Top Smoking Drug Chantix Linked to Heart Problems

Chantix, the best-selling prescription drug for smoking cessation, was linked to an increased risk of a heart attack, stroke or other serious cardiovascular event for smokers without a history of heart disease compared with smokers who did not use the drug, according to a Canadian medical journal report released on Monday. The finding added to previous warnings about the pill’s connection to psychiatric problems and cardiovascular risks for people with a history of heart disease.

Study Finds Massage Leads to Lower Back Pain Relief

Massage therapy may provide more relief for patients with chronic low back pain than thought — at least in the short term — according to a new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers affiliated with the Seattle-based Group Health Research Institute divided a total of 401 chronic low back pain patients into three groups. One of the groups served as a control group, with no changes in care, while those in the other two groups received either relaxation massage or structural massage.

Scientist Sees Aging Cured, Predicts 1,000 Year Lifespan Within 20 Years

If Aubrey de Grey’s predictions are right, the first person who will live to see their 150th birthday has already been born. And the first person to live for 1,000 years could be less than 20 years younger. A biomedical gerontologist and chief scientist of a foundation dedicated to longevity research, de Grey reckons that within his own lifetime doctors could have all the tools they need to “cure” aging — banishing diseases that come with it and extending life indefinitely.

Beaches Close at Near-Record Levels Due to Pollution

The number of times the nation’s beaches were closed or posted with warnings because of polluted water jumped last year to its second-highest level in 21 years, in part because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and heavy rains that swept pollutants into the ocean at an accelerated rate, according to a report released Wednesday. The Natural Resources Defense Council found that contamination from oil, urban runoff, and human and animal waste continued to take a toll on beaches across the country in 2010, according to the report.

Study Finds Millions Suffer with Chronic Pain

Nearly a third of Americans experience long-lasting pain — the kind that lingers for weeks to months — and too often feel stigma rather than relief from a health care system poorly prepared to treat them, the Institute of Medicine said yesterday. The staggering tab: Chronic pain is costing the nation at least $558 billion a year in medical bills, sick days, and lost productivity, the report found. That’s more than the cost of heart disease, the number one killer.

Undercover Video Gives the Dirt on Pigs in Factory Farms

You might not want to have a ham sandwich for lunch today. A new undercover video showing gruesome conditions in which pigs are kept at an Iowa factory farm (emphasis on the “factory”) has hit the web, courtesy of the advocacy group Mercy for Animals (MFA). Representatives of MFA will officially present the graphic footage Wednesday during several press conferences, beginning around 11 am EST.

Mobile Phones Cause ‘Five-Fold Increase in Brain Cancer Risk’

The Swedish study found large increased incidence of astrocytoma, the most common form of a malignant brain tumour type called glioma, in those who had been using mobiles for over 10 years. Campaigners said the research, published in the International Journal of Oncology, was further evidence of the need to educate children of the potential dangers of talking on mobile phones.

What’s Wrong with Our Food System

In this eye-opening video, an 11 year old boy makes a presentation on the issues and problems surrounding our food system. In this short 5 minute presentation, he touches on such matters as

Prescription Drug Bottles Lack Proper Safety Warnings

Drugstores are not providing adequate safety information to consumers when they pick up their prescription medications, according an investigation from Consumer Reports. The report reveals that drug labels sometimes lack key safety warnings, and some pharmacies fail to include the medication guides required by the federal government. The report was based on a “spot check” of drugstores in Yonkers, N.Y., belong to five chains.

Birth Defects Caused by World’s Top-Selling Weedkiller, Scientists Say

The chemical at the heart of the planet’s most widely used herbicide — Roundup weedkiller, used in farms and gardens across the U.S. — is coming under more intense scrutiny following the release of a new report calling for a heightened regulatory response around its use. Critics have argued for decades that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and other herbicides used around the globe, poses a serious threat to public health. Industry regulators, however, appear to have consistently overlooked their concerns.

Is Chemical in Plastic Robbing Men of Sex Appeal?

A chemical found in common plastics may undermine a man’s masculinity and his ability to attract a female, or at least that’s what a new study on mice may suggest. It is the latest research to question the health safety of the hormone-changing compound bisphenol-A, or BPA. In the study, researchers found that female mice were not attracted to male mice that were exposed to BPA in the womb. They also noted that males exposed to the chemical in the womb were more likely to behave like females.

Can Vitamin D Lower Your Risk of Melanoma?

Taking vitamin D may help protect women who have already had non-melanoma skin cancers against a much deadlier form of the disease, suggests a new study. But researchers caution that the results need to be confirmed with further studies, given that the number of women in their study who got melanoma – the most dangerous type of skin cancer – was low to begin with.

Choose Between Carcinogenic Light Bulbs or Excessive Prices

Less than one month after bombshell new research revealed that “environmentally safe” compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) contained carcinogenic chemicals, two leading bulb makers have introduced a new brand of LED light bulbs. The bulbs were introduced as an alternative to the toxin-laden CFL’s, though there is a drawback. Thanks to government regulations, traditional incandescent bulbs will soon be phased out of production — leading to a very frightening ultimatum.

Preventable Disease Alert: Diabetes Rates Rising Worldwide

The last quarter century has seen a such an explosion in the incidence of diabetes that nearly 350 million people worldwide now struggle with the disease, a new British-American study reveals. Over the past three decades the number of adults with diabetes has more than doubled, jumping from 153 million in 1980 to 347 million in 2008. What’s more, the incidence of diabetes in the United States is rising twice as fast as that of Western Europe, the investigation revealed.

More Autism Diagnoses in High-Tech Areas, Study Finds

Autism experts have long noted that they meet a lot of engineers and computer programmers who have autistic children compared to, say, salespeople. A new study suggests there may be merit to those observations. Researchers from Cambridge University in England found that nearly three times as many children were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in a region of the Netherlands known as a center of high-tech industry than in two other regions with fewer high-tech jobs.

Hospital Doctors Work Shifts as Long as 28 Hours

First-year residents may soon get a reprieve from grueling hospital shifts that last more than 24 hours, but that is not enough to prevent an alarming number of medical errors, according to a report released on Friday. Starting July 1, new rules will require first-year residents to work shifts no longer than 16 straight hours. But that will not spare more experienced residents from working as long as 28 hours at a stretch.

Radiation Risk: Are Some Cellphones More Dangerous than Others?

Last month, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, declared cellphone radiation “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” The scientific evidence linking cellphone use to brain cancer isn’t conclusive, the agency said, but there is some evidence that brain cancer rates are higher among people with the highest levels of cellphone exposure, and cellphone users should take precautions until more is known.