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Your Body: Talking to Your Kids About Their Weight

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Med­ical Con­trib­u­torTalk­ing to kids about their weight is no easy task and you don’t want to hurt their feel­ings. But it’s such an impor­tant con­ver­sa­tion to have in order to help your …



US Adult Smoking Rates Drops Below 17 Percent

Wave­break­me­dia Ltd/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Cig­a­rette smok­ing among Amer­i­cans has hit a his­toric low, accord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary data released by the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Prevention’s National Cen­ter for Health Statistics.Through the first…


Your Body: Dealing with Adult Nightmares

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Med­ical Con­trib­u­torAre you still hav­ing night­mares? For about 10 per­cent of adults, they are a seri­ous problem.Studies in the field of sleep med­i­cine have shown that hav­ing neg­a­tive atti­tudes tow…


False Positives Common in Lyme Disease Lab Tests

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – Some patients rely­ing on com­mer­cially avail­able lab­o­ra­tory test­ing may be get­ting false indi­ca­tions that they may have con­tracted Lyme disease.

Lyme dis­ease, a bac­te­r­ial infec­tion trans­mit­ted by tick bites in the north­east­ern U.S., often can mimic other dis­eases and can be an elu­sive diagnosis.

A study in CMAJ eval­u­ated the accu­racy of lab tests admin­is­tered to Cana­di­ans who sent their blood to Amer­i­can labs and ques­tions whether these tests may be caus­ing more harm than they are help in find­ing a diagnosis.

The type of lab­o­ra­tory test­ing involved in the diag­no­sis of Lyme dis­ease is known as a ‘West­ern Blot’ test. Researchers looked at 40 patients with­out Lyme dis­ease and found that as many as 25 per­cent had a false pos­i­tive result with this test.

The authors of this report con­cluded that com­mer­cial lab­o­ra­tory test­ing may have too low of a thresh­old for a pos­i­tive test result – in other words, too many false positives.

While the treat­ment for Lyme dis­ease is a sim­ple course with an antibi­otic, the researchers warn that a false-positive test result may be dan­ger­ous, say­ing “Mis­takes in diag­no­sis can deprive patients of treat­ment spe­cific to the true cause of their symp­toms, and can result in pro­longed ther­apy for a con­di­tion they do not have.”

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