Sunday, February 27, 2005

Health Headlines - February 28

Bird Flu Kills 47th Asian Victim in Vietnam

Bird flu has killed a 69-year-old Vietnamese man, the 47th Asian victim of a virus experts fear could unleash a global influenza pandemic capable of wiping out millions of people.

Global Anti-Smoking Pact Goes Into Effect

A global treaty aimed at dissuading children from smoking and helping adults kick the habit came into force on Sunday with the United Nations saying it could save millions of lives.

Fight Against Polio Launched in Ivory Coast

On foot and by bicycle, an army of 28,000 people advanced through towns and remote villages in Ivory Coast Sunday to vaccinate children against polio to try and finally defeat the crippling disease.

U.S. Pushes U.N. on Abortion Declaration

Ten years after a landmark U.N. conference adopted a platform aimed at global equality for women, the United States is demanding that a declaration issued by a follow-up meeting make clear that women are not guaranteed a right to abortion.

China Seeks to Combat Abortion Imbalance

China's top lawmakers want to make it a crime for doctors to detect an unborn baby's sex for non-medical reasons, in a bid to combat the abortion of female fetuses, government-run newspapers reported Sunday.

South Korean scientists find key to producing cancer-killing cells

A team of South Korean scientists say they have found a way to produce the human body's own cancer-killing cells through gene therapy, offering new hope to cancer sufferers.

AIDS does not discriminate, warns Botswana's new Miss HIV

Botswana's new Miss HIV AIDS Stigma Free Cynthia Leshomo said she thought someone as "beautiful and intelligent" as her would be immune to the virus but knew better now.

Catholic Church sparks furious IVF debate in Croatia

Croatia's highly conservative Catholic Church has sparked outrage from parents and rights groups after it condemned in-vitro fertilization (IVF) as a "crime against human life".

South African radio show outs adulterers to fight AIDS

A steamy radio show in Soweto is outing adulterers with shocking techniques that the creators say are justified to combat South Africa's alarming HIV/AIDS rate.

Over 200 Hong Kong groups call for complete ban on indoor smoking

More than 200 organisations and schools joined forces to call for a complete ban on smoking in indoor areas.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Health Headlines - February 27

Anti-Tobacco Treaty Going Into Effect

A global anti-tobacco treaty that comes into force Sunday needs strengthening fast if it is to curb a killer that claims 5 million lives a year, a leading expert said.

Taboos Threaten Senegal Anti-AIDS Push

Homosexuality is such a deeply ingrained taboo here that it is punishable by law as an act against nature. The threat of violence and rejection, experts say, is scaring gays away from treatment and making them a high-risk group.

Study: Oscar Winners Outlive Other Actors

A Canadian professor of medicine argues that actors who win Academy Awards on Sunday night won't only boost their chances of other box-office hits, but will likely live longer than their fellow nominees.

Schwarzenegger: No Regrets About Steroids

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has acknowledged using steroids during his years as a champion body builder, said he doesn't regret using the performance-enhancing drugs.

New York Suburb Has First Case of Rare STD

A Nassau County man has been diagnosed with a rare sexually transmitted disease, the first case in the county and one of seven around the country.

Malaysia Takes Steps to Stem Tobacco Use

Next month's Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix will be the last time cigarette companies will be able to use the romance of racing to sell their tobacco products in Malaysia.

Landmark anti-smoking treaty enters into force

A landmark treaty aimed at cutting deaths and illness caused by smoking came into force Sunday, after 57 countries ratified international restrictions on tobacco producers and smokers, the World Health Organisation said.

Two new HIV-related viruses likely came from monkeys, scientists say

US scientists have identified two new human retroviruses, cousins of HIV, which may have originated in monkeys, according to researchers presenting their work at an AIDS conference.

Health Headlines - February 26

New Virus May Have Come from Monkeys, Experts Say

Two new retroviruses never before seen in humans have turned up among people who regularly hunt monkeys in Cameroon, researchers reported on Friday.

New Therapies May Expand AIDS Arsenal

Several new drugs work well in HIV patients who are beginning to run out of options because their virus has mutated into drug-resistant forms, researchers reported on Friday.

Medtronic Voluntarily Recalls Defibrillators

Medtronic Inc. on Friday said it was voluntarily recalling around 1,900 automated external heart defibrillators used by paramedics and firemen.

Life-Prolonging AIDS Cocktails Show Real Value

Drug cocktails that can prolong the lives of people infected with the AIDS virus are beginning to show their value but only about half of U.S. adults who should be receiving them are actually getting them, scientists reported on Friday.

Smoking Ups Impotence Risk in Younger Men

Adding to evidence that smoking is bad for a man's sex life, new study findings show that smoking may raise the risk of impotence, particularly in younger men.

Eating Breakfast May Do a Heart Good

Mom may have been right when she said breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A small study suggests that skipping that morning meal may be a bad move for the heart, and possibly the waistline.

Asian Countries Appeal for Bird Flu Help

Asian countries battling a bird flu virus that threatens to create a human pandemic that could kill millions need urgent help from the wealthy West if they are to succeed, a 28-nation conference said on Friday.

No Evidence Flu Jabs Work for Under-2s

There is no evidence that vaccinating children under 2 years old against influenza reduces deaths or complications from the illness, researchers said on Friday.

Ethiopia Records Polio Case as Virus Spreads

A two-year-old girl has contracted polio in Ethiopia in another sign that the epidemic is spreading across Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

Anti-Smoking Message Saves Heart Patients' Lives

Counseling people who have survived a heart attack about quitting smoking before they have even checked out of the hospital appears to reduce their risk of dying up to one year after the attack, new research reports.

HIV Infection Rate Among Blacks Doubles

The HIV infection rate has doubled among blacks in the United States over a decade while holding steady among whites — stark evidence of a widening racial gap in the epidemic, government scientists said Friday.

Panelists in FDA Drug Vote Tied to Makers

Ten members of the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel who voted that a group of powerful pain killers should continue to be sold had ties to the drug makers, an advocacy group says.

Kan. AG Seeks Late-Term Abortion Records

The Kansas attorney general, a staunch opponent of abortion, has demanded the medical records of nearly 90 woman and girls who had late-term abortions, saying he needs the material to investigate crimes.

You're Never Too Old to Exercise

One of the best ways to ward off health problems as you age is the same as when you're young, health experts say -- exercise.

Ovary Syndrome Ups Risk for Liver Disease

Women with a hormone-linked condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may also be at increased risk for liver disease, a new study finds.

Non-Surgical Treatment Offers Hope for Liver Cancer

A new, minimally invasive technology that 'cooks' tumors using a tiny needle may be an effective first-line treatment for people with early-stage liver cancer who don't quality for surgery.

Hundreds of millions of dollars needed to fight bird flu: experts

Bird flu has cost 10 billion dollars in agricultural losses and the world needs to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more to combat it, health experts said at a conference.

Hungarian authorities discover shipment of poisonous green peppers

Hungarian authorities have discovered "dangerous levels" of pesticide in a shipment of green peppers imported from Morocco, health officials said.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Health Headlines - February 25

Caesarians Do Not Stop Postnatal Depression

Having a planned caesarian section does not reduce a woman's risk of suffering from postnatal depression, doctors said Friday.

Dirty Water, Sanitation Kill Thousands Daily

Unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation kill 4,000 children every day, global health experts said on Friday.

English Cancer Patients Still Face Long Wait

A fifth of patients with suspected cancer wait more than a month to be seen by a specialist in England, a report showed on Friday.

Judge Skeptical of Tobacco Argument in U.S. Suit

A federal judge on Thursday voiced skepticism about a key argument that cigarette makers are using to defend themselves against government charges of civil racketeering.

U.S. Panel: AstraZeneca Heart Drug OK with Others

AstraZeneca Plc should be allowed to market its hypertension drug Atacand to heart failure patients taking other heart medicines called ACE inhibitors, U.S. experts recommended on Thursday, despite finding problems with a trial of the medicine.

More Drugs Better for Protecting Baby from HIV

Scientists defended the practice of giving a single dose of the drug nevirapine to protect newborns from their mothers' AIDS infections, saying on Thursday it works and is not toxic.

Wives of Smokers Run Risk of Stroke

Smoking by husbands is associated with an increased occurrence of stroke among their non-smoking wives, according to a new study.

Malaria Preventive Linked to 'Psychiatric Events'

People traveling in tropical areas who take the anti-malaria drug mefloquine appear to be prone to psychiatric events such as anxiety or psychosis, new research shows. Women and people with a psychiatric history seem especially vulnerable.

U.S. Poll Backs Bigger Gov't Role on Drug Prices

Nearly two-thirds of people want the U.S. government more involved in limiting the price of prescription drugs, according to a survey released on Thursday by a nonprofit health research group.

U.S. Worried by Infections in Transfusion Recipients

Americans who receive blood platelet transfusions are probably at a higher risk than generally believed to contract potentially deadly bacterial infections, according to a report published on Thursday.

New HIV Strain Has Very Deadly Aspects

Research on a recently discovered HIV strain shows it holds an array of disturbing traits that help it quickly progress to full-blown AIDS while resisting drug treatments, doctors said Thursday at the leading meeting on AIDS science.

Vietnam Confirms Another Bird Flu Case

Vietnam confirmed another bird flu case Friday, the first reported infection in more than a month.

Schiavo Case Highlights Eating Disorders

Before she was the severely brain-damaged patient at the center of a legal dispute over whether she should live or die, Terri Schiavo was a young woman who desperately wanted to be thin.

Lawsuit Asks FDA to Regulate Salt Use

Concerned that Americans are consuming salt at twice the recommended levels, a consumer group asked a federal court Thursday to force the government to regulate it.

Experts Pinpoint Ducks' Role in Bird Flu

Health and animal experts said Thursday any long-term strategy for controlling bird flu must address the role of ducks and other waterfowl as major culprits in the spread of the deadly virus.

Repeat Tests Help Spot Newborn Hearing Loss

Repeat testing of newborns within 10 days of delivery may be the best way to catch hard-to-spot hearing difficulties and to rule out false diagnoses, according to a new study.

Autism Experts Collaborate to Improve Treatment

Leading American experts in autism are banding together to form the Autism Treatment Network (ATN), a national, non-profit organization for doctors and medical centers aimed at improving autism treatment.

Gene Insight May Improve Child Asthma Care

Researchers have identified a common genetic profile shared by children who suffer acute asthma attacks.

Spouse Most Likely Source of Elder Abuse

Elderly people may be at increased risk of abuse if they're cared for by a spouse, especially if the spouse is coping with his or her own physical or mental health problems, according to a new study.

Ibuprofen Controversy Continues After Pain Drug Hearings

Even though a government advisory panel recommended last week that strident warnings be placed on cox-2 inhibitors, some experts are calling for warnings on related drugs, especially those given to children.

Nerve Cell 'Traffic Jam' May Trigger Alzheimer's

Like cars backed up on a freeway, blockages in nerve cell signals may lead to the neurological traffic jam that is Alzheimer's disease, researchers say.

SARS virus behaviour could help design treatment, vaccines

Scientists in Singapore have discovered the SARS virus can evade the body's immune system, a finding that may help experts design treatments and vaccines against the disease.

Tracheotomy: surgery opens hole in windpipe to ease breathing

A tracheotomy, the surgical procedure that Pope John Paul II underwent, creates a temporary opening in the trachea, or windpipe, to ease breathing.

African AIDS front shows signs of hope

Condom use and multiple-drug "cocktails" have slowed the spread of AIDS cases in certain African countries, a global AIDS conference in Boston was told.

Britain probes three firms amid biggest ever food recall

Britain's food watchdog said three companies were under investigation for their alleged role in a cancer scare that has triggered the country's largest food recall.

EU concerned over British food scare, other states alerted

The European Commission expressed concern over the discovery of food tainted by a potentially cancer-causing dye in Britain, saying other EU states had been alerted.

Animal experts say efforts insufficient to combat bird flu

Animal health experts at a conference on bird flu criticised the underfunding of efforts to combat the deadly virus which threatens both poultry stocks and humans.

World's first anti-smoking treaty becomes law Sunday

The world's first treaty on reducing tobacco consumption which is said to be causing five million deaths a year becomes binding international law on Sunday, the World Health Organisation said.

Experts say smoking costs Hong Kong 1.3 bln dlrs each year

Smoking in Hong Kong costs the former British colony 5.3 billion Hong Kong dollars (1.3 billion US dollars) in health and social costs each year.

HIV-positive Indian boy kicked out of school after other parents protest

A four-year-old HIV-positive boy has been kicked out of school in India's northeastern state of Assam under pressure from the parents of his classmates, a rights group said.

Hong Kongers don't believe government on pollution

The vast majority of Hong Kongers believe the government's pollution measurements in the smog-choked city are inaccurate.

Health Headlines - February 24

Vietnam Appeals for Help in Bird Flu Fight

Vietnam, the country hit worst by bird flu, has appealed for technical and financial help to fight the virus now endemic in the region, its chief of animal health said on Thursday.

Abstinence Programs Failing in Uganda AIDS Study

Programs that promote abstinence and monogamy to combat AIDS are failing in a landmark Ugandan study, and only condom use has kept the deadly virus in check, researchers reported on Wednesday.

Pregnant Women Risk Murder in U.S., Report Finds

Murder is a surprisingly common cause of death among pregnant women in the United States, U.S. government researchers reported on Wednesday.

Drug Cuts Damage, Death from Brain Bleeding

A single dose of a drug already used to treat hemophilia can help limit brain damage caused by the deadliest and most debilitating form of stroke, according to results of an international study released on Wednesday.

Government Paying Ever More Health Costs

Within a decade, the public sector will be paying nearly half the cost of U.S. health care, which is also swallowing an ever-larger chunk of the nation's resources, government economists reported on Wednesday.

Once-A-Day Morphine Helps with Cancer Pain

A new once-a-day morphine formulation appears to provide better control of cancer pain than an earlier twice-daily version of the agent, according to Canadian researchers.

Too Much Red Meat Bad for Long-Term Health

When it comes to high protein diets and health, the source of the protein really does matter, new research suggests.

Think Secrecy Makes Love Sweeter? Think Again

Contrary to popular opinion, having a secret relationship doesn't fuel love's flames -- in fact, secrecy may do exactly the opposite, new research suggests.

Study Shows How Green Tea May Fight Bladder Cancer

Green tea extract may interfere with a process that helps early bladder cancer to spread throughout the body, new laboratory research suggests.

The findings, say researchers, bolster ongoing studies into green tea extract as a cancer treatment -- and may give green tea drinkers more reason to savor every cup.

The investigators found that when they exposed human bladder cells to both a cancer-causing chemical and green tea extract, the extract interfered with a particular process by which early cancer cells become invasive and spread throughout body tissue.

This process involves the "remodeling" of actin, a structural protein in cells that is essential for cell movement. Actin remodeling allows cancer cells to move and invade nearby healthy tissue.

Based on the new findings, green tea extract may get in the way of this process by activating a protein known as Rho, which helps regulate actin's organization in cells and has been implicated in tumor development and progression.

Dr. JianYu Rao and his colleagues at the University of California Los Angeles report the findings in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

A number of studies have suggested that green tea and extracts of the beverage may have cancer-preventing abilities, possibly due to the tea's concentration of certain antioxidants -- compounds that help ward off cell damage that can lead to cancer, heart disease and other ills.

But exactly how green tea may act in the body to fight cancer is not clear. Lab research has suggested it can act in several ways -- from hindering tumors from forming their own blood supply to forcing abnormal cells to commit suicide.

The current study points to an entirely new mechanism, Rao told Reuters Health in an interview.

Green tea extract, he explained, appears to diminish cancer cells' invasiveness -- suggesting that it could be used in the early stages of cancer treatment.

One recent study found that green tea extract brought no benefit to men with advanced prostate cancer. But Rao said that any effects of the extract on cancer would probably occur in the early stages.

He and his colleagues are now conducting a clinical trial to see whether green tea extract can reduce the risk of bladder cancer recurrence in patients with a history of smoking, which is a risk factor for the disease.

Uncovering the details of how green tea may stymie cancer could help doctors figure out which patients are likely to benefit from treatment with extracts, Rao said. It may be possible to look for specific markers of actin remodeling and Rho activation in patients' urine to determine who is best suited for such therapy.

It's also possible, Rao said, that drinking green tea could reduce the risk of developing bladder cancer in the first place -- though no one knows how many cups a person would have to sip over a lifetime.

Judge Extends Stay in Right-To-Die Case

A judge Wednesday extended an order keeping brain-damaged Terri Schiavo's feeding tube in place, saying he needed time to decide whether her parents should be allowed to pursue further efforts to keep her husband from removing her life support.

U.S. Prepares to Test Bird Flu Vaccine

Amid dire warnings of an Asian pandemic, the government is preparing to test an experimental bird flu vaccine and is increasing disease surveillance in hopes of reducing the toll from any eventual American outbreak.

Study: Drug Helps Bleeding Stroke Patients

A drug that keeps hemophiliacs from bleeding to death could also prove to be the first treatment for the most lethal and crippling type of stroke, the kind caused by a burst blood vessel in the brain.

Study Finds Cholera Vaccine Effective

A small study from the world's first mass immunization campaign against cholera suggests that the vaccine may work in people with the AIDS virus — a finding that could prove useful in Africa, where HIV is rampant, researchers say.

Soy Industry Looks for the Next Big Thing

Soy milk, once a staple found only in natural and health food stores, is now sold side-by-side with regular milk in chain supermarkets. Soy's move into the mainstream has led to vigorous sales of such products in recent years.

Scientists Examines Workplace Germs

You probably clean vigorously at home, at least occasionally. But how often does this happen at work, the valiant efforts of the janitorial staff notwithstanding?

Expert: Baby Swings Can Trigger Dog Attack

Rocking your baby to sleep in a mechanical swing can trigger a deadly attack on the child by the family dog, a coroner warns.

Study: Anti-Smoking Campaign Is Helping

A nationwide ad campaign funded largely by the tobacco industry has helped cut youth smoking rates, a study by a health journal estimates. But anti-smoking advocates say money for such campaigns is drying up.

Health Depts. Said Unprepared for Crisis

More than three years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, many state health departments are not prepared for a crisis, a government official said Wednesday.

Study: Drinking Triples Injury Risk

There's more evidence that overindulging in drink can have very serious consequences: A new study finds drinkers are three times more likely to die from injury as non-drinkers or former drinkers.

New Clues to Protecting Diabetic Kidneys

Drugs that block the renin-angiotensin system (RAS blockers) may help protect people with diabetes from kidney damage by improving blood flow to the kidneys, according to two new studies.

Health Tip: Preventing Falls Among the Elderly

Of all fall-related deaths, more than 60 percent involve people who are 75 years old or older. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury among the elderly.

Overnight Test Best at Spotting Sleep Apnea

A high-tech overnight sleep test may be the only reliable way for doctors to differentiate plain old snoring from more dangerous sleep apnea, claims a new study.

Tea Might Protect Transplanted Livers

An antioxidant found in green tea may help protect patients recovering from liver transplant, suggests a study in mice.

Marijuana-like Ingredient Could Slow Alzheimer's

By suppressing inflammation in the brain, a synthetic marijuana compound could potentially offer some protection against Alzheimer's disease, Spanish scientists report.

Second Gene Mutation Explains Lung Cancer Drug Resistance

A second gene mutation explains why some lung cancer tumors become resistant to treatment with new cancer drugs meant to disrupt a molecular target that helps tumors grow, two separate research teams report.

Drug Benefit Will Boost Government's Financial Burden

With a new Medicare drug benefit taking effect in 2006, the government will be picking up the tab for nearly half of all health-care costs within the next decade, a new report predicts.

Scientists discover a key to how AIDS virus attacks the body

U.S. scientists announced the discovery of a key element in the workings of HIV, the virus which causes AIDS, which could eventually lead to the creation of effective vaccines against the virus.

Asia facing real risk of bird flu pandemic: experts

The deadly bird flu virus will take years to eradicate and Asia now faces the serious risk of a pandemic that would cause far greater loss of life than the SARS outbreak, experts told a landmark conference.

Nigeria to dramatically increase drugs cover for HIV/AIDS patients

Nigerian plans to dramatically increase the number of AIDS/HIV sufferers covered by its subsidized anti-retroviral drugs program but will still fall far short of meeting demand, officials said.

Deadly snake venom a potential heart-starter, say Australian researchers

A venom extract from one of the world's deadliest snakes offers a potential treatment for congestive heart failure (CHF), Australian researchers said.

Sweden and ADB set up multi-donor trust fund to fight HIV/AIDS

Sweden and the Asian Development Bank signed an agreement to set up a multi-donor trust fund to help developing countries in the Asia Pacific region fight HIV/AIDS.

Leading Sydney surgeon quits hospital in protest at deadly delays

A leading Australian surgeon has resigned from a Sydney hospital in protest at lengthy surgery waiting lists that he said had resulted in patient deaths.

Bill Clinton on low-key visit to China to promote AIDS awareness

Former US president Bill Clinton was in Beijing to promote AIDS awareness on a low-key visit which will also focus on aid to tsunami-hit countries around the Indian Ocean.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Health Headlines - February 23

Asia's Bird Flu Here to Stay, FAO Says

Asia's deadly bird flu will persist for many years and a global effort is needed to stop the virus from spreading and prevent a human pandemic, the U.N. food agency said on Wednesday.

Parents Talking Less to Kids About Drugs

The number of U.S. parents talking to their teenagers about drugs has dropped, perhaps reflecting the more relaxed attitudes of a generation that came of age in the late 1970s when U.S. teen drug use peaked, a study on Tuesday found.

Bipolar Disorder More Common Among Urban Poor

Bipolar disorder may often go undiagnosed and untreated in the urban poor, with one in 10 found to have the mental illness in a study of one New York clinic published on Tuesday.

Feeding Must Continue for Florida Woman

A Florida court ordered on Tuesday that a severely brain-damaged woman must continue to be fed, shortly after an appeals court said her husband could remove the feeding tube that has kept her alive since 1990.

Ongoing Care Eases Depression, Saves Money

Taking a continuous-care approach to treating people with depression leads to improved outcomes and saves on costs, according to a new report.

Surgery Tie-In Improves Statin Drug Use

Sending heart surgery patients home with a prescription for statin drugs, such as Lipitor or Zocor, seems to increase the use of these cholesterol-lowering medications, according to a report in the medical journal Chest.

Britons at Risk of Diabetes Know Little of Disease

Britons who have a high risk of developing diabetes know very little about the illness and are vulnerable to serious complications, health experts said on Wednesday.

Cipro Better Than Augmentin for Bladder Infection

Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) is more effective than amoxicillin-clavulanate (Augmentin) as a treatment for bladder infections in women, even when the microbe is susceptible to the latter drug.

A Little Meat Adds a Lot to Poor Kids' Diets

Including a few bites of meat in the diets of poor children from developing countries improves both their health and their performance in mental tests.

'Sartan' Improves Blood Flow in Diabetic Kidneys

Treatment with the blood pressure drug Benicar not only reduces blood pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes but also improves kidney perfusion, according to a report by German researchers.

Official: Bird Flu Pandemic Is Imminent

The world is perilously close to a deadly pandemic stemming from bird flu and governments need to start drafting emergency plans for the disease, a top international health official warned Wednesday.

Emergency Stay Issued in Right-To-Die Case

The case of a severely brain-damaged woman remained locked in a legal stalemate Tuesday after an appeals court cleared the way for her husband to remove her feeding tube only to see a judge promptly block the removal for at least another day.

Hormone Pills May Make Incontinence Worse

Researchers have found yet another problem that hormone pills taken at menopause seem to make worse, not better: incontinence.

Triaminic First Mainstream Kosher Medicine

Name-brand foods like Oreo cookies, Duncan Hines cake mixes and Raisin Bran cereal are among the thousands of packaged goods on supermarket shelves that are certified as kosher.

Study: Anti-Smoking Campaign Is Helping

A nationwide ad campaign funded largely by the tobacco industry has helped cut youth smoking rates, a study by a health journal estimates. But anti-smoking advocates say money for such campaigns is drying up.

Study: Diesel Exhaust Blamed for Deaths

Emissions from old diesel engines cause more than 20,000 Americans a year to die sooner than they would have otherwise, an environmental group estimated Tuesday.

Yale Researchers to Study Soldiers, Stress

Soldiers from the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division will help Yale University researchers who are studying how prolonged periods of stress affect the brain.

Free Hotline Focuses on Lymphedema

Cancer patients and those who care for them can get free information on lymphedema, a painful side effect of cancer treatment, by calling a national toll-free hotline Feb. 25.

The hotline, sponsored by the oncology section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST. The toll-free number is 1-877-NEED-A-PT (1-877-633-3278).

Callers can receive up-to-date information on how to minimize the effects of lymphedema, a treatment-related buildup of fluid in tissues that causes swelling, usually in the arms or legs. This chronic and irreversible condition can develop weeks, months or even years after surgery or radiation treatment.

Manual lymphatic drainage, compression bandaging, exercise and other physical therapy treatments can help manage and improve lymphedema, according to a prepared statement from APTA. Organizers stress that the hotline is not meant as a substitute for a visit to a health-care professional.

Health Tip: The Ins and Outs of Colonoscopy

Colon cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States. Yet, the American Cancer Society says too few Americans are getting screened for the disease.

Health Tip: Deadly Secondhand Smoke

Smokers aren't the only ones being harmed by their habit. Secondhand smoke kills, too -- and children are among its victims.

New Clues to Lung Cancer Drug Resistance

Researchers have new insight into why some lung cancer patients stop responding to the drugs Tarceva (erlotinib) and Iressa (gefitinib).

Pot Smoking May Raise Stroke Risk

Regular marijuana smokers could be putting themselves at risk of a stroke, suggests the case of one cannabis user in Spain.

Infection Control Lacking in Many Surgeries

Only half of U.S. patients undergoing surgery are properly administered drugs important for the prevention of infection at the site of incision, according to researchers.

Gastric Bypass Just As Effective for Seniors

Elderly patients can safely undergo gastric bypass surgery, researchers report.

Seniors Raising a Glass to Good Health

While it's natural to cut back on drinking as you age, new research suggests recent generations of older Americans are cutting back just a little less than their parents did.

Experts gather in Vietnam, hear deadly bird flu will linger for long

The deadly bird flu virus will take years to eradicate and could ultimately lead to a greater loss of human life than the SARS crisis, a landmark conference here has been told.

Philippines sitting on HIV/AIDS iceberg: health minister

The Philippines is sitting on the tip of an HIV/AIDS iceberg and worried health authorities have no idea how big the problem facing the country is, a top official told an international conference.

Hong Kong registers largest-ever gain in HIV cases

Hong Kong registered a record number of new HIV cases last year partly as a result of greater movement between the enclave and mainland China, the government said.

Health officials protest against Hollywood lighting up on screen

Just days ahead of the Oscars, health officials accused Hollywood of helping to lure youngsters into smoking by lighting up on the silver screen.

Incoming Portuguese PM stands by abortion referendum pledge, no date set

The leader of Portugal's Socialist Party, which won its first-ever majority in parliament in a weekend general election, said he would go ahead with a promised referendum on the nation's strict abortion laws but had not yet picked a date for the vote.

AIDS vaccine needs more bang from fewer bucks

U.S. funding earmarked for an AIDS vaccine will fall off in 2006, forcing scientists to cooperate among themselves and with the private sector, a top government researcher said.

Britain must compensate Africa for subsidising its state health: charity

A leading children's charity demanded that the British government compensate African countries for providing trained staff for its state healthcare system.

UN food agency warns of food crisis in Sudan

The UN's food agency warned that there were signs that Sudan was facing a food crisis, following a sharp rise in crop prices in the country in recent weeks.

Spanish surgeon comes to aid of mutilated Kenyan children

A Spanish surgeon has come to the rescue of two Kenyan youngsters who had their penises cut off in their homeland during a bizarre ritual involving the creation of a potion reputedly able to cure AIDS.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Health Headlines - February 22

Snoring May Not Signal Breathing Problems

A physical examination of the mouth and throat can't alone identify those whose snoring signals a more serious sleep-breathing problem, researchers said on Monday.

U.S. Belt Tightening Could Hit AIDS Efforts

A tighter 2006 budget for the National Institutes of Health could force the world's No. 1 funder of medical research to pull the plug on some AIDS research and other projects that don't prove their value, a top official said on Monday.

Picture Phones May Make a Doctor's House Calls

Next up for cell phones with built-in digital cameras: making house calls for doctors.

Mouse 'Model' of AIDS Mimics Human Disease

AIDS research has been hampered because mice, which usually provide an excellent model for studying human disease, cannot be infected with HIV. Now, researchers have created a modified HIV strain that can infect mice.

Family of Peru 'Mermaid' Fed Up with Freak Show

Ricardo Cerron is fed up with people staring or even laughing at his baby, dubbed Peru's "Little Mermaid" because of a rare birth defect in which her legs are joined together.

Avian Flu World's No. 1 Threat, CDC Head Says

Avian flu poses the single biggest threat to the world right now and health officials may not yet have all the tools they need to fight it, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday.

Migraine Linked to Increase in Heart Risk Factors

People who suffer from migraines have a higher cardiovascular risk profile than similar people who don't have these debilitating headaches, according to a new report. This is especially true for patients with migraines involving an aura.

Waist Circumference Predicts Heart Disease Risk

The circumference of your waist correlates more closely with several known risk factors for heart disease than does your body mass index (BMI) -- the measure of weight in relation to height.

Heart Attack Care May Be Worse for Women

Previous reports have found that although women are less likely to experience a heart attack than men, they are more likely to die afterward. Now, Scottish researchers suggest that this may be because women receive inferior care.

Environmental Change May Be Boosting Diseases

Environmental changes wrought by population movement, destruction of habitats and other factors may be behind a resurgence of infectious diseases, a United Nations study says.

Peru 'Mermaid' Baby Prepares for Surgery

The father of a 9-month-old baby born with rare congenital defect called "mermaid's syndrome" said Monday she is doing well ahead of an operation to separate her fused legs.

CDC Chief: Bird Flu Could Become Epidemic

The Earth may be on the brink of a worldwide epidemic from a bird flu virus that may mutate to become as deadly and infectious as viruses that killed millions during three influenza pandemics of the 20th century, a federal health official said Monday.

Budget Tightening for AIDS Vaccine Studies

U.S. funding for AIDS vaccine research is tightening, the government's top HIV expert warned Monday, even as he said scientists still must overcome a big hurdle in the hunt: how to harness the body's first defenders to repel infection.

Children's Hospitals in Renovation Boom

The University of Chicago's new Comer Children's Hospital is the latest in a nationwide construction boom at children's hospitals and a gleaming example of the push for kid- and family-friendly facilities that are also medically state-of-the-art.

Report Touts Centralized Food Safety Rules

Seven countries that each created a single food safety agency reduced overlapping inspections and focused their efforts on the greatest risks, congressional investigators found in a draft report obtained Monday.

CDC Seeks Earlier Detection of Autism

Because half of all children with autism or similar developmental disorders aren't diagnosed until age 4 to 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday was launching a campaign to make doctors and parents aware of the need of early detection.

School Nurses Want More Terror Preparation

Long associated with treating playground scrapes and tummy aches, school nurses nationwide say they need to be more prepared for emergencies such as terrorist attacks.

Talks in Vietnam Address Endemic Bird Flu

The challenges in eradicating a virus now entrenched in a region crowded with both people and poultry will be the focus of a regional bird flu conference that opens this Wednesday in Ho Chi Minh City.

Man Dies After Getting Tainted Kidney

A man who received a kidney from a woman who was infected with rabies died Monday, a German hospital said, the second death of a patient who got one of the donor's organs.

Steroids Risky Treatment for Brain Injury

Steroid medications commonly used to reduce inflammation caused by traumatic head injuries may actually boost the risk of death, a new report suggests.

Wine Divine For Women's Hearts

Wine, but not beer or spirits, helps women's hearts keep a healthy beat, according to a Swedish study.

Targeted Messages Spur Healthy Eating in Young

'Eat your fruits and vegetables:' Most Americans know that's good advice, but are the nation's college-age adults listening?

ERs Underdiagnosing Psychiatric Illness

U.S. hospital emergency departments greatly underdiagnose psychiatric disorders, resulting in unnecessary suffering among patients, a new study finds.

Health Tip: Controlling Diabetes

Whether you need to lose weight, gain weight or stay where you are, if you're diabetic, eating the right food can help you manage the disease.

Health Tip: Heart Attack Warning Signs

The warning signs of heart attack might seem obvious, but the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says many people take a "wait-and-see" attitude when they experience heart attack symptoms.

Heart Disease Risks Common in Migraine Sufferers

Men and women who suffer from migraines are also likely to have risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, a new study finds.

Collagen Defect May Trigger Osteoarthritis

Arthritis develops five times faster in joints that lack a specific type of collagen.

Coated Stents Superior Over the Long Term

Stents coated with a protective drug work better after three years than the older, uncoated devices in keeping arteries open and preventing heart problems and death.

Diabetes Boosts Heart Disease Risk in Women

Researchers heading home from a conference on women's heart health have a startling new statistic on their minds: Diabetic women boost their risk for heart disease by 2.5 times.

Britain extends food recall in cancer scare

Britain's food safety watchdog extended to more than 400 the number of food items recalled because they are tainted by a potentially cancer-causing dye, and warned the number may rise further.

In an Afghan children's hospital, power cuts decide life or death

A newborn with septicemia, the rims of his eyes blackened, breathes with difficulty in an incubator. He will only survive if the Indira Gandhi hospital doesn't have one of its regular power cuts, which have already killed more than one child.

Mystery illness shuts Australian airport terminal for hours, 50 affected

One of Australia's main airport terminals was shut down for eight hours as emergency crews hunted in vain for the cause of a mystery illness which struck down nearly 60 staff and passengers in the building, officials said.

Thailand to use bird flu vaccine within two months: deputy PM

Thailand will begin vaccinating millions of chickens and other fowl against bird flu within the next two months to combat the lingering disease in the kingdom.

WHO team heads to pneumonic plague-hit region of DR Congo

A World Health Organisation team has left Kinshasa for the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where at least 61 people have died from pneumonic plague since the end of December.

Japan's population could decline this year

Japan's population rose just 0.05 percent in the year to October 2004 and could decline this year for the first time since records began in 1950.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Health Headlines - February 21

New Tool Predicts Benefit of Mammograms

If every woman aged between 50 and 79 got a mammogram every year, it would reduce deaths from breast cancer by 37 percent, according to a new statistical tool described on Sunday.

West Africa Launches Anti-Polio Drive

Three West African countries at the center of a polio epidemic launched an immunization drive on Sunday to help stop the spread of the crippling disease by the end of this year.

Egyptian Surgeons Remove Baby's 2nd Head

Egyptian doctors on Saturday removed an undeveloped head that was linked to the skull of a 10-month-old girl, an official from the health ministry said.

Confidential AIDS Patient List E-Mailed

A confidential list of 4,500 southeast Florida residents with AIDS and 2,000 others who are HIV positive was inadvertently e-mailed to more than 800 county health workers, officials said.

Woman Dies of Rabies From Donor Lung

A German woman has died of rabies weeks after receiving a lung from a donor who was later found to be infected with the disease, hospital officials in Hanover said Sunday.

West African Leaders Push Polio Vaccine

Squeezing drops of vaccine into the mouths of wailing babies, the presidents of Nigeria and Benin launched a redoubled polio drive Sunday to regain progress lost after a vaccine-boycott led by Muslim clerics set back eradication efforts.

Threat of bird flu epidemic a "sword of Damocles": UN

The deadly bird flu epidemic, outbreaks of which have hit several Asian countries and killed 45 people since 2003, is a "sword of Damocles" hanging over the world, a top UN official said.

Gaining weight increases risk of dementia: Swedish study

People who gain even just a few extra kilos/pounds when they reach middle-age increase their risk of developing dementia later in life, according results from a new Swedish study published in a Swedish newspaper.

British Vioxx patients to sue Merck in U.S.

More than 100 British patients who suffered heart attacks or strokes while using the controversial painkiller Vioxx are pursuing its U.S. manufacturer Merck in what could become the biggest legal action against a drugs company, a newspaper reported.

West African leaders launch 'final' drive to halt polio epidemic

The presidents of Nigeria and Benin met on their countries' common border to launch what they hope will be the final stage in the battle to wipe out the world's biggest and fastest growing outbreak of the crippling disease polio.

Tempted by higher salaries, Hungarian doctors go west - 4 hours ago

Tempted by salaries more than 10 times higher than at home, Hungarian doctors are emigrating to western Europe, leaving behind understaffed hospitals and a health care system teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Health Headlines - February 20

Painful Bladder Condition Relieved by Lidocaine

People with a bladder condition called interstitial cystitis can find immediate relief with a solution developed by a doctor at the University of California, San Diego.

Governors Oppose Bush's Medicaid Cuts

Governors of both parties are uniting to oppose President Bush's proposed cuts to Medicaid.

Using Celebrex a Patient's Decision

Experts advising the government decided there is a real risk of heart damage from some of the most effective and popular prescription drugs to ease the pain chronic diseases such as arthritis.

Vioxx Could Rejoin Painkillers on Market

The popular painkillers Celebrex and Bextra are likely to stay on the market, and Vioxx may rejoin them, now that government advisers have concluded their benefits outweigh their risks.

Official: Disease Kills 128 Afghan Kids

Disease fueled by freezing weather has killed 128 Afghan children, and desperate parents are feeding their children opium in a bid to alleviate their suffering, the health minister said Saturday.

Popular Veterinary Manual Gets Update

As a veterinary student in the 1980s, Ira Roth often carried the Merck Veterinary Manual in his back pocket. But today's students probably can't cram the latest edition into any pocket — it has 2,712 pages and weighs 3 pounds.

Fish Has Health Benefits, and a Few Risks

Adding fish to your diet can help get you in the swim of things when it comes to better cardiovascular health, but experts at the Mayo Clinic also warn there are some contaminants -- most notably mercury -- to watch out for in fish, as well.

Fish is lower in saturated fat, total fat and calories than comparable portions of meat or poultry, the experts note in the February issue of the Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource. Some species of fish -- such as fatty, coldwater fish including salmon, mackerel and herring -- are high in omega-3 fatty acids. This type of healthy fat, also found in anchovies, sardines and lake trout, appears to help prevent blood clots that can cause heart attacks.

However, fish can also contain toxins such as mercury and other pollutants. For most people, the amount of mercury ingested by eating fish isn't a health concern. But even small amounts of mercury may prove dangerous to developing fetuses, babies and young children, the Mayo authors conclude.

Children under age 5, nursing mothers and women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should avoid fish with the highest mercury levels -- tile fish, swordfish, king mackerel and shark. They should also limit their fish intake to no more than 12 ounces a week of fish and shellfish that contain low levels of mercury, foods such as shrimp, salmon, pollock, canned light tuna and catfish.

Albacore tuna is higher in mercury than canned light tuna, so consumption of albacore tuna should be limited to nor more than six ounces a week, the experts write.

Eating a variety of fish may reduce the potential negative effects of environmental pollutants. Try to avoid farm-raised fish, which tend to have more fat and calories and slightly less protein than wild fish. Farm-fed fish may also contain higher levels of contaminants due to toxins in their feed, according to the experts.

Painkillers Should All Stay on Market, Despite Heart Risks: FDA Panel

The popular prescription painkillers Celebrex, Vioxx and Bextra significantly raise cardiovascular risks, but they should stay on the market, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel determined Friday.

Health Experts Wary After FDA Panel's Cox-2 Recommendations

Even though a government advisory panel decided to keep Cox-2 inhibitors on the market, health experts who followed the three-day proceedings feel that the fundamental problems with the popular painkillers remain.

UN still at odds on cloning

After four years of bitter debate, a United Nations committee voted to ban all forms of human cloning -- a ruling that many member states immediately vowed to ignore.

UN says famine now threatens Sudan's Darfur

The situation in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region is deteriorating, with millions at risk of starvation if the world community cannot agree to act soon, the UN's top relief official has warned.

Sweden to grant Tanzania 22 million dollars for HIV/AIDS treatment project

Sweden has agreed to grant Tanzania 22 million dollars (16.8 million euros) to support the country's plan to treat HIV/AIDS patients, a health ministry official said.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Health Headlines - February 19

Panel OKs Merck's Vioxx Return to Market

Merck & Co. Inc.'s (MRK.N) withdrawn arthritis drug Vioxx is safe enough to rejoin Pfizer's rival pain relievers Celebrex and Bextra on the U.S. market, an advisory panel said after concluding that all three medicines posed some level of heart risk.

No Epidemics Seen in Tsunami-Hit Nations

Millions of people in nations devastated by last year's tsunami remain vulnerable to deadly diseases but only scattered outbreaks have been reported so far, the chief of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.

Lead in Environment Causing Violent Crime

Lead left in paint, water, soil and elsewhere may not only be affecting children's intelligence but may cause a significant proportion of violent crime, a U.S. researcher argued Friday.

Women with Heart Disease Not Taking Aspirin

Only about half of women with cardiovascular disease are taking aspirin, investigators report, and rates of use are particularly low among black women and patients on Medicaid.

Older Women Take to Tai Chi for Exercise

The gentle, flowing movements of tai chi may offer older women an exercise program they can live with, researchers said Friday.

Diabetes Heart Risk Higher for Women Than Men

Women with diabetes run a greater risk of dying from heart disease than do men with diabetes, Australian researchers report.

High Tech Twist to Ancient Drug Kills Cancer

Using a high tech process to modify an ancient drug called artemisinin, researchers have created a compound that is highly lethal to cancer cells, but causes little harm to normal cells, according to a report in the journal Life Sciences.

U.S. Approves Treatment for Smallpox Shot Reaction

A product taken from the blood of people who have been vaccinated for smallpox was approved on Friday to use to treat reactions from the shot, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

Heavy Bodyweight Raises Dementia Risk in Men

A link between body mass index (BMI) -- a measure of weight in relation to height -- and a hospital or death certificate diagnosis of dementia has been identified in a Swedish study.

Painful Bladder Condition Relieved by Lidocaine

People with a bladder condition called interstitial cystitis can find immediate relief with a solution developed by a doctor at the University of California, San Diego.

Plague Kills Scores in Congo Outbreak

A rare form of plague has killed at least 61 people at a diamond mine in the remote wilds of northeast Congo, and authorities fear hundreds more who fled into the forests to escape the contagion are infected and dying.

EPA Sets Exposure Limit for Fuel Pollutant

The government on Friday issued its first safety standard for perchlorate, a toxic chemical used in rocket fuel and explosives and blamed for widespread contamination of drinking water near military sites.

Surgery May Be Hasty for Unclear Gender

It's the first question new parents hear: girl or boy? But hundreds of babies are born each year where the gender isn't clear. Prompt surgery to assign one was once the norm.

AIDS a Leading Cause of Death in S. Africa

The number of deaths in South Africa increased by 57 percent in the five years ending in 2003, with AIDS and related illnesses among the leading causes in adults, the government said Friday.

Calif. County Wants Pot Certified Organic

Medical-marijuana growers in Mendocino County - a Northern California outpost that is home to vegans, vintners, libertarians and aging hippies - want to have their pot certified as organic.

Gender Gap Closing in Heart Attack Treatment

A new study suggests the gender gap in heart attack treatment that favored men may be closing as more women receive the same recommended care.

Saliva Testing Moves Into the Mainstream

Simple saliva can provide detailed information on the presence of disease, dental cavities and drug abuse.

Fossil May Be World's Oldest Bunny

Scientists have dug up what appears to be the oldest intact rabbit fossil, complete with skull, long front teeth, short forelimbs and long hind limbs.

Genes, Not Genitalia, Are Key to Gender

Genetics, not just anatomy or hormones, strongly influence gender, according to research that raises questions about sex-assignment surgeries for babies born with both male and female traits.

Lead Exposure May Help Drive Violent Youth Crime

Lead exposure may be a major factor behind violent crimes committed by young people, and the U.S. government must do more to remove lead from the environment, according to one leading expert.

Britain orders recall of hundreds of food products in cancer scare

Britain's food safety watchdog ordered the recall of more than 350 food products, ranging from pizza to a popular brand of instant noodles, after it found a potentially cancer-causing dye.

France suspends two AIDS vaccine trials amid safety doubts

France said it was suspending trials of two prototype vaccines against the AIDS virus as a precaution after an American volunteer suddenly fell ill with a neurological disorder.

S. Africa's death rate jumps 57 pct, HIV/AIDS among biggest killers

South Africa's death rate jumped 57 percent between 1997 and 2003 with HIV/AIDS emerging as one of the main killers in the 15 to 49 age bracket, the official statistics agency said.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Health Headlines - February 18

Merck May Consider Selling Vioxx Again

Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK.N) will consider selling its arthritis pill Vioxx again if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decides the cardiovascular risks are similar to those of related prescription pain relievers, a company official said on Thursday.

Alzheimer-Risk Gene Makes Brain Work Harder

Mental tasks take an extra effort for healthy non-demented older adults with a genetic variation called APOE-e4, which has been linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, research shows.

Obesity Poses Risk to Kidney Transplant Kids

The proportion of children undergoing a kidney transplant who are obese is on the rise, researchers report.

Writing Out Feelings Helps, But Not for Asthma

Although expressing ones emotions through writing has numerous documented health benefits, it appears to do little to ease asthma, new study findings show.

Gene 'Signature' May Predict Breast Cancer Relapse

Scientists have discovered a genetic marker that may predict which breast cancer patients are at high risk of recurrence, potentially saving many women from undergoing unnecessary chemotherapy.

New HIV Strain Shakes Up New York Gay Community

A potentially virulent strain of the HIV virus found last week in a New York man has the gay community worried about a new deadly epidemic, and activists battling a scourge they believed was contained.

Women Laid Off Job May Run Risk of Heart Disease

Getting fired or laid off from work may not only be bad for your wallet, but also be bad for your health.

Genome Map Offers First Look at Human Differences

The first published map of human genetic differences offers a major step toward truly personalized medicine, from predicting who will get what disease to finding ways of choosing the best drug for an individual patient, scientists said on Thursday.

Pain Drug Mobic Shows Increased Risk

A pain reliever called Mobic has shown a higher risk of heart attacks in early data than found with Merck & Co. Inc.'s now-withdrawn Vioxx, a veteran U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientist told an FDA advisory panel on Thursday.

TB Prevention Among Homeless Faces Hurdles

A recent outbreak of tuberculosis among homeless people in New York highlights the difficulty in tracing cases when they're handled by different jurisdictions, according to public health officials.

Vitamin D May Ward Off Prostate Cancer

Getting a little sunshine may be one way for men to cut their risk of prostate cancer. A large study presented at a cancer conference Thursday found that men with higher levels vitamin D in their blood were half as likely to develop aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

Saliva Holds Promise for Drug Testing

Detecting illegal drug use may one day become as simple as testing spit on a sponge. Researchers on Thursday said techniques now being developed for analyzing saliva may in the future replace many of the blood and urine tests that now are used.

Doctors Study Viagra As Stroke Treatment

Doctors at Henry Ford Hospital here have begun studying Viagra as a possible treatment for strokes.

Senate OKs Ban on Genetic Discrimination

The Senate voted Thursday to protect people who are reluctant to have genetic testing for breast cancer or heart disease because of fears the results might cost them their jobs or health insurance.

Vatican Decries 'Religion of Health'

Vatican officials on Thursday held out Pope John Paul II's stoic suffering with Parkinson's disease as an antidote to the mentality that modern medicine must cure all, calling this a "religion of health" that is taking hold in affluent countries.

Health Tip: Deal With Grief

Whether it is the illness or death of a loved one, the loss of a job or income, or the end of a marriage or relationship, each of us has a personal way to cope with grief. Only you know what is best for your personality and lifestyle.

Stem Cells Promise Better Plastic Surgery

Stem cells have gotten a lot of attention over the past few years, mostly for their potential in treating life-threatening diseases.

Young Blood Rejuvenates Old Muscles

Young blood can help revive damaged older muscles, according to a study that found the blood of aged mice somehow hinders muscle's ability to repair itself.

Monkeys Control Robotic Arm With Brain

With the help of a computer, monkeys using only their brain signals are now able to move a robotic arm to feed themselves pieces of fruit and vegetables, researchers report.

Wives Who Bite Their Tongues Risk Their Lives

Married women who keep quiet during conflicts with their mates greatly boost their risk of dying from any cause, a new study finds.

Science Points to a 'Sixth Sense'

Ever get a gut feeling something just isn't quite right, and make a decision accordingly? Science is beginning to suggest those instincts may have roots deep in the brain.

New Vaccine Boosts Prostate Cancer Survival

For the first time, a vaccine therapy that harnesses the power of the body's own immune system is proving successful in the fight against metastatic prostate cancer.

Nursing Home Drug May Speed Alzheimer's

The antipsychotic drug quetiapine, commonly used to treat agitation and other symptoms in people with Alzheimer's living in nursing homes, greatly speeds up cognitive decline.

Gene telltale helps victims of breast cancer

Scientists in the Netherlands say they have developed a powerful diagnostic tool, based on a telltale gene "signature," that could help breast-cancer patients avoid unnecessary follow-up treatment.

Breakthrough in study of schizophrenia announced

Australian researchers announced a breakthrough in the search for the cause of schizophrenia, linking the impaired thought processes involved with the disorder to thinning grey matter in the brain.

15 dead, five hospitalised as cholera hits Nigerian state

Fifteen people have died and five were hospitalised following an outbreak of cholera in two communities in the southeastern Nigerian state of Anambra, the Nigerian Red Cross said.

Senate passes bar on 'genetic discrimination'

The Senate, by a vote of 98 to 0, approved legislation barring employers and health insurance companies from using genetic data to discriminate against workers or potential policy holders.

Violent movies, video games boost aggressive behaviour in children

Violence on TV, home movies and video and computer games has a major short-term effect on young children, boosting the risk of aggressive behaviour or fear, British researchers say.

Flu epidemic hits Italy putting pope and the prime minister in bed

A particularly virulent flu virus has hit Italy putting more than 800,000 people in bed including the pope and the prime minister.

China planning large-scale introduction of genetically-engineered rice

China is on the verge of introducing genetically-engineered rice on a large scale as it seeks ways to adequately supply the basic staple to its people.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Health Headlines - February 17

Study: the Pill Changes Women's Taste in Men

Scientists reported on Wednesday a remarkable new side effect of the Pill -- it changes women's preference in men.

FDA Whistleblower to Air New Pain Drug Analysis

A veteran U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientist will unveil new data on Thursday before an expert panel charged with determining whether pain relievers similar to Merck & Co. Inc.'s now-withdrawn Vioxx should remain on the market.

Prostate Cancer Vaccine Helps Patients Live Longer

A prostate cancer "vaccine" made by Dendreon Corp. can help patients with severe, advanced disease live a little bit longer, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.

Early Spinal Pain Relief Safe for Delivery

Doctors can safely inject pain-killing drugs into the spines of women who are in the early stages of labor without increasing the risk of Caesarean section, researchers said on Wednesday.

Expedited Treatment Cuts Gonorrhea Recurrence Rate

Doctors can reduce the risk of gonorrhea patients reacquiring the sexually transmitted disease by arranging to provide antibiotics to their sex partners, researchers said on Wednesday.

New Flu Strain Picked for Flu Vaccine Mix

A new strain of flu virus called "A California" will be added to the mix used in the U.S. vaccine for next season, which is already causing anxiety after a shortage in the current season.

Private Plans Should Set Drug Prices -Medicare

As some lawmakers clamor for letting Medicare directly negotiate drug prices, Medicare's chief said on Wednesday that the health program for the elderly could save more money by letting the private sector set prices.

Coffee May Reduce Risk of Liver Cancer

Habitual coffee drinking seems to be associated with a lower risk of developing liver cancer, according to a study conducted in Japan and reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Canadian Beef Entered U.S. Due to Lax Oversight

Lax oversight by the U.S. Agriculture Department and confused food safety inspectors were to blame for imports of 42,000 pounds of Canadian beef products in 2004 that violated a U.S. mad cow disease ban, federal investigators said on Wednesday.

U.S. Court in Louisiana to Handle Vioxx Cases

Merck and Co. Inc. on Wednesday said a New Orleans federal court will handle pretrial matters for federal lawsuits filed by former users of Vioxx, who claim they were harmed by the company's withdrawn arthritis drug.

New Prostate Cancer Treatment Promising

Doctors are reporting their first success at improving survival in men with advanced prostate cancer by using a treatment that trains the immune system to fight tumors.

Early Epidural Won't Raise C-Section Risk

Pregnant women can be given a low-dose epidural early in labor without raising their chances of a Caesarean section, according to a study that could change the way obstetricians practice and make childbirth a lot less painful for many mothers-to-be.

Study: Partner Treatment Works for STDs

People with chlamydia or gonorrhea are supposed to tell past sexual partners about their diagnosis and urge them to get treatment. A new study says giving the patients medicine to pass on to their possibly infected sexual partners works even better.

Protein Level May Predict Heart Trouble

Levels of a stress-related protein in the blood could give doctors a powerful new tool for deciding which patients with clogged heart arteries are most in danger and need aggressive treatment, a study found.

FDA Promises Action on Painkiller Safety

A Merck & Co. official said Wednesday that all painkillers in the same class as the company's Vioxx may cause heart problems or strokes, a change from the drug-maker's earlier position that such health issues appeared limited to its drug.

Transplant Patients Get Rabies From Organs

Three hospital patients in Germany appear to have been infected with rabies through organ transplants and are in critical condition, a medical foundation said Wednesday.

Report Questions Stress Disorder Efforts

Congressional investigators are questioning whether the Veterans Affairs Department can adequately help troops who may return from Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Judge OKs Taking Infant Off Life Support

An infant with an often-lethal skeletal disorder can be removed from life support against his mother's wishes, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Managed Care Makes Little Difference in Cancer Care

Increasing the percentage of community residents enrolled in managed care plans has little or no effect on the overall quality of care for cancer patients in that community, a report suggests.

Gene Linked to Heavy Metal Poisoning

A gene responsible for spreading the toxic effects of cadmium, and perhaps other heavy metals, throughout the body has been identified by University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers.

Asthma Pill Cuts Intermittent Flare-ups in Kids

Singulair, an oral asthma drug, can reduce symptoms in youngsters who have intermittent asthma flare-ups linked to infection, a new study reports.

Temporary Rise in HIV Level No Cause for Alarm

Sudden, temporary increases ("blips") in the amount of HIV in the blood generally don't mean the AIDS-causing virus is developing resistance to drugs, says a Johns Hopkins University study.

Antibiotic 'Partner Packets' Cut STD Rates

Giving people diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea free antibiotic "partner packets" works better than simply asking them to warn their partners that they might be infected, new research suggests.

Single Gene Defect Could Drive Some Mental Illness

A subtle imbalance in the activity of a single gene may be responsible for the multiple symptoms experienced by people with complex developmental disorders like schizophrenia, new research suggests.

AIDS activists urge South African government to 'wake up to AIDS'

Some 2,000 AIDS activists marched on the South African parliament to urge the government to "wake up" to the pandemic and provide free anti-retroviral drugs to 200,000 people by 2006.

Ho Chi Minh City bans all poultry raising in bid to fight bird flu

All poultry raising has been banned in Vietnam's southern business capital Ho Chi Minh City this year to limit the risk of bird flu transmitting to humans, officials said.

Organic greens strengthen the immune system: Danish study

Organically grown vegetables strengthen the immune systems and add more vitamin E to the bloodstream in rats, according to a new Danish study.

Kenya to launch anti-polio drive after outbreak in Sudan

Kenya said it will launch an emergency drive to vaccinate nearly 200,000 children against polio in the country's northwest this month after an outbreak in January in neighboring Sudan.

Japanese medical giant to invest in two private Bangladesh hospitals

Japan's largest medical chain will build two new hospitals in Bangladesh to grab a share of the estimated 330 million dollars now spent annually on overseas health care, officials said.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Health Headlines - February 16

Air Pollution Damages Babies in Womb

Babies' DNA can be damaged even before they are born if their mothers breathe polluted air, according to a study published on Tuesday.

Researchers See Chance U.S. Might Pull COX-2 Drugs

Doctors who led three studies showing prescription painkillers called COX-2 inhibitors raise the risk of heart attacks and stroke said on Tuesday the whole class of drugs was in danger of being pulled from the market.

U.S. FDA Should Warn About Eczema Drug Risk

Two topical creams used to treat the skin condition eczema need a stronger warning on their labels about the possible risk of cancer, U.S. medical experts said on Tuesday.

Sudden Rises in HIV Levels No Concern, Report Says

Sudden jumps of HIV levels in patients taking drugs for the AIDS-causing infection are harmless blips and do not mean the treatment against the virus is losing its punch, a report said on Tuesday.

New Test Can Detect Bladder Cancer Faster

A urine test that detects proteins given off by malignant growths can identify bladder cancer faster and perhaps reduce the use of more invasive procedures, researchers said on Tuesday.

Study May Mark Advance in Diabetes Transplant Care

Doctors were able to eliminate the need for insulin injections in diabetic women for a year or more by simplifying the technique of transplanting insulin-producing cells, a small study said on Tuesday.

Herbal Supplement Use Leveling Off

The surge in herbal supplement use in the U.S. may have reached a plateau, but the love affair is not over, according to a new study.

U.S. Creates Drug Safety Oversight Board

The government is setting up a special monitoring board to keep checking on medicines once they're on the market, responding to complaints that officials reacted too slowly to reports linking prescription painkillers to heart attack and stroke.

Coffee May Help Prevent Liver Cancer

That hot cup of coffee may do more than just provide a tasty energy boost. It also may help prevent the most common type of liver cancer.

Boy Who Dubbed Tumor 'Frank' Cancer-Free

A 9-year-old boy who nicknamed his brain tumor "Frank" - that's short for Frankenstein - is celebrating the intruder's departure.

Meth-Linked Homes Spur Push for Research

While rural police struggle to contain crystal methamphetamine abuse, health officials are trying to come to terms with the drug's hidden danger: contaminated homes where meth was cooked, leaving toxic rooms for unwitting tenants.

Study: Pollution May Affect Babies' Genes

A study of New York City newborns suggests that prenatal exposure to air pollution may be linked to genetic changes associated with an increased risk of cancer, researchers said Tuesday.

Calif. Patrol Sued for Seizing Medical Pot

Medical marijuana advocates filed a lawsuit Tuesday demanding California Highway Patrol officers stop confiscating pot from authorized users.

Mercury Risk Overstated, House Panel Says

Dangers of toxic mercury pollution in the environment have been overstated, the House Resources Committee says in a report issued in anticipation of new regulatory proposals from the Bush administration.

Problem Drinkers Turning to the Web For Help

The Internet is becoming an increasingly rich source of effective help for problem drinkers trying to stay sober, according to experts.

Compound in Urine May Fight Spinal Cord Injury

Uric acid, a metabolic breakdown product found in urine and blood, may help reduce damage from spinal cord injury, researchers say.

Heredity Plays a Role in Heart Artery Blockages

Some people inherit a tendency for fatty deposits to form in dangerous regions of their heart arteries, a new study shows.

Medical Journal Drug Ads Sometimes Short on Facts

A new study claims that drug advertisements in medical journals often fail miserably at providing enough information for doctors to make informed prescribing decisions.

Quit-Smoking Program Boosts Lifespan

Intensive quit-smoking programs that include behavior changes and use of nicotine gum can add years to former smokers' lifespans, researchers report.

Sweden lays contingency plan in case of flu pandemic

Swedish health authorities presented a contingency plan in case the Scandinavian country is hit with a flu pandemic, suggesting that enough antiviral drugs be stored for at least society's most important groups.

HIV/AIDS rate in South African army between 17 and 23 percent

South African Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota said the HIV/AIDS rate in the army was between 17 and 23 percent, according to a sample of blood tests from volunteers and those who had served on missions abroad.

Suspended trial of AIDS drug in Cameroon was safe says U.S. NGO

The controversial trial of an AIDS drug on prostitutes, suspended by the Cameroon government, is not dangerous, a U.S. group conducting the trial said.

I like you -- you look healthy

Women in the latter part of their menstrual cycle have a particular preference for people who look healthy, according to an innovative study in psychology.

Gay concern over hyping AIDS 'superbug'

Gay activists fear the announcement of a rare, highly virulent strain of the AIDS virus being found in a New York man may fuel panic of an HIV "superbug" and further stigmatise their community.

Health organizations denounce dire impact of Israel barrier

Israel's controversial West Bank barrier is blocking some 10,000 chronically ill Palestinians from access to essential healthcare, three leading health organizations charged.

British opposition plans to test immigrants for tuberculosis, HIV

The Conservative party promised to test immigrants from outside the European Union (EU) for HIV, tuberculosis and other diseases if it wins elections expected in May.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Health Headlines - February 15

Scientists Examine Possible New HIV Strain in NY

Scientists said on Monday they were studying a potentially new virulent strain of the AIDS virus taken from a New York man to see if it posed any public danger.

Lawsuits Spread in Over Penis Enlargement Claims

A New Jersey man has filed a false advertising lawsuit against a maker of herbal penis enlargement pills, alleging the medicine does not fulfill its promises, the plaintiff's lawyer said on Monday.

Wine Puts Women's Hearts on Song -Study

It's official. A glass of wine a day keeps heart risk at bay -- at least for women.

Low Cholesterol May Mean Poorer Mental Powers

We hear plenty about the dangers of high cholesterol levels, but low levels apparently confer their own risks. Naturally low cholesterol levels are associated with poorer performance on a variety of cognitive measures, according to a new study.

New Pain Relievers Boost Blood Pressure More - Study

Arthritis drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors raise blood pressure more than older pain relievers, which may explain why the newer medicines have been linked to heart attacks, Australian researchers reported on Monday.

Flu Shots May Not Save Lives - U.S. Study

The flu vaccinations that doctors hoped would save the lives of fragile elderly people have apparently failed to lower death rates, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

New Organs Could Come from Pig Embryos - Study

Pig embryos could provide sources of new organ and tissue transplants for people, and they may pose fewer risks than using material from adult animals, Israeli researchers reported on Monday.

Arthritis Drug Seen to Cut Heart Risk

Methotrexate, used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, may also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and circulatory diseases affecting the heart and brain, investigators have found.

Potato Vaccine Offers Hope Against Hepatitis

A hepatitis vaccine grown in genetically engineered potatoes seemed to protect most people who ate them, researchers reported on Monday.

Teen Binge Drinking Can Do Long-Term Brain Damage

Mounting evidence shows that the still-maturing teenage brain is particularly susceptible to damage from heavy drinking, according to a report published Monday.

Study Links Painkillers to Heart Risk

A new study has linked painkillers Vioxx, Celebrex and Bextra to increased cardiovascular risk, reinforcing findings of other trials that have already sparked concern over the safety of a popular category of drugs.

Painkiller Use Falls After Vioxx Withdrawn

For years, Americans have been popping painkillers like they were candy to treat everything from headaches to arthritis. But new data show America's love affair with the medications may have cooled off after the blockbuster drug Vioxx was pulled.

Older Adults' Memories Stress the Positive

As years go by, adult choices and memories about those choices are increasingly filtered through rose-colored glasses that accentuate the positive while downplaying the negative, researchers conclude.

I Love You, You're Just Like Me

It's highly likely that most couples are birds of a feather and that's why they decide to nest together, according to a University of Iowa study that puts the boot to that old saying that opposites attract.

Reprogrammed HIV Can Hunt Down Cancer Cells

A harmless version of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is being used to hunt down malignant melanoma cancer cells in mice, researchers say.

Genetically Modified Potato Carries Hep B Vaccine

Researchers have found a way to grow potatoes that carry a vaccine for hepatitis B, providing doctors in the developing world with an easily produced, non-refrigerated means of supplying protection against the virus.

Gene Therapy Restores Hearing to Deaf Guinea Pigs

For the first time, researchers have used gene therapy to grow new auditory hair cells that enabled deaf animals to hear.

Compound Fights Gleevec-Resistant Leukemia

The drug Gleevec has proven a lifesaver for people with a blood cancer called chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, a growing number of CML patients have cancers resistant to the medication.

Health Tip: Adult ADD

(HealthDay News) -- Many adults have been living with adult attention-deficit disorder (ADD), and don't recognize it. Why? Because its symptoms are often mistaken for a stressful lifestyle.

Older Doctors Not Always the Best

The older, more experienced physician may not necessarily be the better one, a new study suggests.

British opposition party suggests immigrant HIV test plan

Britain's main opposition party is stoking a heated debate on immigration ahead of the expected May general election, by promising to test people seeking to live in the country for HIV and other diseases.

Disease looms as up to 450 die in Pakistan floods and snow

Disease threatened flood survivors in Pakistan's southwest as officials said the death toll from freak rains and snow across the country was as high as 450.

Dengue deaths rise to 122 in Indonesia

Another 20 people in Indonesia have died from dengue fever, bringing the death toll this year to 122 and sparking fears of a widespread outbreak.

Vietnam reports no new bird flu cases but complacency is dangerous

No new cases of deadly bird flu were reported in Vietnam over last week's New Year festivities but both the country and the international community should avoid complacency, the World Health Organisation said.

Stress at work can give women diabetes

Women who experience stress and a lack of control over their situation at work risk developing diabetes, a Swedish researcher conducting a study on the issue said.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Health Headlines - February 14

Personality, Not Values, Makes the Marriage

Shared moral values are less important than compatible personalities as a recipe for a good marriage, according to a study released on Sunday.

Southern Food Frustrates Health Officials

Amid a national obesity epidemic and the South's infamous distinction as the "Stroke Belt," health officials have been trying to get diners to flinch, at least a little, at the region's trademark fried and fatty foods.

Military Amputee Seeks Help for Wounded

Ever since Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Kelly lost his right leg to a roadside bomb near Baghdad more than a year ago, he has been on a mission. It was more than just learning how to walk again on a prosthetic limb or figuring out what to do with his life.

U.N. Members to Address Human Cloning

U.N. members on both sides of the bitterly divisive debate over human cloning will try to agree Monday on a declaration urging countries to adopt legislation banning attempts to create human life.

Love Doc: Kissing Is Best Valentine's Gift

This Valentine's Day, forget the flowers and chocolate. Cherie Byrd has a better idea: Learn to pucker up. Byrd, a psychotherapist who teaches kissing, thinks Americans should use their lips to speak to their sweethearts instead of their wallets.

Unwelcome AIDS patients forced into underfunded hospices

Manju watched her mother die at a decent house that was used as a care centre for 15 AIDS patients. Shortly after, neighbors won a battle to close the place and the seven-year-old was forced into a drab and undisclosed hospice.

Family sues Libya over children's deaths in AIDS epidemic

A Libyan family whose two daughters died of AIDS after being in a hospital hit by an outbreak of the deadly virus went to court to sue the state over their deaths, a legal source said.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Health Headlines - February 13

New York Warns of Fast, Resistant Strain of HIV

One day after the discovery of a drug-resistant, fast-developing AIDS case in New York prompted city health officials to announce an alert, leading experts said on Saturday there may be little cause for alarm.

People Can Change Some Stroke Risk Factors

High blood pressure is a big risk factor for stroke, but people with normal blood pressure can have a stroke. In a new study, researchers have identified other key determinants of this debilitating neurologic problem.

Health Agency Chief Seeks Conflict Summit

The head of the U.S. National Institutes of Health said he wants government and academic leaders to meet to address conflicts of interest in medical research, the Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday.

Brain-Damaged Woman Talks After 20 Years

For 20 years, Sarah Scantlin has been mostly oblivious to the world around her - the victim of a drunken driver who struck her down as she walked to her car. Today, after a remarkable recovery, she can talk again.

FDA Studying Safety of Arthritis Drugs

Vioxx and other pain-relieving drugs have given many people with chronic pain the chance to resume normal lives. But an increase in heart attacks among users of the popular arthritis drug led the manufacturer to pull it from the market.

Worry Spreads Over GI Drug Side Effects

Some current or former troops sent to Iraq claim that Lariam, the commercial name for the anti-malarial drug mefloquine, has provoked disturbing and dangerous behavior. The families of some troops blame the drug for the suicides of their loved ones.

Health Experts Worry on Czech Drinking

Drinking is a national pastime in this beer-loving country, and health experts worry they have trouble on their hands: A growing number of underaged youths, some as young as 10, are hitting the bottle regularly.

Rare Drug-Resistant HIV Found in NYC

City health officials are working to track down sex partners of a man diagnosed with a rare strain of highly drug-resistant HIV that progressed rapidly to AIDS.

Amgen Will Stop Providing Parkinson's Drug

Amgen Inc. said it would stop giving an experimental drug for Parkinson's disease to 48 people who received it as part of a trial because tests found it worked no better than a placebo.

U.S. allows Adderall, as Canada suspends drug

U.S. drug regulators will allow sale of Adderall to treat hyperactive children and attention deficit disorder, although Canada has halted sales amid concerns about its safety.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Health Headlines - February 12

McDonald's to Pay $8.5 Million in Trans Fat Lawsuit

McDonald's has agreed to pay $8.5 million to settle a lawsuit over artery-clogging trans fats in its cooking oils, the company said on Friday.

People Can Change Some Stroke Risk Factors

High blood pressure is a big risk factor for stroke, but people with normal blood pressure can have a stroke. In a new study, researchers have identified other key determinants of this debilitating neurologic problem.

Patients with Serious Illness Appear to Adapt Well

Most people who live with serious disability or illness, such as kidney failure, appear to adapt well and maintain a healthy outlook on life, new research reports.

Vitamin D, Calcium OK for Crohn's-Related Bone Loss

Adding etidronate to calcium and vitamin D therapy is not necessary in the treatment of bone loss in patients with Crohn's disease, results of a new study indicate.

Medtronic Issues Heart Device Warning

Medical device maker Medtronic Inc. said on Friday it has begun warning doctors about some faulty batteries installed in a line of its implantable heart defibrillators.

Survey Finds Pain Common in Children and Teenagers

Most children and adolescents commonly experience pain, such as headache or gastric discomfort, which often restricts activities of daily living, according to a study conducted in Germany.

BP Drugs Reduce Pneumonia Risk in Stroke Patients

Treatment with an ACE inhibitor, a type of blood pressure drug that includes Zestril and Accupril among others, appears to reduce the risk of pneumonia in patients who've suffered a stroke, new research suggests.

Mortality Not Higher for Most with Prostate Cancer

The mortality rates for most men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States are no higher than those in the general population, a new analysis shows.

Herbal Remedy as Good as Drug for Depression

An extract of the herbal remedy St. John's wort is as effective as a commonly prescribed drug for people with moderate-to-severe depression, researchers reported this week Friday.

Breast Exam Adds Little to Mammography

Having a doctor examine the breasts for potential signs of cancer may add little to the benefits of mammography screening, a large study suggests.

Rare Drug-Resistant HIV Found in N.Y.

New York's first diagnosed case of highly drug-resistant HIV in a person never before treated for the virus is "a wake up call" to anyone who has unprotected sex, the city's health commissioner said Friday.

Campuses May Face Meningitis Drug Shortage

Health officials are bracing for the possibility of shortages of a new shot that prevents the type of meningitis that often spreads on college campuses.

Kan. Woman Resumes Talking After 20 Years

A woman unable to talk since she was hit by a drunken driver 20 years ago has begun to regain her memory and form words, sending her father "from despair to joy."

Navajo Nation Votes to Make Meth Illegal

The Navajo Nation's governing council voted Friday to outlaw methamphetamine, an addictive stimulant that has become a scourge for tribal police and health officials on the sprawling reservation.

Study: PMS May Cost Employers Millions

Lost productivity and missed work time mean premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can greatly increase costs for employers, a new study finds.

Flu Shots for Kids Would Protect Many Adults

U.S. flu rates would drop dramatically if the majority of schoolchildren, as well as members of high-risk groups, were vaccinated every fall, a new study suggests.

Bioartificial Kidney Promising in Early Trials

A number of intensive care units across the United States are taking part in a study to determine if a bioartificial kidney that contains billions of donor kidney cells can help kidney failure patients survive.

Timely Tips for Teens and Their Teeth

Teens may pay close attention to fashion and music, but many don't seem to devote much effort into looking after their oral health, says the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

Many Overrate Pre-Surgery Back Pain

While many patients believe spinal surgeries do wonders in relieving their back pain, a new study suggests many may also overrate just how bad their pre-surgery pain was.

Induced Labor at 32 Weeks Deemed Safe

Inducing labor 32 weeks into a pregnancy is viable for women who experience premature rupture of the uterine membrane, says a Mayo Clinic study.

Toxoplasmosis Tests Urged for All Pregnant Women, Newborns

All pregnant women and newborn babies should be screened for toxoplasmosis infection, say the authors of a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Counsellors try to wean French teenagers off cannabis

Some French teenagers who are heavy smokers of cannabis are being offered a stark choice in a campaign to get them off drugs -- counselling, or expulsion from school.

Polio cases in Saudi Arabia show risk of spread with pilgrims

At least three cases of polio have been imported into Saudi Arabia since September, the UN's health agency said, highlighting the risk of the disease spreading from West Africa with pilgrims to Mecca.

200 Indonesian tsunami survivors hit by suspected food poisoning

Some 200 people in a camp for tsunami homeless in Indonesia's Aceh province have been hospitalized for what was believed to be food poisoning from eating tainted noodles, officials said.

Japanese chain revives famous dish to show demand for banned US beef

There were long queues at outlets of a Japanese food chain as it put a beef and rice dish it is famous for back on the menu for one day to illustrate popular demand for the resumption of US beef imports.

AWOL doctor snarls plan for tackling Samoan diabetes problem

Plans to open a new dialysis center to treat Samoa's growing number of diabetes sufferers hit a snag when the doctor sent to New Zealand at government expense to learn how to run the unit decided not to return home, officials said.