Health Highlights: Nov. 1, 201111/01/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Obama in Excellent Health
President Barack Obama is physically active, eats a healthy
diet, maintains a healthy weight, occasionally consumes alcohol in
moderation, has quit smoking and is fit for his age, according to a
new medical report.
"The President is in excellent health and 'fit for duty,'" Dr. Jeffrey C. Kuhlman, the physician who supervised the physical performed last week at the White House, wrote in the two-page report, USA Today said. "All clinical data indicate he will remain so
for the duration of his presidency."
"The President is current on all age-appropriate screening tests," Kuhlman noted. "He is 'fit at 50' and 'staying healthy at 50+.'"
Obama's next physical should be held in December 2012, Kuhlman
recommended. That's a month after the presidential election,
USA Today said.
Scientists Rejuvenate Cells From Elderly
Age-worn cells in people over 90 were rejuvenated into stem
cells that were identical to those found in embryos, a new study
The achievement could lead to new opportunities in regenerative
medicine, especially for seniors, according to scientists,
Agence France-Presse reported.
The research is reported in the journal
Genes & Development.
"This is a new paradigm for cell rejuvenation," Jean-Marc Lemaitre, a researcher at the Institute of Functional Genomics at the University of Montpellier in France, told AFP. "The age of cells is definitely not a barrier to reprogramming."
Group Challenges J&J on Chemicals in Baby Shampoo
Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo sold in the United States
contains trace amounts of two chemicals considered harmful to
babies, but the company sells versions of the shampoo without the
chemicals in other countries, according to a group called the
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
The coalition of environmental and health groups has spent 2 1/2
years trying to convince Johnson & Johnson to remove the
potential cancer-causing chemicals -- dioxane and a substance
called quaternium-15 that release formaldehyde -- from the shampoo,
Associated Press reported.
The company says it is reducing or gradually phasing out the
chemicals but has not responded directly to the demand of the
group, which is now calling for a consumer boycott of Johnson &
Johnson baby products.
"Johnson & Johnson clearly can make safer baby shampoo in all the markets around the world, but it's not doing it," said Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the AP reported. "It's clearly a double standard, something they
can easily fix."
The group's new report on the issue will be released Tuesday,
the same day that it will launch the boycott on its website.
Vytorin Helps Reduce Heart Problems in Kidney Disease Patients:
The cholesterol pill Vytorin helps reduce heart problems in
kidney disease patients, according to a U.S. Food and Drug
The pill, a combination of the cholesterol drugs Zocor and
Zetia, is already approved for treating high cholesterol levels.
Merck & Co. has asked the FDA to approve the pill to reduce
heart attack, stroke and related problems in kidney disease
Associated Press reported.
The FDA review found that Vytorin reduced kidney disease
patients' risk of heart problems by 16 percent compared to placebo.
It found no safety concerns with the pill.
On Wednesday, an independent panel of FDA advisers will discuss
the proposed new use of Vytorin and vote on whether to recommend
Gene-Tweaked Mosquitoes May Lower Dengue Fever Cases
A new study suggests that genetically modified (GM) male
mosquitoes might help reduce human cases of dengue fever and other
The GM males -- who are modified so their offspring die before
they can reproduce -- mated successfully with wild female
mosquitoes in the Cayman Islands,
BBC News reported.
This is the first time that this type of mating -- which could
reduce the number of disease-carrying mosquitoes -- has been proven
in the wild, according to the researchers.
The study appears in the journal
Dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes and the World Health
Organization says there may be 50 million cases of the disease a
BBC News reported. There is no vaccine against dengue
Copyright © 2011
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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.