Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Health Headlines - June 30

Too Few Young Adults Treated for Alcohol, Drug Problems: Study

More than one in five young adults in the United States (7 million) need treatment for alcohol or illicit drug use, but only 7 percent of them receive treatment at a specialty facility, says a federal government study released Monday.

Those levels have remained relatively stable since 2002, said the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) study of 2007 data from a national survey of 22,187 adults ages 18 to 25.

"Substance use disorders are preventable and treatable yet we continue as a nation to allow the lives of 1 in 5 young people and their families be torn apart by substance abuse," SAMHSA Acting Adminstrator Eric Broderick said in a news release. "As a nation we must redouble our efforts to prevent substance abuse in the first place and ensure treatment is available to those in need."

The study also found that 96 percent of young adults who needed, but didn't receive, treatment for substance-use problems didn't believe they needed help.

Among the other findings from the 2007 data:

  • Among young adults, 17.2 percent needed treatment for alcohol disorders in the past year, 8.4 percent for illicit drug disorders, and 4.4 percent for both alcohol and illicit drug disorders.
  • Young adults covered by Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) were more than three times as likely as those with private insurance to receive treatment for alcohol or illicit drug use in a specialty facility -- 13.2 percent vs. 4 percent.


Studies Detail New Ovary Preservation, Transplant Methods

New methods of preserving and transplanting ovaries could improve older women's chances of having children, two new studies suggest.

A growing number of women are delaying having a family until they're in their 30s or 40s, when they're more likely to have fertility problems. But doctors say it may be possible to have an ovary removed and frozen when a woman is in her 20s or 30s and have it reimplanted when she's ready to have children, the Associated Press reported.

In one study, U.S. researchers compared the number of eggs in fresh and frozen ovarian tissue removed from 15 women before they had cancer treatment. The ovarian tissue that was frozen using a new ultra-fast technique had the same number of eggs as the fresh tissue. With traditional, slow-freezing methods, about half of the eggs were lost.

In another study, French researchers detailed a new surgical technique to transplant ovaries, the AP reported.

The studies were presented at a meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction.

"We are in the middle of an infertility epidemic," said Dr. Sherman Silber, who is director of the St. Louis Infertility Center in Missouri and was involved in the first study, the AP reported. "With these new techniques, we could dramatically expand our reproductive lifespan."


Salmonella Fears Trigger Plainview Food Products Recall: Report

Possible salmonella contamination has prompted a voluntary recall of food products made by Plainview Milk Products Cooperative in Minnesota over the last two years. Salmonella bacteria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections.

The recalled products include instant non-fat dried milk, whey protein, fruit stabilizers and gums (thickening agents), said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, United Press International reported.

Plainview sells its products to industry customers who may have used them in their own products. None of the recalled products was sold directly to the public, the FDA said.

"This is an ongoing investigation, and the FDA will update the public as new information emerges," agency officials said. "At this time, the FDA is not aware of products being recalled at the consumer level," UPI reported.


Beef Products Recall Expanded

A recall of beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria was expanded Sunday by JBS Swift Beef Co. of Greeley, Colo., to include about 380,000 more pounds of products.

But the U.S. Department of Agriculture didn't immediately update which states received the beef products or have reported illnesses, according to the Associated Press.

Last week, JBS Swift Beef Co. announced a recall of about 41,000 pounds of products that were made April 21-22 and shipped to Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin.


Pro Cyclists Have Poor Sperm Quality: Study

Professional cyclists have poorer sperm quality than other men, possibly due to heat from wearing tight clothing, the friction of the testes against the saddle, and the overall physical demands of being an elite cyclist, Spanish researchers say.

They suggested that professional cyclists consider freezing their sperm before starting their careers, BBC News reported.

The study of 15 top triathletes who ride more than 186 miles a week found they have less than four percent normal-looking sperm, which would cause "significant" fertility problems. The findings were presented at a meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

But recreational cyclists or those who cycle to work aren't likely to experience fertility problems, a British expert told BBC News.

"Men training for triathlons are spending much more time in the saddle than the average social (cyclist) or someone who might cycle to and from work," said Dr. Allan Pacey, of the University of Sheffield.

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