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Health News Archive - April 11, 2009

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Today’s medical doctors and researchers face ethical dilemmas that Hypocrates himself likely couldn’t have imagined.

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Businesses and health authorities are increasingly rewarding people who lose weight, quit smoking or take medicine with money, despite doubts that such incentives work longer than a few months.

A recent study by Mount Sinai faculty suggests that a gene associated with onset of type-2 diabetes also decreases in Alzheimer's disease dementia cases.

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About 80 percent of adults suffer from some form of periodontal, or gum disease, which can result in not just tooth loss, but has also been linked to heart disease, diabetes, blood infection, low birth-weight babies, cancer and most recently, obesity.

A 26-year-old pediatric resident potentially exposed hundreds of patients, including babies, to tuberculosis, officials at three Chicago-area hospitals say. The female resident, a doctor-in-training from Northwestern University, was diagnosed with TB this week, said the Chicago Department of Public Health. As of Friday, no one who had been around the woman had been diagnosed with TB and doctors say the risk to patients is minimal, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday. The three hospitals where she worked, however, are continuing to notify patients who may have been exposed to the woman during the last 10 months, the Tribune said. The three hospitals are Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Children's Memorial Hospital and Evanston Hospital. TB is a bacterial disease that usually affects the lungs and can be but fatal if left untreated.

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New research from Trinity College Dublin published in this month’s Annals of Surgery points to a potentially significant advance in the treatment of patients undergoing major cancer surgery.

A new Brown University study of nursing home care found that homes serving mostly Hispanic residents provided poorer quality care compared to facilities whose patients were mostly white.

A protein that the heart produces during its early development reactivates the embryonic coronary developmental program and initiates migration of heart cells and blood vessel growth after a heart attack, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

An increasing number of the Baby Boomer generation are opting for lens implants for deteriorating sight instead of eyeglasses, a researcher in Britain says. Ophthalmologist Sheraz Daya of Queen Victoria Hospital in the British county of Essex said there has been a 40 percent increase during the last year in the number of lens implants operations worldwide for individuals in their 50s and 60s suffering from presbyopia, The Times of London reported Saturday. Presbyopia is the deterioration of an individual's sight in part as a result of advancing age. Daya said the increase in lens implants procedures is likely the result of the vanity of the Baby Boomer generation, which traditionally consists of those born during the middle of the 20th century. The decision these people are taking to have implants is about function and appearance, Daya told The Times.

Thousands of homes in Florida are believed to contain potentially toxic Chinese drywall, officials said. Authorities in Palm Beach County say they are investigating the health effects of the toxic building material, WPEC-TV of West Palm Beach, Fla., reported Saturday. Our primary concern is people's health and there are some indicators now that it may be adversely affecting these individuals and we want to make sure that doesn't happen, said Tim O'Connor, spokesman for the Palm Beach County Health Department. The station reported that Florida homeowners have reported symptoms, such as nosebleeds and respiratory problems, to public health officials. The health department blames the symptoms on strontium sulfide in the drywall, which emits an odor of rotten eggs when exposed to heat and high humidity.

Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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