Health Highlights: Dec. 1, 201012/01/10
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Health Care Law Constitutional: Judge
Another federal judge has upheld the constitutionality of the
new U.S. health care law.
Judge Norman K. Moon of the Federal District Court in Lynchburg,
Va. on Tuesday granted the government's request to dismiss a
lawsuit brought by Liberty University, the private Christian
college founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell,
The New York Times reported.
Moon ruled that the health care law's requirement that most
Americans have health insurance falls within the authority of
Congress to regulate interstate commerce.
Last month, a ruling by Judge George C. Steeh of Federal
District Court in Detroit also upheld the law.
Since the law was enacted in March, there have been about two
dozen legal challenges. Rulings in two more lawsuits are expected
within the next few months,
The Times reported.
Many experts predict that the Supreme Court will eventually have
to make a final ruling on the constitutionality of the health care
Lowe's Recalls Roman Shades and Roll-Up Blinds
About 6 million Roman shades and 5 million roll-up blinds that
pose a strangulation hazard to children are being recalled by
Lowe's, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The recall was triggered by reports that two young children
nearly strangled after becoming entangled in exposed cords in the
The recalled Roman shades were sold at Lowe's stores, other
retail stores, and online from at least 1999 to 2010. The roll-up
blinds were sold between 1999 and 2005.
The CPSC said consumers should stop using the window coverings
and get free repair kits by contacting the Window Covering Safety
Council at 1-800-506-4636 or by going to the council's Web site,
Index Finger Length Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk: Study
Men whose index finger is longer than their ring finger may have
a significantly reduced risk of prostate cancer, according to a new
The U.K. researchers reached their conclusion after comparing
the hands of 1,500 prostate cancer patients and 3,000 health men,
BBC News reported.
If the finding is confirmed it could offer a simple way to test
for prostate cancer risk, said the researchers at the University of
Warwick and the Institute of Cancer Research.
They explained that finger length is determined before birth and
is believed to be influenced by levels of sex hormones in the womb,
BBC News reported.
Less exposure to testosterone before birth results in a longer
index finger and may protect against prostate cancer in adulthood,
the researchers said.
The study appears in the
British Journal of Cancer.
U.S. Senate Passes Food Safety Bill
A bill that would make major changes to the United States' food
safety system was passed by the Senate Tuesday in a 73 to 25
The bill would give the Food and Drug Administration expanded
powers to ensure food safety in order to prevent outbreaks of
The New York Times reported.
For example, the FDA would have new powers to recall tainted
foods, increase inspections of food plants, and force farms and
food manufacturers to follow stricter safety standards.
Even though the Senate bill has wide bipartisan support, it may
not reach President Barack Obama's desk before the end of the
current congressional session. The House passed its own version of
the bill last year and there may not be enough time for lawmakers
to work out differences between the two bills.
However, leading House Democrats have indicated they would
consider passing the Senate version to speed approval, the
Egg Producer Given OK to Resume Sales: FDA
The Iowa egg farm linked to a widespread salmonella outbreak
earlier this year has been given permission to resume sales of
shell eggs to consumers, the Food and Drug Administration announced
More than 1,600 salmonella illnesses were linked to Wright
County Egg, which had to recall 380 million eggs. FDA inspectors
found insects, rodents, dead chickens and huge piles of manure at
the farm, the
Associated Press reported.
Since the outbreak and recall, the company has not been allowed
to sell shell eggs except to breaker facilities that pasteurize the
On Tuesday, FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg said Wright County
Egg had implemented corrective measures and the "time had come" for
the company to resume shell egg sales from one of its six farms,
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