Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

China media train fire on U.S. food giants over chicken scare

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Just weeks after Chinese authorities cleared Yum Brands Inc <YUM.N> and McDonald's Corp <MCD.N> of charges they had served chicken laced with excessive chemicals, local media are again attacking the iconic American firms, while barely reporting on the chances of Chinese restaurants selling similar meat. The official Shanghai Daily, citing a report from the central government's news portal, said on Thursday one of China's largest suppliers to McDonald's and Yum's KFC and had bought sick chicken from farms and sold them to the food outlets - a claim a local government in the central province of Henan said was untrue after a preliminary investigation.

Whole body vibration may help elderly get up and go

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - When the elderly can't exercise, stints on a vibrating platform may help older adults become slightly stronger, faster and more agile, according to a small short-term study. Exercise is the best option for good health in older age, lead author Alba Gómez Cabello told Reuters Health in an email. But for those unable to perform aerobic exercise, this vibration technique "could be an easy and quick treatment to improve physical fitness."

Segregation tied to more lung cancer deaths: study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Black lung cancer patients seem more likely to die of the disease than white cancer patients in the U.S., especially those living in segregated counties, according to a new study. Researchers, who published their findings in JAMA Surgery on Wednesday, found blacks patients living in segregated counties had a lung cancer mortality rate about 10 percentage points higher than those living in diverse neighborhoods during the mid-2000s.

All-metal hip implants can damage soft tissue: FDA

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Black, poor youth consume more sugar-laden drinks

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Black children and teens in the U.S. are almost twice as likely as their white peers to consume more than 500 calories a day of sugary beverages, according to a new study. The results, which found a three-fold surge in the overall number of teens drinking sugar-spiked sports energy drinks, should inform policy, the authors said.

Vaccine timetable for children is safe, experts say

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The current guideline for immunizing children against polio, whooping cough, measles and other infectious diseases is safe, but should still be monitored, federal health advisers said on Wednesday. In what they called the most comprehensive review to date, scientists at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) said there is no evidence that giving children vaccines according to the recommended timetable causes other problems such as autism or asthma.

Governors in 22 states back expanded Medicaid plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - At least 22 governors, including four Republicans, support an expansion of Medicaid under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, while others are expected to decide in the coming weeks, experts said on Wednesday. An analysis published by the New England Journal of Medicine said the headcount, which includes 13 Republican governors who staunchly oppose Medicaid expansion, portends an uneven start for "Obamacare" when its most sweeping reform provisions begin on January 1, 2014.

Flu vaccine not linked to fetal death

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Getting the flu vaccine while pregnant does not increase the odds that the fetus will die in the womb, according to a new study of tens of thousands of women in Norway. Although fetal deaths were rare during the study, they were more common in pregnant women with the flu.

Checklists may help avoid surgery oversights: study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Having step-by-step checklists on hand may help doctors and nurses manage emergencies in the operating room, a new study suggests. In situations when a person's heart stops beating on the operating table or a patient begins bleeding uncontrollably, those lists can save time and brainpower, researchers said.

Skin cancer phone apps aren't very accurate: study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Smartphone applications that use algorithms to analyze skin lesions may not be very good at determining which ones are cancerous, a new study suggests. The apps are marketed as educational only and so aren't covered as medical devices under the Food and Drug Administration's regulations.