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Measles warning in New York State Measles warning in New York State
Date: 2012-09-24 22:00:59

A student at a private school in New Patz, New York, has been diagnosed with measles, a viral lung infection sometimes detected through lab tests.

The Dutchess County Department of Health states that, if any time since September 10, an individual has been present at the Mountain Laurel Waldorf school facilities, he or she should contact a physician to make sure his or her vaccinations are current.

"While most of the population is immune, about 97 percent of Dutchess County residents, these exposures place non-immune individuals at risk for becoming infected," said Michael C. Caldwell, Dutchess County Commissioner of Health. "Of greatest concern are infants less than 12 months of age, pregnant women and persons who have immunocompromising conditions."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is a rarity for lab tests for measles - also called rubeola - to come up positive in nations with enough access to vaccines. Nonetheless, the agency states that 164,000 people globally succumb to the infection each year, and at least 82,000 of those are residents of India. As far as symptoms, measles is similar to the flu, except for its ability to cause a substantial rash.

... Full Story

Apples said to improve circulatory health Apples said to improve circulatory health
Date: 2012-10-02 22:49:08

More research showing the health benefits of antioxidant-rich foods indicates that high results from cholesterol tests can be decreased by regularly eating apples. According to these findings found in the Journal of Functional Foods, the adage about daily apple consumption lowering the frequency of encounters with doctors is grounded in truth.

The researchers examined a group of subjects between 40 and 60 years old whose diets did not routinely include apples. Cholesterol tests for a subset that ate an apple every day for four weeks indicated an average of 40 percent reduction of their low-density lipoprotein, a.k.a. "bad" cholesterol, levels. Another group who did the same with capsules containing the antioxidant found in apples did not demonstrate as much lowered cholesterol.

"When [bad cholesterol] becomes oxidized, it takes on a form that begins atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries," said lead researcher Robert DiSilvestro, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University. "We got a tremendous effect against [bad cholesterol] being oxidized with just one apple a day for four weeks."

Last year, The Huffington Post published a list of other health benefits that studies show could result from regularly munching on apples, including weight loss, improved endurance and a reduced chance of developing metabolic syndrome.

... Full Story

Drug company investigated for unreported side effects Drug company investigated for unreported side effects
Date: 2012-10-25 16:46:04

Medical News Today (MNT), reported that pharmaceutical company Roche Registration is under investigation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) because it failed to report 80,000 cases of potential side effects associated with 19 of its drugs. The company faces nearly $685 million in fines.

According to the news source, Roche claimed that the reports of side effects did not come from clinical trials, but from programs in the U.S. in which patients who could not afford the medications were issued the drugs, and that is why they weren't in the Roche database and the European Union authorities weren't notified. Although, MNT notes, the pharmaceutical company should have notified the health authorities of the side effects rather than relying on them looking at their database.

Two of the drugs that may have unreported side effects include Herceptin, a cancer medication, and Tamiflu, which is used to treat influenza, which can be detected with a lab test.

The investigations started earlier this year when the organization Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) reported that the pharmaceutical company had not been vigilant in assessing the thousands of reported cases of potential risk factors.

According to Reuters, Roche is the largest producer of cancer medications and it also manufactures drugs to combat viral infections, central nervous system disorders and inflammatory diseases.

... Full Story

Stressed parents may be linked to childhood obesity Stressed parents may be linked to childhood obesity
Date: 2012-10-23 21:33:08

According to recent research, the stress parents experience may have a direct correlation to the obesity of their children, WebMD reported. A study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, looked 2,119 parents and other caregivers who had children between 3 and 17 years old. The study authors asked the subjects questions about themselves, their kids and the stressors in their lives.

Eleanor Mackey, Ph.D., a child psychologist at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., told WebMD that the connection between obesity in children and the stress of the parents can be attributed to parents who are busy or distracted having difficulty finding healthy foods for their children, and many times they will opt for fast food instead.

Some of the most at-risk groups for childhood obesity due to stressed parents include black and hispanic children, children from single parent households and kids from poverty-stricken families.

"You have a hard day at work, and trying to get a nutritious meal on the table can be overwhelming and expensive," Mackey told the news source. "It can be difficult to raise healthy kids without adequate resources."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 17 percent of kids and teenagers, which amounts to 12.5 million individuals are obese. Since 1980, the rates of childhood obesity have almost tripled.

Mackey also noted that its important to teach parents healthy ways to deal with stress and provide them with the knowledge of how to plan and prepare healthy meals for their children.

Health risks of childhood obesity... Full Story

Feces may help cure bacterial infection Feces may help cure bacterial infection
Date: 2012-10-23 14:49:06

According to MyHealthNewsDaily, a new treatment in which feces is mixed with warm water and put into a patient's colon using a tube was effective in treating an infection known as Clostridium difficile bacteria (C. diff) in a study conducted at Henry Ford Hospital.

During research, the treatment was tested on 49 people, and 46 of the patients made a recovery within a week.

"C. diff is a serious infection — people die from this. With this treatment, the cure rate is close to 100 percent," research author Dr. Mayur Ramesh told the news source.

The fecal transplant proved to be more effective than the antibiotics etronidazole or vancomycin, which are usually used to treat the infection. In some cases, when patients don't respond to antibiotics and the C. diff infection becomes severe, part of the intestine needs to be surgically removed. Also, according to Ramesh, 25 to 30 percent of people who receive antibiotics experience a recurrence of infection, but only four of the 46 people who had the fecal transplant had signs of an infection during their follow-up period.

While other research has shown the transplants' effectiveness in treating C. diff, this study differed because nearly one-third of the patients had severe infections. Ramesh told MyHealthNewsDaily that some of the participants would have died or had to have their colon removed were it not for the treatment.

Four patients in the study died, but according to the news source, it was due to cancer they had before the study started, not the C. diff.

About C. diff

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), C. diff, which can be detected with a lab test, has a fatality rate of nearly 14,000 Americans a year. Some of the symptoms include watery bowel movements that occur at least three times a day, fever, loss of appetite and nausea.

... Full Story

New epilepsy drug approved New epilepsy drug approved
Date: 2012-10-24 15:00:37

RTT News reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the antiepileptic drug Fycompa on Oct. 22. The drug targets receptors in the body that are responsible for producing epileptic seizures.... Full Story

Feedback can encourage healthcare workers to wash their hands Feedback can encourage healthcare workers to wash their hands
Date: 2012-10-25 16:52:49

A recent study published in PLoS One, shows that a three-year trial known as the Feedback Intervention Trial (FIT), which was conducted by researchers by the University College London (UCL) and the Health Protection Agency (HPA), showed that providing feedback to healthcare workers makes them more likely to wash their hands.

FIT was conducted in 60 different wards in 16 hospitals throughout the world. The data, which will be presented at a national hand hygiene summit on Oct. 24, revealed that when there was an intervention during which personalized feedback was used in conjunction with a personalized action plan, subjects in intensive care units washed their hands when they were supposed to 18 percent more, while subjects in acute care units practiced proper hand hygiene 13 percent more.

"This is a landmark trial, as until now there has been no randomized controlled trial evidence showing which interventions improve hand hygiene compliance in modern hospitals," said research author Sheldon Stone M.D. "It is also the first trial to use behavioral sciences to change healthcare workers hand hygiene behavior."

During the intervention, healthcare workers were observed for 20 minutes during a four-week cycle. After observation, the subjects were given feedback so they could formulate an action plan to improve their hygiene practices. The results showed that the more frequently the interventions were conducted, the more handwashing practices improved

Handwashing facts... Full Story

Exercise may not be the cause of sudden cardiac death in young people Exercise may not be the cause of sudden cardiac death in young people
Date: 2012-10-29 16:09:35
New research conducted by Andrew Krahn, M.D., of the University of British Columbia and presented at 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Ontario, reveals that sports may not be the culprit when someone dies of cardiac arrest.... Full Story

Chinese bean may help reduce the risk of sepsis Chinese bean may help reduce the risk of sepsis
Date: 2012-10-29 11:55:45
Recent studies published in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM), has discovered that mung beans may help combat sepsis, a condition in which the body has an adverse reaction to bacteria and releases harmful chemicals, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).... Full Story

New compounds may slow Parkinson's development New compounds may slow Parkinson's development
Date: 2012-10-25 12:02:06
Northwestern University (NU) scientists have developed a compound that may help reduce the progression of Parkinson's disease. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the condition occurs when the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine - a neurotransmitter that helps control muscle movement, among other things - are destroyed.... Full Story

The bones of premenopausal women may benefit from even minor increases in physical activity. Small increases in physical activity may protect premenopausal women's bones
Date: 2012-08-17 16:05:50
Medical experts know that exercise can strengthen the bones of people who are at risk for osteoporosis. New research suggests that even a minor level of physical activity can decrease the likelihood that premenopausal women will screen positive for the bone-wasting disease, which may be detected through a lab test.... Full Story

A Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil may have a protective effect on the bones. Mediterranean diet may support bone strength
Date: 2012-08-15 13:48:20
New research suggests that a Mediterranean diet rich in virgin olive oil may help slow the rate of bone loss associated with conditions such as osteoporosis. This study may be relevant for individuals who hope to reduce their chances of screening positive for the condition in a lab test.... Full Story

Scientists are working to find a suitable treatment for Crohn's disease in pediatric patients. Researchers find possible treatment for Crohn's disease in children
Date: 2012-08-07 14:51:01
Parents of children who have Crohn's disease may be able to monitor their kids' prognosis with the help of a lab test. This is especially important considering that pediatric patients may be hard to treat. Recently, an international team of scientists discovered that adalimumab, an anti-tumor necrosis factor antibody, may be an effective medication for young patients.... Full Story

When consumed in moderation, alcohol may have a protective effect on women's bones. Moderate alcohol consumption may reduce likelihood of osteoporosis in women
Date: 2012-08-03 14:16:19
Alcohol, when consumed in moderation, may have a protective effect on women's bones, according to a study published in the journal Menopause. This may be relevant to women are considering undergoing a lab test to screen for osteoporosis.... Full Story

A significant number of Americans have celiac disease and do not know it. Lab tests for celiac disease are essential to appropriate treatment
Date: 2012-08-01 13:56:32
Individuals who wonder if they have a chronic adverse reaction to gluten may want to consider undergoing a lab test for celiac disease. However, new research from the Mayo Clinic suggests that not enough people are being properly screened.... Full Story

Oral steroids may increase the risk of osteoporosis. Oral steroid use may increase osteoporosis risk
Date: 2012-07-31 16:23:41
Long-term use of prednisone and other steroid medications may lead to the bone-weakening disease known as osteoporosis, as reported by Reuters Health. Individuals who take these drugs and are concerned about their skeletal health may consider taking a lab test for markers of the condition.... Full Story

Celiac disease patients should be frequently monitored by doctors. Celiac disease patients need regular medical follow-ups
Date: 2012-07-30 15:59:12
Individuals who suspect that they may have a negative reaction to gluten-containing foods may benefit from a lab test for celiac disease. However, diagnosis is only one step to caring for this condition. Regular follow-up exams are also important.... Full Story

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