Health News
1/18/2017

Quarter of Republicans would keep Obamacare: Reuters/Ipsos poll


FILE PHOTO - Applications are seen at a rally held by supporters of the Affordable Care Act in Jackson MississippiBy Jilian Mincer NEW YORK (Reuters) - About a quarter of U.S. Republicans do not want to see Obamacare repealed, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday. Trump and his fellow Republicans, who control Congress, have promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, but a majority of Americans, including 25 percent of Republicans polled, do not want it to be repealed. Only one in five Americans would repeal the law immediately, the poll found.



Texas Planned Parenthood asks judge to block Medicaid funding cut


FILE PHOTO -Planned Parenthood South Austin Health Center in AustinBy Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - The leaders of Texas Planned Parenthood asked a federal judge on Tuesday to block the state's bid to halt Medicaid funding for the healthcare group, which has long been targeted by Republicans for providing abortions. Planned Parenthood has said the threatened funding cut, by terminating Planned Parenthood's enrollment in the state-funded healthcare system for the poor, could affect nearly 11,000 patients across Texas.



Trump election prompts U.S. mothers to warn children about assault: poll


Mothers in the United States are teaching their children about sexual consent and assault following President-elect Donald Trump's boasts about groping women, according to research published on Tuesday. Roughly two in five U.S. women think that women are more likely to feel unsafe and men more likely to feel entitled to treat women as sexual objects since Trump was voted into office on Nov. 8, the poll by PerryUndem, a nonpartisan Washington-based research firm, showed. As a result of his election, 50 percent of women, and 35 percent of men, who are parents, say they are teaching their children about consent or sexual assault issues, the polling showed.

Vatican orders Knights of Malta to cooperate with papal inquiry


FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis meets Robert Matthew Festing, Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta during a private audience at the VaticanBy Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican demanded on Tuesday that the leaders of the Knights of Malta, a worldwide Catholic chivalric and charity group, cooperate with an inquiry into alleged irregularities ordered by Pope Francis. In the latest salvo of a battle of wills between the heads of two of the world's oldest institutions, a Vatican statement also rejected what it said was an attempt by the Rome-based Knights to discredit members of a papal commission of inquiry. Both sides have been locked in a bitter dispute since one of the order's top knights, Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, was sacked on Dec. 6 in the chivalric equivalent of a boardroom showdown - ostensibly because he allowed the use of condoms in a medical project for the poor.



Kenyan opposition accepts lawyer's nomination as election head


By Humphrey Malalo NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan legislators on Tuesday approved a corporate lawyer to head the electoral board, hoping to restore voters' confidence in the much-maligned body before national elections later this year. The previous electoral board resigned in October after the opposition accused them of corruption, leading to deadly protests. The new candidate to head the electoral board, Wafula Chebukati, unsuccessfully ran for parliament in 2007 on the opposition ticket but has largely stayed out of politics since then, practicing as an independent corporate lawyer.

'Wait and see' no longer an option for disaster response: IFRC chief


By Astrid Zweynert LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Governments need to step up efforts in preparing for disasters to cut the rising bill for helping people hit by crises, the head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said. "We see much more money being spent in responding to disasters and very little in preventing them," Sy told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview. Sy said a fresh approach to funding is critical as humanitarian needs have grown exponentially over the past decade and are expected to keep rising.

What You Need to Know About the Deadly Superbug Infection Resistant to All FDA-Approved Antibiotics


The CDC reported one woman died after contracting a rare bacterial infection.

Biogen to pay Forward Pharma $1.25 billion to protect MS drug


The company's name is displayed on a billboard near the headquarters of Biogen Idec Inc. in Cambridge(Reuters) - Biogen Inc said on Tuesday it would pay Forward Pharma A/S $1.25 billion to license the Danish company's patents covering multiple sclerosis drugs, providing Biogen an insurance policy on future sales of Tecfidera, its blockbuster oral treatment for the disease. Biogen and Forward Pharma have been locked in a dispute over the patents for dimethyl fumarate, the key active ingredient in Tecfidera, which had sales of about $4 billion in 2016. Forward Pharma, whose shares were up 51 percent, said it was looking to return a substantial portion of its cash windfall to shareholders.



Asthma may be misdiagnosed in many adults


By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - - As many as one in three adults diagnosed with asthma may not actually have the chronic lung disorder, a Canadian study suggests. Researchers did lung function tests on 613 adults who had been diagnosed with asthma within the past five years. If participants took asthma medicines, researchers gradually weaned them off the drugs over four clinic visits to see how well their lungs worked without treatment.

Bulgaria grants $5.3 million to foie gras producers to curb bird flu


Bulgaria is providing 9.7 million levs ($5.3 million) to poultry farmers to help contain a bird flu virus outbreak and protect its position as the world's second biggest producer of duck foie gras, the government said on Wednesday. The highly pathogenic virus has spread to 60 poultry farms since mid-December, prompting veterinary authorities to cull over 450,000 birds, agriculture ministry data showed. Outbreaks were reported mainly in duck-fattening farms in the southern region of Plovdiv where some 380,000 ducks had to be culled in a serious blow to output of fattened duck liver in the European Union's poorest member state.

Europe's oncologists back biosimilar versions of cancer drugs


(Reuters) - Europe's leading association of oncologists has thrown its weight behind cheaper copycat versions of biotech cancer drugs that have lost patent protection, saying they are effective and affordable. Off-patent chemical medicines have for decades been copied with precision and sold as cheap generic versions, but drug regulators have only over recent years embraced copycat versions of complex biological drugs, known as biosimilars. "Biosimilars are must-have weaponry in financially sustaining healthcare systems on a global scale as well as significantly improving outcomes for an increasing number of patients throughout Europe and the rest of the world," ESMO President Professor Fortunato Ciardiello said in a statement.

Drugmakers in Davos shift focus to chronic diseases of poor


By Ben Hirschler DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Two decades after they were spurred into action to tackle AIDS in Africa, global drugmakers said on Wednesday they would invest an initial $50 million over three years to fight cancer and other non-communicable diseases in poor countries. Twenty-two companies, including Pfizer, Merck, Novartis, Roche, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, will contribute funds and expertise to the project, which is backed by the World Bank. The so-called Access Accelerated initiative was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos and aims to improve both treatment and prevention.

Trump's health pick set to defend investments at U.S. Senate hearing


Chairman of the House Budget Committee Tom Price (R-GA) announces the House Budget during a press conferenceBy Toni Clarke and Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for health secretary was expected to face hard questions from a U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday about his personal stock investments and proposals to dismantle Obamacare. Representative Tom Price, a Georgia orthopedic surgeon who has been in politics for more than 20 years, was chosen by fellow Republican Trump, who will become president on Friday, to head an agency that manages scores of healthcare programs. The Department of Health and Human Services runs the Medicare program for the elderly, Medicaid for the poor and President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, which was enacted in 2010 and brought health insurance coverage to millions of Americans who previously lacked it.



Sudan inflation rises to 30.47 pct in December


Customers pick fresh produce to buy from a vender in Khartoum, SudanSudan's annual inflation rate rose to 30.47 percent in December from 29.49 percent in November, the Central Statistics Office said on Wednesday, as food and energy prices kept rising after subsidies were cut in early November. Sudan's economic problems have been building since the south seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country's oil output, its main source of foreign currency and government income. A dollar shortage and a ballooning black market for hard currency have made imports more expensive.



Trump tax cuts could mean more Novartis investment in U.S.


FILE PHOTO: CEO Jimenez of Swiss drugmaker Novartis addresses the annual news conference in BaselBy Ben Hirschler DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Donald Trump's plans to cut U.S. corporate tax rates could trigger increased investment in the United States by Novartis, its chief executive told Reuters, despite the president-elect's recent harsh words on drug prices. "When we build a new manufacturing site we think about the tax rate, we think about the economy of the country, we think about jobs, so a booming U.S. economy would make the U.S. more attractive for investment," Joe Jimenez said on Wednesday.



Pharma-backed trial more likely to okay a drug: study


Pharma-backed trial more likely to okay a drug: studyClinical trials which conclude that the drug being tested works are more likely to be conducted by researchers with financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, a study said Wednesday. The investigation, published in The BMJ medical journal, was fuelled by concerns about bias on the part of doctors and scientists running drug trials. Nearly 60 percent of some 400 principal investigators in 195 clinical drug trials analysed had traceable financial ties to the drug industry, the researchers found.



Czech fugitive wanted for spreading HIV held in Thailand


Zdenek Pfeifer (L) sits in front of Thai police after being detained at his apartment on the island of Phuket on January 18, 2017A Czech fugitive wanted in his homeland for knowingly spreading HIV to multiple victims has been arrested on a Thai resort island after living in the country for more than a year, police said Wednesday. Zdenek Pfeifer, 49, was detained at his apartment on the island of Phuket on Tuesday evening, Thai Interpol said in a statement. "Thai police will contact Czech Interpol once he has been prosecuted for local violations," Thai Interpol said, adding he was arrested for illegally overstaying his visa.



Drugmakers in Davos shift focus to chronic diseases of poor


By Ben Hirschler DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Two decades after they were spurred into action to tackle AIDS in Africa, global drugmakers said on Wednesday they would invest $50 million over three years to fight cancer and other non-communicable diseases in poor countries. Twenty-two companies, including Pfizer, Merck, Novartis, Roche, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, will contribute funds and expertise to the project, which is backed by the World Bank. The so-called Access Accelerated initiative was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos and aims to improve both treatment and prevention.

Asthma Diagnosis Later Reversed in About 1 in 3 Adults, Study Finds


Asthma Diagnosis Later Reversed in About 1 in 3 Adults, Study FindsA study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that about one-third of adults tested for the study, who had been diagnosed with asthma in the previous five years, showed no evidence of the condition during later follow-up examinations and testing. "We see a lot of people who were told they have asthma and we can't confirm it," Dr. Richard Lockey, the director of Allergy and Immunology at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, who was not involved in the study, told ABC News. This study in part aimed to limit exposure to asthma medications for adults who many no longer need it.



U.S. Senate Democratic leader attacks Trump's health pick on ethics charge


Chairman of the House Budget Committee Tom Price (R-GA) announces the House Budget during a press conferenceBy Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's choice to run the Department of Health and Human Services may have broken the law by making a stock purchase just before he introduced legislation that would have benefited the firm, the Senate's leading Democrat charged on Tuesday. A confirmation hearing for Tom Price, a Republican congressman and orthopedic surgeon from Georgia, was scheduled for Wednesday before the Senate Health Committee. If confirmed, he would be a key player in carrying out Trump's plans to overhaul Democratic President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.



Texas Planned Parenthood asks judge to block Medicaid funding cut


FILE PHOTO -Planned Parenthood South Austin Health Center in AustinBy Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - The leaders of Texas Planned Parenthood asked a federal judge on Tuesday to block the state's bid to halt Medicaid funding for the healthcare group, which has long been targeted by Republicans for providing abortions. Planned Parenthood has said the threatened funding cut, by terminating Planned Parenthood's enrollment in the state-funded healthcare system for the poor, could affect nearly 11,000 patients across Texas.



Red Cross vow to continue aid after workers killed in northeast Nigeria


By Kieran Guilbert MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The International Red Cross (ICRC) vowed on Tuesday to continue delivering aid in northeast Nigeria after about six of its workers were among an estimated 50 people killed in a botched attack on a refugee camp in Islamist militants' heartland. The Nigerian government said the air force bombing of the camp in Rann in Borno state, the heart of the Boko Haram's seven-year-old bid to create an Islamic caliphate, was a "regrettable operational mistake". Regional military commander General Lucky Irabor said it was too early to determine the cause of the error, adding that aid workers from the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)and the ICRC were injured.

Puerto Rico needs urgent Congress action: U.S. Treasury, Health chiefs


Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell speaks at a news conference to announce the results of a national Medicare fraud takedown at the Justice Department in WashingtonThe secretaries of the U.S. Treasury and Health and Human Services called for fast congressional action to help Puerto Rico out of its economic mess, and said a bipartisan task force report failed to go far enough on recommending a low-income tax credit for the commonwealth. In a letter to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell reaffirmed calls to step up healthcare funding for Puerto Rico.



McKesson in record $150 million U.S. settlement over suspicious drug orders


McKesson Corp, one of the largest U.S. distributors of pharmaceutical drugs, will pay a record $150 million to resolve a U.S. investigation into whether it failed to report suspicious orders of addictive painkillers. Tuesday's deal with the U.S. Justice Department followed an earlier settlement with the company over similar violations in 2008. The latest accord came as U.S. authorities continue to grapple with the nation's opioid drug epidemic.

Florida airport shooting suspect inspired by Islamic State: media


FILE PHOTO -- Esteban Santiago is taken from the Broward County main jail as he is transported to the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale(Reuters) - An Iraq war veteran accused of killing five people at a Florida airport told investigators he was inspired by Islamic State and previously chatted online with Islamist extremists, an FBI agent testified on Tuesday, U.S. media reported. Esteban Santiago, 26, was ordered held in jail until a Jan. 30 arraignment, court records show. At that time he would enter a formal plea to charges that he opened fire in the baggage claim area of the Fort Lauderdale airport on Jan. 6.



18 million more uninsured if Obamacare killed, not replaced


18 million more uninsured if Obamacare killed, not replacedInsurance premiums would soar for millions of Americans and 18 million more would be uninsured in just one year if Republicans scuttle much of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul without a replacement, ...



Doctors may accept low fee from Medicare, but not from all patients


By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - Some medical specialists in the U.S. charge uninsured and out-of-network patients several times more for healthcare services than what they accept from the government insurance plan known as Medicare, says a new study. Anesthesiologists, certain radiologists and emergency medicine doctors were among the medical specialists who often charged four to six times more than what they accept from Medicare for the same services, researchers found. "I want to raise awareness of some specialists' profit-driven behaviors," said lead author Ge Bai, of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in Baltimore.

FDA approves generic version of Jazz Pharma's sleep disorder drug


A view shows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration headquarters in Silver SpringThe approved generic is developed by Roxane Laboratories Inc, the FDA told Reuters. Jazz Pharma's shares, which lost about 22 percent of their value in 2016, were down 6.6 percent at $108.00 in after-hours trading on Tuesday. Xyrem is the only approved treatment for both excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy in patients with narcolepsy, a chronic neurological disorder.



McConnell introduces bill to fund coal miner health plans


WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell on Tuesday introduced legislation to maintain health benefits for retired union coal miners whose companies have declared bankruptcy in recent years.

Iraqi hospital offers aerobics for female cancer patients


The aim of the sessions is not to lose weight and build stamina, but to reduce the harmful effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy and to ease cancer-related fatigue. The exercises are part of a rehabilitation program for female cancer patients at Hiwa Cancer Hospital, the only specialized cancer facility in northern Iraq's Kurdistan region.

Delayed umbilical cord clamping tied to lower anemia risk in babies


By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Waiting at least three minutes to clamp the umbilical cord after birth is associated with a lower risk of anemia in babies, according to a study in Nepal. Children with anemia and iron deficiency may have impaired nervous system development, which affects cognitive and motor abilities and behavior. Typically, they're treated with foods and supplements that provide extra iron, but some previous research has suggested delayed umbilical cord clamping may reduce the odds of iron deficiency by giving babies a transfusion of iron-rich blood from the placenta.

Industry money may taint advice from patient groups, regulators


By Ronnie Cohen (REUTERS HEALTH) - As a social worker, Susannah Rose referred clients with cancer to patient advocacy groups she trusted to dispense unbiased advice - until she heard the groups might be taking money from pharmaceutical companies.   So she set out to investigate.   Two-thirds of patient advocacy organizations reported receiving industry funding, Rose, now a bioethicist, finds in a new study.   Her research was published today online in JAMA Internal Medicine along with other studies showing a host of ways pharmaceutical manufacturers appear to pay for influence. ...

Gun industry, suicide prevention forge unlikely alliance


Dr. Christine Moutier, medical director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, discusses an initiative with the National Shooting Sports Foundation to prevent suicide, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, in Las Vegas. It’s a difficult topic to discuss and an even tougher one to fix, fraught with politics and societal stigmas: people who kill themselves with a gun. But now two unlikely allies, the gun industry and a leading suicide prevention group, are coming together to tackle it. (AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)LAS VEGAS (AP) — It's a difficult topic to discuss, fraught with politics and social stigma, and an even tougher one to fix: people who kill themselves with a gun. But now two unlikely allies — the gun industry and a leading suicide prevention group — are coming together to tackle it.



U.N. warns of famine risk in Somalia amid worsening drought


By Neha Wadekar Katy Migiro MOGADISHU/NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Somalia risks slipping back into famine, the United Nations said on Tuesday, as worsening drought has left millions of people without food, water or healthcare in a country crippled by decades of war. Five million Somalis, or more than four out of 10 residents, do not have enough to eat because of poor rains and fighting between the Islamist militant group al Shabaab and Somalia's African Union-backed government. It was caused by drought, conflict and a ban on food aid in territory held by al Shabaab.

Kids' tonsillectomies make more sense for sleep apnea than strep throat


By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Children who have their tonsils removed to treat chronic throat infections or breathing problems during sleep may get more short-term symptom relief than kids who don't get tonsillectomies, two recent studies suggest. Over time, however, the benefits of surgery for chronic streptococcal throat infections appear to go away. Three years after tonsillectomies, children who had these procedures had roughly the same number of throat infections as kids who didn't get their tonsils taken out, one of the studies in Pediatrics found.

In US, abortion rate falls to historic low


Abortion rights activists cheer after the US Supreme Court struck down a Texas law placing restrictions on abortion clinics, outside of the US Supreme Court on June 27, 2016The abortion rate in the United States fell to its lowest point on record in 2014, and increasing restrictions on abortion access could be to blame, researchers said Tuesday. The report led by the nonpartisan Guttmacher Institute was published in the journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. "For the first time since 1975, the number of abortions in the United States dropped under one million (958,700 in 2013 and 926,200 in 2014)," said the report.



Senate Democrat leader attacks Price on ethics charge


Chairman of the House Budget Committee Tom Price (R-GA) announces the House Budget during a press conferenceBy Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's choice to run the Department of Health and Human Services may have broken the law by making a stock purchase just before he introduced legislation that would have benefited the firm, the Senate's leading Democrat charged on Tuesday. A confirmation hearing for Tom Price, a Republican congressman and orthopedic surgeon from Georgia, was scheduled for Wednesday before the Senate health committee. If confirmed, he would be a key player in carrying out Trump's plans to overhaul Democratic President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.



University of California's Napolitano hospitalized during cancer treatment


Napolitano, a Democrat who is also a former governor of Arizona, has been undergoing treatment for a recurrence of cancer since August, the university said. The 59-year-old was admitted to an undisclosed hospital on Monday with side-effects from the treatment, spokeswoman Dianne Klein said in a statement emailed to reporters on Tuesday. The email did not specify the type of cancer nor the hospital where Napolitano is being treated.

Pointed questions await Trump's pick for health secretary


Pointed questions await Trump's pick for health secretaryWith coverage for millions of people at stake, Rep. Tom Price is facing pointed questions about President-elect Donald Trump's health policies — and his own investments in health care companies — from ...



Norway still violating killer Breivik's human rights -lawyer


Anders Behring Breivik is pictured on the last day of the appeal case in Borgarting Court of Appeal at Telemark prison in SkienBy Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - Norway is still violating the human rights of mass killer Anders Behring Breivik despite some easing of his near-isolation in jail since he massacred 77 people in 2011, his lawyer told a court on Wednesday at the end of a case about his conditions. In the Jan. 10-18 case, the Norwegian state is appealing against a lower court ruling in 2015 that jail conditions for neo-Nazi Breivik, 37, breach a ban on "inhuman and degrading treatment" under the European Convention on Human Rights. "It's too strict," Breivik's lawyer Oeystein Storrvik told the high-security court, saying Breivik had no contact with other inmates even though he has spent more time with guards and priests in recent years.



Not worrying about anything is everything


The plot of my only recurring nightmare goes like this: I'm back in college and have not attended one of my classes all semester (usually math or science), and now a final exam is imminent.

Surprised by a medical bill? Here's what to do


In 2013, Kelly A. Kyanko gave birth to her second son. During labor, her doctors became aware of "a very small complication," she said -- nothing too concerning, but doctors wanted a pediatrician in the room during the delivery.

Already troubled, rural hospitals brace for effects of Obamacare repeal


The Affordable Care Act threw a number of life-savers to vital but financially troubled rural hospitals. And its full repeal could signal their death knell.

Carton of lemons offers simple lesson about breast cancer



Beijing's smog: A tale of two cities


The first thing Jiang Wang does when she wakes up in the morning is check on her daughter to make sure she's breathing clean air.

Babies born addicted to opiates perform poorly in school, study says


Children born dependent on heroin and other opiates may be more likely to perform poorly academically as they get older compared to children who aren't born addicted, according to a new study by Australian researchers.

Why your weight loss plateaus, and how to fight it


Anyone who has tried to lose weight and keep it off knows how difficult the task can be.

What doctors think about the Affordable Care Act


It's hard to keep up with Atlanta urologist Brian Hill.

How art helped save addict after accident


When Brian Menish was a teenager in Virginia, he always got trashed at parties.

Bo Jackson on football risk: 'I would have never played'


"I would have never played football. Never. I wish I had known about all of those head injuries, but no one knew that," said famed athlete Bo Jackson in a recent interview with USA Today.

Concerned about vaccine safety? Here are the facts


A wailing child, a needle-wielding doctor -- what parent wouldn't feel a twinge, at least for one heart-stopping moment, and wonder whether a shot is truly necessary at this moment?

Gupta: Benefits of vaccines are a matter of fact


I have started, scratched out and even abandoned the writing of this essay. I couldn't do it. It wasn't there. Didn't feel it.

Save money, eat better with this winter produce


This time of year, when comfort food is the standard fare, it can feel like fruits and vegetables are scant.

Real survivors get fairy-tale endings


In the "Finding Your Fairytale" project, people dress as fictional characters to symbolize the real-life struggles they've overcome.

'Goat yoga' is a thing - and hundreds are lining up for it


It's actually a little hard to believe we, as both a goat- and yoga-loving society, have slept on this concept for so long. Leave it to Lainey Morse of Albany, Oregon to realize something as glorious as goat yoga.

How girls use social media to build up, break down self-image


It's not a law that you have to post a selfie before, during, and after every activity. But for kids, it's pretty much mandatory.

Vegan denied Swiss citizenship for her 'loud' views on animal rights


The Swiss municipality says she meets all the critria. Residents just don't like how opinionated she is.

Sophie the Giraffe: Is mold reason to worry?


Mold is everywhere; it grows wherever there is moisture. Hidden inside a toddler's favorite toy, though, it can deliver quite a shock to an unsuspecting parent.

New blood pressure guidelines not one-size-fits-all


Finding the right blood pressure may not be so straightforward, with new guidelines tackling a controversial question for many older adults on blood pressure medications: How low should you go?

Superbug may be more widespread than thought


One family of superbugs, known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE, may be spreading more widely than previously thought, according to a study published Monday (PDF) in the journal?Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Abortions in the US have been dropping. Now it's at a historic low


Is it due to improved contraceptive use? Is it because of abortions restrictions? Or is it both?

Colic study stirs debate on acupuncture


Newborn won't stop crying? A new study suggests that acupuncture might help reduce infantile colic, but experts urge caution.

20-cent, toy-inspired machine helps diagnose diseases


With inspiration from an ancient toy, researchers believe that the simple spinning mechanics of a whirligig could help in the diagnosis of malaria, HIV and other diseases around the world, according to a new study.

Husband to give wife kidney for wedding anniversary


A Virginia man is giving his wife the gift of life the day before their 20th wedding anniversary.

Woman, 108, remains in assisted living home -- thanks to 800 donors


Carrie Lou Rausch, 108, has been in an assisted living facility for almost three years, but her funds to remain there were running dry.

Tom Price: In his own words


Tom Price, president-elect Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services, is a doctor and a congressman.

Women's March on Washington: Moms and daughters marching together


Allison Busch-Vogel, a lawyer and mom of three in South Orange, New Jersey, was so devastated by Donald Trump's victory and Hillary Clinton's defeat in the presidential race, she couldn't get herself to work for three days after the election.

Beyond birth control, how Trumpcare might affect women


As the prospect began to sink in of losing access to free contraceptives if the health law is repealed or replaced, women have reportedly been racing to get IUDs or stockpile birth control pills before President Barack Obama leaves office.

Planned Parenthood: Fast facts and revealing numbers


Planned Parenthood is in the spotlight as Republicans push to block funding for the group because it provides abortions for women.

What your emojis say about you


Whether you like it or not, cartoon faces, stomping flamenco dancers and applauding hands have now entered your social life, albeit digitally.

NHS Wales chief says winter pressures 'very challenging'


The head of NHS Wales says A&E units and the ambulance service have faced exceptional challenges this winter.

Stroke survivor: Virtual Reality helped me walk again


Shannon Mackey has been using virtual reality physiotherapy sessions to help learn to walk again after suffering a stroke.

The trauma centres helping veteran amputees


A network of trauma centres has opened across the UK to allow the NHS to treat veterans.

Hepatitis C patient's agonising wait for drug treatment


Ben Franklin from London was diagnosed with Hepatitis C nine months ago but is still waiting for a new drug which could cure his condition.

MS patient's family plea for rethink on right to die


The family of a woman who fought a long battle against Multiple Sclerosis release a harrowing set of images to support the campaign for the "right to die".

The NHS is making people sick, GP tells BBC


Doctors tell of their "guilt" and "distress" over the care they can provide amid pressures on the NHS.

GPs 'already work 24/7, 365 days a year'


The BMA's Dr Chaand Nagpaul says the government's ultimatum over working hours is "an insult".

Teenage suicide: Two mothers tell their children's stories


With teenage suicide on the rise, we hear the struggles of two mothers and their children.

Forceps removed from stomach after 18 years


A Vietnamese man has had surgical forceps removed from his stomach after 18 years.

Sleep tips: Avoid afternoon coffee, over-50s advised


People over 50 are being advised to avoid caffeine after lunchtime to get a good night's sleep.

Excessive crying


The crying of babies with colic may be reduced with acupuncture, according to controversial new research from Sweden.

Dedicated donor


Tracey Jolliffe has already donated a kidney, 16 eggs and 80 pints of blood. She is now considering donating part of her liver too.

Fatal attraction


How one woman's rare disorder means a kiss from her husband could end up killing her.

Voice doctor


Our voices can activate gadgets and authenticate ourselves to banks. But can they tell if we're ill?

Lemon-aid


How lemons are helping to explain what breast cancer can feel and look like.

Stress busting


How to manage stress so that it doesn't become a health risk.

Key unanswered questions


What we still don't know about the Zika virus and microcephaly.

What you need to know


An alarming and disturbing infection linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains is spreading.

'The worst day of my life'


The threat of the Zika virus has now become international, but the alarm was raised in Brazil last year when a growing number of cases of microcephaly began to emerge.

The mosquito menace


Why the mosquito that spreads the Zika virus is flourishing in the urban environment.

Obamacare repeal: Trump pledges 'health insurance for all'


The US president-elect says the Republican replacement for Obamacare will be cheaper and better.

Eating disorders can strike in mid-life


Eating disorders affect a small but substantial number of women in their 40s and 50s, research suggests.

Artificial intelligence predicts when heart will fail


Technology could be used to improve treatment for heart failure patients.

Bug resistant to all antibiotics kills woman


The 70-year-old's hip infection was resistant to the 26 antibiotics available in the US.

Urine test reveals what you really eat


Analysing urine could improve what you eat, claim scientists.

Breast cancer patients' distress at withdrawal of Kadcyla


Health watchdog NICE rejects life-extending drug Kadcyla for use on the NHS on cost grounds.

NHS patient caught selling his drugs in undercover film


A patient has been caught in an undercover BBC film illegally selling prescription drugs which cost the NHS £10,000 a year.

Brain activity 'key in stress link to heart disease'


Constant stress could be a key factor in raising the risk of a heart attack, say researchers.

Cancer spread cut by 75% in tests


Research could lead to new drugs to stop cancer reaching other parts of the body.

Philippines' President Duterte pushes free contraceptives


The move by the Philippine president is expected to face fierce opposition from the Catholic Church.

Vaccine sceptic Robert F Kennedy Jr says Trump asked him to lead safety study


Donald Trump and Robert Kennedy promote the widely-rejected claim that vaccines are linked to autism.

Referral centres cause 'dangerous' NHS delays, BMA warns


Referral management centres may be slowing cancer diagnoses and delaying other NHS treatment, doctors warn.

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