Health

Families pursue nuisance complaints in fracking suits

According to a story in Bloomberg, some families who have filed lawsuits over the natural gas extraction method called “hydraulic fracturing,” or “fracking,” have changed their tactics.

The families in question live in Pennsylvania along the Marcellus Shale — a gas-rich underground rock formation that also extends into New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia.

Fracking involves pumping millions of gallons of water underground to break up underlying rock formations and release ...

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Physicians question whether blood pressure drugs over-prescribed

A story in The Oregonian deals with the controversial question of whether people with borderline high blood pressure are taking medicine unnecessarily.

The issue is getting a good deal of discussion in the medical community following a recent column in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, in which a British doctor called for raising the blood pressure levels at which medication is prescribed.

Among the doctor’s concerns is that prescribing medication too readily ...

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Study says yoga may lower blood pressure

A study suggests that the practice of yoga may help control high blood pressure, according to a story in U.S. News and World Report.

Although the study did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between yoga and lower blood pressure, the story quotes a cardiologist as saying that the findings suggest “yoga would be a useful adjunct in the lowering of blood pressure in certain populations.”

That could be valuable for patients at risk, ...

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Research shows promise for distinguishing pancreas ailments

Mayo Clinic researchers say they’ve uncovered “promising” findings for a method designed to distinguish between pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. According to a report on News-Medical.Net, the two conditions can be difficult to tell apart.

Cancer that affects the pancreas is a particularly dangerous form of the disease, with a five-year survival rate of only 5 percent. Pancreatitis, on the other hand, is an inflammation of the pancreas that can sometimes lead to ...

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Experts: Dialysis not always best option for older patients

A federal law dating to the 1970s provides virtually free dialysis to anyone suffering from kidney failure, according to a story in the New York Times. But renal experts are trying to encourage doctors to give older kidney failure patients, many of whom suffer from other ailments, a more realistic assessment of how much the procedure is likely to help them.

According to the story, recent studies have concluded that not only ...

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Writer’s reluctance to take Lipitor led to effective diet

In an interview with the Huffington Post, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman discusses his new diet plan that consists of eating vegan, or eating no animal products, before 6 p.m. every day. Bittman has recently published a book on his diet called VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health … for Good.

In the book, Bittman writes that at the age of 57, he was ...

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