Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
WHO Weighs in On Faulty Breast Implants
Women with faulty French-made breast implants should seek
medical advice if they have any concerns, the World Health
Organization said Tuesday.
It's the first time that the UN's health agency has made a
public statement about the breast implants believed to have been
implanted in about 300,000 women in 65 countries,
Agence France-Presse reported.
The implants were made by Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) of France,
which has gone out of business.
"Persons with PIP or M-Implant prostheses should consult their doctor or surgeon if they suspect rupture, have pain or inflammation or any other concerns," WHO said in a "Global Alert and Response" statement issued on its website, AFP reported.
"Affected persons and physicians should take note of their national health authority recommendations and act accordingly," the agency said.
U.S. National Alzheimer's Plan Under Development
The first National Alzheimer's Plan to improve prevention and
treatment of the disease by 2025 is being developed by the Obama
At a two-day meeting that begins Tuesday, a committee of
Alzheimer's experts will help advise the federal government on how
to finalize a newly released draft of the overall goals of the
Associated Press reported.
The plan is meant to deal with both the medical and social
issues of Alzheimer's.
About 5.4 million people in the United States have Alzheimer's
or similar dementias, and the number is expected to grow as the
population ages. By 2050, Alzheimer's could affect 13 million to 16
million Americans, the
Drug Companies Will Have to Report Payments to Doctors
The Obama administration plans to require drug companies to
disclose payments they make to doctors for research, consulting,
speaking, travel and entertainment.
The new standards, being issued under the new health care reform
law, are meant to prevent medical conflicts of interest, reduce
medical costs and improve patient care,
The New York Times reported.
The disclosures will likely increase the chances that instead of
making decisions based on their own financial interests, doctors
will make decisions in the best interests of patients, the
Previous research has found that drug company payments to
doctors can influence treatment decisions and contribute to higher
health care costs by promoting the use of more expensive drugs and
medical devices, the
Many doctors receive payments from drug and medical device
companies each year -- sometimes totaling hundreds of thousands or
millions of dollars -- in exchange for giving lectures and
providing advice to the companies, the newspaper reported.
'Exergames' Benefit Older Adults' Brains: Study
A new study says that computer exercise games may help older
adults' brains as well as their bodies.
The team at Union College in New York found that participants
over age 50 who used an "exergame" while riding an exercise bike
had faster brain response times than those who used exercise bikes
alone, reported the
Daily Mail in the U.K.
The study appears in the February issue of the
American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The researchers said regular use of such exergames could help
protect older adults from cognitive decline and ward off
age-related conditions such as dementia, the
Daily Mail reported.
Cooking Show Star Paula Deen Has Type 2 Diabetes
A cooking show celebrity known for her calorie-rich foods says
she's going public about the fact that she has type 2 diabetes.
Paula Deen, 64, hosts Paula's Best Dishes on the
Food Network and built her career on recipes that can
contribute to obesity, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes,
USA Today reported.
Deen was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 3 years ago. She claims
her delay in talking about her disease had nothing to do with
worries about damaging her reputation.
"That was not why. My knowledge about the disease was very limited. But now I'm coming with good information, something that can help and bring hope to other people," she told USA Today.
American Red Cross Hit With Large Fine
The American Red Cross has been fined nearly $9.6 million for
sloppy and unsafe blood management practices, the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration says.
It's the second time in two years that the Red Cross has been
slapped with a multi-million dollar penalty,
The latest fine is the result of FDA inspections at 16 Red Cross
blood centers between April and October 2010 that found ongoing
problems that posed a potential threat to blood donors and may have
allowed potentially contaminated blood into the nation's blood
In a statement, a Red Cross spokeswoman said the problems noted
by the FDA primarily centered on an inspection at a Philadelphia
site conducted 15 months ago and many of the issues have since been
addressed by the Red Cross,