Health Highlights: March 15, 201303/15/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Marine Base Had Tainted Water for up to 60 Years: Report
Cancer-causing solvents were present in drinking water at the
Camp Lejeune Marine base in North Carolina for as long as 60 years,
according to a federal government report.
It said some wells that supplied water to the base may have been
tainted with trichloroethylene (TCE) from 1948 through 2008, and
that some were contaminated with benzene from 1951 to 2008,
Marines say they and their families have suffered cancers caused
by the tainted water, which was contaminated by fuel leaks and
probably from a dry-cleaning plant as well.
The new report indicates that base personnel and their families
were exposed to the contaminated water for longer than previously
believed. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has
estimated that between 500,000 and 1 million people were exposed to
the tainted water between 1953 and 1987, when the last of the
contaminated wells were closed,
Quick Treatment Can 'Functionally Cure' Some HIV Patients:
Immediate treatment may "functionally cure" about 10 percent of
people with early-stage HIV infection, according to a new
Researchers in France looked at 14 people who started treatment
within 10 weeks of being infected with HIV. They took
antiretroviral drugs for an average of three years and then stopped
taking the medications, but have since shown no signs of HIV
"They still have HIV, it is not eradication of HIV, it is a kind of remission of the infection," explained Dr. Asier Saez-Cirion, from the Institute Pasteur in Paris.
He said 5 to 15 percent of HIV patients who start treatment
early may be functionally cured, which means they no longer require
The study appears in the journal
Recently, U.S. doctors reported that an HIV-infected baby girl
was effectively cured after very early treatment.
FDA Probing Reports of Pancreas Problems Caused by Diabetes
Reports that a group of new diabetes drugs may increase the risk
of pancreas problems are being investigated by the U.S. Food and
The FDA says unpublished results from a group of researchers
show that samples of pancreas tissue taken from a small number of
patients taking the drugs showed signs of inflammation and of
cellular changes that often precede cancer, the
The agency said it is seeking more information and has not
reached any conclusions. Patients should continue taking the
medications until they consult with their doctor, officials
The medicines under review mimic a natural hormone that the body
produces to break down sugar after a meal. The drugs include
Amylin's Byetta, Merck's Januvia, Novo Nordisk's Victoza, among
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