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Health Headlines - February 23

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:25pm
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.
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