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Looking to Boost Your Exercise Level? Here Are Some Helpful Tips

Posted today in Daily MedNews

SATURDAY, Jan. 24, 2015 -- The excitement and anticipation surrounding the upcoming Super Bowl may prompt some people to take up a new sport or up their levels of physical activity. And, while more exercise is a healthy goal, experts from the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) advise that it's important to start gradually and take certain safety precautions when returning to an activity or picking up a new one. "We all get excited watching athletes perform at such high levels of...

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Keep Allergies in Mind When Planning Valentine's Day

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 -- When choosing a Valentine's Day present for your sweetheart, make sure it won't trigger an allergic reaction. "Chocolates and flowers are lovely, but not if they cause an allergic response," Dr. James Sublett, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), said in an ACAAI news release. "You need to be vigilant when it comes to giving gifts to someone with allergies," he cautioned. While most people are aware of the threat posed by...

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With Healthy Foods, Taste Matters, Researchers Say

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 -- Taste exerts the biggest influence on people's food choices and many believe that healthy foods don't taste good, researchers report. That means more needs to be done to make healthy foods appealing, the study authors said. In the study, participants were presented with a variety of yogurts, each with different levels of sugar and fat. Even when given information about the ingredients, the participants were not more likely to select a healthier yogurt. Unhealthy...

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Diabetes-Related Foot Condition Often Missed

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 -- A debilitating condition called Charcot foot is often missed among the nearly 30 million Americans with diabetes, doctors say. The condition is highly treatable, but if left alone it can lead to permanent deformity, disability, surgery and even amputation, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). Charcot foot can occur in the one-third of diabetes patients who lose feeling in their feet and other lower extremities, a condition called...

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Exercise May Tone Up Women's Bodies and Minds

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 -- Young women who regularly exercise may have more oxygen circulating in their brains -- and possibly sharper minds, a small study suggests. The findings, from a study of 52 healthy young women, don't prove that exercise makes you smarter, researchers said. On the other hand, it's "reasonable" to conclude that exercise likely boosts mental prowess even when people are young and healthy, said Liana Machado, of the University of Otago in New Zealand, the lead researcher...

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Stroke Survivors Who Live Alone Face Higher Risk of Early Death: Study

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 -- Stroke survivors -- especially men -- who live alone are at increased risk for premature death, a new study suggests. Researchers followed nearly 1,100 ischemic stroke survivors in Sweden for 12 years. An ischemic stroke occurs when the brain's blood flow is blocked. During the follow-up period, 36 percent of survivors who lived alone died, compared to 17 percent of those with partners. Among men, the rates were 44 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Even after...

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70 People Now Infected in U.S. Measles Outbreak

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 -- The number of people infected with measles linked to the outbreak at Disney amusement parks in Southern California now stands at 70, health officials reported Thursday. The overwhelming majority of cases -- 62 -- have been reported in California, and most of those people hadn't gotten the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine, the Associated Press reported. Public health officials are urging people who haven't been vaccinated against measles to avoid the Disney parks...

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Many Parents Too Quick to Switch Child Car Seats, Study Finds

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 -- Nearly three-quarters of American parents place their children in forward-facing car seats before it's safe to do so, a new study reveals. Guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that a rear-facing car seat be used until a child is at least 2 years old or has outgrown the weight/height limit of the seat. For the study, University of Michigan researchers compared findings from surveys of American parents conducted about one month after...

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Many U.S. Girls Aren't Getting HPV Vaccine, Study Finds

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 -- Only about half of American girls begin receiving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine at the recommended age, a new study finds. HPV is believed to cause nearly all cases of cervical cancer, and also other types of cancers and genital warts. The HPV vaccine protects against 70 percent of cervical cancers and 90 percent of genital warts cases, according to the researchers. Girls should begin getting the three-dose HPV vaccine when they are 11 or 12. The vaccine is...

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Eczema Linked to Other Health Problems

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 -- Adults with eczema -- a chronic, itchy skin disease that often starts in childhood -- may also have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a new study. This increased risk may be the result of bad lifestyle habits or the disease itself. "Eczema is not just skin deep," said lead researcher Dr. Jonathan Silverberg, an assistant professor of dermatology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "It impacts all aspects of...

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Viruses May Play Role in Crohn's Disease, Colitis: Study

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 -- Viruses may play a role in inflammatory bowel diseases, including the two most common types, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, a new study reveals. Previous research has linked these bowel diseases with a lower variety of bacteria in the gut, according to the researchers. In this new study, people with inflammatory bowel disease had a greater variety of viruses in their digestive systems compared to healthy people, the investigators found. The findings suggest...

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Health Highlights: Jan. 23, 2015

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay: Experimental Ebola Vaccine Sent to West Africa for Testing The first shipment of an experimental Ebola vaccine is being sent to Liberia for field testing, but experts say it may be difficult to determine how effective it is because the number of Ebola cases in West Africa is falling. An airplane carrying about 300 initial doses of the vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the U.S....

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Health Tip: Exercise Safely

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

-- Enthusiasm to exercise is great motivation, but you should also take care not to overdo it. The Harvard School of Public Health suggests: Opting for "safer" forms of exercise, including walking, gardening, swimming and dancing. Increasing activity slowly, over time. Protecting yourself with appropriate equipment, and preparing for current weather. Consulting your doctor if you are pregnant or have a chronic illness.

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Health Tip: Health Conditions May Lead to Hair Loss

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

-- Losing your hair may not be a typical sign of aging. It may be caused by a medical condition, experts say. The American Academy of Dermatology says possible causes of hair loss include: Diseases including hypothyroidism and anemia. Major surgery. A high fever. Certain treatments for cancer, including chemotherapy and radiation. A scalp infection, such as ringworm.

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'Hidden' Brain Damage Seen in Vets With Blast Injuries: Study

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 -- The brains of some veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who were injured by homemade bombs show an unusual pattern of damage, a small study finds. Researchers speculate that the damage -- what they call a "honeycomb" pattern of broken and swollen nerve fibers -- might help explain the phenomenon of "shell shock." That term was coined during World War I, when trench warfare exposed troops to constant bombardment with exploding shells. Many soldiers developed an array of...

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Family Stories May Help Coma Patients Recover

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 -- Hearing their loved ones tell familiar stories can help brain injury patients in a coma regain consciousness faster and have a better recovery, a new study suggests. The study included 15 male and female brain injury patients, average age 35, who were in a vegetative or minimally conscious state. Their brain injuries were caused by car or motorcycle crashes, bomb blasts or assaults. Beginning an average of 70 days after they suffered their brain injury, the patients...

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Many Women of Childbearing Age Take Narcotic Painkillers: CDC

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 -- Too many women of childbearing age take narcotic painkillers, putting any unborn babies at risk, U.S. health officials said Thursday. Thirty-nine percent of females aged 15 to 44 who were enrolled in Medicaid filled a prescription for a narcotic painkiller each year from 2008 to 2012, says a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among privately insured women, that rate was 28 percent. "We are concerned because we know that 50...

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School Sports Costs Leave Some Students on Sidelines

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 -- Many American children can't afford to participate in school sports, a new survey finds. Only 30 percent of students in families with annual household incomes of less than $60,000 played school sports, compared with 51 percent of students in families that earned $60,000 or more a year. The difference may stem from a common practice -- charging middle and high schools students a "pay-to-play" fee to take part in sports, according to the researchers. The survey, from...

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Obamacare's Payments to Doctors Widens Access for Medicaid Patients: Study

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 -- Sweetening Medicaid payments to primary-care providers does make appointments for first-time patients more widely available, a new study suggests. The finding offers what the researchers say is the first evidence that one of the aims of Obamacare is working -- that increasing Medicaid reimbursements for primary care to more generous Medicare levels increases patient access to health care. Medicaid is the government's health insurance program for the poor. The results...

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Study Hints That 'Video Feedback' Therapy May Help Curb Autism

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 -- A therapy involving "video feedback" -- where parents watch videos of their interactions with their baby -- might help prevent infants at risk for autism from developing the disorder, a new study suggests. The research involved 54 families of babies who were at increased risk for autism because they had an older sibling with the condition. Some of the families were assigned to a therapy program in which a therapist used video feedback to help parents understand and...

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