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Daily Rounds: Radon Risks; Hospitals Fight Violence; 'Gender-Neutral' Insurance; Wean Babies Earlier?

In Highlighting Radon's Risks, Context Needed : NPR "Phil Price, a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, has spent a lot of time studying radon. He is willing to accept the government's rough estimate that radon causes about 21,000 deaths from lung cancer each year. But, he says, people should know something about that number. "A large fraction of those estimated deaths are thought to be among smokers," he says. "One way to think of it is it's just one of the things that goes along with smoking is that it increases your chance of radon-related lung cancer." The EPA estimates that among people who have never smoked, radon accounts for fewer than 3,000 radon deaths each year. The huge difference in risk is because smoking and radon appear to have a powerful synergy when it comes to lung cancer." (npr.org)

A Hospital Program to End Violence - NYTimes.com "Since 1998, Dr. Carnell Cooper, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, has led a hospital-based violence intervention program that has helped more than 1,500 victims of violent crime and their families. In a country where violence remains a major public health issue and homicide remains the 15th leading cause of death and the leading cause of death among African-American males ages 15 to 34, the work of Dr. Cooper and his colleagues has resulted in an 83 percent decrease among participants in repeat hospitalizations for violent injuries, a 75 percent reduction in criminal activity and an 82 percent increase in employment." (nytimes.com)

Health insurance rates: Some insurers in California still basing health insurance rates on gender - latimes.com "As of Jan. 1, California requires all individual health insurance policies to be sold on a "gender-neutral" basis — that is, without any consideration for whether you're a man or woman. Some are meeting that requirement. Others, including Anthem Blue Cross, the state's largest provider of individual coverage, appear to be playing fast and loose with ending what regulators call a discriminatory practice."(Los Angeles Times)

Study: Babies may need more than breast milk - Health - msnbc.com LONDON — "Feeding solid food earlier and not relying solely on breastfeeding for the first six months might benefit babies, a team of researchers say in a new study.Waiting to wean a baby could increase the occurrence of food allergies and iron deficiency, the BBC reported, citing the study in the British Medical Journal."(MSNBC)

FDA orders lower doses in prescription painkillers - USATODAY.com WASHINGTON (AP) — "Federal health regulators are limiting a key ingredient found in Vicodin, Percocet and other prescription painkillers that have been linked to thousands of cases of liver damage in the United States each year."(USA Today)

Medical News: Studies Support Antibiotics from the Start for Otitis Media - in Pediatrics, General Pediatrics from MedPage Today "Children with otitis media had more durable symptom resolution and a 70% to 80% lower rate of clinical failure when they started antibiotic therapy at diagnosis, as compared with observation, data from a U.S. multicenter trial showed." (medpagetoday.com)

This program aired on January 14, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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