Sep 14, 2011, 7:16 a.m.

Dangerous TB spreading at alarming rate in Europe: WHO

LONDON (Reuters) - Multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis (TB) are spreading at an alarming rate in Europe and will kill thousands unless health authorities halt the pandemic, the World Health Organization(WHO) said on Wednesday. Launching a new regional plan to find, diagnose and treat cases of the airborne infectious disease more effectively, the WHO's European director warned that complacency had allowed a resurgence of TB and failure to tackle it now would mean huge human and economic costs in the future.

More doctors facing charges over drug abuse

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Michael Jackson's doctor, accused of killing the pop star with a powerful anesthetic, has joined a small but growing number of doctors facing criminal charges due to a U.S. government clampdown on the over-prescription of addictive drugs. Fatal overdoses from prescription painkillers more than tripled to 13,800 in the United States in 1999 through 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

U.S. unveils ambitious plan to reduce heart attacks

(Reuters) - U.S. health officials are teaming up with insurance companies, pharmacies, health providers and community groups in a campaign to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over five years. The plan announced on Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and several partners, will focus on reducing risk factors through smoking prevention, blood pressure and cholesterol control, and increased use of low-dose aspirin to prevent blood clots.

Counseling may not help pregnant smokers kick habit

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Counseling alone does not seem to help pregnant women quit smoking, according to a review of previous studies that concludes more research on the use of nicotine replacement and other therapies during pregnancy may be needed. Published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the analysis included eight clinical trials of nearly 3,300 pregnant women. Researchers looked at whether counseling helped pregnant women quit smoking after six months.

Study finds healthy hearts in fat bodies

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Carrying extra pounds doesn't necessarily mean your heart is ailing, according to Greek researchers. They found less than 10 percent of healthy obese people in their 50s and 60s without risk factors for heart disease went on to develop heart failure over six years.

Feeling pain? The computer can tell

(Reuters) - Can a computer tell when it hurts? It can if you train it, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday. A team at Stanford University in California used computer learning software to sort through data generated by brain scans and detect when people were in pain.

Americans turned to public health insurance in 2010

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More Americans became reliant on public health insurance and lost coverage sponsored by their employers in 2010, the U.S. government said on Tuesday. The U.S. Census Bureau's annual report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage showed that more people turned to state and federal programs as employer-based plans became more expensive and as unemployment levels stayed stubbornly high.

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