Medical Update - January 21, 2005

Friday, January 21st 2005, 9:36 am
By: News On 6

The government is taking another look at a recent obesity study.

A popular cancer test comes under question, plus the benefits of folic acid for pregnant women.

ews on 6 anchor LeAnne Taylor has those stories in this Medical Update.

Many expectant women are taking folic acid to prevent birth defects and that may actually be doing their own bodies some good as well. Researchers say high levels of folic acid may significantly reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure.

Scientists say more study is needed to confirm the results by believe folic acid may help keep blood pressure low by improving blood vessel function.

Some concerning news about a common colon cancer screening test. A study found the stool test failed to detect potentially cancerous colon growths 95 percent of the time. Researchers call the test quote "pretty worthless" and say a colonoscopy is the best way to detect colon cancer.

The government has re-weighed the evidence of an obesity study and found it overstated the number of deaths due to poor diet and lack of exercise. The CDC now says obesity-related deaths in 2000 increased 65,000 over 1990 levels, not the 100,000 originally reported.

Despite the lower number the CDC says obesity remains a major cause of death.