Health Highlights: Jan. 31, 201101/31/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Chinese Drywall Not Linked to Deaths: CDC
There is no link between tainted Chinese-made drywall and the
deaths of 11 people living in homes with the defective drywall,
says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
All of the 11 people in Louisiana, Florida and Virginia died due
to "preexisting chronic health conditions unrelated to imported
drywall exposure," according to a CDC report released Monday, said
The CDC conclusion supports a previous finding by the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The defective Chinese-made drywall has been linked to corrosion
in thousands of homes in the U.S., mostly in Alabama, Florida,
Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia, the
AP reported. The drywall was imported during a past housing
boom and after a series of Gulf Coast hurricanes five years
Drug Maker Settles First Avandia Lawsuit Before Trial
A lawsuit involving the diabetes drug Avandia was settled just
before it was scheduled to go to trial this week in Philadelphia
federal court, says drug maker GlaxoSmithKline PLC.
The lawsuit by the family of James Burford of North Carolina
alleged that his fatal heart attack in 2006 was caused by Avandia,
which he took for 15 months. The company settled the case to avoid
the risks and costs of litigation, Glaxo spokeswoman Mary Anne
Rhyne said in an e-mailed statement Sunday,
Bloomberg news reported.
The company did not provide details of the settlement's
The lawsuit was the first of 2,000 cases heading to court
alleging that U.K.-based Glaxo hid Avandia's health risks,
Bloomberg reported. The remaining lawsuits in the include at
least 1,600 cases filed in Philadelphia and another 400 in state
courts across the U.S.
European regulators ordered the drug off the market and Glaxo
has restricted U.S. sales of Avandia and said it would stop
promoting the drug worldwide. Last September, Glaxo agreed to pay
about $460 million to resolve about 10,000 lawsuits alleging that
the company hid the drug's heart attack risks.
In the past 12 months, Glaxo has set aside $6.4 billion for
legal costs associated with Avandia,
Artifical Pancreas Benefits Pregnant Women With Diabetes:
Using an artificial pancreas to maintain normal sugar levels in
pregnant women with diabetes could benefit both mother and child,
according to a new study.
U.K. researchers fitted artificial pancreases to 10 pregnant
women with type 1 diabetes. A sensor sent continuous readings of
blood sugar levels to a computer, which instructed a pump to inject
required amounts of insulin when needed,
BBC News reported.
The system maintained normal sugar levels in the pregnant women,
according to the study published in the journal
"For women with type 1 diabetes, self-management is particularly challenging during pregnancy due to physiological and hormonal changes," said Dr. Helen Murphy of Cambridge University, BBC News reported.
"These high blood glucose levels increase the risk of congenital malformation, stillbirth, neonatal death, preterm delivery, macrosomia [oversized babies] and neonatal admission. So to discover an artificial pancreas can help maintain near-normal glucose levels in these women is very promising," Murphy said.
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