Health & WellnessS


Deeper Look At Drugs In Our Tap Water

Picture this: Three guys go into a bar. The batender asks, "What'll you have?" "A beer", says the first guy. Second one says, "Whiskey" and turning to the third guy asks, "what about you?" "Oh me, I really need a good strong kick, one with lots of punch to it... Yep, I think this day calls for a big one on tap! Hey bartender, how about some of your tap water!"


Rise in institutionalized children linked to'Madonna-style' adoption

Psychologists at the University of Liverpool say that 'Madonna-style' inter-country adoptions are causing a rise in the number of children in orphanages.

Researchers found that EU countries with the highest rates of children living in institutions also had high proportions of international adoptions. This did not reduce the number of children in institutional care but attributed to an increase. The study highlights that in countries such as France and Spain, people are choosing to adopt healthy, white children from abroad rather than children in their own country who are mainly from ethnic minorities.

This process has been labelled the 'Madonna-effect', so-called after the singer's high-profile adoption of a young boy from Zambia in 2006. Statistics show that the media attention surrounding this case contributed to an increase in the number of international adoptions, but at the expense of local orphans.

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Kidney cancer deaths show overall decrease in Europe

But study reveals wide variations between countries.

Overall deaths from kidney cancer have now fallen across Europe after peaking in the early 1990s, according to a detailed analysis of mortality rates for 32 countries published in the urology journal BJU International.

The review is based on official death records collated by the World Health Organization from 1984 to 2004.

Male deaths from kidney cancer showed an overall reduction of 13 per cent between 1992 and 2002 across the European Union and female deaths fell by 17 per cent during the same period.

Figures for the previous decade had shown a 17 per cent rise for men and an 11 per cent rise for women.

Women are significantly less likely to die of kidney cancer than men - between 2000 and 2004 the death rate was 1.8 per 100,000 people for women and 4.1 for men.


Study sheds light on link between sleep disorder, behavior issues in kids

A new study by researchers at Hasbro Children's Hospital offers a closer look at the association between childhood sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), including snoring and sleep apnea, and behavioral problems like hyperactivity and anxiety.

Published in the April issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, the study revealed that children with SDB who are also overweight, sleep for short periods of time, or have another sleep disorder like insomnia are more likely to have behavior issues.

"It's important for clinicians to consider the contributions of these risk factors when screening, triaging, evaluating and designing treatments for children with SDB, particularly since they can help identify those patients who are in need of aggressive interventions and close follow-up," says lead author Judith A. Owens, M.D., M.P.H., director of the pediatric sleep disorders clinic at Hasbro Children's Hospital and an associate professor of medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.


Your neighborhood can affect your health

Research shows middle-aged and elderly people in poor neighborhoods 'significantly more likely' to suffer mobility and cognitive problems.

Research carried out at the Peninsula Medical School, South West England, has found strong links between neighbourhood deprivation and the physical and intellectual health of older people.

Two studies were conducted, both using data on participants in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).


Singapore fears its worst-ever dengue fever epidemic

Dengue fever infections are mounting alarmingly in Singapore due to a change to a more deadly strain of the disease, sparking fears of the city-state's potentially worst epidemic yet, news reports said Tuesday.

Unless the trend of infections is halted, health officials warn that the number of sick people could hit record levels within three years.

The number of infections from January through March is already 60 per cent higher than during the first quarter of 2007, said figures published in The Straits Times.


Parkinson's trigger identified by scientists

The brain cells responsible for triggering Parkinson's disease have been identified by scientists who believe the discovery could lead to new ways to treat the condition.

The "mother cells" which have been identified produce and use the chemical dopamine to transmit messages in the brain.

It is a depletion of these cells - so-called "dopaminergic neurons" - and the associated lack of dopamine which causes chronic and progressive symptoms including tremors, stiff muscles and slow movement in sufferers.


Depressed People More Prone to Alzheimer's, Study Says

People with depression are more likely to later develop Alzheimer's disease, according to two studies published on Monday, and one team said that chronic stress may damage their brains.

"What we think it suggests is that depression truly is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, and not simply a sign that the disease is developing," Dr. Robert Wilson, a neuropsychologist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago who led one study, said in a telephone interview.


Toronto health agency investigating outbreak of four measles cases

Toronto's public health agency is investigating a measles outbreak of four cases, but officials are emphasizing the risk of infection is considered low.

Toronto Public Health is focusing on one person who may have exposed other people to measles by visiting Toronto East General Hospital, a community health centre and a Wal-Mart last week.

The health agency says the risk to the general public is low because most people are immune to measles as a result of past illness and Canada's high immunization rates.


US: Allergies and kidney stones plague Central Texas

Allergies, insect bites and kidney stones seem to be plaguing Central Texas.

Dr. John Villacis with the Austin Diagnostic Center on North Mopac said oak allergy season is definately here, so if you have tree allergies, try to stay indoors and take some allergy medicine.

Villacis also sees a lot of stinging insect bites this time of year, especially bees and wasps. If you are allergic to these insects, be careful.

Central Texas is in the middle of the stone belt, an area that stretches through the southeastern states where kidney stone cases are high. It is something to watch out for, especially if you love to work out outdoors.