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Health Highlights: Feb. 11, 2010

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

Actor Lou Gossett Jr. Treated for Prostate Cancer

Actor Lou Gossett Jr. says he's going public about his prostate cancer diagnosis because he wants to raise awareness about the disease among black men.

On Tuesday, the Oscar-winning actor announced he's being treated for prostate cancer, which was detected at an early stage. Gossett, 73, said he expects to make a full recovery, the Associated Press reported.

He said he decided to publicize his condition because there's not enough emphasis in the black American community on prostate cancer screening and early treatment.

Gossett has appeared in dozens of movies. He won the 1983 Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in "An Officer and a Gentleman." His memoir, "An Actor and a Gentleman," is scheduled to be published this year, the AP reported.

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FDA Announces Recall of Cardiac Science Defibrillators

More than 12,000 Cardiac Science automated external defibrillators are being recalled because they may fail to operate properly when being used during a cardiac emergency, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The recalled units are: Powerheart models 9300A, 9300E, 9300P, 9390A and 9390E; CardioVive model 92532; and CardioLife models 9200G and 9231, United Press International reported.

The recalled devices will be replaced at no charge, the FDA said. Replacement shipments are expected to begin Monday.

For more information, U.S. customers can contact Cardiac Science Corp. of Bothell, Wash. at 888-402-2484, UPI reported.

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Boredom May Be Deadly

Bored people may be more likely to die early, according to English researchers.

They studied the responses collected between 1985 and 1988 from more than 7,500 London civil servants, ages 35 to 55, who were asked if they had felt bored at work during the previous month, the Associated Press reported.

When they looked at how many of the participants had died by April 2009, the University College London researchers found that those who said they had been very bored at work were 2.5 times more likely to have died of a heart problem than those who were bored. This increased risk was reduced when the researchers adjusted for other potential risk factors, such as fitness levels.

Boredom alone isn't likely to be dangerous, but it could be associated with risk factors such as smoking, drinking, using drugs or psychological problems, said the researchers, the AP reported.

The article will be published in the April issue of the International Journal of Epidemiology.

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Cribs Linked to Three Deaths Recalled

The deaths of three infants and numerous reports of safety problems have led to a recall of more than 500,000 drop-side cribs, U.S. safety officials said Tuesday.

Plastic hardware on the Generation 2 Worldwide and ChildESIGNS cribs can break and allow the drop side to detach. In addition, the mattress supports can break away from the crib frames. Both defects can create gaps where an infant can be trapped and suffocate or strangle, said the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Along with the three reported deaths, the agency has received 20 reports of incidents involving detached drop sides and eight reports of incidents involving detached mattress supports, the Associated Press reported.

The cribs were sold nationwide at furniture and other stores, including Buybuy Baby, Kmart and Walmart. The company that made the cribs, Generation 2 Worldwide, went out of business in 2005.

The CPSC said consumers should contact the stores where they bought the cribs for information about refunds, replacements and store credit. The agency said crib owners who encounter difficulty with stores should alert the CPSC, the AP reported.

Posted: February 2010


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