Health Highlights: July 30, 2008

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

Salmonella Found at 2nd Mexican Farm

The strain of salmonella that has been linked to more than 1,300 illnesses in the United States has been found on a second farm in Mexico, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

"We have a smoking gun, it appears," Lonnie King, the chief of the Centers for Disease Control's center for foodborne illnesses, told the AP.

But health officials cautioned that the investigation wasn't over and that contamination of several different types of produce was still possible.

    • Salmonella Found at 2nd Mexican Farm
    • Alzheimer's Drug Shows No Benefit in Most Patients
    • Who's Happiest? Younger Women and Older Men
    • Routine EKGs Not Needed For Kids on ADHD Drugs: AAP
    • New Fast Food Restaurants Banned in South Los Angeles

The latest farm to have contamination, in this case tainted irrigation water and a contaminated serrano pepper, was identified in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, the AP reported. Previously, contamination of a sample of jalapeno peppers was identified at another Mexican farm in a different part of the country.

Fresh tomatoes had been the suspected source of the nationwide outbreak that began in April. But two weeks ago, U.S. health officials cleared the current crop for consumers. And at the start of last week, they found the first tainted pepper. And by the end of last week, they had narrowed the source to crops in Mexico, not the United States.

Meanwhile, in British Columbia, Canadian health officials were struggling with their own salmonella outbreak, which apparently has sickened hundreds, according to the Globe and Mail.

The bacteria strain of is Salmonella enteritidis, health officials said, which is linked to poultry and egg products.


Alzheimer's Drug Shows No Benefit in Most Patients

The experimental Alzheimer's drug bapineuzumab showed no benefit for most patients and was linked to a brain-swelling condition called vasogenic edema, says a study presented Tuesday at the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Chicago.

The drug, made by Elan Corp and Wyeth, did slow memory loss in some patients better than existing treatments, but it had no effect in people with the ApoE4 gene, which is found in about half of all Alzheimer's patients, Bloomberg news reported.

Bapineuzumab is designed to remove clumps of protein that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

Twelve cases of vasogenic edema occurred in the trial of 234 patients, and 10 of those cases occurred in patients with the ApoE4 gene, Bloomberg reported. Both cases of vasogenic edema in patients without the gene were in the highest-dose group, as were eight of those with the gene.


Who's Happiest? Younger Women and Older Men

Young adult women tend to be happier than their male counterparts, but the roles reverse as people age, according to a new study cited by United Press International.

Later in life, it's generally men who are happier and more satisfied with their lives, U.S. and British researchers reported in the Journal of Happiness Studies.

Happiness depends on factors such as family stability and financial security, according to study authors Richard Easterlin at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and Anke Plagnol at the University of Cambridge in England.

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