Health

Officials Urge Safety for Motorists and Residents Using Alternative Heat Sources
December 17, 2007 05:58 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

HARRISBURG, Pa. - With freezing rain causing downed trees and power lines over large portions of the state, officials in affected areas -- that includes much of the northeast US -- are urging motorists to be cautious on the roads and to not drive over downed wires or branches. "Be especially careful when driving at night and watch for black ice, downed wires or debris in the roadway," said PEMA Director Robert P. French. "If possible, turn around to avoid such obstructions. Do not try to move fallen power lines yourself."

Lack of Light and Seasonal Depression
December 17, 2007 05:18 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

BOSTON - People troubled by depression usually experience their dark moods in an on-again, off-again fashion. In that respect, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) differs only in that the oscillations follow a seasonal schedule, with the depression usually starting in the fall and lasting through the spring. Lack of light is often blamed for SAD, but just how darker days cause depression in SAD sufferers is still in question, reports the January 2008 issue of the Harvard Health Letter.

Many Americans aim to go "green" in 2008: survey
December 17, 2007 04:41 PM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three-quarters of Americans, the world's largest polluters, plan to be more environmentally responsible in 2008 by reducing household energy or recycling more, a survey showed on Monday. Half of those polled said they would make a "green" New Year's resolution, according to the survey by GfK Roper and commissioned by marketing consultancy Tiller LLC.

Short legs linked to liver disease in study
December 17, 2007 04:32 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Women with short legs may have a higher risk of liver disease, with both probably caused by diet or other factors early in life, British researchers reported on Monday. Their study of 3,600 women showed that the shorter a woman's legs were, the more likely she was to have signs of liver damage. The findings fit in with other studies linking leg length with diabetes and heart disease, Abigail Fraser of the University of Bristol and colleagues said.

Massage found to relieve post-surgery pain
December 17, 2007 04:14 PM - Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Massage can ease pain after surgery and may complement the use of drugs for patients, U.S. researchers said on Monday. In a study of 605 men 64 years and older who had major surgery, 200 received nightly 20-minute back massages for four days. On a scale of 1 to 10, those who got massages reported their pain diminished one level faster than those who did not.

Flexible work schedule may foster healthy habits
December 17, 2007 01:05 PM - Amy Norton, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who feel they have flexibility in their job schedules tend to have a healthier lifestyle than those with less workplace freedom, new study results suggest. Researchers found that among nearly 3,200 U.S.-based employees of a large pharmaceutical company, those who felt they had the most workplace flexibility were more likely to report healthy habits such as exercising regularly and getting adequate sleep.

Mutation in one gene tied to Lou Gehrig's disease
December 17, 2007 01:04 PM - Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A mutation in a single gene may raise one's risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also know as Lou Gehrig's disease, by as much as 30 percent, offering a potential new target for drug research, Dutch scientists said on Sunday.

Canada to crack down on unsafe toys, food, drugs
December 17, 2007 01:02 PM - Reuters

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Reacting to a recent series of toy, food and drug recalls, the Canadian government pledged tighter regulations on Monday to try to prevent such problems in the future. "As we head into the holidays, there's growing concern about the safety of the products on the market, and for good reason," Prime Minister Stephen Harper told a news conference at a Salvation Army toy depot.

EU makes sheep and goat tags compulsory by end of '09
December 17, 2007 11:27 AM - Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU ministers agreed on Monday to introduce electronic tags for millions of sheep and goats across the European Union by the end of 2009, part of a strategy to prevent epidemics of contagious diseases like foot-and-mouth. Back in December 2003, the bloc's farm ministers agreed new animal tagging rules to replace a system where only flocks of sheep and herds of goats are tracked when moved from farm to farm, sold at market or sent for slaughter.

H5N1 bird flu hits Benin, home of Voodoo ritual
December 17, 2007 07:15 AM - Reuters

COTONOU (Reuters) - Benin, the home of ritual Voodoo sacrifice, became the latest in a string of West African states to report cases of H5N1 bird flu after laboratory tests confirmed the deadly virus on two poultry farms.

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