Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have discovered scores of RNA molecules in saliva that could serve as markers of disease. The study, to be published in Clinical Chemistry, found more than 400 circular RNAs, and the authors speculate they may serve a protective role for other RNA molecules. The findings could lead to the development of a simple saliva test to predict diseases such as cancer and type 2 diabetes.
The FDA and WebMD are collaborating to improve the agency's ability to deliver product-safety and other health information to the public. Under the agreement, WebMD will publish FDA updates on its Web site as well as in its bimonthly magazine.
Deaths due to medication errors at home increased from 1,132 in 1983 to 12,426 in 2004, according to an analysis of nearly 50 million U.S. death certificates. Researchers blamed the surge on increasing home use of prescription painkillers and other potent treatments. The analysis did not include suicides, homicides and deaths linked to side effects of medicines.
Health insurers are increasing dental benefits in their plans to help prevent more serious diseases later. Plans are paying for services previously excluded, allowing a higher maximum annual cap for patients who get preventive care and covering additional preventive care for patients who are pregnant or chronically ill.