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US-HEALTH Summary

Which is worse in pregnancy, snuff or cigarettes?

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Babies born to snuff-using mothers were more likely to have breathing problems than those whose mothers smoked while pregnant, according to a Swedish study. Snuff -- ground tobacco that is high in nicotine but doesn't generate the same additional chemicals as cigarette smoke because it's not burned -- is generally assumed to be safer than cigarettes, said lead researcher Anna Gunnerbeck, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

U.S. needs system for injured research subjects: panel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government should create a system to compensate medical research subjects for injuries related to those trials, international reviewers said, responding to new findings of unethical behavior in a 1940s experiment in Guatemala. The review panel presented its recommendations on Tuesday to President Barack Obama's commission on bioethics.

Consumer groups: Stop sale of J&J breast implants

GAITHERSBURG, Maryland (Reuters) - Consumer advocates asked health regulators to take silicone breast implants made by Johnson & Johnson off the market because the company has not been able to provide enough long-term safety data. The groups spoke on Tuesday at a two-day Food and Drug Administration advisory panel meeting to discuss follow-up safety studies for silicone implants that have already been approved for sale. The FDA said the issue of product removal was not under consideration during the meeting.

U.S. researchers broke rules in Guatemala syphilis study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. government researchers must have known they were violating ethical standards by deliberately infecting Guatemalan prison inmates and mental patients with syphilis for an experiment in the 1940s, according to a presidential commission. The U.S.-funded research in Guatemala did not treat participants as human beings, failing to even inform them they were taking part in research, as was the case for a similar study in the United States, the commission said on Monday.

Experimental obesity drug beats placebo again

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The experimental weight-loss drug lorcaserin may spur modest weight loss without the heart risks of some older drugs, a new clinical trial confirms -- though whether the medication will ever reach the market remains up in the air. Last October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declined to approve lorcaserin as an obesity treatment, citing research in rats that suggested there could be a cancer risk.

U.S. child brides have more mental illness

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Child brides more often face psychiatric disorders than women who marry after they turn 18, researchers have found. Their work is the first to try to gauge the mental toll of child marriage, which has already been tied to several health problems, such as pregnancy complications and an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections.

Valerian may help menopausal sleep problems: study

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The popular herbal sleep aid valerian, which has been used since ancient Greek and Roman times for various health problems, may also help ease some of the sleep problems that can come with menopause, a study said. Modern science, though, is split on whether the herb works. Some studies have indicated that it can ease insomnia, but few rigorous clinical trials have put valerian to the test.

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