Aug 17, 2011, 11:40 p.m.
Stem cell team aims for spare heart parts in five years
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Stem cell researchers in Hong Kong and the United States are trying to grow spare parts for the human heart that may be ready for tests on people within five years, they said on Thursday. Scientists have already made basic heart muscle from stem cells, but the Hong Kong-led team wants to refine it so it can replace any part damaged in heart attacks, and to recreate the natural pacemaker, where the heartbeat originates.
New label to help people pick health insurance
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Insurers and employers will have to spell out plainly the costs and benefits of the health plans they offer starting next year. The rule announced by U.S. health officials on Wednesday is designed to better inform people about health insurance choices with a standard label, which the Department of Health and Human Services likens to the kind on a cereal box.
Doctors screen for cervical cancer too often: study
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Most doctors opt for screening women for cervical cancer more often than guidelines suggest, according to a new study. Researchers based at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that many primary care doctors would bring women back for cancer screening annually -- while recommendations generally call for a three-year wait after normal tests.
Exclusive: Health benefits report may miss deadline
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A key recommendation for medical coverage standards under the Obama administration's healthcare overhaul may be issued later than a September deadline, according to the organization preparing the report. The influential Institute of Medicine, an independent agency based in Washington, was given the task of recommending how to determine the basic health benefits for millions of Americans who will qualify for coverage sold through state-run insurance exchanges beginning in 2014.
New stroke screening test raises hopes, worries
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A new test based on ultrasound scans may be able to spot people at high risk of a stroke, though it is still too early to be excited, researchers said. Nearly 800,000 people suffer strokes each year in the United States alone, with about a sixth of them dying of it and many more left disabled.
Potassium-rich diet tied to lower stroke risk
NEW YORK (Reuters) - People who eat plenty of high-potassium fruits, vegetables and dairy products may be less likely to suffer a stroke than those who get little of the mineral, according to a study. The findings, reported in the journal Stroke, come from an analysis of 10 international studies involving more than 200,000 middle-aged and older adults.
Europe and U.S. accused of stalling U.N. disease talks
LONDON (Reuters) - A global health group on Thursday accused the United States, Canada and Europe of harming efforts to fight cancer, diabetes, heart and other diseases because they will not agree to set United Nations targets. The main sticking point is money, said Ann Keeling, chair of the NCD Alliance, which groups some 2,000 health organizations from around the world focused on non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Study finds mother's fat harms embryo development
LONDON (Reuters) - Exposing eggs to high levels of saturated fatty acids of the type commonly found in the ovaries of obese women and those with diabetes can harm the development of the embryo, according to research published on Wednesday. The findings lend further support to health guidelines which recommend that women should strive to be a healthy weight before they start trying to become pregnant.
Training helps doctors talk to dying patients
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Doctors are notoriously bad at delivering that tough message: You are going to die. But a new study shows a short training program might help them communicate better about terminal cancer, giving the patient emotional support and involving his or her significant others.
Many doctors face malpractice claims, but few pay
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Virtually every doctor practicing in a high-risk specialty will face at least one malpractice claim during their career, and even physicians in low-risk areas have a 75 percent chance of facing a suit at some point, according to a new study. The good news for doctors: more than three-quarters of the claims do not result in any payments.