Medical Notes this week…

Foodmakers have removed trans fats from many of their recipes, and they’ll be banned in many foods nationwide in about a year. It’s a policy that could save plenty of lives, according to a study of counties that have already banned trans fats. The study in the journal JAMA Cardiology looked at 11 counties in New York State where trans fats have been banned in restaurants. Researchers found that heart attacks dropped by nearly 8% and strokes by more than 3%, compared to counties that didn’t restrict trans fats.

Diagnosing lung cancer in the future could be as easy as making a quick swab of the nose. A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows that in people with lung cancer, cells as far away as the inside of the nose are genetically altered. People without cancer don’t have those alterations. Researchers have found 30 genes they could use as biomarkers for lung cancer. The test needs more work before it could be available as a screening test.

And finally, if you’re dieting, the tone of your Tweets give away whether you’ll lose weight. Researchers presenting to a conference of the Association for Computing Machinery say they were able to predict dieting success with 77% accuracy just by reading the dieter’s tweets. People who succeed are more upbeat and focused on the future. Those who fail send tweets that are more anxious.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

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