Health Updates 2 September 2011

  • Firefighters at the World Trade Center on 9/11 are at 19% higher risk of developing cancer: “Cancer is not on the list of illnesses covered by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which has set aside $4.3 billion to treat, compensate and monitor those suffering from health problems associated with the attacks and their aftermath, like asthma and other respiratory ailments.  But the law requires officials at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to conduct periodic reviews of studies to assess whether to add illnesses to the list.” (NY Times)
  • FDA agrees to move toward faster, more predictable review of drugs in exchange for higher fees from drug makers: “A spokeswoman for the agency confirmed that the new agreement would raise fees about 6 percent, collecting an estimated $40.4 million in new revenue for fiscal year 2012.  The deal comes after months of closed-door meetings between FDA and drug industry officials working to extend a two-decade old program that supplements the agency’s budget with company funding.  The latest agreement would require the FDA to provide more meetings and updates on the status of certain drug reviews.” (Associated Press)
  • Teen boys drink a whole lot of sugar: “Average daily consumption among male teenagers in the form of sodas, energy drinks and sweetened fruit juice was more than double the government’s recommended limit for all added sugar in the diet, a large national survey found.  Among boys and young men 12 to 19 years old participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2005 to 2008, so-called sugar drinks accounted for a mean of 273 calories in their daily diet….The US Department of Agriculture‘s recommended daily limit for added sugars in all forms – including candies, baked goods, ice cream and other foods in addition to drinks – is 128 calories”. Men in their 20s and 30s were not far behind, with an average intake of 252 calories per day from sugar drinks.  (John Gever, MedPage Today)
  • Insomnia comes at a high cost to the nation: “Lost sleep costs the average American worker 11.3 days, or $2,280, in lost productivity each year, and the total cost to the nation is $63.2 billion annually, a new study says.” (USA Today)

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