- Global Warming Poses Major Health Threat: EPA
- U.S. Set Birth Record Last Year
- HIV Vaccine Trial Canceled Over Possible Volunteer Risk
- Bullies at Greater Health Risk Than Victims: Study
- Kidney Donation Through the Navel Speeds Recovery
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Global Warming Poses Major Health Threat: EPA
An increase in heat waves, more powerful hurricanes, disease, and depletion of drinking water are likely in the coming decades as a result of global climate change, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warns in a new report.
"It is very likely" that more people will die from weather conditions such as heat waves, said the report, issued Thursday. The elderly, economically disadvantaged, and inner-city dwellers are most at risk, according to report data cited by the Washington Post.
Ironically, the EPA decided last week not to immediately assume authority over carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, the newspaper said.
"Today typifies the climate-change schizophrenia in the Bush Administration," said Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), who chairs the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. "On one hand, government scientists are saying that global warming poses grave threats to our health and our welfare, and, on the other hand, there are White House political hacks following the oil industry's bidding to do nothing."
The newspaper quoted White House spokesman Tony Fratto as saying that EPA administrator Stephen Johnson made the decision about greenhouse gasses on his own.
U.S. Set Birth Record Last Year
There were more births in the United States last year than at any time in the nation's history, according to a National Center for Health Statistics report cited by the Associated Press.
Some 4,315,000 babies were born in 2007, agency demographer Stephanie Ventura said.
While that amounts to roughly 15,000 more births than during the peak baby-boom year of 1957, Ventura discounted the notion of a new baby boom. She noted that there were far fewer women of childbearing age 50 years ago.
"What this really reflects is that the population has grown so much in the United States, so you naturally expect more births," she said. "It's hard to call this a baby boom at this point."
HIV Vaccine Trial Canceled Over Possible Volunteer Risk
The sponsors of a planned human trial for an AIDS vaccine canceled the project Thursday, saying they doubted the vaccine's effectiveness and noted that the trial could actually put volunteers at risk of acquiring HIV, The New York Times reported.
The trial, called PAVE (Partnership for AIDS Vaccine Evaluation), was to be conducted by a consortium of U.S. agencies and private organizations. It was to have begun enlisting 8,500 volunteers last October to evaluate a vaccine developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The trial was shelved, however, after a similar vaccine developed by Merck & Co. failed to prevent the infection and lower blood levels of HIV among people who had already acquired the AIDS-causing virus, the newspaper said.
Data from the Merck vaccine trial also suggested that the shot might have increased some users' risk of acquiring an HIV infection.
Attempts to create an effective HIV/AIDS vaccine have been in the making for more than 25 years, and developing one still appears years away, scientists told the Times.
Bullies at Greater Health Risk Than Victims: Study
Bullies are more likely than their victims to become substance abusers and develop accidental or self-injuries that require hospitalization, say researchers at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
People who bully also are more likely than their victims to hurt other people or animals, use weapons, avoid school, and get poor grades, the study found.
"We see that the [obvious] victims are not the only victims," lead author Jorge Srabstein said in a statement cited by United Press International. "The bullies are also victims of their own emotional problems."