Jim Byard's Health Beat
Health Watch Stories 1 to 6 of 403  
Taxing Sodas and Sweets To Fight Obesity
A U.S. panel wants to tax sodas and sweets to fight obesity. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee propose the tax in a report that also recommends Americans cut down on meat consumption. Obesity now affects more than one-third of adults in the U.S. and 17 percent of children. 
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Kids Lacking Vitamin D Risk Adult Heart Disease
Kids who don't get enough vitamin D are at greater risk for heart disease as adults. The results of a new study showed that low levels of vitamin D in childhood were associated with cardiovascular risk factors. Researchers from Finnish University analyzed over two-thousand participants ages three to 18, who were re-examined some 30 years later. Taking life styles habits into account, the study showed that participants with low levels of Vitamin D in childhood developed more symptoms of heart disease in life. 
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Breastfed Babies Have Lower Arsenic Exposure
Breastfed babies have a lower exposure to arsenic than formula-fed babies. That's the finding in a new study that also says it's not yet clear whether such low levels of arsenic exposure can be harmful. The researchers say the powder and water used in making baby formula may be where the arsenic comes from, since it's something that occurs naturally in the environment. Parents might want to find out more about the arsenic level in the tap water, especially if their water comes from a well. The researchers also found baby formula powder may have low levels of naturally occurring arsenic. The study was published in the journal "Environmental Health Perspectives."
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Three-Drug Cocktail Regimen Buys Breast Cancer Patients More Life
A three-drug cocktail regimen is buying certain cancer patients an extra 16 months of life. Dr. Sandra Swain of MedStar Washington Hospital Center led the Cleopatra trial on patients with advance HER-2 breast cancer that had spread to other organs. She says the study shows that adding a drug called Perjeta (purr-JET-uh) to standard treatment with Texotere (TAX-uh-teer) and Herceptin ( her-SEP-tin) boost survival to nearly five years. Her research on 800 patients is published in hes week's "New England Journal of Medicine."  Swain says the results are unprecedented and are huge advance for women with aggressive HER-2 breast cancer.
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Baptist Health Adds seven "Germ-Zapping" Robots To Help Enhance Safety
Baptist Health Jacksonville has a new tool in its infection-prevention toolkit: germ-zapping robots that uses ultraviolet (UV) light to quickly destroy bacteria, viruses, mold, and other pathogen. This state-of-the-art infection device enhances quality and patient safety through environmentally friendly technology that uses pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV) light to quickly destroy dangerous microorganisms and reduce germs, a continuous source of concern for hospitals. While not intended as a substitute for hand hygiene and traditional cleaning procedures, the robots help improve sanitation efficiency and effectiveness  and reduce unnecessary cost related to hospital-acquired infections.
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New Numbers Show Looming Doctor Shortage
A new report shows how critical the doctor shortage will be in Florida. The Teaching Hospital Council of Florida and the Safety Net Hospital Alliance found that the state will face critical shortage of seven-thousand physicians in just the next ten-years. The study identified an urgent need for specialists in psychiatry, general surgery, rheumatology, and thoracic surgery. The group says Florida hospitals need to create more residency positions to close the gap.   
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