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Feb 11, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- POSSIBLE IRON, DIABETES LINK FOUND

Too much iron in the blood could raise the risk of type 2 diabetes for women with no related risk factors, Harvard researchers and others report. Using blood samples from 32,826 women free from diabetes, heart disease and cancer, researchers checked amounts of telltale proteins and minerals that indicate the presence of iron and other substances. About 700 of the women developed diabetes during 10 years of follow-up. Based on the findings from these women, the authors said higher iron concentration and a lower concentration of the receptors that carry it in the bloodstream may help identify those at risk later for type 2 diabetes.


Swedish researchers report smoking outside, with the doors closed, won't keep kids from taking in nicotine, the BBC reports. In a urine-sampling study of 366 children, Linkoping University researchers found children whose parents smoked outside had twice the nicotine in their body of children of nonsmokers. The level was still lower than that of kids exposed directly to smoke, however. The best way to avoid exposure is to stop smoking, experts say.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued tips for those traveling to countries with avian flu. By last Thursday, Thailand and Vietnam had reported deaths from avian influenza A, though no human-to-human transmission had been reported, the CDC said. Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam have also reported outbreaks of the infection in poultry, while Hong Kong reported a case in a peregrine falcon. Before traveling to countries reporting cases of avian flu, the CDC recommended packing a first aid kit that includes alcohol-based hand rub, getting up-to-date on all shots four to six weeks before travel, and checking health insurance coverage for destination countries. While in the affected areas, the CDC said to avoid contact with live poultry, wash hands often and cook poultry and eggs thoroughly. Should symptoms appear, the agency said to contact a U.S. consular office and stay in the area.


(EDITORS: For more information about IRON, contact Kevin Myron at (617) 432-3952. For SMOKERS, call +46 13-28 1000. For AVIAN, contact the CDC Media Center at (404) 639-3286)

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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