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Long-awaited diet pill gets U.S. approval
Long-awaited diet pill gets U.S. approval
September 11, 2014

A new diet pill Contrave got approval to be sold in the United States on Wednesday, only the third obesity treatment in more than a decade to win approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Made by Orexigen Therapeutics Inc, Contrave is a combination of the antidepressant bupropion and Orexigen's formulation of naltrexone, designed to prevent drug dependence.

The company did not say when the pill would become available or how much it would cost.

The FDA in June had delayed its decision on the drug by three months due to concerns about adequate warnings on the packaging.

Because Contrave contains an antidepressant, it will carry a warning about increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Virus hitting Midwest could be 'tip of iceberg,' CDC official says
Virus hitting Midwest could be 'tip of iceberg,' CDC official says
September 11, 2014

A respiratory virus is sending hundreds of children to hospitals throughout the Midwest and beyond, health officials say.

The unusually high number of hospitalizations reported could be "just the tip of the iceberg in terms of severe cases," said Mark Pallansch, a virologist and director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Viral Diseases.

Twelve states have contacted the CDC for assistance in investigating clusters of enterovirus: Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Utah. Four -- Colorado, Illinois, Missouri and Iowa -- have confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68, also known as EV-D68.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Ebola outbreak is
Ebola outbreak is "spiraling out of control"
September 4, 2014

The Ebola outbreak is much worse than official figures show and is "spiraling out of control," a leading U.S. official said Tuesday -- due in part, he said, to some countries that inadvertently have made it harder to corral the deadly disease.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden offered his stark commentary to CNN a day after Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia, voiced dissatisfaction with the world response so far.

"In a way, we feel saddened by the response," President Sirleaf said.

More than 3,000 people have been infected by Ebola in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria since the first documented cases in December, according to the World Health Organization. At least 1,552 have died.

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Posted by Ken at 4:50 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

An apple a day reduces risk for heart disease by 40 percent: study
An apple a day reduces risk for heart disease by 40 percent: study
September 4, 2014

A seven-year study involving nearly half a million subjects concludes that daily fruit consumption cuts the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 40 percent.

Dr. Huaidong Du from Oxford, UK presented the study at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress in Barcelona on Monday.

Participants hailed from the the China Kadoorie Biobank, which covers 10 areas of China. Their sample totaled 451,681 participants with no history of CVD and who were not taking medication for hypertension.

Subjects' fruit consumption habits were recorded and categorized as the following: never, monthly, 1-3 days per week, 4-6 days per week or daily.

About 18 percent of participants consumed fruit daily and 6.3 percent never consumed fruit, with the average daily amount being 1.5 portions, about 150g.

Overall risk of CVD was reduced by 25 to 40 percent for those who ate fruit daily. Eating fruit also lowers blood pressure, according to the study. Daily fruit consumption was associated with a 3.4 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure and a 4.1 mmHg lower diastolic blood pressure by comparison to fruit abstainers.

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Posted by Ken at 4:50 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

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