Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine
Week Beginning 25 November 2002
Night Risk Of Acid Reflux
A new US study concludes that acid reflux causes the most harm when sufferers are asleep. Research at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, presented at the American College of Gastroenterology's annual meeting in Seattle, shows that 60 per cent of sufferers have symptoms during the night when the body is least prepared to deal with them. Reflux sufferers are particularly vulnerable at night, according to Professor William Orr, because lying flat allows stomach acid to collect in the oesophagus.
Scientists have grown a new apple for Halloween – with spooky pictures on the skin. The fruit is red but boasts green images of witches and pumpkins. Nutritionists hope the apples will appeal to children and provide a healthier alternative to sweets. If they are a success, there could be Santa versions for Christmas and heart-shaped designs for Valentine's Day.
Stress And Health Ignored
More than half the people in Wales suffer from stress on a daily basis and almost all are ignoring related health risks, a survey has revealed. Independent research by Lloyds Pharmacy has shown that less than 50 per cent of people have had a health check-up in the past year. And of the 1,000 people questioned, more than 1 in 10 said they had never had a blood pressure test, despite recognising that stress is a trigger for the condition.
The Daily Mail
Inhaled Smoke Remains High Risk For Kids
Opening a window will not protect children from passive smoking, parents are being warned. The smoke from one cigarette lingers in the air for more than two hours, say doctors at London’s Royal Brompton Hospital. The warning is part of a campaign to highlight the dangers of children inhaling their parents’ cigarette smoke. Passive smoking has been linked with an increased risk of meningitis, asthma, cot death and chest infections. Children are more at risk than adults because their lungs are smaller and not fully developed, says paediatric respiratory fellow Dr Liz Edwards.
The Daily Telegraph
Infant Asthma And Heaters
Airway trouble in babies may be exacerbated by pollution from wood-burning stoves and gas or paraffin heaters, say US researchers. A study in Connecticut and Virginia shows that secondary heat sources raise the risk of wheezing and coughing in babies exposed to them in the first winter of life. The heaters give off fine particles as well as combustion gases, which can irritate the lungs. Elizabeth Triche, an epidemiologist at Yale University, says gas space heaters appear to be the worst offenders.
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