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Health News 03/2012


Obama leads Republicans on health care issues
By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY President Obama has a big advantage over any of his potential Republican rivals when it comes to issues involving health care and Medicare, a new poll shows. The survey, taken by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, ...

Bonnie Kraham: Make informed decisions about long-term care
By Bonnie Kraham Confusion often reigns when one learns that a family member will likely need long-term skilled care. Finances are always an issue. With the average stay in a local nursing home running $11000 per month, few can afford to pay the costs ...

Smoking out the money
By Dennis Myers State legislators last month approved $260000 for the Nevada Taxation Department to hire a team of auditors to track cigarette sales by smaller tobacco corporations who were not participants in the 1998 national tobacco lawsuit ...

Aging and Anorexia Part II: Advice on Eating Disorders in Midlife and Beyond
Angelina Jolie's shockingly thin appearance at the Oscars sparked a timely national discussion on eating disorders - it's National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. It's National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and I started asking around for ...

American kids are eating too much sugar, new study claims
Kids in the United States have too much of a sweet tooth, according to a new government report. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Wednesday claims American children and adolescents get about 16 percent of their caloric intake ...

Statins beneficial, health experts say
Australians taking cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins are being urged to stay on them after US regulators ruled they must carry warnings about a small increased risk of diabetes or memory impairment. Hundreds of thousands of Australians are ...

U.S. Appeals Court Ruling Another Major Setback for Much Needed Graphic ...
U.S. Appeals Court Ruling Another Major Setback for Much Needed Graphic ...

Generic flu drug helps brain injuries heal faster
NEW YORK — Researchers are reporting the first treatment to speed recovery from severe brain injuries caused by falls and car crashes: a cheap flu medicine whose side benefits were discovered by accident decades ago. Severely injured patients who were ...

Tackling the last taboo
Diseases are not always as hard to defeat as tuberculosis and HIV, even when the damage they inflict is devastating. But when the disease is effectively taboo – its name an unmentionable word in polite conversation – it doesn't get the attention it ...

Most Americans like Medicare just the way it is: survey
By Jessica Zigmond About 70% of Americans say they favor the Medicare program as it exists today, while 25% say they would support a premium-support model in the federal healthcare program, according to a February survey from the Kaiser Family ...

Seniors say they sleep better than younger adults
Seniors do just fine catching their zzzz's, a new study reports. In fact, compared to seniors over the age of 80, men between 18 and 24 are twice as likely to report sleeping problems. By Linda Carroll Contrary to popular belief, healthy seniors have ...

Sleeping pill deaths may exceed 500000 annually
HealthDay News -- Hypnotic sleep aid use was associated with a three- to five-fold higher mortality risk compared to nonuse, even among patients taking relatively few pills a year, study data indicate. Patients prescribed 0.4 to 18 doses per year had a ...

Flu Drug Speeds Recovery from Brain Injury
By Nancy Walsh, Staff Writer, MedPage Today Reviewed by Dori F. Zaleznik, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston and Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner This placebo-controlled trial found more rapid ...

Flu drug Amantadine may boost recovery from severe brain injuries
(CBS/AP) Medicines generally have side effects, but once in awhile the side effects may treat other conditions. Viagra after all, was originally a blood pressure medicine. Amantadine, an old flu medicine approved in the 1960s, was found a few years ...

Pfizer, Bristol-Myers: FDA ruling on approval of anticlotting drug Eliquis ...
Pfizer, Bristol-Myers: FDA ruling on approval of anticlotting drug Eliquis ...

Nicotine patches fail most pregnant smokers
Nicotine replacement therapy is widely used to help smokers kick the habit, but new research raises major doubts about its effectiveness during pregnancy. The largest clinical trial ever to examine the use of nicotine patches in this setting found ...

Sleep quality improves for adults as they age, study suggests
(CBS News) There's good news for the young, sleep-deprived folks of the world: it gets better as you grow older. According to a new study, people in their 80s get a great night's rest. Researchers surveyed 156000 Americans about their sleep quality and ...

New warnings prompt questions about statin drugs
You may have heard the news: federal health officials are adding new safety warnings to cholesterol-lowering statin drugs like Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor. The new labels will warn that some patients have reported memory loss and confusion while taking ...

Judge blocks graphic images on cigarette packages, rules that extreme warnings ...
Judge blocks graphic images on cigarette packages, rules that extreme warnings ...

Trans Fats Linked to Stroke in Women
By Salynn Boyles March 1, 2012 -- Artery-clogging trans fats have been linked to heart disease in study after study, and now new research suggests that the fats may also increase stroke risk in women. Middle-aged and older women whose diets contained ...

First Quadrivalent Vaccine Against Seasonal Flu Wins FDA Approval
On Wednesday, the US Food and Drug Administration announced it had approved FluMist Quadrivalent, a vaccine to prevent seasonal influenza in people aged 2 to 49 years. This is the first quadrivalent flu vaccine, that is one that contains four strains ...

US will push to have graphic warnings on cigarettes
By Steven Reinberg One of the warning labels proposed for cigarette packages. (AP Photo / US Food and Drug Administration, File) THURSDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Following a move by a US federal judge to block a government mandate calling for ...

Study: Sleep Gets Better with Age
Sleep deprived? Just wait 'til you're 80. A new study finds that elderly folks sleep better than anyone. By Alexandra Sifferlin | @acsifferlin | March 1, 2012 | + Good news for seniors. Contrary to common wisdom, sleep doesn't get more difficult with ...

Bigger warnings on cigarette packs blocked by federal judge
US District Judge Richard Leon has blocked the federal government's plan to require cigarette manufacturers to cover half of each package sold with a graphic health warning. In his ruling, issued late Wednesday, Leon said the government mandate ...

Web therapy helps teens with chronic fatigue
Internet-based treatment may help teens with chronic fatigue syndrome to recover, researchers have found. In a study published in Thursday's issue of the medical journal The Lancet, Dutch researchers said 63 per cent of adolescents who received the ...

Condoms with QR codes enable smartphone check-ins
(CBS News) Think social media couldn't get any more personal? Planned Parenthood has introduced new QR-coded condoms that take social sharing to another level. As part of National Condom Week (Feb. 14 - Feb. 21), Planned Parenthood of the Great ...

Oldest Seniors Sleep Better than Gen Y'ers
By Nancy Walsh, Staff Writer, MedPage Today Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. Contrary to the common belief, healthy older adults actually report fewer sleep difficulties ...

Cholesterol drug increases diabetes risk
MUMBAI: There may soon be changes in the labelling of widely-used cholesterol-lowering drugs - statins - sold in the country. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that patients taking statins may face a "small increased risk" of higher ...

Selenium: Too much of a good thing?
Supplement poppers beware: Taking too much selenium could be harmful, a new review study cautions. Small amounts of selenium, a trace mineral found in soil and foods, are needed for maintaining good health. Over the past decade, use of selenium ...

Myth busted: Sleep quality improves as you grow older
LONDON: The belief that sleep quality declines in old age may be false, as a new study has found that it gets better with age. In a telephonic survey of over 150000 adults, a team at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Sleep & Circadian ...

Senate Blocks GOP Measure Opposing Contraception Policy
WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday upheld President Obama's birth control policy, voting to kill a Republican effort to let employers and health insurance companies deny coverage for contraceptives and other items they object to on religious or moral ...

HIV rate among US intravenous drug users falls: CDC
By Julie Steenhuysen | CHICAGO (Reuters) - HIV infections among intravenous drug users in the United States have fallen by half in the past decade, but HIV testing is also down and risky behaviors such as needle-sharing persist, US health experts said ...

Federal Judge Strikes Down Mandatory Cigarette Health Warning Labels
This week a federal judge ruled in favor of tobacco companies challenging a FDA requirement that would force cigarette manufacturers to place graphic warning labels on their products. “The government has failed to carry both its burden of demonstrating ...

Smear tests 'boost cure chances'
Women diagnosed with cervical cancer as a result of a smear test have a far better chance of being cured than women who do not go for tests, a Swedish study suggests. The researchers found a 92% cure rate after a smear test diagnosis, compared with 66% ...

Older Adults Get Better Sleep
Researchers have found that sleep gets better with age. Although, people in their 40's feel some difficulty in sleeping, sleep actually improves, when people pass their 50's. "This flies in the face of popular belief," says Dr. Michael Grandner, ...

Republican senators fail to reverse birth control rule
Democrats portrayed the effort to change a new federal insurance requirement as interference in women's health options. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe of Maine was the only Republican who did not vote for a GOP effort to roll back an insurance rule requiring ...

Stolen NASA laptop contained space station control codes
A laptop stolen from NASA last year was unencrypted and contained command and control codes for the International Space Station on it, the agency's inspector general told a House subcommittee Wednesday. In his testimony before a House Science, ...

HEALTHBEAT: Researchers aim to find the invisible damage traumatic brain ...
HEALTHBEAT: Researchers aim to find the invisible damage traumatic brain ...

Taking a daily vitamin pill could prevent skin cancer, scientists reveal
By Anthony Bond A daily vitamin pill could help prevent skin cancer - particularly among women, it has emerged. Scientists say taking food supplements containing vitamin A can make people less likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of the ...

Meats, poultry now require nutrition labels
By SUE GLEITER, The Patriot-News Just like packages of cereal and crackers, some meats and poultry will now will be sold with nutrition labels. As of Thursday, the US Department of Agriculture started requiring the labels on ground meats such as turkey ...

Smear tests raise chances of beating cervical cancer to 9 in 10
Regularly undergoing smear tests dramatically increases a woman's chance of beating cervical cancer, a study shows. By Stephen Adams, Medical Correspondent Those who were diagnosed with the cancer via screening had a 92 per cent chance of complete ...

Statin Risks Outweighed by Statin Benefits
By Daniel J. DeNoon It seems that every week there's news about statins. One week there's a scare about possible new or underappreciated risks. The next week, you hear they are the best thing ever. What's the truth? To answer commonly asked questions, ...

Determining the Level of Payments in Health Care
By UWE E. REINHARDT Uwe E. Reinhardt is an economics professor at Princeton. He has some financial interests in the health care field. In my previous post, I presented the following menu of payment systems for health care and discussed the various ...

Is chocolate really heart-healthy?
That heart-shaped box of chocolate you got for Valentine's just might have some benefits for your real heart, a new study hints. The study, which combined the results of 42 small clinical trials, found that people fed chocolate or cocoa for a few weeks ...

GOP senators fail to reverse birth control rule
By Anonymous AP In an election year battle mixing birth control, religion and politics, Democrats narrowly blocked an effort by Senate Republicans to overturn President Barack Obama's order that most employers or their insurers cover the cost of ...

'This is my last hope': Morbidly obese man who weighs 45-stone begs for help ...
'This is my last hope': Morbidly obese man who weighs 45-stone begs for help ...

Swedish study confirms value of Pap tests in cervical cancer survival. (Getty ...
Swedish study confirms value of Pap tests in cervical cancer survival. (Getty ...

Good, Bad HIV News on Injection Drug Users
By Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. Fewer injection drugs users are infected with HIV, but they're also less ...

Nick Cannon reveals diagnosis of autoimmune disease, which caused kidney ...
Nick Cannon reveals diagnosis of autoimmune disease, which caused kidney ...

New technology could change how traumatic brain injuries are diagnosed
Brain fibers that control right-sided limb movement were not damaged when the patient was hurt in an ATV accident. (CBS/AP) From car wrecks to combat injuries to concussions from playing football, traumatic brain injuries can cause serious damage and ...

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