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Health Headlines - June 26

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:24pm
U.S. job-based health care flawed, economists say

The U.S. health-care system, which relies on insurance provided through employment, restrains productivity and leaves too many people without coverage, but ditching the system would be costly, economists say.

More than three-quarters of docs believe in God

The majority of doctors believe in God and attend religious services, and more than half say their religious beliefs affect how they practice medicine, according to new survey results.

$5.1 billion could save 6 million children - study

Six million children who die each year from preventable diseases could be saved if richer nations gave another $5.1 billion a year, researchers said on Friday.

Vegetarian women weigh less than meat-eaters

Women who eat little or no meat are less likely to be overweight than their more carnivorous peers, according to a new study.

Dark chocolate seen healthy for arteries

Eating dark chocolate may have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system in healthy people, the results of a new study suggest.

Serve kids more food, and they'll eat it

When it comes to food, kids tend to eat what's put in front of them even if it exceeds their calorie needs, according to new study findings.

Heroin users show Alzheimer's-like brain changes

Young people who abuse heroin may suffer brain damage similar to what's seen in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.

Cock-eyed optimist? Hey, it can't hurt

Having an optimistic outlook on life may not always guarantee a better reaction to stress, as measured by a person's immune status, according to a University of Kentucky psychologist.

Australia outlaws using Internet to incite suicide

People who use the Internet to incite others to commit suicide or teach them how to kill themselves face fines of up to A$550,000 ($430,000) under tough new laws passed in Australia on Friday.

Antiepileptic drug increases birth defect risk

The results of a Finnish population-based study confirm that pregnant women taking the antiepileptic drug valproate run the risk of having a child with birth defects.

Feds: Safeguards Working Amid Mad Cow Case

The United States has what may be its first homegrown case of mad cow disease, confirmed a full seven months after officials first suspected the animal might be infected.

Guidant Cautions Doctors on Defibrillators

A second safety warning from Guidant Corp., one of the nation's largest medical device manufacturers, urged doctors to stop using five defibrillator models because they could malfunction and may have to be recalled.

Group Estimates Potential Flu Death Toll

More than a half-million people could die and more than 2.3 million could be hospitalized if a moderately severe strain of pandemic flu virus hits the United States, a research group said Friday.

House Blocks Federal Coverage of Viagra

Impotence drugs such as Viagra would not be covered by Medicaid and Medicare, the government health programs for the poor and the aged, under new prohibitions approved by the House on Friday.

FDA Approves First Racially Targeted Drug
Now that the FDA has for the first time approved a drug specifically for blacks, medical experts are sure to debate the implications, with some questioning the validity of medical research that focuses on race.

FDA Panel Rejects Artificial Heart

The first fully implantable artificial heart hasn't yet proved its promise, say government advisers worried that most of the few recipients so far suffered serious side effects for little gain.

Vioxx Lawsuits Could Reach Trial in Fall

The first federal lawsuits against drug maker Merck & Co. over its withdrawn painkiller Vioxx could reach trial in the late fall, according to lawyers who gathered Thursday for a monthly status conference on the massive litigation.

New Drug Shows Promise in Type 1 Diabetes

A novel experimental treatment showed promise in a small study for helping certain diabetics retain some ability to make insulin, potentially lessening their need for shots of the hormone to regulate blood sugar levels.

Calif. Pot Crackdown May Net More Arrests

Authorities described this week's raids on San Francisco pot clubs as one of the largest drug crackdowns in the area in recent memory, and said the arrests were the first step in uncovering a major international drug operation.

US fears backlash after second mad cow case confirmed

The multi-billion-dollar US cattle industry braced for a possible backlash against its products after authorities confirmed the country's second case of mad cow disease.

Brazil signals may break patent on Abbot AIDS drug

Brazilian Health Minister Humberto Costa signalled his government was set to move to break the patent on Abbot Laboratories' Kaletra AIDS drug because it would reduce treatment costs.

International bird flu experts check human transmission risk

An international team of experts arrived in Vietnam to study the likelihood of greater human-to-human transmission of the bird flu virus.

WHO boosting Angola's ability to tackle Marburg on its own

The World Health Organisation said that it was aiming to ensure that Angolan health authorities could tackle a deadly epidemic of Marburg haemorrhagic fever without international help.

Foreigners increasingly seek IVF treatments in Czech Republic

Foreigners are increasingly turning to the Czech Republic for infertility treatments because of lower prices and "softer" legislation, a local newspaper said.

US military doctors helped interrogators at Guantanamo

US military doctors advised interrogators at the US naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba, how to increase stress levels and apply psychological pressure on detainees.

Boston Scientific to pay 74 million dollar settlement on stents

Boston Scientific Corp. agreed to pay 74 million dollars as it resolved civil and criminal charges related to to problems with its coronary stents, prosecutors said.

Tsunami compounds Sri Lanka's AIDS worries, UN says

A United Nations report urged Sri Lankan leaders to "break the silence" and tackle the spread of HIV/AIDS which it said has been worsened by December's tsunami disaster.

Paternal post-natal depression badly affects baby's development: study

A child whose father has suffered post-natal depression faces an increased risk of psychological problems in early life, according to a study published in Saturday's issue of The Lancet, the British medical weekly.

Uganda rejects imports of US-approved South African AIDS drugs

Uganda has barred the import of South African generic AIDS drugs despite their approval by US regulators and concerns that withholding the low-cost pharmaceuticals could hamper efforts to fight the deadly disease, officials said.

Food Fact:

With the right substitution, you can cut back on red meat and still enjoy a "beefy" flavor. For patties that look, smell (sort of) and taste like beef, look for veggie burgers with "soy protein concentrate" as the first ingredient, followed closely by "natural flavors," and you're probably looking at a good choice to satisfy beefy cravings.

Fitness Tip of the day:
Touch-tone up!

Some of the best opportunities to burn calories arise as you're talking on the phone. Stand up and do front, back or side leg lifts while you chat. Add ankle weights for greater toning and calorie-burning effects. Stand on tip toes for as long as you can until the muscle starts to burn. If you're on a cordless, walk throughout your conversation. Or grab a heavy can of food and do alternating bicep curls for tighter arms. For a firmer butt, lean against the wall and sit on an imaginary chair.

FAQ of the day:
How much fish should I eat to be healthy?

Fatty fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to be good for the heart. No one knows for sure how much omega-3 fatty acid is enough, but epidemiological evidence suggests that eating fatty fish as little as once a week can be beneficial. To preserve the good omega-3 fats without adding harmful saturated or hydrogenated fats, stay away from fried fish -- choose seafood that's baked, broiled, poached, steamed or grilled.
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