Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
N.J. Approves HIV Testing for Pregnant Women, Some Newborns
HIV testing will become part of routine prenatal care for pregnant women in New Jersey under a law signed Wednesday by acting Gov. Richard Codey, the Associated Press reported. The measure also requires a newborn to be tested if the mother tests positive for the AIDS-causing virus or if her HIV status isn't known.
The law, which takes effect in six months, does allow a woman to opt out of the testing if she chooses. The measure was signed by Codey, who is acting governor while Gov. Jon Corzine is out of the country for the holidays. Codey sponsored the measure as president of the state Senate.
"We can significantly reduce the number of infections to newborns and help break down the stigma associated with the disease," Codey said. "For newborns, early detection can be the ultimate lifesaving measure."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended voluntary HIV testing for all pregnant women, the AP said. This and other medical interventions during pregnancy can lower mother-to-child HIV transmission from 25 percent to 2 percent, the CDC said.
The American Civil Liberties Union and some women's groups have contended that even though the testing is voluntary, the law deprives women of "the authority to make medical decisions," the AP reported.
Medication Pumps Recalled
Cardinal Health is recalling an unspecified number of infusion pumps that are used to dispense medication because a manufacturing error could lead to overinfusion of medication, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.
Affected Alaris Pump model 8100 modules were shipped prior to Sept. 27, 2007. They may contain misassembled occluder springs, which could work intermittently and give no warning of overinfusion, the agency said. Overinfusion of medication could "result in serious adverse health consequences or death," the FDA said in a statement.
The recalled pumps were distributed to 46 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Saudi Arabia.
Anyone with questions about the recall may contact Cardinal Health customer service at 800-625-6627.
'Fertility Diet' Book Causes Controversy
Harvard School of Public Health researchers may be feeling the heat from a controversial new book that suggests a link between diet and human fertility, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday.
While "The Fertility Diet" doesn't make a direct claim that the new Harvard plan is a cure for infertility, the book's title, media hype and public statements by its authors make a case for a strong insinuation, the newspaper reported.
The authors studied more than 17,000 women who recorded their dietary habits and their attempts to become pregnant. The researchers concluded that women had a lower risk of infertility caused by the lack of a viable monthly egg if their diets included monosaturated fats (i.e., olive oil instead of trans fat); vegetable proteins (in beans and nuts, rather than animal fats); whole grains instead of carbohydrates that cause a rapid rise in blood sugar; some whole milk products (ice cream in moderation); multivitamins containing folic acid; and iron (from foods and supplements), the newspaper said.