Sep 9, 2011, 8:24 p.m.
Analysis: Prognosis poor for U.N. chronic disease meeting
LONDON (Reuters) - Ten years after committing to fight AIDS, the United Nations is taking on an even bigger bunch of killers -- common chronic diseases -- in what is shaping up to be a bruising battle between big business, Western governments and the world's poor. Tobacco, food and drinks companies are in the firing line for peddling products linked to cancer, diabetes and heart disease, while politicians in the rich world are accused of failing to set firm targets or provide funds for a decent fight.
Listeria outbreak probe expands to three states
DENVER (Reuters) - An investigation into a listeria outbreak that has killed at least one person has expanded to include three states where possibly tainted cantaloupe was consumed, Colorado health officials said on Friday. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in a release that of the nine confirmed cases of the gastrointestinal infection in Colorado, two suspected cases in Texas and one in Nebraska, all of the patients recently ate cantaloupe.
Financial incentives for doctors don't always help
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Health systems haven't figured out how best to structure financial incentives to encourage primary care doctors to do their jobs better, suggests a new paper. And it's not clear that the incentives, meant to reward doctors for improving patient care, always do more good than harm, according to Australian researchers who collected data from studies of incentive programs in the U.S., the UK and Germany.
Smoking marijuana not linked to obesity: study
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who smoke marijuana may be prone to "the munchies," but surprisingly, they are less likely than non-smokers to pack on the pounds, suggests a recent study from France. Analyzing data covering more than 50,000 American adults, researchers found that roughly 14 percent to 17 percent of the people reporting that they smoked pot at least three days per week were obese. That compared with a 22 to 25 percent obesity rate among people who said they had not used pot in the past 12 months.
Female smokers have more bladder symptoms
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Bladder problems seen more often among smokers than nonsmokers may be further motivation for women to quit smoking, a new study suggests. Looking at 2,000 Finnish women ages 18 to 79, researchers found that smokers were three times as likely to say they frequently had to urinate -- with fewer than two hours between trips to the bathroom.
Study casts wider net for risky blood pressure in kids
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - More kids than previously thought could be at risk for dangerously high blood pressure, with as many as a quarter having blood vessels that look like those of much older people, according to a new study. Because there is a theoretical possibility that some of these kids could suffer a stroke or a heart attack down the road, researchers say the findings mean all kids should have their blood pressure measured.