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AP Health NewsBrief at 7:05 p.m. EST

LONDON (AP) — People with early lung cancer who quit smoking could double their chances of surviving, a new study says. Until now, there has been little proof that quitting smoking after developing lung cancer makes any difference to survival.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Smokers with cancer could quit and double survival

LONDON (AP) — People with early lung cancer who quit smoking could double their chances of surviving, a new study says. Until now, there has been little proof that quitting smoking after developing lung cancer makes any difference to survival.

Study finds US birth weights inch down a bit

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. newborns are arriving a little smaller, says puzzling new Harvard research that can't explain why. Fatter mothers tend to produce heavier babies, and obesity is soaring. Yet the study of nearly 37 million births shows newborns were a bit lighter in 2005 than in 1990, ending a half-century of rising birth weights. The change isn't big: The average birth weight of full-term babies is just under 7 1/2 pounds, a drop of about 1.8 ounces, researchers reported Thursday in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Combat wounds not the leading cause of evacuations

LONDON (AP) — American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan were more likely to be medically evacuated for health problems such as a bad back than for combat injuries, a new study says. Researchers also found psychiatric disorders rose during the period studied — 2004 to 2007 — despite an increased focus on treating mental health problems.

MS pills show promise and risk, studies say

ATLANTA (AP) — Tests of the first two oral drugs developed for treating multiple sclerosis show that both cut the frequency of relapses and may slow progression of the disease, but with side effects that could pose a tough decision for patients. Two experts not involved in the studies said the drugs appear effective but with potentially dangerous side effects. It's too soon to know if the pills will be approved by the government or widely adopted by physicians, they said.

Experts: Sitting too much could be deadly

LONDON (AP) — Here's a new warning from health experts: Sitting is deadly. Scientists are increasingly warning that sitting for prolonged periods — even if you also exercise regularly — could be bad for your health. And it doesn't matter where the sitting takes place — at the office, at school, in the car or before a computer or TV — just the overall number of hours it occurs. Research is preliminary, but several studies suggest people who spend most of their days sitting are more likely to be fat, have a heart attack or even die.

Heart group lists 7 essentials for heart health

DALLAS (AP) — Here are the seven secrets to a long life: Stay away from cigarettes. Keep a slender physique. Get some exercise. Eat a healthy diet and keep your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar in check. Research shows that most 50-year-olds who do that can live another 40 years free of stroke and heart disease, two of the most common killers, says Dr. Clyde Yancy, president of the American Heart Association. The heart association published the advice online Wednesday in the journal Circulation.

More states took in expired meds in 2009

LAYTON, Utah (AP) — A steel mailbox-sized bin in the lobby of a police department in northern Utah was full again, crammed with half-full prescription bottles, over-the-counter cold meds and even an odd topical cream from 1983. "It's anything and everything," Layton police evidence supervisor Holly Plotnick said as she and a co-worker transferred 28 pounds of medications into a garbage bag and readied it for the incinerator.

FDA debates tougher cancer warning on tanning beds

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just as millions head to tanning beds to prepare for spring break, the Food and Drug Administration will be debating how to toughen warnings that those sunlamps pose a cancer risk. Yes, sunburns are particularly dangerous. But there's increasing scientific consensus that there's no such thing as a safe tan, either.

Conjoined Arizona twins readying for separation

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Conjoined twins from Arizona have already defied medical expectations by living past their third birthdays. Now their parents hope the girls will become one of the first sets of twins sharing a heart to be successfully separated. Emma and Taylor Bailey, from the San Tan Valley area near Phoenix, were born connected at the chest, sharing a liver and a seven-chambered heart. Most hearts have four chambers.

Task force: Screen kids, obesity treatment works

CHICAGO (AP) — An influential advisory panel says school-aged youngsters and teens should be screened for obesity and sent to intensive behavior treatment if they need to lose weight — a move that could transform how doctors deal with overweight children. Treating obese kids can help them lose weight, the panel of doctors said in issuing new guidelines Monday. But that's only if it involves rigorous diet, activity and behavior counseling.