Monthly Archives: August 2012

Health experts urge more awareness of Chagas disease

The Los Angeles Times reports, “Chagas affects an estimated 300,000 people in this country and about 13 million worldwide, chiefly in Latin America, where it is a leading cause of heart failure.”

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Fewer schools selling sweetened drinks

Reuters reports that a study published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine finds that fewer schools now make available sweetened drinks for purchase by students that was true in 2007.

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Consumer Reports releases safety ratings for hospitals

Modern Healthcare reports, “Consumer Reports has released individualized safety ratings for more than 1,100 hospitals, becoming just the latest organization to issue facility-specific marks based on measures such as readmissions, medication safety and healthcare-associated infections.”

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FDA approves OTC HIV test

News that the Food and Drug Administration has approved an over-the-counter test for home use for the detection of HIV attracted wide interest in the print and online media.

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High doses of vitamin D reduce risk of fracture

The CNN “The Chart” blog reports that, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, “vitamin D supplements – which are often combined with calcium supplements – are associated with a lower risk of bone fracture … Continue reading

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Child sexual abuse declines 60% over past two decades

The New York Times reports, “The rates of child sexual abuse in the United States, while still significant and troubling, have been decreasing steadily over the last two decades by several critical measures.”

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Sprinting, rather than jogging, may help men lose more belly fat

Bloomberg News reports, “Sprinting, not jogging, helps men lose harmful belly fat faster,” according to a study published in the Journal of Obesity.

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Coffee consumption linked to reduced heart failure risk

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, “Regular to moderate coffee drinking may reduce the risk of heart failure, says a new study in the journal Circulation Heart Failure, a publication of the American Heart Association.”

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Childhood poisonings from new detergent packets on the rise

The New York Times “Well” blog reports, “Childhood poisonings from a new type of detergent packet have soared in recent weeks, experts say, with the total climbing to more than 1,200 this week from about 200 in late May.”

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Watchdog group warns of heart valve risk related to new diet pill

Reuters reports now that FDA has approved Arena Pharmaceuticals’ diet pill lorcaserin, the watchdog group Public Citizen has asked the US Food and Drug Administration to reject the experimental drug, citing concerns that it could pose a risk to heart … Continue reading

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Healthcare sharing ministries may serve as new insurance option for some

The Indianapolis Star reports, “No one views health care sharing ministries as a solution to the problem of how to provide care for as many people as possible. But their existence represents a creative approach that has worked for a … Continue reading

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New report clarifies link between active video games and increased physical activity among children

The recent finding that access to active video games (AVGs) did not lead to increased physical activity among children was widely reported in the media, but often inaccurately. Here’s more detail from a press release from the Games for Life … Continue reading

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AMA says more research needed to determine if obesity is a disease

The “Health on Today” blog of MSNBC runs a MyHealthNewsDaily article that reports the American Medical Association “decided more research was needed on” if obesity is a disease, “deferring the decision to a later date.” Dr. Thomas Madejski, chair of … Continue reading

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FDA approves new drug for weight loss

The FDA’s approval of lorcaserin received heavy coverage, appearing on all three major news broadcasts and coverage in major national newspapers. Coverage focused on it being the first weight-loss medication approved since 1999 and on safety concerns.

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Low-carb diet better than low-fat diet for maintaining weight loss

A surprising study out of Harvard changes the way we think about dieting. When it comes to counting calories, what kind we take in may matter as how many we take in.

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Physical activity reduces breast cancer risk

The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reports that “even moderate levels of physical activity – during childbearing years or after menopause – may reduce breast cancer risk,” according to a new study.

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Study: Allergic reactions to food still common in children

USA Today reports, “Even when parents and caregivers are aware of infants’ food allergies and have been instructed in avoiding potentially dangerous trigger foods, allergic reactions still occur, the result of both accidental and non-accidental exposures,” according to a study … Continue reading

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Vaccinations belong on parents’ back-to-school checklists

Vaccinations among school-aged children can save lives and parents should be sure their children are fully immunized as part of their back-to-school preparations, according to a pediatric infectious disease specialist.

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Report: Children’s cereals healthier, but ads more aggressively target kids

The USA Today “Healthy Perspective” blog reported, “While most cereals marketed to children have gotten a bit healthier – lower in sugar and salt and higher in whole grains and fiber – they still typically contain a spoonful of sugar … Continue reading

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ADHD medication abuse rising among students

On its front page, the New York Times examined the increasing use of attention-deficit/hyperactivity (AD/HD) disorder medications, such as Adderall (dextroamphetamine and amphetamine), by students who use them to study harder and test better in high-stress school environments.

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State lawmakers wisely consider changes to vaccine exemptions

USA Today reports, “California lawmakers are debating a bill that aims to boost the number of kids who go to school with all of their shots.” The move is in reaction to “the resurgence of once-forgotten infectious diseases, including what could … Continue reading

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Test results: TSA scanners pose negligible risk to passengers

The Los Angeles Times reports, “Full-body scanners used for security screening at the nation’s airports do not expose passengers to dangerous levels of radiation, according to a new independent analysis of the security devices.”

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Sleeping six hours or less regularly linked to increased stroke risk

USA Today reports, “The 30% of working adults who routinely sleep less than six hours a night are four times more likely to suffer a stroke, says a new study” presented at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies meeting.

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Do you have a teen starting back to school? It’s time to think vaccines!

Here’s a timely reminder from the CDC to us healthcare professionals about being sure we update the vaccines of our teenage patients. It’s also a good reminder to those with a teen child

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Unhealthy food more appealing to sleep deprived individuals

The CNN “The Chart” blog reports, “According to two small studies presented” the Associated Professional Sleep Societies annual meeting, “sleep deprivation appears to increase activity in areas of the brain that seek out pleasure – including that provided by junk … Continue reading

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USPSTF recommendations have led to decline in mammography in younger women

The New York Times “Well” blog reports, “In the year after” the United States Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF) “recommendations that women delay regular breast cancer screenings until age 50, the number of women in their 40s undergoing mammograms slightly … Continue reading

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Oregon parents increasingly and unwisely choosing alternative vaccination schedules for their children

The ABC News “Medical Unit” blog reports, “More and more parents in Oregon are choosing alternative vaccination schedules for their children, a practice known as shot-limiting, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics. Experts say the practice puts … Continue reading

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Being a parent helps protect against the common cold

The CBS News “HealthPop” blog reports that a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine suggests “that being a parent may actually boosts a person’s protection against the common cold.”

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Studies show ways dads make a difference for kids

Two studies recently published in scientific journals say that when it comes to parenting, dads really do matter to kids — and in some ways, they may have even more influence than mothers.

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Some people taking in an excessive amount of calcium

On the front of its Personal Journal section, the Wall Street Journal reports in “Health Journal” that although some individuals are not taking in an adequate amount of calcium, studies indicate that other people are taking in an excessive amount.”

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