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Health news:
June 2010 - Dec 2013

Minimizing breast cancer risk

May 2010

Time to move beyond salt ?

Salt hypothesis vs. reality

Is sodium bad?

April 2010

Salt studies: the latest score

From Dahl to INTERSALT

Salt hypothesis' story

March 2010

Salt war

Do bone drugs work?

Diabetes vs. drugs, 3:0?

February 2010

The MMR vaccine war: Wakefield vs. ?

Wakefield proceedings: an exception?

Who's afraid of a littl' 1998 study?

January 2010

Antibiotic children

Physical activity benefits late-life health

Healthier life for New Year's resolution


December 2009

Autism epidemic worsening: CDC report

Rosuvastatin indication broadened

High-protein diet effects


November 2009

Folic acid cancer risk

Folic acid studies: message in a bottle?

Sweet, short life on a sugary diet


October 2009

Smoking health hazards: no dose-response

C. difficile warning

Asthma risk and waist size in women


September 2009

Antioxidants' melanoma risk: 4-fold or none?

Murky waters of vitamin D status

Is vitamin D deficiency hurting you?


August 2009

Pill-crushing children

New gut test for children and adults

Unhealthy habits - whistling past the graveyard?


July 2009

Asthma solution - between two opposites that don't attract

Light wave therapy - how does it actually work?

Hodgkin's lymphoma in children: better alternatives


June 2009

Hodgkin's, kids, and the abuse of power

Efficacy and safety of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's:
behind the hype

Long-term mortality and morbidity after conventional treatments for pediatric Hodgkin's


May 2009

Late health effects of the toxicity of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel's true 5-year chances with the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel Hauser Hodgkin's case: child protection or medical oppression?

April 2009

Protection from EMF: you're on your own

EMF pollution battle: same old...

EMF health threat and the politics of status quo

March 2009

Electromagnetic danger? No such thing, in our view...

EMF safety standards: are they safe?

Power-frequency field exposure

February 2009

Electricity and health

Electromagnetic spectrum: health connection

Is power pollution making you sick?

January 2009

Pneumococcal vaccine for adults useless?

DHA in brain development study - why not boys?

HRT shrinks brains


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October 2009

 C. difficile warning

These days, anyone using medical services on a regular basis should be concerned about Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), tiny intestinal bug that can cause anything from severe diarrhea, colitis, hypotension and toxic megacolon, to sepsis and death. To a smaller extent, everyone else should be concerned as well: not only about the threat that this bug poses, but about the warning it delivers as well.

Mayo Clinic study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology this October, on 385 cases in 1991-2005 period concluded that the incidence of C. difficile bacterial infection is on the rise in both hospital-like and community settings. The latter tend to be among younger individuals - median age 50 vs. 72 with hospital-acquired infection - and less severe.

 According to study's senior author, Darrell Pardi, the main cause for this rise in incidence of C. difficile infection is probably the steady uptrend in use of antibiotics, with the bacteria getting increasingly resistant to them. In addition, while antibiotics kill pathogens, they also

kill friendly intestinal bacteria,

allowing more resistant pathogens like C. difficile to grow out of control.

Toxins produced by the bacteria attack intestinal lining, causing variety of symptoms, including those potentially life-threatening.

Last fall, The Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, INC. (APIC) has concluded its large, nation-wide study on the status and trends of Clostridium difficile infection in the U.S. (National Prevalence Study of Clostridium difficile in U.S. Healthcare Facilities). It included all types and sizes of medical facilities in 47 states, with a total of over 110,000 patients during survey period. Among them were 1443 identified cases of C. difficile infection.

These are the main findings.

13 in every 1,000 inpatients (1.3%) were infected; that is 6.5 to 20 times higher rate than previous incidence estimates

85% of them were on medical services (i.e. treated for chronic diseases)

69% were over 60 years of age

72% were considered health-care associated infections

27% required ICU

79% had antibiotic exposure

average mortality was 4.2%

The study cites wider list of factors contributing to the spread of C. difficile infections: growing older population, widespread use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, inadequate health care facilities hygiene levels, inadequate infection control measures and emergence of a more virulent C. difficile strain, NAP1.

 This new strain (North American Pulse-field type 1), with unique genotype known as toxinotype III, has higher production of the two "standard" C. difficile toxins, produces an additional toxin and apparently is resistant to fluoroquinolones (large group of broad-spectrum antibiotics).

That is the warning that this nasty little bug, named Clostridium difficile - just one of many pathogens that surround, or inhabit us - delivers: "Watch out - or else!"

We may wake up tomorrow to face an army of superbugs that we created, and have no defense against.