Health Highlights: Oct. 16, 201210/16/12
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
More Hospitals Ban Free Infant Formula Samples
A nationwide effort to stop new mothers from receiving free
infant formula samples appears to be having an effect.
In 2011, nearly half of about 2,600 hospitals in a survey by the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they no longer
gave formula samples to breastfeeding mothers, up from one-quarter
of hospitals in 2007. The survey did not ask about giving samples
to non-nursing mothers,
The New York Timesreported.
The health authorities and breastfeeding advocates leading the
effort to ban formula samples say the samples -- which often come
in fashionable bags with infant formula company logos -- can lure
women away from breastfeeding.
Their campaign is leading to changes. For example, all hospitals
in Massachusetts and Rhode Island have halted free formula samples,
and 24 hospitals in Oklahoma recently agreed to a ban,
Formula makers and some mothers say the samples are a healthy
alternative that can provide relief if breastfeeding causes
fatigue, pain or frustration. They dispute the charge that the
samples can sway mothers from breastfeeding.
"We're not anti-formula," Dr. Melissa Bartick, a founder of Ban the Bags, a breast-feeding advocacy group, The Timesreported. "If a woman makes an informed choice to formula-feed, the hospital should provide that formula. But hospitals shouldn't be marketing it."
Bra Device Detects Early Breast Cancer: Company
A U.S. company says it has created a bra device that can detect
early signs of breast cancer.
The Breast Tissue Screening Bra can detect tumors before a
self-test or mammogram would, according to First Warning Systems of
A doctor would give the bra to a woman to wear for 12 hours.
During that time, 16 temperature sensors in the cup would scan for
deep tissue temperature changes that could indicate the growth of
new blood vessels to feed a tumor. In addition, pattern recognition
software would detect breast tissue irregularities.
In three clinical trials involving a total of 650 women, the bra
was more than 90 percent accurate in detecting breast cancer,
according to the company,
The company plans to release the bra in Europe next year.
Depending on FDA approval, it could be available in the U.S. as
soon as 2014. The company didn't disclose the cost of the bra, but
said each individual test will be about $25.
Nobel Economics Prize Awarded for Match-Making Research
The 2012 Nobel economics prize was awarded Monday to two
American scholars for their research on match-making in markets
where prices aren't the deciding factor, including pairing human
organs with transplant recipients and student doctors with
The recipients are Alvin Roth, 60, and Lloyd Shapley, 89. Roth
is a professor at Harvard University and Harvard Business School.
Shapley is a professor emeritus at the University of California,
Los Angeles, the
"There are economic problems that can't be solved with normal market mechanisms," prize committee member Peter Gardenfors said. "With these matchings there is no money involved so the main thing is to follow what kind of preferences people have -- who wants to be matched with whom -- and find a good solution to that."
Along with the health-field applications, the work by Roth and
Shapley can be used in a number of other areas, including matching
students with schools and refugees with housing, the
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