August 2014

Active ImageEver whacked your thumb with a hammer, or wrenched your back after lifting a heavy box, and blamed the full moon? It's a popular notion, but there's no cosmic connection, Austrian government researchers said Tuesday.

Robert Seeberger, a physicist and astronomer at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said a team of experts analyzed 500,000 industrial accidents in Austria between 2000 and 2004 and found no link to lunar activity.

"The full moon does not unfavorably affect the likelihood of an accident," Seeberger said.

To read full article
Study debunks full-moon injury beliefs, click here.

Active ImageBig Rise in Age-Related Eye Diseases Expected

Few aging baby boomers are aware of their risk of age-related eye diseases or are doing what they need to do to protect their future vision.

This was the finding from a national survey released today by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) to coincide with new eye disease screening recommendations for adults and the launching of a nationwide public education campaign.

To read full article
Aging Baby Boomers Unaware of Eye Risk, click here. 
Active ImageA single cannabis joint could damage the lungs as much as smoking up to five tobacco cigarettes one after another, scientists in New Zealand have said. The research, published in the journal Thorax, found cannabis damaged the large airways in the lungs causing symptoms such as coughing and wheezing.

To read full article 
Cannabis harm worse than tobacco, click here.
Active ImageFatigue, usually described as feeling tired, weak or exhausted, affects most people during cancer treatment. Cancer fatigue can result from the side effects of treatment or the cancer itself. For some people, cancer fatigue is mild and temporary. For others, cancer fatigue lasts months after treatment and makes going about daily activities impossible.

To read full article
Cancer fatigue: Why it occurs and how to cope, click here.

Active ImageIs it true that anesthesia isn't safe for people with obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can cause significant complications during recovery from anesthesia. For this reason, it's important to tell your anesthesiologist that you have OSA before surgery so that he or she can take precautions to minimize the risks.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax during sleep. When these muscles relax, your airway narrows or closes as you breathe in and your breathing is momentarily interrupted. This may reduce the amount of oxygen supplied to your brain. Your brain senses that you've stopped breathing and briefly rouses you from sleep so that you can reopen your airway.

To read full article Obstructive sleep apnea and anesthesia, click here.

Active ImageBreaking up an exercise session, by adding a rest period in between, may boost a workout's fat-burning efficiency, a team of Japanese and Danish researchers reports.

When men exercised for two 30-minute stretches, taking a 20-minute rest break in between, they burned more fat than when they exercised for a single 60-minute session, and then rested afterward, Dr. Kazushige Goto of the University of Tokyo and colleagues found.

To read full article Breaking up workouts may burn fat faster, click here.

Active ImageAfter exhaustively compiling a list of the 237 reasons why people have sex, researchers found that young men and women get intimate for mostly the same motivations.

It's more about lust in the body than a love connection in the heart.

College-aged men and women agree on their top reasons for having sex
Active ImageResearch Shows You're More Likely To Gain Weight If Your Family And Friends Become Obese

New research on obesity shows that obesity may be contagious - but don't get the wrong idea about that.

The findings, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, have nothing to do with bacteria or viruses.

To read the full story Is Obesity Contagious?, click here.

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Going into a doctor's visit armed with a checklist, or even some pre-visit coaching, might help patients ask the right questions to get the information they need, a research review suggests.

Studies have shown that people often don't get all the information they want from their doctors. So researchers have looked at a number of ways to help them ask the right questions. 

To read the full story Prepping for doctor visit may help patients, click here. 

Editors Note:

There is one piece of advise I give every patient, before you see your doctor have a clear picture of the problems you want to work on and they symptoms that are causing you problem. Too often patients come into the office and have no idea why they are there. "I have a headache." How long have you been having pain? I don't know!" "Where does it hurt? "Everywhere!" "Do you have spots before your eyes?" "Am I supposed to?" Often it is like pulling teeth to get answers to simple questions. If you think about your problem and your symptoms before seeing your doctor you can save a great deal of time and effort and leave more time to find out how to prevent problems rather than just treat them. Another tip, bring in ALL of your medications. Too often patents have no idea which medication they are taking nor the dosages. This makes it difficult to provide superior care.

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Physical problems often accompany PTSD, click here. 

People who develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after experiencing a disaster may also face an increased risk of physical health problems, Dutch researchers report.

Among 896 men and women who survived a 2000 explosion at a fireworks depot that killed 23 people and injured about 1,000, those who developed PTSD symptoms were more than twice as likely to have vascular problems years later, such as atherosclerosis, varicose veins and swelling, Dr. Anja J. E. Dirkzwager of the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research in Utrecht and her colleagues found. The patients also rated themselves as having worse overall health.

Nearly 1 in 5 had headaches, vascular problems, study found

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Talking With Kids About Sex, click here.

Many parents dread talking with kids about sex. They are unsure what to say or how to act. They may feel insecure, afraid of saying the wrong thing or somehow feel they are giving their kids permission to have sex. If you fall into this category of parents, relax! Talking with kids about sex does not have to be a big deal at all. You teach your kids about the world every day, and there is no reason that you should not be able to talk about sex in the same relaxed manner.

How to talk about sex with your kids.

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There has been a continuing decline in the number of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) cases following the initial drop that occurred after parents were urged to avoid placing their infants face down to sleep. Researchers suggest that this continuing decline is due to a further change from the side to back positioning of infants before bed.

There was an initial 50 percent fall in SIDS rates from the mid-1980s to 1993, at which time nearly no infants were placed on their stomachs to sleep. Dr. Edwin A. Mitchell and colleagues from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, hypothesized that the continued decline is because fewer infants are being placed on their side to sleep.

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One of the worlds healthiest foods, olives, click here. 

Olives are harvested in September but available year round to make a zesty addition to salads, meat and poultry dishes and, of course, pizza.

Olives cannot be eaten right off of the tree; they require special processing to reduce their intrinsic bitterness.

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Study tracks 'learning curve' in prostate surgery, click here. 

The more times a surgeon has performed prostate surgery, the better the odds are for the patient, researchers said Tuesday in a study that validates common-sense advice to get an experienced surgeon.

They tracked success rates of a procedure to remove the prostate gland in men with prostate cancer and documented the "learning curve" doctors face as they perform operations over and over.

Previous research has shown a surgeon's level of experience can be important in influencing an operation's success. In this study, experience was measured not by age or years as a surgeon but by the number of times doctors performed this operation.

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Communication now part of the cure, click here. 

Retired Boston physician Jonathan Fine became a patient advocate in 2004 when he realized communication between doctor and patient is often the first casualty of a major illness.

Miscommunication puts patients at greater risk of becoming victims of preventable medical errors, according to a report this year by the Joint Commission, a national hospital accreditation organization. And the Institute of Medicine reports that medical errors cause up to 98,000 deaths a year.

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Study: Diet Soda May Carry Heart Risks, click here. 

People who drank more than one diet soda each day developed the same risks for heart disease as those who downed sugary regular soda, suggests a large but inconclusive study.

The results surprised the researchers who expected to see a difference between regular and diet soda drinkers. It could be, they suggest, that even no-calorie sweet drinks increase the craving for more sweets, and that people who indulge in sodas probably have less healthy diets overall.

Researchers Surprised To Find Diet Sodas Carry Same Risks As Regular Sodas

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More Vitamin D Can Put More Pep in Seniors' Steps, click here. 

Declining physical performance among some Dutch seniors may not be a simple consequence of aging, it may actually be due to a vitamin D deficiency, results of a new study suggest. "Physicians and the general public should be made more aware of the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency, and more effort should be concentrated on the early detection and treatment of people with suboptimal levels of vitamin D," study co-author Dr. Paul Lips, of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, and his colleagues write.

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Can cholesterol go too low? Study sees cancer link, click here. 

Lowering cholesterol as much as possible may reduce the risk of heart disease, but with a price: taking it too low could raise the risk of cancer, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.

Patients who took statin drugs to lower their cholesterol had a slightly higher risk of cancer, although the study did not show that the statin drugs themselves caused the cancer.

The researchers found one extra case of cancer per 1,000 patients with the lowest levels of LDL -- low density lipoprotein or so-called bad cholesterol -- when compared to patients with higher LDL levels.

Active ImageAlong with treatment severity, other factors help predict whether a person who files a disability claim for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) will be out of work long-term, a new study shows.

The strongest predictor of whether or not a person was able to return to work was his or her expectation of recovery; those who declined to rate their expectations were more than four times as likely as those with high expectations of recovery to be disabled long-term, while those who had low expectations had three times the risk of chronic disability.


To read the full story Workplace factors predict long-term disability risk, click here.

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Do what your mother says! Or not. New research shows defying mom may be a healthy step in the right direction for young children.

Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor videotaped 119 mothers as they interacted with their 14-month to 27-month-old children. The mothers were mostly middle-class. Moms were asked to have their children steer clear from enticing toys and when play time was up, kids had to clean up another group of toys they had been allowed to play with. Researchers coded the children's behavior as defiant, ignoring requests or being willingly compliant.


To read the full story Healthy Defiance is Good for Kids, click here. 

Active ImageIt was the summer of 2002 when the news about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) shook us to the core.

In what felt like a bomb dropped on all womankind, the U.S. federal government halted the hormone trial of the Women's Health Initiative early

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Adding blood thinners doesn't prevent heart attack, click here. 

Two drugs are not always better than one when it comes to using blood thinners to treat clogged arteries in the legs, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.

They found that adding a blood thinner such as warfarin to daily clot-preventing drugs such as aspirin is no better -- and sometimes more dangerous -- for preventing heart attacks, strokes and other circulatory problems in people with peripheral artery disease.

About 1 in 16 people over 40 have some degree of clogging in the arteries outside their heart. The 8.5 million in the United States who do face a higher risk of death from heart disease.

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Veggie Overload No Help For Breast Cancer, click here. 

Healthy diet and exercise may help women survive breast cancer, but eating more than five daily servings of fruits and vegetables doesn't offer extra benefit.

The disappointing finding comes from a seven-year study of more than 3,000 women successfully treated for early breast cancer.

University of California, San Diego cancer researcher John P. Pierce, Ph.D., and colleagues urged half the women to eat the "5-A-Day" servings of fruits and vegetables recommended by the National Cancer Institute. The other half of the women underwent intensive training to get them to eat even more of these healthy foods.

Study On Survivors Shows No Benefit To Eating More Then Recommended Servings Of Fruits And Vegetables

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CDC: 2 Million In U.S. Have Chlamydia, click here. 

More than 2 million people in the U.S. are infected with chlamydia and 250,000 have gonorrhea, according to a government prevalence estimate for the two sexually transmitted diseases.

Rates of both STDs were disproportionately high among adolescents and African-Americans and among people who had been previously infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea.

Rates Highest Among African-Americans And Teenagers

Active Image'Tap Water' Movement Touts Saving Money And Resources By Carrying Refillable Containers

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Green Alternatives To Bottled Water, click here. 

Carrying a water bottle these days is like carrying a cell phone, house keys and a wallet: You don't leave home without it. But few of us stop to think about the long-range impact of all those bottles we empty over the course of a year.

Environmental activists are encouraging people to find alternatives to bottled water

Active ImageSelf-Imposed Rules Meant To Limit Marketing To Children Under 12

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11 Companies To Restrict Food Advertising, click here. 

Eleven of the nation's biggest food and drink companies will adopt new rules to limit advertising to children under the age of 12, a move that restricts ads for products such as McDonald's Happy Meals and the use of popular cartoon characters.

The companies, including Campbell Soup Co., General Mills Inc. and PepsiCo Inc., announced their new rules ahead of a Federal Trade Commission hearing Wednesday that steps up pressure on the companies to help curb the growing child obesity problem through more responsible marketing.

Active ImageWhen It Comes to Fitness, Your Own Stress Could Be Holding You Back

Let's talk. If you are reading this, you may have either finally made the decision to get back into shape or you are already in decent physical shape but experience any of a number of stress-related health issues

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Scorching temperatures in many parts of the nation are a reminder that sky-high mercury levels are not only uncomfortable

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Hours of playing video games and drinking sodas instead of milk may be putting children's bones at risk from low vitamin D levels.

A new study shows more than half of otherwise healthy children have low vitamin D levels in their blood, which may put them at risk for bone diseases, like rickets.

To read the full story Kids' Bones At Risk From Low Vitamin D, click here.

Not Enough Milk And Sunlight May Put Children's Bones At Risk Of Disease, Study Shows

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While being fat increases your chances of a heart attack, some studies suggest a puzzling paradox: Obese people seem to have a better chance of surviving one. Scientists are stumped over why that seems to be the case and pose several theories.

There may be physiological differences in the hearts of obese and normal-weight people. Or perhaps it depends on where the fat is on their bodies.

To read the full story Obese Survive Heart Attacks Better, click here. 

Puzzling Paradox: Obese More at Risk for Heart Attacks, but Seem to Survive Them Better

Active ImageIn the Quest to Fend Off Cancer, Some May Be Opening Door to Diabetes

While selenium supplements have been touted as a preventative measure for conditions ranging from cold sores to cancer, those who take the pills daily may be getting more than they bargained for when it comes to diabetes.

Specifically, people taking selenium supplements daily over a period of years may be putting themselves at a 50 percent higher risk of developing type II diabetes than those who do not, new research suggests.

To read the full story Selenium Supplements May Raise Diabetes Risk, click here.

Active ImageResearchers Say Anti-Smoking Pill Shows Promise in Curbing Drinking Addiction

To read the full story Anti-Smoking Pill May Help Curb Drinking, click here. 

A single pill appears to hold promise in curbing the urges to both smoke and drink, according to researchers trying to help people overcome addiction by targeting a pleasure center in the brain.

The drug, called varenicline, already is sold to help smokers kick the habit. New but preliminary research suggests it could gain a second use in helping heavy drinkers quit, too.

Active ImageMind takes less than a second to prevent repeated mistakes, scientists say

Researchers have pinpointed an area in the brain that alerts us in less than a second of an impending mistake so we don

Active ImageA tiny bit of dark chocolate is enough to reduce heart risks, study suggests


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All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) get lots of attention when it comes to off-road safety for children, but so should motorized dirt bikes, go-carts, and other vehicles, a new study shows.

The researchers estimate that from 1990 to 2003, more than a million kids and teens visited U.S. hospital emergency rooms because of accidents involving nonautomobile motorized vehicles including ATVs, dirt bikes, mopeds, go-carts, scooters, golf carts, riding lawn mowers, boats, dune buggies, mini bikes, trail bikes, farm vehicles, and snowmobiles.

To read the full story ATVs Not Only Off-Road Risk For Kids, click here.

More Than 1 Million Kids Were Hurt From 1990-2003 In ATV, Dirt Bike, And Other Motorized Vehicle Accidents

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Blood pressure drugs beta-blockers can help keep arteries from clogging up, researchers said on Monday in a report that helps explain how the drugs prevent heart attack and sudden heart death.

The drugs are cheap and most are generically available, although studies show they are not prescribed as often as recommended.

To read the full story Blood pressure drugs may keep arteries clean: study, click here.

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That's the conclusion of researchers at Duke University and the United States Department of Agriculture. They say it's growing more quickly, with larger leaves

Active ImageMarketwatch: You Can Discover Deals On Visionwear Online, If You Know Where To Look

Mass-produced eyeglasses cost roughly $2 a pair to make, according to a 2005 MIT report, but Americans regularly shell out hundreds of dollars for a single fancy pair. What are we paying for exactly? Some of that money goes toward eye exams, of course, but a significant portion can be seen as a convenience tax.

To read the full story Finding Eyeglasses At Discount Prices, click here.

Active ImageExperts Say Frequent Monitoring Is Key; Older Drivers As A Group Have Good Record 

Many people in the early stages of dementia

Active ImageAbuse, Dependency Affect Many but Few Seek Treatment 

Whether it's binge drinking or addiction to alcohol, Americans have a real problem with the bottle.

So says new research released Monday, which found that nearly one out of three Americans can expect to have a problem with alcohol at some time during their lives.

To read the full story Alcohol Problems Plague 1 Out of 3 Americans, click here.