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Jul 14, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- MANY VITAMIN D DEFICIENT

It is suspected 30 percent to 50 percent of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient, with some at-risk populations even higher. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to growth, bone and neuro-cognitive development problems in children as well as bone pain and fractures in adults and the elderly, according to the National Institutes of Health. A report from a medical panel of academic and community-based internists, pediatricians and dermatologists acknowledged a growing problem with vitamin D deficiency among their patients. The panel identified three potential causes of the deficiency, all rooted in current cultural trends: reduced exposure to the sun, increased and prolonged breast feeding of infants, and fad diets that hurt vitamin D and calcium consumption.


An Oregon study finds women with breast cancer who receive unwanted support have more trouble adjusting than those with no support at all. "Women with breast cancer vary in the social support actions they want," says study co-author Julie S. Reynolds. Researchers at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research and Oregon Health & Science University in Portland write in Health Psychology the negative effect of unwanted support was more substantial to the women's psychosocial adjustment to their illness than was the positive effect of support they welcomed.


Heart failure patients who had beta-blocker therapy tolerated the treatment well and had less heart failure deterioration than those taking a placebo. Researchers at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., reviewed data from nine randomized trials comparing beta-blockers with a placebo in heart failure patients to measure the risks of adverse effects. "While it is true that beta-blocker therapy is associated with some side-effects, such as hypotension, low blood pressure, dizziness and slow heart beat, the increases in risks are small and fewer patients stopped taking beta-blocker therapy due to side effects than from placebo," says senior author Dr. Harlan M. Krumholz. The findings are published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.


A German study published in Neurology finds people with vertigo can get relief by doing maneuvers at home. The study involved people with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, an inner ear problem that causes a feeling of spinning or whirling, which usually lasts less than a minute and can be mild or severe enough to cause nausea. After one week, 95 percent of those who performed the maneuver, called the modified Epley's procedure, had their symptoms disappear. The maneuver involves head and body movements performed three times a day while sitting on a bed. "For most people, one treatment is all it takes to stop the vertigo," says study author Dr. Andrea Radtke, a neurologist with Charite Campus Virchow Clinic in Berlin.


(EDITORS: For more information on VITAMIN D, contact Janna Guinen at (781) 834-7498 or For CANCER, Terry Fitzpatrick at (503) 335-6602 or For BETA-BLOCKERS, Karen N. Peart at (203) 432-1326 or

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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