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Health Headlines - June 8

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:24pm
Studies: TB Remains Problem As Rates Rise

From drug-resistant tuberculosis in California to high disease rates in South African gold mines, stubborn challenges threaten health officials' goals for drastically reducing TB globally within 10 years, several studies show.

Health Tax Credit Benefit Varies State-to-State

The impact of U.S. federal government health insurance proposals, such as tax credits or expanded public coverage, would vary widely state-to-state, according to a study released Tuesday.

For Some Kids, Milk Can be Too Much of a Good Thing

Teens who drink more than recommended levels of milk may actually gain weight, rather than lose it, new research suggests.

Health Tip: Preventing Spider Bites

While the vast majority of spider bites are harmless, they can still be painful and unpleasant. The Texas Department of Health offers these tips on how you can reduce the risk of being bitten by a spider.

You should:
  • Reduce or eliminate bright outdoor lighting around your home that attracts insects, which act as a food supply for spiders.

  • Get out the vacuum and remove spiders, webs, and egg sacs from inside your home.
    Shake out shoes, clothes, towels, linens, and other items that have been stored for extended periods before you use them.

  • Prevent spiders from entering your home by sealing or caulking any outside openings.

  • Be alert and wear gloves when you're in areas where you're likely to encounter spiders.

  • Remove debris and trim grass and weeds around your home.

Health Tip: Avoiding Playground Injuries

Playgrounds offer children exercise and social interaction. But they can also be dangerous.

More than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger are treated for playground injuries each year in the United States, says the U.S. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

The National Program for Playground Safety says there are a number of ways to prevent playground injuries. The program recommends: improvement of adult supervision on playgrounds; public education about age-appropriate playground equipment; and improved maintenance of playground equipment and surfaces.

It also suggests that playgrounds be built with surfaces that help reduce the impact of falls -- such as sand, wood chips, shredded rubber, and wood fiber.

Leptin Surge in Infancy May Spur Later Obesity

The fat hormone leptin may explain the link between poorly nourished pregnant women and an increased risk for obesity in their children, according to Japanese researchers.

Infected Host Not Key to West Nile's Spread

In a study that surprised its authors as much as anyone, scientists have discovered that the West Nile virus can be transmitted almost instantaneously between mosquitoes feeding side-by-side on an animal, even if that animal is not infected.

Medical Experts Disagree on Marijuana Ruling

Before becoming the medical consultant to the Hospice Foundation of America, Dr. William M. Lamers worked for three decades with terminally ill cancer patients, helping to ease their pain.

TB Still a Deadly Health Threat

Tuberculosis remains a deadly health threat, affecting one of every three people worldwide, with 9 million new cases every year and 2 million deaths.

Study Frowns on Over-The-Counter Lip Enhancers

Women bent on achieving that bee-stung Angelina Jolie look may want to avoid buying over-the-counter products that claim to provide fuller, poutier mouths.

Protein Measures Prostate Cancer's Severity

Researchers say they may be nearing a long-sought goal in prostate cancer therapy: a molecular marker that could distinguish between those men who need aggressive treatment, and those who will do well with watchful waiting.

Gene Clue May Lead to Epilepsy Treatments

Scientists say they've pinpointed a gene in epilepsy patients that's also associated with a movement disorder called paroxysmal dyskinesia (PD).

Cranberry Juice May Fight Intestinal Bugs

Cranberry juice, a long-standing home remedy to help prevent urinary tract infections, may also work against gastrointestinal viruses, new research suggests.

Food Fact:
The sweeter tater.

For the record, sweet potatoes are not yams -- but they are a very nutritious choice. One baked sweet potato contains 5 1/2 times your daily requirement for vitamin A, and nearly half the recommended amount of vitamin C, along with a range of trace minerals and plenty of fiber. Buy only as many sweet potatoes as you plan to cook: They don't keep well, and should never be refrigerated. Store in a cool, dry place for a few days.

Fitness Tip of the day:
Run for your life?

If you don't want to run alongside traffic, you're not alone. If you need to run or walk in an area where traffic is an issue, always run against the flow of traffic. Also be certain to wear reflective clothing so that you are clearly visible at all times.

FAQ of the day:
How much fat is too much?

We recommend a limit of 20% of calories from fat for weight loss. That's enough to make food palatable without providing empty calories. The best way to control fat is to determine your daily limit of fat in grams, and then monitor your fat budget by reading labels, using recipe analyses, and referring to a fat counter (available in any bookstore). The fat you add to your food should be monounsaturated (the kind found in olive and canola oils) and limited in saturated and hydrogenated fats as much as possible.
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