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Wednesday
Nov032010

Day Care Could Hurt Parent-Child Relationship

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(IOWA CITY, Iowa) -- A new study suggests that day care may have a negative effect on the parent-child relationship, reported LiveScience.

Children who are fussy and irritable may be less likely to establish a healthy and secure attachment to their mothers the more time the spend in day care, according to a study by researchers at the University of Iowa.

The study suggests that some caregivers are unable to give irritable children the attention they need, and those children should spend more time at home than they do under the care of others.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov032010

Study: 'Social Stimulation' Effects Sleep 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SILVER SPRING, Md.) -- New research suggests that people who have outgoing personalities suffer worse effects due to lack of sleep than introverts, reports BBC.

Researchers at the Walter Reed Army Institute in Maryland kept 48 volunteers awake for 36 hours and only allowed some to mix with others.

Those who were defined as introverts did a better job staying awake then extroverts who were given human contact.

Extroverts who were denied human contact, however, also did well in reaction tests, which suggests that it is social stimulation that tires out the brain.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov032010

Report Calls FDA Monitoring 'Problematic'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A new report suggests that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not doing an adequate job of monitoring the safety of medical devices, according to HealthDay.

"The agency often misses problematic devices," said lead author Shannon Brownlee, an instructor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

Brownlee joined New York-based investigative journalist Jeanne Lenzer in an article that focused on the FDA's approval and follow-up monitoring of a device that prevents or reduces seizures in patients with epilepsy.

The article claimed that the FDA did not require the manufacturer of the Vague Nerve Stimulator (VNS) to report the cause of death in patients using the device.

According to the report, over 900 deaths have been reported by the FDA in patients who had the device implanted in the 13 years it has been on the market. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov032010

Will Health Care Overhaul Survive Republican Control of the House?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Since the health care bill passed in March, Republicans have vowed to "repeal and replace" it as a central part of their "Pledge to America."

Now that they will assume control of the House of Representatives next year, that GOP mission is among the options they'll have to weigh, health policy analysts say. "Repeal and replace" is unlikely to happen, the analysts agreed, so Republicans may have tough choices ahead.

"Absent a supermajority in both houses of Congress, efforts by either or both houses to reverse the law will most surely be vetoed," said Jay Wolfson, distinguished service professor of public health and medicine at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Gail Wilensky, an economist and senior fellow at Project HOPE, an international health foundation, said, "The real question is whether the Republican House and the more closely divided by Democratic Senate work to fix aspects that are regarded as particularly troublesome or leave it as is, so that the more egregious parts are more obvious."

Either way, she added, Congress must address at least one issue immediately.

"They need to fix the Medicare physician fee schedule right away," she said. "Starting on December 1, Medicare payments to physicians will drop 23 percent." The cuts are part of a congressional plan to help reduce the budget deficit.

Ken Thorpe, professor of health policy at Emory University in Atlanta, said, "They can do a 13-month extension of that and give Congress time to think how to...[fix the payment system], but it will cost billions to freeze the payment system." 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov032010

Want a Long, Healthy Life? Think Positive

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BOSTON) -- We've been bombarded over the years with warnings about all the things we shouldn't do to protect our health and help us live longer, such as smoking, eating the wrong foods, drinking too much alcohol, and so forth.

Now, someone has taken a look at the opposite side of that coin to see whether the positive things we can do can be as important as the negative things we shouldn't do.

And here's what they found: believing you are in control of your own life, maintaining strong social ties to friends and family, and getting off the couch for vigorous exercise can delay the effects of aging by at least a decade.

So what it all means is what you do today -- not just what you shouldn't do -- will determine what you are tomorrow. And the research suggests this is probably a lifelong process, so it's never too soon to get started.

Psychologists Margie E. Lachman and Stefan Agrigoroaei of Brandeis University in Boston delved into the Midlife Development in the United States study (MIDUS), a national interagency resource involving 3,626 adults aged 32-84 who were interviewed in two sessions about 10 years apart, to see what role positive factors played in their health.

They focused on "what to do rather than what not to do," according to their study published in the current PloS ONE, an open access science journal.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov032010

Fattest Teen Regains 200 Pounds Lost and More

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(ABERDARE, Wales) -- Georgia Davis, known as "Britain's fattest teenager," was the center of attention when she lost half her body weight at a camp in North Carolina in 2009.

But 16 months later, she has regained even more -- 224 pounds -- much to the ridicule of her countrymen.

Today, 17-year-old Davis is five-foot-six and weighs nearly 460 pounds. She had lost 202 pounds at Wellspring Academy of the Carolinas in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

"Unbelievable," said one commenter on the story that appeared in Britain's Daily Mail newspaper. "By the way, who paid for her attendance at fat camp?"

"Where is she getting the money from to buy all this much food," said another. "Surely, even benefits won't cover the cost of what she is eating every day."

"If you don't put food in your mouth, you don't get fat -- end of story," said a third commenter.

But doctors say the morbidly obese face psychological and physiological problems that prevent them not only from keeping weight off, but losing it in the first place.

"The poor kid," said Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center. "The proximal cause of obesity is bad use of feet and forks -- too many calories and not enough exercise, an energy balance issue. The root cause for most of us is everything about modern living -- the availability of tasty, glow-in-the-dark foods, the marketing of food, every device so you don't use your muscles.

"Sometimes, it's psychological -- trauma in childhood, major self-esteem issues and depression -- when food is a Band Aid," Katz said. "Unless you treat those problems, the dependency on food doesn't go away."

Davis, who is from Aberdare in South Wales and has Type 2 diabetes, was told in 2008 she would die if she did not lose more than 200 pounds. At her current weight, doctors say she might not live past 20.

She paid nearly $6,000 to attend the North Carolina camp where she was treated by behavioral coaches, food psychologists and fitness trainers, and encouraged to walk 10,000 steps on a treadmill every day.

Davis said she began to gain weight after using food to comfort herself after the death of her father when she was 5.

From the age of 10, she cared for her sick mother and also was bullied at school by peers who called her lazy and said it was her own fault she was fat.

"I'd eat to comfort myself, and afterwards I'd feel worse and I'd eat again," said Davis.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov032010

Cancer Therapy Developers Awarded $1.2 Million Federal Grant for Stem Cell Research

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(REDWOOD CITY, Calif.) -- OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, a therapeutics developer that targets cancer stem cells, was awarded a grant on Tuesday totaling $1.2 million to support five of its programs under the government's Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project (QTDP).

The QTDP was created by Congress in support of "innovation and job creation by biotech companies."  Grant winners are chosen primarily by the Treasury Department and the Department of Health and Human Services, depending on qualifying criteria.

Eligibility hinges on the project's ability to "result in new therapies to treat areas of unmet medical need; prevent, detect or treat chronic or acute disease and conditions; reduce long-term health care costs; or significantly advance the goal of curing cancer within a 30-year period."

OncoMed's strategy targets cancer stem cell proteins and has the potential to be developed for use against a range of tumor types.

"We are pleased to see OncoMed recognized by the award of these QTDP Program grants, which value the scope of our research and emerging pipeline of anti-cancer stem cell therapeutics programs," said Paul Hastings, president and CEO of OncoMed Pharmaceuticals.  "We look forward to applying these funds to development candidates arising from our insights into multiple cancer stem cell pathways and cancer biology."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov032010

San Francisco Passes Ordinance on Kids' Meals, Addressing Child Health Issues

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- On Tuesday, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to vote in favor of an ordinance that will limit toy giveaways in children's meals that are excessively high in fat, sodium and calories.

With the 1979 introduction of the McDonald's Happy Meal, fast food chains have used toy giveaways as the primary vehicle to sell more than a billion kids' meals to children 12 and under.

The ordinance's sponsor, Eric Mar, called the regulation a "victory for our children's health," citing "disturbingly high" rates of obesity.

"This is a challenge to the restaurant industry to think about children's health  first and join the range of local restaurants that have already made this commitment," he said.

Local restaurants are also joining the measure along with public health professionals, parents, educators, small business and community advocates. 

Citing the critical value of toy giveaways to fast food chains, McDonald's and its counterparts have gone to great lengths to fight the new rule, from threatening lawsuits to lobbying public officials.  The fast food chains have also touted recent "healthier options" such as apple dippers with a caramel sauce. 

Dr. Carmen Rita Nevarez, vice president of the Public Health Institute, points to the relativity of the term "healthier," and challenges fast food marketers to look at the reality of the current children's health crisis.

"One in three kids are, or will become, sick from the food they eat.  We see it not only in our city's waiting rooms and classrooms, but in our soaring health care bills.  It's time for fast food promotions to stop contravening our efforts to change this reality."

The San Francisco ordinance will take effect December 1, 2011.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov022010

Omega-3 May Not Slow Cognitive Decline of Alzheimer’s

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- A new trial shows that patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease reap no apparent benefits from taking supplements with the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA.

In an 18-month trial of more than 400 patients, it was found that the rate of change -- measured on the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale -- actually increased 7.98 points among those given DHA, compared with 8.27 points among the placebo group. The findings were reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Dr. Joseph F. Quinn of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland and colleagues.

Patients also showed no rate of change on the Clinical Dementia Rating -- which was an increase of 2.87 points for the DHA supplement group and 2.93 for those on placebo.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov022010

Exercise Could Fend Off the Common Cold

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(KANNAPOLIS, N.C.) -- New research suggests that staying fit could reduce your risk of catching the common cold.

People who exercised at least five days a week spent 43 percent fewer days with an upper respiratory tract infection than those who exercised no more than once a week, according to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Similarly, those who rated themselves as highly fit had 46 percent fewer days with a respiratory infection than those who reported low fitness, based on the findings of David Nieman, a researcher at Appalachian State University in Kannapolis, N.C., and colleagues.

Researchers followed 1,002 adults up to age 85 during two 12-week periods in 2008; half participated in the fall and half in the winter.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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