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December 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 December 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.

Decision Aid May Benefit Breast Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- In breast cancer patients who are eligible for either mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery, the use of a decision aid before the surgical consultation may promote informed, values-based treatment choices, according to a report published online Dec. 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Higher Breast Cancer Risk from Hormone Therapy

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of certain types of hormone replacement therapy is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, according to two studies published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Antibiotics Benefit Women with Premature Membrane Rupture

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In women with preterm premature rupture of membranes, antibiotics may prolong pregnancy and reduce neonatal morbidity. But antibiotic use in women with preterm labor who have intact membranes does not appear to have the same benefits, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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HIV Therapy May Affect Human Papillomavirus

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In HIV-infected women with pre-existing abnormal cervical cytology, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) may enhance clearance of human papillomavirus (HPV) in those who already have cervical disease, according to research published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Forced Coughing Reduces Discomfort of Cervical Biopsy

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Forced coughing can reduce the discomfort of a cervical biopsy as much as local anesthesia can, but the method gives physicians much less time for examination, according to a report published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Pros, Cons to Making the Pill Available Over the Counter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Two Head to Head articles published online Dec. 23 in BMJ highlight the pros and cons of making oral contraception available over the counter (OTC) rather than as a prescription drug.

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Low Birth Weight Associated with Higher Risk of Diabetes

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Low birth weight is associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood, according to research published in the Dec. 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Concurrent Drug Use Common in Elderly

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly half of older U.S. adults surveyed reported that they combine prescription and over-the-counter medications, a practice that may significantly increase their risk of major adverse drug reactions, researchers report in the Dec. 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Weight Status Linked to Preterm Birth Among Those at Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Obese and overweight women at risk for spontaneous preterm birth are significantly less likely than their normal weight and underweight counterparts to give birth before 35 weeks' gestation, according to study findings published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Hospital Discharge Data Best Explains Reason for Caesarean

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Information taken from birth certificates alone indicates that more than half of Caesarean deliveries are performed among women with no indicated risk, but when hospital discharge data is used in combination with birth certificates the number drops to low single digits, according to a report published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Egg Donors Largely Satisfied with Their Experience

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- A majority of egg donors report satisfaction with having been a donor and have a high willingness to donate again, according to the results of a survey released online in advance of publication in an upcoming issue of Fertility and Sterility.

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Blunt Needles Do Not Reduce Glove Perforations

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Using blunt needles to perform obstetrical laceration repair does not reduce the risk of glove perforations and makes the procedure more difficult, according to study findings published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Connective Tissue Disease Affects Pregnancy

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women with undifferentiated connective tissue disease have an increased risk of pregnancy complications, according to research published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Computer-Aided Mammography Has Pros, Cons

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Computer-aided detection (CAD) mammography can detect breast cancers that single-read mammography might miss, but drawbacks may include false-positive findings and overtreatment of slow-growing cancers, according to an evidence report released by the ECRI Institute, a non-profit organization, in December.

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Prenatal Corticosteroids Don't Improve Outcomes in Preemies

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The outcome of preterm birth is not improved by multiple prenatal courses of corticosteroids, and the treatment is associated with reduced weight, length and head circumference, according to a report published in the Dec. 20 issue of The Lancet.

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Diet Impacts Prognosis in Some Breast Cancer Survivors

THURSDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A reduced-fat diet high in vegetables, fruit and fiber may reduce the risk of additional cancer events in breast cancer survivors who do not experience hot flashes, according to a report published online Dec. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Ureteroscopy Safe for Stone Removal in Pregnancy

THURSDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In pregnant women with obstructing ureteral calculi refractory to conservative treatment, ureteroscopy is a safe and reasonable treatment, researchers report in the January issue of the Journal of Urology.

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Enzymes Predict Survival in Ovarian Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The levels of two enzymes that process microRNAs (miRNAs), which regulate gene expression, can predict survival in women with ovarian cancer, researchers report in the Dec. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Studies Explore Benefits of Endometrial Cancer Treatments

MONDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- For women with early-stage endometrial cancer, additional treatments after surgery such as lymphadenectomy and radiation do not improve survival, according to two studies published online Dec. 13 in The Lancet.

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Adverse Brain Development Studied in Preterm Infants

FRIDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Premature birth is associated with long-term defects in neurological development; correlated with this, there is a decreased risk of adverse neurological consequences as gestational age increases, according to research published online Dec. 11 in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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Exercise on Prescription Improves Activity Levels

FRIDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Prescribing an exercise program helps increase women's levels of physical activity and may improve their quality of life, despite an increase in injuries and falls, according to research published online Dec. 11 in BMJ.

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Modern Therapies Linked to Better Breast Cancer Survival

FRIDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Many types of modern breast cancer therapy -- whether given alone or in combination -- can offer improved survival compared with older single agents, according to the results of a meta-analysis published in the Dec. 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Thiazolidinediones Linked to Fractures in Women

FRIDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The long-term use of thiazolidinediones in women with type 2 diabetes is associated with a higher risk of fractures, according to the results of a meta-analysis published in the Jan. 6 issue of CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Two-Thirds of American Adults Are Physically Active

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately 65 percent of American adults self-report reaching the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans criteria for being physically active, according to a report published in the Dec. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Electronic Prescribing Can Lead to Savings on Drug Costs

TUESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic prescribing with formulary decision support encourages clinicians to prescribe cheaper drugs and can lead to significant cost savings, according to research published in the Dec. 8/22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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No Explanation for Anemia Decline in Women and Children

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- There was a significant decline in the rates of anemia among women and children in the United States between 1988-1994 and 1999-2002, according to a report published in the December issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Pulmonary Disease May Increase Risk of Osteoporosis

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of the journal Chest.

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Alkaline Supplementation May Improve Skeletal Health

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults may experience a decrease in bone loss as a result of increasing the alkali content of their diet, according to research released online in October in advance of publication in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Patients Conflicted About Frozen Embryo Disposition

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- After treatment, fertility patients face a conundrum concerning the disposition of cryopreserved embryos, and may either prefer unavailable options such as research donation or reject available options such as reproductive donation or thawing and discarding, according to an article published online Dec. 5 in Fertility and Sterility.

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Carraguard Does Not Prevent Vaginal HIV Transmission

FRIDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A carrageenan-based compound, Carraguard, is not effective in preventing vaginal transmission of HIV, researchers report in the Dec. 6 issue of The Lancet.

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Poor Pay the Most for Prescription Drugs

FRIDAY, Dec.5 (HealthDay News) -- Prescription drugs cost more in poor neighborhoods than in more affluent areas, according to a study of pharmacy prices in the state of Florida, published online in November in Health Services Research.

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Biomarker Predicts Drug Benefit for Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Women with metastatic breast cancer are more likely to benefit from lapatinib (Tykerb/Tyverb) treatment if their tumors overproduce the biomarker HER-2, researchers report in the Dec. 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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Possible Link Between Epilepsy Drug and Autism Examined

THURSDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Children born to mothers who took the epilepsy drug valproate during pregnancy may have an up to sevenfold increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder compared to children who were not exposed to epilepsy drugs in utero, according to a report published in the Dec. 2 issue of Neurology.

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Caesarean Section Linked to Childhood Asthma

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Children born by Caesarean section have an increased risk of developing asthma, particularly if they have allergic parents, according to a report published online Dec. 3 in Thorax.

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Folate During Pregnancy May Increase Risk of Wheeze

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Babies of women who take folate supplements during the first trimester of pregnancy may be at increased risk of wheeze and lower respiratory tract infections up to 18 months of age, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Heavy Drinking Ups Women's Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged women who consume two or more alcoholic drinks a day are at a slightly but statistically significant higher risk of atrial fibrillation than non-drinking women, according to research published in the Dec. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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State 'Apology' Laws Affect Medical Error Admission

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- An increasing number of states have enacted "apology" laws aimed at encouraging physicians to disclose medical errors. But such laws vary from state to state, and may expose physicians to varying degrees of malpractice liability, according to a Narrative Review: "Do State Laws Make It Easier to Say 'I'm Sorry?'" published in the Dec. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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US Maternal-Fetal Specialists Receive Adequate Training

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal-fetal clinical practice is comprised mainly of ambulatory care with special focus on ultrasonography and high-risk patient management, two areas in which these specialists feel adequately trained, according to the results of a survey published in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Over Half of Obstetric Claims Due to Substandard Care

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Altering routine practice patterns could alleviate more than half of hospital litigation costs related to obstetric malpractice, according to a report published in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Drug Prices High in Low-, Middle-Income Countries

MONDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The prices of originator and generic medicines in low- and middle-income countries are often unaffordably high because of mark-ups and other factors, and the drugs aren't always widely available, according to a report published online Dec. 1 in The Lancet.

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Denmark's Down Syndrome Births Halved By Screening

MONDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Since Denmark introduced national combined risk assessment for Down syndrome in 2004, the number of infants born with Down syndrome has dropped by half, according to research published Nov. 27 in BMJ Online First.

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Discontinuation Rate for Bladder Medications High

MONDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of women prescribed anticholinergic drugs for lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of overactive bladder discontinued treatment after six months, suggesting poor adherence to treatment, researchers report in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Investigational Drug Potent Estrogen Antagonist in Mice

MONDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with the conventional selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) raloxifene and lasofoxifene, the investigational SERM bazedoxifene is a more potent antagonist of estrogen activity in both the uterus and mammary gland of mice, according to research published online Nov. 20 in Endocrinology.

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Physician's Briefing
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