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One-Quarter of Narcotic Painkillers Misused, Study Shows

Posted today in Daily MedNews

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015 -- Almost a quarter of powerful narcotic painkillers that are prescribed for chronic pain are misused, and the rate of addiction among patients hovers near 10 percent, a new review shows. The findings raise questions about the benefits of widespread use of these painkillers to treat chronic pain, the researchers said. "On average, misuse was documented in approximately one out of four or five patients, and addiction [was found] in approximately one out of 10 or 11...

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Exercise Beneficial Even in Polluted Air: Study

Posted today in Daily MedNews

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015 -- The health benefits of exercise appear to outweigh the potential harm of air pollution, according to a new study from Denmark. The findings show that air pollution should not prevent people who live in cities from going outdoors to exercise, said the researchers at the University of Copenhagen. "Even for those living in the most polluted areas of Copenhagen, it is healthier to go for a run, a walk or to cycle to work than it is to stay inactive," Zorana Jovanovic...

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Health Tip: Cook Healthier With a Slow Cooker

Posted today in Daily MedNews

-- A slow cooker is an easy way to prepare a variety of healthier dishes that are ready for you at the end of a long day. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests: Use weekends or evenings when you have ample time to prepare ingredients. Cut uniformly-sized pieces to ensure that they'll cook evenly. Store ingredients in air-tight containers for no more than three days. Put all ingredients in the crock pot's removable insert and store in the fridge overnight. This may require longer...

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Health Tip: Heading to the Beach?

Posted today in Daily MedNews

-- A swim in the ocean can be refreshing and great exercise, but it's important to understand the potential dangers of rip currents before you dive in. The American Red Cross suggests: Stay calm and avoid fighting any rip current. Swim parallel to the beach until you're no longer in the current. Then turn toward the shore. Tread water or float if you're unable to swim until you are out of the rip current. If you can't get to shore, yell for help. Avoid areas within 100 feet of piers and...

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Harnessing the Power of the Poliovirus as a Cancer Cure

Posted today in Daily MedNews

Polio, a highly infectious and crippling disease, was certainly one of the most feared viruses in the 20th century. Each year, thousands of children were left paralyzed. Polio has been successfully eliminated in the U.S. for decades due to a widespread vaccine program. So why would a group of researchers be interested in injecting the poliovirus directly into the brain of a patient? Clinical trials are now ongoing and research is revisiting the poliovirus in new and hopeful ways, ironically...

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Study Casts Doubt on Acetaminophen for Low Back Pain, Arthritis

Posted today in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 -- Acetaminophen -- best known as Tylenol in the United States -- does not appear to help ease lower back pain and offers little relief for the most common form of arthritis, according to a new report. The review of data from 13 studies could challenge existing recommendations on pain relief, experts say. "These results support the reconsideration of recommendations to use [acetaminophen] for patients" with these conditions, concluded a team led by Gustavo Machado of The...

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Steer Clear of Raw Milk, Researchers Warn

Posted today in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 -- Raw milk causes more than half of all milk-related foodborne illnesses in the United States, even though only about 3.5 percent of Americans drink raw milk, according to a new report. The researchers warned that people are nearly 100 times more likely to get a foodborne illness from raw (unpasteurized) milk than from pasteurized milk. While some claim that raw milk is healthier and tastes better than pasteurized milk, the report authors said their findings show that...

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Heart Groups Issue Updated Blood Pressure Guidelines

Posted today in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 -- Three leading groups of heart experts have issued updated guidelines that set blood pressure goals for people with heart disease. Specifically, the guidelines reinforce a target blood pressure of less than 140/90 mm Hg for those at risk for heart attack and stroke. The guidelines also set a goal of 130/80 mm Hg for those with heart disease who have already had a heart attack, stroke or a ministroke, or who have had a narrowing of their leg arteries or an abdominal...

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Benefits of Iron Supplements Unclear for Pregnant Women, Young Children

Posted today in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 -- Taking iron supplements during pregnancy doesn't appear to significantly change any health outcomes for mom or baby, a new review shows. A second review -- this one on infants and toddlers -- found no evidence that iron supplements improved growth or development. Both conclusions come from a U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) review of the latest research on iron supplementation and screening for pregnant women, babies and young children. The USPSTF...

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Eat Right to Protect Your Sight

Posted today in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 -- A number of nutrients can help keep your eyes healthy, and some may even improve your eyesight, an eye doctor says. It's particularly important to eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, said Dr. James McDonnell, a pediatric ophthalmologist at Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill. "Make a colorful plate, especially with greens, blues and reds. Certain foods have distinct benefits for the eyes in addition to overall health, including many of the...

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Scientists Find More Evidence of Breast Milk's Goodness

Posted today in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 -- A high-tech comparison of the breast milk of humans and their close primate relatives is revealing just how nutritious the human variety is. The research was led by Danielle Lemay, a nutritional biologist at the University of California, Davis' Genome Center. Her team used a new technique for identifying proteins found in breast milk. The researchers found that human breast milk has far more protein content than the breast milk of one of humans' closest primate...

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Clues to 'Brain Fog' in Chronic Fatigue Patients Found in Spinal Fluid

Posted today in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 -- People with chronic fatigue syndrome show a distinct pattern of immune system proteins in their spinal fluid -- a finding that could shed light on the "brain fog" that marks the condition, researchers say. The new study found that, compared with healthy people, those with chronic fatigue syndrome had lower levels of certain immune-system proteins called cytokines in the fluid that bathes the spinal cord and brain. The exception was one particular cytokine, which was...

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New Stroke Prevention Efforts May Be Paying Off

Posted today in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 -- Fewer people are being treated in U.S. emergency rooms for strokes caused by blood clots in the brain, which experts read as a sign that current stroke prevention methods are working. The rate of emergency department visits for either a stroke or a mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack) -- a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain -- decreased dramatically between 2001 and 2011, according to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Such...

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FDA Expands Approval for 'Valve in Valve' Aortic Replacement

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that use of the CoreValve "valve-in-valve" aortic replacement has been expanded to include people at extreme risk for serious complications of traditional open-heart surgery. The CoreValve System is designed for people who had a prior aortic valve replacement and are now in need of a second one, the FDA said in a news release. Some people whose own valves wear out have open-heart surgery to replace the original valve...

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Ob-Gyns: Use Ultrasound to Assess Pelvic Symptoms

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 -- Ultrasound should be the first type of imaging used to assess pelvic symptoms in women, a group of U.S. experts says. Ultrasound is safer and more cost-effective than other types of imaging for these types of cases, the team of obstetricians and gynecologists wrote in an article published March 31 in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. They support an American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine initiative called Ultrasound First, which urges doctors to...

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E-Cigs Tied to Drinking, Other Risky Teen Behaviors

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 -- Electronic cigarettes are used by both smoking and nonsmoking teens, and are associated with drinking and other risky behaviors, a new study finds. "We found that e-cigarette access is strongly related to alcohol use in teenagers," said study author Karen Hughes. She is a professor of behavioral epidemiology at Liverpool John Moores University in England. "Those who drink are more likely to have accessed e-cigarettes than nondrinkers regardless of whether they smoke...

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Face Scans Show How Fast a Person Is Aging

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 -- Every face tells a story, and that story apparently includes hints of how quickly a person is aging, a new study contends. Facial features have proven even more reliable than blood tests in spotting those for whom time is taking a heavier toll, a Chinese research team reports in the March 31 issue of the journal Cell Research. A computerized 3-D facial imaging process uncovered a number of "tells" that show if a person is aging more rapidly, including a widening...

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Health Highlights: March 31, 2015

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay: Pharmacists Shouldn't Provide Drugs For Executions: Association A leading U.S. pharmacists group says its members should not provide drugs for use in lethal injections because doing so is contrary to pharmacists' role as health care providers. The policy was adopted Monday by the American Pharmacists Association at its annual meeting. While the association does not have the legal power to...

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Letting Kids Sip Alcohol May 'Send Wrong Message'

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 -- Children who are allowed occasional sips of alcohol are more likely to start drinking by the time they're in high school, a new study suggests. Researchers followed 561 middle school students in Rhode Island for about three years. At the start of sixth grade (about age 11), nearly 30 percent of the students said they'd had at least one sip of alcohol. In most cases, those sips were provided by parents, often at parties or special occasions. By ninth grade, 26...

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Health Tip: Shopping for Teens' Shoes

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

-- While you're shoe shopping with a teen, make sure you both understand the shoes fit and function before making a purchase. The American Podiatric Medical Association offers these tips: Shop for shoes that fit the activity your teen will be doing, be it basketball or ballet. Have feet measured at the store to make sure you get the right fit. Choose a shoe that fits comfortably, instead of focusing on brand or size. Skip backless shoes and opt for those that offer support at the front,...

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