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Health Highlights: March 26, 2019

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

Too Early To Ban Breast Implant Linked With Cancer: FDA Panel

It's too early to ban a type of breast implant recently linked to a rare form of cancer, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration expert panel advised Monday.

More information is needed to learn more about the issue, the panel said after spending a day reviewing evidence on the risks of breast implants, the Associated Press reported.

The panel didn't recommend any immediate restrictions on breast implants. Their safety has been a controversial topic for decades.

There is growing evidence that certain breast implants can trigger a rare form of lymphoma that grows in the scar tissue surrounding the breasts. The FDA has identified about 450 cases of the cancer worldwide, including 12 deaths, the AP reported.

Nearly all those cases involved a type of textured implant meant to prevent slipping and to minimize scar tissue.

Estimates of the frequency of the breast implant-related cancer range from 1 in 3,000 women to 1 in 30,000. The FDA said it has also received reports of the disease in smooth implants, which account for most of the U.S. market, the AP reported.

About 400,000 women get breast implants each year in the United States, with 100,000 getting them after breast cancer surgery.

On Tuesday, the same panel will make recommendations on studying and defining the risks of long-term health problems that thousands of women have blamed on breast implants, including rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue and muscle pain, the AP reported.


$775 Million Settlement Reached in Xarelto Lawsuits

A settlement of $775 million will be paid to settle lawsuits involving the blood thinner Xarelto, Johnson & Johnson and Bayer said Monday.

The companies jointly sell the drug and the settlement will be split evenly between them, The New York Times reported.

Neither company admitted liability.

The settlement resolves state and federal lawsuits by patients who said the companies failed to warn about the risk of potentially fatal bleeding episodes when taking the drug, The Times reported.


U.S. Measles Cases Hit 314 This Year

There have been at least 314 reported cases of measles in the United States so far this year, new government data shows.

That's 46 more than last week and includes cases reported by state health departments to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through March 21, CNN reported Monday.

The number of cases so far this year is just 58 fewer than the 372 cases reported nationwide for all of last year. That was the second-highest number in two decades.

The CDC said that the number of states with reported measles cases is the same as last week, 15: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease that was eliminated in the United States in 2000. But it was reintroduced to the country by unvaccinated or undervaccinated people who came from or visited countries where the highly contagious disease is still circulating, CNN reported.

Anti-vaccination groups have helped fuel rising rates of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States, health officials say.


Avocados Recalled by California Company

Possible listeria contamination has led to recall of avocados by Henry Avocado, a grower and distributor based near San Diego.

The recall is for conventional and organic avocados that were grown and packed in California, and sold in bulk across California, Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin, North Carolina and New Hampshire, the Associated Press reported.

The recall was issued by the company after samples tested positive for listeria during routine inspection of its packing plant.

No cases of illness associated with the avocados have been reported.

Listeria bacteria can cause fever and diarrhea, and more dangerous complications in pregnant women, the AP reported.

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