Health Watch: January 9th

- Cardiologists are being urged to reduce their patients' exposure to radiation by the European Society of Cardiology. The group says radiation from cardiology procedures such as CT scans adds up to 50 chest x-rays per patient each year. The radiation greatly raises the patient's risk of getting cancer decades later. They say up to 50 percent of patient radiology exposure is unnecessary and in cases where the procedures are appropriate, the dosages are often wrong. 

A new study shows women who need help getting pregnant face a higher risk of having babies with birth problems. Researchers in Australia looked at more than 300,000 births during a 17-year-period. They found women who used some sort of treatment, including in-vitro fertilization and ovulation medicines, were almost twice as likely to have stillborns. they were even more likely to have babies who were pre-terms or who had low birth weight. 

An experimental device that is supposed to help reduce obstructive sleep apnea is showing promising results, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The implantable device, called Inspire, provides a mild electronic stimulation to the patient's upper airway during sleep to help prevent the tongue from collapsing and blocking the airway. Researchers say a year after the device was implanted, patients experienced substantially fewer interruptions during their sleep. The device is under review by the FDA. 

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