- Doctors' Deal With Coke Sparks Outrage
- Obesity Linked to Cancer
- U.S. Hospital Deaths Cost $20 Billion in 2007: Report
- Recalled Dietary Supplements May Contain Steroids
- BPA in Canned Foods Cause For Concern, Group Says
- Breast Cancer May Change When It Spreads: Study
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Doctors' Deal with Coke Sparks Outrage
Almost two dozen doctors have quit the American Academy of Family Physicians after the group announced a deal with Coca-Cola Co. to fund educational materials about soft drinks on the academy's consumer health and wellness Web site.
"Coca-Cola, like other sodas, causes enormous suffering and premature death by increasing the risks of obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, gout and cavities," Dr. Walter Willett, a nutrition expert at Harvard University, said in an e-mail to the Associated Press.
The academy "should be a loud critic of these products and practices, but by signing a deal with Coke their voice has almost surely been muzzled," Willett said.
The six-figure alliance between the academy and Coke is similar to ads decades ago in which doctors said mild cigarettes are safe, Dr. William Walker, public health officer for Contra Costa County near San Francisco, told the AP.
He and 20 other doctors who work with his local medical practice have quit the American Academy of Family Physicians in protest.
Coke won't have any control over editorial content on the Web site, said academy CEO Dr. Douglas Henley. The new online information, to be posted in January, will note the link between soft drinks and obesity and focus on sugar-free alternatives.
Obesity Linked to Cancer
Obesity causes about 100,500 new cases of cancer each year in the United States, according to an American Institute for Cancer Research study.
Cancers most commonly associated with obesity include: breast, 33,000 cases a year; endometrial, 20,700 cases; kidney 13,900 cases; colorectal, 13,200 cases; pancreas, 11,900 cases; esophagus, 5,800 cases, and gallbladder, 2,000 cases, USA Today reported.
The findings are based on an analysis of cancer data and a report released earlier this year by a panel of experts.
"The list of cancers affected by obesity will almost certainly increase as more research is completed," said Michael Thun, emeritus vice president of epidemiological research at the American Cancer Society, USA Today reported.
"Several other types of cancer -- liver, multiple myeloma and certain leukemias -- have been linked to obesity in some studies, but this needs confirmation," Thun said.
U.S. Hospital Deaths Cost $20 Billion in 2007: Report
Hospitalized patients accounted for one of every three deaths in the United States in 2007, and the cost of their hospital stays was about $20 billion, according to a federal government study released Wednesday.
The average cost of hospital stays for patients who died was $26,035, compared with $9,447 for patients who lived. The average hospital stay was 8.8 days for patients who died and 4.5 days for those who lived, said the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Among the other findings from the analysis of 765,651 hospital patient deaths in 2007:
Medicare patients accounted for 67 percent of in-hospital deaths and $12 billion in hospital costs; privately insured patients, 20 percent and $4 billion; Medicaid patients, 2 percent and $2.4 billion; and uninsured patients, 3 percent and $630 million.
The average cost for each Medicaid patient who died was $38,939 -- about $15,000 more than for a Medicare or uninsured patient and about $10,000 more than for a patient with private insurance.
Emergency admission patients accounted for 72 percent of patients who died, while 12 percent were admitted for an elective procedure. About 7 percent of patients were admitted for accidents or intentional injury and about 2 percent of patients were newborn infants.
Septicemia -- a life-threatening blood infection -- was the leading cause of death (15 percent), followed by respiratory failure (8 percent), stroke (6 percent), pneumonia (5 percent), heart attack (5 percent); and congestive heart failure (4 percent). Cancer, aspiration pneumonia and kidney failure were other leading causes of death.