Our weekly roundup of the latest news in the world of health.
Research published this week suggests that even very healthy U.S. adults have a 1 in 3 chance of getting heart disease. Taking multiple vitamins won't help to reduce that risk, another study concluded. The head of the Massachusetts pharmacy board was fired this week. The reason was failure to follow up on a report that a compounding pharmacy was going beyond its license and making large batches of drugs. Drugs made by the pharmacy are suspected of causing an outbreak of meningitis. Voters in Los Angeles this week approved new regulations on the porn movie industry. Now condoms will be required during filming of sex scenes.
This Issue: Healthy Adults Can Still Get Heart Disease Study: Vitamins Don't Reduce Heart Disease Risk Massachusetts Pharmacy Regulator Fired LA Voters Back Condoms for Porn Actors
In the News:
Healthy Adults Can Still Get Heart Disease
Even the healthiest middle-age Americans have a 1 in 3 chance of heart problems or a stroke later in life, a new study finds. But they'll avoid these diseases longer than less healthy peers. These estimates are based on numbers from 5 large, long-term studies. They included nearly 50,000 people ages 45 and older. Authors of the new study looked at long-term health for people based on whether they had health conditions that increase risk. The healthiest adults were those who didn't smoke and didn't have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Among those who fit this healthy profile at age 55, about one-third developed heart or blood vessel problems. The problems included a heart attack, stroke, heart failure, chest pain caused by clogged arteries, or death related to one of these conditions. But the healthiest 55-year-olds stayed free of these problems about 7 years longer than those who were least healthy at 55. The least healthy group had 2 or more risk factors, such as smoking or diabetes. The Journal of the American Medical Association published the study online this week. The Associated Press wrote about it.
Study: Vitamins Don't Reduce Heart Disease Risk
Taking a daily multivitamin does not reduce men's chance of developing heart or blood vessel disease, a large study has found. The study group included nearly 15,000 healthy male doctors. They were randomly divided into 2 groups. One group took a standard multiple vitamin each day. The others took placebo (fake) pills. This type of study is considered most likely to produce accurate results. Researchers kept track of the doctors for about 11 years. There were no differences between the 2 groups in their rates of heart attack, stroke, chest pain, heart failure or heart-related death. Other results from the same study did find a reduction in cancer. Those results were published last month. Men who took multiple vitamins had 8% lower cancer rates than those who took the placebo pills. The Journal of the American Medical Association published the study on vitamins and heart disease this week. The Associated Press and USA Today wrote about it.
Massachusetts Pharmacy Regulator Fired
The director of the Massachusetts pharmacy board was fired this week for not acting on an earlier complaint about a company that now is linked to a meningitis outbreak. The New England Compounding Center was licensed to make medicines in small amounts for single prescriptions. But the Colorado pharmacy board told the Massachusetts board in July that the company was violating its license. Large supplies of drugs made by the company had been found at two Colorado hospitals. James D. Coffey, director of the Massachusetts board, received the complaint, state officials said this week. He replied that the board would "respond as soon as possible." He sent the complaint to the board's lawyer, Susan Manning. Neither of the officials told the state Department of Public Health. Investigators discovered the complaint while looking through Coffey's old e-mails. Coffey was fired. Manning was placed on administrative leave. The New England Compounding Center has been shut down since September, when steroids made by the company were linked to cases of meningitis. More than 17,000 vials were recalled. The drugs contained a type of fungus blamed for more than 400 cases of meningitis and 31 deaths. The Associated Press wrote about the firing.
LA Voters Back Condoms for Porn Actors
Los Angeles voters this week approved a law requiring pornography actors to use condoms during sex scenes. The measure passed, 56% to 44%. It says that adult film producers must apply for permits to shoot sex scenes. Fees will be used to hire inspectors who will visit film sets to ensure the law is followed. The purpose of the law is to prevent the spread of HIV. But the industry says condoms are not needed because it already has a system to prevent the spread of HIV. Porn actors are given monthly tests for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The Free Speech Coalition, an industry trade group, said it probably would sue to overturn the law. The group contends that the law violates the U.S. Constitution. The Associated Press wrote about the issue.
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