- Barbara Bush Recovering From Heart Surgery
- Tobacco Regulation Bill Approved by House Committee
- 87M Americans Under 65 Uninsured During Last 2 Years: Report
- FDA Control Over Dietary Supplements Inadequate: GAO
- Egg Protein Boosts Muscles and Energy Levels: Study
- HIV Infection Among People 50 and Older Concerns WHO
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Barbara Bush Recovering From Heart Surgery
After undergoing open heart surgery Wednesday to replace her aortic valve, former first lady Barbara Bush was reported to be resting comfortably in the intensive care unit, according to family spokesman Jim McGrath and officials at The Methodist Hospital in Houston.
The surgery, which lasted about 2 1/2 hours, was scheduled last week after Bush complained of shortness of breath, and doctors determined the aortic valve had started to harden, the Associated Press reported.
Her aortic valve was replaced with a biologic valve made of natural living tissue. Bush, 83, is expected to recover fully and soon resume her normal activities, according to heart surgeon Dr. Gerald Lawrie.
The hospital said it expects Bush will be released in seven to 10 days, the AP reported.
Left untreated, a hardened aortic valve can cause heart failure or sudden cardiac death. Shortness of breath, chest pains and dizziness are among the symptoms of aortic valve disease.
Tobacco Regulation Bill Approved by House Committee
A House panel has approved decade-old legislation that would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate the tobacco industry.
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in a 39-13 vote Wednesday. The bill would require the FDA to regulate tobacco product ingredients and the introduction of new products, restrict tobacco marketing to young people, and add larger warnings to cigarette packages, Bloomberg news reported.
Last July, the full House passed the same measure, but it stalled in the Senate due to a number of concerns, including a lack of FDA resources. Democrats say that broad approval may speed approval of the bill this year.
"Regulating tobacco is the single most important thing that we can do right now to curb the deadly toll of tobacco, and FDA is the right agency to do the job," said committee chair Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), a sponsor of the legislation for more than 10 years, Bloomberg reported.
The American Lung Association urged the full House to quickly pass the bill and send it to the Senate. Smoking causes 20 percent of deaths in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.
87M Americans Under 65 Uninsured During Last 2 Years: Report
President Barack Obama has made reducing the number of Americans without health insurance a centerpiece of his health reform efforts, and a new poll highlights those concerns: 86.7 million people under 65 went without coverage at some time during the past two years, according to an advocacy group's report released Wednesday.
Gleaning data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey and its Survey of Income and Program Participation as well as from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, Families USA, a nonprofit health care reform group, said that the figure represents one of every three Americans under age 65, according to United Press International. Of all those uninsured, 60.2 percent were without coverage for nine months or more, and almost 74.5 percent were uninsured for six months or more, the group found. And, more than half of families with incomes between $21,200 and $42,400 a year -- 52 percent of them -- went without insurance in 2007-2008, the report said.
The report also warned that four of every five uninsured Americans are from working families and face even greater risks in a slumping economy: As more and more workers get laid off, they may lose their ability to keep health coverage.
FDA Control Over Dietary Supplements Inadequate: GAO
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has too little control over dietary supplements, according to a report released this week by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).