- 3rd Infant Dies, More Than 6,000 Sickened in China's Baby Formula Scandal
- Drug Cuts Spinal Fracture Risk 68 Percent
- Alzheimer's Drug Study Produces Inconclusive Results
- Foldable Soccer Nets Recalled After Toddler's Death
- Children's Water Bottles Pose Choking Hazard
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
3rd Infant Dies, More Than 6,000 Sickened in China's Baby Formula Scandal
A third baby has died and the number of infants sickened in China's tainted baby formula scandal has jumped to 6,244, with more than 1,300 hospitalized, including 158 suffering from acute kidney failure, wire reports say.
The grim news Wednesday was coupled with an announcement that China's biggest dairy is one of three companies that have joined the massive recall of infant milk formula after the chemical melamine was found by health officials, the Associated Press reports.
Mengniu Dairy said Wednesday it's recalling three batches of baby formula made in January but didn't say how much product was included in the recall or whether any of the formula was exported, AP reported.
The two other companies joining the recall of infant formula are Guangdong-based Yashili and Qingdao-based Suncare. The first recall was issued last week by Sanlu Group Co., which began receiving complaints as early as March and confirmed the presence of melamine in its infant formula in early August. Sanlu officials apologized for the delay in alerting the public but did not explain why they waited so long to take action.
Chinese officials said about 20 percent of dairy companies tested nationwide had sold products tainted with melamine, the AP reported. It's believed the chemical, used to make plastics, was added by suppliers to watered-down milk to make it appear to have a higher protein content.
Melamine from China was also at the heart of the huge pet food recall in North America last year, which sickened or killed hundreds of animals.
In response to the current scandal, 1,400 teams with 5,000 inspectors have been assigned to oversee production at all companies that make baby milk, the Chinese government said.
This is the second major scandal in recent years involving Chinese-made baby formula, the AP reported. In 2004, phony formula that contained no nutrients was linked to more than 200 cases of malnutrition and at least 12 infant deaths.
Drug Cuts Spinal Fracture Risk 68 Percent
In women with osteoporosis, the experimental bone drug denosumab reduced the risk of spinal fractures by 68 percent, the risk of hip fractures by 40 percent, and the risk of all fractures outside the spine by 20 percent, according to a study released Tuesday by drug maker Amgen.
The study of 7,800 postmenopausal women found that 2.3 percent of those who took the drug suffered a vertebral fracture, compared with 7.2 percent of those who took a placebo. That 68 percent relative risk reduction compares favorably with the 40 to 50 percent reductions achieved in clinical trials by drugs currently used to treat osteoporosis, The New York Times reported.
The 40 percent reduced risk of hip fracture noted in women who took denosumab is as good or better than that results seen with other drugs.
However, the study did find that 4.3 percent of women who took denosumab suffered serious infections, compared with 3.4 percent of those who took the placebo. While not statistically significant, the increased risk of infection could concern government regulators, The Times reported.
The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. It's expected Amgen will apply for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of denosumab by early next year.
Alzheimer's Drug Study Produces Inconclusive Results
Disappointing results from a midstage study on the experimental Alzheimer's drug AZD3480 were announced Monday by U.S.-based Targacept Inc. and U.K.-based AstraZeneca.
The findings from the 567-patient study were inconclusive because data from both AZD3480 and the comparison drug donepezil (brand name Aricept) weren't statistically significant. In addition, patients who took a placebo showed an improvement in brain function, the Associated Press reported.