Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 7 Issue 47 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 16-Feb-2005 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 17-Feb-2005
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Mothers' exposure to air pollutants linked to chromosome damage in babies
A new study of 60 newborns in New York City reveals that exposure of expectant mothers to combustion-related urban air pollution may alter the structure of babies’ chromosomes while in the womb. While previous experiments have linked such genetic alterations to an increased risk of leukemia and other cancers, much larger studies would be required to determine the precise increase in risk as these children reach adulthood.  more

Medtronic issues notification regarding certain implantable defibrillator models
On 11 Februray, Medtronic, Inc., said it is voluntarily advising physicians about a potential battery shorting mechanism that may occur in a subset of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) models. In a letter to physicians, Medtronic reported that nine batteries (0.01 percent or approximately 1 in 10,000) have experienced rapid battery depletion due to this shorting action. If shorting occurs, battery depletion can take place within a few hours to a few days, after which there is loss of device function.  more

NHLBI study shows smoking cessation programs improve survival
New findings from the Lung Health Study (LHS) show that intensive smoking cessation programs can significantly improve long-term survival among smokers. Supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), LHS is a landmark study that differs from many other studies of cigarette smoking in that it was a randomized, controlled clinical trial — considered the gold standard in determining cause and effect; furthermore, the size and duration of LHS enabled it to more accurately measure the risks associated with smoking than other clinical trials.  more


Zinc deficiency linked to increased risk of less-common form of esophageal cancer
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, have found that zinc deficiency in humans is associated with an increased risk of developing esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, an often-fatal form of esophageal cancer that has about 7,000 cases a year.  more

Diabetes' link to obesity broken in mice
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis used genetically modified mice to uncover a potentially important link between diabetes and obesity.  more

Researchers confirm Vioxx nearly doubled cardiovascular risks in cancer prevention study
The largest prospective trial ever examining the anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx as a chemoprevention agent found that the risk of developing a cardiovascular "event" - heart attacks and/or strokes - was almost double in patients who received the drug, compared to patients who took the placebo, according to a study out 15 February on-line in The New England Journal of Medicine.  more

Single-donor islet transplantation procedure shows promise for patients with type 1 diabetes
Patients with type 1 diabetes who received islet transplantation from a single donor pancreas were insulin independent one year later, according to a study in the 16 February issue of JAMA, a theme issue on medical applications of biotechnology. more

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