Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Nearly Four Million U.S. Adults Treated for Kidney Disease Each
An average of 3.7 million adults in the United States were
treated for kidney disease each year between 2003 and 2007,
according to a federal government report.
Kidney disease, which can be caused by high blood pressure,
diabetes and heart disease, may lead to kidney failure.
Between 2003 and 2007, spending for treatment of kidney disease
averaged $25.3 billion (in 2007 dollars) per year. About half of
the annual cost ($12.7 billion) was for outpatient care, $9.1
billion was for hospitalization, $1.5 billion for emergency room
care, and $1.4 billion for prescription drugs.
Yearly per-patient costs averaged $16,315 for hospitalization,
$4,581 for outpatient care, $1,607 for emergency department care,
and $643 for prescription drugs, according to the latest
News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and
Send Health Care Law Challenges to Supreme Court: Governors
In a letter sent Wednesday, 28 governors asked President Barack
Obama to tell the U.S. Justice Department to seek an immediate
Supreme Court review of constitutional challenges to the new health
Those challenges have been filed in Virginia and Florida.
The governors said legal questions surrounding the law need to
be resolved and there is no doubt that the constitutionality of the
law's requirement that all individual have health insurance by 2014
will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, the
Washington Post reported.
"We should not endure years of litigation in the circuit courts, when the Supreme Court can promptly provide finality," the governors wrote.
However, legal experts have said there is little chance the
Supreme Court would hear the cases at this stage, the
Testosterone Blocks Ability to Read Feelings: Study
Testosterone interferes with a person's ability to read another
person's eye expressions in order to deduce what they're feeling,
says a new study.
It included 16 young women who were given testosterone under the
tongue and asked to look at photographs of facial expressions from
around the eyes in order to determine what the person is thinking
United Press International reported.
The administration of testosterone led to a significant
reduction in the women's ability to do this type of mind reading,
said the British and Dutch researchers.
They said the finding may help explain why men are generally
worse at reading feelings than women, who have lower testosterone
levels. The researchers also noted that autism affects males more
than females, and these results offer further support for the
theory that male sex hormones play a role in autism,
The study appears in the journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Doctor in Octuplets Case Could Lose Medical License
A judge's recommendation that the fertility doctor who helped a
California woman conceive octuplets be allowed to keep his medical
license was rejected Wednesday by California's medical board.
Instead of losing his license, Dr. Michael Kamrava should be
placed on five years' probation, Administrative Law Judge Daniel
Juraez suggested weeks ago, the
Los Angeles Times reported.
Kamrava has been accused of gross negligence and incompetence in
his treatment of octuplets mother Nadya Suleman and two other
A panel of medical board members will now consider Kamrava's
case before deciding whether to revoke his medical license, the
The case could be considered as soon as the medical board's next
scheduled meeting May 5.
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Now Speaking
Less than a month after she was shot in the head in an
assassination attempt, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona started
speaking again by asking for toast.
The simple request represents another significant advance for
the 40-year-old Democratic congresswoman, the
New York Daily News reported.
The fact that Giffords has started speaking is proof that she is
displaying "encouraging signs everyday," her astronaut husband Mark
Kelly wrote in his wife's Facebook page. Kelly is back at work at
NASA and will command the April 19 launch of the space shuttle
"It is hard to believe that only one month has passed since Gabrielle was shot," Kelly wrote. "The doctors say she is recovering at lightning speed considering her injury but they aren't kidding when they say this is a marathon process."
He also noted that Giffords is eating three meals a day "even
though it's hospital food," the
Daily News reported.