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10 Health Reviews about What’s Happening with and around You

10 Health Reviews about What’s Happening with and around You

US: White House denies link between smog and premature death
27 April 2008 – Short-term exposure to smog, or ozone, is clearly linked to premature deaths that should be taken into account when measuring the health benefits of reducing air pollution, a National Academy of Sciences report concluded. The findings contradict arguments made by some White House officials that the connection between smog and premature death has not been shown sufficiently, and that the number of saved lives should not be calculated in determining clean air benefits.

Stressed out? Turmoil takes a toll on diet, exercise routine
26 April 2008 – Stressed workers often reach for calorie-rich foods, skip the gym after a taxing day or forego meals because of heavy workloads. Or they indulge in other bad-for-you behavior like smoking, drinking or staying out late. As the credit and housing crises rattle Wall Street, pressures over bigger workloads, job security and shrinking nest eggs are upending diets and fueling unhealthy habits across the country. But it is in times of duress, experts say, that minding your health is perhaps more critical than ever.

Scarred and depressed, more in Afghanistan turn to drugs
20 April 2008 – Scarred by decades of turmoil and grief, 66 per cent of Afghans suffer from depression or some form of mental disorder, and an increasing number are turning to illegal drugs, a top health official said. Afghanistan is the world’s number one producer of opium, from which heroin is derived. It had an estimated 920,000 drug addicts a few years ago.

Study confirms Parkinson’s-pesticides link
18 April 2008 – Results of a family-based, ‘case-control’ study support a relationship between exposure to pesticides and the development of Parkinson’s disease. Prior studies have shown that people with Parkinson’s disease are over twice as likely to report being exposed to pesticides as people without the disease, but few studies have looked at this association in people from the same family or have assessed associations between specific classes of pesticides and Parkinson’s disease.

The European Union says food can pass resistant bacteria to people
18 April 2008 – The use of antibiotics and other anti-microbial agents throughout the food chain contributes to the growth of resistant bacteria which can be passed on to humans through food, EU’s food agency said on Thursday. The resistance of bacteria has become a growing concern as anti-microbials become less effective in fighting infections, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said in a statement.

US: Nearly 1 in 5 troops has mental problems after war service
18 April 2008 – Roughly one in every five US troops who have survived the bombs and other dangers of Iraq and Afghanistan now suffers from major depression or post-traumatic stress, an independent study said Thursday. It estimated the toll at 300,000 or more. Only about half of those with mental health problems have sought treatment. Even fewer of those with head injuries have seen doctors.

Study says 300,000 US troops suffer mental problems
17 April 2008 – About 300,000 United States troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, but about half receive no care, an independent study said on Thursday. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, can result from wartime trauma such as suffering wounds or witnessing others being hurt. Symptoms include irritability or outbursts of anger, sleep difficulties, trouble concentrating, extreme vigilance, and an exaggerated startle response.

Big US study links breast cancer to drinking
15 April 2008 – A large US study has linked alcohol consumption to an increased risk of the most common type of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. The research found that women who had one to two small drinks a day were 32 per cent more likely to develop a hormone-sensitive tumour. Three or more drinks a day raised the risk by 51 per cent.

US: Plastic bottle chemical may be harmful – agency
15 April 2008 – A chemical in some plastic food and drink packaging including baby bottles may be tied to early puberty and prostate and breast cancer, the US government said. Based on draft findings by the National Toxicology Program, part of the US National Institutes of Health, senior congressional Democrats asked the Food and Drug Administration to reconsider its view that the chemical bisphenol A is safe in products for use by infants and children. The draft cast doubt on the FDA’s position that BPA was safe.

US: Accidents at disease lab acknowledged
12 April 2008 – The only US facility allowed to research the highly contagious foot-and-mouth disease experienced several accidents with the feared virus, the Bush administration acknowledged Friday. The accidents are significant because the administration is likely to move foot-and-mouth research from the remote island to one of five sites on the US mainland near livestock herds. This has raised concerns about the risks of a catastrophic outbreak of the disease, which does not sicken humans but can devastate the livestock industry. An epidemic in 2001 devastated Britain’s livestock industry, as the government slaughtered 6 million animals including milk cows and sheep. Last year, in another outbreak, Britain’s health and safety agency concluded the virus probably escaped from a site shared by a government research centre and a vaccine maker. Foot-and-mouth virus can be carried on a worker’s breath or clothes, or vehicles leaving a lab.

10 Health Reviews about What’s Happening with and around You. Editing by Bob Ren

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