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Dec 31, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- NASAL STEROIDS NOT LINKED TO FRACTURES

The American Thoracic Society Journal reports long-term use of inhaled or nasal steroids is not linked to a risk of fractures. The data come from a large-scale study that included 133,026 seniors who used certain respiratory prescriptions for four years or more. Canadian researchers found long-term use of the medications, at the usual doctor-recommended dosage, is not associated with a risk of fracture despite safety concerns since the drugs have been shown to cause resorption of bone. Investigators found only high doses taken for an average of six years or more were associated with extra risk of fracture.


There are ways to change your behavior that will help you keep your New Year's resolutions long-term, experts say. The January issue of Mayo Clinic's Women's HealthSource recommends keeping records for at least three days -- detailing situations, moods or triggers that lead to unhealthy behaviors. If overeating is a concern, try to find out when, where and why you over-indulge. Also record healthy behaviors -- such as exercise -- and then analyze your findings to look for patterns and opportunities. Once that is done, try taking little steps toward your ultimate goal, experts say, making sure they are attainable and measurable. When success is achieved, reward yourself by seeing a movie or paying yourself some money. Finally, every few months, review your habits and assess your progress -- making changes where needed.


Women should learn more about celiac disease -- an intolerance of gluten -- which doctors say is more common than first believed. Gluten is a protein in wheat and other grains, and researchers had thought intolerance to it was rare in the United States. A recent Mayo Clinic study, however, found a dramatic increase in the number of cases of this disorder and women in their 40s, 50s and 60s were most affected. Symptoms including sporadic diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating and foul-smelling or grayish stools. It's not uncommon for people to have symptoms for many years before a diagnosis is made because of the wide range of symptoms and the belief the disease is rare. Celiac disease is diagnosed by a blood test and confirmed by taking a tissue sample from the small intestine. Once diagnosed, removing gluten from the diet and avoiding bread, pasta, cookies or anything containing wheat, barley or rye is essential. After a few weeks on a gluten-free diet, people typically see improvement in symptoms.


(EDITORS: For more information about NASAL STEROIDS, contact Cathy Carlomagno at (212) 315-6442 or e-mail For RESOLUTIONS and CELIAC, contact Carol Lammers at (507) 284-5005 or

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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