Health Highlights: Feb. 10, 2008

Reporting on a study in the January 2008 issue of the journal Gastroenterology, the newspaper said that the latest study, led by Harvard assistant professor of medicine Dr,. Howard T. Chan, confirmed earlier randomized studies indicating that prolonged aspirin use can act as a deterrent to colorectal cancer.

Men who took between 6 and 14 standard aspirin pills weekly decreased their colon cancer risk by 28 percent, and those who took more than 14 pills a week had a 70 percent decline in risk, the Times reported.

However, two cautions are important, the newspaper added. First, aspirin can be very difficult on some stomachs and can even cause intestinal bleeding. Second, the results were measured on a test group of 47,000 men over a very long time -- 18 years. The effectiveness of aspirin use occurs only after continuous use for five years or more, the Times reported.

"The results provide additional proof that a simple drug like aspirin can help prevent colon cancer," Chan told the newspaper.


Not 'Buckling Up' More Prevalent Among the Very Obese

The more a person weighs, the less likely he or she is to wear a car seat belt, increasing the possibility of injury or death, according to a story by the Associated Press.

Led by Vanderbilt University psychologist David Schlundt, researchers from Meharry Medical College in Nashville studied 2002 information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and found a direct relationship between obesity and not buckling up when getting into the car.

"They really have a hard time getting that belt buckle over them," Schlundt told the wire service. "They have to stretch it out and then over and then some can't see the buckle."

According to the A.P., deciding not to wear a seat belt because of being overweight is more than a lifestyle decision. Schlundt's group found that only 70 percent of the very obese reported always wearing a seat belt, compared to 83 percent of those who fell into normal-weight categories.

And the latest U.S. government statistic show that more than half the people killed in automobile accidents weren't wearing their seat belts, the A.P. reports.

The research was recently published in the journal Obesity.


Trek Recalls Girls' Bicycles

U.S. bicycle maker Trek has recalled about 49,000 MT220 girls' bicycles due to a risk of frame failure during use, which can cause riders to lose control and suffer injuries, said the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The company has received 13 reports of frames breaking, including four incidents that resulted in minor injuries. The recall covers MT220 bicycles from model years 2005 (light metallic blue), 2006 (metallic silver and metallic purple or pink and pearl white), and 2007 (pink and white pearl or metallic purple). The model name is printed on the frame of the bicycle. MT220 bicycles from model year 2008 are not included in the recall.

The recalled bikes were sold from April 2004 through June 2007 for about $300. Consumers should take these bicycles away from children immediately and return them to a Trek dealer for a free replacement bicycle or a $100 discount on a different size Trek bicycle.

For more information, contact Trek Bicycle Corp., of Waterloo, Wis., at (800) 373-4594.



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