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General Health

Patients Fasting Unnecessarily Long Before Surgery

Mon May 6, 2002

By Melissa Schorr

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Too many patients are following outdated guidelines about how long to fast before they undergo surgery, researchers report.

"Patients undergo excessively prolonged fasting," study co-author Jeanette Crenshaw, family education coordinator at the Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, told Reuters Health. "It doesn't make them any safer, so why make them hungry?"

Stroke Low on List of Americans' Most-Feared Ills

Thu May 2, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Americans appear to prefer to keep a blind eye to their own stroke risk even after someone they know has suffered a stroke, according to the results of a new survey conducted by the American Heart Association.

In February of this year, 1,000 US adults were asked which, if any, health threat they most feared. Only 10 respondents (1%) said they feared having a stroke, despite the fact that 35% of those surveyed reported having had a stroke themselves or having a close friend or relative with a recent stroke.

Skin Infections Linked to Nail Salon's Footbaths

Wed May 1, 2002

By Amy Norton

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - An outbreak of severe bacterial skin infections in California has been traced to the footbaths used for pedicures at one nail salon, according to health officials.

They found that all 10 whirlpool footbaths at the salon harbored Mycobacterium fortuitum, which they believe caused furunculosis--a skin disease marked by large boils--in 110 customers.

Large-Volume Liposuction May Also Improve Health

Wed May 1, 2002

By Kathleen Doheny

LAS VEGAS (Reuters Health) - Removing large volumes of fat via liposuction may not only improve a woman's appearance, but can also improve her health, according to a new report.

"Being overweight is not just unattractive, it's unhealthy," said Dr. Sharon Y. Giese, a New York City aesthetic surgeon who will report Thursday on the health benefits of large-volume liposuction for women at the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mercury ups heart disease risk

American Heart Association's Asia Pacific Scientific Forum Meeting Report

HONOLULU, April 24 - Finnish men with the highest concentrations of mercury in their hair also had the highest death rates from cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure and stroke, according to a study presented today at the American Heart Association's Asia Pacific Scientific Forum.

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.

Obesity Causes Disability Even After Weight Loss

Wed May 1, 2002

By Melissa Schorr

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Adults who are obese are more likely to become disabled later in life--even if they ultimately manage to take off the weight, researchers report.

"People who were obese and lost weight were still at a higher risk of disability than those who were never obese," lead author Dr. Kenneth Ferraro, a professor of sociology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, told Reuters Health. "It seems once the body gets across a threshold of weight, it may have long-term consequences."

Shock-Wave Therapy May Help Heel Pain

Fri Apr 12, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Low-energy acoustic "shock-wave therapy" appears to be an effective treatment for heel pain due to chronic plantar fasciitis and may help patients avoid surgery, according to a recent report by German researchers.

The use of such therapy for musculoskeletal disorders is controversial, lead author Dr. Jan D. Rompe and colleagues note. However, there have been some reports suggesting that it could be beneficial for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis.

Gum Disease Linked to Diabetes

Tuesday April 24, 2001

By Jason Kahn

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Chronic gum disease may increase the risk of type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes, researchers report.

Diabetes was already known to increase the risk of gum disease, and the reverse may be possible, too, investigators said recently at a dental research meeting in Bethesda, Maryland.