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Today's Top Medical Stories for Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A new study raises questions about the link between saturated fat and heart disease. Plus, the latest research shows Americans are spending a fortune on unnecessary brain scans.
A new study finds headache sufferers undergo about one billion dollars worth of brain scans each year, even though most of those tests are unnecessary. Researchers in Michigan found 12 percent of patients who complain of headaches and migraines end up getting an MRI or a CT scan despite past research that shows the odds are extremely low that the scans will detect a problem. Researchers say doctors may be ordering the tests anyway to put patients’ minds at ease or to protect themselves from malpractice lawsuits.

New research is questioning current dietary guidelines that call for restricting saturated fat in order to prevent heart disease. Researchers from Cambridge reviewed 72 different studies. They found no link between saturated fatty acid and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. They also found no connection between eating a diet high in unsaturated fats -- such as omega 3 which are found in some fish - and a lower risk of heart disease. 

And mothers who monitor how much time their children spend watching TV and playing video games seem to have kids with lower body mass indexes. But researchers say there was no association for fathers who monitored their children’s screen time.


(Alexis Christoforous, CBS News)


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