Health News Roundup: Congo Ebola outbreak, Hispanic heart disease deaths, health benefits of golf
France's Sanofi SA said on Friday eczema drug Dupixent was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an additional maintenance therapy in patients with two types of asthma.
New health insurance policy may mean you pay for your ER visit
While symptoms like chest or belly pain might reasonably drive you to the emergency room with worries about a heart attack or appendicitis, your insurance company might decide not to pay if it turns out your fears were unfounded, a new study suggests. With the price of emergency room care going up, U.S. insurance companies have been looking for ways to contain the costs, sometimes by refusing to pay for visits that turn out not to have been emergencies after all.
U.S. official optimistic Congo Ebola outbreak can be controlled
The leading Ebola expert at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday he believed an outbreak in Congo can be brought under control quickly and that the high rate of new cases is due largely to improved detection. The haemorrhagic fever's outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is believed to have killed 144 people since July and infected another 79, and the rate of new cases has accelerated sharply in recent weeks.
Sanofi drug Dupixent wins FDA approval to treat asthma
France's Sanofi SA said on Friday eczema drug Dupixent was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an additional maintenance therapy in patients with two types of asthma. Dupixent, co-developed with U.S.-based Regeneron, received approval to treat patients with eosinophilic asthma and those dependent on anti-inflammatory steroids.
Hispanic heart disease deaths highest in mostly-Latino communities
Hispanics in the U.S. have lower rates of death from heart disease overall than non-Hispanic whites, except in communities where Hispanics make up most of the population, a recent study finds. Overall, counties with higher Hispanic populations also face more economic disadvantages, a lack of access to quality health care, and language barriers, researchers report in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Shire's drug for rare swelling disorder wins European panel green light
A European Medicines Agency (EMA) panel on Friday recommended approving a potential blockbuster drug from Shire Plc to treat patients aged 12 and older with a rare hereditary disease that causes swelling in different parts of the body. The drug, Takhzyro, which the Shire acquired through it's $5.9 billion buyouts of Dyax in 2016, is expected to generate about $2 billion in peak sales, analysts said.
Australian watchdog's appeal against Pfizer ruling dismissed by the court
Australia's competition watchdog said on Friday the High Court dismissed its special leave application to appeal a court's decision on whether Pfizer Inc's local unit used its market power to limit competition for its cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) sought leave to appeal against a judgment by a Federal Court in May when Pfizer was alleged to have abused its market power by offering big discounts and rebates on Lipitor to pharmacies.
Too many people missing out on health benefits of golf, some experts say
Playing golf is associated with better strength and balance, a sharper mind, a lower risk of heart disease and a longer life, according to public health experts who say more people should take up the sport. While an estimated 60 million people play golf at least twice a year, golfers are primarily middle-aged and older, affluent, male, white, and living in North America, Europe and Australia, experts note in the 2018 International Consensus Statement on Golf and Health published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The U.S. blocks pork from Poland over African swine fever
The United States suspended imports of pork from Poland on Thursday over an outbreak of the highly contagious hog disease African swine fever in that country. African swine fever has spread rapidly in eastern Europe and China, the world's largest pork producer, where new cases are appearing and the disease is travelling far distances.
Elite athletes not at higher risk of birth complications
Elite female athletes have no greater risk of childbirth complications than women who don't exercise, a small study suggests. Doctors generally encourage women to stay active during pregnancy as long as they are healthy and able to exercise. But whether intense workouts are safe for women who participate in sports at elite or competitive levels has not been clear, researchers note in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
(With inputs from Reuters)
(With inputs from agencies.)