Health Highlights: June 22, 2012

Tumor Removed From Fetus in Groundbreaking Surgery Seizure Leads to U.S. Commerce Secretary's Resignation Traffic Noise Increases Heart Attack Risk: Study

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

Tumor Removed From Fetus in Groundbreaking Surgery

Twenty-month-old Leyna Gonzalez is healthy and happy today because doctors were able to remove a potentially fatal tennis ball-sized tumor from her mouth while she was still in the womb.

The rare congenital tumor, called an oral teratoma, was removed in May 2010 by surgeons at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, CBS News reported.

"The concern with these tumors is that they can grow very rapidly. And they can cause bleeding from the fetus -- from the baby -- into the tumor," fetal surgeon Dr. Ruben Quintero said Thursday during a press conference at the hospital. "That bleeding can cause the death of the baby."

He and his team used an endoscope guided by ultrasound to perform the first-of-a-kind surgery when Leyna was a 17-week-old fetus. She was born Oct. 1, 2010 at a healthy 8 pounds, 1 ounce, CBS News reported.


Seizure Leads to U.S. Commerce Secretary's Resignation

A seizure suffered earlier this month has led U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson to resign from the Obama administration.

Bryson, 68, was found unconscious after he was involved in a series of traffic crashes in the Los Angeles earlier this month. A breathalyzer test did not detect any alcohol, the Associated Press reported.

In his resignation letter, Bryson said his decision was a "consequence of a recent seizure and a medical leave of absence."

He also wrote: ""I have concluded that the seizure I suffered on June 9th could be a distraction from my performance as secretary, and that our country would be better served by a change in leadership," the AP reported.


Traffic Noise Increases Heart Attack Risk: Study

People who live near roads with high levels of traffic noise are at increased risk for a heart attack, according to a new study.

Researchers followed more than 50,000 people in Denmark, ages 50 to 64, for 10 years and found that for every 10 decibel rise in traffic noise near a person's home, there was a 12 percent increased risk of a first heart attack, ABC News reported.

The study was published Wednesday in the journal PLoS One.

Previous research has found some association between traffic noise and heart health but study lead author Dr. Mette Sorensen said she was surprised to find such a direct link between traffic noise levels and heart attack risk, ABC News reported.

"Previously, there seemed to be no effect up to around 60 decibels," she said. "But I see increases at around 40 decibels up to the highest level, around 82 decibels. It doesn't seem to be a level where there are no effects."


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