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Boys and Girls Have Different Spines—From Birth

The difference allows the female spine to adapt during pregnancy

(Newser) - Boys and girls have subtly different spines, and the difference is present at birth, according to a new study out of Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on 35 full-term newborn girls and 35 full-term newborn boys, researchers report in the Journal of Pediatrics that vertebral...

To Fight Bone Loss, Drink ... Wine

 To Fight Bone Loss, 
 Drink ... Wine 
study says

To Fight Bone Loss, Drink ... Wine

Study finds two glasses a night can help stave off osteoporosis

(Newser) - Move over, milk, there's a more fun drink that helps keep women's bones healthy as they get older: wine. Drinking the equivalent of two small glasses of wine each day helps post-menopausal women retain old bone, making their bones stronger overall and helping to fend off osteoporosis, according...

Calcium Pills Tied to Jump in Heart Attack Risk: Study

Supplements don't prevent fractures, either

(Newser) - Calcium supplements may make heart attacks more likely in older patients, a new study suggests. Researchers looking to confirm calcium supplements' ability to prevent bone fractures instead found the patients taking the supplements were 30% more likely to suffer a heart attack, the BBC reports. And it turns out the...

Accelerated Aging Tied to HIV/AIDS

Middle-aged sufferers have symptoms of HIV-negative 80-year-olds

(Newser) - The aging population of Americans with HIV/AIDS is in a much different spot than those infected before the drug cocktail was introduced in the mid-1990s. But new research reveals disturbing trends related to aging. The cause is likely either the disease or the medications, and the result is symptoms—from...

Osteoporosis Drug Shows Promise, No Side Effects

(Newser) - An experimental drug could drastically decrease the risk of bone breakage in osteoporosis sufferers, Time reports. Two trials of the drug denosumab in groups at high risk for the disease—men receiving testosterone-depleting treatment for prostate cancer and post-menopausal women—reduced the risk of fracture by more than 50%, with...

Scientists Find Gene That Triggers Menstruation

Scientists find genetic key that triggers when a girl gets her first period

(Newser) - Genetics appear to play a key role in the timing of a girl’s first period, the BBC reports. Researchers have discovered two genes that influence the onset of puberty in both sexes, adjacent to genes controlling height and weight. The findings are important because early menstruation can contribute to...

The Battle to Get Elderly Back on Their Feet After Falls

Falls treated as complicated medical events instead of routine part of getting old

(Newser) - Falling and breaking a hip is so common among the elderly it's been considered an inevitable sign of aging, but medical experts have now developed complex protocols to both prevent and treat breaks that often trigger a spiral of decline, the New York Times reports. Even minor falls "need...

Vitamin D's Grade: A+, or Incomplete?

'Sunshine vitamin' can stave off disease, but may be risky too

(Newser) - Vitamin D, the "sunshine vitamin," has been getting plenty of good press lately, leading some to ask why more people aren't guzzling it to help stave off heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. But as the government looks to update its guidelines, many experts warn that bombarding people with...

Life Better, Not Longer, With Red Wine

Resveratrol slows aging, doesn't fend off death: study

(Newser) - A compound found in red wine significantly slows the aging process in lab mice, reports the Independent. In large doses, resveratrol counters damage to the heart caused by aging and boosts bone density, possibly combating osteoporosis, according to a new study. But it's too early to order 100 cases of...

Low Vitamin D Linked to Early Death

Those lacking 'sunshine vitamin' likely to die earlier of myriad causes

(Newser) - People with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to die earlier from a variety of causes than people with normal levels of the so-called "Sunshine Vitamin," according to a new study. The study is the latest to underscore the health benefits of vitamin D—and points...

Bone Drug Reduces Breast Cancer Relapse

Women on Zometa had 35% less chance of having tumor again

(Newser) - A drug designed to protect cancer patients' bones also renders breast cancer relapses less likely, a new study says. Funded in part by the drug's maker, Novartis, researchers found that even two injections of Zometa a year cut tumor recurrence by 35% in more than 1,800 pre-menopausal women.

Serious Side Effects Linked to Avandia, Fosamax

Heart trouble, brittle bones tied to drugs

(Newser) - Two new studies have linked the popular prescription drugs Fosamax and Avandia to serious side effects, Reuters reports. Fosamax, prescribed for osteoporosis, has been tied to a type of abnormal heartbeat that can cause dizziness and fatigue. Another study links Avandia, used to treat diabetes, to a double or even...

Sex Hormone Tied to Depression
Sex Hormone Tied to Depression

Sex Hormone Tied to Depression

Mood tracks testosterone levels, study finds

(Newser) - Men with low levels of testosterone are more likely to be depressed, Australian researchers have found, and they recommend that those with abnormally low levels be treated with injections of the sex hormone. A study of men over the age of 70 revealed that those with the lowest testosterone levels...

Kids' Bones Growing Brittle
 Kids' Bones Growing Brittle

Kids' Bones Growing Brittle

Lack of milk, sun and exercise blamed for rickets and loss of bone mass

(Newser) - Kids today break their arms more often than children did 40 years ago, and experts say it's because their bones are getting weaker, AP reports. A lack of milk, sunshine and exercise means many children aren't building adequate bone mass, and in extreme cases are developing bone-softening rickets, the scourge...

DIY Gene Test: Get Results in the Mail

New home exam lets users swab cheeks, send away for info

(Newser) - A new British company has developed a home DNA test that determines whether customers are genetically predisposed to ailments such as breast cancer, heart disease, obesity, and osteoporosis. Users scrape a cheek with a swab, sign a special waiver if they want to know results even for incurable diseases, such...

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