Health Tip: Help Prevent Back Pain

(HealthDay News) -- Few people go through their entire lives without back pain, which can range from mild to severe. But there are steps you can take to help prevent it.

Health Tip: Watch for Symptoms of Seizure

(HealthDay News) -- Seizures occur when normal electrical activity in the brain is disrupted. Depending on the portion of the brain that's affected, seizures can cause different symptoms.

Women Can Waive Test Before Incontinence Surgery: Study

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Many women are sent for pricey bladder-function tests before surgery for urinary incontinence. However, a new study suggests that in many cases these tests are not needed.

Study Finds Direct Link Between Obesity, Heart Disease

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- A large new study is the first to show a direct link between a high body-mass index and the risk of developing heart disease, British and Danish researchers say.

Genes Might Cause Some to Shun Pork

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Not a big fan of bacon or ham? Your genes might be behind it, a new study finds.

Dengue Fever a Major Cost Burden in Puerto Rico

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- The costs of treating and coping with dengue fever in Puerto Rico total nearly $38 million a year, a new study finds.

Clues to 'Slacker' Behavior Found in Brain, Study Says

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Chemistry in three areas of the brain may influence your motivation levels, a new, small study says.

U.S. Ranks 131st in World for Premature Birth Rate

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- More than 15 million -- or 12 percent -- of U.S. babies are born prematurely each year, according to a report released Wednesday by the March of Dimes and several other organizations.

Scientists Spot How Cox-2 Painkillers Raise Heart Risks

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- New research has uncovered how some cox-2 painkillers increase the risk for both heart attacks and stroke.

Study Redefines What a Healthy Vagina Is

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Bacteria that live normally in the vagina differ from woman to woman and can even change dramatically in short periods of time in the same woman, a new analysis reveals.

Aspirin as Effective as Warfarin for Heart Failure: Study

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin is just as effective as the blood-thinner warfarin in preventing stroke and death in heart failure patients with a normal heart rhythm, a landmark study indicates.

Study: Gene Therapy for HIV Safe, But Effectiveness Still Unclear

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- New research shows that gene therapy can have long-lasting effects on the immune cells of HIV patients -- a promising sign -- even though the specific treatment being studied did not eradicate the virus.

Health Highlights: May 2, 2012

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

'Iceman' Mummy Yields Oldest Human Blood Cells

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- The oldest known human blood has been found in the body of the 5,000-year-old Otzi, the "iceman mummy" that was discovered in a glacier in the Alps in 1991.

Less Invasive Heart Valve Replacement Works for Elderly: Study

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- For elderly patients with a heart valve disease known as aortic stenosis, a procedure called a transcatheter aortic-valve implantation appears safe and effective, French researchers say.

Once-Banned Bird Flu Study Suggests Pandemic Threat Is Real

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Data in a formerly banned study detailing how the H5N1 avian (bird) flu virus can morph -- with the possibility that it could spread from person to person and cause a global pandemic -- may help nations prepare for the impending threat.

Eating More Foods Rich in Omega-3s May Lower Alzheimer's Risk: Study

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may guard against Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests.

Who's the Dad? First-Trimester Blood Test May Tell

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Finding out who the father is in paternity cases may become easier with the emergence of a simple blood test for women that can be given in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Energy and Sports Drinks Eat Away at Teeth, Study Finds

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Sports and energy drinks are causing irreversible damage to the teeth of teens and young adults in the United States, the authors of a new study claim.

Lower-Dose Radioiodine Effective Against Thyroid Cancer

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- People with thyroid cancer are often given a radioactive iodine treatment to wipe out stray cancer cells, a treatment that comes with its own health risks.