ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Study Examines How Rheumatoid Arthritis Destroys Bone
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
CANCER
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
CAREGIVING
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
Marinades Help Keep Grilled Meat Safe
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
FDA Faulted for Stance on Chemical in Plastics
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
EYE CARE, VISION
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
FITNESS
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
Internet Program Helps Problem Drinkers
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Countdown to Hair Loss
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
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With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- People with psoriasis can get valuable educational, psychological and social support from online communities, a U.S. study finds.

It included 260 adults who took part in one of five online support groups. The participants -- mostly white, female, college-educated and averaging 40 years old -- included 188 (73.7 percent) with moderate or severe psoriasis and 206 (79.9 percent) who rated their health as average or better.

The availability of resources was the key factor in their use of an online support group, followed by convenience, access to good advice and lack of embarrassment when dealing with personal issues. In addition, about three-fourths of the participants said anonymity was an important feature of online support use.

The study found that 49.5 percent of participants said they believed their quality of life improved, and 41 percent perceived improvements in psoriasis severity, after they joined an online group. The findings were published in the January issue of Archives of Dermatology.

"Although online psoriasis support groups are still in their nascent stage, they have captured a loyal and growing audience," wrote Shereene Z. Idriss and colleagues at the Center for Connected Health, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, all in Boston. "The dermatology community should consider leveraging the infrastructure of online support groups to build on delivering personalized and integrated medical care to individuals affected by psoriasis."

Psoriasis, a disease that causes skin and joint problems, affects 0.6 percent to 4.8 percent of the world's population, according to background information in the study. The disease can also affect financial, emotional and sexual well-being, and about 10 percent of people with psoriasis have contemplated suicide, the study said in explaining the need for psychological support for people with the disease.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about psoriasis.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Jan. 19, 2009

Last Updated: Jan. 22, 2009

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