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Aug 10, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- HEALTHIER FLOUR ON HORIZON

ConAgra Food Ingredients is introducing a whole-grain flour that tastes like refined flour but is 100 percent whole-wheat. Ultragrain White Whole Wheat bread tastes like it contains refined white flour but has the nutritional advantages of whole-grain, including increased phytonutrients and up to five times the levels of potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, B vitamins and fiber found in refined flour, company officials said. A patent-pending milling technique and equipment retain whole-grain nutrients, while giving the bread the texture of white flours, ConAgra officials said.

IMAGERY HELPS IN CHILD'S PAIN REDUCTION

A Cincinnati study shows imagery or distraction can be used with pain medications to significantly reduce post-operative pain in children. Study author Myra Huth at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center said children who had tonsils or adenoids removed were given an audio tape that enabled them to imagine they were going to "a favorite place," resulting in significantly less pain. The study, published in the journal Pain, finds patients who used imagery reported less pain after ambulatory surgery but not at home, perhaps because their anxiety had decreased by being at home. "When treating pain in children, we should appeal not only to the senses but also to feelings and emotions," Huth says.

COMPUTER MODEL LOOKS AT HRT

A Rhode Island hospital computer model suggests short-term hormone therapy increases quality of life but may shorten life expectancy in menopausal women. Hormone replacement therapy is used to treat menopausal symptoms and decreases the risks of osteoporosis and colorectal cancer, but it also could increase the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer, according to study leader Dr. Nananda F. Col. "Whether short-term HT is beneficial or harmful depends primarily on a woman's treatment goals, the severity of her estrogen-responsive symptoms and her cardiovascular risk," the authors write in the Archives of Internal Medicine. "If the goal is to maximize longevity, hormone therapy is not advisable, since it is associated with small losses in life expectancy."

BREAST CANCER MORE AGGRESSIVE WITH GENE

A study comparing breast tumors of African-American and white women finds black women are more likely to have a gene mutation linked to more aggressive cancer. Yale University researchers say African-American women have a lower incidence of breast cancer than white women, but they have a higher mortality rate. The disease also develops at an earlier age and is more aggressive in African-American women. The study, published in the journal Cancer, finds there is a clearly significant increase in p53 mutations among black women that is independent of other tumor characteristics, socioeconomic status and biomedical and lifestyle factors.

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(EDITOR: For more information, contact Alison Lanham at (312) 228-6832 or Alison.lanham@ketchum.com. For IMAGERY, Jim Feuer at (513) 636-4656 or jim.feuer@cchmc.org. For COMPUTER MODEL, Nicole Gustin at (401) 444-7299. For CANCER, Karen N. Peart at (203) 432-1326 or karen.peart@yale.edu.)

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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