Following is a summary of health news briefs compiled from stories that have run separately and are available in full on the file.
HIV drug resistance seen in central China: expert
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Significant numbers of people living with HIV in central China have developed full-blown AIDS despite receiving free anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs, a leading AIDS researcher said on Thursday. "Recent studies found that a significant portion of patients still developed AIDS after two years of treatment due to the problem of drug resistance," said Chen Zhiwei, director of the newly-opened AIDS Institute at the University of Hong Kong.
Lung transplants no help for cystic fibrosis: study
BOSTON (Reuters) - Children with severe cystic fibrosis are seldom helped by a lung transplant, researchers said on Wednesday in findings they said stunned them. Only five of the 514 U.S. children on the waiting list for a transplant from 1992 through 2002 lived longer as a clear result of the expensive and complicated operation, Dr. Theodore Liou of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and colleagues found.
Lack of toilets is fatal, global association says
SEOUL (Reuters) - Lack of proper toilet facilities and sanitation kills almost two million people a year, most of them children, the World Toilet Association said at its first meeting on Thursday. "It is regrettable that the matter of defecation is not given as much attention as food or housing," Sim Jae-duck, the association's South Korean head, told the meeting at its recently opened lavatory-shaped headquarters south of Seoul.
Researchers find mirror fools phantom limb pain
BOSTON (Reuters) - Viewing the reflected image of an intact limb in a mirror can fool the mind into thinking that a lost leg or foot still exists, dramatically relieving phantom limb pain, researchers reported on Wednesday. At least 9 out of 10 amputees report feeling sometimes-severe pain in the missing limb, often the result of a sensation that the arm or leg is stuck in the wrong position. The sensation can be excruciating and pain drugs often do little to help.
Deliberate self-harm can signal suicide risk
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The characteristics of young patients who commit acts of deliberate self-harm vary widely, but the risk of suicide is very high in this population, UK investigators report. "Deliberate self-harm and suicide are both major problems in young people," Drs. Keith Hawton and Louise Harriss, of the University of Oxford, point out.
Embryonic stem cells made without embryos
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Researchers have transformed ordinary human skin cells into batches of cells that look and act like embryonic stem cells -- but without using cloning technology and without making embryos. Their breakthroughs, reported on Tuesday, could make possible the long-sought goal of tailor-made medicine, but without the political, scientific and ethical roadblock of using human eggs or embryos.
CDC report shows upswing in exercise by adults
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More Americans are getting up off the sofa and exercising, but a lot more progress is needed to persuade millions of slackers to start sweating a bit, U.S. health officials said on Wednesday. In 2005, 46.7 percent of U.S. women and 49.7 percent of U.S. men engaged in regular exercise on a weekly basis, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based on a survey of 356,112 adults nationwide.
Prenatal cocaine exposure cuts blood flow to brain
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Babies born to mothers who used cocaine while pregnant show a reduction in blood flow to the brain when they reach adolescence, according to a report in the journal Pediatrics. "What this means is not certain at this time," Dr. Hallam Hurt from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania told Reuters Health. "These changes may have been present since birth, suggesting a long-lasting effect of (exposure during pregnancy), or they may have just occurred during adolescence, a so-called latent effect."
Worm study shows antidepressant may lengthen life
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An antidepressant may help worms live longer by tricking the brain into thinking the body is starving, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday. The drug, called mianserin, extended the life span of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by about 30 percent, the researchers reported in the journal Nature. They hope to find out if the same mechanism can help people live longer.
Most steroid users are not athletes: study
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Contrary to the popular image of the typical steroid user -- a teenage athlete trying to get an edge or a professional competitor who wants to win -- many users are in their 20s and 30s, well-educated and don't even play sports, a study suggests. In a survey of nearly 2,000 U.S. men who used anabolic steroids, researchers found that the majority began using the hormones as adults, and most were not motivated by sports.