Health Highlights: Aug. 1, 201108/01/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Planned Parenthood Wins Legal Fight on Funding in Kansas
Implementation of a new Kansas law to prevent federal family
planning funding to the state's Planned Parenthood chapter was
blocked Monday by a federal judge.
The state must immediately resume funding for Planned
Parenthood, U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten ordered, the
Associated Press reported.
Unless it received its $330,000 in federal Title X annual
funding, Planned Parenthood said it would have to close its clinic
in the western city of Hays and that its 5,700 patients would face
higher costs, longer wait or travel times to appointments, and less
access to services.
Planned Parenthood is suing to block a state budget provision
that channels federal family planning dollars to public health
departments and hospitals, leaving no money for Planned Parenthood
and similar organizations, the
Purina Cat Food Recalled
Bags of cat food that may be contaminated with salmonella are
being recalled by Nestle Purina.
The recall includes 3.5- and 7-pound bags of Purina One Vibrant
Maturity 7+ Dry Cat food with a "best by" date of May 2012. The 3.5
pound bags have production codes of 03341084 and 03351084 and UPC
codes of 17800 01885, and the 7-pound bags have production codes of
03341084 and 03351084 and UPC codes of 17800 01887, the
Chicago Tribune reported.
The recalled bags of cat food were shipped to customers in
California, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin, but the food
could have been taken to other states, the company said.
People who bought the cat food should stop feeding it to their
cats and throw it away. Customers can get a refund by calling the
company at 1-800-982-6559, the
Kids Don't Need to Fast Before Cholesterol Check: Study
Children don't have to fast before their cholesterol levels are
checked, a finding that will make the test easier for families,
They looked at data on cholesterol levels in 13,000 children
ages three to 17 and found that levels of total cholesterol and
(good) HDL cholesterol were similar, and levels of (bad) LDL
cholesterol varied only slightly, whether or not the youngsters
fasted for eight hours before their blood was tested,
CBS News reported.
The study appears in the journal
"Cholesterol testing can be very difficult for families," study author Dr. Asheley Cockrell Skinner, research associate professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina, said in a written statement, CBS News reported. "When having to fast, this almost always
means the child has to return on another morning for the test,
which can be very problematic for busy families."
FDA Warns About Fake Emergency Birth Control Drug
Women in the United States are being warned not to use an
unapproved emergency birth control drug labeled as Evital because
it may be a counterfeit product that is not safe or effective in
Evital is not approved for use in the United States. The
packaging label of the potentially counterfeit version says "Evital
Anticonceptivo de emergencia, 1.5 mg, 1 tablet", by "Fluter
Domull," according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Women should contact a doctor or health care professional if
they've taken Evital labeled as the 1.5 mg tablet and experienced
any problems, the FDA said.
FDA-approved prescription and over-the-counter emergency birth
control medicines are available in the U.S. Women should talk with
a doctor, pharmacist or health care professional about the use of
these medicines, the FDA advised.
New HIV Test Proves Accurate in Field Test
A new rapid blood test detected both HIV and syphilis in a field
trial conducted in Rwanda, according to researchers.
The clear plastic, credit-card shaped "lab on a chip" device
provided results within 20 minutes and was 100 percent accurate in
detecting HIV and 94 percent accurate in detecting syphilis, the
Washington Post reported.
Compared to current methods, the new test could offer a quicker,
easier and less expensive way to detect infectious diseases among
people in developing countries, according to the authors of the
study published online in the journal
"This is a big step," Doris Rouse, a vice president at RTI International in North Carolina who specializes in global health technologies, told the Post. "Whats especially exciting about this device is that its rugged, easy to use and doesnt require a lot of infrastructure or training."
She was not involved in the study.
Human Genes Can be Patented: Court
An isolated human gene can be patented, a U.S. federal appeals
court has ruled.
Friday's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal
Circuit reversed a lower court ruling about Salt-Lake City-based
Myriad Genetics Inc.'s patents for two genes (BRCA1 and BRCA1)
whose mutations are associated with an increased risk of breast and
ovarian cancers, the
Wall Street Journal reported.
The case involved a number of researchers, scientific societies
and women's health advocacy groups who filed suit to invalidate the
The case may eventually reach the Supreme Court, the
Wall Street Journal reported.
Low Income, Poor Diet Speed Aging: Study
Having a low income or eating poorly can hasten aging, according
to researchers who evaluated a test that predicts aging by
Telomeres are cap-like structures on the ends of chromosomes.
Previous research has shown that people with shorter-than-normal
telomeres have a shorter lifespan.
In this study, Scottish scientists used the $700 test to compare
telomere length in 382 people. Over 10 years, telomeres shorted by
7.7 percent among people with a household income of less than
$41,000, compared with 0.6 percent among those who made more money,
CBS News reported.
Telomere lengths shortened by 8.7 percent among renters and 2.2
percent among homeowners, and by 7.7 percent among people with poor
diets and 1.8 percent among healthy eaters.
The study is scheduled for publication in an upcoming issue of
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