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Health Highlights: Dec. 13, 2010

FDA Warning on Male Sexual Enhancement Pills Rich People Less Able to Read Other's Feelings: Study Obama Signs Child Nutrition Bill New Congress Expected to Tighten Abortion Restrictions Two Chromosomes Linked to Endometriosis Risk: Study

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

FDA Warning on Male Sexual Enhancement Pills

Men who use Man Up Now capsules should stop taking them immediately, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The capsules, sold as a dietary supplement for improving sexual performance, contain sulfoaildenafil, a chemical that's similar to sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. Both chemicals can interact with prescription drugs such as nitrates, including nitroglycerin, and cause dangerously low blood pressure, the agency said.

Man Up Now is sold online and possibly in retail outlets in single, double and triple blister packs, and in 6-, 12-, and 30-count bottles. The product is distributed by Synergy Distribution LLC.


Rich People Less Able to Read Other's Feelings: Study

Rich people are less adept than poor people at reading other people's emotions and therefore less empathetic, according to a new study.

Researchers asked 300 rich and poor people to interpret the emotions of people in photos and of strangers during pretend job interviews. Overall, participants with more money, education and higher social status were less able to determine if a person was happy, anxious, angry or upset, reported.

This difference may be due to the fact that poorer people may have to rely on others for help, said study co-author Michael Kraus, a postdoctoral student in psychology at the University of California, San Francisco.

"You turn to people, it's an adaptive strategy," he said, reported.

Richer people often don't need to ask for help.

"One of the negative side effects of that is that they're less concerned and less perceptive of other people's needs and wishes. They show a deficit in empathic accuracy," Kraus said.

The study appears in the journal Psychological Sciences.


Obama Signs Child Nutrition Bill

The White House campaign against childhood-obesity was given a boost Monday when President Barack Obama signed a $4.5 billion child nutrition law that will provide school meals to thousands more needy children and make those meals more nutritious.

Before he signed the bill at an elementary school in the District of Columbia, Obama said: "At a very basic level, this act is about doing what's right for our children," the Associated Press reported.

Also on hand for the signing was Michele Obama, who this year launched a national campaign against childhood obesity.

"We can agree that in the wealthiest nation on earth all children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow," Mrs. Obama said. "Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children."


New Congress Expected to Tighten Abortion Restrictions

The appointment of a strong opponent of abortion rights to an influential House subcommittee could lead to stricter limits on the procedure, according to supporters and opponents of abortion rights.

Last week, Representative Joe Pitts, R-Penn., was selected as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. The committee has jurisdiction over the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, private health insurance, Medicaid and much of Medicare, The New York Times reported.

Pitts is "one of the most anti-choice members" of the House, said Representative Lois Capps, D-Calif., who predicted the new Congress would be "extremely hostile to a woman's right to choose."

The National Right to Life Committee urged Republicans to select Pitts as subcommittee chairman, saying he had "made the protection of the sanctity of innocent human life the cornerstone of his service in the House," The Times reported.


Two Chromosomes Linked to Endometriosis Risk: Study

Scientists who identified two chromosomes associated with the risk of developing endometriosis say their finding could lead to improved diagnosis and treatments.

The team compared the genomes of 5,500 women with the condition to those of 10,000 healthy women and concluded that chromosome 1 and chromosome 7 play a major role in determining the risk of developing endometriosis, BBC News reported.

In women with endometriosis, tissue that acts like cells that line the uterus grow in other areas of the body. This results in pain, irregular bleeding and possible infertility.

"Our study is a breakthrough because it provides the first strong evidence that variations in DNA make some women more likely to develop endometriosis," said lead author Dr. Krina Zondervan, BBC News reported. "We now need to understand the effect of these variations on cells and molecules in the body."

The study appears in the journal Nature Genetics.


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