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Knowing Personal Risk May Spur Lifestyle Changes

Thu Mar 21, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Old habits are hard to break, but it may be easier when people have the cold, hard facts about their personal risk of disease, research suggests.

Few studies have looked at whether knowing about "biomarkers" like high cholesterol readings spur the average person to make lifestyle changes, but what evidence there is suggests that more information is better, according to one researcher.

Movies May Sway Kids' Views on Smoking

Thu Mar 21, 2002

By Amy Norton

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Seeing their movie idols light up on-screen may help convince children and teens that smoking is just fine, a study of US middle-school students suggests.

Researchers found that students who had seen relatively more films featuring smoking also had more positive attitudes toward the habit. This, they say, suggests that on-screen tobacco use can help shape children's views on smoking.

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Anger May Boost Cholesterol in Out-Of-Shape Women

Wed Mar 20, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A hostile temperament can be rough on the heart, but exercise may help even the angriest personalities avoid heart disease, research suggests.

In a study of 103 healthy, middle-aged women, investigators found that those prone to angry outbursts had less-healthy cholesterol levels than their calmer peers. However, women who were angry but physically fit showed no such ill effects on their cholesterol.

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Racism Impacts Healthcare of U.S. Blacks

Wed Mar 20, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - African Americans continue to receive poorer quality healthcare compared with their white peers, and racial stereotyping by American doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers is at least partly to blame, according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

The IOM is a scientific group that advises the federal government.

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Large Study Says Calcium May Cut Colon Cancer Risk

Wed Mar 20, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A daily calcium intake of at least 700 milligrams may significantly reduce the risk of developing cancer in the lower part of the colon, according to a new report. But, the authors note, daily calcium intake beyond this "relatively moderate" level does not appear to add any further protection against colon cancer.

Vision Loss on the Rise in American Adults

Wed Mar 20, 2002

By Alicia Ault

WASHINGTON (Reuters Health) - As the US population gets older, more Americans than ever before are facing the loss of their vision, a joint private-federal study released Wednesday shows.

Some of this vision loss is preventable, said Dr. Paul A. Sieving, director of the National Eye Institute, in an interview with Reuters Health. "I think the American people should pay attention to periodic eye care," he said.

Many Hysterectomies Unnecessary, UK Study Shows

Wed Mar 20, 2002

LONDON (Reuters) - Thousands of British women who suffer heavy menstrual bleeding are having unnecessary hysterectomies to cure the problem, according to research published Wednesday.

Doctors who studied around half the hysterectomies carried out in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in one year in the mid-1990s found that 46% were performed on women who complained of excessive monthly bleeding.

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Smoking Ups Risk for One Type of Leukemia

Tue Mar 19, 2002

By Keith Mulvihill

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Smokers, especially those over the age of 60, are more than twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop a specific type of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), study findings suggest. While smoking has long been thought to be a possible risk factor for AML--the most common type of leukemia diagnosed in adults--the research results have been contradictory. The results of a new study suggest that smoking may contribute to some types of the leukemia, but not others, helping to explain the murky results.

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