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Health Care Reform, Swine Flu Top Health News for 2009
Date:12/30/2009

2006, to one in every 110 children. But there was good news, too: A study in this month's issue of Pediatrics found that an intensive intervention program for toddlers can work to curb autism -- if it is begun early enough.

9. Alternative to Warfarin May Be Near. For decades, a tough-to-manage blood thinner called warfarin has been the standard of care for millions of heart patients. The drug offers potent anti-clotting powers but must be constantly monitored to minimize bleeding risks. This fall, however, three promising studies suggested that a new drug, dabigatran -- already approved in Canada and Europe -- works as well as warfarin but is much easier to control.

10. New Promise in the Fight Against AIDS. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, had a rather bad year in 2009. Results from one of the first completed vaccine trials found the combo shot had only a modest effect in shielding recipients from infection, but it did suggest that more potent immunization could be possible. And on the treatment front, the WHO in October announced that in 2008, 42 percent of people in the developing world who are infected with HIV now had access to life-extending medications -- a tenfold increase in access over the prior five years.



SOURCES: HealthDay News reports, 2009


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