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Voracious Reading Linked to Early Nearsightedness

Mon May 20, 2002

By Charnicia E. Huggins

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Reading a large number of books per week may not only expand a child's vocabulary, it may also increase his or her risk of developing severe myopia, or nearsightedness, according to a team of researchers from China and Singapore.

Cipro Resistance Shows 'Alarming' Climb in Calif.

Mon May 20, 2002

By Anne Harding

SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters Health) - Resistance to the antibiotic ciprofloxacin has shown an "alarming" increase among patients at one of the western United States' largest rehabilitation facilities, a study released Monday shows.

From 1997 to 2001, resistance to Cipro among E. coli bacteria samples taken from spinal cord injury patients rose from 13% to 33%, Dr. Hanna Canawati and Donald Dunn of the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, California, found.

Some Men Can Skip Yearly Prostate Cancer Test

Mon May 20, 2002

By Jacqueline Stenson

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters Health) - Though annual blood tests for prostate cancer are often recommended by doctors, many men hoping to detect early signs of the malignancy may not need the test so frequently, new findings suggest.

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Preterm Birth Risk Higher if Mom's Asthma Untreated

Mon May 20, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women with untreated asthma during pregnancy are at risk of preterm birth, researchers reported Sunday at the 98th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society.

Dr. Michael B. Bracken of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, reported results of a study of 735 women with asthma and 1,848 women without asthma who were followed throughout their pregnancies.

Lab Study: Problem With Soy Chemical

Mon May 20, 2002

By PAUL RECER, AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - A chemical contained in soy-based infant formula, used to feed 750,000 babies in the United States, has been found to weaken immune systems in laboratory mice.

It is not clear if the chemical, genistein, has the same effect on human infants, said Paul S. Cooke, a researcher at the University of Illinois, Urbana, and senior author of the study appearing Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Labor Pain Relief Alternative Sought

Mon May 20, 2002

By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Dr. Mark Rosen offers San Francisco women an option to relieve childbirth pain not found in most U.S. hospitals: laughing gas.

It's not nearly as good as an epidural, he admits — you'll still feel a lot of pain. But for women who go without an epidural, Rosen calls it a harmless way to "take the edge off."

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Exercise May Cut Cancer Risk

Sun May 19, 2002

By IRA DREYFUSS, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Physically fit people are less likely to die of cancer, including cancers related to smoking, even if they smoke, a study finds.

But other studies indicate the benefit may come only with vigorous exercise; less-intense activities, such as brisk walks, won't be enough.

"Fitness may provide protection against cancer mortality," said the study in the May issue of the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

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Cheer Up, Breathe Better

Mon May 20, 2002

MONDAY, May 20 (HealthScoutNews) -- Don't worry, breathe happy.

The more optimistic you are, the better your lungs function, says a new study from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass.

The study included 670 men whose average age was 63 at the start of the study. They were followed for an average of eight years and had an average of three lung exams during that time. A special questionnaire was used to determine how they felt about their lives.

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Good News for the Chardonnay Crowd

Mon May 20, 2002

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthScoutNews Reporter

MONDAY, May 20 (HealthScoutNews) -- If you're a wine drinker, there's cause for healthy celebration. If you're a white wine drinker, there's even more reason to raise your glass.

Wine drinking, it seems, improves lung functioning, and white wine improves it more than red wine, says a study from researchers at the University at Buffalo.

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Seeing Sounds And Feeling Tastes

Sun May 19, 2002

By Jennifer Thomas
HealthScoutNews Reporter

SUNDAY, May 19 (HealthScoutNews) -- When Carol Steen reads a newspaper, the words glow like brilliant jewels. The sound of a piano conjures up the color pink; a banjo, blue. When she feels pain, her world goes orange, as if she's put on a pair of tinted glasses.

Steen has synesthesia -- a condition in which the senses fuse together, leading to unusual perceptions. The melding can take many forms, from hearing colors to tasting sounds.

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