Health News Roundup: Overweight, obese kids have higher asthma risk; Scientists say baby gene editing 'crazy'
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Loved ones with health-care decision-making power often over-confident
People entrusted with decision-making for incapacitated loved ones tend to believe they know what their loved ones would choose - but the vast majority of surrogate decision-makers in a recent study were wrong about loved ones' wishes. Researchers who interviewed patients and their surrogates separately found that just 21 percent of patients and surrogates were on the same page when it came to rating whether specific situations - for example, feeling daily pain, as with a broken bone or appendicitis - would be acceptable.
Bristol-Myers Squibb says cancer drug combination fails late-stage trial
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said on Monday a combination of two of its cancer drugs, being tested as a maintenance therapy, did not meet the main goal of extending the lives of lung cancer patients in a late-stage trial. Shares of the company fell 2.6 percent to $51.34 after the bell on Monday.
Smallest patients have highest risk from radiation accidents, doctors warn
Infants, children and teens who are unexpectedly exposed to radiation from nuclear power plants or improper disposal of medical equipment may be more at risk for health problems than adults, U.S. pediatricians warn. In general, children's smaller size and developing bodies make them more susceptible to radiation poisoning and more likely to develop short- and long-term medical issues including mental health problems and certain cancers, according to a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Loxo, Bayer drug for cancers driven by rare mutation gets U.S. nod
A Loxo Oncology Inc drug shown to be effective against a wide variety of cancers driven by a single, rare genetic mutation has won U.S. approval, the Food and Drug Administration announced on Monday. The drug, larotrectinib, will be sold under the brand name Vitrakvi and priced at $32,800 per month, in partnership with Bayer AG. It will be Loxo's first commercial medicine
Cases of rare, polio-like condition in U.S. highest since 2016
A rare, polio-like condition has sickened 116 people in the United States so far this year, the highest number of cases since 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday. CDC officials have said they do not know what causes acute flaccid myelitis or AFM, which affects the nervous system and triggers weakness and even paralysis in one or more limbs. The vast majority of patients are children.
Treating gum disease may help control type 2 diabetes
Treating chronic gum inflammation might help people with diabetes control their disease, a recent study suggests. The 264 study participants all had type 2 diabetes and periodontitis, a chronic bacterial infection of the gums that causes ongoing inflammation and is a major cause of tooth loss for adults.
One in 40 U.S. kids have autism, parent survey finds
Roughly one in 40 U.S. children has been diagnosed with autism, and a national survey of parents suggests these kids have a harder time getting mental health services than youth with other emotional or behavioral issues. For the study, researchers analyzed parent survey data for about 43,000 children ages 3-17 from the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health. Overall, 2.5 percent of parents reported their child received a diagnosis of autism and still had the disorder, translating into about 1.5 million kids nationwide.
U.S. officials say tainted romaine lettuce appears to be from California
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Monday that the source of an E.coli outbreak in the United States and Canada that has been associated with romaine lettuce appeared to be growers in the Central Coast region of California. At least 43 people in 12 states and 22 people in Canada have been sickened in the outbreak. Last week the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a blanket warning to avoid all romaine and advised consumers, restaurants and markets to destroy any on hand.
In open letter, scientists in China say baby gene editing 'crazy'
More than 100 scientists, most of them in China, have condemned as "crazy" and unethical a geneticist's claim that he altered the genes of twin girls born this month to create the first gene-edited babies. In an open letter circulating online, the scientists said the use of CRISPR-Cas9 technology to edit the genes of human embryos was risky, unjustified and harmed the reputation and development of the biomedical community in China.
Overweight, obese kids have higher asthma risk
Children and teens who are overweight or obese may be more likely to develop asthma, a U.S. study suggests. While obesity has long been linked to asthma in adults, research to date has offered conflicting evidence about whether this also holds true for young people, researchers note in Pediatrics.
(With inputs from Reuters)
(With inputs from agencies.)