Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Poor Diet May Make COPD Worse, Study Finds

From a November 2, 2010 Health Day news item By Robert Preidt

TUESDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) — Certain vitamin deficiencies may lead to decreased lung function in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, says a new study……

…..”Further studies are needed to clarify the role gender has on the loss of lung function in COPD and the impact of antioxidant nutrient intake,” Khan said.

Khan added that antioxidants might also benefit people with severe asthma.

“We would guess that the role of antioxidant nutrients in a well-controlled asthma patient would be less than that seen in patients with COPD,” Khan said. “However, in patients with severe asthma with poorly controlled symptoms and frequent, recurring exacerbations, antioxidant nutrient intake may indeed play an important role in the preservation of lung function.”…

……”Our study, along with other research, suggests that strategies for dietary modification and supplementation should be considered in patients with COPD,” Dr. M. Salman Khan of Akron City Hospital, Ohio, said in an ACCP news release.

….The study was to be presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) in Vancouver, Canada….

…..COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in America, with 119,000 deaths annually, according to the ACCP.

SOURCE: American College of Chest Physicians, news release, Nov. 2, 2010

A good place to start for nutrition information…. “Providing easy, online access to government information on food and human nutrition
for consumers. A service of the (US)National Agricultural Library, USDA.”


November 5, 2010 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , | Leave a comment

Toxic chemicals found deep at BP oil spill site

From a November 2, 2010 Health Day news item (Reporting by Maggie Fox; Editing by Jerry Norton)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Toxic chemicals at levels high enough to kill sea animals extended deep underwater soon after the BP oil spill, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.

They found evidence of the chemicals as deep as 3,300 feet and as far away as 8 miles in May, and said the spread likely worsened as more oil spilled.

The chemicals, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs, can kill animals right away in high enough concentrations and can cause cancer over time……..

November 5, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health News Items | , , , , | Leave a comment

Health Tip: Prevent Illness From Infected Pets

From a November 3, 2010 Health Day news item By Diana Kohnle

(HealthDay News) — Pets typically are prized members of the family. But as with their human counterparts, they can also spread disease, the Nemours Foundation says.

The foundation suggests how to help reduce the transmission of disease from pets:

  • Thoroughly wash your hands after feeding your pet, touching your pet or removing its waste.
  • Don’t allow pets to eat from your plates or utensils.
  • Don’t kiss your pet on the mouth.
  • Make sure your pet’s space is clean, and don’t let children play in areas where there’s pet waste.
  • Keep pets away from areas where food is prepared or handled.
  • Don’t bathe your pet in the sink or bathtub.
  • Never make a wild animal a pet.


A few good pet care Web sites (via the Internet Public Library, specifically Pets)

  • Healthy Pets
    Information about veterinary care, provided by the American Animal Hospital Association.
    Extensive information on pet care (dogs, cats, birds, and small mammals), relocation/travel, pet behavior, and more.
  • Dog Informant “is dedicated to providing access to high quality, prescreened and reviewed resources, as well as to make available high-quality local content”
  • Hot Spots for Birds contains many informative articles on bird care, including safety, nutrition, and health care tips.





November 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Could Anger Make People Want Things More?

From a November 3, 2010 Health Day news item

By Robert Preidt

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) — Anger can be a potent motivator in increasing a person’s desire to obtain things, a new study finds.

While people generally regard anger as a negative emotion, it activates an area on the left side of the brain that is associated with many positive emotions. And like positive emotions, anger can drive people to go after something, explained the researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

“People are motivated to do something or obtain a certain object in the world because it’s rewarding for them. Usually this means that the object is positive and makes you happy,” first author Henk Aarts said in an Association for Psychological Science news release….

…..The study was released online and published in the October print issue of the journal Psychological Science.

[Access to this article is only through paid subscription. Ask a reference librarian at any public, academic, or medical library for access to and availability of this article. The library may charge a fee for this article]

SOURCE: Association for Psychological Science, news release, Nov. 1, 2010



November 5, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , , | Leave a comment

Brain Can Compensate for Cognitive Damage

From a November 3, 2010 Health Day news item

By Robert Preidt

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) — Undamaged areas of the brain can compensate for damage in a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, which is important for memory and attention, a new study finds….

…”Our results show that the neural changes observed in movement recovery after motor cortex damage expand to cognitive domains and apply to a dynamic model of memory and attention compensation by the intact, undamaged cortex,” lead author Dr. Bradley Voytek, University of California at Berkeley, said in a journal news release.

“We demonstrate that brain recovery can manifest itself as transient changes in information processing occurring on a sub-second timescale after the injured brain has been challenged to perform,” he said, adding that this supported “a dynamic and flexible model of [nervous system] plasticity.”

The study appears in the Nov. 4 issue of Neuron

[This article is available online only through paid subscription. Ask a reference librarian at any public, academic, or medical library for how to get a copy. The library may charge a fee for a copy of this article]

SOURCE: Cell Press, news release, Nov. 3, 2010.

November 5, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , , | Leave a comment

Pricey Drugs May Not Mean Better Care

Study finds wide variations in drug spending, risky prescriptions for Medicare patients

From a November 3,2010 Health Day news item

By Robert Preidt

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) — Higher levels of drug spending don’t necessarily translate into better quality care for Medicare patients, a new study has found.

The analysis of the U.S. Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set revealed wide variation across the United States in both Medicare drug spending and the rate of inappropriate prescriptions for the elderly, said the researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health….

The findings contradict “the idea that high spending leads to better prescription practices,” lead investigator Yuting Zhang, an assistant professor of health economics, said in a University of Pittsburgh news release.

“Higher spending can be justified if it’s for drugs that are necessary and appropriate and improve patients’ health,” she said in the news release. “But if certain drugs are being incorrectly prescribed to seniors, then that can lead to complications and expensive interventions, such as hospitalization. As we try to reform health care to get costs under control, we need a better understanding of how spending differs regionally to make a positive impact.”

The study was published in the Nov. 3 online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

SOURCE: University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, news release, Nov. 3, 2010

November 5, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , | Leave a comment


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