Health Highlights: Nov. 10, 2015
Jimmy Carter Shows No Signs of New Cancer Growth After Treatment New Tobacco Products First to be Approved After FDA Review U.S. Soccer Announces New Policies to Reduce Head Injuries No Source Found for E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Chipotle Restaurants More American Women Using Long-Term Birth Control
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Jimmy Carter Shows No Signs of Cancer Growth After Treatment
Former President Jimmy Carter says he is responding well to cancer treatment and his doctors have found no signs of tumor growth.
Carter, 91, announced in August that he had cancer, including tumors in his brain. He underwent treatment with radiation and a new immune-based drug that helps the body find and destroy cancer cells.
On Tuesday, Carter spokeswoman Deanna Congileo told the Associated Press that, following treatment, physicians have not found evidence of new tumors. Tests will continue, she said.
New Tobacco Products First to be Approved After FDA Review
Some new tobacco products are the first to be approved after a formal review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The agency gave the go-ahead for the sale of eight Swedish Match snus products, which are teabag-like pouches of tobacco, the Associated Press reported.
The FDA stressed that the decision on the products "does not mean that they are safe or FDA approved," the AP said.
Swedish Match and a number of other companies already sell the smokeless tobacco products in the United States, but these revamped products are the first to go through an FDA review process authorized more than five years ago.
A 2009 law gave the FDA authority to assess tobacco products for their health risk and approve those that don't pose a new or significant health risk, the AP reported.
U.S. Soccer Announces New Policies to Reduce Head Injuries
In order to resolve a proposed class-action lawsuit, the United States Soccer Federation has announced new safety measures to reduce head injuries.
The initiatives include a ban on players 10 and younger heading the ball, and reducing headers in practice for players ages 11-13, The New York Times reported.
Other changes include modifying substitution rules in order to better protect players suspected of having suffered a concussion. Current international rules allow for only three substitutions per game at the senior levels, with no provision for temporary substitutions to enable proper assessment of players with a head injury.
U.S. Soccer also plans increased concussion education for players, parents, coaches and referees, The Times reported.
The new rules will be mandatory for U.S. Soccer youth national teams and academies, including Major League Soccer youth club teams. However, the regulations will be voluntary for soccer associations and development programs not controlled by U.S. Soccer.
"What we're establishing is creating parameters and guidelines with regards to the amount of exposure" to potential head injuries, George Chiampas, U.S. Soccer's chief medical officer, said in a conference call with journalists, The Times reported.
Knowledge about concussions in youth soccer is still evolving, and the so will U.S. Soccer's policies, Chiampas added.
The organization's new policies resolve a class-action lawsuit filed in August 2014 by a group of parents and players. They alleged that U.S. Soccer, FIFA and the American Youth Soccer Organization were negligent in treating and monitoring head injuries, The Times reported.
The plaintiffs sought no financial damages, only rule changes. In the summer, a judge ruled that the case against FIFA had no standing, but said an amended complaint could be filed against U.S. Soccer. Monday's announcement about the new U.S. Soccer policies will resolve the legal challenge, according to the lawyer who brought the case.
The original filing in the case said nearly 50,000 high school soccer players suffered concussions in 2010, more than in baseball, softball, basketball and wrestling combined, The Times reported.
No Source Found for E. Coli Tied to Chipotle Restaurants
No source for the E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants has been pinpointed, according to Washington state health officials.
All samples of food from Chipotle locations in Washington and Oregon tested negative for E. coli, said Washington state epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist, the Associated Press reported.
Chipotle's own testing also yielded negative results.
The chain's 43 restaurants in Washington and Oregon could reopen later this week after they meet certain conditions, including disposing of and replacing all produce, doing a deep cleaning, passing local health inspections, and introducing a new protocol for cleaning produce, the AP reported.
There have been about 40 cases of E. coli in the Northwest in the outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants.
More American Women Using Long-Term Birth Control
The use of long-term, reversible birth control methods such as intrauterine devices and implants has nearly doubled among American women in recent years, according to the federal government.
Among women on birth control, the proportion who use the devices rose from 2.4 percent in 2002 to 6 percent between 2006 and 2010 and to 11.6 percent between 2011 and 2013, The New York Times reported.
While that share is still smaller than use of the pill (26 percent) or condoms (15 percent), the long-term devices are the fastest growing method of birth control, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
The agency said about 62 percent of American women use birth control, The Times reported.