Health Highlights: June 19, 201306/19/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Doctors' Group Supports Ban on Energy Drink Ads for Kids
The marketing of energy drinks to young people should be banned,
the American Medical Association said in a policy endorsed Tuesday
at its annual policy meeting.
The new policy calls for limiting how the caffeinated drinks are
sold to consumers younger than 18. In highlighting the dangers, the
AMA made note of research linking the products to heart problems
and reports about emergency room visits made by youngsters after
consuming the beverages,
The group, which represents 225,000 U.S. doctors, called for a
temporary ban on youth marketing of energy drinks "until such time
as the scientific evidence regarding the possible adverse medical
affects that stimulant drinks may have on children and adolescents
"Energy drinks contain massive and excessive amounts of caffeine that may lead to a host of health problems in young people, including heart problems," Alexander Ding, a physician and AMA board member, said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg. "Banning companies from marketing these products to adolescents is a common sense action that we can take to protect the health of American kids."
Natura Pet Products Recalled Over Salmonella Concerns
Natura Pet Products is recalling a wide range of dry pet foods
and treats due to possible salmonella contamination.
The recall covers all of the following products with expiration
dates prior to June 10, 2014: Innova Dry dog and cat food and
biscuits/bars/treats; EVO dry dog, cat and ferret food and
biscuits/bars/treats; California Natural dry dog and cat foods and
biscuits/bars/treats; Healthwise dry dog and cat foods; Karma dry
dog foods; Mother Nature biscuits/bars/treats.
Salmonella can cause illness in pets that eat contaminated
products and in people who handle the products, the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration said. There haven't been any reports of pet or
human illnesses related to the recalled products.
The Natura pet food and treats were sold in bags at veterinary
clinics, select pet stores, and online in the United States and
Canada. People with the recalled products should throw them
For more information or to ask for a product replacement or
refund, call Natura toll-free at 800-224-6123.
Blood Test May Provide Early Alert of HPV-Related Throat
A new study suggests that a blood test may be able to predict
throat cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) more than
10 years before the disease appears.
Researchers looked at the results of blood tests from 135 throat
cancer patients and found that about one-third of them had HPV
antibodies in their blood a decade before they were diagnosed with
CNNreported. Antibodies are produced by the immune system
when it's fighting infections.
About a third of throat cancers worldwide are said to be
HPV-related, according to the study in the
Journal of Clinical Oncology.
"Until now, there were no accurate markers for early detection of this cancer," said study author Paul Brennan with the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, CNNreported.
Further studies need to be done and it would likely be years
before the test is available for patients.
U.S. Adult Smoking Rate Falls
The number of American adults who smoke fell to 18 percent in
2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
The adult smoking rate had been declining for decades but then
seemed to level off at about 20 to 21 percent before falling to 19
percent in 2011, the
The latest findings are from a survey of about 35,000 adults.
The smoking rate was 9 percent among people ages 65 and older but
about 20 percent for younger adults. Men had a higher smoking rate
The survey did not include teens, but a previous CDC study found
that about 16 percent of high school students were smokers in 2011,
Factors that may have contributed to this latest decline in
adult smoking include more public smoking bans, higher state and
federal tobacco taxes, and increased spending on prevention and
cessation programs, according to Patrick Reynolds, executive
director of the Foundation for a SmokeFree America.
"This is a real decline in smoking in America. I'm ecstatic about it. It's proof that we are winning the battle against tobacco," he told the AP.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in
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