Health Highlights: Dec. 7, 201012/07/10
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Elizabeth Edwards Succumbs to Breast Cancer
Elizabeth Edwards died on Tuesday after a long battle with
She was first diagnosed in November 2004.
The 61-year-old estranged wife of former presidential candidate
John Edwards had been at her North Carolina home with family and
friends this week, the
Associated Press reported.
A family friend said Edwards was briefly hospitalized last week
and received treatment.
On her Facebook page Monday, Edwards thanked her supporters, the
"The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered," Edwards wrote. "We know that. And yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful."
FDA Can't Regulate E-Cigarettes as Devices, Drugs: Appeals
In a ruling that upholds a lower court decision, the U.S. Court
of Appeals in Washington said Tuesday that the Food and Drug
Administration does not have the authority to regulate electronic
cigarettes as drugs or devices.
The appeals court said the FDA can only regulate e-cigarettes as
a tobacco product, which means the agency can oversee marketing of
the products but not restrict their sale,
Bloomberg news reported.
The decision was criticized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free
Kids. "This ruling invites the creation of a wild west of products
containing highly addictive nicotine, an alarming prospect for
public health," the group said in a statement. "We urge the
government to appeal this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court."
The FDA is analyzing the ruling and considering its next moves,
agency spokesman Jeffrey Ventura said in an email to
Family Gets $5 Million in Chewing Tobacco Death Settlement
In what's believed to be the first wrongful death settlement
involving chewing tobacco, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. has agreed to
pay $5 million to the family of a North Carolina man who died of
Bobby Hill started chewing the company's spit tobacco products
when he was 13 and died when he was 42, said family lawyer Antonio
Ponvert III, the
Associated Press reported. His wife Kelly filed the lawsuit
"This company manufactures and sells a dangerous and defective product that it knows causes addiction, disease and death in consumers who use it as intended," Ponvert stated.
U.S. Smokeless Tobacco confirmed the settlement in a regulatory
filing but declined further comment, the
AP reported. The company makes Skoal and Copenhagen
This is likely the first of more lawsuits involving smokeless
tobacco, predicted Mark Gottlieb, director of the Tobacco Products
Liability Project at Northeastern School of Law in Boston.
Obesity Serious Problem in EU: Report
More than half of adults in European Union countries are
overweight or obese and the obesity rate in EU member states has
more than doubled over the past 20 years, says a new report.
The U.K., Ireland and Malta have the highest obesity rates, said
the Health at a Glance Europe 2010 paper,
BBC News reported.
The key to reversing this "worrying trend" is to encourage
children to adopt healthy lifestyles, says the European Commission
and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, who
compiled the document.
Currently, one in seven children in the EU are overweight or
obese and that rate is expected to rise,
BBC News reported. Only 20 percent of children in EU member
states get regular exercise and physical activity tends to decline
between the ages of 11 and 15 in most EU nations.
Obese Children Lag in Physical Activity: Study
Obese children in the United States do 16 minutes less physical
activity per day than normal-weight youngsters, according to
researchers at the University of Southern California and the
National Institutes of Health.
Normal-weight children ages 6 to 17 get 59 minutes of moderate
to vigorous physical activity a day, compared with 43 minutes for
USA Today reported.
The researchers' analysis of data collected from 3,106 children
also found that boys ages 6 to 17 get about 64 minutes of physical
activity per day, compared to 44 minutes for girls in the same age
The study appears in this month's issue of the journal
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
"This is a huge wake-up call to society," said senior author Donna Spruijt-Metz, an associate professor of medicine at USC, USA Today reported.
Flu Vaccination Critical for People with Chronic Health
People with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes
and heart disease are strongly urged to get vaccinated against the
flu, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This is National Influenza Vaccination Week and the CDC has
designated Tuesday as Chronic Conditions Vaccination Day to
emphasize the importance of flu vaccination for people with certain
chronic medical conditions.
"Diabetes (type 1 or 2), asthma (even well-controlled), and heart disease are among the most common health conditions that place people at higher risk for serious flu complications like hospitalization, pneumonia and even death. Vaccination of high risk persons and their close contacts is especially important to reduce their risk of severe flu illness," the agency said in a news release.
For more information, visit www.flu.gov/getvaccinated.
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.