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Injectable birth control for men holds promise; risks remain
28 Oct 2016 at 12:07pm
By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - Injecting men with two different hormones every eight weeks suppressed their sperm production enough to act as birth control, according to a new study. An independent safety board found that side effects, which included depression and other mood disorders, outweighed the potential benefits of the injections. Every eight weeks, the men received injections of long-acting testosterone and progestin.
Hospitals may face bigger penalties for readmissions than deaths
28 Oct 2016 at 11:37am
By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Medicare penalties are tied to fewer repeat hospitalizations for some common health problems, but a new study suggests current policy doesn?t encourage hospitals in the United States to focus on preventable deaths. Researchers examined nationwide data for both deaths and readmissions within 30 days of discharge for three common problems: heart failure, pneumonia and heart attacks. About 17 percent of U.S. hospitals are getting punished for excess readmissions even though they?re keeping patients alive more often than would be expected, the analysis found.
Exclusive: EpiPen price hikes add millions to Pentagon costs
28 Oct 2016 at 11:34am
By Caroline Humer and Ruthy Munoz NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Mylan NV's price hikes on EpiPens have added millions to U.S. Department of Defense spending since 2008 as the agency covered more prescriptions for the lifesaving allergy shot at near retail prices, government data provided to Reuters shows. Pentagon spending rose to $57 million over the past year from $9 million in 2008 - an increase driven both by volume and by price hikes that had a bigger bite on prescriptions filled at retail pharmacies, according to the previously unreported data. The Pentagon gets a government discount on EpiPens dispensed at military treatment facilities and by mail order.
St. Jude halts pacemaker implants due to data, battery issues
28 Oct 2016 at 10:55am
Medical device maker St. Jude Medical Inc said on Friday it has notified doctors to stop implants of one of its cardiac pacemakers, citing reports of problems with electronic data reporting caused by a battery malfunction that could put patients at risk. The affected device is the Nanostim leadless cardiac pacemaker (LCP). St. Jude, which is being acquired by Abbott Laboratories, said it had seven reports of lost telemetry and heart pacing output from the devices.
FDA approves St. Jude device to prevent recurring strokes in some patients
28 Oct 2016 at 10:49am
(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved St. Jude Medical Inc's device to prevent recurrent strokes in certain patients. The device, amplatzer PFO occluder, has been approved for patients who previously had a stroke due to a blood clot that passed through a small hole in the heart and then traveled to the brain. (http://bit.ly/2eVlgo2) (Reporting by Dipika Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
Federal judge blocks two abortion laws in Alabama
28 Oct 2016 at 10:47am
(Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge on Thursday blocked abortion restrictions in Alabama that limit how close clinics can be to public schools and ban a procedure used to terminate pregnancies in the second trimester. Judge Myron Thompson in the District Court for the Middle District of Alabama issued a preliminary injunction, ruling that the laws are likely to be found unconstitutional, according to online court records. Thompson wrote the law would likely force the closing of clinics in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa, where the majority of abortions in the state are performed, causing an undue burden for women seeking an abortion and other services.
Ex-Russian press minister's 2015 Washington death ruled accidental
28 Oct 2016 at 10:34am
The death last year in Washington of Mikhail Lesin, a Russian media executive and former adviser to President Vladimir Putin, was accidental and caused partly by alcohol poisoning after days of heavy drinking, U.S. authorities said on Friday. Lesin, who was found dead in his hotel room on Nov. 5, 2015 at the age of 57, died partly from "acute ethanol intoxication," according to a statement by Washington's Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. Lesin served as Putin's press minister from 1999 to 2004.
Mindful enjoyment of Halloween chocolate may improve mood
28 Oct 2016 at 9:59am
By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) ? People who mindfully consume their chocolate treats this Halloween may experience more of a mood boost than those who do so without thinking, or who mindfully consume other foods, a new study suggests. ?Mindful eating practices encourage people to slow down and think about their eating experience,? said lead author Brian P. Meier of Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. ?My guess is that most people do not do that routinely.? Meier and colleagues studied a group of mostly white college students who ate either five pieces of Blommers Appalachian Gold Milk Chocolate Discs or five Carr's Plain Table Water crackers, each about a 75 calorie portion.
Does baby powder cause cancer? Another jury says yes.
28 Oct 2016 at 9:40am
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) ? For the third time, Johnson & Johnson has been hit with a multimillion-dollar jury verdict over whether the talc in its iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.
Fatal measles complication more common than thought: U.S. study
28 Oct 2016 at 9:06am
A deadly complication of measles in young children that strikes years after infection may be more common than previously thought, according to a study presented on Friday that stressed the importance of vaccinations against the highly contagious disease. The risk of acquiring the always fatal neurological disorder, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), was believed to be about 1-in-1,700, based on an earlier German study of children under five years of age infected with measles. The new research, looking at children who got measles during a large California outbreak around 1990, found the rate of SSPE to be 1-in-1,387 for those infected before the age of five.
More than one million children starve as Yemen war rages: U.N. agencies
28 Oct 2016 at 8:51am
By Lin Taylor LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Around 1.5 million children in Yemen are malnourished and half the population lives in hunger, United Nations aid agencies said on Friday, three days after pictures of an emaciated Yemeni teenager sparked headlines around the world. Yemen's 18-month war has left 370,000 children at risk of severe malnutrition - a condition which needs urgent treatment to prevent a child from dying - the U.N. children's agency UNICEF said at a press briefing in Geneva on Friday. When you see mothers who have little to eat themselves and they see their children slipping away, it just breaks your heart," said World Food Programme (WFP) spokeswoman Bettina Luescher at the briefing.
First U.S. soda tax cuts consumption beyond expectations
28 Oct 2016 at 8:46am
By Ronnie Cohen (Reuters Health) - As voters consider soda taxes in four U.S. cities, a new study finds that low-income Berkeley neighborhoods slashed sugar-sweetened beverage consumption by more than one-fifth after the Northern California city enacted the nation?s first soda tax. Berkeley voters in 2014 levied a penny-per-ounce tax on soda and other sugary drinks to try to curb consumption and stem the rising tide of diabetes and obesity. After the tax took effect in March 2015, residents of two low-income neighborhoods reported drinking 21 percent less of all sugar-sweetened beverages and 26 percent less soda than they had the year before, according to the report in the October American Journal of Public Health.
EU fears VW diesel fixes could damage engines: Der Spiegel
28 Oct 2016 at 8:31am
The European Commission fears steps taken by Volkswagen to refit polluting diesel cars may damage the vehicles' engines, the Spiegel magazine reported, citing unidentified staff at the European Union's executive branch. Software updates carried out by Volkswagen (VW) could inflict greater stress on engine components, Spiegel cited a member of staff at the Brussels-based Commission as saying.
At least one killed in a Cairo blast, no claim of responsibility
28 Oct 2016 at 8:01am
An explosive device detonated along a main road in Cairo on Friday as security forces passed by, killing at least one civilian passerby and injuring another, the interior ministry said on Facebook. Egypt faces an Islamist insurgency led by Islamic State's branch in North Sinai, where hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed. There have also been attacks in Cairo and other cities.
Women unclear about breast density, breast cancer risks
28 Oct 2016 at 7:59am
By Carolyn Crist (Reuters Health) ? Women are becoming more aware of the term ?breast density,? but they aren?t as familiar with its relation to breast cancer risk or mammograms, according to a small U.S. study. In particular, African American and Ashkenazi Jewish women, who may be at a higher risk for breast cancer, seemed to be less knowledgeable about breast density, researchers found. ?There?s a national movement to increase women?s awareness of breast density and help them make better healthcare decisions,? said Jennifer Harvey, study author and co-director of the University of Virginia Breast Care Program in Charlottesville, Virginia.