Health Tip: Do I Need the Meningococcal Vaccine?

(HealthDay News) -- The meningococcal vaccine helps prevent meningitis and sepsis (infection of the blood), which can lead to severe illness and death. People aged 16 through 21 are most likely to acquire meningococcal disease, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says.

Health Tip: When Your Knee is Unstable

(HealthDay News) -- Your thighbone has a v-shaped notch that accommodates your kneecap. If the groove is too narrow or shallow, the knee cap can become unstable and dislocate.

Black Africans Less Apt to Develop Heart Rhythm Disorder Than Whites

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Even though they have more risk factors, black Africans are about half as likely as white Europeans to develop a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation, a new study says.

Pot Belly Boosts Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death: Study

WEDNESDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- A "spare tire" around the midsection raises the odds of sudden cardiac death in obese people, a new study finds.

Statins May Help Prevent Irregular Heartbeat in Elderly

WEDNESDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- The widely used class of cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins may help elderly patients with high blood pressure avoid developing atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm abnormality tied to stroke.

Smell Tests Don't Predict Alzheimer's, Study Finds

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Smell tests should not be used to predict Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, according to a new study.

Clot-Buster Doesn't Raise Bleeding Risk in Warfarin Patients: Study

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a drug used to combat clots in stroke patients, does not increase the risk of dangerous bleeding in patients also taking the blood thinner warfarin, new research found.

Gut Bugs Might Influence Child's Odds for Obesity

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of certain gut bacteria and low protein intake may raise children's risk of being obese, new research suggests.

New Weight-Loss Drug Shows Promise in Trial

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new weight-loss drug that is awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration showed promising results in a recent international trial, researchers report.

Scleroderma Complications Worse in Blacks Than Whites: Study

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new study finds that black patients with scleroderma have more severe disease complications than whites.

Strides Made in Diagnosing, Treating Lupus

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Sometimes it takes years for people to get diagnosed with lupus. That wasn't the case for Marisa Zeppieri-Caruana, who had so many of the classic systemic lupus erythematosus symptoms -- such as a butterfly-shaped rash on her face, a daily fever and achy joints -- that her doctor knew right away that the 23-year-old had the illness.

Many Women Still Smoke During Pregnancy

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Too many American women still smoke during their pregnancies, a new report finds, and rates of such smoking vary widely depending on race.

Induced Labor Late in Pregnancy Has Pros, Cons

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Inducing labor after a woman has been pregnant for more than 37 weeks can reduce an infant's risk of death before, during or shortly after birth without increasing the need for cesarean delivery, a new study says.

Only Half of Meds Taken by Kids Have 'Adequate' Safety Info: Study

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- About half of medications used in children have little or no label information about drug effectiveness, safety or dosing in children, new research finds.

Stem Cell Study Shows Promising Results Against Heart Failure

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new treatment that involves spinning bone marrow stem cells to enhance their healing potential may help people with advanced heart failure feel and function better, a small study suggests.

Health Highlights: May 10, 2012

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Fitness in Middle Age Lowers Medical Costs Later: Study

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Subsidizing exercise and fitness-related lifestyles in middle age could significantly reduce the ballooning cost of health care in later years, a new study of more than 20,000 people suggests.

FDA Issues Warning on Controversial MS Treatment

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors and patients need to be aware of the potential risk of injuries and death associated with an experimental treatment for multiple sclerosis called liberation therapy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in an alert issued Thursday.

Many Young Adults at Risk of Skin Cancer: CDC

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Despite warnings about the dangers of excess sun exposure, young adults in the United States still get sunburned or use indoor tanning beds, federal health officials said Thursday.

Blood Clot Risk Linked to Some Non-Pill Contraceptives

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Some women using hormonal contraceptives other than birth control pills may have an increased risk for serious blood clots, Danish researchers report.

FDA Panel Gives Blessing to New Weight-Loss Drug

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday recommended approval of the weight-loss medication lorcaserin, even though concerns remain about cardiovascular side effects.

FDA Advisers Back Pill to Help Prevent HIV Infection

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisers on Thursday endorsed the use of the drug Truvada as a means to help prevent HIV infection in healthy people at high risk of contracting the AIDS-causing virus.