Jim Byard's Health Beat
Health Watch Stories 1 to 6 of 773  
FDA Asked To Approve New Shingles Vaccine
   (Washington, DC)   A new shingles vaccine is a step closer to becoming available in the United States.  GlaxoSmithKline has asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve its experimental shingles vaccine called Shingrix.  In clinical trials, Shingrix remained effective for at least four years.  The only shingles vaccine currently on the market, Zostavax, weakens over time.  Shingrix has not yet been approved for use anywhere in the world.  GlaxoSmithKline also plans to file with regulators in Europe, Canada and Japan.
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Health Officials Warn About Use Of Decorative Contact Lenses
   (Sacramento, CA)   Health officials are warning consumers about the risks associated with the use of decorative contact lenses this Halloween.  Decorative contact lenses are intended to temporarily change how someone's eyes look.  Usually they're sold at beauty supply and novelty stores and are popular around Halloween each year.  Wearing decorative lenses without proper consultation of an eye care professional can cause injuries ranging from infection, ulcers, or scratches to the surface of the eye.  Only Board of Optometry licensed optometrists and opthamologists are authorized to prescribe and dispense prescription contact lenses.
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Smoking Responsible For 3-In-10 Cancer Deaths
   (Undated)    A new study says cigarette smoking is responsible for over 165-thousand cancer deaths a year in the U.S.  This includes deaths due to the 12 categories of cancer the U.S. Surgeon General blames on smoking, excluding cancers of the mouth and throat.  Researchers used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine the death toll in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  The study found that seven of the states with the highest rate of deaths were in the south where 95-percent of tobacco grown in the U.S. is produced.  States with higher deaths were found to have weaker tobacco control policies and programs.
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Study Shows Changes In Young Football Players Brain
   (Undated)  A new study shows changes in the brains of children who took hits playing tackle football.  The Wake Forest University study focused on hundreds of less serious head blows players might receive during practices and games throughout a season.  Players between the ages of eight and 13 were given helmets with sensors that measure the frequency and severity of hits.  Results showed the more head blows the players sustained, the more changes they experienced in their brain tissue.  The brain scans showed changes in white matter, which is the tissue that connects neuron-rich gray matter.  Researchers say the findings don't show if the brain changes are permanent or will cause disease, but say the study is significant because children experience rapid change in brain development from the ages of nine-to-18. 
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Study: 2 Sweet Drinks Per Day Could Double Diabetes Risk
  (Undated)   Swilling down just two sweet drinks every day could raise your risk of developing diabetes.  New research indicates drinking two or more 200-milliliter servings of sweetened drinks per day can double a person's diabetes risk.  Standard 12-ounce cans of sweetened drinks contain more than 300-milliliters, so just a can and-a-half could be enough to double the risk of diabetes.  Researchers found the risk doubled whether the drinks were sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners.  The study is published in the journal of the European Society of Endocrinology.
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Pediatricians Update Digital Media Recommendation For Kids
 (Undated)   Pediatricians say parents need to pay attention to how much time their kids spend using social media, and how, when, and where they use it.  The American Academy of Pediatrics issued new digital media guidelines for kids Thursday.  The doctors say social media, used in the wrong way, can interfere with children's quality of sleep, development, and physical health.  The guidelines say parents should not use media as their only method of calming their kids, but that it can be a good soothing tool on airplanes or during medical treatments.
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