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October 2006 Briefing - Obstetrics/Gynecology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in OBGYN & Women's Health for October 2006. 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.

Methamphetamine Crosses Placenta to Fetus

TUESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Methamphetamine, or "crystal meth," can cross the placenta from the mother to fetus, with a significant correlation between levels in mother and neonate, according to an analysis of hair samples published online Oct. 31 in the Fetal and Neonatal Edition of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Women's Access to Caesareans Insufficient Around World

TUESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Sub-Saharan African women have dangerously poor access to Caesarean sections, while many Latin American women undergo the procedure unnecessarily, researchers report in the Oct. 28 issue of The Lancet.

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Twenty-Minute Incontinence Test Better Than Longer Test

TUESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Twenty-minute pad tests may be even more sensitive than the standard one-hour pad tests for women with stress urinary incontinence, according to a report in the October issue of Urology.

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Breast Reconstruction Complications Analyzed

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In women undergoing immediate breast reconstruction, latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap with or without an implant may represent a compromise between complication risk and a good cosmetic result, researchers report in the October issue of the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery.

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Topical Estradiol Can Be Transferred by Skin Contact

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- One hour after topical estradiol has been applied, a clinically significant transfer of the drug can occur during 15 minutes of skin contact, according to a report in the October issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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Radiation After Breast Reconstruction Ups Capsule Risk

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- After immediate breast reconstruction, capsule formation is three times more likely in breast cancer patients who undergo radiotherapy, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery.

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Clinicians Believe Teens Unlikely to Practice Safe Sex

THURSDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Despite their conviction that teens should be counseled on safe sex practices including monogamy, abstinence and condom use to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, fewer than one-quarter of clinicians believe adolescents will use these methods in the long run, according to a report in the Oct. 20 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Twins More Likely to Have Premature Menopause

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Twins, both monozygotic and dizygotic, are more likely to have premature ovarian failure compared with their singleton counterparts, according to a report published online Oct. 25 in Human Reproduction.

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome More Common in the Obese

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight and obese women have five times the incidence of polycystic ovary syndrome than do leaner women, according to the results of a Spanish study published in the Oct. 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Stereotype Threat Affects Women's Performance in Math

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The stereotype that women do poorer on math tests may, in itself, cause women to do just that, according to study findings reported in the Oct. 20 issue of Science. The phenomenon is called stereotype threat and could be the reason for underrepresentation of women in science and engineering, the authors note.

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Induced Labor Doubles Risk of Amniotic-Fluid Embolism

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have their labor induced are twice as likely to develop an amniotic-fluid embolism as their counterparts who don't have a medically induced labor, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 21 issue of The Lancet.

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Postmastectomy Reconstruction Safe for Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer patients requiring radiotherapy who undergo reconstructive surgery at the time of mastectomy have no more complications than those who do not have reconstructive surgery, researchers report in the October issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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Study Sheds Light on Oral Contraceptives, Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Oral contraceptive use is associated with a small increase in premenopausal breast cancer risk, especially in parous women who use them for four or more years before a first full-term pregnancy, according to a meta-analysis published in the October issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Valacyclovir Reduces Herpes Simplex Virus 2 Shedding

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In immunocompetent patients infected with herpes simplex virus 2, treatment with the drug valacyclovir significantly reduces viral shedding, according to a study published in the October issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Anti-Aging Hormone Supplements Not Effective

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Neither dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) nor low-dose testosterone replacement therapy are effective as anti-aging supplements for elderly women and men, according to a two-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Oct. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Uterine Fibroid Tumor Therapy Costs U.S. Over $2 Billion

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- During the year 2000, the total direct cost to treat uterine fibroid tumors in the United States was $2.1 billion, which was due mostly to the cost of inpatient care for hysterectomy, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Sexually Transmitted Disease Re-Infection Risk Is High

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with sexually transmitted infections are at high risk of being re-infected after treatment and should be re-screened after three months, according to study findings published Oct. 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Childhood Cancer Survivors Have Higher Preterm Birth Risk

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Female survivors of childhood cancer are more likely to have problems during pregnancy including having premature births, researchers report in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Fish Intake is Healthy Despite Risk of Contaminants

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The health benefits of seafood consumption outweigh the risk of contaminants contained in some fish, but young women and nursing mothers should limit themselves to two weekly servings of certain species only, researchers report in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). A separate report from the Institute of Medicine was also released Tuesday in an effort to help consumers sort through information on the risks and benefits of seafood consumption.

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Bone Development Depends on Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is essential for embryonic bone development, researchers report in the October issue of Endocrinology.

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Low Vitamin D in Advanced- Stage Breast Cancer Patients

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D, may play a role in the progression of breast cancer, according to a report published online Oct. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

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Older Breast Cancer Patients Under-Treated

MONDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Women over the age of 70 are under-diagnosed with breast cancer, and are subsequently under-treated compared to their younger counterparts, researchers report in the October issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Fluoxetine Increases Bone Mass in Mice

MONDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In mice, fluoxetine increases bone mass under normal physiologic and inflammatory conditions, but does not prevent bone loss associated with estrogen deficiency, according to a study published online Oct. 13 in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry.

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Loss of Medicaid Negatively Impacts Health Care

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Adults who lost or had disruptions in Medicaid coverage in Oregon after cost-saving changes were implemented were less likely to receive primary care and more likely to have unmet medical needs and medical debt, researchers report in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Living Close to Heavy Industry May Raise Lung Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term residence close to heavy industry areas may cause a modest increase in the risk of females developing lung cancer, according to a study published online Oct. 13 in Thorax.

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Race, Sex, Age Impact Level-I Trauma Center Transfers

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Even after controlling for injury severity, non-clinical factors such as race, gender, age and insurance status significantly impact a patient's risk for hospital transfer to level-I trauma centers, researchers report in the October issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

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Soy Exposure Alters Mammary Glands in Neonatal Mice

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Neonatal mice exposed to the phytoestrogen genistein, which is found in soy products, have altered mammary gland morphogenesis and hormone receptor levels, and the effect is dose-dependent and persists past puberty, according to research published in the October issue of Endocrinology.

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Exercise May Prevent Anemia During Radiation Treatment

TUESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer patients who exercise regularly are less likely to become anemic during radiation therapy than sedentary women, according to a report published online Oct. 9 in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

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Cola Drinking Linked to Lower Bone Density in Women's Hips

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Women who drink cola daily have a lower bone density in the hip than women who do not drink colas, researchers report in the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The association was not seen in men, or in women who consumed other types of carbonated beverages.

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Hormone 'Break' Manages Breakthrough Bleeding

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Women who are on a 168-day extended oral contraceptive regimen and experience breakthrough bleeding for seven days or more do better with a three-day hormone-free interval rather than continuing hormones, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Misoprostol Can Reduce Acute Postpartum Hemorrhage

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Oral administration of misoprostol immediately after childbirth significantly reduces the rate of acute postpartum hemorrhage in low-resources settings, according to a report published in the Oct. 7 issue of The Lancet.

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Gene Abnormalities Predict Endometrial Cancer Prognosis

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The pathologic expression of the tumor suppressor genes p53 and p16 in curettage specimens may identify high-risk endometrial carcinoma patients with a poor prognosis, according to a study in the October issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Past Chemotherapy Alters Cognitive Function

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer survivors who had received chemotherapy five to 10 years earlier have alterations in brain metabolism and worse cognitive function, according to study results published online Oct. 5 in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

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Breast-Feeding Does Not Boost Offspring's IQ

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Breast-feeding does not affect a child's intelligence after correction for maternal IQ, according to the results of the largest-ever study to explore this connection. The findings were published online Oct. 4 in BMJ.

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Increased Suicide Risk Seen in Breast Cancer Survivors

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Among women diagnosed with breast cancer, there is a small but statistically significant increase in the long-term risk of suicide, according to a report published in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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DES Exposure In Utero Linked to Earlier Menopause

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Women who were exposed in utero to diethylstilbestrol (DES) have an increased chance of early menopause, according to a study in the Oct. 1 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Sex Steroid Levels Associated with Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Circulating levels of sex steroid hormones may be important in the etiology of premenopausal breast cancer, according to a study in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Health Care Utilization Drops After Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Women with obstructive sleep apnea have higher medical bills and visit the doctor more often than other women in the two years before diagnosis, but after diagnosis health care utilization and costs tend to decline, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 1 issue of Sleep.

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Male Mice with Mutant Mitochondria Are Infertile

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Male mice containing high levels of mutant mitochondria are infertile due to lower sperm numbers and reduced sperm motility, according to a report released online ahead of publication in the Oct. 10 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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One in 10 U.K. Men Surveyed Pay for Sex

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- One in 10 men pay for sex, almost half of whom have a partner, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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Failure to Order Test Common Mistake in Malpractice Claims

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A failure to order an appropriate diagnostic test is the most common mistake that results in harm to patients in the ambulatory care setting, although multiple breakdowns and individual and system factors play a role, according to a review of malpractice claims in the Oct. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Hormone Therapy May Increase Ovarian Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The prolonged use of hormone-replacement therapy, including estrogen alone and estrogen plus progestin, may increase a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to study results published in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Exercise May Lower Success of In Vitro Fertilization

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In women who undergo in vitro fertilization, those who exercise more than four hours per week or participate in cardiovascular exercise may have poorer pregnancy outcomes, according to a study published in the October issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Five Gene Variants Associated with Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A pooled analysis of studies examining the association of 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with breast cancer has shown that only five have a borderline significant association while the remaining 11 have no association, according to a study in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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One-Third of U.S. Infant Mortality Due to Preterm Birth

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A new analysis of data from the United States indicates that one-third of infant mortality is due to complications caused by prematurity, according to a study published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

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MRI Scans Recommended for Children with Cerebral Palsy

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- All children with cerebral palsy should have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan because there is a strong correlation with clinical findings and the scan can help predict children's future needs, as well as possibly help prevent future cases, researchers report in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. More than 40 percent of such children have white-matter damage of immaturity and only about 12 percent have no abnormalities on MRI.

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Selective Magnesium Sulfate May Double Eclampsia Rate

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Two studies shed light on the best ways to use magnesium sulfate in the prevention of eclampsia, with some editorialists calling for an end to the use of this therapy for delaying preterm labor, according to research in the October issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Majority of ObGyns Believe Free Drug Samples Are Ethical

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- More than 90 percent of U.S. obstetrician-gynecologists think it is ethical to accept free samples of drugs from pharmaceutical companies, although 34 percent believe the profession's interaction with the pharmaceuticals industry should be more tightly regulated, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics.

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Physician's Briefing