Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

New York City cannot ban sales of large sodas: judge

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City's plan to ban large sugary drinks from restaurants, movie theaters and other establishments was invalidated by a judge on Monday, the day before the new law was to take effect. State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling in Manhattan called the regulation "arbitrary and capricious" and declared it invalid after the American Beverage Association and other business groups had sued the city challenging the ban.

Walgreen sued over Vitamin E supplement claims 2013-03-11T181824Z_1_BRE92A0VY_RTROPTC_0_US-WALGREEN-VITAMINE-L AWSUIT.XML () -

Let them eat cake later: Americans hosting "fitness parties"

NEW YORK (Reuters) - From spinning birthday celebrations to pole dancing bachelorette bashes, U.S. gyms are offering fitness parties as new way to mark life's milestones - with a few friends and a good sweat. Gyms and fitness studios are often eager to host the festivities, which light up darkened rooms after hours and expose potential new members to their services.

Aeterna Zentaris to stop late-stage cancer drug trial, shares fall 2013-03-11T182556Z_1_BRE92A0WD_RTROPTC_0_US-AETERNAZENTARIS-CAN CERSTUDY.XML () -

Pet frogs linked to salmonella outbreak in kids: CDC

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Small water frogs marketed and sold as pets are linked to an outbreak of Salmonella infections from 2008 to 2011, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report published in Pediatrics on Monday found the infection sickened 376 people in 44 U.S. states and sent 29 percent of those infected to the hospital - mostly children.

Statins often prescribed without good evidence

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Many doctors prescribe statins to people who have little chance of benefiting from the cholesterol-lowering drugs, a new study suggests. In a survey of 202 primary care doctors and cardiologists, more than 70 percent said they would prescribe a statin to patients who have a very low chance of developing heart disease during the next decade, based on their cholesterol and blood pressure levels and other risk factors.

Some older adults get unnecessary colonoscopies

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Close to one-quarter of colonoscopies performed on older adults in the U.S. may be uncalled for based on screening guidelines, a new study from Texas suggests. Researchers found rates of inappropriate testing varied widely by doctor. Some did more than 40 percent of their colonoscopies on patients who were likely too old to benefit or who'd had a recent negative screening test and weren't due for another.

Edwards heart valve system good as surgery at 3 years-trial

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Patients who received the original version of Edwards Lifesciences Corp's <EW.N> non-invasive heart valve replacement system had a nearly identical death rate after three years as those who had open-heart surgery, with no increased risk of stroke, according to results from a clinical trial. The data, presented on Monday at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) scientific meeting in San Francisco, should provide doctors some reassurance about the durability of the Edwards transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), known as Sapien.

Mummies from different times, places shared key heart risk

CHICAGO (Reuters) - CT scans of 137 mummies spanning four geographies and 4,000 years of history show that hardening of the arteries was commonplace, especially in older individuals, suggesting this key sign of heart disease may be a part of aging rather than the byproduct of eating too many Big Macs. The findings, presented on Sunday at the American College of Cardiology meeting in San Francisco and published in the Lancet medical journal, challenge the commonly held belief that atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries - the disease that causes heart attacks and strokes - is a modern plague brought on by smoking, obesity and sedentary lifestyles.

Whooping cough vaccine protection wanes

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Protection against whooping cough starts to weaken a few years after preschool children get their final diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) shot, a new study confirms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a booster shot at age 11 or 12. But researchers found that slightly younger kids may be at risk of developing whooping cough before then, as their original immunity declines.