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Plastic chemicals linked to earlier menopause
28 Jan 2015 at 11:20am
Women whose bodies contained high levels of certain chemicals found in plastics and cosmetics experienced menopause two to four years earlier than women with lower amounts in their systems, US researchers said Wednesday. While the study in the journal PLOS ONE did not prove that the chemical exposures caused earlier menopause, study authors said the associations they uncovered merit further research. "Chemicals linked to earlier menopause may lead to an early decline in ovarian function, and our results suggest we as a society should be concerned," said senior author Amber Cooper, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Washington University School of Medicine. The findings were based on a nationally representative sample of 1,442 menopausal women, whose average age was 61.
Million asthma sufferers may be misdiagnosed: UK watchdog
28 Jan 2015 at 10:12am
More than one million people receiving treatment for asthma may have been wrongly diagnosed, a health watchdog warned Wednesday as it published new draft guidance for doctors on testing for the condition. Around 4.1 million people in Britain receive treatment for asthma but studies suggest that up to 30 percent do not show clear evidence of having the illness, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said. Some may have had asthma in the past but many were likely to have been given an incorrect diagnosis, the watchdog said. Professor Mark Baker, director of clinical practice at NICE, said: "Accurate diagnosis of asthma has been a significant problem which means that people may be wrongly diagnosed or cases might be missed in others.
Will Sitting Lawsuits Be Far Behind?
28 Jan 2015 at 9:49am
Sitting is the new smoking. This phrase has been creeping up in the media as more and more research points out the health risks of sitting too long. It's really no new news that sitting is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and even early death. Even those who make time for exercise and spend a good deal...
Medtronic CoreValve safer than surgery in bypass patients: study
28 Jan 2015 at 9:17am
(Reuters) - Medtronic's CoreValve non-invasive aortic valve replacement system led to significantly fewer deaths than open heart surgery after one year in patients who had previously undergone coronary bypass procedures, according to data from a clinical trial. One year after a diseased valve was replaced using the CoreValve transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) system, 11.4 percent of high-risk patients had died or suffered a major stroke versus 21.8 percent among those who had the valve replaced surgically. "The CoreValve System demonstrated important clinical advantages, including faster recovery compared to surgical valve replacement, offering heart teams an alternative to open heart surgery for this patient population," said Dr. John Conte, a professor of surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, who presented the data at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons meeting in San Diego, in a statement.
5-Year-Old Girl Dies After Catching the Flu, Even After Getting Vaccine
28 Jan 2015 at 8:40am
Kiera Driscoll got a flu shot but caught the virus anyway.
How Doctors and Parents May Be Contributing to the Rise of Measles
28 Jan 2015 at 8:37am
With at least 64 confirmed cases of measles this month, the disease seems on pace to have its worst year in nearly two decades.
North Dakota: oil producers aim to cut radioactive waste bills
28 Jan 2015 at 8:29am
By Ernest Scheyder WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) - North Dakota's oil industry is pushing to change the state's radioactive waste disposal laws as part of a broad effort to conserve cash as oil prices tumble. The waste, which becomes slightly radioactive as part of the hydraulic fracturing process that churns up isotopes locked underground, must be trucked out of state. The most common form of radioactive waste is a filter sock, a mesh tube resembling a sandbag through which fracking water is pumped before it's injected back into the earth.
African Union vows Ebola fund as Oxfam calls for 'Marshall Plan'
28 Jan 2015 at 7:29am
The African Union plans to launch an Ebola fund and disease control centre, officials said Wednesday, as aid agency Oxfam warned leaders needed to keep their promises to boost healthcare systems on the continent. Oxfam called for a "massive post-Ebola Marshall Plan", referring to the United States aid package to rebuild Europe after World War II. "This disaster might have been avoided if African governments had made free public health care and spent more on their health systems, under the commitment they made 14 years ago in the Abuja Declaration," Oxfam said in a statement. "It's clear that Africa's existing architecture for early disease detection, response and control is wholly inadequate," the aid agency added.
Sudanese rebels detain six Bulgarians: Bulgarian foreign ministry
28 Jan 2015 at 6:14am
Six Bulgarians working with the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) were detained by Sudanese rebels after their helicopter made an emergency landing in Sudan's war-torn South Kordofan province, the Bulgarian foreign ministry said. The three-member crew of the helicopter and three officers of Sofia-based Heli Air, the carrier that operated it, were being detained, a ministry spokeswoman told Reuters on Wednesday. The flight was scheduled from South Sudan to Khartoum. Fighting between the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), which the ministry said was holding the Bulgarians, has increased in South Kordofan and Blue Nile provinces since peace talks collapsed in December.
China appoints new party boss for environment ministry
28 Jan 2015 at 5:26am
China has appointed Chen Jining, the president of Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University, as party chief of its environment ministry, since the controversial current incumbent is retiring, the ministry said on its website on Wednesday. Chen, 51, an environmental specialist and a member of the National Environmental Advisory Commission with no previous government experience, replaces environment minister Zhou Shengxian. Zhou's decade as China's top environment official has coincided with the massive degradation of the nation's environment, with surging industrial and energy output putting huge pressure on air, rivers and soil. Zhou replaced Xie Zhenhua, who resigned after a benzene plant explosion contaminated the water supplies of several million people in northeast China.
EU presses on with anti-pollution law after Commission U-turn
28 Jan 2015 at 5:17am
By Barbara Lewis BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union president Latvia will push ahead with a law to clamp down on air pollution after the European Commission's plan to withdraw the proposals was rejected by many lawmakers. Air pollution from traffic and industry is responsible for about 400,000 premature deaths per year in the European Union, according to Commission data. An angry backlash from some member states and many in the European Parliament forced the issue back onto the agenda. "We are glad the Commission has decided to keep the NEC (National Emissions Ceiling) directive on the table," said Alda Ozola, a deputy state secretary in the environment ministry of Latvia, which holds the rotating EU presidency until end-June.
SpongeBob SquarePants Turns Up in Child's X-Ray
28 Jan 2015 at 5:05am
A doctor in Saudi Arabia was astounded to find cartoon icon "SpongeBob SquarePants" in a child's x-ray.
Asia needs more cash, campaigns, law changes to end HIV epidemic: U.N.
28 Jan 2015 at 5:02am
By Thin Lei Win BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The Asia-Pacific region will not meet the goal of ending the HIV epidemic in 15 years unless it changes laws and attitudes hostile to people living with HIV, the head of the United Nations agency on AIDS said on Wednesday. Governments need to spend more on programs targeting key groups, improve access to lifesaving drugs and overhaul punitive laws that stop people seeking help, Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "I'm fully convinced that if you don't address these issues ... it's impossible to end HIV/AIDS," said Sidibé, speaking on the opening day of an Asia Pacific inter-governmental meeting on HIV and AIDS in Bangkok. UNAIDS announced a five-year, fast-track approach in November that it said could effectively end the worldwide health threat posed by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by 2030. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is spread via blood, semen and breast milk.
Bulgaria says 6 nationals working for UN taken captive by rebels in Sudan
28 Jan 2015 at 4:02am
(Reuters) - A Sudanese rebel group has taken six Bulgarians working with the UN's World Food Programme captive after their helicopter was forced to land in war-torn South Kordofan province in southern Sudan, the Bulgarian foreign ministry said on Wednesday. Fighting between the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North, which the ministry said was holding the Bulgarians captive, has increased in the provinces of South Kordofan and Blue Nile since peace talks collapsed in December.
Doping is public health issue, says world anti-doping body
28 Jan 2015 at 2:48am
Doping in sport is a public health issue, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said Wednesday, because of the spread of substance abuse from elite athletes to school gyms. "Too many people are taking too many substances they don't even know," WADA director general David Howman told AFP in an interview in Tokyo. Howman was speaking days after cycling cheat Lance Armstrong said he would take banned substances again if faced with the same circumstances that saw him dope in 1995.