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A downturn in the economy means money is tight, but patients are still investing in hair-loss treatments. New statistics from a recent survey of members of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) show that the worldwide number of hair restoration patients treated in 2008 was up 26 percent from 2006. Of the 811,363 total patients treated worldwide, 236,468 had surgical interventions. This significant increase in hair restoration patients coincides with a 12 percent jump in the total number of surgical hair restoration procedures worldwide since 2006. While nearly all (92.9 percent) hair restoration procedures performed in 2008 targeted the scalp area, hair restoration procedures performed on the eyebrows increased in popularity worldwide by 43.1 percent. Last year, men accounted for 84.9 percent of all hair restoration surgical patients worldwide and 68.2 percent of all non-surgical hair restoration patients. The US reported 98,727 hair restoration procedures in 2008. Of note, more than half of both male and female patients worldwide fell between the ages of 30 to 49 years old (59.6% and 54.9%, respectively).

Healthcare Reform Stalled. In his first-ever prime-time press conference, President Barack Obama last month tried to drum up support for speedy passage of healthcare reform, but Senators wonÕt consider a bill until after the August recess. According to results of a Gallup poll published July 14, 56 percent of Americans want Congress to enact major legislation this year, and the same percentage support mandatory health insurance coverage. But results from a second survey published one week later show that only 50 percent of Americans approve of Mr. ObamaÕs handling of healthcare reform.

They Mite Cause Rosacea. There has been some speculation in recent years regarding the role of Demodex mites in the onset of rosacea, and a new report claims to have made a significant discovery. Researchers in Ireland suggest that bacteria found in Demodex mites, rather than the mites themselves, are directly linked to inflammatory rosacea. Investigators found that the Bacillus bacterium releases two proteins that trigger inflammation in patients with facial rosacea. The study assessed 30 patients with ocular rosacea and found that 80 percent had been exposed to large amounts of the two bacterial proteins. According to researchers, this accounts for the generally successful therapeutic results achieved with antibiotics and antibacterials. The study will be published in a forthcoming issue of Ophthalmology, according to a report in the Irish Times.

Melanoma Slows in Canada. Are Canadian patients heeding UV safety warnings? A new report finds that rates of cutaneous malignant melanoma are slowing in central Canada (JAAD). Researchers examined data from 3,365 cases of melanoma reported from 1956 to 2005. The age-standardized incidence rates showed signs of slowing for both sexes in individuals under 60 years of age. For women, the incidence slowed beginning in 1981, and for men in 1992.The rates of melanoma in Canada were higher in females until 1988. Analysis of the age-specific incidence rates showed that rates of cutaneous malignant melanoma among patients older than 60 years continued to increase. Among middle-aged subjects (40 to 59 years), the annual percent change reveals decreasing rates for men (1992 to 2005: -0.6%) and women (1983 to 2005: -0.3%). Rates also decreased among subjects younger than 40 years of age.

Update: The latest development in the back-and-forth over biologic patent protection is a 12-year exclusivity voted upon by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. This is nearly double the seven-year protection sought by the Obama administration.

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