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Health Watch: December 23rd

A look at the top business headlines.
Acupuncture may bring relief to women during treatment for breast cancer. Researchers at the University of Maryland examined the needle therapy as a way to reduce the side effects of a widely-used cancer drug. They found that acupuncture significantly reduced symptoms, especially hot flashes. Even fake acupuncture was effective, in which the needle doe not actually penetrate the skin. 

Researchers in Boston are recommending calcium scans to help predict a heart attack or stroke. The screenings measure calcium deposits in arteries and can be seen on CT scans. The test is not usually used on low risk patients. But a study in the European Heart Journal says calcium scans may turn up danger signs that other tests miss, and they can help determine the best medications. 

A new study looks at the deadly effects of rheumatoid arthritis. The disease leads to inflammation of the joints and can spread to organs. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found the mortality rate is twice as high for women over the age of menopause when they suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. The disease affects nearly one and a half million Americans, most of them women. 



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