ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Alcohol Abuse Can Damage Bones
Rheumatoid Arthritis Hits Women Harder
CANCER
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
CAREGIVING
With Alzheimer's, Health-Care Costs Could Triple
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
DIABETES
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
TV Food Ads Promote Bad Diets
Eating Less May Slow Aging Process
DASH Diet Has Extra Benefits for Women's Health
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Preparing for a Chlorine Gas Disaster
Hurricane Threats: Time to Batten Down the Hatches
Accumulated Lead May Affect Older Women's Brains
EYE CARE, VISION
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
Eye Test Could Spot Diabetes Vision Trouble Early
FITNESS
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Biomarkers May Help Measure Rate of Decline in Dementia
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Countdown to Hair Loss
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
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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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