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US-HEALTH Summary

Jul 13, 2011, 8:45 p.m.

Once-daily AIDS pill can slash HIV infection risk

LONDON (Reuters) - AIDS drugs designed to treat HIV can also be used to reduce dramatically the risk of infection among heterosexual couples, two studies conducted in Africa showed for the first time on Wednesday. The findings add to growing evidence that the type of medicines prescribed since the mid-1990s to treat people who are already sick may also hold the key to slowing or even halting the spread of the sexually transmitted disease.

No link seen between cell phones, brain tumor

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who have used a cell phone for more than a decade do not appear to be at increased risk of a type of non-cancerous brain tumor, a large study suggests. Looking at data on more than 2.8 million Danish adults, researchers found that those who'd used a cell phone for 11 to 15 years were no more likely than newer users or non-users to develop an acoustic neuroma.

Eateries eye healthier kids' food amid pressure

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Nineteen U.S. restaurant chains, including Burger King and DineEquity's IHOP, are backing an industry effort to serve and promote healthier meals for children. The announcement on Wednesday from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) comes as public health officials and consumer advocates pressure restaurants to reduce calories in, and improve the nutritional value of, meals for children -- nearly one in three of whom are either obese or overweight.

Secondhand smoke tied to kids' behavior problems

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Children exposed to secondhand smoke at home may be more likely than their peers to have learning and behavioral problems, according to a new study. Researchers found that of more than 55,000 U.S. children younger than 12 years, six percent lived with a smoker. And those kids were more likely to have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a learning disability or "conduct disorder" than children in smoke-free homes.

FDA hires former Dartmouth dean to new post as part of rejig

BANGALORE (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has named former Dartmouth Medical School Dean Stephen Spielberg to the newly created position of deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco, according to an internal letter sent to FDA employees that was obtained by Reuters. The move is part FDA's goal of overhauling its management structure to better regulate an increasingly complex medical industry. The agency has also initiated a search to fill the newly created chief operating officer position.

After styrene warning, concern about who's at risk

CHESTERTOWN, Maryland (Reuters) - Duffy Mitchell has cut fiberglass, slathered epoxy resin and twisted rubber hoses at his boat repair shop here on the Chesapeake Bay for more than a dozen years. He faces a heightened risk of cancer because of his exposure to styrene, a chemical found in each of those products and in dozens of other consumer items, according to a U.S. government report.

American men with cancer more likely to die than women

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Men who are diagnosed with cancer are more likely to die from the disease than women, due to a higher initial risk and later detection, U.S. government research showed. The National Cancer Institute study looked at a database of 36 different types of cancer from 1977 to 2006.