Flu shot for moms may cut risk of stillbirths, premature births: study

OTTAWA — Pregnancy is no time for women to refuse a flu shot since it may bring unexpected benefits to their unborn children, says a new study that analyzed vaccination rates during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. In addition to protecting pregnant women from the flu, the vaccine also may lower the risk of premature births, stillbirths and underweight babies, according

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Canadian researcher likens controversial MS treatment to faith healing

OTTAWA — A member of an expert group advising the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) about the effectiveness of a controversial treatment for multiple sclerosis has likened it to faith healing. Dr. Barry Rubin, medical director of the Toronto General Hospital’s cardiac centre, and three American co-authors draw the parallel in an article entitled “The ‘Liberation Procedure’ for Multiple

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U.S. task force recommends against routine PSA screening for prostate cancer

TORONTO — Routinely screening men for prostate cancer with PSA tests can result in far more harm than good, says a U.S. expert panel in a recommendation against the practice that is sure to fuel continued debate over the issue. On Monday, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released its final recommendation, advising against routine PSA blood tests to detect

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Shamefully good: Guilt helps enhance feelings of enjoyment, study says

It’s not your imagination. Researchers say cupcakes really do taste better when you’re on a diet. Though the idea of guilty pleasures is widely acknowledged, with indulgent activities inducing shame, scientists now find it works in the opposite direction, too. That is, feeling even a little bit guilty has the power to enhance the pleasure we derive from indulgence. The

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Battle of the bulge: Does treating obesity as a disease help?

Harping on people ad nauseam to lose weight is rather “sadistic”, there’s little evidence the treatment of obesity works and even the benefits of weight loss are debatable. In arguments like these, being played out in the official journal of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, doctors are debating whether it’s futile to try to treat obesity. “The few

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‘I’ve lost friends to suicide,’ Aglukkaq confides after mental health roundtable

In a personal disclosure illustrating the long reach of mental illness, Canada’s health minister said Tuesday that she has lost “a number of friends” to suicide. “Our body gets ill from different things, and so does the mind,” Leona Aglukkaq told Postmedia News after leading a roundtable discussion on mental health at the 65th World Health Assembly in Geneva. “We

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Dead ringers: father and son Cronenbergs bringing shared obsessions to the screen

CANNES — It’s a historic year for the Cannes Film Festival — never before have a father and son both had films screened in the official lineup. That changed with last weekend’s debut of 32-year-old Brandon Cronenberg’s Antiviral in the Un Certain Regard section, to be followed by Friday’s anticipated premiere of Cosmopolis by his father, David Cronenberg. Father and

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