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March 4, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Taking ibuprofen regularly may lower the risk of developing Parkinson's disease by about a third, perhaps by reducing the inflammation that is thought to contribute to the onset of the disease, Harvard University researchers reported this week. Surprisingly, however, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that also reduce inflammation have no effect on the disease, they reported online in the journal Neurology. Dr. Alberto Ascherio and Dr. Xiang Gao of Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and their colleagues studied 98,892 women in the Nurses' Health Study and 37,305 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, two well-established, ongoing programs.
March 1, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
High blood pressure often goes hand-in-hand with heart disease. But some people with heart disease don't have hypertension. Those people, however, may still benefit from taking medications to treat high blood pressure, according to an analysis published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. Experts reviewed 25 studies that examined the use of anti-hypertensive medications and prevention of heart attacks, strokes and death in people with heart disease but who had normal blood pressure.
March 1, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
If you're older, chances are you're at a higher risk for hearing loss -- in a recent study about 63% of adults over 70 had it. But the same study found that being black may have a protective effect. While about 64% of whites in the study showed some hearing loss, only 43% of blacks did. The study, published online recently in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences , analyzed data from a two-year cycle of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, an ongoing national health research program.
February 23, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Hot flashes and night sweats at menopause are uncomfortable and annoying to many women. But they are also associated with a reduced risk of future heart attacks and strokes, researchers reported Thursday. Hot flashes, which doctors call vasomotor symptoms, are a major issue in women's health because there are so few effective remedies to relieve them. In recent years, however, some studies have suggested that hot flashes and night sweats may also be a sign of potential cardiovascular problems.
February 14, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
We all know we should eat more fiber. Here's some incentive: Eating more of it could help you live longer, but the kind of fiber you eat may be key. The findings came via a study released online Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine . Researchers used data from the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health study that asked people age 50 to 71 what they ate for the last year and how often they ate it. Researchers followed the...
February 13, 2011 | Amanda Leigh Mascarelli, Mascarelli writes for The Times
Here's one good reason to turn off the Wii or Game Boy: Eye experts increasingly believe that time spent outdoors could reduce the likelihood that children will develop myopia, or nearsightedness, a condition in which distance vision is blurred. "Your mother was doing the right thing when she said, 'Go outside and play,'" says Earl Smith, dean of the College of Optometry at the University of Houston. Myopia is on the rise around the world. A recent study found that in Americans ages 12 to 54, the prevalence of myopia increased 66% between 1970 and 2000.
February 7, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Solid foods should not be given to infants before 4 months of age, according to guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. A new study lends support to that advice, especially for bottle-fed infants. Those who were introduced to solid foods before 4 months of age had a six-fold increase in the odds of being obese at age 3. Child obesity is an alarming problem in the United States. Recently, the U.S. Surgeon General issued recommendations to encourage breastfeeding for the first six months of life.
January 26, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Eating food containing trans fats and saturated fats could contribute to depression, scientists reported Wednesday. Researchers in Spain followed 12,059 people over six years, analyzing their diets, lifestyles and medical problems. The people who ate the most trans fats, which are commonly found in pastries and fast food, had a 48% increased risk of depression compared with people who did not eat trans fats. Individuals who ate a lot of polyunsaturated fats -- a healthier type of fat that is found in olive oil, for example -- had a lower risk of depression.
January 11, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol may have its health benefits, and lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes could be one of them, a study finds. Researchers followed 38,031 men who had not been diagnosed with diabetes or cancer and who were part of the Health Professionals Follow-Up study. Changes in their drinking habits over the years were noted. After four years, those who were light drinkers at the start of the study (drinking zero to 4.9 grams a day) and increased their alcohol consumption to moderate levels (5 to 29.9 grams a day)
October 4, 2010
Flu in an infant can be a scary experience. These infants suffer a higher rate of complications compared with older babies who have the flu. However, pregnant women who get a flu vaccine give their babies some protection, according to a study published Monday. Babies under 6 months of age are born with what appears to be some natural protection from flu passed on by the mother's antibodies. However this natural immunity isn't totally protective and pregnant women are widely encouraged to get an annual flu shot to protect themselves and their babies.
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