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General Health

This Old House May Help Your Health

Wed Jul 24, 2:04 PM ET

By Jennifer Thomas
HealthScoutNews Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 24 (HealthScoutNews) -- The floors might creak and the roof might leak, but your old house just might be good for you in a way you wouldn't expect.

People who live in old houses in urban areas do a lot more walking than people who live in newer homes, new research says.

Breathe Right

Wed Jul 24, 2:04 PM ET

(HealthScoutNews) -- Breathing and eating are equally essential to living, but you probably don't think of them as impacting each other.

The American Association of Respiratory Care says that for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a proper diet can help the body overcome breathing problems.

Besides eating a balanced diet, the group says to avoid salt and caffeine. It also says that eating your main meal early in the day will give you more energy to deal with your breathing difficulties.

How Low Can You Go?

Thu Jul 18, 2002

(HealthScoutNews) -- You've no doubt heard about the dangers of high blood pressure. So, the lower your blood pressure goes, the better, right?

That's true, up to a point. As a general rule, the American Heart Association says any reading below 120/80 is good. Except if your pressure gets too low. That can lead to feeling lightheaded, fainting and even heart attack.

If you do have extremely low blood pressure, your physician should investigate the reason. Common causes for the problem are certain medications, illnesses or shock.

Malaria Parasite: More Resistant?

Wed Jul 17, 2002

By WILLIAM McCALL, Associated Press Writer

The tiny parasite that causes malaria may be older and more resistant to drugs than previously believed, according to a pair of new studies.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health mapped large sections of the parasite's DNA to determine how far back it dates in evolutionary history and found it may have originated between 100,000 and 180,000 years ago — instead of as recently as 3,000 to 5,000 years ago.

New West Nile Cases in Lousiana

Wed Jul 17, 2002

By JANET McCONNAUGHEY, Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Health officials are keeping a close eye on the incidence of West Nile virus in Louisiana after four new cases were confirmed this week, bringing the number to seven this year.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta confirmed this week that a 34-year-old woman and three men, ages 17, 62 and 76, had the mosquito-borne virus.

Brain Scans Show Why We Love Cooperating

Wed Jul 17,  2002

By Alison McCook

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - New research reveals why people often cooperate with each other, even when it is not necessarily to their advantage to do so.

A group of researchers based at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, found that when a woman is involved in a situation where she is cooperating with someone else, she experiences activation in brain areas that are also activated by "rewards" such as food, money and drugs.

Brain Turns Back Developmental Clock for Repairs

Wed Jul 17, 2002

By Melissa Schorr

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - After an injury, the brain produces synchronized electrical pulses that appear to act as a signal to generate new nerve connections, according to a team of researchers who made the discovery while studying the brains of rats.

Such signals--which are normally seen in early brain development--have been observed for years after brain injuries, but their function has been unclear.

Misdiagnosing Appendicitis Studied

Sun Jul 14, 2002

By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO (AP) - Removing a healthy appendix may be more harmful than many have thought, requiring longer hospitals stays and an increased rate of side effects, according to a new study showing the dangers of misdiagnosing appendicitis.

The findings suggest that overlooked ailments cause the increased risks and underscore the harm in mistaking other serious conditions for appendicitis, the researchers said.

Eye Sore

Mon Jul 15, 2002

(HealthScoutNews) -- If you wear contact lenses, you might want to take extra care when swimming or taking a shower.

According to the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, lens wearers are at risk of eye infection caused by an amoeba commonly found in tap water, ponds and lakes.

The organism, Acanthamoeba, is resistant to chlorine used to sterilize tap water. Warning signs of infection are redness, vision loss and eye pain. If you experience these symptoms, consult an ophthalmologist immediately

Eat Safe on the Road

Mon Jul 15, 2002

(HealthScoutNews) -- If you're planning a vacation to some exotic locale, you might wonder how to make sure the food you eat is safe.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you have good reason to take precautions, especially if you visit areas with poor sanitation. Since any raw food can be contaminated, it's best to stay away from salads, uncooked vegetables and fruit, unpasteurized milk and milk products, raw meat and shellfish.