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All news posts from July 01, 2008 to July 31, 2008

Posted by Jane Akre
July 31, 2008 3:03 PM

Pericardial fat, that is fat that accumulates around the heart, seems to have more to do with the development of coronary artery plaque than other factors, such as your waist circumference, this Wake Forest study found.   

Posted by Jane Akre
July 31, 2008 12:41 PM

Expect to see a more aggressive anti-smoking campaign if the FDA regulates the tobacco industry. That came one step closer Wednesday when the House passed the measure. The White House promises a veto. You'll never guess which side of the issue Philip Morris is on.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 30, 2008 10:27 PM

The mysterious Salmonella Saintpaul has been found in a serrano pepper in Mexico- considered a key breakthrough in sourcing the food-borne outbreak. The next step will be to determine if water or handling, at the farm or in the packing house is the source of the Salmonella that's sickened 1,300 in the U.S. and Canada. 

Posted by Jane Akre
July 30, 2008 4:20 PM

Published studies uncover a genetic component to schizophrenia that had never before been seen. For a disease that has seen few breakthroughs, these discoveries will help target therapies and earlier diagnosis.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 30, 2008 1:46 PM

Citing high rates of obesity, the Los Angeles City Council voted to place a moratorium on the construction of any new fast-food restaurants in South L.A., where 73 percent of the restaurants offer fast-food fare.  Incentives will be offered to draw in establishments offering healthier food.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 30, 2008 11:08 AM

As Zimmer Holdings withdraws the Durom Cup artificial hip socket from the market, the lack of a federal registry for artificial knees and hips means that consumers are kept in the dark when the devices fail.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 29, 2008 1:22 AM

Preventing surgical errors that occur during and after surgery could save lives and more than $1.5 billion in healthcare costs annually, according to a new study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Posted by Jane Akre
July 28, 2008 5:44 PM

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, combed through 50 million death certificates from 1984 to 2004 and found a 360 percent increase in accidental drug overdoses of prescription medication. Partially to blame is the availability of prescription drugs, especially painkillers. 25 years ago, they were available only in the hospital. Now about a quarter of people exchange them.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 28, 2008 1:33 PM

When talking to a person with Alzheimer's, nurses from the University of Kansas discovered that "baby talk" often resulted in resistance from residents of a nursing home.  People retain their dignity and a sense of being an adult, despite the fact that they have a mind-diminishing disease, researchers found.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 28, 2008 12:03 PM

Using MRI scans, researchers have been able to see amyloid plaque, characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. This research coming out of an international conference on Alzheimer's, marks the first time MRIs have been able to detect plaque, or black holes in the brains of animals. 

Posted by Jane Akre
July 28, 2008 9:19 AM

Major news coming out about Alzheimer's this week as an international conference is underway in Chicago. In this research by Boston University Medical School, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), blood pressure medication, was found to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s as well as lower the incidents of the disease. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 27, 2008 11:03 PM

A new study by Harvard University researchers suggests men who regularly eat soy foods may have lower sperm counts compared to those men who don't consume soy foods. The findings are especially true of obese and overweight men.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 25, 2008 5:38 PM

California is leading the nation in becoming to the first state to take the trans fats out. Today the governor signed a bill banning all trans fats in restaurant and baked foods. A violation will result in a fine. The benefit to Californians should be a reduction in heart disease, the number one killer in the state.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 25, 2008 11:57 AM

The powerful painkiller, fentanyl, can easily be made by street-wise chemists. But the illegal version killed more than 1,000 people in major cities, many who died before they finished their injection, the CDC finds.

Posted by Jenny Albano
July 25, 2008 1:53 AM

Patients suing the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas for potential exposure to hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases are being allowed to claim emotional distress in a class-action lawsuit.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 24, 2008 11:57 PM

Electromagnetic radiation may be able to penetrate a child and teens' brain more easily than an adults, so today a major cancer researcher issued a warning memo to 3,000 employees to limit their cell phone use, and to have children use them for emergencies only.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 24, 2008 9:31 PM

The Bush administration "strongly” opposes the effort to give the Food and Drug Administration regulatory authority over tobacco. The bill is supported by both US Chambers; however, if the legislation passes both House and Senate, the Bush administration is most likely to veto it.

Posted by Jenny Albano
July 24, 2008 9:26 PM

After being dismissed in 2006, lawsuits against military contractors Halliburton and Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), a former subsidiary, may go to trial in 2009. The lawsuits are over an ambush that left six civilian truck drivers in Iraq dead.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 24, 2008 10:38 AM

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bill and Melinda Gates are joining forces and $500 million to launch a global anti-smoking campaign in low and middle income emerging countries which have never seen anti-smoking campaigns. Among their challenger are governments that derive income from a tobacco sales tax.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 24, 2008 1:16 AM

Recalls of toys and children’s products are up 22% over the first part of last year, according to an analysis of Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) data by the nation’s leading consumer groups. With Congress’ August recess looming, consumer groups are urging lawmakers to complete reforming of the nation’s product safety system.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 23, 2008 11:18 PM

The Ride Proud. Dress Loud Campaign was launched by the Florida Highway Patrol on Monday in response to the increase in motorcycle fatalities. The campaign encourages bikers to steer clear of wearing neutral colors such as black, beige and gray. Officials feel optimistic that the campaign will help to lower the number of motorcycle fatalities each year.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 23, 2008 9:02 PM

Muscle pain affects roughly one out of every 1,000 people taking statins to lower cholesterol.Now British researchers believe they know why - a genetic variation seems to be the basis for muscle pain and myopathy. About two percent of the population carry the two variant genes, which cause roughly 60% of the muscle pain problem.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 23, 2008 4:41 PM

Infertility for men can be as simple as swollen veins in the scrotum, known as varicoceles, a tangle of blood vessels in the scrotum preventing blood circulation through the veins in the testicles. A procedure, using a tiny catheter, blocked the excessive blood flow into the veins, allowing them to return to normal size. Pregnancy resulted in one-third of the partners of men studied.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 23, 2008 12:09 PM

A Pfizer executive's helicopter rides to work from her Maryland home has the company rethinking whether executive benefits at a time of job cuts is a good idea.  The executive reportedly has received a bill for $300,000 to cover the cushy commute. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 23, 2008 2:05 AM

Officials are re-examining locals laws following a fatal crane accident on Friday at LyondellBassell plant that killed four workers when a crane collapsed. The accident has prompted officials to call for more city regulation of cranes.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 22, 2008 10:10 PM

A new study suggests Viagra, a popular erectile dysfunction drug, can also help women with antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction. The eight-week study found that Viagra, known generically as sildenafil, helped women achieve orgasm.

Posted by Jenny Albano
July 22, 2008 7:15 PM

On June 24, the President of the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) stated before the House Education and Labor Committee that there is a need for the creation of an OSHA agency specifically dedicated to construction.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 22, 2008 3:56 PM

The driver behind the wheel of that 40-ton rig or school bus next to you might be physically impaired, yet still driving. That's according to a government study that finds there are more than a half-million commercial tractor-trailer and bus drivers who are eligible for full disability benefits because of health issues, yet are still driving. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 22, 2008 1:30 AM

The cholesterol drug Vytorin, sold by Merck & Schering-Plough, failed to meet the goal of improving outcomes any better than a placebo, according to a new study. The new data did little in the way of removing doubt from a previous study in January that suggested the combination drug failed to work any better than that of the cheaper generic statin. Vytorin did lower LDL cholesterol. More study is planned.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 21, 2008 8:29 PM

A crane collapsed at LynondellBasell refinery in Houston, on Friday, killing four workers and injuring seven others. Texas is one of 35 states that does not require crane operators to be licensed. Crane regulations are long overdue, especially in those cities that are experiencing new and constant construction.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 21, 2008 2:03 PM

Consumers overwhelmingly believe the FDA, food producers, and distributors should have some form of tracking the journey a tomato takes from the field to your plate. The latest salmonella outbreak has shown that isn't happening.  The rise in food borne illness may be linked to industrialized farming done by agribusiness. 

Posted by Jane Akre
July 21, 2008 9:34 AM

Two studies published in The Lancet - one showing progress with the drug dimebon, which improves cognitive function. The other -  a vaccine, sucessfully removed plaque in the brain, but did nothing to slow progression of the disease. This indicates plaque is a symptom and should not be the focus of a cure. 

Posted by Jane Akre
July 18, 2008 4:56 PM

While its been a dozen years since TWA Flight 800 had an "in-flight breakup" off the coast of Long Island, the FAA is now ordering modifications to aircraft design. Many, including award-winning reporter, Kristina Borjesson, feel the FAA has it all wrong.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 18, 2008 12:07 PM

The Corn Refiners Association is in the middle of an 18- month, $30 million PR campaign to convince Americans that high-fructose corn syrup is really not the culprit behind obesity, despite the fact that it's in almost everything and its introduction coincides with America's rising obesity rates.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 18, 2008 2:14 AM

Tobacco companies use menthol to make some cigarette brands more appealing to young smokers, by making them taste less harsh, say researchers at Harvard School of public Health in the US.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 18, 2008 1:33 AM

It's been only 23 years of tracking obesity rates in the U.S. by the CDC. In 1985, fewer than one in ten of us was obese- today one out of 3 or 4 is not just overweight but obese. Supersized portions are partially to blame for this energy imbalance resulting in supersized people.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 17, 2008 10:47 PM

Researchers followed a group of moderately obese dieters placed on one of three diets - a Mediterranean diet; a low-carbohydrate diet based on Atkins; and a diet with 30 percent fat based on American Heart Association guidelines. The study findings determined low-carbohydrate diets were most effective.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 17, 2008 9:28 PM

A new study finds that your chance of cancer survival depends on the country you live in. The United States, France and Japan had the highest cancer survival rates among 31 nations included in the study. Researchers are hopeful the study findings will help political leaders to provide better cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 17, 2008 8:53 PM

Since the FDA has not been able to find the source of the Salmonella Saintpaul strain that's caused 1,200 cases of poisoning across the country, it's lifted the warning about eating tomatoes. Enjoy your pizza! However cilantro and serrano and jalapeno peppers are still on the suspect list.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 17, 2008 1:18 AM

New and expanded laws regarding firearms mean that they may be closer than you think - like Sea World, Orlando and at the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport.  Disney World is refusing to allow guns in the cars of employees, despite a new guns-to-work law in Florida.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 16, 2008 1:55 PM

Pregnant women with a family history of asthma or food allergies who consume nuts or nut products - like peanut butter - daily raise the risk their children will develop asthma by 50 percent, according to a new study by Utrecht University.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 16, 2008 11:50 AM

The value on replacing a life has been quietly reduced by the EPA as part of its cost/ benefit analysis. The Associated Press discovered the reduction of about $1 million on human life which goes directly to weighing the cost versus the lifesaving benefits of a proposed rule. The less a life is worth, the less a need for imposing regulations on pollution and toxic cleanup. 

Posted by Jane Akre
July 16, 2008 11:16 AM

The FDA has issued a health alert asking doctors to report any cases of anemia among patients taking Avastin for the treatment of cancers.  A drug trial by maker Genentech has been haulted because of the development of the disease in some participants.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 15, 2008 11:37 PM

Children display a dramatic drop in daily exercise according to this U.S. study.  Kids who exercised for three hours a day at the age of nine, dropped to about 45 minutes by the age of 13 and it didn't matter their sex, race or socio-economic background. The implications are huge for childhood obesity and the need for fitness programs as kids become teens in school.  

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 15, 2008 2:47 PM

Those who have assisted in the recovery, cleanup and rescue efforts of the World Trade Center destruction on 9/11, have an extended deadline of August 13, 2008 to register with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board for future benefits.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 15, 2008 11:50 AM

Senator Charles Grassley is asking the American Psychiatric Association to account for its funding, one-third of which comes from major pharmaceutical companies. In the latest outing, he's uncovered a Stanford psychiatrist who allegedly failed to report $74,000 in compensation from drug makers to the university.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 15, 2008 10:06 AM

Those who were less physically fit, had four times the brain shrinkage as the fit participants in this study, which measured Alzheimer's progression and exercise.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 15, 2008 3:15 AM

A federal court of appeals overturned a previous ruling saying Arizona school officials violated the constitutional rights of a 13-year-old student by subjecting her to a strip search based on an unverified tip made by another student that she was passing out prescription strength ibuprofen pills. The ruling serves as a warning to other school systems about the constitutional rights of students.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 14, 2008 1:11 PM

Under a proposal by the governor of Illinois, children with insurance, would have to be covered for the treatment of autism up to $36,000 a year, helping families already devastated by a diagnosis of the mind altering disease.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 12, 2008 3:30 PM

New research suggests that some cases of autism arise from defects in genes that can be turned on or off by mental activity. The findings bring renewed hope to the devastating disorder and may eventually lead to future treatments.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 12, 2008 11:04 AM

Cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, have surged by 50 percent among young women, according to a recent study by the National Institute of Cancer.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 11, 2008 5:57 PM

Instead of a baby shower, infant twins will be buried in the same casket. The Texas twins were the victims of an overdose of Heparin, the blood-thinner routinely used to flush IV tubes. No one knows if the dose was fatal and unconfirmed reports say the little boy died of a bacterial infection. 

Posted by Jane Akre
July 11, 2008 11:27 AM

Naming drugs is a very profitable business. If the right sound and image can be evoked in a name- the sky's the limit in sales. But consumers should be aware that the art and science of naming products such as "Frutopia" are being used to get you to feel good about your prescription drugs. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 11, 2008 1:16 AM

More than 1,000 people across the United States have been struck with salmonella in an outbreak that has U.S. health official investigating raw tomatoes, jalapenos and serrano peppers and cilantro used in salsa, the Food and Drug Administration said.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 10, 2008 11:11 PM

While anti-seizure medications do carry an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and ideation in some patients, a U.S. advisory panel says studies do not show a high-enough risk to justify the agency's toughest warning.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 10, 2008 3:33 PM

The twin sister of a newborn who died at a Corpus Christi, Texas hospital has died following a suspected overdose of the blood-thinner Heparin.  Twins, Kay Lynn and Keith Garcia, born one month premature, were among 14 babies receiving a dosage up to 100 times the recommended level of the anti-coagulant while in the neonatal intensive care unit. Whether the drug led to their death is unclear at this time. 

Posted by Jane Akre
July 10, 2008 11:58 AM

Not to scare off investors- the FDA will send kinder, gentler letters to drug makers who submit a new drug for approval.

Posted by Jenny Albano
July 09, 2008 8:03 PM

A Medicare bill opposed by the White House won final congressional approval on Wednesday, with the help of Sen. Edward Kennedy who returned to the Senate for the first time since having brain surgery.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 09, 2008 3:43 PM

The American Association for Justice names the Top Ten Worst  Insurers who try to avoid paying when you need them most. Tactics include using a "boxing glove" strategy against policyholders while the industry enjoys record profits.  

Posted by Jane Akre
July 09, 2008 1:51 PM

The CEO of a Corpus Christi hospital is apologizing for a medication error that may have caused the death of an infant. Another is in critical condition. Meanwhile, caps on damages in Texas mean that many medical malpractice lawsuits will never be filed.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 09, 2008 12:58 PM

The FDA has requested a "black box" warning, the FDA's most urgent warning, on Cipro and other like antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone class of drugs stating a risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture associated with use.

Posted by Mason Alley
July 09, 2008 5:16 AM

Fourteen babies in the neonatal intensive care unit of Christus Spohn Hospital South were given overdoses of the pediatric version of the blood thinner Heparin, according to hospital officials. And one baby has died.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 09, 2008 12:08 AM

A Washington D.C. based public interest group has compiled the FDA's adverse reports on Gardasil, and they're a must-read for any parent wanting to research the controversial HPV drug. At last count at least 18 young teen girls have unexpectedly died of blood clots and heart irregularities shortly after being vaccinated. 

Posted by Jane Akre
July 08, 2008 11:58 AM

Jenny was a healthy 13-year-old living in Northern California. Now she is a quadrapalegic and her family wants to know whether the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, caused her paralysis or whether a pre-existing genetic condition led to her reaction. They are asking the public to relay their experiences by reaching out on a blog.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 08, 2008 4:34 AM

The feelings new mothers have when they see their smiling baby, elicits a natural high, according to a new study. The results of the study will help doctors to better understand the physiological makeup of maternal devotion to babies and conversely, how some mothers never bond to their babies.   

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 07, 2008 7:22 PM

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine says people who have had more than five oral-sex partners are 250% more likely to develop throat cancer than those who do not engage in oral sex.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 07, 2008 2:12 PM

U.S. health officials are still struggling to find the source of the salmonella outbreak that has sickened nearly 950 people in the United States since April. Officials are in Mexico probing jalapeno peppers as a possible link.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 07, 2008 11:56 AM

The childhood obesity epidemic is bringing with it the huge problems of adult obesity, that is the early stages of artery disease which can lead to heart attack and stroke. The American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending children as young as eight, be given cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 07, 2008 11:10 AM

Men over the age of 35 have decreased number of sperm and viability of sperm, increasing their chances of having a problem becoming fathers. This European study is the first of its kind to look at infertility among older men.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 07, 2008 1:44 AM

Another multi-million-dollar lawsuit has been filed against Crocs Inc., alleging the company’s shoes caused a child to be injured on an escalator.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 04, 2008 1:06 PM

Resveratrol, in red wine and the skin of peanuts and walnuts, is getting a good review - again. It's been shown to have a very strong positive effect on preventing cardiovascular disease, reducing heart inflammation, keeping bone health in terms of structure and function, and maintaining loco-motor and balance activity. Now the question is - does this effect translate to humans? 

Posted by Jane Akre
July 04, 2008 12:31 PM

SIDS still mysteriously kills about one of every 2,000 infants worldwide, but the latest research into this mystery is pointing to serotonin, the brain chemical that regulates body functions and mood. Mice genetically engineered with low levels of serotonin, experienced sudden death, not unlike SIDS.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 03, 2008 12:39 PM

It's been nearly three years since Hurricane Katrina forced thousands of residents into mobile homes. FEMA trailers have been evacuated and samples sent to a national laboratory which finds particleboard and plywood as the source of formaldehyde, at rates 4 to 11 times the typical U.S. home. Formaldehyde is used in cheap baby furniture too.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 03, 2008 11:11 AM

Talk about finding a needle in a haystack – how about finding one cancer cell circulating among one billion? That is the promise of a new technology, a microchip scanner, that found circulating tumor cells and sucessfully identified lung cancer cells in 27 patients studied.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 03, 2008 9:47 AM

Just in time for the Fourth of July - some good public relations for the humble watermelon. Abounding with phyto-nutrients that have a healthy effect on the body, among them is citrulline, which acts to improve blood flow, not unlike Viagra.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 03, 2008 4:51 AM

Food and Drug Administration advisers voted 14-2, that all new diabetes drugs should undergo longer cardiovascular trials to assure they don't increase the risk of heart related problems.

Posted by Jenny Albano
July 03, 2008 1:03 AM

More than 265 tons of ground beef are being removed from store shelves in over 20 states because it may be contaminated with E. coli.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 02, 2008 12:07 PM

A suit has been filed against five baby bottle makers who use the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in their products.  The suit, filed by four Ohio parents, claims that the companies knew that bisphenol A was correlated to certain health problems. 

Posted by Jane Akre
July 02, 2008 11:40 AM

A new low in human behavior is observed in this surveillance videotaped death of a woman in a Brooklyn, N.Y. psychiatric hospital. No one comes to help. While the hospital is instituting changes, how many among us are capable of showing indifference?

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 02, 2008 7:58 AM

More than one million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S. A new study by EGW found four of five sunscreens failed to sufficiently protect skin from the sun's harmful rays. Find out what products are safe and what you can do to to stay safe in the sun this summer.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 02, 2008 1:57 AM

Two medical helicopters on their way to a hospital in Flagstaff, Arizona, collided on Sunday, killing six and seriously injury one. Sixteen people have died this year in seven crashes, involving eight helicopters, according to National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 01, 2008 11:55 AM

New York City leads the nation in eliminating trans fats from restaurant foods. The saturated, artificial fat, does nothing for consumers but contribute to heart clogging cholesterol and possible memory decline. For manufacturers, trans fats mean products can stay on the shelves longer.

Posted by Jane Akre
July 01, 2008 10:56 AM

Low levels of "good" cholesterol, or HDL, (high-density lipoprotein) were associated with a loss of memory in this British study. While monitoring your cholesterol levels are recommended for heart health, this study provides another reason to watch not only total cholesterol, but the HDL and LDL levels.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 01, 2008 12:07 AM

Recent violations by five West Palm Beach Hospitals offer a startling view of how emergency patients are getting passed off among hospitals and highlights a larger crisis in emergency specialty care.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
July 01, 2008 12:07 AM

Doctors receive upwards of six and seven-figure payments per year in royalties, consulting deals and speaking fees from artificial knee and hip manufacturers. Many critics question whether the payments present a conflict of interest by distorting doctors' judgments on how best to treat their patients.

About the National News Desk

Our mission is to seek the complete truth and provide a full and fair account of the events and issues that surround personal safety, accident prevention, and injury recovery.  We are committed to serving the public with honesty and integrity in these efforts.

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