramatically and fewer babies were born by Caesarean delivery after a comprehensive redesign of the patient safety process at a major hospital group, researchers report in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Over 1 Billion U.S. Doctor, Hospital Visits Logged in 2006

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In 2006, patients made an estimated 1.1 billion visits to physician offices and hospital emergency and outpatient departments in the United States, which was an average of four visits per person, according to health care statistics released Aug. 6 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Education Should Be Dispensed with Emergency Contraception

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Diverse groups of women make use of emergency contraception, and those who provide it are in good position to deliver education messages about safe sex, according to research published in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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American Health Care System Needs New Direction

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Re-engineering the United States health care system for high performance will require fundamental change, according to reports released online Aug. 7 by The Commonwealth Fund.

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Estrogen Reduces Severity of Schizophrenia Symptoms

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Estrogen may be a useful adjunctive therapy for severe mental illness, according to researchers who report that it reduces symptoms in schizophrenic women. Their study findings are published in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Exercise Link to Depression and Anxiety Examined

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Although there is an association between regular exercise and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, exercise is not a causal factor, according to study findings published in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Combination Treatment Reduces Incontinence in Women

TUESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of behavioral therapy to tolterodine treatment reduces incontinence in urge-incontinent women during active treatment only, according to a report in the Aug. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Group B Streptococci Colonization Likely to Recur

MONDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Women with group B streptococci genitourinary colonization during an index pregnancy have a significantly increased risk of colonization during a subsequent pregnancy, according to research published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Estrogen Receptor β1 Linked to Breast Cancer Survival

MONDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Estrogen receptor (ER)-β1 status was found to be an independent predictor of breast cancer recurrence and mortality, according to research published in the Aug. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Penicillin Prophylaxis During Labor May Not Need 4 Hours

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Four hours of intrapartum penicillin G prophylaxis may not be necessary in women positive for group B streptococci, according to research published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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International Issue of Torture Complicity Analyzed

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- More than 100 countries condone the use of torture and have often recruited the medical community as participants without consequence, according to an editorial published online July 31 in BMJ.

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Half of Med Students Think Safe Sex Counseling Irrelevant

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Roughly half of U.S. medical students don't believe that counseling patients on safe sex will be highly relevant to their practice, according to an article published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Walker-Friendly Areas Promote Healthy Weight

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- People who live in older neighborhoods and those who can walk to work are less likely to be obese than their counterparts in newer and less walker-friendly neighborhoods, according to a report published online July 29 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Nifedipine Not Helpful in Breech Correction Procedure

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Nifedipine, a calcium antagonist with relaxant effects on the myometrium, didn't significantly improve the success of external cephalic version in women with a fetus in breech presentation, according to research published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Routine HIV Screening for Most Women Recommended

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Obstetrician-gynecologists are well-placed to incorporate routine screening for HIV into their routine gynecologic health checks, and should screen all their patients from age 19 to 64, according to a statement from the Committee on Gynecologic Practice of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists published in the August issue of ACOG Committee Opinion.

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