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Tuesday, April 19, 2005; Page HE02

KEEP TALKING Those long hours spent jabbering on your cell phone may discomfit your neighbors -- but apparently not your brain cells. A new study by Danish researchers of more than 1,200 people -- a third of whom had brain tumors -- found no increased risk of brain tumors among cell phone users, contrary to earlier studies that suggested otherwise. Their findings echo a similar report from Sweden. The researchers, who obtained cell phone billing records from 74 participants, found that people accurately remembered the number of calls they made but not their length. A definitive conclusion about brain tumors and cell phone use must await studies examining use for 10 or more years, researchers said. The study was published last week in the journal Neurology.

DON'T OVERHYDRATE Hyponatremia, a potentially fatal condition caused by excessive fluid intake, may not be as rare a risk in marathon runners as previously thought, according to a study of 488 Boston Marathon runners published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine. Runners who gulp big quantities of water and sports drinks to counteract possible dehydration are at risk for the problem, which causes dangerously low levels of sodium in the blood. Some runners drink so much they actually gain weight during a race. Of 488 runners studied, 62 had hyponatremia.

The condition can be quickly reversed through administration of intravenous salts that help drain excess fluid. Runners are advised to check their weight sporadically during training to see if their "hydration strategy puts them at undue risk" for the condition, which has caused several deaths among runners in recent years.

-- From staff and wire reports

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