Skip to main content

The Weekly Dose: Our Roundup of What You Need to Know

Been busy this week? In the Weekly Dose, MyHealthNewsDaily rounds up this week's most important health news.

Many women don't get mammograms: Half of women between the ages of 40 and 85 undergo an annual mammogram, according to a new study. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms for women over 40 while the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends women between 50 and 74 receive a mammogram every two years. The study was presented Dec. 9 at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Kids in day care see fewer infections later: Kids in day care get sick a lot, but may reap rewards later in the form of fewer illnesses, according to a new study. The results showed children in day care facilities with at least 100 kids developed more respiratory and ear infections than those cared for at home. But after age 5, the day care kids developed fewer of these infections. The study is published in the December issue of the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

The power of aspirin: A regular dose of aspirin may help prevent cancer, according to a study published this week in the journal The Lancet. The study reviewed data from more than 25,000 people who took part in clinical trials involving aspirin regimens. Those who took aspirin were about 20 percent less likely to die from solid tumor cancers, such as stomach and lung cancer, 20 years later than those who took a placebo. However, experts caution people should discuss taking aspirin with their doctors.

Old men still want sex: About one-third of men between the ages of 75 and 95 are sexually active and nearly half consider sex to be "at least somewhat important," according to a new study. Of those still having sex, about 40 percent wished they could have more. However, health issues such as osteoporosis and diabetes, or the health of a partner, are barriers, the researchers said.

New weight loss drug one step closer to approval: A Food and Drug Administration panel voted on Tuesday to recommend the weight loss drug Contrave for approval. Critics have expressed concerns about the drug's possible risks for those with heart disease, including high blood pressure. The FDA often follows the recommendations of its panel and will make a decision regarding Contrave by Jan. 31, 2011, according to news reports. The drug is manufactured by Orexigen Therapeutics Inc., a pharmaceutical company based in La Jolla, Calif.

Estrogen and breast cancer: Taking estrogen as a form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may reduce the risk of breast cancer for women under 60, according to a new study. Now you might be thinking, wait, wasn't HRT previously linked to an increased risk of breast cancer? Yes, but those studies looked at the combination of estrogen and progesterone. The new study, presented Dec. 9 at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, re-examined data from the Women's Health Initiative study. It found that women under 60 who took estrogen alone had a 20 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared with those not taking any form of HRT.

Follow MyHealthNewsDaily staff writer Rachael Rettner on Twitter @Rachael_MHND.

Rachael Rettner
Rachael has been with Live Science since 2010. She has a masters degree in journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in molecular biology and a Master of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.