Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Ohio ban on Down syndrome abortion blocked by U.S. appeals court
A divided federal appeals court on Friday said Ohio cannot enforce a 2017 law banning abortions when medical tests show that a fetus has Down syndrome. Upholding a preliminary injunction, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said the law was invalid under Supreme Court precedents because it had the purpose and effect of preventing some women from obtaining pre-viability abortions.
Depression, anxiety may cause patients to leave cardiac rehab
Anxiety and depression are common among participants in cardiac rehab programs, and that poor mental health may cause them to drop out, a new study finds. One in five patients in cardiac rehab after a heart attack or a procedure to open clogged coronary arteries may suffer from moderate to severe anxiety or depression, Australian researchers say.
OxyContin maker Purdue begins showdown to halt opioid lawsuits
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP will ask a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge on Friday to pause litigation against the company and its owners over the objections of U.S. states that allege the company is trying to protect the controlling Sackler family. Purdue's request promises to be one of the most contentious of the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, which was filed in September to try to implement a settlement proposal it values at more than $10 billion.
Vitamins, omega-3 supplements may improve autism symptoms
Children with autism who take supplements of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids may have fewer symptoms than kids who don't, a research review suggests. Researchers examined data from 27 trials involving a total of 1,028 children with autism spectrum disorder. Kids were randomly selected to take various dietary supplements, including vitamins or omega-3s, or to take a dummy pill instead.
Reynolds American files for FDA review of e-cigarette
British American Tobacco Plc unit Reynolds American Inc said on Friday it had filed for a review of its Vuse e-cigarettes by the U.S. Food and Drug administration, giving it a lead over its main rival Juul Labs Inc. The FDA has set a May 2020 deadline for e-cigarette makers to submit a formal application to keep their products on the market amid its efforts to curb the use of e-cigarette among teens.
China reports new African swine fever outbreak in northwest province
China reported another outbreak of the African swine fever on Sunday in its northwestern province of Gansu, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on its website. The virus, fatal to pigs but not contagious to human beings, has significantly slashed pig output in the world's largest herd since the deadly disease was first detected in August last year.
Congo to start using Johnson & Johnson Ebola vaccine in November
Health authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo will introduce a Johnson & Johnson Ebola vaccine in November in the country's eastern provinces, to counter the current outbreak, they said. The J&J vaccine will complement another vaccine manufactured by Merck, which has been administered to more than 225,000 people. It requires two injections eight weeks apart, unlike the Merck vaccine, which requires a single shot.