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Health Highlights: Oct. 18, 2010

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

Frozen Vegetables Recalled Due To Glass Fragments

About 24,000 pounds of packages of frozen vegetables sold in Kroger stores in the southeastern U.S. and Walmart stores throughout the U.S. have been recalled because they may contain glass fragments, says the company that distributed the products.

Tennessee-based Pictsweet said the recall includes:

  • Great Value-12 ounce Steamable Mixed Vegetables with a "best by" date of July 15, 2012.
  • Great Value-12 ounce Steamable Sweet Peas with "best by" dates of July 20, 2012, and July 21, 2012.
  • Kroger 12-ounce Peas and Carrots with production codes 1960BD and 1960BE.
  • Kroger 12-ounce Green Peas with production codes 1440BU, 1440BV, 1440BW, and 1600BD.

The company said the products can be returned for a full refund, the Associated Press reported.

For more information, consumers can phone Pictsweet at 1-800-367-7412, ext. 417.


Obesity Costs Are Double Previous Estimates: Study

The medical costs of obesity in the United States may be twice as high as previously estimated, according to a new study.

Researchers at Cornell University and Lehigh University estimated that nearly 17 percent ($168 billion) of U.S. medical costs can be blamed on obesity, the Associated Press reported.

The study, released by the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research, also concluded that obesity adds about $2,800 to a person's annual medical bill.

A study that was released last year and has been cited by federal officials estimated that obesity-related medical costs accounted for about 9 percent ($147 billion) of total medical costs and added about $1,400 to a person's annual medical bills, the AP reported.

The new study is likely closer to the truth, said Kenneth Thorpe, a healthy policy researcher at Emory University.

"I think these are the most recent and perhaps statistically sound estimates that have come out to date," he told the AP.


FDA OKs Botox to Treat Chronic Migraines

Drug maker Allergan received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday to market its wrinkle-smoothing drug Botox for the treatment of serious, chronic migraine headache.

According to the Associated Press, the FDA approved Botox for use by patients who experience the debilitating headaches for 15 days or more per month. According to Allergan, about 3.2 million Americans fall into this category.

For use against chronic migraine, doctors are advised to inject Botox into the neck or head every 12 weeks to help ward off future attacks.

Approval was based on two Allergan-funded studies involving more than 1,300 patients received Botox or a placebo injection. According to the AP, in one of the studies patients on Botox had about two fewer days of migraine per month on average compared to those on the sham injection.

"This condition can greatly affect family, work and social life, so it is important to have a variety of effective treatment options available," FDA's Dr. Russell Katz, director of neurology products, said in a statement.


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Posted: October 2010