Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Generic Lipitor Recalled by Ranbaxy Laboratories
More than 40 lots of Ranbaxy Laboratories' generic version of
the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor are being recalled in the
United States after small glass particles were found in some
The company said the voluntary recall will cause a temporary
supply disruption but expects to complete its investigation of the
problem within two weeks and resume shipments thereafter, the
Wall Street Journalreported.
The recall could lead to a shortage of atorvastatin (the generic
name for Lipitor), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.
"We are doing everything we can to mitigate a shortage,
including reaching out to other manufacturers," FDA spokeswoman
Sarah Clark-Lynn told
WSJ. "We're monitoring the situation."
Ranbaxy is the Indian unit of Japan's Daiichi Sankyo Co.
Smoking Harms Brain: Study
Smoking harms the brain by damaging learning, memory and
reasoning, a new study says.
U.K. researchers looked at 8,800 people over age 50 and found a
"consistent association" between smoking and lower scores on mental
skills' tests. Having high blood pressure and being overweight also
seemed to have a harmful effect on the brain, but to a less degree
The study was published in the journal
Age and Ageing.
The findings show that people need to be aware that lifestyle
habits could damage the brain as well as the body, the King's
College London researchers said.
"Research has repeatedly linked smoking and high blood pressure
to a greater risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and this study
adds further weight to that evidence," Dr Simon Ridley, from
Alzheimer's Research UK, told the
New SARS-Related Virus Confirmed in Qatar Patient
German doctors have confirmed that a patient from Qatar was
infected with a new virus related to SARS.
The patient fell ill in October with severe respiratory problems
and was brought to Germany for treatment in a specialty clinic. The
patient recovered after a month and was released this week, the
In related news, health officials are investigating whether the
new coronavirus may have spread between members of a family in the
same household. A father and son both fell ill with symptoms
including pneumonia, fever and respiratory problems and later died.
Two other people in the household got sick by both recovered.
Tests showed that the son was infected with the new coronavirus.
The father's test results are pending, the
Any patients with unexplained pneumonias should be tested for
the new coronavirus, the World Health Organization advised medical
authorities around the world.
Bed Rail Deaths Under Scrutiny
A study into deaths caused by bed rails is being conducted by
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and could be completed by the
end of the month. The findings may lead to new regulations to
reduce the number of bed rail deaths.
From 2003 through May 2012, 150 mostly older adults in the U.S.
died after they became trapped in bed rails, according to death
certificate and emergency room data collected by the federal
Consumer Product Safety Commission.
During roughly the same time period, 36,000 mostly older adults
were treated in emergency departments for bed rail injuries,
The New York Timesreported.
It's likely that the data doesn't give a full picture of the
scope of the problem since bed rails are not always listed as a
cause of death by nursing homes and coroners, FDA and CPSC
The FDA issued safety warnings about bed rails in 1995 but did
not take any stronger regulatory action, such as requiring
manufacturers to put safety labels on the devices. Instead, the FDA
introduced voluntary guidelines in 2006,
Since the FDA's first safety warnings in 1995, there have been
about 550 deaths related to bed rails, according to a
Timesreview of FDA data, lawsuits, state nursing home
inspection reports and interviews. In 2011 alone, there were 27 bed
rail-related deaths, FDA data shows.