Many Elderly Now Bring Companion on Doctor's Visit

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- About one-third of seniors still living on their own take a companion -- usually a spouse or other family member -- to their routine doctor's office visits, researchers report.

Health Tip: Hip Arthritis May Not Need Surgery

(HealthDay News) -- Hip arthritis can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, but may not need surgery if discovered in its early stages.

Health Tip: Seniors Need Exercise, Too

(HealthDay News) -- Lifting weights and other forms of strength training can offer a host of health rewards for people 65 and older, experts say.

Gene Might Be a Culprit in Sudden Infant Death for Boys

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) may sometimes have a genetic component, a team of German researchers reports.

Skin Tests Catch Metal Sensitivity Before Joint Replacement

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Testing patients for metal hypersensitivity before they receive joint or bone implants helps identify those at increased risk for complications due to metal hypersensitivity, a new study shows.

Desk Jockeys Urged to Take Small Steps to Get Exercise

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Spending long hours at your desk may boost your work productivity, but it can harm your health, an expert warns.

Why Cancer Symptoms May Elude M.D.

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Diagnosing cancer is more difficult in certain groups of patients, according to a British study.

Certain Antipsychotics Up Risk of Death for Patients With Dementia: Study

THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) Compared to other antipsychotic drugs, haloperidol (Haldol) raises the risk of death in elderly patients with dementia, a new study finds.

Dieting Can Prove Dangerous for Kidney Disease Patients

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight or obese people with chronic kidney disease may suffer further kidney damage if they use certain weight-loss methods, a new study warns.

Researchers Spot Genes Behind Macular Degeneration

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- New research has identified more than 50 genes that can predict age-related macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide.

Kids From Poorer Families Drink Too Much Juice: Poll

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Many young children from low-income families drink too much juice, new research shows.

Young Blacks Less Likely to Seek Mental Health Care: Study

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Young adult black Americans, especially those with higher levels of education, are much less likely than their white counterparts to seek mental health services, a new study finds.

Prediabetes Not to Blame for Nerve Damage: Study

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A new study finds that people with prediabetes are no more likely to have a type of nerve damage called small fiber polyneuropathy than healthy people, a finding that contradicts two decades of medical reports.

Brain Calls the Shots on Which Hand Holds Cellphone

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- About 70 percent of people hold their cellphone to the ear on the same side as their dominant hand, a new study finds.

Contraceptives Work Well in Obese Women, But Hormone Levels Lower

THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Hormonal contraceptives appear to thwart pregnancy just as well in overweight and obese women as those of normal weight despite markedly lower pregnancy-prevention hormone levels among heavier females, a group of reproductive experts said.

In Tougher Economy, Fewer Americans Get Colonoscopy

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer people opted for potentially lifesaving colonoscopies to screen for colon cancer during the recent economic recession, largely because they couldn't afford to pay high out-of-pocket costs often associated with this test, new research finds.

Health Highlights: Feb. 24, 2012

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Phobia Makes Spiders Appear Larger Than They Are: Study

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- People with an intense fear of spiders perceive the creatures to be larger than they actually are, a new study has found.

Children Now Eligible for Screening Test for Bacterium

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expanded approval for a breath test that screens for a common ulcer-causing germ, to include children aged 3 years to 17.