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Health Headlines - February 20

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:25pm
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.
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