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An experimental vaccine to protect against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a leading cause of illness and hospitalization among very young children, elicited high levels of RSV-specific antibodies when tested in animals, according to a report in the journal Science.

Smoking can cause your skin to be dry and lose elasticity, leading to wrinkles and stretch marks. Your skin tone may become dull and grayish. By your early 30s, wrinkles can begin to appear around your mouth and eyes, adding years to your face.

For many people, buying lottery tickets, betting on horses, playing cards for money or feeding slot machines are nothing more than a fun pastime.

But for some people, gambling games can become an uncontrollable and necessary part of life. In these cases, the need to gamble can turn into an addiction known clinically as pathological gambling. The key to overcoming gambling addiction is to identify the problem and find help.

Recognize the symptoms

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Smoking can cause dental decay.  Smoking takes a toll on your mouth. Smokers have more oral health problems than non-smokers, like mouth sores, ulcers and gum disease. You are more likely to have cavities and lose your teeth at a younger age. You are also more likely to get cancers of the mouth and throat.

Smoking can cause blindness and night vision. Smoking causes physical changes in the eyes that can threaten your eyesight. Nicotine from cigarettes restricts the production of a chemical necessary for you to be able to see at night. Also, smoking increases your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration (both can lead to blindness).

In the United States, diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of vision loss among working-age adults.  If you are a diabetic make sure to maintain your health by seeing your doctor regularly.

Hearing loss, yes smoking can effect your hearing.  By smoking it reduces the oxygen supply to the cochlea. This may result in permanent damage to the cochlea and cause mild to moderate hearing loss.

Did you know that Nicotine from cigarettes is as addictive as heroin?  Nicotine addiction is hard to beat because it changes your brain. The brain develops extra nicotine receptors to accommodate the large doses of nicotine from tobacco. When the brain stops getting the nicotine it’s used to, the result is nicotine withdrawal. You may feel anxious, irritable, and have strong cravings for nicotine.

November is Military Family Month. We should show our gratitude to our service members and their families, not just this month, but all year long.

Photo from the National Guard.

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Domestic violence is a type of abuse in which someone close to you is hurting you.   If you have a partner or spouse who abuses you emotionally, physically, and/or sexually, get help. If you are in immediate danger, call 911. For information about local shelters and other resources, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

Treatment designed to prevent one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States.  Researchers have launched an early-stage clinical trial of an investigational vaccine designed to prevent genital herpes disease. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is sponsoring the Phase I trial, which is being conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md.

After a decade of trans fats slowly disappearing from some American food, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will now require that trans fats be gradually phased out of all foods because trans fats threaten people’s health.

Trans fats are the “bad” fats that cause plaque build-up in the arteries and lead to heart disease. They are found in many processed foods, and in oils used for frying in restaurants.

While many companies have already removed trans fats after new nutrition labels were introduced in 2006, the FDA estimates that requiring trans fats not be used will decrease cases of heart disease by 7,000 annually and prevent 20,000 heart attacks per year.

A gene variant common in African-Americans predicts that people with that gene who also have chronic kidney disease (CKD) are twice as likely to progress to kidney failure as African-Americans without the high-risk gene and white people with CKD. People with the high-risk gene also tend to lose kidney function at twice the rate of those without the gene, according to the research, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Diabetes does not strike a person alone. It strikes families and communities. It strikes our nation and the world. During today’s World Diabetes Day and National Diabetes Month this November, we at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, renew our efforts to prevent, manage and one day cure diabetes. As well, we encourage families to take steps to improve their health and work together to fight diabetes and its serious and sometimes fatal consequences.

Ten years after a transplant, a cornea from a 71-year-old donor is likely to remain as healthy as a cornea from a donor half that age, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Corneas from donors over age 71 perform slightly less well, but still remain healthy for the majority of transplant recipients after 10 years, the study found.

Did you know that your water heating can account for 14% to 25% of the energy consumed in your home. Make sure to turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You will not only save energy, but you will also avoid scalding your hands.

One way to make sure you are saving energy is by not letting it go out the back door.  Here are some tips on where to find and stop leaks:

1) Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes (“plumbing penetrations”), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
2) Find out how to detect air leaks.
3) Learn more about air sealing new and existing homes.
4) Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
5)  Find out how to select and apply the appropriate caulk.
6) Learn how to select and apply weatherstripping.

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