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US-HEALTH Summary

Sep 25, 2011, 10:20 p.m.

Can eating fish lower the risk of strokes?

(Reuters) - People who eat fish a few times each week are slightly less likely to suffer a stroke than those who only eat a little or none at all, according to an international analysis. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish may lower stroke risk through their positive effects on blood pressure and cholesterol, wrote Susanna Larsson and Nicola Orsini of Sweden's Karolinska Institute in the journal Stroke.

Creepy-crawlies may help heal diabetes wounds

(Reuters) - To jump-start the healing of difficult diabetic wounds, researchers have a suggestion: let maggots do the work. To allow such wounds to heal, doctors remove infected or dead tissue with scalpels or enzymes, a process they call debridement. But these tools often fail.

Free formula samples at hospitals raise concern

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Company-sponsored infant formula samples are still the norm at many hospitals, although fewer are giving out the freebies now than in 2007, according to a new report. Experts worry that giving new moms the free samples could undermine official recommendations that they stick to breastfeeding until their baby is at least six months old.

More youngsters having unsafe sex: global study

LONDON (Reuters) - Young people across the globe are having more unprotected sex and know less about effective contraception options, a multinational survey revealed on Monday. The "Clueless or Clued Up: Your Right to be informed about contraception" study prepared for World Contraception Day (WCD) reports that the number of young people having unsafe sex with a new partner increased by 111 percent in France, 39 percent in the USA and 19 percent in Britain in the last three years.

Roche bone drug eases pain in prostate cancer trial

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Roche's bone strengthening drug Boniva is as good for pain relief as single dose radiotherapy in patients whose prostate cancer has spread to their bones, according to data from a late-stage trial released on Sunday. Trial investigators said the level side effects of Boniva -- known generically as ibandronate (IB) -- were also comparable with radiotherapy, suggesting it could offer an alternative option for advanced cancer patients suffering pain.

Novartis's Afinitor shows promise in breast cancer

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - C ombining two drugs from Novartis and Pfizer to treat post-menopausal women with a certain type of advanced breast cancer more than doubled the time they lived without their disease getting worse, study data showed on Monday. Investigators conducting a clinical trial found that women treated with a combination of Novartis' Afinitor or everolimus, and Pfizer's oestrogen-blocker Aromasin, known generically as xemestane, had progression-free survival (PFS) of as much as seven months more than women treated with the Pfizer drug alone.

Novartis drug may help older breast cancer patients

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Novartis's bone drug Zometa extended survival in older breast cancer patients but failed to improve disease-free survival among younger women patients in a large-scale clinical trial, researchers said on Sunday. Detailed data presented at the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress (EMCC) in Stockholm showed that Zometa, a bisphosphonate drug known generically as zoledronic acid, only improved overall survival rates in patients who had undergone the menopause at least five years earlier.

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