Aug 26, 2011, 5:38 p.m.
Obesity to worsen, weigh heavily on healthcare costs
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Obesity is most widespread in Britain and the United States among the world's leading economies and if present trends continue, about half of both men and women in the United States will be obese by 2030, health experts warned on Friday. Obesity is fast replacing tobacco as the single most important preventable cause of chronic non-communicable diseases, and will add an extra 7.8 million cases of diabetes, 6.8 million cases of heart disease and stroke, and 539,000 cases of cancer in the United States by 2030.
Moms' smoking linked to psychiatric meds in kids
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Kids whose moms smoked while pregnant were more likely to end up on medications such as antidepressants, stimulants and drugs for addiction in a new study from Finland that hints at maternal smoking's effect on a baby's developing brain. While the findings don't prove that cigarette smoking during pregnancy causes changes in kids' brains or behavior, they offer one more piece of evidence that should encourage women not to light up while pregnant, the researchers wrote in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Genetic cancer test often urged for wrong women
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Doctors are too quick to recommend expensive genetic counseling or testing for ovarian cancer, but at the same time often fail to refer high-risk women, government researchers say. In a survey of nearly 1,900 U.S. physicians, they found about 30 percent said they'd refer women at average risk of the disease, although several guidelines discourage that.
Doctors misuse scans in prostate cancer: study
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Too many men with low- or medium-risk prostate cancer get CTs and bone scans that aren't recommended for them, suggests a new study. The scans are intended to tell doctors if cancer has spread beyond the prostate in men with high-risk cancer.
New mothers choose "tied tubes" over IUDs: study
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Very few women choose to get an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted soon after giving birth, even though it's one of the most effective methods of long-term contraception, according to a new study. Instead, the research showed, many opt for tubal sterilization -- usually a permanent closure of the fallopian tubes -- including young women who may go on to regret the surgery.
Stents to unclog arteries tied to bleeding events
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A fresh look at medical records finds a newer technique used to remove blockages in the arteries that supply blood to the brain is tied to a greater chance of bleeding within the head than an older surgical procedure. Researchers found hemorrhaging in the brain was roughly six times as likely in patients who underwent carotid artery stenting, which inserts a tube into the artery to clear the passage, as in patients who had an endarterectomy, a surgical procedure that scrapes the plaque from the artery.
"Eccentric" exercises may ward off hamstring injuries
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Pro and amateur soccer players who regularly did a particular strengthening exercise were less likely to get sidelined with a hamstring injury, according to a new study from Denmark. The exercises only take about 10 minutes, and can be done without any extra equipment, researchers said. Hamstring strains are the most common injury among soccer players, and "it's also the injury that takes out the most days from training and matches," said study author Dr. Per Holmich, from the University of Copenhagen.
"Abysmal" participation in cancer trials
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Very few patients who've had cancer surgery end up participating in clinical trials to test new treatments, researchers have found. And those who do participate are younger and usually white, fueling concerns that new drugs may not fare as well once they hit the market because trial subjects don't match real-world users.
Extend STD treatment beyond patients, say ob-gyns
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - American obstetrician-gynecologists are pushing to extend their reach to the sexual partners of women treated for gonorrhea or Chlamydia. There is a good chance those men are infected, too, although they may not experience symptoms of the STD, the doctors say.
Chocolate doesn't have to derail a diet: study
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - For chocolate lovers trying to drop a few pounds, new research suggests that it's still possible to lose weight while indulging your sweet tooth every day. Overweight and obese women who added a bit of chocolate or other sweets on top of a healthy diet plan lost about 11 pounds over four months, on average.