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June 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 June 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.

Sexually Transmitted Infections Rising Among Older Adults

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Between 1996 and 2003, the rate of sexually transmitted infections other than HIV more than doubled among people older than age 45 in the United Kingdom, according to a report published online June 27 in Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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Program Improves Outcomes in Pregnant Substance Abusers

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Perinatal outcomes are significantly better when women with substance abuse problems receive treatment integrated with prenatal visits, according to research published online June 26 in the Journal of Perinatology.

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Most Heterosexual HIV Spread in Africa Within Couples

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of heterosexually acquired HIV transmission in urban Zambia and Rwanda occurs within married or cohabitating couples, suggesting that voluntary counseling or testing for couples is needed, according to a report in the June 28 issue of The Lancet.

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Bisphosphonates Linked to Osteonecrosis of the Jaws

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Because breast cancer patients receiving intravenous bisphosphonates may be at higher risk of developing osteonecrosis of the jaws (ONJ), they should receive early referral by oncologists for baseline dental evaluation, according to a report published online June 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Video May Help Trim Sexually Transmitted Disease Rates

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- New infections among patients at sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics can be reduced by up to 10 percent by showing a brief educational video in the waiting room, according to an article published in the June issue of PLoS Medicine.

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Mothers Often Engage in Risky Infant Care Practices

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Mothers often engage in infant care practices that increase the risk of sudden infant death, including bed-sharing, placing infants in a prone position for sleep in a bassinet, or cluttering the bassinet with objects that can cause suffocation, according to two studies published online June 26 in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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Socioeconomic Status Linked to Post-Cancer Mortality

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Low socioeconomic status appears to influence mortality after cancer diagnosis, but community health advocates and patient assistants may help improve the stage of breast cancer diagnosis among a largely underinsured or uninsured population, according to two studies published online June 25 in Cancer.

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Screening Tool May Aid Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- A composite tool consisting of a symptom index and the CA-125 blood test identified more than 80 percent of women with early-stage ovarian cancer and may be useful as part of a multi-step screening process for the disease, which is extremely difficult to detect in its early stages, according to study findings published online June 25 in Cancer.

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Common Risk Alleles Could Help in Breast Cancer Screening

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Assessing a small number of susceptibility alleles could be helpful in identifying women who are genetically at higher risk of breast cancer and make screening programs more efficient, according to the authors of an article in the June 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Imaging Identifies Risk of Recurrent Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- A high-resolution imaging method can accurately predict the risk of tumor recurrence in women with invasive breast cancer, researchers report in the July issue of Radiology.

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Haplotype Blocks in 8q24 Gene Desert Linked to Cancer

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Five specific loci within the 8q24 gene desert are associated with an increased risk of various cancers, according to research published in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Pharmaceutical Firms at Cornerstone of Drug Discovery

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Research and development by private sector pharmaceutical companies complements the work of publicly funded research organizations, and they played a crucial role in bringing to market the 35 most important and most commonly prescribed drugs, according to a report published in June in the Manhattan Institute's sixth Medical Progress Report.

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Nurses' Health Study Meets Many Criteria for Success

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- The long-running Nurses' Health Study (NHS) has been successful in terms of three purposes of epidemiology -- discovery of information, development of control and prevention strategies, and delivery of findings -- according to a commentary in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Prediction Rule Identifies Risk of Osteoporotic Fracture

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- A prediction rule based on a heel stiffness index and four clinical factors can identify which elderly women are at high risk of osteoporotic fracture, according to a report in the July issue of Radiology.

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Guidelines for Treatment of Thrombosis Updated

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) has published updated guidelines for the prevention, treatment and management of thrombosis in populations such as pregnant women, children and hospitalized patients in a supplement to the June issue of Chest.

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Preeclampsia May Lead to Decreased Insulin Sensitivity

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women with a history of preeclamptic pregnancy respond to increased visceral fat in an enhanced insulin-resistant manner that may be associated with impaired vasodilatation. Also, early-onset preeclampsia is associated with impaired insulin sensitivity later in life, according to the results of a study released online June 23 in advance of publication in the August issue of Hypertension.

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Racial Disparities Exist in Colorectal Cancer Screening

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- There are racial disparities in the rate of colorectal cancer screening between different ethnic groups, and interventions are required to mitigate these inequalities, researchers report in the June 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Article Examines Use of 'Key Opinion Leaders' in Drug Sales

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Influential doctors known as "key opinion leaders" are paid generous fees to influence their peers to prescribe a company's drugs and may in fact be considered salespeople by the industry, according to an article in the June 21 issue of BMJ.

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Medical Students Need Consent for 'Intimate' Exams

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Asking medical students to perform "intimate" examinations on anesthetized patients without their informed consent is a violation of basic human rights, according to an editorial in the July issue of Student BMJ.

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Electronic Records Lacking in Many U.S. Doctors' Offices

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Only a small minority of U.S. physicians have electronic health record systems in their offices, with cost the most commonly cited barrier to adoption among those without access to a system, according to an article released online June 18 in advance of publication in the July 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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HIV Screening in Those Over 55 Often Cost-Effective

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- In tested populations with an HIV prevalence of at least 0.1 percent, it is cost-effective to screen those in the 55 to 75 age group as long as streamlined counseling is offered and screened patients have an at-risk partner, researchers report in the June 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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U.S. Survey Highlights Newborn Breast-Feeding Practices

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Maternity practices that could potentially interfere with breast-feeding are common in U.S. hospitals and birth centers, according to survey results published June 13 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Similar Risk of Lung Cancer in Male and Female Smokers

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Female smokers are no more likely than male smokers to develop lung cancer, although among never-smokers, women may be at modestly higher risk compared with men, according to the results of a study published online June 14 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Intervention Increases Teens' Dual Contraceptive Use

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In high-risk women, a transtheoretical model-tailored intervention significantly increases dual contraceptive use but does not affect the incidence of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, according to study findings published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Severe Diarrhea May Be Rising Threat to Pregnant Women

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In pregnant women, severe Clostridium difficile-associated disease may be an emerging threat, according to a report published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Death Risk Charts Put Disease Risk in Context

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Simple charts that give the 10-year risk of death based on age, sex and smoking status could help put disease risk in context and help patients decide where to focus on reducing risk, researchers report in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Drug May Cut Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer in Some Women

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Raloxifene, a selective estrogen receptor (ER) modulator, lowers the risk of invasive ER-positive breast cancers but not other types of breast cancers in women who have or are at high risk of coronary heart disease, researchers report in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Cancer Costs Increasing Due to More Treatment

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- The costs associated with treating cancer in the elderly have largely increased due to more patients receiving surgery and adjuvant treatment, and rising prices for these therapies, researchers report in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Douching Cessation May Reduce Risk of Bacterial Vaginosis

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Women who regularly use douching products to cleanse the vagina after menstruation may reduce the risk of bacterial vaginosis by stopping the practice, according to research published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Long Distance Mentors Do Not Prevent Burnout

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Long-distance mentoring of new chairs of departments of obstetrics and gynecology does not reduce the risk of burnout, according to an article published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Obesity in Pregnancy Increases Risk of Neural Tube Defects

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Being overweight or obese increases the risk of having a pregnancy affected by neural tube defects, with the risk for severely obese women triple that of normal weight women, according to a review published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Human Fetal Cells Rescue Mouse Myelination Defect

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Transplanting human fetal cells into the brains of newborn mice lacking myelin leads to widespread myelination, restoration of normal neural function and increased survival, according to research published in the June issue of Cell Stem Cell.

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Membrane Sweeping Doesn't Increase Prelabor Ruptures

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- The overall rate of prelabor rupture of membranes in women with uncomplicated pregnancies was not significantly higher among those who received membrane sweeps than among those who did not, researchers report in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Low-Dose Estradiol Spray Decreases Hot Flashes

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- A low-dose estradiol spray (E2) may significantly decrease hot flashes in healthy postmenopausal women with vasomotor symptoms, according to a new study published in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Experts' Evaluation of Cervical Images Often Differ

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Experienced colposcopists' evaluations of cervical lesion grades based on static digital images have fair to poor reproducibility, according to a report published in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Weaning Doesn't Improve HIV-Free Survival for Infants

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Studies seeking an optimal approach to preventing HIV transmission between HIV-infected breast-feeding mothers and their newborn babies found that stopping breast-feeding early (at 4 months) ultimately did not reduce HIV-free survival in infants; however, giving extended preventative therapy demonstrated a short-term positive impact. The studies were published online June 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Low Birth Weight May Increase Autism Risk

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of autism is higher among low birth weight or preterm children, particularly in females and in children with other developmental disabilities, according to research published in the June issue of Pediatrics.

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Guidelines Address Vaccination During Pregnancy

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- A new report -- Guiding Principles for Development of ACIP Recommendations for Vaccination During Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding -- approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in March, may help standardize procedures for policy formulation and presentation of the rationale and recommendations for the vaccination of pregnant and breast-feeding women, according to an article published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's May 30 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Prenatal Cigarette Smoke May Affect SIDS Risk

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Rats prenatally exposed to cigarette smoke are more likely to have gasping breathing patterns after hypoxia and take longer to recover normal breathing after hypoxia at higher temperatures, investigators have found. The research suggests that prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke may affect the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to a report in the June 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Low-Dose Rotigotine Can Help Treat Restless Legs Syndrome

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Both the daytime and nighttime symptoms of restless legs syndrome can be relieved using a 24-hour transdermal patch containing low-dose rotigotine, according to study findings published online May 31 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Nearly 14 Million Young U.S. Adults Lack Health Insurance

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- In 2006, 13.7 million U.S. adults aged 19 to 29 lacked health insurance, according to a report published May 30 by The Commonwealth Fund.

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Physician's Briefing
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