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Jul 22, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- ATHLETIC INJURIES CAN BE AVOIDED

No athletes, including those in Greece at the Summer Olympics, are immune to tendonitis, ankle sprains, low back problems and concussions. However, while injuries are common to both professional and amateur athletes, they often can be prevented with proper conditioning, according to Dr. Jo Hannafin of the U.S. Olympic Committee medical staff and of the Hospital for Special Surgery. She advises to avoid the "too much, too soon" injury trap, by starting workouts gently and by stretching. Athletes should stay hydrated, replace running shoes every 250 to 500 miles -- even if they are not worn out -- warm up and perform strengthening exercises several times per week for the legs, arms and trunk.

RESEARCHERS SUGGEST NEW SCREEN FOR HEART DISEASE

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center researchers suggest measuring the stiffness of arteries as a way to screen for arteriosclerosis. "Fifty percent of men and 64 percent of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms of the disease," says cardiologist Dr. David M. Herrington. The study, published in the journal Circulation, shows measurements taken with a blood pressure-like test, and confirmed with magnetic resonance imaging were "strongly predictive of the extent of aortic arteriosclerosis." The device measured blood volume in the leg as a way to gauge artery stiffness.

LOW EDUCATION, DEMENTIA LINKED

University of Southern California researchers find people with low education have an increased dementia risk. Margaret Gatz finds less education is a risk factor for all groups, including identical twins who begin life with very similar genetic predispositions to intellectual achievement. The findings, presented to the 9th International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders show genes do not account for the relationship between education and increased dementia risk. The researchers conclude the link between education and increased dementia risk may represent the effects of life-long differences in brain health and mental stimulation -- factors that represent possible ways to intervene earlier to reduce the changes of Alzheimer's disease.

ADULTS NOT DIAGNOSED WITH ADHD

Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder have a strong probability of becoming adults with the condition, say Philadelphia researchers. Dr. David Baron, head of psychiatry at Temple University, says about 60 percent to 70 percent of children with ADHD become adults with ADHD. "For these adults, the symptoms change but the condition continues," Baron says. The challenges of this condition -- distraction, impulsiveness, restlessness and negative self-perception -- have a significant impact on everyday tasks. It's estimated that 8 million U.S. adults are undiagnosed with ADHD, but they can be treated with medication and behavior modification.

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(EDITORS: For more information, on INJURIES, contact Chris Godek at (212) 606-1197. For SCREEN, Karen Richardson at (336) 716-4453 or krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu. For DEMENTIA, Alzheimer's Association at (312) 335-4078 or media@alz.org. For ADHD, Vivica Aycox at (215) 707-7790 or vaycox@tuhs.temple.edu)

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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