Health Highlights: April 14, 2017

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

Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets Recalled

Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets and Hyland’s Baby Nighttime Teething Tablets are being recalled across the United States because they may contain amounts of belladonna alkaloids that are different than the amount on the label.

Belladonna poses a serious health threat to children and the effects of belladonna are unpredictable, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“There is no known safe dose or toxic dose of belladonna in children because of the many factors that affect it,” the agency warns.

Standard Homeopathic Company stopped making and shipping the products in October 2016. The recall is meant to remove any remaining products from store shelves.

Consumers with the products should throw them away. If consumers have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using these products, they should contact their physician or healthcare provider.

For more information, contact Standard Homeopathic Company at 1-800-991-3376.


1 Hour of Running Extends Life by 7 Hours: Study

Running can add years to your life, researchers say.

Their analysis and review of past research found that compared to people who didn’t run, runners had a nearly 40 percent lower risk of premature death and tended to live about three years longer, even if they ran only occasionally or slowly, were overweight, or smoked and drank, The New York Times reported.

Each hour of running lengthens life expectancy by seven hours, the investigators calculated.

No other type of exercise examined by the researchers had a similar effect on life span, according to the study published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Disease.

The authors concluded that if every nonrunner who took part in the reviewed studies had started running, there would have been 16 percent fewer deaths overall, and 25 percent fewer fatal heart attacks, The Times reported.

Most of the participants in the studies were white and middle class.

Running likely combats many common risk factors for early death, such as high blood pressure and extra body fat, especially around the middle, according to study co-author Duck-chul Lee, a professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University.

He added that running also boosts aerobic fitness, one of the best-known indicators of a person’s long-term health, The Times reported.


Toddler Touchscreen Use Linked to Less Sleep

Toddlers who play with touchscreen devices get less sleep, a new study finds.

U.K. researchers surveyed 715 parents of children younger than three years and found that 75 percent of the toddlers used a touchscreen daily, including 51 percent of those ages 6-11 months, and 92 percent of those ages 25-36 months, BBC News reported.

Every hour spent using a touchscreen device such as a smartphone or tablet was associated with 15 minutes less sleep, according to the study in the journal Scientific Reports.

But it also found that toddlers who play with touchscreens had quicker development of fine motor skills, BBC News reported.


Michigan Doctor Faces Charges of Genital Cutting

A Michigan doctor has been arrested on charges of performing genital cutting on two 7-year-old girls, federal officials say.

Jumana Nagarwala, 44, faces charges of performing genital cutting at an unnamed medical clinic in Livonia, Mich.; transporting minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity; and lying to federal agents, The New York Times reported.

The criminal complaint alleges that Nagarwala performed the procedure on two girls from Minnesota who were brought to the clinic by their parents in February, and that “multiple” other girls may have been subjected to gential cutting between 2005 and 2007.

Federal officials believe this is the first prosecution under a law banning female genital cutting which involves removing parts of the genitalia, The Times reported.

“Dr. Nagarwala is alleged to have performed horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims,” Kenneth Blanco, an acting assistant attorney general with the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in a statement on Thursday.

“The Department of Justice is committed to stopping female genital mutilation in this country, and will use the full power of the law to ensure that no girls suffer such physical and emotional abuse,” Blanco said.

In a court appearance Thursday, Nagarwala was ordered held in jail until another hearing on Monday. Nagarwala practices emergency medicine at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, but has been placed on administrative leave, according to hospital spokesman David Olejarz, The Times reported.

“The alleged criminal activity did not occur at any Henry Ford facility,” he said in an email. “We would never support or condone anything related to this practice.”

Genital cutting was banned in the U.S. in 1996.


FDA Sends Warning Letter About St. Jude Medical Defibrillators

The failure of some batteries in its defibrillators was played down by medical device maker St. Jude Medical, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a warning letter issued this week.

Despite the defect, the company continued shipping the devices for years before finally announcing a recall last fall, according to the FDA.

It also said St. Jude did not tell its own management and a medical advisory board that the battery problems had caused the death of a patient, The New York Times reported.

Defibrillators deliver an electric shock to restore normal heart rhythm when the heart is not beating properly.

Nearly 400,000 defibrillator models in St. Jude Medical’s Fortify, Unify and Assura defibrillator lines have been recalled worldwide, including nearly 200,000 in the U.S., according to the FDA.

Last October, the FDA said that of the devices recalled worldwide, 841 were returned to the company for analysis due to unexpected battery failure. As of January, two people had died due to defibrillator failure and dozens more had suffered adverse effects, The Times reported.

In the warning letter, the FDA said St. Jude’s, which was acquired by Abbott Laboratories in January, had failed to show sufficient action in correcting the problems that led to the slow recall of the defibrillators and ordered the company to provide a new reporting plan within 15 days.

One doctor also pointed the finger of blame at the FDA for not investigating the problem sooner.

“They should have been in there years ago, looking at all the raw data in order to determine if the incidence was low enough to allow these devices to be shipped and implanted,” Dr. Robert Hauser, a retired cardiologist who campaigns for improved safety of medical devices, told The Times.

Abbott said that it was reviewing the FDA’s warning letter and that it was committed to addressing the issues raised by the agency, The Times reported.


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