Study Shows How Stress Triggers Immune System (USA Today)

Shedding some light on why stress might be bad for you, a new study finds that parts of your immune system ramp up when you get into personal conflicts with others.

It’s not clear how this effect of stress may make you sick, but the activated parts of the immune system – which cause inflammation in the body – have been linked to conditions such as diabetes and cancer.

“The message is that the flotsam and jetsam of life predict changes in your underlying biology in ways that cumulatively could have a bad effect on health,” said study co-author Shelley Taylor, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. “What this tells me is that people should be investing in socially supportive relationships, and they should not court relationships that lead to a great deal of conflict”…MORE

US to Tell Drugmakers to Disclose Payment to Doctors (San Jose Mercury News)

To head off medical conflicts of interest, the Obama administration is poised to require drug companies to disclose the payments they make to doctors for research, consulting, speaking, travel and entertainment.

Many researchers have found evidence that such payments can influence doctors’ treatment decisions and contribute to higher costs by encouraging the use of more expensive drugs and medical devices.

Consumer advocates and members of Congress say patients may benefit from the new standards, being issued by the government under the new health care law. Federal officials said the disclosures increased the likelihood that doctors would make decisions in the best interests of patients, without regard to the doctors’ financial interests…MORE

Shortage of Research on When There’s Too Much Health Care (NPR)

Published research on overuse is in pretty short supply, so rooting out waste by looking at the existing studies can be a little like limiting your late-night search for lost car keys to the spots right under streetlights.

Still, you’ve got start somewhere.

And a group of researchers combed the literature, zeroing in on 172 papers (out of more than 114,000 relevant ones published between 1978 and 2009) to see where the evidence for overuse was strongest.

What did they find?…MORE

Most Women Can Skip Frequent Bone Tests (

Older women who receive normal bone mineral density scores may not need to be screened again for 10 years, new research shows.

Since 2002, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended that women ages 65 and older be routinely screened for osteoporosis and has suggested that a two-year screening interval might be appropriate. However, what length the screening interval should be is a topic that remains undecided.

“If a woman’s bone density at age 67 is very good, then she doesn’t need to be re-screened in two years or three years, because we’re not likely to see much change,” says Margaret Gourlay, assistant professor of family medicine at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill…MORE

Big Pharma Routinely Suppresses Data from Clinical Trials – but FDA Approves These Dangerous Drugs Anyway! (Alliance for Natural Health)

Drug research, even from clinical trials sponsored by the federal government, is routinely suppressed, according to a new study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), an international peer-reviewed medical publication. The study found that less than half of all NIH-funded clinical drug trials were published in a medical journal within two and a half years of the trial’s completion—with fully one-third of trial results remaining unpublished even four years after the trial. Why? Because the drug manufacturers didn’t like the data…MORE

Suffered an Injury? Omega 3 Fatty Acids Are Key (NY Daily News)

Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for the body’s normal growth and development. Because the body doesn’t produce omega-3 fatty acids naturally, they have to be consumed in foods such as oily fish or in supplements.

The new study, published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, has found that omega-3 fatty acids could play a significant role in preventing and protecting nerves from injury…MORE

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