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October 3, 2011 | Staff and wire reports
A new test that can detect the use of human growth hormone for up to 21 days has been endorsed by international anti-doping officials, moving a step closer to a potential breakthrough against doping at next year's London Olympics. U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Chief Executive Travis Tygart told the Associated Press on Monday that the "biomarker" test for HGH won strong consensus among doping scientists and experts from around the world who attended a London symposium on detecting growth factors.
October 3, 2011 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Use of hormonal contraceptives may double the risk of catching or transmitting HIV-1 (the most common and dangerous strain of HIV), according to a new study of thousands of heterosexual couples in sub-Saharan Africa. In each case, just one of the couple -- the woman or the man -- was HIV-positive. Some took hormonal contraceptives and some didn't. The 3,790 couples in seven countries were tracked for about 18 months, and the rates at which the other member of the couple became HIV-positive were carefully noted.
September 15, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Healthy women who go through menopause naturally may lower their risk of heart disease if they take hormone therapy in the early years of menopause, according to a new study.   The research is the latest contribution to the longstanding controversy on the merits of hormone therapy after menopause. Previous studies show that hormone therapy in women who are 10 or more years past menopause raises the risk of cardiovascular problems. However, the question of whether hormone therapy may prevent or slow the development of heart disease in younger menopausal women has been a subject of continued debate.
September 7, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
After menopause, women are expected to experience a sharply increased risk of heart disease. The traditional thinking has been that hormones protect women from heart disease until menopause. But a new study turns that theory on its head. A study published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal suggests instead that heart disease death rates in women progress in an orderly rate as women age and are unlikely to be greatly influenced by hormones. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine looked at death statistics from people in England, Wales and the United States born from 1916 to 1945.
August 22, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Mammogram rates fell among U.S. women in 2005, which puzzled public health officials because rates had been consistent for many years. A new study offers a possible explanation: The backlash against hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms led to the drop in mammograms. Hormone therapy was a popular strategy for post-menopausal women throughout the 1980s and '90s. The pills were used to ease menopausal symptoms and with the expectation that they might also help prevent some of the diseases of aging, such as heart disease and some types of cancer.
August 8, 2011 | By Sam Farmer
Reporting from Latrobe, Pa. — Ryan Clark has some pointed words for the needle. The Pittsburgh Steelers safety and player representative to the union is disappointed the players decided to allow the NFL to test blood for human growth hormone, something they had resisted for years. "I think people wanted to get a deal done so badly that it was overlooked," Clark said. "In that sense, players kind of got screwed, for lack of a better word. " Like many players, Clark said he's all for the idea of catching cheaters and wants a level playing field.
August 8, 2011 | By James S. Fell, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Do you ever feel like making a voodoo doll in the image of your boss, stabbing it full of pins, twisting its head off, then setting it on fire? I remember those days. Speaking of the old days, here's to the good old mammoth-slaying Stone Age, when we knew how to deal with stress. I'm talking about the fight-or-flight response, an inherited advantage coded into our genes via natural selection. Say you were chillin' about the cave one day and in sauntered a grizzly bear. The resulting stress elicited a massive surge of adrenal hormones and you'd jump to your feet and go all caveman on the intruder with valiant stabbing or cowardly fleeing.
July 13, 2011 | By Richard A. Serrano
Reporting from Washington — In a Washington courtroom not far from where 11-time All-Star pitcher Roger Clemens testified before Congress, one of Major League Baseball's biggest names went on trial Wednesday before a jury of 12 ordinary citizens and a national public disgusted by performance-enhancing drug scandals that have mocked the credibility of the game. Clemens won seven Cy Young awards in a legendary career that typically would make him a lock for the Hall of Fame. But now he stands charged with perjury, obstructing Congress and making false statements for telling investigators and declaring in an open hearing three years ago that he never used steroids or HGH — a human growth hormone.
June 7, 2011 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
The New Yorker magazine once touted former New York Mets star Lenny Dykstra as "baseball's most improbable post-career success story. " He transformed himself into a financial guru and ace stock picker, drove a Maybach and bought Wayne Gretzky's palatial estate near the Sherwood Country Club. But on Monday, Dykstra's well-documented financial collapse took another sharp turn when authorities charged him with nearly two dozen felony counts related to a scheme to obtain luxury cars and possession of cocaine, human growth hormone and Ecstasy.
May 3, 2011 | By Amanda Leigh Mascarelli, HealthKey
Hormone treatment may not deserve its bad rap, at least for women in their 50s. Use of the therapy for relief of menopausal symptoms plummeted 80% after results of the Women's Health Initiative's first long-term study were published in 2003. The findings implicated estrogen plus a progestin — the hormones of choice for treating menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes — in an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, blood clots and dementia. Estrogens alone (used by women who have had a hysterectomy)
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