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

Posted by Jane Akre
August 29, 2008 2:59 PM

The Center for Public Integrity has just published "Perils of the New Pesticides," an investigation into a decade of EPA adverse reaction reports on pyrethrins, which come from chrysanthemums. You may reach for bug spray with pyrethrins this holiday weekend, assuming it's safe, but CPI uncovers thousands of adverse health reports and 50 deaths. 

Posted by Jane Akre
August 29, 2008 11:58 AM

Simplicity is recalling a 4-in-1 and 3-in-1 bassinet after two infants strangled between folding cloth and the bars.  You are encouraged to return the item to the store where you purchased it. Unfortunately, the majority of used and dangerous baby items remain in circulation.  

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 29, 2008 11:51 AM

A new study suggests people who are diagnosed with non-melanoma cancers like that of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma may be at an increased risk of getting other forms of cancer later on in life. Researchers noted the younger the patient at the onset of cancer, the higher the risk.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 29, 2008 11:23 AM

In this first study to measure people recovering from a brain injury who are thought at greater risk for Alzheimer's disease -  the amount of damaging protein in the brain actually rose as people recovered, the opposite of what researchers thought would happen.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 29, 2008 10:00 AM

A new study suggests adults and children who excessively overeat may be missing one of two genes for BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) a brain chemical that is needed to help appetite control.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 28, 2008 9:36 PM

Attorneys working for clients who are part of the Vioxx settlement will see their fees capped at 32 percent.That was the ruling yesterday from the U.S. District Judge Fallon overseeing much of the massive litigation over the dangerous painkiller. He estimated that hundreds of law firms will divide $1.55 billion as part of the contingency fee arrangement.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 28, 2008 3:46 PM

A new study found, magnesium sulfate, given to mothers at risk of preterm delivery, cut the rate of cerebral palsy in their babies by nearly half. Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects 1 or 2 of every 1,000 infants.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 28, 2008 3:00 PM

A new study reports that key mental skills drop by as much as 15 years before death, even without dementia. The skills include verbal ability, spatial reasoning and perceptual speed. This is not part of the aging process. Researchers from Sweden point to undetected dementia, insufficient physical and mental exercise, and perhaps early heart disease that interrupt blood flow to the brain.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 28, 2008 12:29 PM

If you don’t hit the gym in Alabama, it may cost you. The State Employees’ Insurance Board plans to impose an extra tax of $25 a month on any employees who has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, is overweight and obese. Add that to a smokers' tax of $25 - but not everyone agrees negative incentives work.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 27, 2008 6:14 PM

For decades doctors have warned people about the risk of developing the painful digestive disorder known as diverticulitis to avoid eating corn on the cob, popcorn, nuts and various seeds. But a recent study found no scientific evidence to support current recommendations.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 27, 2008 2:38 PM

A new study in the journal Cancer finds long-term exposure can increase the risk of developing cancers of the respiratory tracts. The association is consistent with a large number of studies identifying carcinogens in incense smoke.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 27, 2008 1:49 PM

Eli Lilly and Amylin Pharmaceuticals now say there have been four deaths associated with their drug for type-2 diabetes, Byetta.  Amylin shares plunged by 24 percent at midday after executives disclosed Tuesday night the additional deaths "in the interest of transparency."

Posted by Jane Akre
August 27, 2008 12:27 PM

Don't believe alcohol has much to do with cancer?  Then you likely are from a wealthier country. This international survey on attitudes about cancer causes and cures finds striking differences- among them- most lower income countries want the doctor to make all treatment decisions.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 27, 2008 11:31 AM

While the U.S. Census Bureau in its August report finds that slightly more Americans have health insurance, that is largely due to increasing enrollments from the state and federal government.  As the troubled economy forces employers and states to cut costs further, many fear our insurance crisis is not over.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 26, 2008 12:53 PM

Babies born before 37 weeks of age are subject to a host of problems, and researchers are finding that infections in the amniotic fluid may be one cause. Better screening for bacterial and fungal infections mid-pregnancy may help reduce the number of babies born prematurely.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 26, 2008 11:31 AM

The third death nationally from West Nile virus puts everyone on alert during this mosquito season. While new repellants are being developed, some natural alternatives are available now.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 26, 2008 12:15 AM

A new report estimates 72 million U.S. adults are having problems paying their medical bills, forcing them to make tough financial choices. The report findings support mounting evidence that the health system is falling short of where it needs to be to ensure good health and economic security.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 25, 2008 6:10 PM

Twelve deaths have been attributed to a deadly bacterial outbreak linked to tainted meat in Canada, according to Canadian Health Officials. There are 30 more cases of suspected listeriosis and more are expected in the coming days.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 25, 2008 5:34 PM

The Center for Public Integrity is reporting on the big bucks spent by Washington’s largest lobby – the pharmaceutical industry.  In 2007- an all time new record was spent to lobby Congress - $168 million, a 32 percent jump over the previous year. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 25, 2008 12:55 PM

Scientists have identified a gene that causes most inherited forms of neuroblastoma, a rare and deadly form of childhood cancer. They are hopeful the findings will pave the way for new treatments.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 25, 2008 10:30 AM

A mothers' view on pre-marital sex does not seem to influence whether she gives her pre-teen or teenager the Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine, a Texas study finds. Meanwhile the Pap smear is still the most effective guard against HPV and cervical cancer.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 23, 2008 12:43 AM

Food and Drug Administrators are reviewing data that suggests a higher rate of cancer in patients taking the cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin. Patients are advised to continue taking Vytorin because the cancer link is unclear at this time.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 22, 2008 10:50 PM

The number of measles cases in the U.S. has reached its highest level since 1996, according to a the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With nearly half of those involving children whose parents opting against vaccinations.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 22, 2008 6:51 PM

The FDA has approved the use of ionizing radiation for fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce, saying the technique can help control harmful bacteria and other pathogens such as E. coli and salmonella.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 21, 2008 9:51 PM

On Tuesday, attorneys urged a three-judge panel to allow testimony from their chief witness, a Michigan gastroenterologist, whose testimonial is fundamental to their argument showing a connection between the anti-acne drug Accutane and inflammatory bowel disease.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 21, 2008 5:52 PM

Nine surgeries were either done on the wrong site, or the wrong surgery was performed in Utah hospitals last year. Of those, seven included foreign objects being left inside the patient.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 21, 2008 1:19 PM

Tissues give off a scent and researchers have developed a profile to detect skin cancer using an "electronic" nose. This area of research hopes to find skin cancers earlier and with  less invasive methods.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 20, 2008 10:44 PM

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave four small sport-utility vehicles top scores in recently completed crash test evaluations. Consumers now have a few hybrid SUVs that have earned Top Safety Pick to choose from.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 20, 2008 9:14 PM

Despite public efforts to promote good nutrition and physical activity, Americans are getting fatter. Adult obesity rates have surged across 37 states during the last year, according to an annual state-by-state report.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 20, 2008 7:40 PM

More than 56 million Americans reportedly have drinking water with unsafe arsenic levels., a heavy metal that comes from rocks and industrial chemicals. A new study suggests a link between arsenic exposure and type 2 diabetes. 

Posted by Jane Akre
August 20, 2008 1:08 PM

Actress Christina Applegate, 36, opted for a double mastectomy even though she had breast cancer in one breast only. It is an increasingly popular option for women who have an elevated genetic risk, but an improvement in outcome is still uncertain.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 20, 2008 4:23 AM

Will lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18, reduce college binge drinking? Many college presidents hope so and are signing an initiative to urge the change. MADD says its a bad idea.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 20, 2008 4:17 AM

Teens that sleep fewer than 6 1/2 hours per night are at twice the risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure) and those with troubled sleep habits are at triple the risk, according to researchers at Western Reserve University.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 19, 2008 7:56 PM

A new study which included 26,000 students from 70 colleges and universities across the U.S. found that slightly more than half of students had considered suicide at least once in their life. While nearly two-thirds have considered it more than once in a 12-month period.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 19, 2008 5:41 PM

Antidepression medication and a high level of depression, resulted in the most impaired drivers, this study finds, while a low dose of medication taken by depressed drivers did not have the same result. Whether its the medication or the driver that causes poor driving remains unknown.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 19, 2008 12:03 PM

When Merck & Co launched the Advantage study in 1999, it said it was testing the painkiller, Vioxx, alongside its competitor.  Internal company documents now show that the clinical trial was "masquarading as science" and was actually a marketing ploy designed to promote the use of Vioxx among doctors pre-market. Merck denies the allegations in this published study.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 19, 2008 12:45 AM

The FDA is meeting on September 16 regarding the safety of bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical commonly found in baby bottles and other household products. A nationwide ban on phthalates is expected to go into effect in early 2009.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 18, 2008 11:11 PM

People taking the type 2 diabetes drug, Byetta received an FDA warning Monday after it was reported that two people taking the drug died and four others were recovering from pancreatitis. People on the drug with any pancreas problems should stop taking it.  

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 18, 2008 10:46 PM

A new report suggests chronic ear infections in children can be linked to the risk of obesity later on in life. The findings were recently presented by scientists from around the world at the American Psychological Association’s 116th Annual Convention

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 18, 2008 4:21 PM

A new study by Brigham & Woman's Hospital says boys are more likely than girls to outgrow childhood asthma when they hit their teenage years. This study is the first of its kind to examine the natural history of sex differences in asthma incidence.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 18, 2008 2:42 PM

Disney has revised its blanket prohibition on employees bringing guns to work. Backing off a bit from a new state law that allows employees with a concealed weapons permit to keep guns in their car, Disney will allow those who don't work near explosives.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 18, 2008 11:53 AM

People who survived the 1918 flu pandemic, who today are in their 90s and 100s, are still producing antibodies to the flu they were first exposed to.  This finding opens up a new area of influenza vaccine research.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 15, 2008 9:24 PM

Drug maker Wyeth is taking its final appeal of Diana Levine's case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn her $6 million verdict. Jurors agreed that Wyeth should have changed a drug label to make it safer- Wyeth says the label is approved by the FDA. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 15, 2008 6:02 PM

While testing a theory that caffeine combined with a common moisturizer could prevent skin cancer in humans, scientists from Rutgers University found the creams helped skin cancer spread and tumors to grow in mice exposed to ultraviolet radiation.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 15, 2008 3:24 PM

You may not know anything about Diana Levine or federal preemption, but her case could impact millions of Americans who take prescription drugs or use FDA-approved medical devices.  Should the FDA be the final word? Should you lose your right to hold corporations accountable? 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 14, 2008 10:15 PM

In an ongoing investigation that started in November 2004, The Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) has made 68 arrests and 29 convictions of individuals who have deliberately used unapproved, cheaper injections as a substitute for FDA-approved Botox Cosmetic.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 14, 2008 11:59 AM

43 percent of teens responding to an annual survey on drug attitudes, say they can get their hands on prescription drugs within an hour, and it's easier than getting beer. The report blames "passive parents" who don't know where their children are, and keep prescription drugs available at home assuming they've been approved so they're safe.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 14, 2008 11:13 AM

An ethical debate is brewing over just how long someone should be dead before their organs are harvested.  Is brain dead, dead enough?  Or should the brain, heart and lungs have ceased functioning irreversibly for a period of time before organs are taken?  Is 75 seconds enough time? This emotional debate has both sides speaking out.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 13, 2008 11:08 PM

Starting October 1, 2008 Medicare will no longer pay hospitals for additional care associated with 11 types of hospital-related conditions. Medicare's no-pay list has been updated from eight to eleven types of medical errors and infections.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 13, 2008 2:21 PM

The jury is still out on what type of therapy is appropriate for women who have survived breast cancer past the five-year mark, considered a landmark. Unfortunately, there is still a small risk of relapse which may depend on what type of cancer they had and what stage it was diagnosed.  

Posted by Jane Akre
August 13, 2008 12:01 PM

Human trials are underway to determine if a common chemotherapy drug, followed 24 hours later by an osteoporosis drug kills breast cancer tumors. In mice, the combination and timing of the drugs was more than 99 percent effective in halting breast tumors. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 13, 2008 1:15 AM

A definitive answer to solve the dispute - whether aggressive treatment or watchful waiting is preferable in prostate cancer patients - is likely still years away following the results of a decade long European study.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 13, 2008 12:03 AM

A new study by Canadian researchers suggests affluent women that live near highways are more likely to deliver a pre-term, low-birth-weight or small baby. The study found disproportionately high associations between mothers living close to a highway and birth complications among affluent mothers.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 12, 2008 11:00 PM

If there was ever any doubt about the wisdom of vigorous aerobic exercise, like running, this Stanford study resolves it. Among runners, a 21-year study finds they have improved health and fewer disabilities, the benefits of which last into their 80s and 90s when the participants backed off into walking.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 12, 2008 12:36 AM

Whole Foods Market issued a voluntarily recall of 1.2 million pounds of fresh ground beef in 21 states due to possible E. Coli contamination. Seven customers in Massachusetts have been reported ill from a strain of E. Coli and people in 11 other states and Canada.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 12, 2008 12:10 AM

It used to be that being a married person meant better health than single folks. Now the health of the unmarried, particularly men, is catching up to their married counterparts, largely due to greater social access, this study finds.  In fact, having a divorce, separation or being widowed, hurt the quality of health, leading researchers to rethink whether promoting marriage is a goal for public health. 

Posted by Jenny Albano
August 11, 2008 8:49 PM

According to a study from Denmark, deaths from fever-related seizures in children are extremely rare. Parents should be reassured that death after febrile seizures, convulsions brought on by a fever in small children, can lead to a loss of consciousness and shakiness, but last a minute or two generally.  

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 11, 2008 7:59 PM

A new study uncovers a gene that increases a person's risk of becoming addicted to tobacco after their first smoke. People that have this gene variant, likely had a positive first time smoking experience.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 09, 2008 12:59 PM

A new study finds men are twice as likely to adopt a child then that of a woman in the same age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions National Center for Health Statistics.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 08, 2008 10:48 PM

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 250,000 Americans are HIV positive, but don’t know it. And most are not in high-risk groups.

Posted by Jenny Albano
August 08, 2008 10:42 PM

According to a study in the journal of Obesity, all American adults may become overweight in forty years if the current weight trends continue unchanged.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 08, 2008 11:12 AM

Tyson Foods announced a recall of over 50,000 pounds of raw frozen chicken breast tenderloin products produced between July 23 and August 1 due to a soy-based allergen not declared on the product label.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 07, 2008 6:43 PM

U.S. health officials announced Tuesday that they have approved vaccines for the 2008-09 flu season that include new strains of the virus most likely to circulate this season.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 07, 2008 4:27 PM

Partial payments will begin in a few weeks to victims of recalled painkiller, Vioxx who suffered heart attacks. Stroke victims and their survivors will have to wait until next year.  Merck is vowing to fight other cases, and people from the UK are vowing to fight Merck to be included in the $4.85 billion settlement. 

Posted by Jane Akre
August 07, 2008 3:14 PM

Even though Vioxx and Bextra have been taken off the market because of a link to stroke and heart attack, a post-withdrawl study confirms the Cox-2 inhibitors increased the risk for stroke among Vioxx users by 28 percent and among Bextra users 41 percent when compared to the control group.

Posted by Jenny Albano
August 07, 2008 12:50 PM

Being a consultant for a drug company pays well, but the FDA, following public pressure, doesn't think it looks too good.  The agency has just announced that advisory committee members, who recommend the approval of drugs for the FDA, must not have taken more than $50,000 from the drug company before them.  

Posted by Jane Akre
August 07, 2008 12:46 PM

This study off more than 8,000, finds that Americans are drinking slightly less than they did 50 years ago, and have shifted their preference from beer to wine. White men have reduced their daily consumption from two-and-a-half to one-and-a-half drinks.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 06, 2008 6:35 PM

Monsanto insists sales for its bovine growth hormone are better than ever, but despite that the company is divesting itself of Posilac, announcing today that division is for sale. Posilac was the first in a long line of genetically engineered products the company had pinned its hopes on. Now it will focus on GE seeds.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 06, 2008 1:24 PM

Children who had the most deep, restorative sleep, characterized by rapid eye movement or REM, were the least obese in this study. Researchers in Pittsburgh believe that lack of sleep and hormones contribute to obesity, which has triped in adolescents over the past 30 years. 

Posted by Jane Akre
August 06, 2008 12:58 AM

Some sort of prayer or meditation is used by the majority of cancer patients, the American Cancer Society finds. Complementary and alternative medicine is being sought out by cancer sufferers including  relaxation, faith and supplements. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 05, 2008 10:14 PM

A new report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine advises against regular prostate cancer screenings in men 75 and older, saying the risks far outweigh the benefits for men in that age group.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 05, 2008 12:57 PM

The late scientist, Dr. Linus Pauling, 35 years ago touted vitamin C as a powerful tool against cancer. Today scientists are playing catch-up and showing a renewed interest in the vitamin. High doses of vitamin C were found to kill up to 51% of some cancer cells in mice.  Research may start on humans soon, but why the 35 year lag? 

Posted by Jenny Albano
August 05, 2008 3:52 AM

Several potato chip companies, including Frito-Lay, Heinz, Kettle Foods, and Lance Inc., have agreed to lower levels of acrylamide, a chemical that may cause cancer, in their products to settle a lawsuit filed by the state’s attorney general in 2005.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 04, 2008 4:26 PM

The maker of the recalled heart drug Digitek, is recalling all generics made in its New Jersey production facility to avoid any problems like Digitek. Digitek cases continue to climb and they may be exempt from federal pre-emption because of a manufacturing error.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 04, 2008 12:33 PM

Sunscreens need to be tested and labeling should include information on UVA protection, says two lawmakers who are pushing to have the FDA come up with final rules, so manufacturers can update labels and testing. Without that, consumers are largely left in the dark, assuming their product protects against the damage of all of the sun's rays, when it may not. 

Posted by Chrissie Cole
August 03, 2008 5:16 PM

Days before the first anniversary of the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, that killed 13 people, a new report titled "Bridging the Gap" was released by the AASHTO that says the nations 600,000 bridges are in bad shape and in need of repair.

Posted by Jane Akre
August 01, 2008 12:00 PM

Danish scientists have noticed more behavioral problems among children whose mothers used cell phones during pregnancy.  Despite the controversy on how much - scientists agree that cell phones emit radiation. To err on the side of caution, there are some simple ways you can reduce your exposure, including something called a ferrite bead. 

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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