Health Highlights: Jan. 24, 2008

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

Bayer Recalls Liquid Leukine Cancer Drug

An increase in reports of fainting and other side effects has prompted Bayer AG to withdraw the liquid formulation of its Leukine (generic name: sargramostim) cancer drug from the U.S. market, Bloomberg news reported.

The German drug maker, which made the decision after consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is reformulating the drug so it does not include a substance called edentate disodium.

Leukine is designed to boost immune function and fight infection in leukemia patients who have had chemotherapy, and to prolong the lives of patients who have failed bone marrow grafts, Bloomberg reported.

WHAT TO KNOW
    • Bayer Recalls Liquid Leukine Cancer Drug
    • Arguing With Spouse May Be Healthy: Study
    • Battat Magnabild Construction Sets Recalled
    • Drug Trials Must Assess Suicide Risk: FDA
    • 10 Most Expensive Conditions Cost $500 Billion in 2005
    • FDA Should Warn About Botulinum Toxin Injections: Public Citizen

U.S. healthcare professionals should immediately stop using liquid Leukine and return unused vials to the manufacturer, the FDA said.

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Arguing With Spouse May Be Healthy: Study

Arguing with your spouse could benefit your health, suggests a U.S. study, which found that the death rate among couples who suppressed anger was twice as high as couples where at least one partner expressed anger.

The 17-year University of Michigan study recorded at least one death in 50 percent of the 26 couples who suppressed their anger, compared to 26 percent of the 166 couples that included at least one person who was willing to express displeasure, Agence France-Presse reported.

At the end of the study, conducted from 1971 to 1988, the likelihood that both partners in a couple were dead was nearly five times higher among anger-suppressing couples.

The findings appear in the January issue of the Journal of Family Communication.

Previous research has shown that suppressing anger increases the risk of stress-related illness such as high blood pressure and heart disease, AFP reported.

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Battat Magnabild Construction Sets Recalled

About 125,000 Battat Magnabild magnetic construction sets are being recalled because small magnets inside the building pieces can fall out and pose a threat to young children.

The magnets can be aspirated (accidentally sucked into the lungs). In addition, if a child swallows more than one magnet, the magnets can attract each other and cause intestinal perforations or blockages, which could be fatal, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

There have been 16 reports of magnets falling out of building pieces, but no injuries have been reported.

blocks recall

The recall covers the 293-piece (item number BB1502H) and the 180-piece (item number BB1431H) Magnabild Magnetic Building System sets. They were sold in the United States at various retailers and online from 2005 through 2007 for between $30 and $40.

Consumers should immediately take these products away from children and contact Battat Inc., of Plattsburgh, N.Y. for a pre-paid mailer to return the toy and receive a free replacement product, the CPSC said.

For more information, contact Battat at 800-247-6144.

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Drug Trials Must Assess Suicide Risk: FDA

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