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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Buckle up during pregnancy: study
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Despite some women's worry that seat belts or air bags could harm a baby in utero in the case of an accident, expectant mothers who are not wearing a seatbelt during a car crash are more likely to lose the pregnancy than restrained mothers, according to a new study. The results reinforce the findings of other studies that link seat belts with better chances of keeping both mother and baby alive.
Sanofi says U.S. probing Plavix disclosures to FDA
PARIS (Reuters) - The Department of Justice (DoJ) is investigating disclosures to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) about the variable response that certain patients may have to blood-thinner Plavix, Sanofi said. The French drugmaker said in its annual report it became aware of the probe in June 2012 and was cooperating with the DoJ.
Double-jointed teens may be prone to joint pain
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Double-jointed teens are more likely than their less flexible peers to develop shoulder, knee or ankle pain, suggests a large, new study from the UK. Apart from the findings for those particular joints, researchers found no link between double-jointedness - also known as joint hypermobility - and any other types of pain, including back and neck aches.
Bayer eyes wider use for Xarelto with new trials
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bayer <BAYGn.DE> has initiated two new late-stage studies to widen the use of its anti-blood-clotting pill Xarelto, one of its most important new drugs. The German company, which is developing the pill with U.S. peer Johnson & Johnson <JNJ.N>, said it would start a Phase III clinical trial to test Xarelto in patients with chronic heart failure and significant coronary artery disease.
Thailand struggles to curb high teen pregnancy rate
BANGKOK (Reuters) - When Mallika told her parents she was pregnant at 17, they pulled her out of school and ordered her to marry the baby's father. But the marriage didn't happen and the one-time aspiring singer now cares for her baby girl alone. "I love her, but at the time I hid in shame," said Mallika, now 23 and a vendor of cheap, made-in-China clothing at a weekend market in Thailand's capital, Bangkok.
In Arkansas, challenges expected for nation's strictest abortion law
LITTLE ROCK, Ark (Reuters) - Abortion rights groups say they plan to challenge a new Arkansas law adopted on Wednesday that will prohibit most abortions after about 12 weeks of pregnancy and is the most restrictive abortion law in the United States. The measure, which lawmakers approved over Democratic Governor Mike Beebe's veto, prohibits abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected by a standard ultrasound.
U.S. childhood obesity fight sees some success: group
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. companies and other groups that have made attempts to reverse the nation's rising childhood obesity rate are starting to see results as more American kids exercise and have better access to healthy foods, they said on Thursday. More than 1,700 U.S. cities have promoted exercise to get nearly 3 million more kids moving in the last year, according to a report by the Partnership for a Healthier America, a nonprofit that works to get private companies and organizations to pledge specific action to fight the weight epidemic.
U.S. warns health officials to be alert for deadly new virus
CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday warned state and local health officials about potential infections from a deadly virus previously unseen in humans that has now sickened 14 people and killed 8. Most of the infections have occurred in the Middle East, but a new analysis of three confirmed infections in Britain suggests the virus can pass from person to person rather than from animal to humans, the CDC said in its Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report on Thursday.
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