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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Drugmakers eye Africa's middle classes as next growth market
PARIS (Reuters) - For pharmaceutical companies, Africa is changing. Not only is the continent's economic growth grabbing attention in boardrooms but the shifting nature of its disease burden is luring Big Pharma, as new opportunities open up for treating chronic diseases afflicting the middle classes, rather than just fire-fighting infection.
Court grants Indiana employer relief from contraceptives mandate 2013-02-12T181707Z_2_BRE91B19G_RTROPTC_0_US-USA-HEALTHCARE-CONT RACEPTIVES.XML () -
Overcrowded ERs, PTSD signs tied in heart patients
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Being treated for a heart attack in a crowded emergency department may be linked to developing symptoms of a stress disorder, according to a new study. The study does not prove crowded ERs cause stress disorders, but the researchers suggest their findings show hospital environments may leave a mark on patients' mental health.
Home altitude tied to obesity risk
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Americans who live where the air is thinnest are less likely to be obese than those in low-lying areas, according to a new study. The results don't mean people should move to higher altitudes to lose weight, said study lead author Dr. Jameson Voss. But the work suggests that elevation may be part of obesity puzzle.
Boston Scientific sees market share growth in heart devices 2013-02-12T204809Z_1_BRE91B1GL_RTROPTC_0_US-BOSTONSCIENTIFIC-GR OWTH.XML () -
Obama rules out raising Medicare eligibility age to cut spending
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has ruled out raising the age that Americans become eligible for Medicare, the government health insurance program for seniors, as a way to reduce the government's deficit, a White House spokesman said on Monday. Republicans in Congress, who have focused on cutting spending, have said they want to see the eligibility age raised to 67 from the current age of 65, but many Democrats have opposed the idea vehemently.
New SARS-like virus infects British patient in tenth case globally
LONDON (Reuters) - A new virus from the same family as SARS that sparked a global alert last September has been found in another patient in Britain, health officials said on Monday. The latest case of infection with the new virus known as a coronavirus brings the total number confirmed globally to 10, of whom five have died.
Judge overturns Arizona law barring Planned Parenthood funding
PHOENIX (Reuters) - A federal judge has overturned an Arizona law that sought to block funding through the state for Planned Parenthood's healthcare clinics because the group also performs abortions. U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake ruled that the controversial measure signed into law last May by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican, unlawfully robs individuals on Medicaid of the ability to choose healthcare services.
Ireland moves to quell horsemeat fears, calls meeting
BRUSSELS/DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland said on Monday it would order Irish meat processors to carry out DNA tests to reassure consumers worried by the discovery of horsemeat in some beef products and called a meeting of European ministers to discuss a wider response. The horsemeat scandal affecting a growing number of European countries began in Ireland after its food safety authority discovered horsemeat in frozen beef burgers.
Food, drink industries undermine health policy, study finds
LONDON (Reuters) - Multinational food, drink and alcohol companies are using strategies similar to those employed by the tobacco industry to undermine public health policies, health experts said on Tuesday. In an international analysis of involvement by so-called "unhealthy commodity" companies in health policy-making, researchers from Australia, Britain, Brazil and elsewhere said self-regulation was failing and it was time the industry was regulated more stringently from outside.