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Plos Medicine

NEWS
October 12, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Next time you're considering skipping the salad bar, think again: Eating more raw fruits and vegetables could alter the effects of a gene that's a marker for heart disease. FOR THE RECORD: A headline on an earlier version of this post incorrectly said eating more fruits and vegetables alters genes. Researchers genotyped 27,243 people from two separate studies to see if they had a certain gene variant. The 9p21 gene has been shown in previous studies to be linked with a higher risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease, including a 2010 meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.
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NEWS
December 8, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
These days, it's just good to have a job. But remaining gainfully employed can take a toll on health, especially if your work has you up at odd hours and sleeping irregularly. Shift work, say two studies out this week, poses particular problems for women, who appear to be at greater risk of Type 2 diabetes and possibly breast cancer if they maintain work schedules that mess with their internal clocks. Researchers have uncovered a host of links between humans' respect for their circadian rhythms and their health prospects.
HEALTH
November 3, 2008 | Marc Siegel, Siegel is an internist and an associate professor of medicine at New York University's School of Medicine.
" 'Til Death" "Circumdecision" episode, Fox, Oct. 8 The premise: Kenny Westchester (J.B. Smoove) loses his swim trunks at a water park, and his new girlfriend, Angie, seems concerned that he is uncircumcised. "It doesn't quite work for her," Kenny says. As Kenny approaches his third date with Angie believing they may be about to have sex, he considers circumcision.
SCIENCE
July 30, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Women, wouldn't you like to know your precise risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer? And wouldn't you like to know what changes you could make in your life to reduce that risk? Researchers from the National Cancer Institute would like to help you. They've just published a study in the journal PLOS Medicine that takes a significant step toward that goal. Ruth Pfeiffer , a senior investigator in the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, and colleagues focused on the predictive value of more than a dozen variables, including a woman's body mass index , number of children she has, how long she took birth control pills, whether she used hormone therapy to treat symptoms of menopause, family history of gynecological cancers, and use of cigarettes and alcohol.
NEWS
June 5, 2012 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
Want to gauge your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes? Don't just step on the scale - reach for a measuring tape too, a new study suggests. The circumference of your waist can tell you a lot about your chances of getting diabetes, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal PLoS Medicine . Health providers usually rely on body mass index to determine patients' diabetes risk, but adding waist circumference to the equation would...
HEALTH
July 11, 2011 | By Jessica Pauline Ogilvie, Special to the Los Angeles Times
This November, voters in San Francisco are expected to weigh in on a controversial topic: whether parents should be allowed to circumcise their baby boys. The proposition, backed by members of an anti-circumcision group that calls its members "intactivists," has ignited heated debate. It's hardly a new issue. Historians have found evidence of circumcision dating to ancient Egypt. Since then, the practice has gone in and out of public favor for myriad reasons, including hygiene, religion, cultural norms and beliefs about masculinity.
SCIENCE
May 12, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
Taking folic acid supplements for a year before conception reduces the risk of very premature birth by at least 50%, researchers reported Monday. Shorter courses of the supplement were not as effective, according to the study of nearly 35,000 women reported in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine. Folic acid's effectiveness in reducing the risk of neural-tube and other birth defects -- even without such a long course -- is long established.
WORLD
September 28, 2008 | Richard Boudreaux, Times Staff Writer
With $3 billion in new pledges, world leaders say they believe that an ambitious goal to stop deaths from malaria by 2015 is finally within reach. A plan billed as the most comprehensive ever to tackle the mosquito-borne disease, which kills nearly 1 million people each year, was unveiled last week at a United Nations gathering of heads of government, global health leaders and philanthropists.
NEWS
June 20, 2012 | By Mary MacVean
Multinational food corporations have a growing influence on the health of people around the world, including obesity, and their actions need greater scrutiny, according to an editorial Tuesday in the journal Public Library of Science Medicine. The editorial kicks off the journal's three-week series looking at what it calls “Big Food.” The first articles, and the editorial, criticize not just the food companies but also officials charged with protecting public health. “The big multinational food companies control what people everywhere eat, resulting in a stark and sick irony: one billion people on the planet are hungry while 2 billion are obese or overweight,” the editorial says.
NEWS
January 5, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Before embarking on a medically invasive, expensive and emotionally taxing effort to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization, it sure would be nice to get a good sense of whether it’s likely to work. After all, only about 1 in 4 attempts resulted in a live birth as recently as 2007. So researchers from England and Scotland scoured data from more than 144,000 IVF cycles in the United Kingdom and looked for factors that might predict which couples stood the best chance of having a baby with assisted reproduction and which faced long-shot odds.
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