ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Winter Is Tough on Feet
Bone Loss Stable on Restricted Calorie Diet
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
CANCER
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
CAREGIVING
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
Caring for Aging Loved Ones Can Be a Catch-22
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
The High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Debate
Imagine Food Aromas That Prevent Overeating
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
FITNESS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
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Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies

THURSDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to real acupuncture, placebo acupuncture was associated with significantly higher overall pregnancy rates among women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF), says a University of Hong Kong study.

In real acupuncture, fine needles are inserted into particular points on the body. In placebo acupuncture, blunt needles that look identical to real acupuncture needles retract into the handle of the needle when pressed on the skin, but still give the sensation and appearance of entering the skin.

The researchers gave real or placebo acupuncture to 370 women on the day of embryo transfer and found that 55.1 percent of those who received placebo acupuncture became pregnant, compared to 43.8 percent of those who received real acupuncture. The findings were published in the Nov. 13 issue of Human Reproduction.

"We found a significantly higher overall pregnancy rate following placebo acupuncture when compared with that of real acupuncture," study author Dr. Ernest Hung Yu Ng, an associate professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology, said in a European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology news release. "In addition, there was a trend towards higher rates of clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, live birth and embryo implantation in the placebo acupuncture group, although the differences did not reach statistical significance."

The results suggest that placebo acupuncture may not act as an inert control for real acupuncture and may be having a real effect. That theory is supported by the fact that the researchers noted significant changes in measurements for uterus receptivity and patient stress levels after the women received both the real and placebo acupuncture.

There are two possible explanations for the study results.

"Placebo acupuncture is similar to acupressure and therefore is good enough to improve the pregnancy rate," said Ng, who added it's also possible that real acupuncture may, in some way, reduce the pregnancy rate.

"So far, there is no evidence that real acupuncture would adversely affect IVF outcomes because, in a previous meta-analysis of several acupuncture studies, the pregnancy rate was higher in the acupuncture group than in the control group. However, we cannot draw a firm conclusion about this from our current study, as we did not compare the two groups with a third control group of patients who received neither form of acupuncture. Further studies should be conducted to compare placebo or noninvasive acupuncture and controls without acupuncture," Ng said.

More information

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has more about acupuncture.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology, news release, Nov. 12, 2008

Last Updated: Nov. 13, 2008

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