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Push to outlaw abortion one state at a time

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — State legislatures passed fewer but more powerful laws restricting abortion this year, aiming less to tweak restrictions and more to outlaw the procedure.
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New focus on women’s access to health care

WASHINGTON — New state restrictions on clinics that provide abortions could leave millions of women — many of them poor and uninsured — without easy access to cancer screenings and other basic health care services.
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Mayo Clinic researchers study how body can repair itself

ROCHESTER, Minn. — At Mayo Clinic’s Center for Regenerative Medicine, physicians and researchers have a dazzling array of tools at their fingertips: transplants, genomics, computerized data analysis and biomedical engineering.

Men might want to shun fish oils, study shows

Taking fish-oil supplements or even eating too much fatty fish may be linked to an increased risk for prostate cancer, according to a new study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The result confirms findings from an earlier study by the same team, but they are puzzling, given fish oil’s supposed anti-inflammatory effect, which would protect against cancer.

Americans exercise more, still gain weight

WASHINGTON — Americans are exercising more, but that has not done much to slim their waistlines, underscoring the immense challenge confronting health advocates fighting the nation’s obesity crisis.

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The inspiring story of the Moon Joggers

DALLAS — When Angie Webb looks at the moon, she sees much more than an orb in a starlit sky, more than a silver circle at dusk or a cream-colored disc at dawn.

Tests find radiation in Spokane’s milk

WASHINGTON — Low levels of radiation have turned up in milk samples from two West Coast states. Traces of radioactive Iodine-131 were found in milk in California and Washington, according to federal and state authorities who are monitoring for contamination as the nuclear crisis unfolds in Japan. But officials say the levels are still 5,000 times below levels of concern and do not represent a public health threat.

Florida judge’s ruling clears way to put health care overhaul on trial

WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Florida handed opponents of the new health care law an early procedural victory Thursday, rejecting a bid by the Obama administration to throw out the leading lawsuit challenging the sweeping overhaul. U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson did not decide if the new law violates the Constitution by requiring Americans to get health insurance, a central contention of the lawsuit being pursued by 20 states.

Washington offering high-risk health insurance

OLYMPIA — Washington is now enrolling uninsured residents with serious medical conditions in the state high-risk insurance pool. Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said Monday the coverage is funded by a $102 million federal grant to help those most in need until 2014 when people cannot be denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition.
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Do children need additional supplements?

When my son was 4, I tried giving him nutritional supplements to make up for his appalling diet. I mixed fish oil into his orange juice. I let him eat candylike gummy multivitamins. And I stirred a chocolate powder containing 31 fruit and vegetable extracts into his milk. It eased my worries, but experts disagree on whether supplements do any good.

Teen girls may need two annual preventive health checkups

LOS ANGELES — Most kids have a well-child medical check-up once a year. That’s what the experts recommend for school-age children and teenagers. But one medical group suggests that teenage girls should have two annual preventive health visits: one a general checkup with a primary care doctor and a second “dedicated” reproductive health visit.

Seminar on health care act’s effects on business

WENATCHEE — How will health care reform affect your business? A seminar outlining the expected effects of health care reform on business will be held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Confluence Technology Center, 285 Technology Center Way. The cost to attend the event is $25 per participant.

Teens who sleep too little could be at risk for packing on pounds

Obesity has been linked to several lifestyle factors, including sleep. Studies have shown a connection between lack of sleep and higher body mass index in adults and children, but that relationship may hold true for teens as well. A new study presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Vancouver in early May showed an association between sleep deprivation and a higher BMI. Researchers looked at data on 723 adolescents, average age about 15, and gave each one an accelerometer, which measures movement. The study participants were ...

Grocery customer donates kidney to his favorite cashier

CHICAGO — A month ago, Dan Coyne knew just two things about a cheerful cashier who worked at Jewel-Osco in Evanston: her first name and her need for a new kidney. On Friday, however, their lives became inextricably linked after Coyne donated one of his healthy kidneys to Myra de la Vega, of Evanston, a Filipino immigrant and single mother of two teenagers. The daylong organ transplantation took place at Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Kovlar Organ Transplantation Center, which performs about 170 living-donor transplants a year and is one of the ...

Guard against the gray

Most gray hairs are unavoidable, the result of aging and genetics. But doctors and hairdressers say there are steps you can try to fight premature loss of pigment: Stop smoking. Studies show cigarettes speed up the aging process throughout the body, including your hair. Work to lower stress. While evidence isn’t conclusive, many believe anxiety can help trigger graying. Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, make time for enjoyable hobbies and try meditation or deep breathing exercises.

Everyone needs annual flu shots, government committee concludes

ATLANTA (AP) — A government panel is now recommending that virtually all Americans get a flu shot each year, starting this fall. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices had gradually been expanding its recommendation for flu shots — 85 percent of Americans were already included.

NCW counties on opposite ends of health scale

NCW — Okanogan and Douglas counties may be neighbors, but a new ranking puts them at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to health. Douglas County was named the second healthiest county in Washington in a first-ever county-by-county health report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute last week. It’s just below top-ranked San Juan County.