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News1994January › Short takes › January 1994

Short takes

* Your beliefs can have a strong impact on your survival

* Your beliefs can have a strong impact on your survival. A study of nearly 30,000 adult Chinese Americans found that those with a strong attachment to Chinese traditions who were born in years considered by Chinese astrology to be ill fated were more likely to die when they contracted particular diseases than those without such strong beliefs and non Chinese Americans. The Lancet, 6 November 1993.

* More on latex rubber causing severe allergic reactions in sensitive people. A 27 year old nurse developed respiratory problems 10 minutes after entering a room where latex gloves were changed around three times a day even thought this wasn't done in her presence. The Lancet, 6 November 1993.

* Much of the brain damage caused by long term alcohol abuse may not be permanent, according to a Danish study. "Observed brain damage. . .is potentially reversible", they said since certain portions of the nerve cells can be reestablished and restored to function. That is, of course, if you stop drinking. The Lancet, 13 November 1993.

* Giving a sleeping baby a dummy to suck may help stave off sudden infant death syndrome, according to research from New Zealand. However, researchers concluded that it is only one of several factors, and they call for further research JAMA, 3 November 1993.

* Could rock musician Frank Zappa have been saved by modern medicine? Yes, says London Times medical sage Dr Thomas Stuttaford. Early tests could have detected the prostate cancer. No, says the Annals of Internal Medicine in a recent report. Prostate tests have not yet been proven to work.

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