Health Highlights: Sept. 28, 201009/28/10
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of
Former President Carter Taken to Cleveland Hospital
Former President Jimmy Carter was taken by ambulance to a
Cleveland hospital Tuesday after becoming "air sick" while flying
to Cleveland as part of a tour to promote his new book, according
to published reports.
"While on a flight to Cleveland, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter developed an upset stomach, and, upon arrival, was taken to Metro Health Hospital for observation," according to a statement released by the Carter Center in Atlanta. "He is resting comfortably and is expected to resume his book tour this week."
A volunteer worker at the Carter Center told
ABC News that the 85-year-old ex-president was not suffering
from life-threatening injuries and had just fallen "air sick" on
the flight to Cleveland, where he was scheduled to appear at a
signing for his new book, "White House Diary."
Associated Press reported that Carter would spend the night
in hospital on the advice of his doctor.
Are Bans on Texting While Driving Backfiring?
Laws banning texting while driving may actually drive up the
number of car crashes, some experts contend.
"Texting bans haven't reduced crashes at all," said Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which is highlighting the dilemma at the annual meeting of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) this week in Kansas City, Mo.
The institute's affiliate, the Highway Loss Data Institute,
reviewed insurance claim data in four states -- California,
Louisiana, Minnesota and Washington -- before and after texting
bans took effect. Crash rates rose in three of the states after
they adopted bans,
USA Today reported.
The researchers believe the bans encourage clandestine texting,
with drivers lowering their phones to avoid police detection. This
means they take their eyes off the road for even longer periods,
increasing their collision risk, the Highway Loss group said.
Currently, 30 states and the District of Columbia prohibit
texting while driving, and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood
believes these regulations can save lives. "We know that
anti-distracted-driving laws can be enforced effectively," he said,
USA Today reported.
'Light' Cigarettes' Days Numbered
U.S. retailers can continue selling cigarettes labeled "light,"
"low" and "mild" until their inventories run out, federal
regulators said Tuesday.
As of June 22, tobacco companies had to stop labeling cigarettes
not already on the market as "light," "low" and "mild," and they
had another month to distribute those cigarettes, the Food and Drug
Administration said in a news release.
Under the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control
Act, retailers are permitted to sell any remaining stocks until
they are depleted, said officials who want to get across the
message that no cigarette products are safe.
"These terms imply that the products are safer," said Dr. Corinne Husten, senior medical advisor on tobacco issues at the FDA. "However, studies clearly show that the consumer can get just as much nicotine and tar from these cigarettes as 'regular' cigarettes."
Depression Cases Jump 25 Percent Along Gulf Coast: Survey
Since the BP oil spill last April, cases of depression have
soared 25 percent along the Gulf Coast, according to a Gallup
survey released Tuesday.
The nearly 2,600-person study included a "well-being index" that
found many coastal residents are sad, worried and stressed out more
often than inland residents, suggesting an emotional hangover from
the disaster, the
Associated Press reported.
The poll was conducted in 25 counties from Texas to Florida over
eight months before and after the spill. After the spill, 25.6
percent more depression diagnoses were reported than before, but
the study stopped short of tying the increase directly to the oil
crisis. Lingering effects from Hurricane Katrina and the recession
may also be contributing factors, experts say.
Besides depression, mental health agencies say coastal residents
are reporting anxiety, anger, sleeplessness, substance abuse and
domestic violence, the
FTC Puts Squeeze on Pomegranate Juice Maker
Claims that a pricey pomegranate juice helps reduce the risk of
heart disease, prostate cancer and impotence are coming under fire
from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
The regulatory agency on Monday charged juice maker Pom
Wonderful and the company's owners, philanthropists Lynda and
Stewart Resnick, with making false and unsubstantiated claims about
their pomegranate elixir, according to
The New York Times.
The FTC charges that the company ignored evidence discounting
its health claims. The agency wants the company to discontinue any
medical claims until those statements are backed up by the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration.
The Resnicks, who are suing the commission, claim the FTC is
violating Pom Wonderful's First Amendment rights and overstepping
its authority, the
"We stand behind the vast body of scientific research documenting the healthy properties of Wonderful variety pomegranate," the company said in a statement released Monday.
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