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Health Headlines - March 4

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:25pm
Carnitine Supplement Helps Sperm Swim

Taking carnitine supplements seems to improve sperm mobility in men with poorly active sperm, a problem known as asthenozoospermia, Italian researchers report.

No Evidence That Echinacea Treats Colds

Most of the major studies on the effectiveness of echinacea for treatment of the common cold contain major flaws, suggesting that research has not yet established that this herbal medicine is effective, according to a new report.

Deaths from Measles Falling But Gaps Remain - U.N.

Deaths from measles are declining worldwide, but Nigeria, India and Pakistan need to step up immunization to beat the lethal virus, U.N. agencies said on Friday.

HIV Patients May Run Out of Drug Options

A growing number of HIV patients in Britain are in danger of running out of treatment options because their virus has become resistant to the drug combinations they have been taking, scientists said on Friday.

Smallpox Debacle Shows More Need to Talk

A federal program that is supposed to protect the United States against a smallpox attack has gone awry because of a lack of clear communication about the goals, a panel of experts said on Thursday.

Inhaler Option Makes Insulin More Acceptable

Giving patients who have type 2 diabetes, or adult-onset diabetes, the option of using an insulin inhaler may help them comply with insulin treatment recommendations, new findings suggest.

Young Men with Sleep Apnea Have Higher Risk of Death

Most patients referred for evaluation of sleep apnea, a condition in which airways become blocked during sleep and breathing stops for brief periods, are in their 50s, but men in their 20s with this condition appear to have the highest risk of death.

Healthy Lifestyle Could Reduce Alzheimer's Risk

Regular exercise and a healthy diet could go a long way to reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, a medical expert said on Thursday.

Senate Votes to Block Canada Cattle Imports

The U.S. Senate voted to overturn a Bush administration plan on Thursday to allow imports of Canadian cattle, the second defeat in two days for the administration's efforts to normalize beef trade roiled by mad cow disease in North America.

Severe Obesity Linked to Increased Healthcare Costs

As waistlines grow bigger, healthcare costs get higher, according to the results of a study that found healthcare expenses to be nearly twice as high in morbidly obese individuals than in their normal-weight peers.

U.N.: AIDS May Kill 80M Africans by 2025

More than 80 million Africans may die from AIDS by 2025, the United Nations said in a report released Friday, and infections could soar to 90 million — or more than 10 percent of the continent's population.

WHO: Global Measles Deaths Drop 39 Pct.

Global deaths from measles have plummeted 39 percent since the 2001 launch of an international vaccination campaign to curb the disease, the World Health Organization and UNICEF said Friday.

Specialists Push for Organ Swap Program

Kidney transplant specialists pushed Thursday for a national organ swap program that they say could be lifesaving for thousands of ailing patients on transplant waiting lists.

Shoppers Confused by Herbal Cold Remedies

Stuffy noses and sore throats are driving many cold sufferers to herbal and homeopathic remedies. But consumers may not realize they're buying alternative medicines when they choose wildly popular products such as Airborne and Zicam.

Cheap, Simple Care May Save Newborn Lives

More than 10,000 newborns die every day in poor countries, and more than 7,000 of them could be saved by simple, cheap — and deliverable — care, according to research announced Thursday.

CDC: Flu Season Less Severe Than Last Year

After all the panic last fall over the vaccine shortage, the flu season is turning out to be milder than last year's severe bout, but it may not have peaked yet, the government said Thursday.

Study to Examine Last-Chance Cancer Drug

The failure of a last-chance cancer drug to significantly improve survival rates in a clinical trial was a surprise and the manufacturer says it is trying to figure out why the product didn't do better.

Chiron Optimistic on Next Year's Flu Shot

Chiron Corp. chief executive Howard Pien said Thursday that he was optimistic the beleaguered company will be allowed to produce vaccine for next year's U.S. flu season, but he declined to say how many doses may be delivered.

Spit Test Predicts Tots' Tooth Troubles

The dentist's command to 'spit' might soon be part of dental diagnosis: Researchers say they've developed a simple saliva-based test that can predict whether children will get cavities.

C-section Preemies at Higher Childhood Asthma Risk

Premature infants born through Caesarean delivery are more likely to suffer severe childhood asthma than full-term infants, according to a new report.

Diet, Exercise a Real Shortcut to Health

Six short weeks is all it may take for simple changes in diet and exercise to start making dramatic reductions in risk for killer illnesses like diabetes, cancer or heart disease, researchers report.

Shallow Socket Ups Hip Arthritis Risk

A shallow hip socket is a strong risk factor for hip osteoarthritis, the leading cause of disability among the elderly, Dutch researchers report.

Ligament Tears Raise Knee Arthritis Risk

Tears of the knee's anterior cruciate ligament also increase the risk and severity of knee osteoarthritis, even in people who may not remember suffering a major knee injury in the past, researchers report.

School Anti-Smoking Programs Don't Work

Anti-smoking programs in schools are not enough to keep kids from lighting up later on down the road, Indiana University researchers say.

Virtual Reality Lets Children Escape Pain

Children who immerse themselves in a virtual world feel less pain.

Four billion dollars could reduce newborn mortality by 61 percent

Investment of little more than four billion dollars a year could slash the global death rate among newborn babies by 61 percent, according to research.

Experimental cancer treatments get better than expected results

People with advanced cancer would benefit from submitting to experimental treatment since it has yielded better than expected results, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Symptomless mitral regurgitation more dangerous than previously thought

Leakage of the mitral valve leading to blood flowing back from the heart's left ventricle into the left atrium presents a significant risk and requires surgical intervention, a study in the United States revealed.

New study brings good news about AIDS drugs

A long-term study into anti-HIV drugs confirms their ability to control the AIDS virus and suggests that, in the right conditions, the proportion of patients who fail to respond to these vital medications can be kept low and stable.

India in uphill anti-tobacco fight as world anti-smoking treaty takes force

India, which accounts for one-sixth of tobacco illnesses worldwide, faces an uphill battle to crack down on the use of the product as a global anti-smoking treaty takes effect, officials say.

China drafts nutrition guidelines to cut obesity, diabetes

A national nutrition regulation aimed at improving Chinese people's diet is being drafted as unhealthy eating increasingly causes chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, state media said.

One-third of teenage girls in Portugal have taken morning-after pill

Nearly one-third of sexually active Portuguese girls between the ages of 15 and 19 have taken the "morning-after" pill to prevent pregnancy, according to a study.

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.

Bootleg booze kills ten in Turkey, spreads panic

The deaths of 10 people from bootleg liquor has sparked panic in Istanbul drinking establishments, with many bar owners blaming higher taxes on alcoholic beverages by a government with Islamist roots for the emergence of illegal liquor factories.

Nepal produces first test-tube baby

Nepal's first test-tube baby was born to a couple who had been childless for 18 years, state radio reported.
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