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Health Highlights: Oct. 9, 2013

Health Highlights: Oct. 9, 2013

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

Weight-Loss Supplement Tied to Liver Failure Cases: Health Officials

Consumers should stop using the OxyElite Pro weight-loss supplement because a number of people in Hawaii who used the product have developed hepatitis, U.S. health officials say.

In Hawaii, the state health department is investigating 29 cases of hepatitis that resulted in 11 hospitalizations, two liver transplants and one death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating whether the product is linked to other cases of hepatitis nationwide, USA Today reported.

Health care providers, public health agencies and emergency departments should watch for patients who develop acute hepatitis or liver failure after they use a weight-loss or muscle-building dietary supplement, the CDC advised.

The agency also said that several people from states outside Hawaii developed acute hepatitis after taking OxyElite Pro or similar nutritional supplements. The CDC is working with state health departments to gather more information about those cases, USA Today reported.

OxyElite Pro is distributed by USPlabs LLC of Dallas and sold nationwide. The company told the Food and Drug Administration that it believes counterfeit versions of OxyElite Pro are being marketed in the U.S., according to the FDA.

The company said it has stopped U.S. distribution of OxyElite Pro with the Purple Top and OxyElite Pro Super Thermo Powder until the investigation has been completed, USA Today reported.

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Euro Parliament Bans Menthols, Limits E-Cigarette Ads

Larger warnings on cigarettes packs, limits on electronic cigarettes and a ban on menthol cigarettes are among the new anti-smoking regulations approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday.

After months of heated debate, the lawmakers voted in favor of requiring warning labels to cover 65 percent of cigarette packs, rather than requiring blank packaging. They stopped short of restricting electronic cigarettes to therapeutic use only, but placed new limits on advertising for the products, the Associated Press reported.

The parliament also agreed to ban menthol and other cigarette flavors as of 2022.

The new rules will benefit public health, said European officials. They noted that smoking-related diseases cost the 28-nation bloc about $34 billion and about 700,000 lives a year, the AP reported.

 
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