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Posted - Mar. 15, 2004 at 7:40 a.m.



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Mar 15, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- ACUPUNCTURE MAY RELIEVE MIGRAINES

Researchers say acupuncture offers a relatively cost-effective way to help patients with chronic headaches. The study authors suggest health services provided the British public be expanded to include acupuncture. Over three months, some of the 401 patients in the study were randomly chosen to receive up to 12 acupuncture treatments. They experienced 22 fewer days of headache per year, used 15 percent less medication, made 25 percent fewer visits to the doctor's office and took 15 percent fewer days off sick than patients not receiving the treatment, the researchers reported.

EMERGENCY CESAREANS IN 75 MINUTES OR LESS

Scientists say doctors can wait up to 75 minutes, rather than the usual half hour, to perform emergency cesarean delivery without undue risk. They say waiting longer, however, could result in harm to the baby and/or mother. Their study, reported in the online edition of the British Medical Journal, involved 17,780 births delivered by emergency cesarean section in England and Wales over a three-month period. If the procedure was withheld for longer than 75 minutes, the child faced a higher risk of entering the world in poor physical shape and the mother of needing special care, said the investigators from the National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health in London.

EYE SCREENING MAY HELP PREVENT STROKE

The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary offers a test that screens for eye diseases as a way to prevent stroke and other cerebral vascular diseases. "Until now, we have treated patients for specific diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and hypertensive retinopathy," said Dr. Thomas Muldoon, director of the retina service. "We are screening and testing these same patients with eye disease, many of whom are at high-risk for general blood vessel diseases and stroke, and educating them about prevention and then referring them for treatment." The service is significant because the infirmary sees 22,000 patients a year for retinal problems, the highest in the metro New York region. Eye diseases often indicate more serious blood circulatory system problems, including stroke, said Dr. Matthew Fink, director of the neurovascular service. "What is exciting is that we can prevent stroke in these patients," he said.

MORE ANTI-SMOKING CAMPAIGNS URGED

British public health officials want the government to do more to stop people from smoking because tobacco kills one Briton every five minutes. In a report published in the Medical Journal of Australia, they criticize the British government for its record on tobacco control. Australia passed the point where ex-smokers outnumber smokers in 1989, but Britain still has not, the authors say. "It is extremely hard to fathom why a nation that has led the world in documenting the harm done by smoking has been so slow to act on the evidence and adopt a comprehensive program of tobacco control," Konrad Jamrozik of Imperial College London said.

(Editors: For more information about MIGRAINE, contact Emma Dickinson at 44 (0)20 7383 6529 or edickinson@bmj.com. For CESAREANS, Emma Dickinson at 44 (0)20 7383 6529 or edickinson@bmj.com. For STROKE, Jean Thomas at (212) 979-4274 or jthomas@nyee.edu. For SMOKING, Tony Stephenson at 44 (0)20 7594 6712 or stephenson@imperial.ac.uk)

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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