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Flu Pandemic Easing, But Risks Remain: WHO PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The H1N1 flu pandemic appears to be easing, but a third wave of infections could yet strike, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday.

"Pandemic infections are occurring in many countries but overall the pattern is decreasing," Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's top flu expert, said at the start of a week-long meeting of the organisation's Executive Board.

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Study Says Europe's 12 Million Cocaine Users Risk Lives PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 16 January 2010

More than three percent of sudden deaths in Europe are related to cocaine use and many of them are brought on by a "lethal cocktail" of the drug, alcohol and cigarettes, scientists said on Wednesday.

Results of a study on sudden death show there is no such thing as safe recreational cocaine use, the researchers said, and suggest the 12 million Europeans who use cocaine are putting their lives on the line.

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If You Smoke, Watch Out For Low Back Pain PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 09 January 2010

If you needed another reason to cut the cigarette habit: Smokers, especially younger smokers, are more likely to report low back pain than people who have never smoked, according to a new analysis.

After examining existing research, Finnish researchers concluded smoking is "modestly" associated with the risk of low back pain and the effects may be "at least partly reversible." Their findings are published in the January issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

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WHO Chief Gets H1N1 Flu Vaccination PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 January 2010

The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has finally been vaccinated against H1N1 flu, a virus expected to infect more people in coming months, the UN agency said on Tuesday.

Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, was vaccinated on Dec. 30, a day after admitting at a news conference that she had not got round to it due to travel and other demands.

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Smoking, Drinking up Risks of Gut, Throat Cancers PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 02 January 2010

A new study confirms that smoking raises a person's risks of the major forms of esophageal and stomach cancers, while drinking has more narrow effects.

In a study that followed more than 120,000 Dutch adults for 16 years, researchers found that smoking increased the risk of the two main forms of stomach cancer, as well as the two forms of esophageal cancer -- by anywhere from 60 percent to 263 percent versus non-smokers.

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Tweets, Sexting 'Unfriended' in US Banned Word List PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 December 2009

If you recently tweeted about how you were chillaxin for the holiday, take note: Fifteen particularly over- or mis-used words and phrases have been declared "shovel-ready" to be "unfriended" by a US university's annual list of terms that deserve to be banned.

After thousands of nominations of words and phrases commonly used in marketing, media, technology and elsewhere, wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University on Thursday issued their 35th annual list of words that they believe should be banned.

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Facing Combat Ups Depression Risk in US Troops PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Perhaps it's not surprising, but for members of the US armed forces, combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan increases the risk of depression, according to a new study.

Timothy S. Wells of the US Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, studied more than 40,000 members of the US military who had been free of symptoms of depression and had not taken medication for anxiety, stress, or depression before deployment.

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WHO Says World H1N1 Deaths Now at Least 11,516 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 December 2009

At least 11,516 people around the globe have died from the H1N1 flu virus since the pandemic emerged in April, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported on Wednesday.

But in its weekly update, which showed an increase in officially reported deaths of nearly 1,000 since its last report, it said the disease appeared to have peaked or plateaued in Western Europe and North America while transmission was declining in parts of Asia.

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One Percent of US Children have Autism PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Autism, a brain disorder that interferes with communication and social skills, affected an estimated one in 110 American 8-year-olds in 2006, according to a federal study released Friday.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the medical diagnoses of 307,790 children who were age 8 in 2006. They found 2,757, or 0.9 percent, had been diagnosed with autism.

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More Evidence Coffee, Tea Could Prevent Diabetes PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Coffee, tea, or decaf-no matter what your choice, drinking any of these beverages may reduce your risk of diabetes, according to a new analysis of 18 studies including hundreds of thousands of people.

A 2005 research review concluded that people who drank the most coffee were one-third less likely to develop diabetes than those who drank the least, Dr. Rachel Huxley of The University of Sydney, Australia, and colleagues note.

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Most Of World Exposed To Deadly Tobacco Smoke: WHO PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 December 2009

More than 94 percent of the world's people are not protected by laws against smoking, leaving them exposed to the biggest cause of preventable death, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday.

In a Global Tobacco Epidemic report the WHO said smoke-free policies were crucial to reducing the harm caused by second-hand smoke, which it said kills around 600,000 people prematurely each year and causes crippling, disfiguring illness and economic losses reaching tens of billions of dollars.

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HIV-Infected Chinese Children Struggle With Stigma PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 December 2009

The second storey of this nondescript building in Fuyang city in China's central province of Anhui houses HIV-positive orphans, but unlike many other similar establishments, there are no signboards outside.

Heavy stigma still surrounds the disease in China, and children -- probably the most vulnerable group among AIDS patients -- are almost invariably barred from schools and even abandoned by their parents and relatives.

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Iraq Sees Alarming Rise In Cancers, Deformed Babies PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 December 2009

The guns are gradually falling silent in Iraq as a fragile stability takes hold, turning the spotlight on a stealthier killer likely to stalk Iraqis for years to come.

Incidences of cancer, deformed babies and other health problems have risen sharply, Iraqi officials say, and many suspect contamination from weapons used in years of war and accompanying unchecked pollution as a cause.

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Senate Nears First Healthcare Vote PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 November 2009

Democrats in the US Senate geared up for a fierce battle over a new healthcare reform plan on Thursday as Republicans condemned the bill's price tag and tax hikes before the first crucial test vote on Saturday.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid's 2,074-page blueprint for overhauling the $2.5 trillion healthcare system sparked what promises to be a long and bitter debate over President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.

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Conjoined twins separated in marathon surgery PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Australian surgeons have separated Bangladeshi conjoined twins Krishna and Trishna in a marathon operation at a hospital in Melbourne.

After more than 27 hours of surgery that began at 8:30am local time on Monday, plastic surgeons at the Royal Children's Hospital have separated the Bangladeshi girls, aged two years and 11 months.

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US healthcare system wastes up to $800 billion a year PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The US healthcare system is just as wasteful as President Barack Obama says it is, and proposed reforms could be paid for by fixing some of the most obvious inefficiencies, preventing mistakes and fighting fraud, according to a Thomson Reuters report released on Monday.

The US healthcare system wastes between $505 billion and $850 billion every year, the report from Robert Kelley, vice president of healthcare analytics at Thomson Reuters, found.

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Obama declares swine flu a national emergency PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 October 2009

President Barack Obama has declared 2009 H1N1 swine flu a national emergency, the White House said on Saturday.

The declaration will make it easier for US medical facilities to handle a surge in flu patients by allowing the waiver of some requirements of Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health insurance programs as needed, the White House said in a statement.

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Deaths from heart disease, cancer, diabetes on the rise PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 19 October 2009

The severity of chronic non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, are rising in developing countries, including Bangladesh.

In Bangladesh, 12 out of the top 25 causes of deaths are from such diseases, revealed a discussion organised by Eminence, a local NGO supported by WHO.

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H1N1 flu worrying due to its unpredictability: WHO PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 October 2009

H1N1 pandemic influenza remains a cause for concern because of its unpredictable nature, even though it has killed fewer than 5,000 people so far this year, the World Health Organisation said on Friday.

A statement from the United Nations health agency said that more than 4,735 deaths attributable to H1N1, known as swine flu, had been reported, and that influenza activity in the northern hemisphere was much higher than usual.

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Coca-Cola to launch 90-calorie mini-cans of soda PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 October 2009

Coca-Cola Co said on Wednesday it will launch 90-calorie mini cans of soda to help consumers manage their calorie intake.

The world's largest soft drink maker said the smaller packages will be available for the Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta Orange, Cherry Coca-Cola and Barq's Root Beer brands. The cans will be sold in packages of eight.

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US School Swine Flu Event Shows Vaccine Challenge PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 11 October 2009

A US government media event to promote H1N1 school vaccinations on Friday included VIPs, cute kids and a phalanx of television cameras -- but only one in five children at the school had proper parental consent to get immunized.

"This school was ready to go," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius declared after touring a makeshift vaccination clinic in the cafeteria at Dodge Park Elementary School, near Washington.

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