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Health Headlines - March 3

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:25pm
Smoking Ups Risk of Premenopausal Breast Cancer

Both active and "passive" smoking (exposure to secondhand smoke) increase the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal but not postmenopausal women, a study of middle-aged Japanese women suggests.

Brain Stimulation May Curb Persistent Depression

Individuals with severe depression who do not respond to standard types of treatment may be helped with an experimental treatment called deep brain stimulation, Canadian investigators report.

Scientists Find Marker for Early Testicular Cancer

Danish scientists said on Thursday they had discovered a new method that could help to detect very early signs of testicular cancer.

U.S. May Drop Anti-Abortion Line at UN Conference

The United States signaled it may drop a demand for anti-abortion language that raised hackles at a U.N. women's conference, but the top U.S. delegate insisted on Wednesday that many nations agree with Washington.

Florida Sues Tenet on Racketeering Charges

Florida sued Tenet Healthcare Corp. on racketeering charges on Wednesday, saying the embattled hospital operator inflated fees to obtain $1 billion in improper reimbursements from a Medicare fund.

U.S. Says Expects to Approve More Generic AIDS Drugs

The United States expects to approve more generic AIDS drugs in coming months, the head of U.S. AIDS policy said on Wednesday, a move which would allow them to be included in a $15 billion U.S. anti-HIV program.

USDA Mulls Listing Stores Involved in Meat Recalls

U.S. consumers would no longer have to wonder whether their local grocery stores are selling recalled meat products under regulations being developed by the Agriculture Department, a senior USDA official said on Wednesday.

Asbestos Draft Bill Author Considers Changes

The author of a draft bill for a $140 billion asbestos compensation fund said on Wednesday he was considering changes to address concerns of fellow Republicans and would meet them again Thursday on the details.

Illegal Drug Sales Booming on Internet

Illegal drug sales on the Internet are booming as unlicensed online pharmacies selling drugs like morphine evade a patchy global effort to stop them, the United Nations narcotics watchdog said on Wednesday.

Steroid Injection Won't Quiet Ringing in the Ears

Contrary to some previous reports, a new study suggests that people who suffer with severe, disabling ringing in the ears known as tinnitus are unlikely to find relief with steroid injections in the ringing ear.

Study: Experimental Cancer Treatments Help

People with advanced cancers who try experimental treatments are helped more than previously thought, according to the most comprehensive look at government-sponsored tests over a decade.

Study Suggests Earlier Valve Leak Surgery

People with severely leaky heart valves that cause no symptoms — a situation thought to be relatively harmless — actually are in danger of dying and should consider surgery to get the problem fixed right away, a new study suggests.

Warning Issued on Use of Crestor by Asians

The cholesterol drug Crestor is being relabeled to add a caution that starter doses should be reduced in Asian-Americans and some other patients.

Kirstie Alley Goes for 'Big' Laughs on TV

The plate of snacks is tempting, filled with chocolates, cookies and more, but the only member of Kirstie Alley's household to bite is Bradley the dog.

WHO Seeks Increase in Smallpox Vaccines

The World Health Organization is seeking to expand its 2.5 million dose supply of smallpox vaccines as part of precautions against a biological terrorism attack, a senior official said Wednesday.

Chiron Free to Resume Making Flu Vaccine

British regulators gave the go-ahead Wednesday for Chiron Corp. to resume production of flu vaccine, ending a five-month suspension that caused widespread shortages in the United States. Chiron's stock jumped more than 6 percent.

Kentucky Legislates Student Nutrition

A House panel on Tuesday overhauled a proposal to improve student nutrition, creating a potential conflict with the Senate in the waning days to pass bills.

Chinese Conjoined Twins to Be Separated

Chinese conjoined twin boys who share a heart and liver have arrived in Shanghai to undergo a risky surgery to separate them.

Genes Predict Kidney Complications After Bypass Surgery

Variants of genes involved in inflammation and blood vessel constriction can hint at the likelihood of kidney damage occurring during heart bypass surgery, a new study finds.

European Doctors Often Withhold Life-Extending Care

Whether or not a European patient will receive life-prolonging treatment when they are near death may depend on the country in which they live, according to new study.

Sugar-Producing Proteins Point to New Diabetes Drugs

The interaction between two proteins -- called sirtuin1 and PGC1-alpha -- may offer a target for the development of new drugs to treat diabetes, researchers say.

For Better Bipolar Care, The Nose Knows

Smell cell receptors within the nose are giving researchers vital clues to bipolar disorder that might someday improve treatment for the condition.

Practice Improves Mammogram Diagnosis

The adage "practice makes perfect" may hold true for mammography, too: A new study suggests doctors become more accurate at interpreting mammograms as their experience increases.

New Clues to Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Doctors believe they've discovered a potential new treatment for painful inflammatory bowel disease, which is caused by inflammation of the intestines.

B Vitamins May Cut Fracture Risk After Stroke

Taking folate and vitamin B12 supplements after suffering a stroke can reduce the risk of hip fractures, a new study reports.

Study Confirms Tamoxifen Raises Endometrial Cancer Risk

Doctors often prescribe the drug tamoxifen to breast cancer patients over the long term, to help reduce the chances of cancer recurrence.

China's smoking problems will take years to rectify

China faces a huge challenge in its battle against smoking, and the problem will take years to rectify even if Beijing ratifies an international treaty aimed at cutting tobacco-related deaths, analysts say.

Europe updates contingency plans for flu pandemic

European health experts are holding a two-day meeting this week to update contingency plans in case of an influenza pandemic, after warnings linked to a bird flu virus in Asia, officials said.

Britain lifts suspension on production of Chiron flu vaccine

The British government announced that production of a flu vaccine made by US drugs company Chiron would resume at a factory in England after a near five-month suspension.

Japanese study deals blow to "link" between autism, triple vaccine

A major Japanese study should dispel lingering fears from a 12-year-old scare that a multiple vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) is to blame for a rise in autism, the British weekly New Scientist says.

Six Norwegians hospitalized after drinking methanol-laced alcohol

Six young Norwegians were hospitalized after drinking contraband alcohol laced with methanol, and one of them remained in critical condition, hospital officials said.

At Haiti's main hospital, the poor await care with bibles and prayers

Haiti's University Hospital is the country's biggest, but its condition -- like many of its patients -- is past critical: It lacks doctors, pregnant teens in labor lean against its walls, there are no drugs and the sick pray for deliverance.

Vietnam approves first anti-impotency drug

A Vietnamese pharmaceutical company has received a license to produce the country's first anti-impotency drug, a government official said.

Nine in 10 of Beijing's overworked women complain about health problems

Stressful lives and long hours cause 93 percent of all working women in Beijing to have health problems.
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