Health Highlights: Aug. 26, 201008/26/10
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of
Company Recalls Two Hip Replacement Systems
Two hip replacements systems being recalled by DePuy
Orthopaedics are prone to failure and many patients with the
systems have had to undergo a second hip replacement.
The recall includes the ASR XL Acetabular System, a total hip
replacement system that is sold worldwide, and the ASR Hip
Resurfacing System, a partial hip replacement available in
countries outside the United States, said a news release issued
Thursday by DePuy, which is a unit of Johnson & Johnson,
The New York Times reported.
A company spokeswoman said about 93,000 of these hip replacement
systems have been implanted worldwide.
In related news, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently
warned DePuy that it was illegally marketing two other medical
The Times reported.
Seniors Face Large Drug Cost Increases: Report
In 2009, the prices of the most popular brand-name drugs used by
American seniors rose 8.3 percent, according to AARP researchers
who looked at 217 brand-name drugs.
They also noted that the price of those medications increased
seven percent in 2008, and that the retail price of brand-name
drugs climbed 41.5 percent between 2004 and 2009, while the
consumer price index rose only 13.3 percent during the same period,
ABC News reported.
The increases mean that a person who takes three brand-name
drugs now pays an average of $1,900 more each year for medicine,
said the study.
"Something is out of whack here about no increases in the rest of the economy and very substantial (increases) with pharmaceuticals," said AARP's John Rother, ABC News reported.
The study did note that a growing number of Americans are
turning to generic drugs.
Epidurals During Labor Protect Muscles: Study
Women who have an epidural during childbirth are less likely to
suffer damage to the "levator" muscles that support internal organs
and are therefore less likely to suffer incontinence later in life,
suggests a new study.
Researchers followed 367 Australian women who gave birth between
2005 and 2008 and found that about 13 percent of women who had
vaginal births suffered damage to these muscles. The risk of damage
was lower among women who had an epidural,
BBC News reported.
Overall, two-thirds of the women who suffered muscle damage had
The study appears in the obstetrics journal
About two-thirds of women in the U.S. and about one-third of
women in the U.K. receive epidurals during childbirth,
BBC News reported.
FDA Warns About TimeOut Capsules
TimeOut, a product marketed to men as a dietary supplement for
sexual enhancement, contains an ingredient that could cause
dangerously low blood pressure, warns the U.S. Food and Drug
The agency said an analysis of the product showed that it
contains hydroxythiohomosildenafil, a chemical similar to
sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. Like sildenafil,
hydroxythiohomosildenafil may interact with prescription drugs such
as nitrates, including nitroglycerin, and cause dangerously low
TimeOut is distributed online as 2,500 mg capsules and labeled
as "100% natural," which may lead consumers to mistakenly believe
that the product poses no health risk. Men who have TimeOut
capsules should stop using them immediately, the FDA said.
So far, the agency hasn't received any reports of adverse events
associated with the use of TimeOut.
Traffic Crashes Cost $99 Billion Annually: Report
The annual cost of medical care and lost productivity associated
with injuries from motor vehicle crashes in the United States is
more than $99 billion, which works out to nearly $500 for each
licensed driver, says a federal government study.
The yearly cost of direct medical care associated with traffic
crashes is $17 billion, according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention analysis of 2005 data.
They found that the annual costs of fatal and non-fatal
crash-related injuries is $70 billion for people in cars and light
trucks, $12 billion for motorcyclists, $10 billion for pedestrians,
and $5 billion for bicyclists.
"Every 10 seconds, someone in the United States is treated in an emergency department for crash-related injuries, and nearly 40,000 people die from these injuries each year. This study highlights the magnitude of the problem of crash-related injuries from a cost perspective, and the numbers are staggering," Dr. Grant Baldwin, director of CDC's Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said in a CDC news release.
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