Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Even slightly early birth linked to lower income and education in adulthood
Even when babies are born "full term," those who spend fewer weeks in the womb may still be less likely to earn a college degree and get a high-paying job, a large study suggests. In the analysis of 228,030 singleton births in Denmark, infants who were born after only 38 weeks of pregnancy were 15 percent less likely than those born at 40 weeks to have some education beyond high school or to be among the top earners in the study.
Latest trial in J&J talc litigations gets under way in California
A California jury on Monday heard opening statements in the latest trial over allegations that Johnson & Johnson's talc-based products, including the company's baby powder, were contaminated with asbestos and cause cancer. The lawsuit brought by Terry Leavitt in Alameda Superior Court in Oakland is the first of over a dozen J&J talc cases scheduled for trial in 2019. The company is facing some 11,700 lawsuits over the safety of talc in its products.
U.S. fast food chains offering more healthy options for kids
Healthier sides and drinks were added to U.S. fast-food restaurant kids' menus in the past decade, but healthy combinations are still rarely offered as the default option, researchers say. "For a lot of families, eating out is a regular option for meals, rather than an occasional treat," said lead author Megan Mueller, a researcher at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in Los Angeles. Children consume about 150 extra calories on days when they eat out, and healthier sides and drink choices could counteract that, she added.
WHO study likens palm oil lobbying to tobacco and alcohol industries
The palm oil industry is deploying tactics similar to those of the alcohol and tobacco industries to influence research into the health effects of its product, a study published by the World Health Organization said on Tuesday. Evidence of the health impact of palm oil is mixed, with some studies linking consumption to several ailments, including increased risk of death from heart disease caused by narrowing arteries, the report said.
Akorn gets FDA warning letter for Illinois plant, shares drop
Akorn Inc said on Wednesday it received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration following an inspection of the company's Decatur, Illinois manufacturing plant last year. Shares of the company fell 8.9 percent to $3.59 in afternoon trading.
New York City launches $100 million universal health insurance program
New York City has launched a $100 million health insurance program to cover 600,000 uninsured residents, including those unable to afford coverage and those living in the United States illegally, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday. De Blasio, now in his second term as mayor of the country's most populous city, has long supported universal healthcare coverage. Extending the program to an estimated 300,000 illegal immigrants puts the Democrat at odds with U.S. President Donald Trump, who has made border security a top priority for his presidency.
Pesticide, metal exposure tied to increased risk of heart disease
Workers who are exposed to pesticides or metals on the job may be significantly more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases, a U.S. study suggests. Researchers examined data on occupational exposure to solvents, metals and pesticides for 7,404 workers who were part of a Hispanic/Latino health study in four cities: Chicago, San Diego, Miami and New York. Overall, 6.5 percent of participants reported exposure to solvents at work, 8.5 percent encountered potentially toxic metals and 4.7 percent had pesticide exposure.
Multistate E.coli infection outbreak appears to be over: CDC
The multistate outbreak of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce from the Central Coastal growing regions in northern and central California appears to be over, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday. Sixty-two people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli were reported from 16 states and the District of Columbia, the CDC said in an update https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2018/o157h7-11-18/index.html on its investigation into the outbreak.
Diabetes tied to worse word recall in older adults
Older people with type 2 diabetes may struggle more with verbal memory than their peers without the disease, a recent study suggests. Researchers followed 705 older adults without dementia for an average of 4.6 years. At the start, participants were between 55 and 90 years old, with an average age around 70, and 348 of them had diabetes.
GlaxoSmithKline to look for early-stage assets: CEO
GlaxoSmithKline Plc will actively look to buy early-stage assets and partner with companies, the drugmaker's chief executive officer said on Tuesday. Britain's biggest drugmaker is also likely to evaluate licensing deals and would continue to invest in early-stage HIV treatments, CEO Emma Walmsley said at the JP Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco.
(With inputs from agencies.)