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A woman getting a flu shot in the arm

Plan to Get Your Flu Shot

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the vaccine for the upcoming flu season in the United States. The 2010-2011 seasonal flu vaccine will protect against three viruses, including the 2009 H1N1 virus that caused so many illnesses last year. Because influenza viruses can change, the vaccines may change from year to year. That is why people are advised to get a flu shot every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that, on average, 36,000 people in the United States die from the flu each year and more than 200,000 others end up in the hospital. To find out more, visit www.flu.gov, the U.S. government's comprehensive flu information Web site.

 

Egg or Milk Allergy… and Peanut, too?

Infants who are allergic to egg or milk may also be at risk of developing an allergy to peanut. Researchers suggest parents of those infants talk with their healthcare provider before giving their children peanuts or peanut products. Scientists studied 500 infants known to be allergic to egg and milk but not peanut. The researchers found a strikingly high number of the infants were sensitized to peanuts and some may already be allergic without their parents knowing it. The study is part of a food allergy research program funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Lose Weight, Gain Rewards

Overweight girls who lose weight before adulthood can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That's the most common form of the disease. NIH researchers analyzed information provided by nearly 110,000 women. Those who were overweight children but lean adults did not have an increased risk of diabetes. But women who said they were overweight as children and into their adult years were 15 times more likely to develop the disease.

Researchers at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development conducted the study.

Comparing Knee Pain Treatments

Some people with osteoarthritis of the knee try to relieve their pain by taking the dietary supplements glucosamine and chondroitin. New data from a long-term study compared those two supplements with an anti-inflammatory drug and a placebo (or dummy pill). Researchers say people who took the supplements or celecoxib had some improvement during the two-year study, but none of the treatments was significantly better than the placebo. Two components of NIH funded the study, which was part of the Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial: the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Fall 2010 Issue: Volume 5 Number 3 Page 28