Health Highlights: May 13, 201105/13/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Setback for Skin-Derived Stem Cells
A new study says stem cells made from a patient's skin cells
might be rejected by the patient's immune system, an unexpected
setback for what had been seen as a promising way to treat a wide
variety of diseases.
These types of stem cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells
(iPS cells), were first created in 2007 and caused a sensation
because it was believed they had two major advantages over
embryonic stem cells -- they didn't require the destruction of
human embryos and they presumably would not be rejected by a
patient's immune system,
The New York Times reported.
But this University of California, San Diego study published
online in the journal
Nature was the first to test the belief that iPS cells would
be accepted by the patient's immune system. The results surprised
stem cell scientists.
The finding "happened to be a particularly startling result that
I wasn't anticipating," Dr. George Q. Daley, director of the stem
cell transplantation program at Childrens Hospital Boston, told the
"As with any new technology, there is always this initial phase of infatuation, and then the reality sets in," Daley said. "I think it goes to the heart of the issue of how ignorant we really are in understanding these cells."
While the study was conducted in mice, some scientists believe
the results would hold true for humans, the
Health Reform to Save Medicare $120B Over 5 Years: Official
The new U.S. health care law will save Medicare $120 billion
over the next five years due to lower payments to hospitals and
insurances, according to a Medicare official.
The reduced costs show that President Obama's health care reform
is working, according to Medicare Deputy Administrator Jonathan
"Savings are happening," he told
Bloomberg News. "The program is becoming more efficient. We are promoting payment reforms that are elevating quality, elevating performance and lowering costs."
Blum said the savings match projections. "We're very much
consistent with where we thought we would be."
Reducing Medicare costs was one of the main priorities of the
health care overhaul,
FDA Considers Acetaminophen Dosing Info for Young Children
Dosing instructions for children younger than two years old may
be added to Children's Tylenol and other over-the-counter products
that contain acetaminophen, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The proposal, which is favored by drugmakers and many companies,
will be discussed at a meeting next week, the
Associated Press reported.
Acetaminophen is safe when used as directed but can cause liver
damage when overused.
Dosing information for children has never been included on
Children's Tylenol or other acetaminophen products due to the liver
risk and to encourage parents to get medical help for sick infants,
The FDA wants an independent panel of experts to make a
recommendation on whether that policy should be changed.
Chives Recalled Due to Listeria Concerns
Possible listeria contamination has prompted the recall of
chives distributed in nine states, says the U.S. Food and Drug
The chives were distributed by Goodness Gardens Inc. of New
Hampton, N.Y. and sold primarily through stores in New York, New
Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland,
Alabama, Illinois and Virginia, the
Associated Press reported.
The recalled chives -- lot number 0201111, dated May 6 -- were
packaged in plastic clamshell containers, 1-pound bags and twist
tie bunches. Consumers can return the chives to retailers for a
The FDA said there have been no reports of illness associated
with the recalled chives, the
Drug Helps Children With Sickle Cell Anemia: Study
The drug hydroxycarbamide reduces pain and other complications
in young children with sickle cell anemia, according to a new
The study involving about 200 babies in the United States
The Lancet. The drug is already used to treat adults with sickle cell anemia. The researchers said these results suggest that it should be approved to treat children with the disease, BBC News reported.
One U.K. expert called the findings "extremely encouraging."
"Hydroxycarbamide is inexpensive and could certainly be made available in low-income countries in which sickle-cell anaemia is so common," Professor David Weatherall, from the University of Oxford, told BBC News.
"In view of the early deaths that result from this disease in sub-Saharan Africa, the success of this trial in early infancy is particularly encouraging," he said.
Copyright © 2011
. All rights reserved.
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.