Health Highlights: April 29, 201104/29/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Appeals Court Reverses Stem Cell Research Funding Ban
Stem cell research proponents welcomed Friday's U.S. federal
appeals court decision overturning a district court judge's order
that would have prevented taxpayer funding for human embryonic stem
"We're thrilled with this decision and look forward to allowing federally funded scientists to continue with their work without political constraints," Sean Tipton, a spokesman for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, told the Associated Press.
In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the U.S. court of appeals in
Washington reversed U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth's opinion
that embryonic stem cell research likely violates a 1996 law that
prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars in research that harms a
Lamberth's ruling involved a lawsuit by two scientists who said
the Obama administration's rules permitting taxpayer dollars to be
used for embryonic stem cell research threatened their ability to
gain government funding for research using adult stem cells, the
Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Labs: CDC
U.S. health officials say a nationwide salmonella poisoning
outbreak that's left one person dead and put at least 10 in
hospital is linked to clinical and teaching microbiology
Since August, about 73 people in 35 states have been sickened by
salmonella bacteria, and some of those cases involve a strain of
Salmonella typhimurium sold commercially to laboratories,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
The first illness occurred in late August and the most recent
cases were reported March 8, the CDC says. The patients include
employees and students of the laboratories, as well as children in
the homes of people who work or study at the labs.
Salmonella can be transmitted via contaminated items such as lab
coats, car keys, pens, and notebooks, CDC officials said,
Food Companies Should Push Healthy Foods for Kids: U.S.
Food makers should voluntarily replace child-targeted ad
campaigns for unhealthy products such as chips, soda and candy with
healthier foods, says a proposal released Thursday by several U.S.
American children need to consume less sugar, sodium, saturated
fat and trans fat, and eat foods that "make a more meaningful
contribution to the diet," according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the
Department of Agriculture and the Federal Trade Commission, the
Wall Street Journal reported.
"The proposed voluntary principles are designed to encourage stronger and more meaningful self-regulation by the food industry and to support parents' efforts to get their kids to eat healthier foods," the agencies said in a joint new release. "While the goals they would set for food marketers are ambitious and would take time to put into place, the public health stakes could not be higher."
The agencies noted that about one-third of children in the U.S.
are overweight or obese, the
Wall Street Journal reported.
Episiotomies Decline in U.S.: Report
Episiotomies in the United States decreased 60 percent between
1997 and 2008, according to a federal government report released
Thursday. Episiotomy is a surgical incision to widen the vaginal
area during childbirth.
During the same period, the use of forceps during child delivery
fell 32 percent, from 14 percent to 10 percent, and the proportion
of hospital stays of women who delivered via cesarean section rose
by 72 percent, according to the latest
News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and
Between 2007 and 2008, the number of hospital stays for
childbirth fell from 4.5 million to 4.2 million, after increasing
an average of 2 percent a year since 1999.
Of all childbirth hospital stays in 2008, 36 percent were in the
South, 26 percent were in the West, 23 percent in the Midwest and
16 percent in the Northeast.
Cheaper Drug as Good as Costly One for Eye Disease: Study
A cheaper drug is as effective as a more expensive drug for
treatment of an eye disease that's a leading cause of vision loss
in elderly people, according to a new study.
Researchers compared patients with wet macular degeneration who
received monthly shots of Avastin ($50 per treatment) or Lucentis
($2,000 per treatment) for one year. Lucentis is approved in the
United States for treatment of wet macular degeneration, while
Avastin is a cancer drug used off-label by many doctors to treat
the eye disease, the
Associated Press reported.
Vision improvement was the same for both groups of patients, the
The findings were published online Thursday in the
New England Journal of Medicine and will be presented at a
meeting this weekend, the
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