China says finds no more excess toxins in milk Fri,30 Dec 2011 07:20 PM PST Reuters - BEIJING (Reuters) - China's quality watchdog said it has found no further problems with milk tainted by high levels of carcinogenic mildew in tests of products by major dairy producers. Public concern was triggered this week after milk giant Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd said its Sichuan plant had destroyed products found by a government quality watchdog to contain the cancer-causing substance aflatoxin. Aflatoxin occurs naturally in the environment and is produced by certain common types of fungi. It can cause severe liver damage, including liver cancer. ... Full Story
FDA says no need to recall Enfamil formula Fri,30 Dec 2011 07:15 PM PST Reuters - (Reuters) - U.S. health officials said they found no trace of potentially deadly bacteria that killed two infants in recent weeks in sealed cans of Enfamil baby formula, and that a recall was unnecessary, providing relief for the product's manufacturer, Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. ... Full Story
U.S. approves Prevnar pneumonia vaccine for adults Fri,30 Dec 2011 02:22 PM PST Reuters - (Reuters) - U.S. health regulators approved the expansion of Pfizer Inc's blockbuster Prevnar vaccine for use in adults 50 and older to fight pneumonia, meningitis and other diseases cause by pneumococcus bacteria. Prevnar 13 is designed to fight 13 forms of a bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus. Pneumonia caused by the pneumococcal organism is one of the biggest causes of death in older people and its incidence begins to increase after age 50. ... Full Story
Yoga helps breast cancer survivors curb fatigue Fri,30 Dec 2011 02:21 PM PST Reuters - NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - About one third of breast cancer survivors experience fatigue that can affect their quality of life, but a small new study finds that doing yoga might help restore some lost vitality. After three months of twice-weekly yoga classes, a group of breast cancer survivors in California reported significantly diminished fatigue and increased "vigor." A control group of women who took classes in post-cancer health issues, but didn't do yoga, had no changes in their fatigue or depression levels. Dr. ... Full Story
Ohio Medicaid cancer patients survive less time Fri,30 Dec 2011 02:21 PM PST Reuters - NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Cancer patients on Medicaid survive less time after their diagnosis than people with private or no insurance, data from Ohio show. Looking only at highly treatable types of tumors, researchers found Medicaid enrollees were between 1.6 and 2.4 times as likely as other patients to die of their disease within five years. It's unclear exactly how to interpret those findings, but researchers agree they're important. "This shows that there are problems at a national level that we need to be aware of," said Dr. Derek Raghavan, who worked on the study. ... Full Story
MSF ponders Somali presence after attack: official Fri,30 Dec 2011 02:13 PM PST Reuters - BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Medecins Sans Fontieres is withdrawing non-Somali staff from a hospital in Mogadishu where two of its staff were shot dead but the aid group hopes to maintain its operation in Somalia despite the danger, an official said on Friday, Meinie Nicolai, president of MSF's Belgian branch which runs the hospital in the Somali capital, said Thursday's attack did not appear to be politically driven. "For us to leave Somalia would be a last option," Nicolai told Reuters. "It is not a political action as far as we can read it today," she added. "It's not against the organisation. ... Full Story
LONDON (Reuters) - The World Health Organization issued a stern warning on Friday to scientists who have engineered a highly pathogenic form of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, saying their work carries significant risks and must be tightly controlled. The United Nations health body said it was "deeply concerned about the potential negative consequences" of work by two leading flu research teams who this month said they had found ways to make H5N1 into a easily transmissable form capable of causing lethal human pandemics. ...
Massachusetts man diagnosed with rare rabies case Fri,30 Dec 2011 01:19 PM PST Reuters - NEW YORK (Reuters) - Massachusetts reported its first case of human rabies since 1935, state health officials said on Friday, after confirming that a Cape Cod man in his 60s had fallen ill with the rare but potentially fatal disease. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said it had determined the man, who was not identified by name, was "diagnosed with rabies." The man is hospitalized in critical condition, they said. ... Full Story
FDA approves Pfizer's Prevnar pneumonia vaccine for adults Fri,30 Dec 2011 12:09 PM PST Reuters - (Reuters) - U.S. health regulators approved the expansion of Pfizer Inc's blockbuster Prevnar vaccine for use in adults 50 and older to fight pneumonia, meningitis and other diseases cause by pneumococcus bacteria. Prevnar 13 is designed to fight 13 forms of a bacterium called streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus. Pneumonia caused by the pneumococcal organism is one of the biggest causes of death in older people and its incidence begins to increase after age 50. ... Full Story
Drivers on methadone twice as likely to crash Fri,30 Dec 2011 10:47 AM PST Reuters - NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Men on methadone treatment for drug addiction were more than twice as likely to be involved in a traffic accident as the general population in a new study from Norway. The researchers looked at two and a half years' worth of data on drug prescriptions and on motor vehicle accidents, and found that among the roughly 2,500 people prescribed methadone for drug addiction treatment, there were 26 vehicle accidents - a rate at least double that of the rest of the population. ... Full Story
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A large new European study finds that simply eating a lot of fruits and vegetables may not be enough to stave off the weight gain that often comes with age -- except for people who recently quit smoking. Researchers found that of nearly 374,000 adults in 10 European countries, who were followed for five years, those who ate the most fruits and vegetables were no less likely to gain weight once other factors -- like calorie intake and exercise habits -- were taken into account. ...
MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - The Frenchman who sparked a global health scare by selling sub-standard breast implants is listed as a consultant for a new protheses plant his son planned to open in June, according to a regional French newspaper. Citing confidential company documents, the daily Nice Matin reported that Jean-Claude Mas, whose defunct company PIP sold poor quality protheses around the world for years, is listed as a technical and commercial consultant at a new firm set up by his son to make breast implants. Mas's lawyer, Yves Haddad, could not be reached for comment on Friday. ...
China reports suspected human bird flu case Fri,30 Dec 2011 09:40 AM PST Reuters - HONG KONG (Reuters) - China has reported a suspected human case of the H5N1 virus, or bird flu, in a southern city bordering Hong Kong, officials said on Friday. The patient, a 39-year-old man living in Shenzhen, developed symptoms on December 21 and was admitted to a hospital on December 25 because of severe pneumonia, the Centre of Health Protection of Hong Kong said in a statement. He is now in critical condition. ... Full Story
NEW YORK (Reuters) - With 40 billed as the new 30 and baby boomers redefining the perceptions of aging, how old is old? The answer, it seems, depends on the age of the person being asked, according to a new survey of Americans. For Millennials, people born in the 1980s and 1990s, 62 is considered old, but Generations Xers, whose birth year fell between 1964 to 1970, don't think anyone is old until they reach 71, the Marist poll showed. ...
Chinese city finds cancer-causing fungi in food Fri,30 Dec 2011 07:31 AM PST Reuters - SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese food safety regulators in the southern city of Shenzhen have found carcinogenic mildew in peanuts and cooking oil, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday. The cancer-causing substance, called aflatoxin, triggered public concern this week after milk giant Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd said last weekend its Sichuan plant had destroyed products found by a government quality watchdog to contain it. Aflatoxin occurs naturally in the environment and is produced by certain common types of fungi. It can cause severe liver damage, including liver cancer. ... Full Story