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Aug 14, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- MIGRAINE SCREENING HIGHLY RELIABLE

A three-question test, called ID Migraine, can accurately diagnose people who get migraine headaches, new research has found. If a person answers "yes" to two out of the following three questions, that person suffers from migraine headaches: Has a headache limited your activities for a day or more in the last three months? Are you nauseated or sick to your stomach when you have a headache? Does light bother you when you have a headache? The study, released in the journal Neurology, involved nearly 450 patients who filled out a nine-question survey. They were referred to headache specialty centers where they were diagnosed without the specialists knowing the results of the surveys. Then, an analysis identified the three questions that best predicted a migraine diagnosis. More than 90 percent of participants who answered "yes" to two out of the three predictor questions got a migraine diagnosis by specialists. Researchers said the test should be used in a primary care setting.


Researchers have found adding antioxidant vitamins to the diets of children with high cholesterol improves their cardiovascular health. Because drugs that lower cholesterol levels in adults are usually not recommended for children, this study suggests an alternative way to improve the health of children with inherited disorders that cause high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. Fifteen children participated in the study, appearing in the journal Circulation. While on a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, they were given either 500 mg of vitamin C and 400 IU of vitamin E per day or placebos for six weeks, and then the opposite treatment after another six weeks of no treatment. The diet decreased the children's "bad" cholesterol by 8 percent, and the vitamin supplements improved the functioning of the blood vessels. When they don't work properly, plaques can build up in the blood vessels and lead to cardiovascular disease. "These results are encouraging, and if confirmed in further studies, we may be able to improve the cardiovascular health of children with inherited lipid disorders using vitamin supplements," said Marguerite Engler, professor of physiological nursing at the University of California, San Francisco.


Although guidelines for diabetes screening can detect almost all new cases, they are being ignored, according to new research. Current guidelines recommend screening for people who have at least one risk factor for the disease. For example, it is suggested that people who are minorities, overweight or have a family history of diabetes undergo screening. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found the screening guidelines help catch almost all cases. When the number of risk factors considered was upped to two, the percentage of cases detected dropped slightly, to 98 percent. About a third of diabetes cases in the United States go undiagnosed, suggesting the guidelines are not being followed.


A new study suggests there is a link between ethnicity and vision problems in children. Out of more than 2,500 children, Asian-Americans were more likely to be nearsighted than Hispanic, black and white children. White children were more likely to have farsightedness. And young Hispanics were more likely to have astigmatism, an irregular curvature of the cornea that causes blurry vision. "We don't really know why these differences exist," said Karla Zadnik, professor of optometry at Ohio State University. "It's probably like most of our modern conditions and diseases - a mix of nature and nurture and factors that interact together." More than 18 percent of Asian-American children were nearsighted while only 4.4 percent of white children, 6.6 percent of black children and 13.2 percent of Hispanic children were myopic. About one in five white children were farsighted, and more than a third of Hispanic children had astigmatism. African-American children had the lowest rate of astigmatism at 20 percent.

(Editors: For more information on MIGRAINE, contact Karen Gardner at 718-430-3101 or For CHOLESTEROL, Camille Mojica Rey at 415-476-8429 or For DIABETES, Susan Weller at 409-772-2551 or For VISION, Holly Wagner at 614-292-8310 or

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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