Health Highlights: April 19, 201104/19/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
U.S. Spending on Medicines Slows: Study
Spending on medicines in the United States grew at a slower rate
in 2010, rising 2.3 percent compared to 5.1 percent in 2009, a new
The total spent on medicines last year was $307.4 billion,
according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics,
Dow Jones Newswires reported.
Spending on brand name medicines fell 0.7 percent in 2010 while
spending on generic medicines increased. Generic medicines now
account for 78 percent of all retail prescriptions, the study
It also found that the number of doctor offices visits decreased
4.2 percent in 2010, and the number of new patients starting new
treatments for chronic conditions fell by 3.4 million,
Dow Jones reported.
A high jobless rate and rising healthcare costs were the reason
for the slowdown in healthcare spending last year, according to the
First Public Appearance for Hand Transplant Patient
A California woman who received a new hand in a transplant
procedure last month is scheduled to appear at a news conference
The 26-year-old mother lost her right hand in a traffic accident
several years ago and had been living with a prosthetic. She wanted
a new hand to better care for her daughter, the
Associated Press reported.
The 14 1/2-hour transplant surgery was conducted at the Ronald
Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. During the procedure, a
team of nearly 20 surgeons, nurses and support staff connected
bones, blood vessels, nerves and tendons between the hand from a
deceased donor and the recipient.
The patient was able to move the fingers on her new hand soon
after the surgery. She still requires several months of
rehabilitation and will have to take anti-rejection drugs for the
rest of her life, the
This is the 13th hand transplant in the United States. The
world's first hand transplant was conducted in Ecuador in 1964 and
there have been dozens since.
Diet During Pregnancy Affects Child's DNA and Obesity Risk:
Eating low levels of carbohydrates during pregnancy can alter a
developing child's DNA and increase the risk of childhood obesity,
a new study says.
This effect on obesity at ages six and nine years is
considerably greater than birth weight and does not depend on how
thin or fat the mother is, according to the researchers,
BBC News reported.
"All women who become pregnant get advice about diet, but it is not always high up the agenda of health professionals," said study leader Professor Keith Godfrey, from the University of Southampton in the U.K. "The research suggests women should follow the advice as it may have a long term influence on the baby's health after it is born."
The study will appear in the journal
The findings strengthen "the case for all women of reproductive
age having greater access to nutritional, educational and lifestyle
support to improve the health of the next generation, and to reduce
the risk of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, which
often follow obesity," Professor Mark Hanson, of the British Heart
Ovarian Cancer Begins in Fallopian Tubes: Study
Ovarian cancer starts in the fallopian tubes, not the ovaries,
according to a new study.
Scientists at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, made the
finding after conducting lab experiments in which they recreated
the process by which ovarian cancer forms,
Agence France-Presse reported.
The study, published in the journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may lead to new ways to fight ovarian cancer. Each year, about 200,000 women worldwide are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and about 115,000 die of the disease.
A number of previous studies have suggested that ovarian cancer
may originate elsewhere, but this study shows how the cancer first
takes root in fallopian tissue,
AFP reported. The fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the
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