Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Heart Disease Costliest Health Problem for U.S. Men
The top three most costly health issues for American men are
heart disease, cancer and trauma-related injuries, a federal
government report says.
An analysis of the 10 most expensive health problems for men in
2008 showed that heart disease topped the list at $47 billion,
followed by cancer ($34 billion), trauma-related injuries ($33
billion) and osteoarthritis ($23 billion).
Costs were lowest for back problems ($14 billion), chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma ($18 billion).
The average annual treatment cost per patient in 2008 ranged
from $838 for high blood pressure to $4,873 for cancer, according
to the latest
News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and
Food Industry Decides on Safety of Thousands of Ingredients
At least 3,000 food ingredients have been classified as safe by
the food industry in recent decades without any U.S. government
oversight, a new report says.
The food ingredients determined to be safe by industry trade
associations and private companies since the early 1960s range from
grape seed extract used in cheese and instant coffee to
artificially synthesized chemicals used in chewing gum, the
Associated Press reported.
The report, published in the
Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food
Safety journal, uses research funded by the Pew Health Group,
the health and consumer safety division of the nonprofit Pew
"We don't know the names of a lot of these chemicals because the companies have never told FDA or the public about them," Erik Olson, a study author and Pew Health Group's director of food and consumer safety programs, told the AP. "Often there is not publicly available data on the potential health impacts because FDA has never evaluated them."
Food ingredients are classified as safe only after they undergo
rigorous testing, according to the Grocery Manufacturers
Association. But the group agrees that more transparency in the
approval process would help reassure consumers.
The report raises important questions about the public's access
to information about ingredient safety, FDA Deputy Commissioner
Michael Taylor said.
"Transparency in decision-making is a high priority for FDA, and FDA considers it timely to explore whether the statutory and regulatory framework for food additives adequately addresses today's need for transparency," he told the AP.
Turkish Pine Nuts Linked to Salmonella Outbreak: CDC
Turkish pine nuts from bulk bins at Wegmans grocery stores have
been linked to a salmonella outbreak that's sickened 42 people in
six states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The illnesses began on or after August 20 and include 26 people
in New York state, 8 in Pennsylvania, 4 in Virginia, 2 in New
Jersey, and 1 each in Arizona and Maryland. The patients range in
age from less than a year old to 94 years old.
Two people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported,
the CDC said.
There may be more illnesses that occurred after Sept. 28 and
have not yet been reported because it can take 2 to 3 weeks between
the time a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported to
Wegmans Food Markets Inc. is recalling about 5,000 lbs. of
Turkish pine nuts sold from bulk bins of most Wegmans stores in New
York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland between July
1 and Oct. 18, 2011.
Consumers should not eat the nuts or any products -- such as
baked goods, pesto and salads -- that contain the nuts. Anyone who
purchased the nuts should place them in a closed plastic bag and
put the bag in a sealed trash can, the CDC advised.
Birth Control Pills and Having Babies Reduce Ovarian Cancer
Women can significantly reduce their risk of ovarian cancer by
using birth control pills and having babies, according to a new
Researchers followed about 300,000 European women for an average
of nine years and found that women who took the pill for 10 years
reduced their risk of ovarian cancer by 45 percent,
ABC News reported.
Women who had used birth control pills at some point in their
lives had a 15 percent reduced risk, according to the study
published this week in the
British Journal of Cancer.
The researchers also found that having one child reduced ovarian
cancer risk by 29 percent and having more children reduced the risk
by an additional 8 percent,
ABC News reported.