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TUESDAY, Aug. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Purdue Pharma, the drug giant many have blamed for the ongoing U.S. opioid abuse crisis, has offered $10 billion to $12 billion to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits lodged against it, NBC News is reporting.

The news comes a day after the first of many pending state-driven opioid lawsuits -- this one lodged by Oklahoma -- ended in a judge...

TUESDAY, Aug. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- "Red flag" laws that allow police to take guns away from people who've threatened mass shootings are designed to save lives, but do they?

A small, preliminary study suggests they do.

The analysis of 21 different incidents found that none of the threatened shootings occurred after people reported the threat to law enforcement and po...

FRIDAY, Aug. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pot-related poisoning calls involving kids and teens more than doubled in Massachusetts after the state legalized medical marijuana, a new study reports.

Calls related to cannabis exposure increased 140% in the years after Massachusetts voted to legalize medical pot in 2012, according to data from the state's regional poison control center...

MONDAY, July 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Over a five-year period, more than 21,000 Americans aged 21 and younger died from firearm-related injuries. But when states have stricter gun laws, fewer children die from gun violence, new research shows.

For the study, investigators examined data on gun deaths from 2011 to 2015 and compared those statistics with the Brady Campaign to Prevent...

THURSDAY, July 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new U.S. government rule on asbestos is at best a toothless measure against the cancer-causing material, critics charge.

The rule, laid out by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), went into effect in June. The agency says it was designed to strengthen decades-old public health protections.

But two former government off...

MONDAY, July 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People who use marijuana know that the drug should be kept out of the reach of small children. But many may not realize that it can also be dangerous for their beloved animals.

As more states legalize marijuana, the drug poses an increased poisoning risk to pets, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) warns.

In June, Illin...

TUESDAY, July 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- California's crackdown on childhood vaccination exemptions cut in half the percentage of kindergartners who didn't have their required immunizations, a new study shows.

The rate of kindergartners without up-to-date vaccinations decreased from around 10% in 2013 to about 5% in 2017, after California implemented a three-pronged strategy...

FRIDAY, April 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Laws in half of U.S. states override a pregnant woman's advance directive if she becomes incapacitated, a new study finds.

And most of those states don't reveal this in advance directive forms.

An advance directive is a legal document completed by a patient that appoints a surrogate to make health care decisions if the patient becom...

MONDAY, April 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In many U.S. states, teenagers who send "sext" messages to each other can be prosecuted as child pornographers -- and that should end, researchers argue.

Many states have recently passed laws that specifically address teen sexting -- exempting it, to varying degrees, from longstanding child pornography statutes. But in 23 states, those outdat...

MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If Colorado is any indication, the legalization of marijuana comes with a downside.

Researchers reported that emergency departments across the state saw a sharp spike in marijuana-related visits after recreational use of pot products was made legal.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data on almost 10,000 patients seen at the...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In states where marijuana is legal, teens smoking pot and then getting behind the wheel of a car is common, a new study finds.

"There's a general public zeitgeist that marijuana is a pretty safe drug," said study co-author Darin Erickson, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health.

"In actuality...

FRIDAY, Nov. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Kids are safer in states with strict gun laws, a new preliminary study reports.

Researchers found that the stringency of a state's firearm legislation has a direct impact on the number of kids killed by guns.

Twice as many child gun deaths occur in states with the most lenient gun regulation, compared with states where gun laws are s...

MONDAY, Oct. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In an attempt to head off federal regulation, America's pharmaceutical manufacturers announced Monday that they would take voluntary action to make drug prices more transparent.

Under the industry's plan, all TV drug advertisements would include information directing consumers to online resources that provide the drug's list price, estimated o...

FRIDAY, Oct. 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. patients face numerous roadblocks when trying to access their medical records at the nation's top hospitals, a new study finds.

Federal law says patients must be given access to their medical records in a timely manner, in their preferred format and at a reasonable cost. But Yale University researchers found many hospitals make the process...

MONDAY, July 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Americans strongly support medical marijuana, and a majority also believe that pot should be legal for recreational purposes, a new HealthDay/Harris Poll has found.

Nearly nine out of every 10 adults -- 85 percent -- believe that marijuana should be legalized for medical use, the poll reports.

And more than half, 57 percent, s...

MONDAY, July 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- States that have decriminalized marijuana have had no increase in use of the drug by young people, researchers report.

Decriminalization, which is different than legalization, reduces the legal penalties for marijuana possession.

For example, possession of a small amount of the drug for personal use may be treated like a simple traff...

MONDAY, July 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Children whose parents spend time in prison are more likely to lead risky lifestyles as young adults, a new study suggests.

The findings are important because more than 5 million American children have had a parent in jail or prison, according to the researchers.

"The United States has the highest incarceration rates in the world. Wit...

FRIDAY, June 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Police killings of unarmed black Americans harm the mental health of black adults nationwide, researchers report.

"Our study demonstrates for the first time that police killings of unarmed black Americans can have corrosive effects on mental health in the black American community," said co-lead author Dr. Atheendar Venkataramani. He's a health...

WEDNESDAY, May 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- President Donald Trump on Wednesday put his signature on a bill allowing terminally ill patients to try unproven treatments to fight their disease.

Calling access to these drugs a "fundamental freedom," Trump said he hoped it would help save lives, the Associated Press reported.

The "Right to Try" bill passed the Senate in...

TUESDAY, May 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- States that get tough on drunk driving see drops in alcohol-related car crash deaths, new research shows.

About 30 percent of deaths in car crashes occur when one or more drivers has a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher -- the legal definition of driving while impaired in the United States, the investigators explained. An additional...

THURSDAY, March 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Your wallet takes a hit when you donate a kidney to save someone's life.

That could be the reason for a steady decline in U.S. kidney donations by men and by people in low-income households, a new study suggests.

The living kidney donation rate among men dropped by 25 percent between 2005 and 2015, but remained stable among women, ...

THURSDAY, March 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Recent U.S. immigration policy changes are causing significant mental distress for many Hispanic parents in the country, a new study finds.

A "substantial proportion" of Hispanic parents surveyed reported that "they are avoiding authorities, warning their children to change their routines and worrying about the future due to recent U.S. imm...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Lower legal blood alcohol levels for drivers are needed to eliminate drunk driving deaths in the United States, according to a new report.

All states should lower legal blood alcohol levels for drivers from 0.08 to 0.05 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reported.

...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Ever wonder if bans against smoking in bars and restaurants have actually made a difference?

According to a new study, they have.

Smoking bans in U.S. eateries appear to have helped reduce overall smoking rates, especially among people with higher levels of education, the researchers reported.

The study authors analyzed ...

MONDAY, Dec. 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- How states treat undocumented immigrants with kidney failure affects their health -- including, in some cases, whether they live or die, a new study has found.

The states involved in the study -- California, Colorado and Texas -- have different guidelines on the treatment such patients should be given.

In California, undocumented im...

THURSDAY, Dec. 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Firearm sales surged following the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, when it appeared the United States might adopt tougher gun control laws.

But that flood of new guns put people in harm's way rather than adding to their safety and security, a new study reports.

Accidental deaths related to firearms increased 27 percent in the mo...

TUESDAY, Dec. 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Communities with strong smoke-free workplace laws have lower lung cancer rates than those with no smoke-free laws, researchers report.

The new study was conducted in Kentucky, which has one of the highest lung cancer rates in the United States.

University of Kentucky researchers examined 20 years of data on new lung cancer cases amon...

THURSDAY, Nov. 30, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- More stringent gun laws might spur a decline in domestic violence murders, new research suggests.

Thirteen states and federal law prohibit people convicted of domestic violence from buying guns. But the study found that states that extended this ban to people convicted of any violent crime had 23 percent fewer domestic violence murders.

...

TUESDAY, Oct. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Gun shows held in Nevada are not subject to any regulations, and they take place in a state that features some of the least restrictive gun laws in the country.

But on the heels of the Oct. 1 shooting massacre in Las Vegas, a troubling new investigation reveals that when gun shows have been staged in Nevada, the neighboring state of Californi...

MONDAY, Oct. 16, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- State laws that mandate a waiting period before gun purchases were associated with roughly 36 fewer gun homicides per year in that state, new research shows.

"We show that waiting periods, which don't limit anyone's right to own a gun, have a large impact on gun deaths," said study co-author Deepak Malhotra, a professor at Harvard Business Sc...