Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Aleve May be Safer for Heart Than Other NSAIDs: FDA
The pain reliever Aleve may be safer for the heart than other
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), according to the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
On Tuesday, the agency posted a review online that said naproxen
-- the main ingredient in Aleve and a number of generic pain
killers -- may pose a lower risk of heart attack and stroke than
ibuprofen, which is used in Advil and Motrin, the
The review -- which suggested that products with naproxen should
be relabeled to highlight their heart safety -- was prompted by the
release last year of an analysis that looked at 350,000 people
taking different types of pain relievers. It concluded that
naproxen does not carry the same heart risks as other NSAIDs.
The FDA review was released ahead of next week's meeting of a
panel of outside experts who will discuss the new data and
recommend whether naproxen should be relabeled, the
APreported. The FDA typically follows the advice of its
Food Bacteria Toxin May be Linked to MS: Study
A poison created by bacteria in food may be a trigger for the
autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis, according to a new
A toxin produced by the bacterium
Clostridium perfringensseems to attack the same cells that
are damaged in people with MS, according to researchers at Weill
Cornell Medical College,
"What we've shown is the toxins target the cells that are targeted in MS," researcher Jennifer Linden said. She's presenting the findings Tuesday at an American Society for Microbiology meeting.
C. perfringenscauses a million cases of food poisoning in
the United States each year. The researchers analyzed a small
number of food products and found that about 13 percent of them
C. perfringens, and nearly three percent tested positive for
the toxin that may be linked to MS.
While it's too soon to suggest that food poisoning may cause MS,
the study does raise the possibility that
C. perfringensmight play a role in activating the disease,
Bruce Bebo, associate vice president of discovery research for the
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, told
About 400,000 Americans have MS.
Shortage of Saline IV Bags a Problem for U.S. Hospitals
There's a shortage of saline IV bags across the United States,
according to federal health officials and hospital pharmacists. The
bags are widely used in hospitals.
The problem is the result of higher demand for IV fluids in the
last month due to a bad flu season and production problems caused
by holiday closures of factories,
Eighty to 90 percent of all hospital patients are given IV
saline at some point during their stay, noted Dean Parry, director
of clinical pharmacy programs for Geisinger Health System in
Pennsylvania. It's the nation's largest rural health services
The shortage -- which has led to huge leaps in prices for saline
IV bags -- began around the end of the first week in January but
appears to improving now, Parry told
An FDA spokesman said the agency recognizes there is a problem
and is doing what it can.
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