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Adults Over 45 Not Meeting U.S. Muscle Strengthening Guidelines, Study Says

Posted today in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Sept. 19, 2014 -- Although there is mounting evidence that muscle-strength training provides key health benefits, most middle-aged and older adults in the United States don't engage in this type of exercise, according to new research. Less than one-quarter of adults over 45 meet the muscle-strengthening recommendations set by the Department of Health and Human Services, the study found. Strength is essential for promoting health and fitness and staying independent, researchers advised....

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FDA Approves Another Weekly Injectable Drug for Type 2 Diabetes

Posted today in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Sept. 19, 2014 -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new type 2 diabetes drug, Trulicity, on Thursday. Trulicity is part of a class of once-a-week injectable drugs that help manage blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. "Trulicity is a new treatment option, which can be used alone or added to existing treatment regimens to control blood sugar levels in the overall management of type 2 diabetes," Dr. Mary Parks, deputy director of the FDA's Office of Drug...

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Scientists Spot How Bacterial Pneumonia Damages the Heart

Posted today in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Sept. 19, 2014 -- Doctors have known that bacterial pneumonia can raise your risk of heart problems, but new research pinpoints why. The bacteria actually invade and kill heart cells, increasing the chances of heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms and heart attacks in patients, scientists report. In mice, monkeys and human heart tissue, researchers found direct evidence of heart damage caused by the bacteria, and they tried a vaccine that might one day prevent such an attack. But they...

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More Schools Stocking Shots That Counter Serious Allergic Reactions

Posted today in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Sept. 19, 2014 -- More states are passing legislation permitting or requiring schools to stock the medication epinephrine to use for any child having a severe allergic reaction. Epinephrine auto-injectors are the primary treatment for "anaphylaxis," an allergic reaction that can lead to throat swelling, breathing difficulties, a steep drop in blood pressure and even death. In people with severe allergies to certain foods, such as peanuts or tree nuts, insect venom or certain drugs,...

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U.S. Gun Deaths Lowest in Hawaii, Highest in D.C.

Posted today in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Sept. 19, 2014 -- When it comes to firearm deaths, Hawaii has the fewest gun deaths in the United States, while the District of Columbia has the highest, according to new research. Over the past decade, deaths from gun-related violence -- including murders, suicides and unintentional shootings -- varied widely across the United States, the study revealed. Hawaii's rate was roughly three per 100,000 citizens. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the District of Columbia had the highest...

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Oral Health in Women of Childbearing Age Needs Improvement

Posted today in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Sept. 19, 2014 -- Women of childbearing age in the United States should be encouraged to maintain better oral care and visit the dentist routinely, according to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers found young pregnant women, those who are non-Hispanic black or Mexican-American, as well as those with lower income and less education, need to improve their oral care. Oral disease, with symptoms such as cavities or gum disease, may be prevented...

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Health Highlights: Sept. 19, 2014

Posted today in Daily MedNews

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay: Doctor Admits to Fraudulent Cancer Treatment A Michigan cancer doctor who admitted putting patients through unnecessary chemotherapy treatments and bilking health insurers pleaded guilty to fraud Tuesday. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said she would seek life in prison for Dr. Farid Fata, 49, who pleaded guilty to 16 charges, including conspiracy and money laundering, the Associated Press...

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Health Tip: Beware of Household Chemicals

Posted today in Daily MedNews

-- Many common household items are dangerous if children get to them, so it's important to know where the danger lies and to keep such items securely stored. The Cleveland Clinic mentions these potentially dangerous household products: Laundry detergents, which may be toxic or irritate the skin and eyes. Disinfectants and other all-purpose cleaners. Bleach, which can harm the skin and be dangerous if swallowed or inhaled. Flea and tick pet remedies, which can cause nausea and...

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Health Tip: Getting More Whole Grains

Posted today in Daily MedNews

-- Whole grains are nutrient-rich foods that are full of fiber to help you feel full. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests ways to work more whole grains into your diet: Include a whole grain food for breakfast, such as whole-grain toast, oatmeal or cereal. When shopping, choose whole-grain options of tortillas, buns, bread, bagels and pasta. Consider more unusual grains, such as bulgur, whole rye, millet, sorghum and quinoa. Snack on whole grains, such as air-popped popcorn or 100...

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Family Squabbles Can Derail Recovery From Cancer Surgery

Posted today in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 -- Cancer patients burdened by stress and family conflicts before surgery may face a higher risk for complications following their operation, a new study suggests. Investigators found that patients with a so-called quality-of-life "deficit" appeared to have a nearly three times greater risk for complications compared to those with a normal or good quality of life. "We've long known that patient quality of life is a complex and important construction," said study lead...

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Rising Atlantic Ocean Temperatures Could Pose Threat to Reefs

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THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 -- Rising temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean may be allowing certain tropical fish to spread to shallow waters that are becoming warmer, an expansion that could pose a significant threat to coral reefs, ecologists report. A study of 40 species along the reefs off the North Carolina coast shows northward movement by the invasive and poisonous lionfish, according to researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of North...

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Grief Can Weigh on Immune System in Older Folks, Study Says

Posted today in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 -- Older people become more physically vulnerable during bereavement, new research shows. That's because the balance of stress hormones during bereavement changes with age, British researchers say. As a result, older people who are grieving are more likely to have weakened immune systems and develop infections, the study found. "During the difficult weeks and months after loss, we can suffer from reduced neutrophil function. Neutrophils are the most abundant type of...

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Study: Exposure to Diversity Might Boost Baby's Social Skills

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THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 -- Exposure to diverse communities may boost infants' social learning, according to a new study. Hearing different languages in the park or supermarket could help children be open-minded and willing to learn from people who are different from them, researchers found. "Research has shown that children, like adults, are often biased against interacting with and learning from people who are different from them," said Amanda Woodward, a University of Chicago psychology...

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Vitamin E, Selenium Supplements Don't Seem to Prevent Cataracts

Posted today in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 -- Daily supplements of selenium or vitamin E don't seem to protect against the development of age-related cataracts among men, a new study indicates. Previous animal research has suggested that one or both could help prevent cataracts. To investigate this further, William Christen, from Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and his colleagues examined data from a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of selenium and vitamin E. The trial was...

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Obama Calls for National Plan to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

Posted today in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 -- President Barack Obama escalated the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria on Thursday, ordering key federal agencies to pursue a national strategy to deal with the threat. Obama signed an executive order that creates a new cabinet-level task force charged with crafting a national action plan for dealing with new "superbugs" -- which are ordinary and previously treatable bacteria that have become resistant to standard antibiotics through repeated exposure to...

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Almost Everyone Needs a Flu Shot: CDC

Posted today in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 -- Less than half of all Americans got a flu shot last year, so U.S. health officials on Thursday urged that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated for the coming flu season. "It's really unfortunate that half of Americans are not getting the protection from flu they could get," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a morning news conference. The result is lost days from work and school and a lot of...

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Scientists Studying Sickle Cell Trait

Posted today in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 -- Researchers are trying to learn more about a condition called sickle cell trait, which can cause sudden death in young athletes. In people with sickle cell trait, intense physical activity, heat and dehydration can cause muscle breakdown that can lead to kidney damage and cardiac arrest. Between 2000 and 2014, nine collegiate football players in the United States collapsed and died during training and were later found to have sickle cell trait. "More...

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Mentors May Steer Young People Toward More Rewarding Careers

Posted today in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 -- Teens and young adults who've been mentored may be more likely to get a job that provides them with greater responsibility and independence early on in their career, according to a new study. "We found that having a mentor provides a clear benefit well into their working lives," the study's lead author, Steve McDonald, an associate professor of sociology at North Carolina State University, said in a university news release. In conducting the study, published online...

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One Dose of Antidepressant Changes Brain Connections, Study Says

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 -- Just a single dose of a common antidepressant can quickly alter the way brain cells communicate with one another, early research suggests. The findings, reported online Sept. 18 in Current Biology, are a step toward better understanding the brain's response to widely prescribed antidepressants. Experts said the hope is to eventually be able to predict which people with depression are likely to benefit from a drug -- and which people would fare better with a...

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New Ebola Cases Top 700 in Just One Week, Officials Report

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 -- In a sign that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is starting to spread faster than ever, the World Health Organization said Thursday that more than 700 new cases of the deadly viral infection were reported in just one week. That brings the total number of cases to more than 5,300, with roughly half of those reported in the past three weeks, the Associated Press reported. The number of deaths now tops 2,600. WHO has estimated that as many as 20,000 people could...

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