Health Highlights: Dec. 15, 2015

Lawsuit Filed Over WEN Hair Care Products Planned C-Section Poses More Risk to Infant Than Emergency C-Section: Study More Than 1,000 People May Have Been Exposed to TB at California Hospital

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

Lawsuit Filed Over WEN Hair Care Products

WEN all-in-one hair care products cause hair to fall out in clumps, as well as scalp irritation and rashes, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of 200 consumers earlier this year.

The products, created by hair dresser Chaz Dean and sold by a company called Guthy-Renker, "contain an ingredient or combination of ingredients that cause significant hair loss, damage and other injuries," according to the lawsuit.

The company did not immediately return requests for comment about the matter, CBS News reported.

"The parties are attempting to settle their differences and we have agreed to refrain from any extrajudicial statements in the meantime," Amy Davis, lawsuit lead counsel, said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch.

A number of customers are posting negative online reviews about the products, which are promoted on QVC and sold on Amazon and Sephora.

"Please don't be fooled by commercials and the paid actresses," a customer warned on Amazon earlier this month, CBS News reported. "This product leaves your hair damaged and it takes months to get your hair back to a healthy condition again."


Planned C-Section Poses More Risk to Infant Than Emergency C-Section: Study

Babies born by planned cesarean section have more health problems than those born by emergency C-section or vaginal birth, according to a new study.

The findings suggest that labor may give babies a healthier start, even if the labor has to be interrupted by C-section, The New York Times reported.

The findings from the 15-year study in Scotland were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

During labor, a baby comes into contact with bacteria from the mother, and this may help the child's immune system development, said study leader Dr. Mairead Black, University of Aberdeen, The Times reported.

Infants born by planned C-section may have no exposure to bacteria from the mothers, while those born by emergency C-section have at least some exposure.

The findings are important due to the rising number of C-sections in the United States, where nearly one-third of infants are born by C-section, according to The Times.

In the U.S., the rate of C-section births with no medical indication rose from 3.3 percent of low-risk women in 1991 to 5.5 percent of such women in 2001.

Previous research has shown that children born by C-section are at increased risk for health problems such as allergies and obesity, and C-section has also been linked with a higher risk for type 1 diabetes, The Times reported.


More Than 1,000 People May Have Been Exposed to TB at California Hospital

Officials at a California hospital say more than 1,000 people, including 350 infants, may have been exposed to tuberculosis.

In mid-November, the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose learned that a nurse who worked in the maternity wing had been diagnosed with tuberculosis, The New York Times reported.

As many as 1,026 people may have been exposed to the infectious disease, including 368 patients, 350 infants and 308 employees. The hospital said all those who might have been exposed are being contacted.

The risk of infection is low but "the consequences of a tuberculosis infection in infants can be severe," said Dr. Stephen Harris, chair of pediatrics at the hospital, The Times reported.

The hospital will offer preventive treatment to the exposed infants "as soon as possible," he added.

The infected nurse tested negative for tuberculosis during an annual check in September, but was later diagnosed with the disease by her personal physician. The nurse has been placed on leave, The Times reported.


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