Health News Roundup: Down syndrome abortion; Vitamins, omega-3 may be good for autism patients and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Ohio ban on Down syndrome abortion blocked by U.S. appeals court
A divided federal appeals court on Friday said Ohio cannot enforce a 2017 law banning abortions when medical tests show that a fetus has Down syndrome. Upholding a preliminary injunction, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said the law was invalid under Supreme Court precedents because it had the purpose and effect of preventing some women from obtaining pre-viability abortions.
'Executive physicals' at top-ranked hospitals may lack recommended screenings
Executive physicals may lure corporate clients and wealthy individuals with the promise of personalized attention and comprehensive preventive care, but a new study suggests many of these pricey exams may skip recommended screenings. These physicals are often provided by employers as perks for corporate leaders. They're also marketed to high net worth individuals who may want the convenience and peace of mind that comes with one or two days of personal attention during checkups instead of the brief encounters most people in the U.S. get when they go to the doctor.
Depression, anxiety may cause patients to leave cardiac rehab
Anxiety and depression are common among participants in cardiac rehab programs, and that poor mental health may cause them to drop out, a new study finds. One in five patients in cardiac rehab after a heart attack or a procedure to open clogged coronary arteries may suffer from moderate to severe anxiety or depression, Australian researchers say.
OxyContin maker Purdue begins showdown to halt opioid lawsuits
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP will ask a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge on Friday to pause litigation against the company and its owners over the objections of U.S. states that allege the company is trying to protect the controlling Sackler family. Purdue's request promises to be one of the most contentious of the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, which was filed in September to try to implement a settlement proposal it values at more than $10 billion.
Vitamins, omega-3 supplements may improve autism symptoms
Children with autism who take supplements of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids may have fewer symptoms than kids who don't, a research review suggests. Researchers examined data from 27 trials involving a total of 1,028 children with autism spectrum disorder. Kids were randomly selected to take various dietary supplements, including vitamins or omega-3s, or to take a dummy pill instead.
'Alarming upsurge' in measles has devastating impact, WHO warns
Measles is staging a devastating comeback in epidemics across the world as the virus exploits dangerous gaps in vaccination coverage, World Health Organization (WHO) experts said on Friday. Speaking after a two-day meeting of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization, Kate O'Brien, the WHO's department director, said the world "is facing an alarming upsurge in measles cases in all regions".
U.S. health officials say vaping illness may have multiple causes
U.S. health officials said on Friday there may be more than one cause behind the nationwide outbreak of serious lung illnesses linked to vaping, and that they have not yet seen a meaningful drop in new cases. Investigators have pointed to vaping oils containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, as being especially risky, but have not yet tied the cases to any specific product or compound.
Reynolds American files for FDA review of e-cigarette
British American Tobacco Plc unit Reynolds American Inc said on Friday it had filed for a review of its Vuse e-cigarettes by the U.S. Food and Drug administration, giving it a lead over its main rival Juul Labs Inc. The FDA has set a May 2020 deadline for e-cigarette makers to submit a formal application to keep their products on the market amid its efforts to curb the use of e-cigarette among teens.
New transplant research aims to salvage infected donated organs
Retired subway and bus driver Stanley De Freitas had just celebrated his 70th birthday when he started coughing, tiring easily and feeling short of breath. He was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a severe scarring of the lungs, and put on the wait list for a transplant. "Life became unbearable. From the time I got up in the morning until when I went to bed at night, I struggled through every breath of air," De Freitas, now 74, told Reuters by phone from his home in Toronto.
Eli Lilly's migraine treatment wins U.S. FDA approval
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday it had approved Eli Lilly and Co's migraine drug, Reyvow. The drug has been approved to treat acute migraine with or without aura, a sensory phenomenon or visual disturbance, in adults.
(With inputs from agencies.)