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Health Highlights: Dec. 5, 2018

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

Too Much Sleep May Bring Higher Risk of Heart Disease, Death: Study

Adults who get more than the recommended amount of sleep have an increased risk of heart disease and death, a new study suggests.

Researchers examined data from nearly 117,00 adults, aged 35 to 70, in 21 countries who were followed for an average of nearly eight years, CNN reported.

Rates of heart disease (such as stroke or heart failure) and death were 7.8 per 1,000 among those who slept the recommended six to eight hours per night, compared with 8.4 per 1,000 among those who slept eight to nine hours, 10.4 per 1,000 among those who slept nine to 10 hours, and 14.8 per 1,000 among those who slept more than 10 hours a night.

That translates into a 5 percent, 17 percent and 41 percent increased risk, respectively, CNN reported.

The rate among people who slept six or less hours a night was 9.4 per 1,000, or 9 percent higher than those who got the recommended amount of sleep, but this was statistically insignificant, according to Chuangshi Wang, McMaster and Peking Union Medical College, China, and colleagues.

They said the increased risk of heart disease and death in people who sleep more than the recommended amount may be because they have underlying health problems that cause them to sleep longer.

The authors of the study published Dec. 5 in the European Heart Journal also found that daytime napping was associated with an increased risk of heart disease and death among those who slept more than six hours a night, but not among those who got less sleep.

"Even though the findings were very interesting they don't prove cause and effect," Julie Ward, a senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, who was not involved in the study, told CNN>.

"It's not that long sleep causes death or ill health," but that poor health causes an increase in sleep, Francesco Cappuccio, professor of cardiovascular medicine and epidemiology, Warwick University, U.K., told CNN. He was not involved in the study.


Rapid Test for Cancer Developed by Researchers

A 10-minute test that can detect cancer cells anywhere in the body has been developed by researchers.

The team at the University of Queensland in Australia created the test after discovering that cancer forms a unique DNA structure when placed in water, CNN reported.

The portable, inexpensive test could help detect cancer far sooner than current methods, according to the authors of the study in the Dec. 4 issue of Nature Communications.

They used the test on more than 200 tissue and blood samples and found that it was 90 percent accurate in detecting cancerous cells, CNN reported.

The test detected breast, prostate, bowel and lymphoma cancers but the researchers believe it can also detect other types of cancer.

Large clinical trials need to be conducted before the test could be used on patients, CNN reported.


New Drug Treats Dogs Scared by Loud Noises

A drug to treat dogs that are frightened by loud noises has been approved for use in the United States.

Pexion (imepitoin tablets) is for dogs scared by loud noises such as fireworks, street/traffic racket, and gun shots, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

Clinical trials show that the drug reduced noise-averse dogs' reactions to fireworks. The drug was approved by the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine and will be available by prescription only.

The drug is given to the dog twice daily starting two days before an expected noise event and treatment continues through the event.

The most common side effects were difficulty standing and walking, increased appetite, lethargy, and vomiting. But three of the 90 dogs that received Pexion in the trial became aggressive, including growling at a young child and lack of restraint or self-control towards other dogs.

The drug's label information advises owners to carefully observe their dogs during treatment, the FDA said.


More Raw Beef Recalled Due to Salmonella: USDA

More raw beef in the United States has been recalled due to possible salmonella contamination, the Department of Agriculture says.

A unit of Brazil's JBS is recalling more than 12 million pounds of raw beef that was shipped around the U.S. In October, JBS Tolleson in Arizona recalled about 7 million pounds of beef, the Associated Press reported.

To date, 246 illnesses have been reported, according to the USDA.

The most recent recall covers products with the USDA inspection number "EST. 267" that were packaged between late July and September. The agency said any of the recalled products still in people's freezers should be thrown away, the AP reported.

Salmonella can occur in raw poultry and meat, which needs to be properly handled and cooked, the USDA said. Cooking kills salmonella.

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