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Health Updates 29 November 2011

  • Ohio authorities remove 200-pound, 8-year-old boy from home, sparking debate on child obesity: “Cuyahoga County removed the boy because case workers considered the mother’s inability to get his weight down a form of medical neglect.  The county’s Children and Family Services agency said Monday it stood by its custody move, which was approved by a judge.  ‘We have worked very hard with this family for 20  months before it got to this point’, agency Administrator Patricia Rideout said. (Associated Press)
  • Pumping iron, not water, bigger risk for firefighters: “Despite the inherent dangers they face on the job, firefighters and other emergency services personnel were more likely to injure themselves while working out or during training drills, according to the results of an ongoing study.  About one-third of injuries among emergency service employees resulted from physical exercise, while about 17% occurred during patient transport and nearly 12% happened during training drills….In addition, more than half of the injuries happened during the start of work shifts, which is generally the time exercise and training drills are conducted.  Firefighting and emergency workers have one of the highest occupational incident rates for injuries and fatalities in the US.” (Shalmali Pal, MedPage Today)
  • Really?  Coffee can prevent some medications from working?  “For many Americans, the thought of a morning without coffee is unbearable.  More than half of adults drink it regularly, typically about three cups a day.  Most people rarely consider side effects beyond restlessness or trouble falling asleep at night.  But coffee and express can have other consequences in people taking certain drugs, by either blocking absorption or enhancing their effects.  In many cases, the interactions are caused by caffeine.  But other compounds in coffee may also play a role.  Studies show that more than a dozen medications – as varied as antidepressants, estrogen and thyroid and osteoporosis drugs – can be affected by coffee consumption….The Bottom Line: Research shows that coffee can interact with some medications, though the extent varies by  drug.” (Anahad O’Connor, NY Times)
  • Early research shows distinct brain activity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: “If the same pattern of brain activity is confirmed in other studies of children with ADHD, it could serve as an indicator for the disorder, Li says. Doctors, then, could use functional MRI scans to look for the pattern of activity as soon as, or even before, symptoms develop, she says.  But first, researchers have to make sure the pattern is distinct to ADHD and not shared by other childhood disorders, Carol Rumack, MD, professor of radiology and pediatrics at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, tells WebMD.” (WebMD)
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