Health Highlights: June 7, 2011

Nearly 100 New E. Coli Cases in Germany Smoking Ups Women's Risk of Clogged Leg Arteries

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

Nearly 100 New E. Coli Cases in Germany

Another 94 people have been sickened by the E. coli outbreak in Germany, increasing the total to 2,325 as of Tuesday, according to the nation's national disease control center.

The Robert Koch Institute also said the number of people with a serious E. coli-related complication that could lead to kidney failure rose by 12 to 642, the Associated Press reported.

The number of people infected in other European countries remained at about 100. So far, the deadliest E. coli outbreak in modern history has killed 22 people across Europe.

The cause of the outbreak remains unknown. German officials first suspected Spanish cucumbers and then vegetable sprouts from an organic farm in northern Germany, but both have been ruled out, the AP reported.


Smoking Ups Women's Risk of Clogged Leg Arteries

Smoking increases women's risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD), a new study finds.

People with PAD -- narrowing of the arteries that restricts blood flow to the extremities are at increased risk for infection, amputation, coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke and mini-stroke, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In this study, Harvard Medical School researchers analyzed data collected in a long-term study that included 39,876 women 45 and older who were followed beginning in 1993.

Compared to current smokers who consumed 15 or more cigarettes per day, women who quit smoking within the past 10 years were less than half as likely to have PAD, those who quit smoking 10 to 20 years ago were about a quarter as likely, those who quit 20 or more years ago were about 15 percent as likely, and those who never smoked were about 8 percent as likely, the Times reported.

The study was published Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

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