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Complication Rates Low With Mastectomy, Breast Reconstruction: Study

Posted today in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 -- Complications are rare among breast cancer patients who undergo mastectomy and reconstruction, a new study indicates. However, the researchers did find that a double mastectomy was associated with a slightly higher risk for certain complications than a single mastectomy. The study included more than 18,000 breast cancer patients who had a single (64 percent) or a double mastectomy with breast reconstruction and were followed for 30 days after surgery. Most of the...

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Nerve Blocking Procedure Fails to Impress in Weight Loss Study

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TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 -- A device intended to help with weight loss by blocking a certain nerve linked to appetite and metabolism failed to meet expectations in a trial among obese patients. Using electric impulses to block the vagus nerve, which runs between the brain and stomach, researchers hoped to suppress feelings of hunger. And, they did, just not to the extent they anticipated. "A device that safely blocks the nerve that connects the brain to the gut can help people lose weight,"...

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More Global Help Needed to Fight Ebola Outbreak

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TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 -- As the Ebola outbreak continues to overwhelm health-care workers in three West African nations, medical experts from the United States and the United Nations called on Tuesday for a concerted international response to stem history's biggest outbreak of the often-fatal virus. Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that without a greater global commitment in resources -- both medical and financial -- the epidemic will...

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New Guidelines for Treating Form of Advanced Breast Cancer

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TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 -- A leading group of oncologists has released updated guidelines for the treatment of the major form of advanced breast cancer. HER2-negative breast tumors include cancers that don't respond to drugs that target the HER2 protein, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) explained Tuesday in a news release. Almost 80 percent of women with advanced breast cancer have HER2-negative tumors, the group noted. "In releasing this guideline, our aim is to improve both...

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Double Mastectomy Doesn't Improve Survival, Study Finds

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TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 -- More U.S. women with early stage breast cancer are choosing to have both breasts removed as a precautionary step, although the double mastectomy provides no apparent survival advantage, researchers say. Death rates are similar for women who have both breasts taken off and those who opt for breast-conserving surgery known as lumpectomy, according to their new study. "We found no lower death rates among women who had bilateral mastectomy compared to women who had...

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Booze, Pot Bad for Teens in Different Ways, Study Suggests

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TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 -- Drinking and marijuana may lead to different types of harmful consequences for teens, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed 2007 to 2011 data gathered from more than 7,400 U.S. high school seniors who said they had used alcohol or marijuana at least once. The investigators found that drinking alcohol was associated with more unsafe driving, damage to relationships with friends and romantic partners, and regret about actions while under the influence of alcohol,...

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Daily Exercise May Halve Risk for Heart Failure, Study Says

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TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 -- Daily exercise may significantly reduce the risk of heart failure, according to new research. Heart failure, a common, disabling condition in older adults, was nearly half as likely in those who got an hour of moderate exercise or a half hour of vigorous exercise every day, researchers in Sweden found. "The study shows that high levels of physical activity are associated with considerably lower risk of heart failure," said study researcher Dr. Kasper Andersen, a...

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No Clear Winner Among Popular Diets, Analysis Finds

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TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 -- Big dieting names like Atkins, Ornish and Weight Watchers have long competed in the battle of the bulge. But a new analysis concludes that whichever diet people choose, their chances of success are about the same. For years, people seeking to shed weight have heard conflicting messages about the best route: Low fat? Low carb? Low glycemic index? The analysis, published in the Sept. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests it doesn't matter...

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Melatonin Doesn't Curb Delirium After Surgery

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TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 -- Melatonin supplements did not reduce delirium in seniors who had surgery for hip fractures, a new study found. Many older hospital patients experience the sudden, severe confusion known as delirium due to disruption of their normal sleep-wake cycle. A lack of the hormone melatonin may be one factor that contributes to delirium, but there has been little research into whether melatonin supplements would benefit these patients. This study included 378 patients, average...

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'Pot Addiction' May Be Real, Study Suggests

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TUESDAY, Sept. 2 -- Many people believe that marijuana is not addictive, but a new study challenges that theory. "As more people are able to obtain and consume cannabis legally for medical and, in some states, recreational use, people are less likely to perceive it as addictive or harmful," study co-author John Kelly, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Addiction Medicine, said in a hospital news release. "But research shows that cannabis use can have significant...

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More Evidence Breast-Feeding Lowers Child's Risk of Infections, Allergies

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TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 -- Two new studies further confirm the health benefits of breast-feeding. One suggests that 6-year-olds who were breast-fed have a lower risk of ear, throat and sinus infections compared to bottle-fed infants, while the other finds a similar trend when it comes to allergies. The research upholds the "many benefits of breast-feeding in the immediate newborn period," said Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She was not...

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'Spare Tire' May Be Especially Bad for Your Blood Pressure

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TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 -- When it comes to excess pounds and blood pressure, all fat may not be created equal, a new study finds. The research found that belly fat -- the proverbial "spare tire" -- boosts a person's odds for high blood pressure more than overall body fat. It's well known that obesity raises the risk of high blood pressure. But it wasn't clear how the location of fat in the body affects that risk, according to researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in...

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Obesity Fueling Rise in Diabetes Rates, Study Finds

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TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 -- The U.S. obesity epidemic is a driving force behind the rising rates of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study. Researchers looked at data from five national surveys spanning from 1976 through 2010 to determine how much the increase in diabetes over time could be explained by factors such as changing distribution of race, age and obesity in U.S. adults. The investigators found that the prevalence of diabetes in men rose from about 5 percent to more than 11...

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ADHD Medications Won't Stunt Kids' Growth, Study Finds

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TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 -- Stimulant medications -- such as Adderall, Ritalin and Concerta -- used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, won't stunt their growth, a new study suggests. "Stimulant medication did not affect children's final height as adults," said study researcher Dr. Slavica Katusic, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Katusic noted that results of earlier studies have been mixed, with some showing these...

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Health Highlights: Sept. 2, 2014

Posted today in Daily MedNews

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay: First Human Tests of Ebola Vaccine Begin This Week The first human tests of an experimental Ebola vaccine are scheduled to begin this week, the U.S. National Institutes of Health says. The vaccine, which the NIH is developing with drug company GlaxoSmithKline, has "performed extremely well" in primates, but has not yet been tested in people, NIH Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a...

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Health Tip: Aging Well

Posted today in Daily MedNews

-- Living a healthy lifestyle is one of the best things you can do to stay healthier as you age. The Cleveland Clinic suggests how to promote healthy aging: Don't smoke, and stick to a limit of one alcoholic drink per 24 hours. Get regular exercise, including aerobic, balance and strength-training activities. Maintain a healthy body weight. See your doctor regularly. If possible, avoid medications that may make you feel confused.

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Health Tip: Want Healthier Hair?

Posted today in Daily MedNews

-- If it's healthier hair you seek, the American Academy of Dermatology offers these suggestions: If your hair is oily or has dandruff flakes, wash it daily. Treated hair should be washed less frequently. So should the hair of an elderly person, whose scalp produces less oil. Use a shampoo and conditioner formulated for your type of hair. Shampoo primarily the scalp instead of the length of the hair. The latter can make hair dull and coarse. Condition hair after each shampoo,...

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Low-Carb Beats Low-Fat for Weight Loss, Heart Health: Study

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

MONDAY, Sept. 1, 2014 -- For people who want to lose weight and boost their heart health, cutting down on carbohydrates may work better than trimming dietary fat, a new study suggests. In a small clinical trial of obese adults, researchers found that those assigned to follow a low-carbohydrate diet lost more weight over a year than those who followed a low-fat plan. They also had bigger improvements in their cholesterol and triglyceride levels, the research team reports in the Sept. 2 issue...

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Quality of U.S. Diet Improves, Slightly

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

MONDAY, Sept. 1, 2014 -- The quality of Americans' diets has improved somewhat but remains poor overall, and dietary disparity between the rich and poor is growing, a new study shows. "The study provides the most direct evidence to date that the extensive efforts by many groups and individuals to improve U.S. dietary quality are having some payoff, but it also indicates that these efforts need to be expanded," study author Dong Wang, a doctoral student in the department of nutrition at the...

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Family Meals May Defuse Cyberbullying's Impact, Study Says

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

MONDAY, Sept. 1, 2014 -- Having regular family meals may help protect teens from the harmful mental health effects of "cyberbullying," a new study suggests. Online abuse can lead to depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts, according to experts. "One in five adolescents experience cyberbullying," Frank Elgar, a professor at the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University in Montreal, said in a university news release. "Many adolescents use social media, and online harassment...

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