U.S. health officials push flu shots for all

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. health officials are looking to capitalize on significant gains in flu vaccination rates with a new campaign emphasizing the need for all Americans over six months of age to get a flu shot. Last season, nearly 131 million people, or 43 percent of the U.S. population, received the influenza vaccine, representing a steady increase over several years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lung cancer linked to risk of stroke

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People recently diagnosed with lung cancer are at higher risk of having a stroke than those without lung tumors, suggests a large new study from Taiwan. Researchers looking at data covering more than 150,000 adults found that among those with lung cancer, 26 in every 1000 experienced a stroke each year, compared with 17 in 1000 who did not have cancer.

Cigarette makers, FDA clash over new graphic ads

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cigarette makers clashed with regulators in U.S. federal court over new graphic labels and advertising that use pictures of rotting teeth and diseased lungs to warn consumers about the risks of smoking. The tobacco industry asked Judge Richard Leon on Wednesday for a temporary injunction to block the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's requirement for the labels, pending a final decision on whether the labels are constitutional.

Health industry lacks patient data safeguards: poll

(Reuters) - New technologies are flooding into the healthcare world, but the industry is not adequately prepared to protect patients from data breaches, according to a report published on Thursday. A vast majority of hospitals, doctors, pharmacies and insurers are eager to adapt to increasingly digital patient data. However, less than half are addressing implications for privacy and security, a survey of healthcare industry executives by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP found.

Poor women get more unneeded breast cancer surgery

(Reuters) - Old, poor and Hispanic women are all more likely to have unnecessary breast cancer surgery despite 2005 recommendations for gentler treatment, according to a U.S. study. Based on a California state cancer registry, researchers whose findings were published in the Archives of Surgery found that more than a third of some 18,000 women who had undergone a mastectomy for early-stage breast cancer had had lymph nodes under the armpits removed as well.

Depressed people have slightly more strokes

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new study shows people who are depressed may be a little more likely than others to suffer a stroke down the road. Looking back at 28 past studies, researchers estimated there would be 106 extra cases of stroke per 100,000 depressed people each year, 22 of them fatal.

Preemie parents may be worried sick by tests

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Preemie parents may be left with lingering anxiety when newborn screening tests sound a false alarm, possibly driving them to take their baby to the doctor more often, a new study hints. False alarms -- also called false positives -- are a cause for concern with all kinds of medical tests, but experts say their effects warrant extra scrutiny when it comes to newborn screening.

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