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Arthritis: Environmental Exposure to Hairspray, Lipstick, Pollution, Can Trigger Autoimmune Diseases PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 00:00
The links between autoimmune diseases, infections, genetics and the environment are complex and mysterious. Why are people who live near airports more susceptible to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus? How do hormones in meat trigger the onset of a disease?

Our immediate environment interacts with our genetic programming and can determine if we will succumb to an autoimmune disease, says rheumatologist Prof. Michael Ehrenfeld of Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine, who is seeking to unravel those mysteries. Prof. Ehrenfeld recently published a report in Autoimmune Reviews on how "Spondylo-arthropathies," a group of common inflammatory rheumatic disorders, appear to be triggered by environmental factors. He has also done research on how the dry-eye and mouth disease "Sjögren's syndrome" can be triggered by environmental influences.

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Doctors should reduce the use of antibiotics PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 00:00
Antibiotics were the single greatest life-saving advance of 20th century medicine. Yet there is now a danger that our grandchildren will be as vulnerable to simple biological infections as our grandparents were.

As The Herald reports today, despite a long-running campaign to limit the unnecessary (and marginal) use of antibiotics, it has emerged there was a rise in prescribing of more than 18% between 2004 and 2008. The upward trend, after several years of welcome decline to 2000, may be explained partly by more patients with severe or persistent infections being required to take higher doses, rather than more people receiving the medication. Nevertheless, these figures require further investigation.

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Many unaware they have hepatitis B or C PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 25 January 2010 00:00
As many as 5.3 million people in the United States have hepatitis B or C but most are unaware until they develop liver cancer or liver disease, researchers say.

An Institute of Medicine study found hepatitis is not widely recognized as a serious public health problem, and as a result, viral hepatitis prevention, control and surveillance programs have inadequate resources.

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Pompton Lakes cancer study widens PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 25 January 2010 00:00
State and federal environmental officials said Monday night that they will take a more active role in the DuPont cleanup in Pompton Lakes, while urging residents to install mitigation systems in their homes as soon as possible.

"This is the most protective way to go until we can eliminate contamination at the site," Barbara Finazzo, director of the federal Division of Environmental Planning and Education, told 500 residents who packed into the Pompton Lakes High School.

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High cholesterol puts 1 of 5 teens at risk of heart disease PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 January 2010 12:29
One out of every five U.S. teenagers has a cholesterol level that increases the risk of heart disease, federal health officials reported Thursday, providing striking new evidence that obesity is making more children prone to illnesses once primarily limited to adults.

A nationally representative survey of blood test results in American teenagers found that more than 20 percent of those ages 12 to 19 had at least one abnormal level of fat. The rate jumped to 43 percent among those adolescents who were obese.

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Salt reduction could save 92,000 lives a year PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 January 2010 12:27
Shaving 3 grams off the daily salt intake of Americans could prevent up to 66,000 strokes, 99,000 heart attacks and 92,000 deaths in the United States, while saving $24 billion in health costs per year, researchers reported on Wednesday.

The benefit to the U.S. population would be comparable to cutting smoking by 50 percent, significantly lowering obesity rates and giving cholesterol drugs to virtually everyone to prevent heart attacks, said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo of the University of California, San Francisco and colleagues.

Such a goal, they said, is readily attainable.

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Blueberry juice could stave off dementia PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 January 2010 12:20
A daily dose of blueberry juice could improve memory and stave off dementia in older adults, it emerged today.

Blueberries contain polyphenolic compounds replete with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects which increase signalling and slow degeneration in the brain, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

In short, the berry juice makes drinkers think more and forget less.

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FDA Adds Heart Attack Warning to Meridia Diet Pill PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 January 2010 00:00
Abbott Laboratories on Thursday stopped marketing a weight loss pill in Europe after regulators there said the drug increases the risk of heart attack and stroke when used by heart disease patients.

The European Medicines Agency advised doctors and pharmacists to stop using sibutramine, saying "the risks of these medicines are greater than their benefits." The agency said Abbott's license to market the drug should be suspended, a recommendation European Union nations are expected to adopt.

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Fears grow as study shows genetically modified crops 'can cause liver and kidney damage' PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 January 2010 00:00
Fresh fears were raised over GM crops yesterday after a study showed they can cause liver and kidney damage.

According to the research, animals fed on three strains of genetically modified maize created by the U.S. biotech firm Monsanto suffered signs of organ damage after just three months.

The findings only came to light after Monsanto was forced to publish its raw data on safety tests by anti-GM campaigners.

They add to the evidence that GM crops may damage health as well as be harmful to the environment.

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Lower Biodiversity Means Fewer Bees - Restricted Diet Weakens Their Immune System PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 January 2010 00:00
Another twist in the colony collapse disorder saga, courtesy the BBC. It's been known for a couple years that bee and wildflower declines tracked one another, but now researchers from France's National Institute for Agricultural Research have hit upon one part of why that's the case. The results of their research have been published in the journal Biology Letters, and it all comes down to the bees' diet:

Apparently bees' immune systems are healthier when they are fed pollen from a wider variety of plants than when they eat only one thing.

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