Time spent watching television may be linked to increased risk of death

General Health
The Wall Street Journal reports that there may be a link between the time an individual spends watching television and his or her risk of death, according to a study published in the journal Circulation. Bloomberg News picked up the story, reporting that investigators "tracked the TV-viewing habits of 8,800 adults and followed them for six years." The study findings indicated that "every hour of daily TV watching increased the risk of dying from any cause by 11 percent," HealthDay reported. The researchers found that "for cardiovascular diseases the increased risk was 18 percent, and for cancer it was nine percent." When "compared with those who watched less than two hours per day, those who watched TV for more than four hours each day had an 80 percent increased risk of…
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Active Girls Make Better Grades

Children's Health, Parenting
Girls who spend more time in vigorous physical activity may do better in school, even if they are not particularly fit, study findings hint. According to this report from Reuters Health, Dr. Lydia Kwak, at Karolinska Institute in Huddinge, Sweden, and colleagues examined associations between light, moderate, and vigorous physical activity and academic achievement in 232 students (52 percent girls) who were 16 years old on average and attending ninth grade in a Swedish school. They tallied students' grades in language, science, math, history, and other school subjects, Kwak's team explains in the Journal of Pediatrics. They assessed students' overall physical activity by having each wear an accelerometer - a physical activity meter similar to a pedometer - for 4 consecutive days that included at least one weekend day. The researchers determined…
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Obesity Outweighs Smoking as Life Expectancy Threat

General Health, Medical Economics, Nutritional Health, Obesity
When I wrote my book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I predicted that if the obesity epidemic was not stemmed, that this generation of U.S. children would be the first in history to have a shorter life expectancy than their parent. Now, new population-level predictions show the importance of tackling obesity for the nation's health. In other words, the gains we are making in improved life expectancy from lower smoking rates, especially over the next decade, will be offset by a great degree by reductions in life expectancy based on the rise in obesity. This report, from MedPage, tells us that if obesity and smoking rates had held steady, the average 18-year-old would have seen a 2.98-year increase in life expectancy over a 15-year period. At…
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Dr. Walt’s Testimony Before Congress on Faith-based Perspectives on the Provision of Community Services

Bioethics, General Health, Medical Economics
Back in 2004, while serving as Vice President of Medical Outreach at Focus on the Family, I was asked to testify before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources on the topic of “Faith-based Perspectives on the Provision of Community Services.” Recently someone asked me to post my comments, so here they are. You can also read them in the Congressional Record here. Mr. Chairman, I am Walter L. Larimore. Prior to joining Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colorado in February 2001 to become Vice-President of Medical Outreach, I practiced family medicine for over 20 years in small rural towns in North Carolina and Florida. In both practices, I was actively involved in teaching medical students and residents. I was also involved in medical research and writing…
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Adult Stem Cell Treatment Restores Sight to Partially Blind Man

General Health
The Guardian in England has an amazing story about a partially blind man regaining his vision. Russell Turnbull, 38, suffered massive damage to his right eye when he was caught in a scuffle after a night out in Newcastle in 1994. On the bus home, Turnbull had tried to intervene in a fight between two men but was injured when one of them began squirting passengers with ammonia. The chemical severely scarred Turnbull's cornea, the clear membrane that covers the front of the eye, and destroyed stem cells that usually help keep the cornea healthy. In an experimental treatment devised by doctors at the North East England Stem Cell Institute in Newcastle, stem cells were taken from Turnbull's healthy eye and grown on a layer of amniotic tissue, which is…
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Twelve Reasons Why the Senate Health Care Bill Should Alarm Each of Us

General Health, Medical Economics
My friend, family physician and U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, MD, has my undying respect and admiration. When he speaks, I listen. So, his most recent piece on the healthcare reform legislation being hammered out behind closed doors caught my interest. I thought you'd find it compelling and recommend you share this with others: As a doctor I swear to uphold the Hippocratic Oath, including to do no harm. As a Senator, I swear to uphold the United States Constitution. In the recent health care debate, principles from both have converged and I am sad to say that the Senate health care bill violates both of my oaths. Below are twelve major concerns that should have every American's attention: 1) Bailout for Insurance Companies It is potentially unconstitutional for the federal…
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Full-body scanners at airports pose no health risk

Cancer, General Health
ABC World News is reporting on whether radiation exposure from full-body scanners to be implemented by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) pose health risks for passengers. ABC's Betsy Stark noted, "Most of the scanners about to be deployed in the US use x-rays to look for objects hidden under clothes." While exposure to x-rays, to radiation, can increase the risk of cancer, according to the machine's manufacturers, and (even more importantly) an independent study ... the scanners pose little to no health risk. The Los Angeles Times "Booster Shots" blog reported that for its part, "the American College of Radiology has issued" an official statement that the group "is not aware of any evidence that either of the scanning technologies that the TSA is considering would present significant biological effects for…
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National Cancer Institute Researcher Admits Abortion-Breast Cancer Link True

Bioethics, Cancer, Mental Health, Woman's Health
The National Cancer Institute gained a reputation for putting politics over science when it did everything possible to deny dissenting opinion during a meeting to establish whether or not a link exists between abortion and breast cancer. But now, the main NCI acivist who got the agency to deny the abortion-breast cancer link has co-authored a study admitting the abortion-breast cancer link is true, calling it a "known risk factor." Here's the story as reported by LifeNews.com. Scientists and educators about the abortion-breast cancer link point to a new study that shows a top NCI official may be re-thinking the refusal to acknowledge the link. The study, conducted by Jessica Dolle, appears in the April, 2009 issue of the prestigious cancer epidemiology journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. The Dolle study, conducted…
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More hospitals using new type of patient gown

General Health
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that approximately "1,700 facilities ... are now using" a new type of hospital gown. The new gown is known as Bair Paws. According to the Inquirer, "a machine blows warm air between layers of paper -- actually a DuPont fabric made of wood fibers, polypropylene, and polyester -- in the gown to keep patients toasty before, during, and after surgery." These "gowns, which ... cost about $15 each, not only make patients feel better -- doctors say they also help them heal better." Sales are soaring according to Jami Collins, a senior product manager at Arizant Inc., the company that makes the gowns.
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The latest drugs and supplements used for weight loss. Are any worth trying?

Nutritional Health, Obesity
As soon as the holiday goodies are gone, people begin to try various products to try to lose weight. Why? Because most of us gain weight over the holidays. So, pharmacies report a run on the over-the-counter (OTC) weight loss products. However, people typically lose just 5 to 10 pounds in a year with OTC orlistat (Alli, etc), or even with prescription sibutramine (Meridia) ... phentermine ... or diethylpropion. And, there are new concerns about increased cardiac risk with sibutramine ... possibly due to increased blood pressure and pulse. So many people are looking for new options. Here’s a brief review of these products by the experts at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database - an evidence-based source of information I've frequently recommended to you: Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG, Pregnyl, etc). Proponents say…
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Gingko biloba may not be effective in preventing cognitive decline or improving memory

Alternative Medicine, Nutritional Health
In my best-selling book, co-written with Donal O'Mathuna, PhD, Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook, I wrote a chapter on Gingko biloba and said this: While ginkgo looks promising as a means of delaying the memory loss related to a variety of diseases, some studies have found no benefit. Studies have found memory benefits only for about six months. Ginkgo may prove helpful for retarding age-related memory loss, dementia, and peripheral arterial disease. However, studies have not examined the benefits or safety of taking ginkgo long-term. Now we may have the answer. I was first informed of it by watching the CBS Evening News where it was reported, "Americans spend a quarter billion dollars a year on" gingko biloba supplements, "hoping to improve their memory and slow cognitive decline." NBC Nightly…
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Top 10 Good News Pro-life News Stories of 2009

Bioethics, Health Headlines
The following are the top ten good news stories of 2009, ranked according to popularity, from LifeNews.com. 1) 12-Year-Old Stuns Pro-Choice Teacher and School with Pro-Life Presentation 12-year-old "Lia" of Toronto become a star at her school and on Youtube with her five-minute pro-life speech, crafted for a school competition. A video of her speech has been watched over 800,000 times on Youtube. 2) List of Bishops Opposing the Notre Dame Invitation and Award to President Obama 83 U.S. bishops spoke out against Notre Dame's decision to honour the "most pro-abortion president in history." The widespread and public outrage from the country's bishops was considered by many to be an encouraging sign about the current direction of the U.S. Catholic Church on the life and family issues. 3) Florida Quarterback…
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Top 10 Pro-Life News Stories of 2009

Bioethics, Health Headlines
President Barack Obama, abortion, the Supreme Court, and healthcare dominated pro-life news in 2009. As we look back on 2009, the first with a new pro-abortion president, it seems to me that the pro-life movement essentially is on the defensive. Thanks to a pro-abortion president and Congress, pro-life advocates spent most of their time this last year attempting to hold back the opening of the floodgates ushering in an expansion of abortion and taxpayer financing of it. With the health care debate continuing into the new year, those efforts will be forced to continue -- although the potential for pro-life gains in the 2010 elections provides significant hope for the future. So, with that in mind, the following are the top ten pro-life news stories of 2009, ranked according to…
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The Top 10 Health Scares Of The Decade

General Health, Health Headlines
With disagreement over baby bottle chemical (bisphenol A), what’s a parent to do? While the past decade has seen great strides in medical technology, it hasn't seen solutions to all of our health problems. There were novel viruses that threatened to kill us all. There were toxins in our children's toys, and we were told to worry about the junk they were eating. Some of these threats turned out to be almost nonexistent. Others were arguably overblown. Some caused widespread harm. So what new threats have been robbing you of sleep since the annual odometer rolled over from 1999 to 2000? Here's a list from ABC News of the top ten new threats of the last ten years. 1) Swine Flu (H1N1) Since it came to public attention in the United States…
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Larimore Family Newsletter – January 2010

General Health
Here are the contents for this month's newsletter: Family Update Publication Update 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People available His Brain, Her Brain published in Spanish and in a new Audio Book Events of the last month Upcoming Events Family Update Barb and I had a lovely month at home together for the Christmas holidays. We enjoyed being off the road for a bit and fellowshipping with friends and our church family. During this time I was able to make significant inroads in finishing the manuscript for my first solo novel, tentatively called Hazel Creek. It’s a story about five young sisters who are orphaned in the Smoky Mountain wilderness of western North Carolina in the 1920’s and have to fend off their family farm from an unscrupulous lumber baron.…
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