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The Checkup: January 11, 2009 - January 17, 2009

Birth Control Pill and Cardio Health: Big Questions Linger

Four out of five American women have used oral contraceptives at some point in their lives since the birth control pill's introduction in the 1960s. But while this form of birth control has made life easier in many ways for women, big questions remain about its safety, especially among women...

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  January 16, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Women's Health  
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A Vaccine's Unintended Consequences

When a new vaccine was approved in 2000, experts hoped it would protect children against a common bacteria that causes a variety of illnesses, including meningitis. They were not disappointed. The vaccine, known as Prevnar, has resulted in a sharp drop in cases. The question was: Would it also reduce...

By Rob Stein  |  January 15, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Family Health  
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Sexually Transmitted Disease in America

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday released a report on the state of sexually transmitted disease (STD) in 2007. It paints a pretty grim picture. Consider: There are about 19 million cases a year; half of them among people ages 15 to 24. And that figure only...

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  January 14, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  General Health  
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No More VapoRub For Young Ones?

Vick's VapoRub, long a medicine-chest staple, may actually worsen little kids' cold symptoms, according to a report in the January issue of the journal Chest. But Procter & Gamble begs to differ, saying its product is safe and effective when used as directed. Doctors at Wake Forest University treating an...

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  January 13, 2009; 1:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Sleep and the Common Cold

Intuition suggests that you're more likely to succumb to a cold if you're tired. But direct evidence of a relationship between cold-catching and sleep has been elusive. A new study published in the January 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine helps to pin down that link. Researchers led...

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  January 13, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  General Health  
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Health Hoaxes, Revisited

Several readers took me to task for last Monday's posting about the American Council on Science and Health's list of what the group called the top 10 health "hoaxes" of 2008. Though the blog focused on the fact that we in the media sometimes have insufficient regard for the quality...

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  January 12, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  General Health  
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