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Health Highlights: May 25, 2017

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

Heart Pump Controllers Recalled

Nearly 29,000 controllers for implanted heart pumps are being recalled after reports of malfunctions resulting in 26 deaths, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

The recalled external power supply controller for the HeartMate II was distributed from July 2012 until last March. The heart pump is made by Abbot's Thoratec unit, the Associated Press reported.

To date, 70 malfunctions have been reported, and all occurred after patients switched to a backup unit on their own, said the FDA, which warned users to only change the controller at a hospital.

The company alerted customers about the recall and will give patients new software and new controllers if needed, the AP reported.

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Fitness Trackers Highly Inaccurate in Counting Calories Burned: Study

Wristband fitness trackers accurately monitor heart rate, but are much less effective in determining calories burned during exercise, a new study finds.

Stanford University researchers assessed seven of the most popular devices as they were used by 29 men and 31 women and found that most were off by only about 5 percent in keeping track of heart rate, National Public Radio reported.

However, they were 20 percent to 93 percent inaccurate in measuring how many calories were burned, according to the findings published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine.

The findings suggest that using these fitness trackers could undermine a health diet, according to Dr. Tim Church, a professor of preventative medicine at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University who was not involved in the study.

"It's just human nature. People are checking these inaccurate counts and they think they've earned a muffin or earned some ice cream and they're sabotaging their weight-loss program," he told NPR.

Church noted that a study published last year found that people in a weight-loss program who also wore fitness trackers lost less weight than those who didn't wear the trackers. "It's an instance of no information is probably better than having bad information," he said.

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Breakfast Sausages Recalled

Nearly 100,000 pounds of precooked pork, turkey and beef breakfast sausage products have been recalled by Kansas-based Armour Eckrich Meats because they might contain metal.

The recall includes more than 8,000 cases of 16.6 ounce packages of "Eckrich Smok-y Cheddar Breakfast sausage, Naturally Hardwood Smoked," the Food Safety and Inspection Service said, the Associated Press reported.

The products have the case or UPC code and a "27815 17984" with a use-by date of Aug. 17, and the number "EST. 3JC" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The sausage products, produced and packed from April 26 to April 28, were distributed in Kansas, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. No injuries associated with the recalled products have been reported.

Posted: May 2017


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