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Obese kids face stigma, flunk school: European research
6 May 2015 at 4:11pm
Obese children are far less likely to finish school than peers of normal weight, according to European research Thursday which also highlighted body image problems in kids as young as six. Britain had the second-highest rate with 23.1 percent, followed by Albania with 22 percent and Georgia with 20 percent, Bulgaria with 19.8 percent and Spain with 18.4 percent, said an analysis of data provided by 32 countries in the World Health Organization's 53-member Europe region. People are classified overweight if they have a BMI (body weight index, a ratio of weight to height) of 25 and higher, and obese from a BMI of 30. A second study presented at the congress said only 56 percent of children in Sweden who had received treatment for obesity completed 12 years or more of school, compared to 76 percent of normal-weight peers.
Uganda's women, girls seek justice to halt sexual violence: rights group
6 May 2015 at 4:07pm
By Kieran Guilbert LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Tackling an "epidemic" of sexual violence in Uganda, in which disabled women and girls are most vulnerable to abuse, and seeking justice for the victims are at the heart of a campaign launched by the rights group Equality Now on Thursday. The #JusticeForGirls initiative will enable women and girls who suffer sexual violence to pursue justice through local channels, avoiding the slow, complex and expensive process of taking a case to court, Equality Now said. Victims have a "bleak prospect of accessing justice for such atrocious crimes", said the group's legal consultant, Kimberly Brown. Uganda is in the midst of a sexual violence epidemic, and most perpetrators go unpunished, the rights group said.
Who Should Teach Mindfulness Meditation?
6 May 2015 at 3:49pm
More and more people want to learn how to practice mindfulness meditation. This is wonderful, really, because the practice brings many benefits directly to individuals and, through them, to society at large. And, as demand increases so too does supply. As a result, there are more and more opportunities for learning mindfulness, both in secular...
IBM's Watson to guide cancer therapies at 14 centers
6 May 2015 at 3:27pm
(This version of the story has been refiled to correct name of USC unit participating in program, in the 12th paragraph) By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fourteen U.S. and Canadian cancer institutes will use International Business Machines Corp's Watson computer system to choose therapies based on a tumor's genetic fingerprints, the company said on Tuesday, the latest step toward bringing personalized cancer treatments to more patients. Oncology is the first specialty where matching therapy to DNA has improved outcomes for some patients, inspiring the "precision medicine initiative" President Barack Obama announced in January. Watson can do it in minutes and has in its database the findings of scientific papers and clinical trials on particular cancers and potential therapies. Faced with such a data deluge, "the solution is going to be Watson or something like it," said oncologist Norman Sharpless of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Cancer Center.
Life Alert accused of sexual harassment in ex-worker's lawsuit
6 May 2015 at 3:22pm
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - The maker of Life Alert, known for its television ad slogan "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up," has been sued by a former sales manager who claims he was fired because of his age and cancer diagnosis, and his complaints about "rampant" sexual harassment in the company's Manhattan office. In a $7 million lawsuit filed on Wednesday in the New York state court in Manhattan, Leon Hayblum claimed that Life Alert Emergency Response Inc illegally terminated him without warning last Nov. 10, when he was 71, after a dozen years on the job. Hayblum said this was done in retaliation for his "years" of complaints about the alleged harassment and Life Alert's alleged misclassification of sales staff as independent contractors, and because he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Life Alert is based in Encino, California, and sells wearable devices intended to help elderly or disabled people call for assistance when they face medical or other emergencies.
EPA suggests triggers for warning of algae in drinking water
6 May 2015 at 3:20pm
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) ? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the first nationwide guidelines Wednesday for determining when algal toxins have reached dangerous levels in public water systems and do-not-drink warnings might be needed.
Colorado cinema gunman's professors recall quiet, awkward student
6 May 2015 at 3:10pm
By Keith Coffman CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Reuters) - Lawyers in Colorado's movie massacre trial painted dueling portraits of gunman James Holmes' sanity on Wednesday as they quizzed his former neuroscience professors on his work, attitude and behavior in class. Just weeks before the rampage, Holmes dropped out of a doctoral program at the graduate school of the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, the Denver suburb where the onslaught took place. Two professors who supervised him at the medical school told jurors he was a quiet student who excelled in written work but appeared to lack effort in the lab, was socially awkward, and sometimes used jokes in presentations that fell flat with classmates. Assistant Professor Achim Klug, who oversaw Holmes' first assigned stint in a laboratory, said the defendant would only speak when called on, but that he usually got the answer right.
US must lead on AIDS funding: Elton John
6 May 2015 at 2:59pm
Elton John forecast Wednesday the end of AIDS in his lifetime -- but only if the United States keeps leading the world in bankrolling its eradication. The British pop music icon and AIDS activist was the star turn at a Senate hearing on future funding for the United States' core global AIDS initiative. "The AIDS epidemic is not over and America's continued leadership is critical," the 68-year-old John warned. "We cannot afford to let the window close if our efforts flag," added the founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which has raised more than $321 million since 1992 for AIDS treatment and prevention.
Skinny Mom's 6-Pack Abs Are Back Just Weeks After Giving Birth
6 May 2015 at 2:52pm
Model Sarah Stage, who stunned on Instagram with a tiny pregnant belly, is back. And she's brought a bikini.
Alexion to bolster rare disease offering with $8.4 billion deal
6 May 2015 at 2:49pm
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc on Wednesday said it agreed to buy Synageva BioPharma Corp for $8.4 billion, more than twice its market value, to expand its offering of potentially high-priced medicines for rare diseases. Alexion's willingness to pay an eye-popping premium for Synageva demonstrates that the appetite for large acquisitions in healthcare continues unabated. It also highlights the attraction of medicines for rare diseases that can command exceptionally high prices with little payer pushback because of the limited number of patients. Alexion's lone product, Soliris, a treatment for two extremely rare life-threatening conditions, is among the world's most expensive drugs.
Rich Synageva M&A premium epitomizes appetite for orphan drugs
6 May 2015 at 2:49pm
The hefty premium Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc has agreed to pay to acquire Synageva BioPharma Corp highlights how the popularity of so-called orphan drug makers is leading to valuations many investors now deem frothy. Alexion shares fell as much as 10 percent on Wednesday on investor concerns the $8.4 billion cash and stock deal overvalued Synageva, whose drug for a rare and potentially fatal condition that causes a build-up of fat in the blood and liver awaits regulatory approval. Alexion offered Synageva nearly a 140 percent premium, versus an average takeover premium of 41 percent for biotechnology companies so far this year, according to Thomson Reuters data. Other recent big deals involving orphan drug makers that focus on rare diseases include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd's $3.5 billion purchase of Auspex Pharmaceuticals announced in March and Shire Plc's acquisition of NPS Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion in January.
Shift toward hospice care has increased Medicare costs
6 May 2015 at 2:36pm
By Gene Emery PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Reuters Health) - The popularity of hospice care grew between 2004 and 2009 but that didn't bring down Medicare costs for people dying in nursing homes, according to a new study of three quarters of a million U.S. nursing home residents. "We found that although hospice use was associated with a reduction in aggressive end-of-life care, it was also associated with a net increase of $6,761 in Medicare expenditures per decedent in the last year of life,? writes the research team, led by Dr. Pedro Gozalo of Brown University.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual kids bullied more throughout school
6 May 2015 at 2:25pm
By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adolescents are more likely to be bullied and victimized throughout elementary and high school than heterosexual students, according to new research. "Bullying in general - as has been reported by others - decreases as kids go through school, but the disparity does not," said Dr. Mark Schuster, the lead author of a research letter published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Previous research has found that LGB youth are at increased risk of bullying compared to their heterosexual peers, Schuster and colleagues write. The new study included interviews with 4,268 students from Alabama, Texas or California who were in fifth grade when they entered the study.
Hospital efforts to save very premature babies vary widely
6 May 2015 at 2:14pm
They weigh as little as a pound yet force some of the toughest choices in all of medicine. Extremely premature babies face big differences in how hard hospitals try to save them, a study finds.
Illinois House rejects major piece of governor's budget
6 May 2015 at 2:09pm
By Karen Pierog CHICAGO (Reuters) - Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's plan to slash healthcare spending in the upcoming state budget failed to attract a single affirmative vote in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday. The bill amendment was the first major piece of the Republican governor's $32 billion, fiscal 2016 general funds budget, which relies on $6.6 billion in spending cuts, to come up for a legislative vote. Republican legislators voted "present" to protest the fact the amendment was not vetted by appropriate House committees and was instead sent directly to the chamber's floor by powerful Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.