Germany

Early detection is key to prevention of cervical cancer

Munich - Early detection is key to prevention of cervical cancer Women should have regular checks for cervical cancer, according to experts.

An annual check is advisable because a change in cells can be recognized and treated even before any cancer develops, said Christian Albring of the Munich-based professional association of gynaecologists.


"Unwanted" side-effects can indicate "wanted" ones, scientists say

Hamburg - The "unwanted" side-effects of certain medications can provide clues to new uses of those medications which otherwise could go unnoticed, according to a team of German researchers.

The classic example is the anti-impotence drug Viagra, which started out as a treatment for angina - pain caused by too little blood reaching the heart. One of the "unwanted" side-effects of that drug was spontaneous erections in male patients.


Study shows meat increases risk of thrombosis

Bonn - A US study has shown that a diet containing too much meat increases the risk of thrombosis or blood clotting.

The study also shows that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables reduces the risk. Eating fish once or more often a week reduces the risk of thrombosis by between 30 and 45 per cent.

The study was conducted by universities in the US and involved 15,000 adults who were examined over a period of 12 years.

A thrombosis is a blood clot that often occurs in the deep veins in the legs.


Stress can cause baldness, research finds

Stress can cause baldness, research findsLuebeck, Germany - Stress and tension can cause hair loss and baldness, according to a study by researchers at the University of Luebeck. 

A team of physicians led by Professor Ralf Paus found that hormonal reactions triggered in stress situations could contribute to baldness. 


Don't turn a blind to your drunken teenager

Munich - Parents should not turn a blind eye, if their child routinely comes home drunk, say German health officials. 

An expert on addiction in the Hamburg Office for Addiction Prevention, Irene Ehmke, says children usually experiment with alcohol. 

"However, if the child comes home really drunk, parents need to address this behaviour." 


Twins with different skin colour born in Germany

Berlin - Twin boys of radically differing skin colour have been born in a one-in-a-million chance to a German father and Ghanaian mother in a Berlin hospital, doctors at the clinic have announced.

The twins, born by Caesarean section, came into the world on July 11. But details were kept from the public until the press were invited to the clinic to see the delighted parents - Florence, 35, and the father Stephan, 40, and photograph them with their twin boys.


Rule number one in summer - drink plenty of water!

Bonn, Germany - Summer heat brings thirst. Water quenches it best and does not have any calories.

To soothe a parched throat, there is much more to choose from in the way of water nowadays than just tap water and carbonated bottled water.

Alternatives include natural artesian water from the Fiji Islands, spring water from Norway, water that is flavoured or has added minerals, ready-to-drink fruit spritzers and wellness drinks.


Hygienic conditions important for body piercings, tattoos

Berlin - People planning to have a body piercing or tattoo should pay careful attention to hygienic conditions in the studio, advised Prevention Campaign Skin, a skin health programme launched last year in Berlin by a group of about 100 German public health insurance companies and accident insurers.


Older infants also at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Older infants also at risk of Sudden Infant Death SyndromeNeu-Isenburg, Germany  - Older infants are at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), especially if they sleep with a blanket, according to a study by the University Hospital of Muenster (UKM) reported in the Aerzte Zeitung. Physicians therefore recommend that a sleeping bag be used.


Risk of measles rises in many European countries

Cologne, Germany - Vacationers should not underestimate the risk of contracting measles during the summer travel season.

Doctors report that the highly infectious virus is spreading throughout certain European countries, namely Switzerland, Austria, Ireland and England, and now also Italy, warned Germany's professional association for paediatricians in Cologne.


People with lung problems should avoid open fires

Hanover, Germany - People with lung problems should not approach campfires, fireplaces and fireworks because open fires can worsen their condition, the Hanover-based German Lung Foundation advised

It noted that wood burning produced smoke the components of which not only increased the risk of lung cancer, but were also conducive to inflammations in patients with asthma or smoker's lung (also called COPD), which could exacerbate the disorders.


Ultrasound can detect clogged neck arteries and prevent strokes

Hamburg - Detecting clogged arteries in time could prevent many strokes, some 60 per cent of which originate not in the brain but in the neck arteries and heart, according to the German Society for Ultrasound in Medicine (DEGUM) in Hamburg.

People at increased risk of arterial disease, including those with a family history of the disorder, people with high blood pressure, and diabetics, should therefore be examined regularly by a physician, DEGUM noted.


Expectant mothers should not shun exercise

Hanover, Germany - Just a few years ago expectant mothers were told to take it easy. But now we know that exercise during pregnancy improves overall condition, strengthens the cardiovascular system, and stimulates blood circulation.

"If their gynaecologist gives the green light, pregnant women should go ahead and participate in sports," said Christian Albring, president of the Munich-based Association of Gynaecologists (BVF).


Quick HIV tests not totally reliable

Wiesbaden, Germany - Quick tests for the HIV/AIDS virus are not totally reliable and their error rate is especially high when they are conducted by laypersons, warned the Wiesbaden-based Association of German Internists (BDI). The tests are designed to detect HIV in saliva, urine or blood.


Alcohol abuse in the workplace leads to accidents

Cologne, Germany - Alcohol abuse in the workplace quickly leads to problems. Experts estimate that 15 to 25 per cent of all occupational accidents are alcohol-related, the Technical Inspection Association (TUEV) Rhineland pointed out recently in Cologne in connection with United Nations Anti-Drugs Day.


Breastfeeding mothers should note baby's hunger pangs in time

Munich - Breastfeeding mothers can cut down on their baby's crying by recognising promptly when the little one is hungry, noted the Munich-based Association of Paediatrics and Adolescent-Medicine Professionals (BVKJ).

Stretching, sucking motions, and restlessness are the first signs of hunger, the BVKJ said. Subsequent signs are wriggling and crying. Hunger is not always the reason that a baby cries, however.


Mobile phones no health risk, says German study

Berlin  - One in four Germans who worry that mobile phones and their transmission towers are health hazards can now relax a little following studies coordinated by the Berlin-based Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS).

German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that more than 50 studies in the German Mobile Telecommunications Research Programme (DMF), conducted from
2002 to 2008, had found no evidence that mobile phones and transmission towers posed a health risk within the required limits for electromagnetic radiation.


Light fare is right stuff for armchair athletes during Games

Bonn  - Those of us planning to watch as many live television broadcasts of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as possible will have to change our sleep-wake cycle.

Due to the time difference at the competition venues, coverage of the Games, from August 8 to 24, will begin in the middle of the night in Central Europe.

The shift will affect the bodies of many "armchair athletes," Antje Gahl, a nutritionist at the Bonn-based German Nutrition Society (DGE), told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.


Patients complain of "three-minute medicine"

Berlin  - For many patients, consultations with a doctor are often frustrating. The doctor speaks incomprehensible medical jargon, does not really listen, stares constantly at a computer screen, and has just a few minutes to spare, they complain.

"Doctors' offices are usually jam-packed," noted the Berlin-based National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians. "Doctors often have no choice but to see their patients relatively quickly."


Schuessler salts a versatile remedy for what ails you

Dormagen, Germany  - If you are coming down with a bad case of flu or your menstrual cramps won't let up, you may need a remedy that is simple and safe. Many people reach for Schuessler salts.

Available in both tablet and ointment form, the salts can replace some medicines for minor ailments. For more serious illnesses, they can be used in conjunction with traditional medical treatment or homeopathic therapies. Their effectiveness is not scientifically proven, however.


Tips on dealing with aggressive strangers

Berlin  - Steering clear of aggressive strangers is not always possible. If you are verbally abused in the underground system by a fellow passenger, for example, you should remain as calm as possible and not let yourself be provoked, advised the Berlin-based German Society of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Neurology (DGPPN).

It usually helps to draw attention to the situation and to seek assistance, the DGPPN said, adding that it was even better to leave the scene.


Preparation for the first day of school: plenty of physical activity

Munich  - Parents ask themselves a lot of questions before their child's first day of school: How will my child handle this new chapter in life? Is my child fit enough for the school routine? How robust should he or she be?

In Germany, preliminary answers to such questions come during the school-entrance examination between the ages of 60 months and 64 months, when a paediatrician checks the child's physical abilities and social behaviour as well as mental and psychological development.


Therapy costs pinch parents of premature babies, survey shows

Premature InfantNeu-Isenburg, Germany - Parents of premature infants have to pay, on average, more than 6,600 euros for therapy until the child's fifth birthday, according to a survey cited by the Aerzte Zeitung, published in the German town of Neu-Isenburg.


Pimple that won't heal could be skin cancer

Euskirchen, Germany  - Pimple that won't heal could be skin cancerSomeone with a change in the skin such as a rough patch or pimple that will not heal should see a dermatologist as soon as possible.

Home remedies are not advisable as the change might be an early stage of non-melanoma skin cancer, according to the Euskirchen-based Professional Association of German Dermatologists (BVDD).


Relaxation techniques, leisure time can help prevent job burnout

Neu-Isenburg, Germany  - Knowing how to relax can prevent job burnout, experts say. Critical self-examination is also important, according to Professor Volker Faust, a neurologist and psychiatrist from the German city of Ravensburg.

Faust told the Neu-Isenburg-based Aerzte Zeitung that people should not ignore warning signs of burnout such as over commitment, overwork, overtime, followed by exhaustion, resignation and social withdrawal.


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