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Here's what's making news this morning in the world of health and medicine.
Fish oil supplements do not help prevent heart attacks
Eating fish is good for your heart but taking fish oil capsules does not help people at high risk of heart problems who are already taking medicines to prevent them, a large study in Italy found. The work makes clearer who does and does not benefit from taking supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, the good oils found in fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines, reports The Associated Press.
Wrigley halts production of caffeine gum
Wrigley has decided to stop production, sales and marketing of their new caffeinated gum. The company's decision follows meetings with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to discuss the government agency's concerns about the effect the gum has on children and adolescents. Alert Energy Caffeine Gum was introduced earlier this month by Wrigley, a division of Mars Inc. One piece contains 40 milligrams of caffeine, the same amount found in a half-cup of coffee, reports CNN.
Could vaginal delivery be safer for preemies?
Very premature babies have fewer breathing problems when they're born through vaginal delivery compared to cesarean section, a new study of more than 20,000 newborns suggests. Based on those cases, researchers found that regardless of why a C-section was performed – whether because of pregnancy-related complications or the mother's medical problems, for example – vaginal delivery tended to be safer, reports Reuters.
Driving study could help keep seniors on the road longer
Driving can be a challenge for people later in life. But new research suggests that keeping senior citizens confident and on the road could be safer for everyone. McMaster University is part of a six-city, three-university study looking at seniors and road safety. Preliminary findings suggest deteriorating driving habits could be cyclical – the less confident seniors are on the road, the less they drive, and the more their skills deteriorate from lack of use, reports CBC News.
Doctors studying new procedure to reduce amputations
Rising rates of diabetes and vascular disease are contributing to the growing number of amputations taking place each year, with doctors estimating that some 50,000 Canadians lose a leg to the procedure yearly. However, hospitals are turning to a new, minimally invasive procedure, that some doctors say could prevent a number of Canadians from undergoing an amputation, reports CTV News.
Cause of port wine birthmarks and rare disorder discovered
A single genetic mutation is the cause of "port wine" birthmarks, as well as a rare neurological condition of which the birthmarks are a distinctive feature, researchers have discovered. The mutation occurs after conception – it is not present in sperm or egg cells – but exactly when it occurs could determine whether a baby develops only a birthmark, or the serious neurological disorder Sturge-Weber syndrome, the researchers say. People with this disorder have port wine birthmarks (reddish to purplish discolorations), typically on the face, and also can suffer seizures, paralysis, blindness and learning disabilities, reports Fox News.
Flu in pregnancy 'may raise bipolar risk for baby'
Flu during pregnancy may increase the risk of the unborn child developing bipolar disorder later in life, research suggests. A study of 814 expectant women, published in JAMA Psychiatry, showed that infection made bipolar four times more likely. The overall risk remained low, but it echoes similar findings linking flu and schizophrenia, reports BBC News.