Health Highlights: June 18, 2012

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  • PIP Breast Implants Not Toxic: Report
  • North American Obesity Weighs Down World
  • Plague Confirmed in Oregon Man: Officials

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

PIP Breast Implants Not Toxic: Report

Faulty breast implants made by the French company PIP do not pose any long-term health threats, according to a report released Monday by British health authorities.

The PIP implants -- which used industrial-grade silicone gel intended for use in mattresses -- are twice as likely to rupture as other brands but the silicone gel is not toxic and does not increase the risk of breast cancer, according to the National Health Service's (NHS) Medical Directors group, Agence France-Presse reported.

More than 400,000 women worldwide are believed to have received PIP implants and many countries have urged women to have them removed. PIP was shut down in 2010.

Some women with ruptured PIP implants have experienced symptoms such as swollen lymph glands, but the British officials said the results of tests of PIP implants conducted in Britain, France and Australia show that the implants are not toxic, AFP reported.

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North American Obesity Weighs Down World

Only six percent of the world's population lives in North America, but that continent accounts for more than one-third of global obesity, a new study says.

The researchers calculated that the total weight of the world's population is 287 million metric tons. Of that amount, 15 million metric tons are due to people being overweight and 3.5 million metric tons are due to obesity, BBC News reported.

The average global body weight in 2005 was 62 kilograms (137 lbs.) but there were huge regional differences. The average in North America was 80.7 kg. (178 lbs.), compared with 57.7 kg. (127 lbs.) in Asia, said the researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the U.K.

They also found that while Asia has 61 percent of the world's population, it only accounts for 13 percent of the total weight of global obesity, BBC News reported.

The study was published in the journal BMC Public Health.

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Plague Confirmed in Oregon Man: Officials

An Oregon man has a blood-borne version of the plague after being bitten by a stray cat, health officials have confirmed.

The unidentified man, who is in his 50s, remained in critical condition Friday at a Bend hospital. More than a dozen people who came into contact with the man have been notified and are receiving preventive antibiotics, the Associated Press reported.

The cat died and its body has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing.

The state public health veterinarian has collected blood samples from two dogs and another cat that lives with the man's family. In addition, blood samples have been taken from neighbors' pets and from animals in the local shelter in order to assess whether there may be a plague problem in the area, the AP reported.

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