- Most Children's Caregivers Ignorant About Household Poisons
- 500,000 Asian Youth Targeted by Tobacco Companies: WHO
- Fruits and Vegetables May Protect Against Lung Cancer
- Appeals Courts Reverse Vioxx Awards
- EPA Tightens Rules on Rodent-Control Products
- U.S. Army Suicides Increased in 2007
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Most Children's Caregivers Ignorant About Household Poisons
Less than one-third of people who cared for children younger than age six knew the toxicity of common household products, a new U.S. study found.
"Young children are at risk of household chemical ingestion and their caretakers often do not have a good understanding of how toxic those chemical are. Parental education needs to be focused more on younger caretakers with more children," study leader Dr. Rika N. O'Malley, of the Albert Einstein Medical Center, said in a prepared statement.
The researchers screened primary caregivers who visited emergency departments, asking them to identify toxic items from a list of common household products. People with a higher level of education, responsibility for fewer children, and those more than 23 years old were more likely to have knowledge of household poisons.
The study was presented Friday at a meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.
The researchers said doctors needed to boost efforts to educate primary caregivers about the risks of household toxins.
500,000 Asian Youth Targeted by Tobacco Companies: WHO
Tobacco advertising that targets teens is putting half-a-billion young Asians at risk for tobacco-related diseases, says the Asia-Pacific director of the World Health Organization.
In a statement issued on the eve of the WHO-designated "World No Tobacco Day," Shigeru Omi said the tobacco industry's marketing efforts aim to persuade half-a-billion young people in the Western Pacific to try their first cigarette, Agence France-Presse reported.
"Youngsters are led to believe that certain types of cigarettes do not contain nicotine, when in fact they do," Omi said.
He restated the WHO's demand for a total ban on tobacco advertising and noted that partial bans simply allow tobacco companies to shift from one promotional strategy to another, AFP reported.
The U.N. agency spokesman accused tobacco companies of "falsely associating use of their products with desirable qualities such as glamour, energy and sex appeal, as well as exciting outdoor activities and adventure."
Fruits and Vegetables May Protect Against Lung Cancer
Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking black or green tea may help reduce smokers' lung cancer risk, suggests a University of California, Los Angeles study.
Researchers looked at the eating habits of 558 lung cancer patients and 837 people without the disease. People who ate three servings of vegetables a day were 1.6 times less likely to develop lung cancer than those who didn't eat three servings. People who ate three or more servings of fruit were one-fold less likely to develop lung cancer, and those who drank one cup of black or green tea a day had a 0.8-fold reduced risk, CBC News reported.
Fruits, vegetables and tea contain flavonoids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
"What we found was extremely interesting, that several types of flavonoids are associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer among smokers," said Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, a professor of public health and epidemiology at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center, CBC News reported.
Zhang and colleagues believe flavonoids may help stop the development of blood vessels that feed tumors, preventing them from invading healthy tissue.
The study appears in the May issue of the journal Cancer.
Appeals Courts Reverse Vioxx Awards
One Vioxx-related verdict against drug maker Merck & Co. was reversed Thursday by an appeals court in Texas, while a Vioxx-related reward was reduced by a New Jersey appeals court.
In Texas, an appeals court scrapped a $26 million verdict awarded to the widow of Robert Ernst, who started taking the painkiller Vioxx eight months before he died in May 2001. The appeals court said there's no evidence that Ernst suffered a fatal heart problems from a blood clot caused by Vioxx, the Associated Press reported.