Health Highlights: July 29, 201107/29/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
SF Ballot Won't Include Circumcision Ban Proposal
A measure calling for a ban on circumcisions on most male
children will not appear on San Francisco's November ballot.
In her ruling Thursday, Superior Court Judge Loretta Giorgi said
the ban would violate the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of
religious freedom and a California law that gives the state, not
cities, the authority to regulate medical procedures, the
Associated Press reported.
The ballot measure was sponsored by anti-circumcision activist
Lloyd Schofield, who is considering an appeal.
The proposed ban was challenged in court by the San Francisco's
attorney office along with several Jewish groups and Muslim
World Population to Reach 7 Billion This Year
The global population will reach 7 billion this year and could
hit 9.3 billion by 2050, according to researchers.
The expected 2.3 billion increase in population over the next
four decades represents as many people as lived on the planet in
United Press International reported.
Nearly all of the 2.3 billion projected increase will occur in
less developed regions of the world, with nearly half the increase
in Africa, David Bloom, a professor of economics and demography at
Harvard University, said in an article that appears in the journal
He also said the population increase will lead to unprecedented
global demographic upheaval,
The world's population reached 1 billion in 1850 but has jumped
from 3 billion to 7 billion in the past half-century.
Tylenol's Maker Reducing Daily Dose to Help Prevent ODs
To lower the risk of accidental overdose from acetaminophen,
Johnson & Johnson is reducing the maximum daily dose of Extra
Strength Tylenol, its popular painkiller, by 1,000 milligrams.
Consumers will be advised to take no more than 6 pills a day
(3,000 milligrams total) instead of the 8 pills a day (4,000
milligrams) specified on current packaging.
The dosing interval also will be extended -- to every 6 hours,
from every 4-6 hours, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the J&J
division that makes Tylenol, said in a news release issued
Thursday. Product packaging will bear the new dosing guidelines
beginning this fall.
The changes stem from a 2009 Food and Drug Administration
decision calling for tighter regulation of acetaminophen, the
painkiller in Tylenol, which can cause liver damage and fatal
overdose when used in excess. Next year, McNeil also intends to
reduce the maximum daily dose for Regular Strength Tylenol and
other products containing the pain reliever.
"Acetaminophen is safe when used as directed," the McNeil statement said. Taking multiple products or not following the dosing instructions can result in accidental overdose, the company added.
Acetaminophen is found in hundreds of over-the-counter headache,
fever and cold medications as well as prescription drugs, including
Percocet and Vicodin.
Childhood Asthma Drug Costs Doubled Over 10 Years
The percentage of American children treated for asthma increased
slightly over 10 years, while yearly drug costs to treat the
disease more than doubled, according to a federal government report
Between 1997-98 and 2007-08, the average annual percentage of
children treated for asthma rose from 4.7 percent to 6.1 percent.
The average annual prescription drug expenses increased from $349
to $838 per child, according to the latest
News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and
Overall average yearly health care expenses for a child with
asthma rose 37 percent, from $1,827 to $2,503.
The analysis of data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey
also showed that children ages 5 to 11 were more likely to be
treated for asthma than children ages 12 to 17.
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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.