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Daily MedNews

Best Ways to Steer Clear of the Flu

Posted today in Daily MedNews

SATURDAY, Jan. 21, 2017 -- The best way for people to protect themselves from the flu is to get vaccinated -- and it's not too late to get a shot, an infectious diseases expert says. The flu vaccine also protects those who aren't able to get it, including infants younger than 6 months and people with certain allergies and medical conditions, said Dr. Jeffrey Kahn. He is chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Those who think it's too late to get...

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Stress May Explain Digestive Issues in Kids With Autism

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 -- Many children with autism suffer from gastrointestinal problems, such as belly pain and constipation. And new research suggests that these issues may stem from a heightened response to stress. "When treating a patient with autism who has constipation and other lower gastrointestinal issues, physicians may give them a laxative to address these issues," said study author Dr. David Beversdorf. "Our findings suggest there may be a subset of patients for which there may be...

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Ebola Blood Test May Help Predict Survival Chances

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 -- A blood test may help determine a person's chance of surviving an Ebola infection, researchers say. "It is not just defining how much Ebola virus that is present in a patient that defines whether a patient will survive. How the patient fights the infection is also key," said John Connor, an associate professor of microbiology at Boston University School of Medicine. Figuring out common aspects of how the immune system responds in people who have survived the...

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Flu Cases Starting to Spread: CDC

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 -- Flu activity continues to rise across the United States and there's been a slight uptick in the number of deaths in the last week, federal health officials reported Friday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's still not too late to get a flu shot. That's particularly important for the most vulnerable -- the very young, the elderly, the chronically ill and pregnant women, officials said. "It would have been better to get vaccinated early, but...

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8 People Infected in Rare U.S. Outbreak of Rat Virus

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 -- Eight people who worked at several rat-breeding facilities in Illinois and Wisconsin have been infected with a virus not commonly found in the United States, federal health officials said Friday. This is the first known outbreak of Seoul virus associated with pet rats in the United States, although there have been several outbreaks in wild rats, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seoul virus is a member of the Hantavirus family of...

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Many With Advanced Lung Cancer Don't Get Treatments That Might Help

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 -- Many U.S. patients with late-stage lung cancer do not receive treatments that could prolong their lives, a new study finds. Researchers at the University of California, Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center analyzed 1998-2012 data from the U.S. National Cancer Database. They found that more than one in every five patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) -- by far the leading form of the disease -- did not undergo any treatment. That included chemotherapy,...

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Childhood Asthma May Encourage Obesity, Study Suggests

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 -- A young child with asthma has a greater risk of obesity than one without the chronic respiratory condition, a new study suggests. Among nearly 2,200 elementary school students in California, researchers found that childhood asthma was linked to a 51 percent increased risk of obesity over the next 10 years. "I was surprised it was that substantial," said study senior author Dr. Frank Gilliland. He is a professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern...

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Many Women With Eating Disorders Do Recover, Study Finds

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2016 -- The media often portrays women with the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia as untreatable, and sadly, in about one-third of cases that may be true, new research suggests. But the same small study found that nearly two-thirds of these women did recover from these eating disorders -- though in some cases it took more than a decade for them to get better. "The findings inspire me to remain hopeful in my work as a clinician with these patients," said study lead author...

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Trulance Approved for Chronic Constipation

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 -- Trulance (plecanatide) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat persistent constipation of unknown (idiopathic) cause in adults. Some 42 million people in the United States are affected by constipation, according to the National Institutes of Health. Once-daily Trulance is designed to stimulate the upper gastrointestinal tract to secrete fluid and "support regular bowel function," the FDA said in a news release. The oral drug was evaluated...

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Your Health Record in a Heartbeat?

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 -- A patient's heartbeat might one day be used to protect his or her electronic health records, a new study suggests. Traditional security methods can be expensive and time-consuming. So, U.S. researchers investigated the use of a person's unique electrocardiograph (ECG) -- the electrical activity of the heart measured by a sensor attached to the skin -- as a way to lock and unlock electronic health records. "The ECG signal is one of the most important and common...

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Obamacare Covered More People With Mental Illness, Addictions

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 -- More Americans with mental illness and substance abuse disorders got health insurance after the Affordable Care Act was introduced, a new study shows. However, these patients still face significant barriers to treatment, the Johns Hopkins researchers added. "The Affordable Care Act has been very effective in reducing the uninsured rate in this vulnerable population, where there is a real need to get people into services," said study leader Brendan Saloner. He's an...

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Poverty Harder on Women's Hearts, Research Shows

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 -- Poor women are more likely to suffer heart trouble than poor men are, a new review suggests. Researchers analyzed 116 studies that included 22 million people in North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. The findings showed that among poor people, women had a 25 percent higher risk of heart attack than men. "It's widely known that people from disadvantaged backgrounds are at greater risk of heart attack and stroke than people with more affluent backgrounds," said...

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Health Highlights: Jan. 20, 2017

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay: Number of U.S. Women Taking Maternity Leave Is Unchanged Over Two Decades There has been little change over the past two decades in the number of American women who take maternity leave, a new study finds. Between 1994 and 2015, the average number of women who took maternity leave each month remained at about 273,000, CBS News reported. Fewer than half of the women who took maternity...

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Screen Time May Not Be So Bad for Teens After All

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 -- Teens who log hours of screen time every day -- on video games, smartphones, computers, TV and the like -- may not be doing themselves any harm, a new study suggests. A digital "sweet spot" of screen time might even benefit teens' well-being by allowing them to develop social connections and personal skills, according to the findings. "Moderate levels of daily screen time do not appear to be harmful," said lead researcher Andrew Przybylski. He is an experimental...

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Are U.S. Med Schools Skimping on Obesity Training?

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 -- Despite being a major health threat, obesity isn't widely discussed in U.S. medical schools, a new study suggests. Obesity is barely mentioned in U.S. medical students' licensing exams, according to the researchers at Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago. With so few test items about obesity prevention and treatment, medical schools have less incentive to educate students about obesity -- and students have less incentive to learn about it, the...

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Health Tip: Feeling Under the Weather?

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

-- Even if you're sick with a cold or the flu, don't neglect your teeth, the American Dental Association reminds us. The group offers these suggestions: Don't ever share your toothbrush, especially if you've been sick. It's usually not necessary to get a new toothbrush after you've been sick, unless you have a weak immune system or it's time to toss your brush anyway. If you're using cough drops, opt for sugar free. If you vomit, don't brush your teeth immediately afterward. Instead,...

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Health Tip: Wash Hands Often

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

-- Washing hands regularly is a great way to help keep you and your family well. The Environmental Working Group offers these hand-washing tips: Wash children's hands often, always before eating and after playing. Wash kids' hands more often if they tend to put their hands in their mouths. Antibacterial soap does not offer medically proven benefits over plain soap and warm water, an advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found. Read ingredient labels on soaps,...

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Many With Mental Illness Miss Out on HIV Tests

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Jan. 19, 2017 -- People with severe mental illness are only slightly more likely to be screened for HIV than those in the general population, a new study finds. And that's true even though they're at higher risk for infection with the AIDS-causing virus, the researchers added. The study included nearly 57,000 Medicaid patients in California. They were between the ages of 18 and 67. They were all taking medications to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or major depression with...

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Food Stamp Use Linked to Raised Early Death Risk in Study

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Jan. 19, 2017 -- Americans who use or are eligible for food stamps have a higher risk of premature death than people who aren't eligible for them, a new study finds. "Our results suggest that the millions of low-income Americans who rely on SNAP for food assistance require even greater support to improve their health than they currently receive," said study senior author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian. He is dean of Tufts University's School of Nutrition Science and Policy in...

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Brain-Training May Help Ease Ringing in the Ears

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Jan. 19, 2017 -- An online program that "trains" the brain may help people cope with the constant ringing in the ears called tinnitus, a small study suggests. People with tinnitus can have poorer working memory, deficiencies in attention, and slower mental processing speeds and reaction times. However, an internet-based program to improve mental acuity appeared to help them deal with the bothersome ear noise, researchers said. "Fifty percent of the patients in the study reported...

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