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Colombia Reports Major Rise in Birth Defect Amid Zika Crisis
With 105,000 suspected Zika cases, Colombia has had the second-largest Zika epidemic after Brazil. As of Thursday, Brazil had reported 2,211 cases of microcephaly in which Zika infection had been confirmed to the World Health Organization, while Colombia had reported only 60. The study released by the CDC found 476 cases of microcephaly in Colombia between January and mid-November. One theory - still unproven - is that Colombia had fewer microcephaly cases than expected because many fearful women aborted their pregnancies, legally or illegally.
STI apps may have inaccurate, harmful information
Of nearly 90 mobile phone apps focusing on sexually transmitted infections (STIs), about a third had inaccurate and incomplete information in a recent study. In September 2014, the research team looked on Google Play and iTunes for STI and genital infection apps that featured information about testing, diagnosis and treatment. The team also compared diagnosis and treatment information in the apps to what's offered on the UK National Health Service's STI website.
Big price hikes seen in drug that prevents overdose deaths
Other manufacturers have not increased their prices, but Kaleo and Hospira represent most of the sales, the Gupta team writes. Drug pricing is a complex issue that involves multiple stakeholders, including insurers, payers and pharmacies, Herzog said. While Kaleo increased its price more than sixfold since 2014, Adapt has kept its Narcan nasal spray at $150 for two doses. When governments promote naloxone use, they have a responsibility to ensure the drug's affordability, the Gupta team writes.
New diabetes guidelines imminent, Jardiance sales may surge
Two leading US medical societies are poised in the coming weeks to issue new diabetes treatment guidelines reflecting the lifesaving cardiovascular effects of Eli Lilly's Jardiance in a move expected to drive up the drug's sales. The American Diabetes Association is expected to issue its guidelines next Thursday, including use of Jardiance and similar medicines, association spokeswoman Michelle Kirkwood said. Type 2, closely linked to obesity, accounts for more than 90 percent of diabetes cases.
Anxiety, irritability may precede depression in high-risk teens
Each year, more than one in 10 teens experience at least one episode of major depressive disorder. While parental history and severity of depression are already known to put teens at increased risk of depression, neither factor appeared to directly influence whether the children experienced symptoms like irritability or anxiety. The study doesn't prove that specific symptoms in teens cause depression, the researchers note.
Optimistic women may live longer
Women who have a sunny outlook on life may live longer than their peers who take a dimmer view of the world, a recent study suggests. Other studies have shown that higher optimism is linked with lower inflammation, healthier lipid levels and higher antioxidants. The study surveyed women about their physical and mental health as well as their habits related to things like diet, exercise, smoking and drinking. Researchers divided women into four groups, from least to most optimistic.
French add to U.S. concerns about Bayer contraceptive implant
Women in France who have used Bayer's contraceptive implant Essure have launched a legal complaint about side-effects similar to a challenge already underway in the United States. A Bayer spokeswoman declined to comment on litigation in France but said the company remained convinced that the implant was a good option for many women and that it offered a positive risk-benefit profile. He said he hoped the filings on Friday would lead to hearings in a tribunal near Paris as soon as January.
FDA warns four companies for labeling flavored cigarettes as cigars
The US Food and Drug Administration said on Friday it had issued warning letters to four tobacco manufacturers for selling flavored cigarettes labeled as cigars. About 90 percent of adult daily smokers smoked their first cigarette by the age of 18, the agency said. The FDA said that while the products in question were labeled as cigars, they met the definition of cigarettes in the Act because they were likely to be offered to or bought as cigarettes based on their appearance, packaging and labeling.
WHO urges Trump to expand Obamacare, ensure healthcare for all
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday urged US President-elect Donald Trump to expand Obamacare and ensure all Americans have access to healthcare. The Affordable Care Act, known commonly as Obamacare, has provided some 25 million previously uninsured Americans with health cover. Republicans say it has created unwarranted government intervention in personal healthcare and private industry. Trump in late November picked Republican US Representative Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon from Georgia and Obamacare critic, to be his health secretary.
Telling Their Life Stories, Older Adults Find Peace in Looking Back
Like many older people who write their life stories, Ms Bick found some peace in looking back. Whether they are writing full-blown memoirs or more modest sketches or vignettes, many older people like Ms Bick are telling their life stories. They could see one another in little windows on the screen as they explored life themes like family, money and spirituality.
Scalp cooling device helps prevent hair loss from chemo
A scalp-cooling system helped prevent hair loss in women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy, researchers said today at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The Scalp Cooling Alopecia Prevention (SCALP) Trial enrolled 235 women at seven US medical centers. Patients were randomly assigned to either scalp-cooling with the still-experimental Orbis Paxman Hair Loss Prevention System (OPHLPS) or no scalp cooling. Forty-eight patients in the cooling group (50.5 percent) retained their hair, compared with none of the patients in the no-cooling group.
Health agencies say Miami Beach no longer Zika transmission zone
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health said on Friday that the Miami Beach area was no longer considered an active Zika transmission zone. The CDC said there had been no new cases of local Zika virus transmission identified in South Miami Beach for more than 45 days, suggesting that the risk of infection was no longer greater than in the rest of Miami-Dade County.

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