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Population Breathing Bad Air

Thu May 2, 2002

By STEPHANIE GASKELL, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - Half the country's population is breathing unhealthy amounts of air pollution, according to a survey by the American Lung Association.

The findings, released Wednesday as part of the group's annual "State of the Air" report, show that more than 142 million Americans live in places with high levels of ozone air pollution, commonly known as smog.

'Controlled Crying' Helps Babies, Moms Get Sleep

Fri May 3, 2002

By Amy Norton

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - "Controlled crying," a long-used tactic for teaching fussy babies to fall asleep on their own, may also ease the mother's depression, new study findings suggest.

Australian researchers found that teaching mothers controlled-crying techniques reduced their babies' sleep problems over 2 months. Moreover, it also appeared to help women who reported symptoms of depression, according to findings published in the May 4th issue of the British Medical Journal.

Caffeine Shot Reveals Risk of Anesthesia Reaction

Fri May 3, 20020

By Amy Norton

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In rare cases, patients can have a potentially life-threatening reaction to anesthesia. Now German scientists may have found a much simpler way to determine which patients are at risk--a shot of caffeine.

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Health, Not Age, Drives Older People Off the Road

Fri May 3, 2002

By Alan Mozes

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older people, regardless of age, appear willing to reduce or abandon driving if a decline in health makes the experience too stressful or difficult, British researchers report.

"What this means is not that people can go on driving forever," said study co-author Patrick Rabbitt of the University of Manchester in Great Britain, but that people "carry on driving until their health makes it difficult, and then they stop."

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US Safety Agency Warns on Babies in Adult Beds

Fri May 3, 2002

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Following up on reports of scores of juvenile deaths associated with placing infants and toddlers in adult beds, US consumer safety regulators planned on Friday to launch a campaign to encourage safe sleeping practices for babies.

At least 180 US children under 2 years of age died after being placed in adult beds during a 2-year period from 1999 through 2001, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said, adding that the vast majority of the deaths were due to suffocation.

Outside view: America going to pot?

By Paul Armantano

From the Washington Politics & Policy Desk
April 14,2002

WASHINGTON, April 13 (UPI) -- Those who oppose the use of marijuana as a medicine invariably counter efforts to legalize the drug -- such as those recently proposed by Reps. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and Barney Frank, D-Mass. -- the principle co-sponsors of H.R. 2592: The States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act --- with the excuse that more research is necessary before any legal changes can be implemented.

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Eating Can Boost Mood, UK Researchers Find

Apr 16, 2002

By Suzanne Rostler

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Feeling tired and stressed out? A new study provides evidence that a bowl of ice cream or mashed potatoes can lift your spirits.

Researchers from the University of Surrey in the UK investigated the effects of eating on mood in 40 women who were either non-emotional or emotional eaters. Emotional eaters tend to eat in response to negative feelings rather than hunger. All women recorded their moods over one day and described how they felt after eating.

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New Chip Analyses DNA 'In Minutes'

Thu May 2, 2002

By Richard Woodman

LONDON (Reuters Health) - A computer chip that can quickly analyse DNA in blood samples to perform a wide range of medical diagnostics tests including HIV and other pathogens was unveiled on Thursday by researchers in Britain.

The team, at Brunel University near London, said in a statement that the reusable chip, the size of a credit card, analyses the DNA in a blood sample in just minutes.

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Sharp Rise in Lupus Deaths Noted Among Black Women

Thu May 2, 2002

By Charnicia E. Huggins

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Between 1979 and 1998 there was an approximate 70% increase in lupus deaths among middle-aged black women in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Thursday.

Stroke Ups Risk of Bone Loss, Fractures

Thu May 2, 2002

By Alison McCook

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Patients who experience stroke are at increased risk of bone loss and fractures, and should be treated to prevent bone loss before falls and fractures occur, according to UK researchers.

The investigators base their recommendations, published in the May issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, on an analysis of several studies examining bone loss and fracture risk in stroke patients.