Health

3:01pm

Wed March 14, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Doctors Revamp Guidelines For Pap Smears

Cells gathered during a Pap test. Those on the left are normal, and those on the right are infected with human papillomavirus.
Ed Uthman Wikimedia Commons

Women should get screened for cervical cancer far less frequently than doctors have long recommended, according to new guidelines released Wednesday.

More than 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the United States, and more than 4,000 die from the disease.

For years, doctors have recommended that women start getting Pap smears every year or two to try to catch signs of cancer early, when it's easiest to prevent and treat.

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1:32pm

Wed March 14, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Get To Know 'Number Needed To Treat'

A single number can help show how beneficial, or not, a treatment is.
iStockphoto.com

While reading over an analysis of decades-old studies of LSD as a treatment for alcoholism last week, I found that the so-called number needed to treat was 6 to prevent alcohol misuse. In other words, treat six people and one would benefit.

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10:31am

Wed March 14, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Chill Out For A Better Workout

This would be a lot more fun on the rocks.
iStockphoto.com

Cooling a person's hands while exercising can make for a better workout, especially for people who hate to exercise because it makes them all hot and sweaty.

This might help the many, many people who have a hard time keeping up with exercise because it's just plain uncomfortable.

Researchers tested the idea with obese women in their 30s and 40s who worked out on a treadmill. The women whose palms were cooled with a device that circulated ice water were able to exercise longer than the women whose palms were exposed to room temperature water.

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7:45am

Wed March 14, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Fatty Foods Bad For Sperm

Eating foods high in saturated fat may increase fertility problems in men, a preliminary study finds.
Robert Byron iStockphoto.com

Men who eat a lot of fatty foods have lower quality sperm than men who avoid them, a new study found.

Saturated fat, the stuff in meat and dairy foods, was associated with lower sperm counts. The men eating the most saturated fat had 35 percent fewer sperm than men eating the least.

On the bright side, the men who ate more omega-3 fats — the kind found in fish and some plants — had slightly more sperm that were correctly formed than their brethren who ate less.

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3:50pm

Tue March 13, 2012
Health

Adult Filmmakers Question Condom Requirement

Damian Dovarganes AP

Los Angeles has become the nation's first city to require male adult film actors to wear condoms. The city council's new ordinance has riled the region's billion-dollar-plus porn industry. Filmmakers are warning that the measure will harm the local economy and threaten the health of industry performers.

Condoms are now required on all film shoots that receive a city permit, but the law does not apply to adult films shot in studios. Those don't require city permitting in the first place. But a proposed ballot measure in November looks to extend the law throughout the county.

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