Health Highlights: Jan. 17, 2013
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
'Dear Abby' Advice Columnist Dies
The California housewife who created the Dear Abby newspaper column died Wednesday in Minneapolis. Pauline Phillips was 94.
The death of the woman whose often tart-tongued advice was read by millions of people was announced on the website of her syndicate, Universal Uclick, The New York Times reported.
Phillips was a longtime resident of Beverly Hills, Calif. She had been ill with Alzheimer's disease for more than a decade and lived in Minneapolis in recent years to be near family.
She was born Pauline Esther Friedman in Sioux City, Iowa, on July 4, 1918. Her identical twin sister Esther Pauline (who died in 2002) created the Ann Landers column, and the two had a long, much-publicized professional rivalry, the Times reported.
Dear Abby was taken over by Phillips' daughter, Jeanne Phillips, unofficially in 1987 and officially in 2000.
New Rules for All-Metal Hip Implants Proposed by FDA
Makers of artificial hips with all-metal components would have to prove the devices are safe and effective under new rules proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
This proof would be required in order to continue selling current all-metal hip implants or to obtain FDA approval for new all-metal designs, The New York Times reported.
About 500,000 people in the U.S. have received all-metal hip implants, in which the ball and cup component is made from a metallic alloy. However, many of these implants are failing early and thousands of patients have had to undergo costly and painful operations to replace the devices.
In addition, hundreds of patients may have suffered severe tissue and bone damage after all-metal hip implants released tiny particles of debris. Some of those patients have been left disabled, The Times reported.
Pom Wonderful Health Claims Barred by FTC
The makers of Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice are not allowed to make any claim that the drink is effective in curing or treating health conditions such as heart disease and prostate cancer, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday.
In a 5-0 ruling, the FTC upheld an administrative law judge's decision that the makers of the beverage deceptively advertised their products. The commission also said that food companies making specific claims about the health benefits of their products will have to provide evidence from randomized clinical trials, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In a statement, Pom Wonderful said it "categorically rejects the FTC's assertion that our advertisements made any misleading disease treatment or other health claims."
The company also said the FTC was ignoring millions of dollars of scientific research and history on the benefits of pomegranate juice, WSJ reported.