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Nov 24, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- CENTER AIDS SENIORS WHO FALL

A new clinic specializes in helping elderly people who experience recurrent falls and those who sustain injuries from a fall. The Geriatric Falls Evaluation and Management Clinic at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center is held every Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to noon. "Over the years, I've seen a lot of patients who have fallen more than once," family physician and clinic co-director Dr. Richard Brunader said. "In this clinic, we've put a lot of thought into how we can prevent recurrent falls." During a 1.5-hour initial assessment, the doctors investigate what caused the fall: mechanical problems, lack of balance, circulatory disease, medications or other factors. "Most falls are multi-factorial in etiology, so assessment and intervention need to be multi-factorial," Brunader said.


Patients who take a commonly prescribed drug called Coumadin to prevent stroke or blood clots may have a less risky alternative, researchers say. Investigators at Stanford University School of Medicine say results from a study of 7,329 participants show a new drug called ximelegatran prevents strokes as effectively as does Coumadin without the side effects or inconvenience. "We think this will result in a huge shift in anti-coagulation therapy," said Dr. Gregory Albers, professor of neurology and neurological sciences and director of the Stanford Stroke Center. The study results will be published in The Lancet.


Special infant formula may help prevent childhood allergies in high-risk youngsters, scientists say. Although breast-feeding is recommended to mothers as the healthiest way to nourish babies, it is not always possible, they say. New evidence shows where exclusive breast-feeding is not possible, hydrolyzed protein formula in high-risk infants can help prevent childhood allergies. Many young children who develop allergies don't have a family history of allergy but if a parent, brother or sister suffers from an allergy, a baby has a 1 in 3 risk of becoming allergic. The risk increases to up to two to three times if both parents suffer from allergies, such as asthma and hay fever.


A study indicates some misinformed women are choosing sterilization over reversible options, such as the intrauterine copper contraceptive. The number choosing sterilization is as high as 28 percent of women in their early 30s, 39 percent of those in their late 30s and 47 percent of those in their early 40s. The study, published in the journal Contraception, shows fewer than 60 percent of Internet sites studied cited intrauterine contraceptives as a safe alternative to sterilization, more than half of the sites were outdated and 20 percent of the sites contained erroneous information, including inaccurate safety information. In response, FEI, a women's healthcare company, said it would work to assess and improve the quality and accuracy of birth control information on the Web.

(Editors: For more information about FALLS, contact Janet Dola at (916) 734-9040. For STROKE Amy Adams at (650) 723-3900. For INFANT, David Greenberg at (201) 748-6484. For WOMEN, Effe Delimarkos art (212) 880-5369)

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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