Health Highlights: May 22, 2007

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:

Chinese-Made Toothpaste May Contain Industrial Solvent

Chinese officials are investigating two companies suspected of exporting toothpaste that may contain the industrial solvent diethylene glycol, commonly used in antifreeze. Some of the suspect toothpaste was made for children.

Tainted toothpaste believed to be from China has been found in Australia, the Dominican Republic and Panama, but has not been found in the United States, The New York Times reported.

Diethylene glycol in cold medicine killed at least 100 people in Panama last year. There have been no reports of deaths linked to the tainted toothpaste.

WHAT TO KNOW
    • Chinese-Made Toothpaste May Contain Industrial Solvent
    • Naprapathy Eases Back and Neck Pain
    • Divorced/Separated Men at Higher Risk for Depression: Study
    • Companies Seek to Launch Advanced Trials of Alzheimer's Drug
    • Synthetic Estrogen Turns Male Fish Into Females
    • Most Nations Have Quelled H5N1 Outbreaks in Birds

Chinese authorities have closed the factory of the Danyang City Success Household Chemical Company and have questioned the manager of the another toothpaste maker called Goldcredit International Trading, the Times reported.

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Naprapathy Eases Back and Neck Pain

A therapy called naprapathy -- which involves massage, stretching and manipulation of the spine and other joints -- is more effective at treating neck and back pain than some conventional methods, according to a Swedish study of 409 patients.

The patients were divided into two groups. One group received naprapathy while the other group received support and advice from doctors, which included the common approach of encouraging patients to move and live normally despite their back and neck pain, Agence France-Presse reported.

After 12 weeks, 57 percent of the patients who received naprapathy said they felt much better, compared with 13 percent of patients in the other group. The study also found that 69 percent of those in the naprapathy group said they had noticeably less pain, compared with 42 percent in the control group.

By the end of the study, 19 percent of naprapathy patients had totally recovered from their back and neck pain, compared with seven percent of those in the control group, AFP reported.

The findings were published in the Clinical Journal of Pain.

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Divorced/Separated Men at Higher Risk for Depression: Study

Divorced and separated men may be much more likely to suffer depression than people who stay together or women who divorce or separate, says a Statistics Canada study released Tuesday.

The study authors analyzed data from the National Public Health Survey and found that depression occurred in about 12 percent of all people involved in the breakdown of a marriage or common-law relationship, compared with three percent of people who stayed together, CBC News reported.

But men were hit much harder than women when a domestic relationship ended.

The study found that men, ages 20 to 64, who had divorced or separated were six times more likely to report depression than married men, while divorced or separated women were 3.5 times more likely to report depression than married women, CBC News reported.

The study authors said men may be especially vulnerable to the loss of social support after a breakup. While women tend to have social networks, many men rely solely on their partner for support.

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