U.S. jury fails to reach verdict in latest Johnson & Johnson talc trial over asbestos claims

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A South Carolina jury on Friday could not agree on a verdict in a case of a woman whose family said her long-term use of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder led to her death from asbestos-related cancer, resulting in a mistrial. A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake The case of Bertila Boyd-Bostic, who died of a rare form of cancer in 2017 at the age of 30, is the latest in a series of trials in…

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VA health systems vary widely in heart disease death rates

(Reuters Health) – Heart disease death rates vary substantially at Veterans Affairs hospitals nationwide, and a new study suggests that this holds true not just for hospitalized patients but also for outpatients. Previous research has long documented differences in death rates at hospitals across the U.S., not just at VA facilities, often focusing on deaths among hospitalized patients or within a month after discharge. The current study, however, offers fresh insight by looking at combined mortality rates for inpatient and outpatient care. Researchers studied 930,079 veterans with heart disease and…

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Women who freeze eggs to delay childbirth often feel regret

(Reuters Health) – For the past four years, since Facebook and Apple began paying for employees to freeze their eggs to delay childbirth, healthy women are increasingly trying to slow their biological clocks by banking their oocytes, or eggs. But in a new study of more than 200 women who had their eggs removed and frozen as a form of counter-infertility insurance, nearly half expressed regret. “While most women expressed positive reactions of enhanced reproductive options after freezing eggs, we were surprised to discover that for a group of women…

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Food insecurity linked to type 2 diabetes risk

(Reuters Health) – Canadians who cannot afford to eat regularly or to eat a healthy diet have more than double the average risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a study suggests. To reduce the burden of diabetes on individuals and the national healthcare system, policymakers should consider intervening in this pathway early by reducing food insecurity, the study team urges in the journal PLOS ONE. Household food insecurity is defined as having uncertain or insufficient food access due to limited financial resources. Being on a limited budget may result in…

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Fear and suspicion hinder Congo medics in Ebola battle

DAKAR (Reuters) – With more than twice as many Ebola outbreaks as any other country since the virus was discovered in 1976, Congolese are familiar with its destructive power, yet fear and suspicion of medical authorities are still hindering efforts at containment. Children attend a class session at the Wangata commune school during a vaccination campaign against the outbreak of Ebola, in MbandakaHealth officials say they are working hard to get out accurate information about the deadly hemorrhagic fever but face significant mistrust in a part of Africa where many…

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Third Indian state checks suspect cases in outbreak of rare brain-damaging virus

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Officials in a third Indian state were checking on Friday if two people had been infected with the brain-damaging Nipah virus that has killed 12 in southern Kerala, although the government described the outbreak as minor. Relatives wearing masks attend the funeral a victim, who lost his battle against the brain-damaging Nipah virus, at a burial ground in Kozhikode, in the southern Indian state of Kerala, India, May 24, 2018. REUTERS/StringerSuch outbreaks are a concern in a country where hundreds die from infectious diseases each year for…

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Oily fish still a good habit for heart health, U.S. doctors say

(Reuters Health) – People who eat at least two servings a week of oily fish like salmon, mackerel, herring and tuna should keep it up because U.S. doctors still say it’s a good way to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. But this isn’t a prescription for fish and chips. The new scientific advisory reaffirms the American Heart Association’s recommendations against fried fish and stresses the benefits of eating two 3.5-ounce servings a week of fish, especially oily varieties rich in omega-3 fatty acids. And for many people…

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Commutes on foot or bike tied to lowered risk of heart attack or stroke

(Reuters Health) – Commuters who abandon their cars in favor of walking or biking to work are less likely to develop heart disease or to die from it than people who drive to the office, a recent study suggests. Researchers in the UK examined data on 187,281 regular commuters and 171,498 adults who didn’t routinely travel to work. About two-thirds of the commuters relied exclusively on a car to get to work. After an average follow-up period of seven years, commuters who walked, rode a bike or took public transit…

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Healthy diet may stave off age-related hearing loss for women

(Reuters Health) – Another benefit of a healthy diet may be protection against age-related hearing loss, suggests a large study of U.S. women. Researchers followed more than 80,000 women for 26 years and found those whose diets scored highest for health and quality were up to 47 percent less likely to experience moderate or severe hearing loss than women with the lowest dietary scores. “Although hearing loss is thought to be an unavoidable companion to aging, findings from our research have highlighted a number of dietary factors that can be…

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Sleep-tracking wearables and apps no substitute for sleep tests

(Reuters Health) – Sleep-tracking devices and mobile apps can help engage users in improving sleep health, but none of the consumer technologies has been proven accurate or validated to screen for sleep disorders, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine said in a new statement. Still, the technologies are generating consumer interest in sleep quality, which is a positive trend, the AASM board of directors writes in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. “Patients bring in their devices and want to know what the numbers mean and how we can help,”…

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