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Could Some in the U.S. Undergo Colonoscopies Too Often?

October 1, 2014

By Fran Kritz

Many people still don’t follow published guidelines that recommend colonoscopies for most people ages 50 to 74 every ten years. But some in that age range are having the test too often, finds a new study by researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

The researchers reviewed electronic health data on close to 1,500 patients ages 50 to 65 who had a first colonoscopy between 2001 and 2010 and found that a second colonoscopy was done on 871 patients an average six years after the first one, or four years too soon.

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Study: Prenatal Exposure to Some Chemicals May Increase Risk of Asthma in Children

September 29, 2014

By Fran Kritz

Researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University recently published a study that found a strong link between prenatal exposure to two phthalates, chemicals used in many household products, and development of childhood asthma. Environmental Health Perspectives

The study found that kids born to mothers exposed during pregnancy to high levels of two phthalates, butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP) and di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) had a 72 percent and 78 percent increase in risk of developing asthma between age 5 and 11, compared to kids born to mothers who were exposed to lower levels of the chemicals.

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Healthy Lifestyle Factors May Prevent Most Heart Attacks in Men

September 23, 2014

By Fran Kritz

Four out of five heart attacks in men may be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Healthy lifestyle behaviors include moderate alcohol use, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and diet and getting regular exercise, say the Swedish researchers who conducted the study.

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Conference on 9/23 to focus on health reform

September 22, 2014

Capitol Weekly and the University of California, UC Center present Health Care: California, a conference examining the California health care landscape, one year into the Affordable Care Act. This event will be filmed for later broadcast by the California Channel.HealthCare2014

The day-long conference will be held in Sacramento on September 23, 2014.

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Despite Guidelines to the Contrary, Millions of Older Men Continue to Be Screened for Prostate Cancer

September 19, 2014

By Fran Kritz

Millions of older men continue to get the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test to screen for prostate cancer, contrary to new guidelines, according to research by investigators at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

The PSA test was approved by the Food and Drug Administration decades ago and widely recommended for many years.

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Daily Use of Marijuana by Kids and Young Adults Linked to Very Serious Outcomes, Including Suicide Attempts

September 12, 2014

By Fran Kritz

Kids and adolescents who use marijuana every day before they reach age 17 are more than 60 percent less likely to finish high school or get an equivalent degree than young people who have never used the drug, according to a new study.

The researchers, from universities in Australia and New Zealand, reviewed three long term studies on youth and teen drug use in those two countries and say the findings are applicable to drug use and outcomes in other countries, including the U.S.

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CDC Study Finds Too Few Kids Getting Preventive Care

September 11, 2014

By Fran Kritz

A new study by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that millions of kids have not received some critical preventive services. These services include a hearing screening soon after birth, preventive dental care in order to avoid tooth decay and the HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer.

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Hog Farm Workers May Pose Community Bacteria Risk

September 9, 2014

By Fran Kritz

Half of all workers in industrial hog farms may carry potentially harmful bacteria in their nostrils, which can remain with the workers for up to four days after they are first exposed, days longer than researchers believed the workers harbored the microbes.

The bacteria detected by researchers, Staphylococcus aureus, was found to be largely antibiotic resistant, probably because of drugs used to treat sick hogs and to make them fatter for market quickly.

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Deciphering Electronic Lab Results a Challenge for Some Patients

September 4, 2014

By Fran Kritz

Researchers at the University of Michigan have found that some people, particularly those with poor number and health literacy skills, may not be able to understand the numbers on lab reports, or what steps may be needed as a result of the test results.

The study is important because since last February, the U.S.

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Obese Moms Who Limit Weight Gain During Pregnancy May See Improved Outcomes for Themselves and their Babies

September 1, 2014

By Fran Kritz

A new study has found that traditional weight loss techniques including food and exercise journals, weekly support meetings and nutrition and diet counselling are effective weight loss tools for pregnant women dealing with obesity.

The study, called the Healthy Moms study, also found that obese women who are able to hold down their weight gain during pregnancy are less likely to have large for gestational age babies, which can make a delivery more complicated and increase the risk of a child becoming obese later on.

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