- Unnecessary Sedation for Colonoscopy is Common: Study
- Tobacco Killed Nearly 6 Million People in 2011: Report
- Bill Proposes New Warning Labels for Most Video Games
- FDA Should OK New Drug for Sarcoma Tumors: Advisory Panel
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Unnecessary Sedation for Colonoscopy is Common: Study
Many colonoscopy patients in the United States receive extra and unnecessary anesthesiologist-monitored sedation, resulting in nearly $1 billion in health care costs a year, according to a new study.
The researchers said many of these cases involve low-risk patients who don't require the service, CBS News and the Associated Press reported.
An analysis of insurance claims data from more than 6 million adults showed that the number of colonoscopies that included anesthesiologist-monitored sedation grew from 14 percent in 2003 to more than 30 percent in 2009.
On average, this extra treatment added about $500 to an insured patient's bill in 2009, and $150 to a Medicare patient's bill, CBS/AP reported.
The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Tobacco Killed Nearly 6 Million People in 2011: Report
Nearly 6 million people worldwide died last year due to tobacco use, according to an American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation report.
It said that tobacco-related deaths nearly tripled in the past decade along with a 17 percent increase in cigarette production and increased affordability of tobacco products in low-income countries, Bloomberg News reported.
In 2011, four of every five tobacco-related deaths were in low- and middle-income countries. Tobacco use was the leading cause of death in China, the world's largest cigarette market.
The document said that if current trends continue, tobacco use and exposure may kill 1 billion people this century, Bloomberg reported.
Bill Proposes New Warning Labels for Most Video Games
A new bill being considered by U.S. lawmakers would require most video games to carry a warning label about a possible link between violent video games and aggressive behavior.
The bill submitted to the House of Representatives would require all games rated "E" (Everyone), "Everyone 10+" (Everyone 10 and older), ''T'' (Teen), ''M'' (Mature) or ''A'' (Adult) to carry the warning label. Only games rated "EC" (Early Childhood) would not be affected by the bill, CBS News reported.
If the bill becomes law, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission would have 180 days to ensure that the new labels were on the video games.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Joe Baca and Rep. Frank Wolf.
"The video game industry has a responsibility to parents, families and to consumers - to inform them of the potentially damaging content that is often found in their products," Baca told The Hill, CBS News reported. "They have repeatedly failed to live up to this responsibility."
FDA Should OK New Drug for Sarcoma Tumors: Advisory Panel
A new drug for a rare type of tumor called soft tissue sarcoma should be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an advisory panel of cancer experts says.
The panel voted 11-2 that the benefits of the pill Votrient outweigh its side effects, even though the drug does not significantly extend life for patients with the tumors, the Associated Press reported.
GlaxoSmithKline studies of its drug showed that it stopped the growth of the tumors for three months on average. Patients taking Votrient lived an average of about 12.6 months after beginning treatment. That's only 2 months more than those on chemotherapy, which has been the standard treatment for sarcomas for decades.
In its recommendation, the panel noted that there are few treatment options for patients with the deadly tumors, the AP reported. The FDA typically follows the recommendations of its advisory panels.