ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Autumn Sees More Women With Bunion Problems
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
CANCER
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
CAREGIVING
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
Just Say No to Nuts During Pregnancy
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Clear Skies Have Become Less So Over Time, Data Show
Air Pollution Exposure May Slow Fetal Growth
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
EYE CARE, VISION
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
FITNESS
FDA Mandates New Warnings for Botox
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
Run for Your Life
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Kids More Apt to Smoke If Mom Did While Pregnant
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
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
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Babies Who Eat Fish Lower Eczema Risk
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
SENIORS
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
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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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