Health Highlights: April 30, 2009

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

CDC Sued Over Handling of TB Case

Claiming U.S. health officials invaded his privacy, the Atlanta lawyer at the center of an international tuberculosis scare in 2007 is suing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Associated Press reported.

Andrew Speaker says CDC officials gave him clearance to travel overseas, even though they knew he was infected with TB, and told him he could begin treatment when he returned home. But when he arrived at his destination, doctors told Speaker he had a severe form of TB and urged him to go home.

In the lawsuit filed in federal court in Atlanta on Tuesday, Speaker says CDC officials approved his travel plans and then put the blame on him when he had to return to the United States. The lawsuit charges that the CDC damaged Speaker's reputation and made him the target of death threats, the AP reported.

The lawsuit accuses the CDC of "unlawfully and unnecessarily" revealing Speaker's private medical history and other sensitive information, and claims the stress of the situation caused the break-up of Speaker and his new wife. Speaker is seeking unspecified damages and court fees.

The CDC declined to comment on the lawsuit, the AP reported.

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Libimax Sexual Supplements Recalled

The male sexual supplement Libimax is being recalled due to safety concerns about one of its ingredients, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The product contains tadalafil, which can interact with nitrates found in prescription drugs taken by people with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease. The FDA said the interaction between tadalafil and nitrates can lower blood pressure to dangerous levels, United Press International reported.

The Libimax label doesn't state that it contains tadalafil and doesn't warn that certain people should not use the product. Consumers who've bought Libimax should stop using it and contact their doctor if they've experienced any problems they believe may be related to the product, the FDA said.

The recalled supplement is sold as a single capsule individual pack or in 10-capsule and 20-capsule plastic bottles in retail stores in California, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, and Texas, UPI reported.

For more information, consumers can contact the Nature & Health Co., of Brea, Calif., at 714-257-1800.

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Taking Aspirin May Reduce Adults' Cancer Risk: Study

People who take aspirin in their 40s may reduce their risk of cancer later in life, suggest Cancer Research UK experts who reviewed scientific studies.

Pre-cancerous lesions tend to start developing when people are in their mid-40s, said lead researcher Professor Jack Cuzick, BBC News reported. Aspirin blocks the effects of proteins that can trigger inflammation and which are found at high levels in several types of cancer. So, taking aspirin in your mid-40s may prevent that damage from progressing to full-blown cancer.

But the researchers, whose study was published in The Lancet Oncology, emphasized that much more research needs to be done before any recommendations about the regular use of aspirin for cancer prevention can be made.

"Future research and more clinical trials are needed to better identify those people who are at high risk of developing cancers and at low risk of side effects, who will benefit most from aspirin treatment," Cuzick said, BBC News reported.

Dr. Lesley Walker, Cancer Research UK's director of cancer information, agreed. "It's too soon to recommend that people take aspirin to try and stop cancer developing because of the side effects. "It's important that any decision to take aspirin regularly is only made in consultation with a (doctor)."

Posted: April 2009


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