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Health Headlines - March 16

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:25pm
AIDS Cocktails Prevent Cancer, Study Finds

Drug cocktails taken to control the AIDS virus may not only keep patients healthy but may protect them against some cancers caused by the infection, international researchers said on Tuesday.

Brazil Takes Step Toward Breaking AIDS Patents

Brazil has moved a step closer to breaking AIDS drugs patents by asking U.S. companies for the right to copy four products so the country can slash health costs, the government said on Tuesday.

FDA Panel Backs 2 New Whooping Cough Vaccines

A U.S. advisory panel on Tuesday urged approval for two new vaccines designed to elevate immunity against whooping cough, a disease that is making a comeback despite widespread immunization of children.

Disparities in Heart Health Persist in the U.S.

The American Heart Association's goal of reducing heart disease and stroke by 25 percent by the year 2010 is broadly challenged by racial and socioeconomic disparities in these diseases.

Study Raises Doubts About Vitamin E Supplements

Daily vitamin E supplements do not prevent cancer, strokes or heart attacks in older people with vascular disease or diabetes, and may increase their risk of heart failure, a study said on Tuesday.

Medicare to Cover Praecis Prostate Cancer Drug

Medicare will pay for Praecis Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s prostate cancer drug Plenaxis in certain patients, U.S. health officials said on Tuesday.

Diabetes Not Tied to Increased Lung Cancer Risk

While studies have shown that the rate of some cancers is increased in patients with diabetes, the risk of lung cancer apparently is not, according to UK researchers.

More Children May Mean More Cavities for Mom

For women, a bigger brood brings a bigger risk of dental problems, new research reports.

Clinical Rules Don't Predict Osteoporosis in Women

Clinical prediction rules used by doctors to identify patients who will develop osteoporosis, which take into account various risk factors, are not useful in identifying women likely to develop the bone-thinning condition, new research shows.

Radiation for Breast Cancer Now Less Toxic to Heart

Radiation therapy for breast cancer is known to raise the risk of death from heart disease, but new research shows that this complication has become less common over the years, presumably due to improvements in radiation techniques.

Obesity Higher in Some European Countries

At least seven European countries now challenge the United States in size — at least around the waistline. In a group of nations from Greece to Germany, the proportion of overweight or obese men is higher than in the U.S.

Hospital Leaders Leery of Error Reporting

Many hospital administrators are leery of the push toward mandatory reporting of medical errors, saying such practices will lead to more lawsuits and ultimately less openness without improving patient safety, a survey found.

Conn. Needs $100M for Stem Cell Research

Connecticut needs to commit $100 million for stem cell research if it wants to compete for the best researchers in the pioneering field, scientists from Yale and the University of Connecticut said.

Experts Say 30 Minutes of Exercise Enough

Sixty to 90 minutes of exercise? Every day? That's what the government now suggests. Even people working out at the gym say most folks won't consider that, and the experts behind the government's recommendation say 30 minutes a day is enough for most.

Vietnam Nurse Tests Negative for Bird Flu

A Vietnamese nurse earlier suspected of contracting bird flu after caring for an infected patient has tested negative for the virus, health officials said Tuesday.

Study: Pacemakers Can Cause Heart Failure

People with the most common pacemaker types are more likely than similar people without pacemakers to die from or be hospitalized for gradual heart failure, sometimes within six months.

Test Could Be Predictor of Heart Disease

A simple and inexpensive test for elevated white blood cell counts could be used to predict heart disease, a study of more than 66,000 women suggests.

Health Tip: Eyeing Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the United States and many European countries. The neovascular or "wet" form of the disease is responsible for 90 percent of cases of severe vision loss.

Higher Elevations Healthier for Hearts

That Rocky Mountain high may help keep hearts healthy, according to a new study that finds lifespan increases as the elevation at which a person chooses to live climbs skyward.

Obesity Ups Child's Asthma Risk

Obese children are more likely to suffer asthma and wheezing than other children, according to a new study.

New Test Predicts Lung Disease Death Risk

A new, noninvasive lung test provides a better assessment of the potential risk of death for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), say Spanish researchers.

Drug Therapy as Good as Invasive Procedures After Heart Attacks

Most older people who have heart attacks survive just as well with drug therapy as they do with invasive procedures like bypass surgery or angioplasty, a new study finds.

Many Hospital Execs Oppose Mandatory Error Reporting

A new survey of hundreds of executives running hospitals in six states finds a majority object to state laws requiring hospitals to report major and minor medical errors.

WHO seeks details from North Korea over reported outbreak of bird flu

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it had asked North Korea for information after a news agency reported there had been an outbreak of bird flu at a farm in the capital, Pyongyang.

South Korean scientists say kimchi could cure bird flu

An extract of South Korea's famed spicy fermented cabbage dish known as kimchi could cure bird flu and other chicken diseases, scientists said.

Taiwan to fine pregnant women for smoking

Taiwan will fine pregnant women for smoking in a bid to ensure healthier babies and curb the number of female smokers which is on the rise, health officials said.

Tippling Aussie women healthier than the teetotallers

Women who have one or two alcoholic drinks per day are healthier than teetotallers, according to Australian research.

British judge postpones ruling on keeping premature baby alive

The decision on whether to keep a critically ill baby alive through artificial means was postponed for another five weeks, after a court heard the parents' third legal attempt to save the premature girl.

Cardinal tells Catholics to reject Britain's Labour over abortion

The Catholic church in Britain is backing the opposition Conservative Party's support for a reduction of the legal time limit for abortions, withdrawing its traditional support for the ruling Labour Party.

AIDS epidemic slowed by change in sexual habits

Changes in sexual behavior helped more to slow the spread of HIV in the early 1990s than the ensuing introduction of AIDS therapy drugs, a study revealed.

Singapore may ask HIV carriers to help trace sexual partners

Singapore may introduce legislation empowering health workers to ask HIV patients for information on their sexual partners, a senior health official said in remarks published.
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