Health Highlights: Aug. 17, 2010

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

Cancer a Major Economic Issue: Report

Cancer not only is the leading cause of death worldwide but it has a huge economic impact, according to an American Cancer Society report.

The amount of life and productivity lost due to cancer is greater than AIDS, malaria, the flu and other infectious diseases, the Associated Press reported.

In 2008, cancer's economic toll was $895 billion - which is equal to 1.5 percent of the global gross domestic product. That figure represents the cost of disability and years of life cost, but doesn't include treatment costs, the American Cancer Society said.

The document was to be presented this week at a global cancer conference in China, the AP reported.

-----

Being Youngest In Class May Lead to ADHD Misdiagnosis

A new study suggests that nearly one million American children may have been misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) simply because they were the youngest ones in their school class, not because they have behavioral problems.

The Michigan State University study found that children who are the youngest in their school grades are 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than the oldest children, USA Today reported.

Another study by researchers at North Carolina State University and elsewhere yielded similar findings. Both studies are scheduled for publication in the Journal of Health Economics.

Misdiagnosis of ADHD can have long-term effects, said Todd Elder, an assistant professor of economics and author of the Michigan study. It also found that the youngest children in the fifth and eighth grade were more than twice as likely as older classmates to use Ritalin, a stimulant drug commonly prescribed for ADHD, USA Today reported.

-----

FDA Wants to Revoke Approval Of Low Blood Pressure Drug

The low blood pressure drug midodrine hydrochloride should be taken off the U.S. market because required post-approval studies to verify the clinical benefit of the drug haven't been done, says the Food and Drug Administration.

The drug, marketed under the brand name ProAmatine by Shire Development Inc. and as a generic drug by other companies, was approved by the FDA in 1996 for treatment of the low blood pressure condition orthstatic hypotension.

The approval required the manufacturer to verify the drug's benefit through post-approval studies. This has not been done, so the FDA on Monday issued a proposal to withdraw approval of the drug. Shire, the maker of the brand name drug, has 15 days to request a hearing and makers of generic versions have 30 days to submit written comments.

People with orthostatic hypotension can't maintain blood pressure in the upright position and become dizzy and faint when they stand up. Patients currently taking this medicine should not stop taking it and should consult their physician about other treatment options, the FDA said.

Posted: August 2010


View comments

Hide
(web2)