HEALTH

APHA calls for submissions from herbal suppliers on regulatory obstacles

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. The American Herbal Products Association on Wednesday called for supplier submissions to its new program designed to capture and record incidents of import detentions and other border-related regulatory obstacles for herbal ingredients.

AHPA’s Import Detentions Database is gathering information from industry via an online form that may be emailed or faxed to the association, the association stated. “Your confidential submission will assist in revealing patterns—such as the types of products detained, how long they are held, and direct and indirect expenses—to evaluate the impact on trade of recent detentions and determine their business and economic effects,” the association stated.

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Signalife gets FDA approval to market cardio monitoring card

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES Signalife on Monday received Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance to market and sell without a prescription its ambulatory event recorder.

The device, which Signalife will market as the Fidelity 200 HeartLife Tempo Card, is a flexible, credit-card-sized heart monitoring device that can be used as an early-detection system by patients who desire to independently monitor their heart health.

The card will enable the patient to measure cardiovascular activity during exercise or other everyday activities by holding the event recorder to his/her chest, pressing the “record” button, and recording up to a 45-second event.

The recordings may increase the ability to detect silent ischemia or other difficult to detect abnormalities of the heart.

The event recorder will be capable of storing up to six, 45-second recordings. The patient will then either take the recorder to his or her physician for review, or transmit the data to a subscription-based 24-hour monitoring center where it can be immediately evaluated by a qualified ECG technician, cardiac nurse or cardiologist.

The company anticipates that a final production model of the Fidelity 200 HeartLife Tempo Card will be introduced into the market in the first quarter of 2008.

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CDC study finds obesity rates leveling off in 2005-06

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA After a quarter century of increases, obesity prevalence has not measurably increased in the past few years though levels are still high—at 34 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 and over, according to a new study released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Since 1999, there appears to have been a leveling off in obesity among women, but the trend is less clear among men,” stated Cynthia Ogden, a CDC researcher and lead author of the study. “We do know however that the gap between men and women has narrowed in recent years, with men catching up to the higher rates among women.”

The study found:

  • More than 72 million U.S. citizens were obese (body-mass index of greater than 30) in 2005-2006. This includes 33.3 percent of men and 35.3 percent of women. The figures show no statistically significant change from 2003-04, when 31.1 percent of men were obese and 33.2 percent of women were obese;
  • Adults aged 40 to 59 had the highest obesity prevalence compared with other age groups. Approximately 40 percent of men in this age group were obese, compared with 28 percent of men aged 20-39, and 32 percent of men aged 60 and older. Among women, 41 percent of those aged 40-59 were obese compared with 30.5 percent of women aged 20-39. Women aged 65 and older had obesity prevalence rates comparable to women in the 20 to 39 age group;
  • There were large race-ethnic disparities in obesity prevalence among women. Approximately 53 percent of non-Hispanic black women and 51 percent of Mexican-American women aged 40-59 were obese compared to about 39 percent of non-Hispanic white women of the same age. Among women 60 and older, 61 percent of non-Hispanic black women were obese compared to 37 percent of Mexican-American women and 32 percent of non-Hispanic white women.

The report, “Obesity Among Adults in the U.S.: No Significant Change in 2005-06,” is the latest analysis based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by CDC?s National Center for Health Statistics. The full report is available at www.cdc.gov/nchs.

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