Category Health

Hands Don’t Spread HPV, Study Finds

FRIDAY, Feb. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Human papillomavirus (HPV) is easily transmitted during sex, but it is unlikely to be passed by the hands, Canadian researchers report.

The virus, which infects the skin and genitals, is a cause of several types of cancer in both men and women, including cervical cancer, as well as tumors of the vagina, penis, anus and throat.

Because HPV strains on your hand usually match those found in your genital area or your partner’s, some researchers have speculated that hand-to-genital sexual contact might spread the infection.

This new study puts that theory to rest, said lead author Talia Malagon. She’s a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University in Montreal.

“Just because we detect HPV DNA in the hand doesn’t necessarily mean the viral particles are v...

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What’s in your supplements?

If you’re taking an over-the-counter supplement that wasn’t recommended by your doctor, you’re not alone — about half of the US adult population takes one or more supplements regularly. We spend more than $35 billion on these products each year.

While it’s important that your doctor knows what you’re taking, there are many supplements out there, and it’s likely your doctor won’t know what advice to give you about a lot of them. There are a number of reasons for this but the two biggest are:

  • Most supplements are not rigorously tested as a prevention or treatment for conditions for which they are promoted.
  • The supplement industry is not regulated the way prescription drugs are. The ingredients on the label may not accurately reflect what’s actually in the supplement.

As ...

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A positive mindset can help your heart

Can being positive protect against heart disease? Yes! There is a lot of evidence suggesting that having a positive outlook — like being optimistic, cheerful, having gratitude and purpose in life — can be heart-protective. Researchers in the UK looked at psychological characteristics of over 8,000 people, and found that those who scored high on optimism and a sense of well-being enjoyed a 30% lower risk of developing heart disease. Other studies report similar findings: in a study of over 70,000 women followed for over 10 years, those who scored highest on an optimism questionnaire had a significantly lower risk of death from heart attacks (38%) and strokes (39%).

A positive outlook may even be benefit people who already have cardiovascular disease, which is significant, because they ...

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Alcohol Problems Grow as Booze Gets a Bigger Kick

Feb. 14, 2019 — Americans may not be drinking much more than they used to — but they’re drinking more potent stuff.

And that trend toward higher-alcohol drinks may be part of what’s driving an increase in alcohol-related deaths and illnesses, according to new research.

Sales of wine and liquor have gone up, while beer sales are largely flat. And more of the beer-drinking dollar is going toward varieties with a higher percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV), whether they’re high-gravity craft beers or corner-store malt liquor.

“There’s been this observation recently of increases in alcohol-related problems like increases in alcoholic liver disease and mortality and emergency room visits related to alcohol, but we haven’t seen a similar increase in alcohol consumption,” says Prisc...

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Integrative approaches to reduce IBS symptoms

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a gastrointestinal condition that involves abdominal pain and altered bowel habits (constipation, diarrhea, or both), affects over 10% of Americans. Though some find the condition merely a nuisance, for many individuals it can be quite bothersome and disruptive. While medications can sometimes offer relief, some individuals do not respond to medications or find the side effects intolerable. Fortunately, there are several well-studied, nondrug, integrative approaches that can help to reduce IBS-related symptoms and restore a sense of control over one’s life.

Stress reduction

IBS is well known to be aggravated by stress...

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Poor Sleep Plagues Many Kids With Autism

Children with symptoms of autism scored worse on nearly all aspects of sleep. Only in a couple of areas — sleep apnea and daytime sleepiness — did they appear to have about the same level of difficulty as other kids, Reynolds said.

Autism itself can play havoc with sleep hygiene. Kids with autism can have problems transitioning from one activity to another, or may become so ramped up that they can’t calm down, she said.

“Sleep is a big transition,” Reynolds said. “You’re moving from playing or reading or whatever you’re doing to falling asleep.”

Kids with ASD are more likely to have anxiety or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which can also affect sleep, Reynolds said.

Also, those with autism might have problems with their sleep/wake cycle, suffer from seizures that distur...

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Fluoroquinolones Over-prescribed Despite Dangers

Rachel Brummert, Charlotte, NC.

American Family Physician: “Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute Uncomplicated Cystitis.”

Antonio Crespo, MD, infectious disease specialist, Orlando Health.

Heather Free, PharmD,  spokesperson, American Pharmacists Association.

David Melvin, Illinois.

Andrea Pallotta, PharmD, Cleveland Clinic.

FDA: “Information for Healthcare Professionals: Fluoroquinolone Antimicrobial Drugs [ciprofloxacin (marketed as Cipro and generic ciprofloxacin), ciprofloxacin extended-release (marketed as Cipro XR and Proquin XR), gemifloxacin (marketed as Factive), levofloxacin (marketed as Levaquin), moxifloxacin (marketed as Avelox), norfloxacin (marketed as Noroxin), and ofloxacin (marketed as Floxin)],” “Fluoroquinolone Safety Labeling Changes: FDA/CDER Drug Information Webinar, A...

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Tackling parent-teacher conferences: The early years

Coming into December, my wife Jenny and I had been through two parent-teacher conferences and were batting .500. The first, during my oldest son’s last year of preschool, opened with a list of stuff that didn’t shock us but his teachers weren’t too thrilled with: knocking over blocks, interrupting, not sitting still for circle time.

Milo was 4.

Unfortunately, there was no eventual, “Enough of that. He’s 4. Here’s why he’s great.” We left feeling they didn’t like him. Milo was doomed and we had failed. We decided that they were full of it, or at least that was our hope.

A year later came parent-teacher conference No. 2...

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4 things everyone needs to know about measles

We are in the midst of a measles outbreak here in the US, with cases being reported in New York City, New York state, and Washington state. In 2018, preliminary numbers indicate that there were 372 cases of measles — more than triple the 120 cases in all of 2017 — and already 79 cases in the first month of 2019 alone. Here are four things that everyone needs to know about measles.

Measles is highly contagious

This is a point that can’t be stressed enough. A full 90% of unvaccinated people exposed to the virus will catch it. And if you think that just staying away from sick people will do the trick, think again...

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Psoriasis Meds Might Help Fight Heart Trouble, Too

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Could the inflammation that drives psoriasis and other immune-linked illnesses be a major player in heart disease?

In a new study, certain psoriasis drugs appeared to help to keep arteries clear, suggesting such a link.

“Classically a heart attack is caused by one of five risk factors: diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, family history or smoking,” explained study lead researcher Dr. Nehal Mehta.

“Our study presents evidence that there is a sixth factor, inflammation,” she said.

Mehta heads the Laboratory of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases at the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in Bethesda, Md.

Another cardiologist agreed the study could open doors to new research.

“The future of cardiovascular prevention may ...

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