Health Highlights: Aug. 21, 2007

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:

27,000 Chinese-Made Toy Train Sets Recalled

Vermont-based Hampton Direct has recalled some 27,000 Chinese-made magnetic toy train sets with paint that contains excessive amounts of lead that could be dangerous to young children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Tuesday.

The recall involves Magnetic Alphabet and Number train sets that include a wooden engine, caboose, letters and numbers. The alphabet train set contains 28 pieces and the number train set has 12 pieces.

WHAT TO KNOW
    • 27,000 Chinese-Made Toy Train Sets Recalled
    • More Women Know High School Weight Than Current Cholesterol Count: Survey
    • Thousands of African Children Die of Preventable Diseases
    • Some Medicare Participants Still Can't Afford Drugs
    • New Rules Hamper State Efforts to Fund Child Health Coverage
    • Merck Fighting Each Vioxx Suit Separately

The train sets were sold across the United States by Johnson Smith Co., The Paragon Gifts Inc., and Starcrest Products of California from December 2005 through July 2007. The sets sold for about $30.

Consumers should dispose of the products, the CPSC said. For information about obtaining a replacement set, contact Hampton Direct at 1-800-208-4050 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.

In June, some 1.5 million Thomas & Friends wooden train sets made in China were recalled for paint that contained excess lead. At the time, HealthDay reported that 70 percent to 80 percent of toys sold in the United States are made in China, according to the Toy Industry Association, which represents most American toy companies and importers.

Earlier this month, Mattel announced two recalls totaling more than 1.5 million Chinese-made toys. Most had excessive levels of lead paint. Others were recalled because they contained small magnets that could attach to each other inside the body if swallowed.

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More Women Know High School Weight Than Current Cholesterol Count

About 79 percent of adult women in the United States know how much they weighed in high school, but only 32 percent know their current cholesterol count, says a survey released Tuesday by the Society for Women's Health Research, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.

The telephone survey of 524 women conducted from June 29 to July 1 also found that of women who had a recent cholesterol test, only 57 percent could recall the cholesterol count.

Among the survey's other findings:

  • 63 percent of the women said they were concerned that high cholesterol would be a health concern during their lifetime, and 60 percent said they were actively trying to manage their cholesterol.
  • 88 percent said they knew that high cholesterol is linked to hardening of the arteries and heart disease, and 85 percent knew that high cholesterol can lead to stroke.
  • Most of the women (94 to 96 percent) said they knew that exercise and a healthy diet could help fight high cholesterol.

"Clearly, strides have been made in educating women on the risks of high cholesterol, but the disconnect between awareness and action needs to be addressed," Phyllis Greenberger, the society's president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. "Knowing your cholesterol number is the first step in controlling cholesterol."

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Thousands of African Children Die of Preventable Diseases

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