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Chile's lawmakers take key step toward decriminalizing abortion
4 Aug 2015 at 5:42pm
Chile took a step toward easing its strict abortion ban on Tuesday after legislators in the nation's lower chamber voted to advance a bill that would overturn the prohibition. Amid applause from the gallery, the Health Commission of Chile's Chamber of Deputies voted eight to five to move forward on President Michelle Bachelet's landmark proposal to allow pregnancy terminations in certain circumstances. To become law, the bill will still need to win simple majorities in both the Chamber and the Senate, which could be difficult as the project faces significant opposition in both houses.
Toxic algae blooming in warm water from California to Alaska
4 Aug 2015 at 4:52pm
SEATTLE (AP) ? A vast bloom of toxic algae off the West Coast is denser, more widespread and deeper than scientists feared even weeks ago, according to surveyors aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel.
Thousands of womb cancers prevented by the pill: study
4 Aug 2015 at 4:42pm
The contraceptive pill has prevented some 200,000 cases of womb cancer over the last decade in rich nations alone, according to research published Wednesday. A study in the medical journal The Lancet Oncology found that taking "the pill" over an extended period provided protection against endometrial cancer, which affects the womb. The researchers estimated that in total, over the past 50 years, some 400,000 endometrial cancers were avoided in high-income countries.
New York City's new drug threat: 'weaponized marijuana'
4 Aug 2015 at 4:11pm
It gives users super human strength, makes them impervious to pain and can be bought for as little as $2 across New York. Illegal synthetic marijuana, or "weaponized" marijuana as police are calling it, is spreading across New York, particularly the city's homeless population in search of a cheap high but who often wind up hospitalized or dead. "The synthetic marijuana issue has been one of great and growing concern here in New York," said NYPD Commissioner William Bratton at a press conference on Tuesday in which he also released monthly crime statistics.
Contrary to popular myth, 'the pill' prevents womb cancer, study finds
4 Aug 2015 at 4:08pm
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Using an oral contraceptive, often referred to as "the pill", gives long-term protection against womb cancer and the longer it is used the greater the reduction in risk, scientists said on Wednesday. In an analysis of all available evidence, the researchers said an estimated 400,000 womb cancer cases had been prevented by use of the pill in wealthy countries the past 50 years, including some 200,000 in the last decade. "The strong protective effect of oral contraceptives against endometrial cancer ? which persists for decades after stopping the pill ? means that women who use it when they are in their 20s or even younger continue to benefit into their 50s and older, when cancer becomes more common," said Valerie Beral, a professor at Britain's Oxford University who co-led the study.
More than 380 in US sickened by cilantro-linked infection
4 Aug 2015 at 3:43pm
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) ? More than 380 people in 26 U.S. states have been diagnosed with a stomach illness tied to Mexican cilantro contaminated by human waste, two federal agencies said Tuesday.
Add spice for a longer life?
4 Aug 2015 at 3:36pm
Eating spicy food, especially fresh chilli, has been linked to a lower risk of death in a Chinese study, researchers said Tuesday. "Compared with participants who ate spicy foods less than once a week, those who consumed spicy foods one or two days a week were at a 10 percent reduced risk of death," said a statement from The BMJ. Fresh and dried chilli peppers were the most commonly used spices -- and the association was higher with the fresh variety, according to the team led by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.
Pfizer wins EU approval for $15 billion Hospira buy
4 Aug 2015 at 2:46pm
U.S. drugmaker Pfizer gained European Union antitrust approval on Tuesday for its proposed $15 billion acquisition of U.S. rival Hospira after pledging to sell some drugs to allay competition concerns. "The approval is conditional on Pfizer divesting certain sterile injectable drugs, as well as its infliximab biosimilar drug, which is currently under development," the European Commission said. The deal will boost Pfizer's portfolio of generic injectable drugs and copies of biotech medicines.
37,000 U.S. infection-related deaths preventable over five years: CDC
4 Aug 2015 at 2:35pm
Closer coordination between healthcare facilities and public health departments could save 37,000 U.S. lives over five years by preventing infections from antibiotic-resistant germs and from a nasty intestinal bug called C. difficile, according to a government report released on Tuesday. Germs that no longer respond to antibiotics cause more than 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Spores from C. difficile bacteria, which spread readily in hospitals and nursing homes and cause severe diarrhea, account for almost another 500,000 illnesses and 15,000 deaths annually.
3 Strategies for Breaking Your Stressful Commuting Habits
4 Aug 2015 at 2:29pm
By Megan Jones, Psy. D and Chief Science Officer of LanternYou probably dread your frustrating nightmare of a commute. Whether you're inching your car along in heavy traffic or packed into a train, it doesn't take long for stress levels to rise. Research shows just how unpleasant and stressful people find commuting. In a 2004 study, over 900...
Girl with Terminal Cancer Gets Birthday Party, Prom, Wedding Rolled Into One ...
4 Aug 2015 at 2:26pm
Lila May Schow, 5, has battled cancer for three years.
Tax filing problems could jeopardize health law aid for 1.8M
4 Aug 2015 at 2:23pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? About 1.8 million households that got financial help for health insurance under President Barack Obama's law now have issues with their tax returns that could jeopardize their subsidies next year. Administration officials say those taxpayers will have to act quickly.
Special veg-rich diet may slow cognitive decline in elderly, study shows
4 Aug 2015 at 2:11pm
A diet rich in green leafy vegetables, beans, berries, whole grains and wine can help to slow normal brain aging and cognitive decline, researchers said on Tuesday. Cognitive decline is a normal part of aging but a study by scientists at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago showed that elderly adults who strictly followed the MIND diet were 7.5 years younger cognitively over a period of nearly five years than those who adhered the least. "The study findings suggest that the MIND diet substantially slows cognitive decline with age," Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Center, and her team said in a report in the journal "Alzheimer's & Dementia." In an earlier study, the researchers showed that the diet developed at the Rush University Medical Center may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Mindfulness-based therapy eases veterans? PTSD symptoms
4 Aug 2015 at 2:03pm
By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Some veterans may experience a sharper decline in symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy than with other forms of group treatment, a study suggests. Researchers gave one group of veterans with PTSD eight weekly 2.5-hour sessions focused on mindfulness and meditation, as well as a day-long retreat, and compared their progress to their peers who received nine weekly 1.5-hour group sessions designed to address specific problems stemming from PTSD in daily life. With mindfulness-based therapy, 49 percent of veterans reported a dramatic reduction in PTSD symptoms, compared with just 28 percent of their peers who didn?t receive this type of treatment.
Medicare rule may needlessly extend some hospital stays
4 Aug 2015 at 2:01pm
By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - A decades old Medicare rule requiring a three-day hospital stay before patients can transfer to skilled nursing facilities may needlessly prolong hospitalizations, a study suggests. Researchers compared the average time patients were hospitalized between 2006 and 2010 in privately administered Medicare Advantage health plans that either stuck to this rule or allowed people to transfer to skilled nursing facilities sooner. Lengths of hospital stays increased with the rule in place and declined when it was waived, the study found.