Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Baby Boomers Least Satisfied With Sex Life: U.S. Survey
Americans aged 45 to 65 are the least satisfied with their sex
lives, according to a new survey.
About 24 percent of people in the baby boomer age group say
they're not happy with their sex lives, compared with 20 percent of
30-44 year olds, 17 percent of those over 65, and 12 percent of
18-29 year olds, found the
Associated Press-LifeGoesStrong.com poll.
Among the other findings:
Health Problems Push Millions into Poverty: WHO
Each year, illness or "catastrophic" medical bills force more
than 100 million people worldwide into poverty, says the World
But universal health coverage could protect many of those
people, the agency said in its annual report released Monday,
Agence France-Presse reported.
"This year's WHO report is designed to encourage every country in the world to adopt policies that will extend policies to more people and reduce the number of people who risk financial ruin," WHO Director General Margaret Chan said when the report was presented in Berlin.
The document said the need for universal health coverage "has
never been greater" due to aging populations, global spread of
diseases and the economic slowdown,
"If health systems do not find the right answers now, the bill further down the line is going to keep getting higher and bigger," Chan said.
Eye Disease Patients Receiving Embryonic Stem Cell Treatment
The second U.S. study using embryonic stem cells to treat humans
has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The study will include 12 patients with a rare genetic disorder
called Stargardt disease, which causes severe vision loss and
blindness. The study's primary goal is to assess the safety of
various doses of healthy scavenger cells created from human
embryonic stem cells, the
Associated Press reported.
The trial should begin early next year, according to
California-based biotechnology company Advanced Cell Technology.
Stargardt disease affects only about 30,000 Americans, but company
officials hope the same stem cell treatment will also prove
effective in more common eye diseases such as age-related macular
Last month, biotech company Geron Corp. announced it had started
preliminary testing of embryonic stem cell-derived cells to treat
people with spinal cord injuries, the
Cholesterol Drug May Benefit Kidney Disease Patients: Study
The cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin reduced heart attacks,
strokes and operations to open blocked arteries in chronic kidney
disease patients, says a new study.
Compared with patients who received a placebo, those who took
the drug had one-sixth fewer cardiovascular events or surgeries,
The New York Times reported.
But the five-year study involving more than 9,000 patients found
that Vytorin had no significant impact in slowing kidney disease
progression, specifically in reducing the need to start dialysis or
have a kidney transplant, said the researchers.
The study was presented on the weekend at a meeting of kidney
specialists in Denver.
Merck's Vytorin combines two treatments, a statin called
simvastatin and a newer drug called exetimibe (brand name Zetia),
The Times reported.
Restrict or Ban Flavored Cigarettes: Public Health Officials
Depsite intense tobacco industry opposition, public health
officials from 172 countries agreed on the weekend to recommend
restrictions or bans on flavor additives meant to make cigarettes
more appealing to new smokers.
In addition, tobacco producers should be required to reveal the
ingredients of their products to health authorities, recommended
the delegates from nations that have signed on to the Framework
Convention on Tobacco Control, the
Associated Press reported.
The tobacco industry threatened that million of jobs would be
lost and some nation's economies ruined if countries heed the
"There was a lot of campaigning against these guidelines. It's a major achievement because countries really showed unity and showed they are putting public health policies as a priority before the interests of the industry," convention spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told the AP. "If these guidelines are implemented, this could lead to a certain decrease of new smokers -- fewer young people getting hooked."
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