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Health Highlights: Feb. 12, 2016

Rich Living Much Longer Than Poor in U.S.: Study Barry Manilow Suffers Complications After Emergency Oral Surgery Philip Morris Doesn't Have to Pay for Smokers' Lung Cancer Screenings: Court

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

Rich Living Much Longer Than Poor in U.S.: Study

The longevity gap between rich and poor Americans has increased significantly in recent decades, a new study says.

In the early 1970s, a 60-year-old man in the top half of income earners lived about 1.2 years longer than a 60-year-old man in the bottom half, a Social Security Administration analysis showed. By 2001, the gap was 5.8 years, The New York Times reported.

The new study by Brookings Institution economists found that among men born in 1920, life expectancy for the top 10 percent of earners was 6 years longer than the bottom 10 percent. Among men born in 1950, that longevity gap rose to 14 years.

Among women, the gap increased from 4.7 years to 13 years, The Times reported.

"There has been this huge spreading out," said Gary Burtless, one of the study authors.

Policy makers are alarmed by this trend, which was mentioned during Thurday night's Democratic debate. Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton said they were concerned that life spans were becoming shorter for some Americans, The Times reported.

The reasons for the disparity are not clear, but sharp drops in smoking among rich and more educated Americans may partly explain it, public health experts suggest.

"This may be the next frontier of the inequality discussion," Peter Orszag, a former Obama administration official now at Citigroup, told The Times. He was among the first to call attention to the issue.


Barry Manilow Suffers Complications After Emergency Oral Surgery

Singer Barry Manilow canceled performances this week after developing complications from emergency oral surgery.

The 72-year-old musician returned home to Los Angeles after a performance in Memphis. He scrapped concerts in Highland Heights, Kentucky on Thursday and in Nashville on Friday, NBC News reported.

The type of complications resulting from his surgery on Monday were not specified by his representatives.

It's not known if Manilow will attend the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles next Monday. He is a nominee for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, NBC News reported.


Philip Morris Doesn't Have to Pay for Smokers' Lung Cancer Screenings: Court

Cigarette maker Philip Morris USA does not have to pay for lung cancer screenings for smokers, a federal jury decided Wednesday.

The company was sued by a group of Massachusetts smokers who wanted Philip Morris to pay for medical monitoring that included 3-D chest scans that can detect early-stage lung cancer. The class-action lawsuit did not seek any money, the Associated Press reported.

In its verdict, the jury said the smokers did not prove that the company's Marlboro cigarettes had design defects.

The judge in the case said she will rule on whether Massachusetts consumer protection laws were violated, the AP reported.

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