Health Updates 8 December 2011

  • Breast cancer study recommends focusing on everyday choices while downplaying environmental factors: “A comprehensive study released Wednesday finds that substances to which women voluntarily expose themselves every day – fattening foods, alcohol, cigarettes, oral contraceptives and hormone replacement drugs – are far clearer drivers of risk than industrial chemicals such as bisphenol A and phthalates and a long list of feared additives and environmental pollutants.” (LA Times)
  • Debate surrounds White House‘s denial of giving access of the morning the morning-after pill to younger females: “For now, Plan B will stay behind pharmacy counters, available without a prescription only to those 17 and older who can prove their age.  It was the latest twist in a nearly decade-long push for easier access to pills that can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, and one with election-year implications.  The move shocked women’s health advocates, a key part of President Barak Obama‘s Democratic base, as well as major doctors groups that argue over-the-counter sales could lower the nation’s high number of unplanned pregnancies.” (Associated Press)
  • Cruise ship virus vaccine promises smoother sailing: “Norovirus, that scourge of cruise ship passengers, may be preventable with a vaccine, a placebo-controlled, proof-of-concept study showed.  Among healthy adult volunteers, who were inoculated with Norwalk virus, a novel vaccine significantly reduced the rate of infection…and gastroenteritis…The results, which show the feasibility of developing a norovirus vaccine, were similar in the intention-to-treat analysis.”  The duration of protection from vaccination is unclear. (Todd Neale, MedPage Today)
  • Failure to communicate about weight: “A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine finds that only about 22%of parents of overweight kids remembered a doctor or other health-care worker telling them that their child was carrying excess pounds…The percentage was 58% for parents of very obese kinds.  Parents of  minorities, poorer kids and children on public insurance were more likely to be told, the paper says”. (Wall Street Journal)

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