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Past health headlines
Thursday May 31, 2012
- Statement from Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard K. Koh on World No Tobacco Day
- 1 in 5 Americans Has Untreated Cavities: CDC – Most kids get dental care, regardless of income, because of federal health programs, researcher says
- Acne Medication May Raise Risk of Eye Infections – Large study found teens taking Accutane were more likely to get pink eye, styes.
- Disability From Juvenile Arthritis Hurts Adult Job Prospects – Rates of unemployment much higher than that of general population, study finds.
- For Juvenile Arthritis, Pill May Work as Well as Needle – German study finds methotrexate given orally had similar effects as via injection.
- Genes Might Help Some Smokers Kick the Habit – Certain DNA may work better with smoking-cessation medications, patches or gums, study finds.
- Gout Flare-ups Rise Sharply With Certain Foods: Study – Research found more attacks after high consumption of compounds called purines, especially from meat, seafood.
- Health Highlights: May 31, 2012
- Health Tip: Help Prevent Colon Polyps – Things that may help lower your risk.
- Health Tip: Traveling With Your Pet – Tips for a safe car ride.
- Men and Women With Cancer May Receive Different Fertility Information – Small study found gaps in what was provided to women.
- Re-Routing Spinal Cord Signals Restores Movement in Paralyzed Rats – But experts note the technique might not work in humans.
- Serious Exercise May Benefit Middle-Aged Arteries – Highly active people had less stiffening of their blood vessels, study found.
Wednesday May 30, 2012
Tuesday May 29, 2012
- 'CPAP Machine Changed My Life' – Breathing device brings restful nights to woman who nearly died from undiagnosed sleep apnea.
- Cash, Coaching May Boost Healthy Living – Study finds that simple changes, reinforced by incentives, can reap rewards.
- Common Painkillers May Help Prevent Skin Cancer: Study – Over-the-counter, prescription 'NSAID' meds appeared to lower risk in Danish patients.
- Education May Protect Brain From Exposure to Solvents – More schooling seems to preserve thinking skills as chemical workers age, study says.
- Feeling Lackadaisical? Sleep Apnea May Be to Blame – Millions don't know they have the airway disorder, experts say.
- Health Highlights: May 29, 2012
- Health Tip: Eat Right to Help Protect Your Vision – Concentrate on vitamins A, C and E.
- Health Tip: Preparing for Colonoscopy – Including avoiding solid foods.
- Healthy Brain Connections Help Maintain Intellect in Old Age – Seniors whose connections had deteriorated processed information more slowly, study finds.
- Night Shift Might Boost Women's Breast Cancer Risk: Study – Also, risk differences seen in 'morning' versus 'evening' people.
- Taking Anti-HIV Meds Prior to Exposure May Help Prevent Infection – Research review backs giving antiretrovirals to people at high risk of contracting AIDS-causing virus.
- Tight Blood-Sugar Control Shows Mixed Results for Health of Kidneys: Study – The approach might ease certain signs of kidney damage in diabetics, but longer-term benefit unclear.
- Use of Smokers' Lungs for Transplant Has Pros, Cons – Study finds tapping such organs is better than leaving patients on waiting list, but there is a downside.
Friday May 25, 2012
Thursday May 24, 2012
- Affordable Care Act supports families of children with special health care needs
- Progestin treatment for polycystic ovarian syndrome may reduce pregnancy chances
- Tips from Former Smokers Share Harsh Realities
- Autism Often Not Diagnosed Until Age 5 or Older: U.S. Report – But earlier interventions make a big difference, experts say.
- Babies' Vulnerability to Colds Tied to Immune Response at Birth – Small study found some infants had up to 10 colds in their first year.
- C-Section May Hike Risk for Toddlers' Obesity, Study Suggests – By age 3, Caesarean babies are more likely to be overweight, researchers found.
- Calcium Supplements May Be Bad for Your Heart: Study – Review says getting mineral from food is safer, but expert disagrees.
- Efficient Disease Risk Prediction a Long Way Off, Experts Say – Considering genes plus environment improves accuracy by just 1% to 3%, study shows.
- FDA Panel Votes Against New Use for Blood Thinner Xarelto – Agency advisers say there's not enough data in company trials on benefit for high-risk patients.
- Flesh-Eating Bacteria No Cause for Panic, Experts Say – Cases of illness are relatively rare and treatable with antibiotics if caught early, they stress.
- Health Highlights: May 24, 2012
- Health Tip: Signs That Baby is in Pain – Unhappy facial expressions are a common reaction.
- Health Tip: Treating Osteoarthritis – Losing extra weight could help.
- Severely Obese Have More Complications With Spinal Surgery – Study found almost doubled risk after spinal fusion.
- Some Heavy Kids at Risk of Blindness, Study Says – Brain condition that can steal sight more common among overweight girls, researchers report.
- States Use Only Fraction of Tobacco Revenues to Fight Smoking, Study Finds – Just $8 billion was spent on prevention out of almost $244 billion received, CDC says.
- Strokes More Common in Southern States: CDC – Little decline seen in past 5 years, minorities hardest hit.
- Surgical Residents Often Fatigued, Study Confirms – Although not startling, findings may have implications for patient safety.
- Work-Related Asthma a Significant Problem: CDC – 9 percent of all asthma cases are caused or worsened by job exposures, agency says.
Wednesday May 23, 2012
- Heart disease and stroke deaths drop significantly for people with diabetes
- Breast MRI Best at Tracking Response to Chemo: Study – It was better than clinical exam in determining if treatment was working before breast cancer surgery.
- Cancer Docs Often Deal With Own Grief, Doubts When Patients Die – Study found some cope through physical, emotional distance as sadness becomes too much.
- Cell Transplant Tested as Treatment for Nerve Pain in Mice – Findings might someday help people living with chronic pain.
- Germs Lurk in Office Kitchens, Break Rooms – Sink and microwave handles are the most contaminated spots, study finds.
- Health Highlights: May 23, 2012
- Health Tip: Avoiding Gluten – A key task if you have celiac disease.
- Health Tip: What Triggers Your Migraines? – Lack of sleep is a common contributor.
- Mouse Study Sheds Light on How Diet May Affect Epilepsy – Strict diet seems to protect against seizures by altering brain metabolism, research shows.
- Overweight Moms More Apt to Have Large Babies, Study Says – A woman's weight before, during pregnancy mattered more than glucose levels in predicting baby's size.
- Patients May Receive Too Much Acetaminophen in Hospital – Use of drugs such as Tylenol, Percocet can exceed recommended daily dose, study finds.
- Regional Systems to Treat Severe Heart Attack Increasing – These systems coordinate emergency medical services and hospitals to speed patient care.
- Scientists Turn Skin Cells Into Cardiac Cells to Help Failing Hearts – Research with human cells worked well in rats, but trials in humans are years away.
- Study Offers Ways to Decrease Use of Restraints at Nursing Homes – Instilling a 'culture of care' can help, researchers say.
- Study Spots Early Warning Signal for Sudden Cardiac Death – Risk higher when electrical impulses travel more slowly through lower chambers of the heart.
Tuesday May 22, 2012
Monday May 21, 2012
- Secretaries Duncan and Sebelius remind graduating students of new health coverage options under health care law
- Breathing Smog While Pregnant May Worsen Asthma in Offspring – Prenatal exposure linked to later lung dysfunction, researchers say.
- COPD Can Put a Damper on Sex Life – Breathlessness also affects mood and well-being, small study says.
- Health Highlights: May 21, 2012
- Health Tip: Comforting Baby's Pain – Direct contact may distract from the hurt.
- Health Tip: Use Proper Form When Running – For starters, hit the ground with your heel.
- Keeping Your Family Safe From Dog Bites – Medical, veterinary experts offer prevention tips.
- Night Staffing With Critical Care Docs May Lower ICU Death Rates – However, study didn't find similar benefit for all hospitals.
- Screening for Lung Cancer Might Benefit Those at Highest Risk – But it's not appropriate for most people, researchers say.
- Sleep Apnea Linked to Higher Cancer Death Risk – Cancer compensates, spreads in search for oxygen, researcher suggests.
- Study Supports Value of Sigmoidoscopy, an Alternative to Colonoscopy – Research suggests the test can help prevent colon cancer incidence, deaths.
- Study Ties Secondhand Smoke to Bladder Irritation in Kids – Children aged 4 to 10 were at particular risk from exposure.
- U.S. Teens Heading for Heart Trouble: Study – High 'bad' cholesterol, pre-diabetes or diabetes affect almost one-quarter of teens.
Friday May 18, 2012
- 'Bad' Fat May Hurt Brain Function Over Time – But researchers report that 'good' fat may help preserve thinking and memory.
- Chronic Heartburn May Boost Risk for Esophageal Cancer – Inflammation of tissue lining the esophagus could be the cause, study says.
- Diabetes Can Take a Toll on Your Emotions – And this psychological component may make it harder to control the blood-sugar disorder, experts say.
- From One Generation to the Next, Dental Care Changes – Mom of 3 notes less trepidation from kids, more choices from dentists.
- Gene Tests May Not Drive Patients to More Medical Care – Knowing personal risks for certain diseases doesn't seem to spur health care overuse, study finds.
- Health Highlights: May 18, 2012
- Health Tip: Keep Cloth Grocery Totes Clean – Wash them frequently to kill germs.
- Health Tip: Log Migraine Details in a Diary – Including the day, time and duration.
- Healthy Dieting in Pregnancy May Be Helpful – Review found fewer excess pounds and complications with healthy diet vs. exercise.
- Military Marriages Stay Strong in Face of Challenges: Study – U.S. service members no more likely to divorce than civilians, researchers say.
- Research With Dogs Points to Early Test for Arthritis – One drop of blood can predict the joint disease before symptoms appear, scientists say.
- Test Baby Boomers for Hepatitis C, Says CDC – Undetected disease can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, agency notes.
- Tiny Tots in the Dentist's Chair Among Changes in Pediatric Dentistry – Options for kids now include sealants and early removal of wisdom teeth.
- Underage Drinkers Can Easily Order Alcohol From the Internet – Study found young online buyers were successful nearly half the time.
Thursday May 17, 2012
- NIH study finds that coffee drinkers have lower risk of death
- 'Fish Pedicure' a Recipe for Bacterial Infection, Researchers Warn – Health spa practice is highly unhealthy, study reports.
- Athletes Really Do Play Through the Pain – Study finds endurance and 'game athletes' have higher tolerance for pain than the rest of us.
- Being Obese May Make Job Search Tougher – 'Employers' in study unknowingly rated same women higher after weight-loss surgery.
- Benefits of Widespread Statin Use Outweigh Risks: Study – Even among low-risk patients, cholesterol meds may slash risk for vascular event.
- Early Study Hints at Link Between Certain Sunscreens, Endometriosis – But findings are preliminary, and sunscreen has major benefits in preventing skin cancer.
- Experimental Drug Helps Fight Some Childhood Cancers, Study Finds – Targeted therapy is effective, has few side effects, but larger trials needed, researchers say.
- Fewer Young Americans Smoking, Survey Finds – Rates have dropped since 2004, but 1 in 12 teens, one-third of young adults still light up.
- Health Highlights: May 17, 2012
- Health Tip: Avoid Cross-Contaminating Food – Store and handle different edibles separately.
- Health Tip: Get the Most From Your Nap – Don't sleep for more than 30 minutes.
- Many Primary Care Docs Don't Know Long-Term Effects of Chemo: Survey – Experts stress that information needs to be passed on after cancer treatment ends.
- Study Explores Distraction's Role in Pain Relief – It found mental focus, bodily reactions work together.
- Two-Drug Combo May Be Safe for Melanoma Treatment – Preliminary research found reduced skin-lesion side effect.
Wednesday May 16, 2012
Tuesday May 15, 2012
Monday May 14, 2012
- NIH statement on HIV Vaccine Awareness Day - May 18, 2012
- Presidential Proclamation -- National Women's Health Week - May 13-19, 2012
- 'Button' Batteries Sending More Kids to ER: Study – ER visits for accidental swallowing have doubled.
- Baby Bottles, Pacifiers, Sippy Cups Can Injure – Nationwide survey of ER visits revealed rates of cuts and bruises for infants, toddlers.
- Back Pain Therapy Often Yields Early Benefits: Study – Improvements seen at 6 weeks, but then taper off over year, researchers find.
- Common Blood Pressure Drugs May Not Cut Colon Cancer Risk – Despite some hope from prior research, study finds no benefit from beta blocker medications.
- Employment Prospects Dim for Young Adults With Autism – Study found fewer worked after high school, compared to others with disabilities.
- Health Tip: How to Wash Your Hands Properly – Be sure to scrub between your fingers and under your nails.
- Health Tip: Tame Your Food Cravings – Wait 20 minutes, since cravings usually are short-lived.
- In Rat Study, Eye Device Shows Promise for Restoring Sight – System uses combination of implanted cells and technology to send images to the brain.
Friday May 11, 2012
- HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on National Women's Health Week
- Rolling Back Protections for Domestic Violence Victims - Whitehouse.gov Blog
- Statement from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Mental Health Month
- 'Email Vacations' Boost Job Productivity, Lower Stress: Study – Workplace break made difference in heart rate, ability to focus attention.
- Availability of Beds, Poverty Drive Costly Hospital Readmissions – Factors related to supply and demand seem to matter more than quality of care or illness severity, research finds.
- Blood Clot Risk Linked to Some Non-Pill Contraceptives – Women using hormone-releasing skin patches, implants, vaginal rings were more likely to develop clots, study finds.
- FDA Panel Gives Blessing to New Weight-Loss Drug – If agency follows suit, lorcaserin could be first such medication approved in a decade.
- Health Tip: Having an Allergy to Medication – Suggestions to help avoid a reaction.
- Health Tip: Help Prevent Gas in Babies – Feed the infant slowly.
- Induced Labor Late in Pregnancy Has Pros, Cons – Study found strategy could cut infant deaths, but raise number of babies requiring intensive care.
- Is Combining Hysterectomy and a Tummy Tuck Safe? – Yes, small study concludes, but some other experts disagree.
- New Weight-Loss Drug Shows Promise in Trial – Those who took Qnexa lost more weight, even if they had other health conditions.
- Only Half of Meds Taken by Kids Have 'Adequate' Safety Info: Study – Medications used in newborns especially under-studied, doctor says.
Thursday May 10, 2012
- FDA issues alert on potential dangers of unproven treatment for multiple sclerosis
- High-risk behaviors for skin cancer common among young adults
- Black Africans Less Apt to Develop Heart Rhythm Disorder Than Whites – This held true even though blacks had more risk factors for the condition than whites, study finds.
- FDA Issues Warning on Controversial MS Treatment – No reliable evidence supports use of 'liberation therapy,' agency says.
- Gut Bugs Might Influence Child's Odds for Obesity – Heavy kids had higher levels of certain microbes, as did kids who ate little protein, study finds.
- Health Highlights: May 10, 2012
- Health Tip: Do I Need the Meningococcal Vaccine? – Yes, if you're about to live in a college dorm..
- Health Tip: When Your Knee is Unstable – Here are potential warning signs.
- Many Women Still Smoke During Pregnancy – New study finds white moms-to-be are more likely to light up than blacks, Hispanics.
- Many Young Adults at Risk of Skin Cancer: CDC – Sunbathing, indoor tanning all too common, study finds.
- Pot Belly Boosts Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death: Study – Carrying weight in your midsection adds to obesity's dangers.
- Scleroderma Complications Worse in Blacks Than Whites: Study – The autoimmune disease, which affects tissue throughout the body, can lead to scarred lungs.
- Statins May Help Prevent Irregular Heartbeat in Elderly – Cholesterol-lowering drugs cut risk of atrial fibrillation in people with high blood pressure, early study found.
- Strides Made in Diagnosing, Treating Lupus – New therapies are being developed for people with the autoimmune illness, experts say.
Wednesday May 9, 2012
- FDA Panel Seems to Back Pill to Help Prevent HIV – Truvada's been shown to stop infection with AIDS virus, but critics see drawbacks.
- FDA Seeks Less Radiation for Kids Getting X-Rays, CT Scans – Manufacturers asked to take their safety into account with use of machines, design of new scanners.
- Health Highlights: May 9, 2012
- Health Tip: Help Prevent Chronic Ear Infections – Children should avoid secondhand smoke.
- Health Tip: Make Sure Your Child's Bike is the Right Size – Don't purposely buy one that the child will 'grow into'.
- Infection Causes 1 in 6 Cancers Worldwide: Study – Stomach, liver and cervical malignancies top the list.
- IUDs Work as Emergency Contraceptive: Review – The devices, used this way for 35 years, are safe, more effective than 'morning-after' pill.
- Norovirus Outbreak Traced to Reusable Grocery Bag – Infection spread after one girl became sick during soccer team travels.
- Rate of Hospitalizations for Stroke Has Declined in U.S. – The death rate for these patients also fell from 9% in 1989 to 5% in 2009, study shows.
- Study: Kids Who Sleep in Parents' Bed Less Likely to Be Overweight – Children allowed to snuggle up with mom, dad may feel more secure and eat less, researchers say.
- Wheelchair Breakdowns on the Rise, Study Finds – More than half of spinal cord injury patients surveyed had equipment problems within 6 months.
Tuesday May 8, 2012
Monday May 7, 2012
- 42% of Americans Could Be Obese by 2030: CDC – Stemming obesity rate might save an estimated $550 billion over two decades.
- Birth Defect Rates Vary Depending on Fertility Treatment: Study – Researchers not sure if technology or biology is the cause.
- Health Highlights: May 7, 2012
- Health Tip: When Baby Has a Fever – If it's above 100.4F, call the doctor at once.
- Health Tip: Work on Good Posture – Your feet should rest flat on the floor.
- Research May Point to New Obesity Treatments – Making energy-storing white fat act more like energy-burning brown fat might spur weight loss, researchers say.
- Study: More Pre-Teens Get Vaccines When Middle Schools Require Them – Vaccinations protect against serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases, experts say.
- U.S. Obesity Rate Set to Soar, Costing Billions: CDC – But researchers add the rise might be somewhat less than previously estimated.
- Using Earplugs Eases ICU Patients' Confusion: Study – Hustle and bustle at hospital can lead to delirium and lack of sleep.
- Zinc Pills May Shorten Colds, Analysis Suggests – But, benefits are slight and side effects are reported, researchers say.
Friday May 4, 2012
- Secretary Sebelius Statement in Honor of National Nurses Week 2012
- A Heart Disease Veteran at Just Age 12 – Survivor stresses importance of asking questions and pushing for answers.
- Health Highlights: May 4, 2012
- Health Tip: Make TV Time Exercise Time – Walk around during commercials.
- Health Tip: Managing a Hammertoe – Wear loose-fitting shoes.
- High Blood Pressure Risk Factors That May Surprise You – Keep blood pressure in the normal range to prevent strokes, experts say.
- Joggers Live Longer, Study Says – Slow pace best for longevity, researchers report.
- Older Lung Cancer Patients Less Likely to Be Treated – Researchers say doctors shouldn't be so quick to write off older people.
- Positive Thinking, Persistence Pay Off in Job Search: Study – Staying focused on finding employment is most important factor, researchers say.
- Prenatal Smoking Linked to High-Functioning Autism in Kids – But study only found slight association, not a cause-and-effect relationship.
- Screening for Other Health Problems May Aid COPD Survival – Cancers, heart conditions, diabetes among the diseases that were linked to study patient deaths.
- Today's Kids May Be Destined for Adult Heart Disease – Solution lies in instilling healthy habits, not adding medication, experts say.
Thursday May 3, 2012
Wednesday May 2, 2012
- Anti-HIV drug use during pregnancy does not affect infant size, birth weight
- HHS Secretary Sebelius statement on National High Blood Pressure Education Month
- Statement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
- Statement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Asthma Awareness Month
- Clues to 'Slacker' Behavior Found in Brain, Study Says – Levels of the chemical dopamine in key regions of the brain may influence motivation.
- Energy and Sports Drinks Eat Away at Teeth, Study Finds – But beverage industry disputes the claim, saying many factors contribute to enamel erosion.
- Health Highlights: May 2, 2012
- Health Tip: Help Prevent Back Pain – Exercise to strengthen lower back muscles.
- Health Tip: Watch for Symptoms of Seizure – They can vary, depending on affected part of brain.
- Once-Banned Bird Flu Study Suggests Pandemic Threat Is Real – Researchers found the virus could potentially mutate and spread widely among humans, but that hasn't happened so far.
- Scientists Spot How Cox-2 Painkillers Raise Heart Risks – The drugs suppress an enzyme that relaxes blood vessels and guards against clotting, research finds.
- Study Finds Direct Link Between Obesity, Heart Disease – Data from more than 75,000 people showed that having a higher BMI, in itself, is harmful.
- Study Redefines What a Healthy Vagina Is – Scientists found 'bacterial community' differs among women and even changes in same woman.
- Study: Gene Therapy for HIV Safe, But Effectiveness Still Unclear – Patients doing well a decade later but virus itself not eradicated.
- U.S. Ranks 131st in World for Premature Birth Rate – Report finds America on par with Somalia, Thailand and Turkey.
Tuesday May 1, 2012
- Statement from Secretary Sebelius on National Foster Care Month
- Statement from Secretary Sebelius on Older Americans Month
- Analysis Finds Clinical Trials Often Small, of Poor Quality – Database offers big picture of medical research in United States.
- Arthritis in Children Linked to Infections – Limiting steroids when possible may help to lower infection risk, researchers say.
- Better Ways Needed to Track Drug Safety: Report – Medicines should be monitored throughout their 'life cycles,' from approval onward.
- Can Blood Test Predict Breast Cancer Risk? – Preliminary study found women who showed alterations in a specific gene were more likely to develop disease later.
- Fish Oil Doesn't Cut Failure Rate of Hemodialysis Grafts – However, kidney patients taking fish-oil supplements had fewer problems with clots, study says.
- For Breast Cancer Care, Radiation of Whole Breast May Be Best – Study finds poorer outcomes with localized, partial-breast approach.
- Health Care Disparities Might Affect Black Kids' Cancer Survival – Access to clinical trials and more costly treatments may improve outcomes, study suggests.
- Health Highlights: May 1, 2012
- Health Tip: Don't Forget Aerobic Exercise – Walk instead of driving.
- Health Tip: Taking the Kids for a Shopping Cart Ride – First, they must be buckled in.
- Healthy Weight Loss May Also Cut Your Cancer Risk – New study found decrease in inflammation warning signals.
- How That Glass of Red Wine Might Help You Live Longer – Mouse study suggests synthetic form of compound found in grapes deserves a look.
- Less-Invasive Surgery for Esophageal Cancer Might Be Safer – Study comparing it to standard open surgeries found fewer infections, shorter hospital stays.
- Many Asthmatic Kids Harmed by Secondhand Smoke: Study – Exposure leads to more doctor visits, disturbed sleep, exercise limitations.
- Seniors Undertreated for Asthma, and Many Skip Inhalers: Study – Using meds as prescribed can improve health, quality of life, researcher says.
- Study Downplays Risk of CT Scans – Death from disease is much more likely, preliminary research finds.
- Tasers Can Trigger Fatal Heart Trouble, Study Says – Study looked at eight healthy men who became unconscious after receiving shock.
- Women More Likely to Survive Melanoma Than Men: Study – Analysis found female patients had a 30% survival advantage.
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Content last updated May 31, 2012.