Health & WellnessS


Research finds teens who have TV in their bedroom are less likely to engage in healthy habits

University of Minnesota School of Public Health researchers have found that older adolescents who have a bedroom television are less likely to engage in healthy activities such as exercising, eating fruits or vegetables, and enjoying family meals. They also consumed larger quantities of sweetened beverages and fast food, were categorized as heavy TV watchers, and read or studied less than teens without TVs in their bedrooms.


Drug Makers Near Old Goal: A Legal Shield

For years, Johnson & Johnson obscured evidence that its popular Ortho Evra birth control patch delivered much more estrogen than standard birth control pills, potentially increasing the risk of blood clots and strokes, according to internal company documents.

But because the Food and Drug Administration approved the patch, the company is arguing in court that it cannot be sued by women who claim that they were injured by the product - even though its old label inaccurately described the amount of estrogen it released.

This legal argument is called pre-emption. After decades of being dismissed by courts, the tactic now appears to be on the verge of success, lawyers for plaintiffs and drug companies say.


Tranquillisers putting children's lives at risk

New evidence has shown children's lives are being put at risk by a surge in the use of controversial tranquillising drugs which are being prescribed to control their behaviour, the Guardian has learned.

The anti-psychotic drugs are being given to youngsters under the age of six even though the drugs have no licence for use in children except in certain schizophrenia cases, the report says.


Australian University succumbs to drug company pressure

Senior academics are outraged that the University of Queensland has asked an academic to apologise to a drug company for his public comments on the cervical cancer vaccine developed jointly by the university and the company.

Academics at the university and elsewhere say the request is a threat to academic freedom and warn that it raises worrying concerns about universities' independence and ability to negotiate conflicts of interest.


UK: Vaccines are like Russian roulette - we'd rather take a chance with the diseases, say parents who refuse to give their babies jabs

When Max Sullivan was born two years ago, his father Paul, a 41-year-old IT consultant, and his accountant mother Karen, 34, were prepared for their first foray into parenthood.

"We bought the best pram we could, a Bugaboo. It's like a tank," says Paul.

"We checked toys were safe and bought stair-gates and caps for the corners of the tables for when he started walking.

"And when he was two months old we followed the doctor's orders and took him for his first set of immunisations: the five-in-one jab that combines the DPT - diphtheria, pertissus (whooping cough) and tetanus, polio and Hib (haemophilus influenzae type B) vaccines.

Arrow Up

Does Raising the Terrorism Alert Level Cause Undue Stress?

Study Examines Psychological Impact of Alerts on New Jersey Law Enforcement.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's color-coded system for warning the public of the risk of a terrorist attack does not appear to cause undue stress among law enforcement officers, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. A review of calls to New Jersey's Cop 2 Cop crisis intervention hotline found no statistically significant increase in calls with periods of increased alert. The study is published in the March 18, 2008 issue of the International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and is also among the first to examine the psychological impact of the alert system on first responders.


New Zealand: The Ministry of Health says the source of an unusual salmonella outbreak that has killed an elderly woman has still not been tracked down

There have been 28 cases of the mbandaka strain of the virus reported in New Zealand since the start of the year.

The Ministry's Director of Public Health says this type of salmonella bacteria had not previously been seen in the country since 2000.

Dr Mark Jacobs says most of the recent cases have been in the South Island, and 10 were in the Nelson/Malborough region. The elderly woman died in Nelson Hospital.


India: 11 Tipaimukh children die of mysterious disease

At least 11 children aged below six years died Thursday at villages in Tipaimukh sub-division of Churachandpur district due to an unknown disease, a report said.

Among the 11 children, six were from Lhangthelen village, three were from Laishan and one each from Parbung and Patpuihmaun, the first official report received here said.


New strain of deadly water-borne disease found in Amazon

A new strain of a deadly water-borne disease has been discovered in the Peruvian Amazon, researchers said Tuesday.

This emerging bacteria may be responsible for up to 40 percent of the region's cases of leptospirosis, a deadly disease transmitted from animals to humans which can cause jaundice, renal failure, lung hemorrhage and other symptoms.


Fertiliser and hydrochloric acid found in wine in Italy

It appears several wine scandals have been uncovered in Italy more or less simultaneously, which may have an extent similar to the ill-fated methanol additions of some 22 years ago. It is claimed some 70 million litres of Italian wine contain fertiliser and hydrochloric acid, while in the case of Brunello di Montalcino the allegations are focused on large-scale illegal blending.