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Today's Top Medical Stories for Thursday, January 9, 2014

An experimental device may help people with severe sleep apnea who don't respond to current treatments and a warning to heart patients about their exposure to radiation.
Cardiologists are being urged to reduce their patients' exposure to radiation in a new paper from the European Society of Cardiology. The group says radiation from cardiology procedures such as C-T scans adds up to basically 50 chest x-rays per patient each year. The authors say the radiation greatly raises the patient's risk of getting cancer decades later. They also say up to 50 percent of patient radiology exposure is unnecessary and in cases where the procedures are appropriate, the dosages are often wrong.


A new study shows women who need help getting pregnant face a higher risk of having babies with birth problems. That's compared to women who were able to conceive naturally. Researchers in Australia looked at more than 300-thousand births during a 17 year period. They found women who used some sort of treatment including in-vitro fertilization and ovulation medicines were almost twice as likely to have stillborn births. They were even more likely to have babies who were pre-term or who had low-birth weight.

And an experimental device that's supposed to help reduce obstructive sleep apnea seems is showing promising results, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The implantable device, called Inspire, provides a mild electronic stimulation to the patient's upper airway during sleep to help prevent the tongue from collapsing and blocking the airway. Researchers say a year after the device was implanted, patients experienced substantially fewer interruptions during their sleep. The device is under review by the FDA. 


(Teri Okita for CBS News)


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