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Health Headlines - March 1

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:25pm
Study Links Osteoporosis, Gluten Intolerance

Some people develop osteoporosis, the mineral loss disease that leads to brittle bones, because their bodies cannot tolerate wheat flour, a study said on Monday.

Vietnamese Woman Confirmed to Have Bird Flu

A 35-year-old poultry market cleaner in northern Vietnam has contracted bird flu, which has killed 47 people in Asia, the Lao Dong newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Senators Seek Mandatory Drug Study Database

Drug and medical device companies would be required to report clinical trial results in a public database under legislation unveiled on Monday by a top U.S. Senate Republican and three Democrats.

Hospitals Get Guidelines on Reporting Infections

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines on Monday designed to help states track and alert the public to potentially deadly infections in hospitals and clinics.

Company Plans U.S. Future for Cannabis Drug

Britain's GW Pharmaceuticals said Monday it was accelerating plans to introduce its cannabis-based medicines into the United States as U.S. founder investors increased their stake in the business.

Biogen, Elan Halt Drug After Patient Dies

Biogen Idec (BIIB.O) and Elan Corp. Plc (ELN.N) (ELN.I) on Monday suspended sales of their much-heralded new multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri after a patient died from a rare and often fatal infection of the central nervous system.

Nordic Nations Call for New Limits on Sun Beds

The five Nordic nations called on the European Union Monday to impose a tighter limit on the strength of sun beds, and warned sun-starved citizens they were at more risk than others of contracting skin cancer from them.

Egyptian Baby Learning to Breathe After Operation

An Egyptian baby who underwent an operation to remove the head of a twin that failed to develop in the womb is gradually being trained to breathe independently, one of the doctors treating her was quoted saying Monday.

HIV Treatment: 2 Million Years of Life Saved

Progress in HIV care has saved at least 2 million years of life in the United States, according to the results of a study that quantified the total impact of HIV treatment in the US for the first time.

Zinc Shortage Linked to Esophageal Cancer

People with low levels of zinc in their tissues may be at increased risk for developing cancer of the esophagus, according to research reported in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

U.S. Life Expectancy Rises to Record Level

Declines in death rates from most major causes — including heart disease and cancer — have pushed Americans' life expectancy to a record 77.6 years. Women are still living longer than men, but the gap is narrowing.

IQ Loss Linked to Mercury Costs $8.7B

Lower IQ levels linked to mercury exposure in the womb costs the United States $8.7 billion a year in lost earnings potential, according to a study released Monday by researchers at a New York hospital.

Restaurants Slow to Drop Fat Menu Choices

For people trying to banish trans fat from their diets, dining out can be a big problem. Products free of trans fat are rapidly appearing in supermarkets snack aisles, but the fried chicken and french fries ordered in restaurants usually are cooked in shortening or oil containing trans fat.

Judge: Pharmacist Should Be Reprimanded

A Roman Catholic pharmacist who blocked a woman's attempt to fill a prescription for birth control pills should be reprimanded and required to attend ethics classes, a judge ruled Monday.

FDA Drug Approval Times Likely to Grow

The withdrawal of a multiple sclerosis treatment is likely to lead to even longer product approval times for pharmaceutical companies as pressure mounts on the Food and Drug Administration to improve drug safety, experts say.

U.S. Pushes U.N. on Abortion Declaration

Ten years after a landmark U.N. conference adopted a platform aimed at global equality for women, the United States is demanding that a follow-up meeting make clear women are not guaranteed a right to abortion.

Bush Tackles Governors' Medicaid Worries

President Bush told the nation's governors on Monday that he recognizes their alarm over soaring Medicaid costs and proposed federal cutbacks and vowed to work with them to try to reach common ground.

Prostate Cancer Therapy May Affect Mental Function

Hormone therapy used to fight prostate cancer may adversely effect men's mental abilities, a small Finnish study suggests.

Study Shows Snake Venom's Hisstory

Snake venom is one of nature's most sophisticated bioweapons, containing toxins that cause their victims' bodies to turn against themselves.

Almost Lost in FDA Hearings, Naproxen Gets Thumbs-Up

As the spotlight continued to shine on a government panel's recent actions on cox-2 inhibitors, there was some good news for another pain drug that had also experienced some adverse test results. Naproxen, the active ingredient in Bayer's Aleve and in Roche's Naprosyn, both over-the-counter pain relievers, received a quiet green light from the government advisory panel meeting two weeks ago to examine the safety of the prescription pain relievers.

Obesity May Begin at the Grocery Store

Everyday concerns such as food prices, the time it takes to make a meal, and the location of grocery stores help determine the dietary fat intake of obese women, researchers report.

Sleep Disorder Treatment Also Aids Diabetics

Type 2 diabetics who suffer from sleep apnea may be able to significantly lower their glucose levels if they treat their breathing disorder, University of Illinois at Chicago researchers have found.

Health Tip: Preventing Staph Infection

Staph infections have been in the news in recent years after well-publicized outbreaks among some professional football players. They are likely spread through rough play, shared towels, whirlpools and weights.

But the best defense -- on or off the field -- may be better hygiene habits. Good hygiene helps prevent both staph and methicillin-resistant skin infections, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which offers these suggestions:

Keep hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water.
Keep cuts and abrasions clean and covered with a proper dressing (for example, bandage) until healed.
Avoid contact with other people's wounds or material contaminated from wounds.

Australian researchers report HIV therapy breakthrough

Australian researchers have discovered a way to significantly boost the body's immune system to fight HIV and other deadly viruses, the scientists said.

SARS victims blast official indifference in letter to Beijing mayor

More than 100 former SARS patients sent an open letter to the mayor of Beijing, blasting official indifference to their plight nearly two years after the deadly outbreak.

With just one drop of blood, Japanese chip detects disease in 30 minutes

A Japanese firm has developed a plastic chip half the size of a business card which it said could detect a number of diseases, including cancer, within 30 minutes.

More than 30 countries face serious food shortages: UN agency

Thirty-six countries worldwide face serious food shortages due mainly to conflicts and bad weather, and need external assistance, the Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report.

Cholera kills 46 people in southwest Nigeria

Forty-six people have died and over 100 have been hospitalised following an outbreak of cholera in the southwestern Nigerian state of Oyo, state health ministry spokesman Lekan Kolade said.

Brazil tribe suffers malnutrition, suicide, violence

The sixth death from malnutrition of a Kaiowa child in two months, coupled with a recent spate of suicides and violent deaths, has elevated concerns over the survival of Brazil's indigenous Kaiowa.

Computer-assisted therapy may help silent pope communicate

Computer-assisted therapy could help Pope John Paul II to communicate after his throat surgery, a specialist doctor was quoted as saying.

Fifteenth bird flu death in Vietnam

A 21-year-old man from northern Vietnam has died of bird flu, becoming the 15th victim of the disease in the Southeast Asian country in the past two months.
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