Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

HIV linked to higher chance of heart attack

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People with HIV are almost 50 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who aren't infected with the virus - even after taking into account their other health risks, according to a new study. Researchers aren't sure what explains the higher heart attack rate in HIV-positive people, but they speculate it's a combination of the effects of HIV itself and the antiretroviral drugs used to treat it.

U.S. drugmaker admits misbranding AIDS appetite medicine 2013-03-05T205634Z_1_BRE92415M_RTROPTC_0_US-PARPHARMACEUTICAL-S ETTLEMENT.XML () -

Pfizer gets Celebrex patent extension, sues generic companies 2013-03-05T161331Z_1_BRE9240RY_RTROPTC_0_US-PFIZER-PATENT.XML () -

Mid-life optimism linked to healthier cholesterol

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - U.S. researchers found better levels of "good cholesterol" and other markers of heart health in the blood of middle-aged study subjects with a sunny outlook on life. At least some of the connection between optimism and blood lipids in the new study appeared to result from the optimists' tendency to have a healthy body weight and a "prudent" diet, according to the researchers.

"Nightmare bacteria," shrugging off antibiotics, on rise in U.S.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Nightmare bacteria" that have become increasingly resistant to even the strongest antibiotics infected patients in 3.9 percent of all U.S. hospitals in the first half of 2012, including 17.8 percent of specialty hospitals, public health officials said on Tuesday. "Our strongest antibiotics don't work and patients are left with potentially untreatable infections," Dr Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement. He said doctors, hospitals and public health officials must work together to "stop these infections from spreading."

Roche shareholders overwhelmingly back pay plans

BASEL (Reuters) - Roche <ROG.VX> shareholders overwhelmingly backed its compensation report on Tuesday, suggesting the company has little to fear from tough new legislation to limit executive pay. Roche's AGM in Basel is the first gathering of shareholders since Swiss citizens voted on Sunday to impose some of the world's strictest limits on executive pay.

U.S. baby's cure from HIV raises hope, new questions

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The remarkable case of a baby being cured of HIV infection in the United States using readily available drugs has raised new hope for eradicating the infection in infants worldwide, but scientists say it will take a lot more research and much more sensitive diagnostics before this hope becomes a reality. In a medical first for an infant, the Mississippi toddler was born in July 2010 infected with HIV, treated within 30 hours of delivery with aggressive HIV therapy, which continued for 18 months. She is now considered cured of her infection, a team of researchers led by Dr. Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said in a news conference at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta on Sunday.

FDA flags new concerns on Hospira's Rocky Mount plant 2013-03-05T162755Z_2_BRE9240LN_RTROPTC_0_US-HOSPIRA-ROCKYMOUNT- FDA.XML () -

Long-serving Roche chairman to step down next year

ZURICH (Reuters) - Roche's influential Chairman Franz Humer said on Tuesday he will not stand for re-election next year when he will have served 16 years at the helm, potentially accelerating a shift of emphasis towards the Swiss drugmaker's U.S. operations. "Roche is in excellent shape and well positioned to meet future challenges. This is a good time to hand over to a successor," Humer, 66, said in a surprise announcement at the company's annual general meeting in Basel.

Despite free treatment, Britain lags others on health

LONDON (Reuters) - Years of universal healthcare, rising health spending, cancer screening, immunization and anti-smoking laws have failed to stop Britain falling behind its peers in reducing early death and disease, a study showed on Tuesday. Researchers who compared Britain's health performance since 1990 with 14 European Union countries plus Australia, Canada, Norway and the United States said its pace of decline in premature death was "persistently and significantly" behind the average - a finding they described as "startling".