- Fewer Chinese Children in Hospital for Melamine Illness
- Cell Phones Linked to Face, Ear Rashes
- Religious Belief Reduces Teen Pot Use
- Cheney Treated for Abnormal Heart Beat
- Nancy Reagan Breaks Pelvis in Fall
- Bottled Water No Cleaner Than Tap Water: Study
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Fewer Chinese Children in Hospital for Melamine Illness
The number of children being treated in hospital after consuming melamine-tainted milk products has decreased from about 11,000 a week ago to 5,824, Chinese officials said Thursday.
China's Ministry of Health said six of the children still hospitalalized are in serious condition, according to state news agency Xinhua.Agence France Presse reported that the ministry also said a total of 43,603 children have recovered and been discharged from hospitals since the melamine scandal erupted in September.
Of the more than 53,000 children who became sick after consuming melamine-tainted milk products, four have died. Many of those who became ill suffered from kidney stones and vomiting. Melamine, a chemical used to make plastics, has been found in fresh milk, powders, yogurt and other goods made with Chinese-produced milk.
On Wednesday, Chinese officials ordered all dairy products made before Sept. 14 to be pulled from store shelves. All the products will be tested for melamine, AFP reported.
Cell Phones Linked to Face, Ear Rashes
Nickel on the casings and buttons of cell phones can cause allergic rashes on the faces and ears of people who spend long periods of time on the phones, warns the British Association of Dermatologists.
Women who suffer allergic reactions to nickel in jewelry have a higher risk of suffering a rash from phone use, said the association, which noted that several studies have identified a link between facial/ear rashes and cell phones, BBC News reported.
Anyone who develops a face rash, which could be caused by prolonged cell phone use, should see a doctor, advised the association, which noted that many such cases go unreported or untreated.
A U.S. study published earlier this year found nickel in 10 of 22 popular-brand cell phones, BBC News reported.
Religious Belief Reduces Teen Pot Use
Religious teens are half as likely to use marijuana as other teens and also less likely to smoke or drink, says a U.S. study that asked more than 18,000 adolescents how often they attended church and how important religion was to them, United Press International reported.
"The power of peers is less among youths who are religious. Meaning if you are religious, the pressure from peers to use drugs will not have as much effect," study co-author Stephen Bahr, a sociology professor at Brigham Young University, said in a news release.
The protective effect of religious belief supplements the influence of parents, suggested study co-author John Hoffmann, a sociologist at BYU, UPI reported.
"Parents shouldn't force it, but they can encourage spirituality and religion in their families, which in itself becomes a positive influence in their children's lives," Hoffmann said.
The study appears in the Journal of Drug Issues.
Cheney Treated for Abnormal Heart Beat
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was treated for an irregular heart beat Wednesday afternoon, which was diagnosed earlier in the day by his physician, the Associated Press reported.
Cheney, 67, underwent an outpatient procedure at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, which returned his heart to normal rhythm.
He went home after the procedure, which a spokesman described as an electric shock.
"During a visit with his doctors this morning, it was discovered that the vice president is experiencing a recurrence of atrial fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart," said his spokeswoman, Megan Mitchell.
Cheney was treated for the same problem in November 2007, the wire service said. An electric shock was administered to the vice president's heart to restore normal rhythm.