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8 health stories to know today: Caffeinated food, anyone? Add to ...

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Here’s what’s making news this morning in the world of health and medicine.

Kermit Gosnell trial: How an abortion doctor's murder trial has sparked a new battle in the U.S. culture wars

Kermit Gosnell was either a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” who preyed on poor women and murdered newborns in his West Philadelphia abortion clinic by cutting their spinal cords, or a mixed-race doctor who was the victim of an “elitist, racist prosecution.” A jury is expected to begin deliberations Tuesday in the sensational murder trial of the 72-year-old abortion doctor, but whether they believe the defence or the prosecution, one outcome is not in doubt: the Gosnell case is the spark that has set off the latest battle in America’s protracted culture wars, reports the Toronto Star.

Groundbreaking surgery for girl born without windpipe

Using plastic fibers and human cells, doctors at Children’s Hospital of Illinois have built and implanted a windpipe in a two-and-a-half-year-old girl – the youngest person ever to receive a bioengineered organ, reports The New York Times.

HIV screening for all adults urged

A U.S. medical group recommends universal HIV screening for teens and adults. On Monday, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force lent support to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HIV screening guidelines, reports CBC News.

What's in a pollen count, anyway?

Every spring, a yellow blanket of pollen descends upon the United States, eliciting complaints from allergy sufferers already fed up with stuffed-up sinuses. But that yellow stuff may not be causing your symptoms, reports CNN.

Heart-attack risk may start in early childhood

Do you know how old your kids' arteries are? It's a potentially important question as scientists increasingly uncover links between healthy habits in childhood and risk for heart disease later in life. And there are growing concerns about the cardiovascular health of millions of children in the United States who are considered obese or overweight. A new study suggests there is a simple way to assess a child's arterial health with a calculation based on an often-overlooked component of cholesterol: triglycerides, reports the Wall Street Journal.

FDA probes caffeine added to foods

Looking for a new way to get that jolt of caffeine energy? Food companies are betting snacks like potato chips, jelly beans and gum with a caffeinated kick could be just the answer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is closely watching the marketing of these foods and wants to know more about their safety. The FDA said Monday it will look at the foods’ effects on children in response to a caffeinated gum introduced this week by Wrigley, reports The Associated Press.

American Medical Association questions Guantanamo force-feedings

The Navy sent extra medical personnel to the Guantanamo detention camp because of a growing hunger strike, and the American Medical Association questioned whether doctors were being asked to violate their ethics by force-feeding prisoners, reports Reuters.

Estrogen-blocking drugs may lower breast-cancer risk

Drugs that block estrogen may lower women’s risk of breast cancer for 10 years, according to a new review of studies. Postmenopausal women in the studies who took drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), such as tamoxifen, were 38 per cent less likely to develop any type of breast cancer over a 10-year period, compared with women who weren’t taking SERMs. The studies also involved the SERMs raloxifene, arzoxifene and lasofoxifene, reports Fox News.

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