Health Highlights: March 3, 201103/03/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
High Blood Pressure Affects 1 in 4 U.S. Adults
High blood pressure was reported by more than 59 million
Americans age 18 and older in 2008 and three quarters of those
people were overweight, obese or morbidly obese, says a federal
government report released Thursday.
Nearly 32 percent of black adults had high blood pressure,
compared with 27 percent of whites and 18 percent of Hispanics,
according to the latest
News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and
It also said that adults who did vigorous exercise for 30
minutes or more at least three times a week were one-third less
likely to have high blood pressure than those who didn't exercise
as much -- 21 percent vs. 32 percent.
Among the other findings from the analysis of 2008 data:
- Among adults younger than 65, high blood pressure was reported
by 29 percent with public health insurance, 19 percent with private
insurance, and 14 percent of the uninsured.
- High blood pressure was diagnosed in nearly 59 percent of those
age 65 and older, 34 percent of those ages 45 to 64, 10 percent of
those ages 25 to 44, and nearly three percent of younger
Gabrielle Giffords Continues Recovery Progress
Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords recently sang "American Pie,"
and is eating chicken soup as she continues to recover from a
gunshot wound to the head suffered during an assassination attempt
in January, says a rabbi who has been visiting Giffords a couple of
times a week.
She "is making the kind of progress that all of us would
anticipate, whether it's words or emotions," Rabbi David Lyon told
Houston TV station KHOU,
He also said that Giffords, who is in the TIRR Memorial Hermann
hospital in Houston, has a healthy appetite. She recently sang the
classic folk rock song "American Pie" with her longtime friend
Rabbi Stephanie Aaron.
"Gabby likes to reach out and hold my hand and she listens carefully and smiles easily. Prayer for her is meaningful," Lyon, of Congregation Beth Israel in southwest Houston, told KHOU, msnbc.com reported.
Most U.S. Nursing Homes Employ People With Criminal Records:
A new report says 92 percent of U.S. nursing homes have one or
more employees who have been convicted of at least one crime, and
five percent of all nursing home workers have at least one criminal
The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human
Services checked the names of more than 35,000 nursing home
employees against FBI records,
The New York Times reported.
"Our analysis of FBI criminal history records revealed that 92 percent of nursing facilities employed at least one individual with at least one criminal conviction," said Daniel R. Levinson.
"Nearly half of nursing facilities employed five or more individuals with at least one conviction. For example, a nursing facility with a total of 164 employees had 34 with at least one conviction each," he added.
Levinson noted that no federal law or regulation specifically
requires nursing homes to check whether prospective employees have
federal or state criminal records.
"This sounds like a very important study. It cries out for additional regulation. Residents in these homes are so vulnerable," Charlene A. Harrington, a professor at the School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, told The Times.
Researchers Retract Lung Cancer Study
A lung cancer study published in the
New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 has been retracted by
former Duke University researcher Anil Potti and colleagues.
The study said that a gene profiling test could help identify
lung cancer patients who most need chemotherapy. But in letter
published online Wednesday by the journal, the researchers said
they have not been able to reproduce the results and "deeply
regret" the effect this has had on other scientists, the
Associated Press reported.
Last November, Potti resigned from Duke University amid
questions about other studies he led, and as the university was
investigating whether he had lied on a federal grant
Surgeons Announce First Artificial Bronchus Graft
In a world-first, French surgeons say they successfully grafted
an artificial bronchus into a 78-year-old patient with lung cancer.
A bronchus is a main branch of the airway that carries air to the
The surgery in October 2009 prevented the need for complete
removal of the patient's lung. Details about the achievement appear
The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
The patient "is very well," thoracic and vascular surgeon
Emmanuel Martinod told
The artificial bronchus was created using biological material
strengthened by a stent. It took 10 years of research before the
surgeons were ready to use this innovation in a patient.
Loss of Unborn Baby Affects Women for Years: Study
Depression and anxiety suffered by women who lose an unborn baby
can continue long after they have a healthy baby, finds a new
Researchers looked at more than 13,000 women in the U.K. and
found that those who had lost a baby in a previous pregnancy had
significantly higher levels of depression and anxiety during their
BBC News reported.
This psychological impact continued for nearly three years after
the women gave birth to a healthy baby, said the American and
The study appears in the
British Journal of Psychiatry.
"This study is important to the families of women who have lost a baby, since it is so often assumed that they get over the event quickly, yet as shown here, many do not," said Professor Jean Golding, founder of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children at the University of Bristol, BBC News reported.
"This has implications for the medical profession as well as the woman and her family," she added.
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