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Booster Shots

NEWS
July 17, 2010 | By Jessie Schiewe, Los Angeles Times
Long day at work? Stressed about paying your bills? How tempting, at such times, to reach for a drink.... If that sounds like you, here's some sobering news from a study published online in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Assn.: The risk of stroke appears to double in the hour after consuming alcohol. After interviewing 390 ischemic stroke patients about their drinking patterns within three days after their stroke, researchers concluded that the risk of ischemic stroke is 2.3 times higher in the hour after alcohol is consumed than it is during periods of no alcohol consumption.
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NEWS
July 16, 2010 | By Tami Dennis, Los Angeles Times
Worry about earthquakes if you want, but old-fashioned heat might pose a bigger threat. "Historically, from 1979 to 2003, excessive heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States. During this period, more people in this country died from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined. In 2001, 300 deaths were caused by excessive heat exposure." So begins the heatstroke prevention guide from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: " Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety ."
NEWS
July 16, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
An infection by the virus that causes AIDS can increase risk of premature death even before the immune system has deteriorated to the point where most physicians begin antiviral therapy, British researchers said Thursday. An infection by the virus that causes AIDS can increase risk of premature death even before the immune system has deteriorated to the point where most physicians begin antiviral therapy, British researchers reported Thursday. The finding suggests that treatment should start even earlier than it is now and supports the current plans of world bodies to begin treating HIV infections in the developing world earlier.
NEWS
July 16, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
Habitual high-heel wearers, your attention, please. You know that feeling you get when you first slip off those impossibly high stilettos (the feeling after relief)? That tightness in your Achilles' tendons as feet assume a natural position, with heels on the floor? Researchers think they may know the reason for that. A new study in the Journal of Experimental Biology tried to determine why women feel that tautness in the backs of their ankles after wearing high heels for long periods of time.
NEWS
July 16, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Disrupted sleep patterns seem to contribute to the risk of obesity and diabetes, according to numerous studies. Researchers have theorized that disrupted circadian rhythms throw off various hormonal processes in the body that contribute to disease. This theory is looking stronger all the time, and the mounting evidence bolsters the argument that people should care about their sleep habits. Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas have found that mice with defective copies of two genes involved in circadian rhythms develop abnormalities in their pancreatic cells that eventually cause problems with the release of insulin.
NEWS
July 15, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
A teaspoon is a teaspoon is a teaspoon … right? Not exactly, as researchers tested several household spoons used to give medicine, finding wide variations in capacity. The study took place in Attica, Greece, where 25 women allowed their teaspoons (71 total) and tablespoons (49 total) to be measured. A standard teaspoon measure is about 5 milliliters, and a tablespoon is about 14.9 milliliters. The teaspoons the researchers collected had capacities ranging from 2.5 ml to 7.3 ml. The volume of the various tablespoons ranged from 6.7 ml to 13.4 ml. Some homes had a variety of spoons with different volumes.
NEWS
July 15, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
Hip problems can sideline even the best athletes, but a new study finds that arthroscopic surgery may work well to restore function, allowing players to return to competition. The study looked at arthroscopic surgical outcomes on 47 high school varsity, college and professional athletes involved with sports that included ice hockey, soccer, swimming, baseball and football. Researchers followed up with the athletes about year after surgery. All had femoroacetabular impingement, a condition that occurs when the femoral head of the thigh bone rubs abnormally against the acetabulum, or cup-like socket of the hip joint.
NEWS
July 15, 2010 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
In addition to doling out roughly $3 billion in stem cell research money, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine also holds a poetry contest. The contest was initiated last year to celebrate Stem Cell Awareness Day (also known as Sept. 23). The theme, "What stem cell research means to me," was broad enough to include entries from scientists, patients who could potentially be treated with stem cells, or anyone else who supports the research. There were enough entries to warrant two first-place awards.
NEWS
July 15, 2010 | By Melissa Healy
An independent panel of FDA advisors on Thursday voted narrowly to recommend against approval of a proposed new weight-loss drug, Qnexa. The drug agency, which is expected to make an up or down decision on the drug by October, is not bound by the advisory panel's 7-9 recommendation against approval. But the panel's views generally weigh heavily in the agency's final decision. In the race among pharmaceutical companies to win market approval for a new generation of obesity drugs, Qnexa is the most recent to make it to the crucial FDA advisory panel stage.
NEWS
July 14, 2010 | By Jessie Schiewe, Los Angeles Times
With television shows such as "Nurse Jackie" and "Grey's Anatomy" regularly depicting physicians and nurses with substance abuse problems, some patients might begin to wonder whether in real life anyone is monitoring the people who provide lifesaving care. Perhaps not. Or, if workers are being monitored, they're not being monitored closely enough to fit some researchers' way of thinking. A doctor survey study published online Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.
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