Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
FDA Rejects New Combo Cholesterol Drug
A new combination cholesterol-lowering drug has been rejected by
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The drug -- called MK-0653C -- includes a generic version of
Pfizer's cholesterol-lowering medicine Lipitor (atorvastatin) and
Merck & Co.'s cholesterol medicine Zetia (ezetimibe). The two
medicines work in different ways to lower cholesterol, the
Associated Press reported.
The FDA's decision about the new combination drug -- which was
created by Merck -- was announced Monday. The FDA wants additional
study data on the drug.
Merck officials said they'll talk with the FDA to determine the
next steps and also said that new data expected later this year may
address the FDA's concerns, the
Diesel Exhaust Boosts Lung Cancer Risk: Study
Exposure to diesel engine exhaust increases the risk of lung
cancer, according to a U.S. National Cancer Institute study that
tracked more than 12,000 mine workers for 20 years.
The workers breathed varying levels of exhaust from
diesel-powered equipment in the mines. The levels were higher than
those encountered by the general population, the
Associated Press reported.
Mine workers exposed to the highest levels of diesel exhaust
were three times more likely to die of lung cancer than those with
the lowest exposures. But even workers who breathed the lowest
levels of diesel exhaust had a 50 percent increased risk of lung
"Our findings are important not only for miners but also for the 1.4 million American workers and the 3 million European workers exposed to diesel exhaust, and for urban populations worldwide," wrote lead author and NCI epidemiologist Debra Silverman, the AP reported.
The study was released Friday by the
Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Door Closes on Disney's Childhood Obesity Exhibit
A new Epcot exhibit targeting childhood obesity is closing
before its official opening because of complaints that it makes fat
children feel bad, its Walt Disney World creators said.
The interactive Habit Heroes exhibit was scheduled to open at
the Orlando theme park March 5, but feedback from preview visitors
led Disney to delay the opening while it rethinks the attraction,
Associated Press reported. Blue Cross and Blue Shield are
co-partners with Disney in the venture, designed to fight bad
Within the attraction, characters such as Will Power and Lead
Bottom weighed in on the side of good health habits, fighting off
villains such as Lead Bottom and Snacker.
According to the
AP, the National Association of Fat Acceptance criticized the creators for using "the tool of shame" to deliver their message.
Blue Cross and Disney spokesmen said the early unofficial
opening was intended to collect feedback and that they will improve
the exhibit. The opening is postponed indefinitely.
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