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Health Headlines - May 31

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:24pm
Workplace Solvent Linked to Immune System Disorders

The industrial solvent trichloroethylene (TCE) may cause immune system changes in workers exposed to the chemical, Italian researchers conclude.

CT Scans, MRI Not to Blame For Rising Health Costs

Many health-care industry experts have placed some of the blame for soaring health-care costs on the increasing expense of hi-tech diagnostic imaging tests, such as CT scans and MRI.

Summary Box: West Nile Virus

VIRUS DAMAGE: A study to be released this summer indicates about 10 percent of people who contract West Nile virus develop polio-like paralysis or severe muscle weakness.

Cult-Like Lure of 'Ana' Attracts Anorexics

They call her "Ana." She is a role model to some, a goddess to others - the subject of drawings, prayers and even a creed. She tells them what to eat and mocks them when they don't lose weight. And yet, while she is a very real presence in the lives of many of her followers, she exists only in their minds.

Some West Nile Survivors Turn to Advocacy

Soon after Jack Raney recovered from a West Nile infection that left him comatose for several days, he began his campaign against a disease that stole everything from his job to games of catch with his three kids.

Italy to open skin bank for high-risk workers

Italian researchers are creating what they say is the world's first skin bank for fire-fighters, steelworkers and others at high risk of being burned in accidents.

System Lets Parents Spy on Kids' Lunches

As Garin Hughes picks through his school-lunch burrito and unidentifiable apple-pear dessert, he has a secret. Hidden underneath the eighth-grader's right leg is a chocolate cookie in shrink-wrapped plastic. That's for dessert. In the past, his parents had no clue when he bought a treat at school. Now, thanks to a new school-lunch monitoring system, they can check over the Internet and learn about that secret cookie.

Telling anorexics about bone harm may spur change

Informing young women with anorexia about their future risk of developing the brittle bone disease osteoporosis may lead some to make healthy changes, such as increasing their calcium intake, new study findings suggest.

Trauma common feature of American Indian life

More than two-thirds of American Indians are exposed to some type of trauma during their lives, a higher rate than that seen in most other Americans, new research reports.

Viagra useful for ED in men with MS

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common problem for men with multiple sclerosis and now new research indicates that Viagra (sildenafil) is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for erectile difficulties in such patients.

Cancer seen in family members of asbestos workers

People who were exposed to asbestos through a family member who worked with the material appear to run the risk of developing the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma many years later, a new study suggests.

Home test spots breathing trouble in heart failure

Overnight home monitoring can detect sleep-related breathing disturbances in people who suffer from heart failure, new research shows. This is important because treating these breathing disorders may improve their heart condition.

Food Fact:
Dr. red pepper?

Peppers rank surprisingly high on the list of healing foods. For instance, hot chile peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that acts as an anticoagulant and may help prevent heart attacks and strokes caused by blood clots. A half-cup of chopped red bell peppers provides 141mg of vitamin C and 4,250 IU of vitamin A -- more than an adult's daily needs for both. And whether they're mellow and sweet or fiery hot, all peppers are all good sources of potentially cancer-fighting antioxidants, especially vitamin C.

Fitness Tip of the day:
On-the-job training.

Make your workstation a "workout station" -- our tips show you how. Simple objects such as staplers and tape dispensers can be used as weights to perform simple exercises at your desk. Perform curling and pressing movements while seated in your chair. Make sure to get up every 30 minutes or so to stretch your legs and back.

FAQ of the day:
When did garlic get its heart-healthy reputation?

Even ancient man suspected garlic was good for the heart. Dioscorides, the Roman who codified Greek herbal medicine in the first century A.D., wrote in his "Materia Medica" that garlic "clears the arteries." The ancient Indian Ayurvedic text "Charaka Samhita" holds that garlic "maintains the fluidity of the blood, strengthens the heart and prolongs life." But it's only in the past few decades that garlic's effect on blood cholesterol, blood clotting and other heart disease risk factors have been systematically studied.
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