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Eating More Fiber Could Mean Longer Life

Eat more fiber and you just may live longer.

That's the message from the largest study of its kind to find a link between high-fiber diets and lower risks of death not only from heart disease, but from infectious and respiratory illnesses as well.

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Laughing Gas Returning as Option for Laboring Moms

Labor pain is nothing to laugh at. Yet.

The use of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, during childbirth fell out of favor in the United States decades ago, and just two hospitals — one in San Francisco and one in Seattle — still offer it. But interest in returning the dentist office staple to the delivery room is growing: respected hospitals including Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center plan to start offering it, the federal government is reviewing it, and after a long hiatus, the equipment needed to administer it is expected to hit the market soon.

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Ministry Says 20 Dead of Swine Flu in China in 2011

At least 20 people have died of swine flu in China this year, the health ministry said Friday, but officials said there was no reason to panic even as the flu season reaches its peak.

The fatalities from A(H1N1) influenza have been recorded in at least nine locations since mid-January, the ministry said.

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'Curry' Drug Could Help Rebuild Brain After Stroke

Studies on animals suggest that a new hybrid drug, made in part from the chemical in the yellow spice turmeric, could help regenerate brain cells after a stroke, US researchers said Wednesday.

The molecular compound is made with curcumin, a natural yellow pigment that originates from a perennial herb called Curcuma longa and is popular in South Asian and Middle Eastern foods, particularly curries.

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Study Shows Babies Who Escape HIV Face Other Death Risks

Babies lucky enough not to get HIV from their infected mothers still face up to a four times greater risk of dying in the first year because of a greater susceptibility to infectious disease, said a study Tuesday.

Researchers examined around 100 mothers and their babies in South Africa, and compared antibody levels among children who were born infected with HIV to children who escaped HIV, a group described as HIV-exposed infants.

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Heart Therapy Works Better in Women

For the first time in the history of heart disease research, a certain type of treatment has proven more effective in women than in men, according to a U.S. study published Monday.

The research found that women saw a 70 percent reduction in heart failure compared to men who saw a 35 percent drop when using cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D), indicating it works twice as well in women.

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Universal Flu Vaccine Successfully Tested

Scientists in Britain have successfully tested a vaccine which could work against all known flu strains, the Guardian newspaper reported Monday.

The new vaccine, developed by scientists at Oxford University, differs from traditional treatments by targeting proteins inside the flu virus rather than proteins on the flu's external coat.

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Female Circumcision Migrating to West

Female genital mutilation has established itself in Western countries in recent years because of growing migration flows, the head of an international migration agency said on Friday.

"With the growth in migration in recent years, the phenomenon has unfortunately reached Europe (and) the United States," said William Lacy Swing, head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

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Study Shows 'Tsunami' of obesity worldwide

A "tsunami of obesity" is unfurling across the world, resulting in a near-doubling of the numbers of dangerously overweight adults since 1980, doctors warned on Friday.

More than half a billion men and women -- nearly one in nine of all adults -- are clinically obese, according to research by a team from Imperial College London, Harvard and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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New Mosquito in Africa Raises Malaria Concerns

Researchers have found a new mosquito in the west African nation of Burkina Faso that appears to be highly susceptible to malaria parasites and could help the disease spread, said a study Thursday.

The new subtype of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes is believed to live mainly in the wild, whereas other species collected by scientists have been plucked from indoors where they are easier to find.

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