Medicine

Are we failing to stop the next flu pandemic?

The H1N1 flu pandemic last year came out of nowhere. Well, not exactly — H1N1 first emerged in human beings in Mexico. But that wasn’t where most influenza experts were looking. The focus had been on southeast Asia, where the H5N1 avian flu had been infecting — and killing — human beings for the past few years. Most flu pandemics …

ER visits surge for abuse of legal drugs

In 2008, roughly one million people wound up in the emergency room for abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs — just as many as visited the ER after using illegal substances, according to new data released yesterday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Centers for Disease Control …

10 Risk Factors Linked to 90% of Strokes

Analyzing data on 6,000 people — half of whom suffered a stroke, and half of had not — from 22 countries around the globe, researchers from Canada’s McMaster University identified 10 common risk factors, including smoking, high blood pressure and belly fat, associated with 9 out of 10 strokes. The results of the INTERSTROKE study, …

Study: online communities encourage eating disorders

Social networking is the most common reason young people use the Internet. Increasingly, that social interaction is happening on websites devoted to eating disorders.

According to a new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Stanford University School of Medicine, the Web is rife with so-called …

Salt: “supertasters” and how obesity impacts sensitivity

New research from food scientists at Pennsylvania State University suggest that some people’s penchant for salt may be due to a broader hypersensitivity to taste. The researchers suggest that “supertasters” not only experience the taste of salt more intensely, but other flavors as well — meaning that they often rely on extra salt to …

Obesity’s impact on sexual health

Though they tend to have sex less frequently than their slimmer peers, obese women may be four times more likely to have an unwanted pregnancy, according to findings published in BMJ this week. In a study of more than 12,000 French men and women between the ages of 18 to 69, researchers found that obese women were less likely than …

Why do women get more stressed out than men?

Initial results from an animal study conducted by researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia may shed some light on a question that has perplexed both sexes: why do women often seem to get so much more stressed out than men? In a rat study led by neuroscientist Dr. Rita Valentino, researchers found that females were more …

Are doctors screening for cervical cancer too often?

Though current cervical cancer screening guidelines generally recommend that women ages 30 and older get screened — either using a traditional pap smear or a complement of a pap smear and human papillomavirus testing — every 2 to 3 years instead of annually, a new survey published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine

Study: brown rice linked with lower risk of type 2 diabetes

For most people around the world, it’s a staple food. In the U.S., rice is becoming increasingly popular as well — since the 1930s, Americans’ rice consumption has grown threefold to about 21 lbs. per person a year. So it bears asking whether rice is a healthy dietary choice.

A new study led by researchers at the Harvard School of …

Childhood obesity: moms’ work schedule a factor?

New research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology and highlighted by Reuters suggests that the increasing prevalence of moms holding down full-time jobs may be a contributing factor in the childhood obesity epidemic. In an effort to determine what factors may be driving childhood obesity, researchers from University College …

Widely used cancer drug may cause kidney damage

A new analysis published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology finds that a drug commonly used for cancer treatment may cause kidney damage in some patients. The drug, bevacizumab, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating glioblastoma brain tumors, metastasized breast cancer and other forms of …

Doctors should ask patients about texting-while-driving

Doctors should talk to patients about the risks of distracted driving, just as they discuss the dangers of smoking and unprotected sex, writes Dr. Amy N. Ship, an internist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in the June 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. As more states pass laws banning talking on a cell phone or …

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