ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
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Returning to the Road Tricky After Injury
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
High Birth Weight Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
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Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
Many Ignore Symptoms of Bladder Trouble
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
CAREGIVING
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
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Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Compound in Berries May Lessen Sun Damage
Probiotics Are The Good Guys
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment
Smog Standards Need Tightening, Activists Say
EYE CARE, VISION
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
FITNESS
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Maximize Your Run
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Have Fun But Put Play It Safe on the 4th
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Protect Your Kids From Swine Flu While at Camp
Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
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Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem

MONDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- A supposedly harmless condition -- superficial vein thrombosis, or varicose veins that have become swollen and painful -- may herald the presence of a more dangerous problem.

One-quarter of patients with superficial vein thrombosis (SVT) in an Austrian study actually had deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a potentially life-threatening condition.

"The diagnosis of [SVT] has long been considered to be a benign entity which could be managed in the doctor's office [but] in fact may be the tip of the iceberg," said Dr. Robert Lookstein, an associate professor of radiology and surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

"I think it's a good idea for anybody with [superficial vein thrombosis] to undergo routine ultrasound screening of the deep veins of their legs to exclude this very, very serious diagnosis," Lookstein continued.

This advice does not apply to individuals with "regular" varicose veins, only to those who are experiencing varicose veins that are "quite engorged and firm to the touch," Lookstein said.

Many doctors may already be on the alert.

"This [finding] does not surprise me," said Dr. Robert Rosen, director of vascular intervention at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "They [the study authors] are documenting something that doctors are already doing."

SVT, explained Lookstein, happens when varicose veins in the calves or thighs become filled with blood clots. "They become painful, can become hot and patients can have low-grade fevers," he said. "It's a condition that can be quite uncomfortable."

Unlike SVT, which is visible on the surface of the skin, DVT is a blood clot that forms in veins deeper in the body. Complications can include pulmonary embolism, when a piece of the clot in the leg breaks off and travels to the lung; and post-thrombotic syndrome, in which the clots in the leg never heal, sometimes leading to loss of function of the legs, Lookstein said.

"This can transform somebody who would otherwise be a working member of the community and turn them into somebody unable to work, somebody who is bedbound," he said.

The authors of the new study, from the Medical University of Graz in Austria, looked at 46 patients (32 women and 14 men) who came to the dermatology department with SVT.

One-quarter of the patients had DVT, usually without symptoms. Of these, three-quarters had DVT in the same leg as the superficial vein thrombosis, 9 percent had DVT in the other leg and 18 percent had it in both legs, the researchers said.

Anybody with SVT should undergo routine screening with duplex ultrasound, which can be performed either in a doctor's office or by a vascular specialist, Lookstein said.

The findings were published in the July issue of the Archives of Dermatology.