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Friday
Jan282011

Report: Millions of Baby Boomers Will Face Alzheimer's

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As more than 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day this year, one in eight of them are expected to develop Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new report by the Alzheimer's Association.

The report, titled "Generation Alzheimer’s," predicts an estimated 10 million baby boomers will either die with or from Alzheimer’s.  The disease, which is among the top 10 causes of death in America, is the only one that isn't preventable or curable.

The National Institutes of Health spends only $480 million a year on research for Alzheimer’s, compared to the more than $6 billion, $4 billion and $3 billion it spends on research for cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS, respectively.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan282011

Study: Hot Flashes, Menopause Symptoms Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- Hot flashes and other common symptoms associated with menopause could reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer by up to 50 percent, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that the more symptoms a woman experienced and the more severe they were, the better protection she was offered against the disease.

“In particular we found that women who experienced more intense hot flashes -- the kind that woke them up at night – had a particularly low risk of breast cancer,” senior author Christopher I. Li, M.D., Ph.D., a breast cancer epidemiologist in the Hutchinson Center’s Public Health Sciences Division, said.

For the study, 1,437 postmenopausal women -- 988 of whom had been diagnosed with cancer -- were surveyed on a series of different menopausal symptoms.  Out of the women who experienced hot flashes and other symptoms, researchers found a 40 to 60 percent decrease in the risk of developing two of the most common types of breast cancer.

Researchers believe reductions in estrogen, progesterone and other hormones during menopause could responsible for the reduced risk.

The study will be printed in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan282011

Thirteen University of Iowa Football Players Hospitalized

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(IOWA CITY, Iowa) -- Thirteen University of Iowa football players remain hospitalized after becoming ill with what the university says is a little-known muscle syndrome called rhabdomyolysis.

Rhabdomyolysis occurs when muscle is destroyed and the pigment in it that makes it red, called myoglobin, gets into the kidneys and can damage them.

At a press conference Wednesday, a spokesman said it's unclear how the students developed the condition.

"The causes of rhabdomyolysis are extensive.  There may be a hundred different causes for this problem," said Dr. John Stokes, director of Division of Nephrology at the University of Iowa.  He is not involved in the care of the players.  "When it occurs in young, otherwise healthy individuals, one of the common scenarios we look for is a recent exercise."

Stokes said that it's unusual for so many people with different body types and genetic predispositions to come down with rhabdomyolysis at once.  Although it attacks the kidneys, the condition almost always goes away.

"It does appear to be a little unusual, but apparently the common denominator for each of these individuals had to do with the fact that they were undergoing a workout, a heavy exercise program, and heavy exercise is known to produce this syndrome," he said.

Paul Federici, the director of football operations at the University of Iowa, said at the press conference he didn't know the exact structure of players' workouts, but said there were breaks and also plenty of water available.

When asked whether players may have been taking dietary supplements, some of which can cause rhabdomyolysis, Federici said he didn't know if they were taking any, and if they were, they are only allowed to consume substances that meet NCAA compliance.  Rhabdomyolysis can be also caused by certain medications, such as statins to lower cholesterol.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan282011

Survey: Students' Emotional Health at 25-Year Low

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The emotional health of college freshmen has dropped to its lowest level in 25 years, according to an annual survey of full-time college students at four-year colleges.

The survey, The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2010, was conducted by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute and involved 200,000 students. The number of freshmen who said their emotional health was "below average" has risen steadily, according to the report.

Only 52 percent rated themselves as "above average" in emotional health, down from 64 percent in 1985.

New York University recently overhauled its mental health services to provide around-the-clock help and relaxation programs after a rash of suicides.

"They are having to adjust to new academics, new friends, sometimes a new city and a new living situation," said Zoe Ragouzeos, director of counseling and wellness services at New York University.

That stress is compounded by a bad economy.

"Will they have a job waiting at the other end after spending $60,000 to $80,000 on a college education?" asked Brian Van Brunt, director of counseling at Western Kentucky University and president of the American College Counseling Association. "They are struggling like no generation before with the question, 'Is college worth it?'"

College students say the pressure ratchets up significantly after freshman year as they move closer to graduation and must secure internships and, eventually, jobs in a weak economy.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan272011

New Dashboard Sensors Can Stop Drunk Drivers

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Drunk driving takes a horrible toll on the highway. In 2009 drunk drivers killed more than 10,000 people, accounting for one-third of all highway deaths.

Now the government and auto industry are working together to develop technologies they hope can prevent a drunk driver from starting a vehicle.

The new technologies are built right into the car and are invisible to the driver. They can include a breath analyzer that can sense alcohol on a driver's breath, or touch sensors on the car's starter button that can detect alcohol levels through the skin.

The technology's precision and speed is still being fine-tuned in a Boston lab, but engineers say it will be tested in cars later this year.

"It's actually very exciting, it's extremely promising...I view this as the seat belt for our generation, it has the ability to save lives," said test engineer Bud Zaouk. "Not everyone is on board. The restaurant industry worries even one drink with dinner and the car won't start."

Sarah Longwell of the American Beverage Institute argues the technology targets the wrong people.

"Nobody wants there to be drunk drivers out on the highways, but we have to target drunk drivers, not all Americans."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan272011

CDC: 79 Million Americans at Risk for Diabetes

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ATLANTA ) – New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control estimate that more than a third of Americans are pre-diabetic and nearly 26 million have diabetes.

According to the CDC, 79 million adults in the U.S. have blood sugar levels that are above normal, but are not high enough to be considered diabetic.

"These distressing numbers show how important it is to prevent type 2 diabetes and to help those who have diabetes manage the disease to prevent serious complications such as kidney failure and blindness," said Ann Albright, director of the CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation.  "We know that a structured lifestyle program that includes losing weight and increasing physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes."

Type 2 diabetes also puts a person at greater risk of heart disease and stroke. It is estimated that around 27 percent of those with diabetes are unaware they have the disease.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan272011

Occupational-Related Hearing Loss Tied to Sleep Loss

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BEERSHEBA, Israel) – People with occupational-related hearing loss have more trouble sleeping than those who have not been exposed to sustained levels of noise on the job, according to a study published in the journal Sleep.

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev examined individuals from the same workplace, some with work-related hearing loss and some without. Among those with workplace-related hearing loss, 51 percent reported suffering from ringing in the ears known as tinnitus, which contributed to their lack of sleep.

"The homogeneous study population exposed to identical harmful noise at the same workplace allowed us to compare sleep quality between similar groups differing only by hearing status," said study researcher Tsafnat Test.

Test found that workers with hearing impairments were older and had been exposed to the environment longer. Sleep problems reported included difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying asleep and snoring.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan272011

Nelson Mandela Hospitalized, Reports of Collapsed Lung

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(JOHANNESBURG) – As Nelson Mandela undergoes tests during his second straight day at a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, reports surfaced Thursday that the 92-year-old former South African president and anti-apartheid hero may have suffered a collapsed lung.
 
A collapsed lung is the collection of air in the space around the lungs, also known as pneumothorax, and can occur as a “primary spontaneous pneumothorax”, or PSP.  In those cases, it occurs without a precipitating event in a person without known lung disease. 

About 7.4 out of 100,000 people suffer a collapsed lung each year in the United States with men more likely to suffer it than women.

Although Mandela is known to undergo routine health examinations, the most recent visit has garnered attention due to its unusual length. Although it is not yet known why Mandela was hospitalized, reports have circulated both that Mandela entered the hospital for routine testing as well as rumors that he was suffering chest pains and had trouble breathing prior to being admitted.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan272011

Sebelius To Outline Parameters Of Medical Malpractice Reform

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Following up on one of the president’s proposals in the State of the Union, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday morning that she would submit for the record the administration's parameters on medical malpractice reform.

In a nod to supporters of tort reform, Obama said in his address Tuesday night that he was “willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year -- medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.”

At a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing Thursday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., asked Sebelius to submit for the record what the parameters of medical malpractice reform might be.

“Sure,” Sebelius replied.

“Thank you very much. Since we tried repeatedly over a year to get some kind of addressing in the 2,700-and-some page document some action on what most experts agree contributes sometimes 20, 30 percent to the additional cost of health care,” McCain said. “We’re going to find out whether the trial lawyers run this place or the American people,” he added.

In her testimony, Sebelius defended the administration’s position that the law saves money and stood by the analysis of the Congressional Budget Office. Some of that “light” was provided at the hearing by two witnesses who explained how the legislation has positively impacted their lives.

Lisa Grasshoff, whose son Joshua suffers from a genetic blood clotting disorder, praised the fact that he will no longer be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. “The elimination of pre-existing condition is totally awesome for us,” she said.

By the time Joshua was seven years old, he had already maxed out three insurance policies, each having a $1,000,000 lifetime cap. In order to obtain health insurance coverage, Grasshoff and her husband both had to take on new, lower-paying jobs. “We worked for health insurance,” she explained. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan272011

Diets High in Trans Fat Linked to Depression

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LAS PALMAS, Spain) – Eating a diet too high in trans fat can increase your risk of depression, reports Health News.
 
According to a study published in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE, the consumption of trans fats, or modified vegetable fats, can have a serious effect on your mood.

Trans fats, which have already been linked to heart disease and increased levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, were shown to increase the risk of depression by 48 percent for those who get more than 0.6 percent of their daily calories from the substance.

Researchers at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain studied more than 12,000 participants over a period of six years. Of those studied, 657 of those who consumed a high level of trans and saturated fats developed depression.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio