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US-HEALTH Summary

Aug 31, 2011, 5 p.m.

Teens, young men way over limit on sugary drinks

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - About half of the population drinks a sugar-sweetened beverage on any given day, with teens and young men consuming way more than recommended limits for staying healthy, according to new government data. The survey results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show how far consumer habits must change to help fight the nation's obesity epidemic, with nearly two-thirds of Americans either overweight or obese.

More evidence hormone patch is safer than pills

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new study adds to evidence that skin patches offer a safer alternative to pills for women who want to treat their menopausal symptoms with hormones. The study, of 54,000 women who used hormone replacement therapy (HRT), found that those who used estrogen patches were one-third less likely to develop blood clots in the legs or lungs.

FDA eyes registry for breast implants problems

GAITHERSBURG, Maryland (Reuters) - U.S. health regulators said they would consider setting up a registry that tracks safety problems with breast implants, after too many patients dropped out of company-funded studies. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration emphasized on Wednesday that silicone implants were safe and would stay on the market, despite calls for their removal by consumer groups.

Study finds gene "overdose" link to being skinny

LONDON (Reuters) - People with extra copies of certain genes are much more likely to be very skinny, scientists said Wednesday in the first finding of a genetic cause for extreme thinness. In a study in the journal Nature, researchers from Britain's Imperial College London and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland found that a duplication of a part of chromosome 16 is associated with being underweight.

Bird flu deaths in Asia prompt call for scrutiny

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Virologists warned on Tuesday that there was no vaccine against a mutant strain of H5N1 bird flu now spreading in China and Vietnam and called for closer monitoring of the disease in poultry and wild birds to stop it spreading to people. The call came after the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned on Monday of a possible resurgence of bird flu and said a mutant strain of the H5N1 was spreading in Asia and beyond.

Arizona man impaled through skull with pruning shears

TUCSON, Ariz (Reuters) - An 86-year-old Arizona man who was impaled through the skull with pruning shears in a freak gardening accident was expected to make a full recovery, his doctors said. Leroy Luetscher dropped a pair of pruning shears while working in his yard in Green Valley, south of Tucson, on July 30, the University Medical Center in Tucson said in a news release.

Speedy eaters likely to be heavier

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Middle-aged women who scarf down their meals tend to be heavier than those who savor each bite, a new report from New Zealand shows. The study doesn't prove that speed-eating will necessarily cause women to pack on extra pounds, but researchers believe it might influence how much food people ingest.

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