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British Group Says Patients Can Refuse Treatment

Tue Apr 30, 2002

By Richard Woodman

LONDON (Reuters Health) - Patients have the right to refuse medical treatment even if this results in their death, according to draft new guidance issued by the body that regulates doctors working in Britain.


Hearing Loss Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

Mon Apr 29, 2002

By Martha Kerr

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older patients with a history of heart attack are about 80% more likely than those without a history of heart attack to have impaired hearing, according to a Wisconsin researcher.

The findings were presented recently at the American Heart Association's Asia Pacific Forum in Hawaii.

In the study, Dr. Peter Torre III of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, looked at 1,600 individuals between the ages of 52 and 97 years. About 41% of the participants were men.

Biological Clock Starts Ticking in Late 20s: Study

Tue Apr 30,10:33 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - A woman's biological clock starts ticking in her late 20s, not her mid-30s, and male fertility also begins to wane with age, doctors said Tuesday.

In what is thought to be the first study to show a drop in female fertility below the age of 30, researchers in the United States and Italy said their results do not mean older couples will not be able to conceive, it just might take them longer.

Excess Pounds Linked to Birth Control Failure Risk

Tue Apr 30, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women who weigh more than most other women their same age may be more likely to accidentally become pregnant while they are taking oral contraceptive pills, according to a report released Tuesday.

Women who weighed 150 pounds or more were 1.6 times more likely to experience an oral contraceptive failure as their peers who weighed less, the investigators found.


Hearing Second Language Leads to Authentic Accent

Tue Apr 30, 2002

By Suzanne Rostler

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Hearing a second language spoken day-to-day will not translate into fluency but it may help children speak with a more convincing accent, results of a study suggest.

Researchers found that college students who heard Spanish several times a week as children developed more native-like accents than their peers who were not regularly exposed to the language, when they took Spanish classes in school years later.


Bull Clone Stumps Brazil Scientists Expecting Cow

Tue Apr 30, 2002

SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters) - A healthy bull calf born on a ranch in southeast Brazil astonished scientists who were expecting a female cloned from an adult cow.

Although not Brazil's first cloned calf, it was hoped to be the first cloned from somatic or adult, rather than embryo, cells. And scientists have yet to explain how they got a bull from ear cells of a cow.

The project's chief veterinarian, Jose Visintin, said on Monday the experiment "either erred in the laboratory or in the field."


Reading Help May Alter Brain Activity in Dyslexia

Tue Apr 30, 2002

By Merritt McKinney

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In a finding that raises hopes about the effective treatment of dyslexia, the results of a small study show that intensive reading instruction may reverse the abnormal brain activity that occurs in children with the learning disability.

The research "provides a more optimistic outlook for the prognosis of dyslexia," according to a report on the findings in the April 23rd issue of the journal Neurology.


Jury Still Out on Soccer Head Injuries - Panel

Tue Apr 30, 2002

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Soccer is not 100% safe, but it is too soon to recommend using helmets or other safety measures to protect children who play it, an Institute of Medicine panel reported on Tuesday.

"Heading" a soccer ball does not usually cause enough trauma to injure a player's head, but children dashing around a soccer field can bash their heads together and more studies need to be done on the dangers, the panel found.


Most Americans Breathe Polluted Air: Survey

Wed May 1, 2002

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than half of all Americans breathe polluted air that can damage their health because the government doesn't fully enforce clean air laws, the American Lung Association said on Wednesday.

Standards are in place to cut back pollution, but since they are not being enforced, nearly 400 counties in the United States have smog levels above the legal limits, the group said.