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New Study Links Heart Risks to Anti-Smoking Drug Chantix

A study found Monday that Pfizer's anti-smoking drug Chantix poses significant cardiovascular risks, a claim the pharmaceutical giant immediately denied while defending the drug's benefits.

According to the study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the drug varenicline (brand name Chantix) is linked to a 72 percent greater risk of hospitalization due to a serious adverse cardiovascular event like a heart attack or arrhythmia.

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Egyptian Fenugreek Seed Suspected in France, Germany E. coli

The European Food Safety Agency on Tuesday identified a batch of fenugreek seeds imported from Egypt as the likely suspect in the outbreaks of E. coli disease in both Germany and France.

An EFSA task force set up to track the possible source of the disease said it recommended in consequence that "all efforts be made to prevent any consumer exposure to the suspect seeds".

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Study Shows Couch Potatoes Double Risk of Lung Blood Clots

Lying around for long stretches outside of work doubles the risk of dangerous blood clots in the lungs, according to a study among women released Tuesday.

The study looked at the risk of pulmonary embolism -- blood clots in the lungs that typically arise from a vein constriction in the legs -- among 69,950 female nurses over an 18-year period.

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Overweight Men Have Poorer Sperm Count

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

In what they described as the largest study of its kind, doctors looked at sperm samples from 1,940 men and matched them to the donor's weight.

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Fraternal Twins with Autism: Is Risk in The Womb?

Most of the risk of autism has been blamed by experts on inherited genes. Now one of the largest studies of twins and autism shifts the focus to the womb, suggesting that the mother's age and health may play a larger role than thought.

The new research doesn't solve the mystery of what causes autism. Most scientists think faulty genes and outside factors are both at work. And since autism spectrum disorders include a wide range of conditions, from mild to severe, it's unlikely there's a single cause for all of them.

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Egyptian Seeds May Have Caused E. Coli Outbreak

Fenugreek seeds exported from Egypt to France and Germany may have caused an E. coli outbreak that has killed 48 people in Europe, the European Food Safety Authority said Wednesday.

A "rapid risk assessment" conducted by the EFSA and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), "has thus far shown" that Egyptian seeds exported in 2009 and 2010 may be implicated, it said in a statement.

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J&J Recalls More Tylenol Extra Strength Pills

Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday announced another Tylenol recall due to a musty moldy odor linked to a trace chemical.

The company's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit is recalling one product lot of Tylenol Extra Strength Caplets made in February 2009 and distributed in the U.S. The recall totals 60,912 bottles, each of which has 225 caplets.

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Botox to Iron Out Australian Asthma Wrinkles

It is more celebrity than respiratory, but Botox could prove a breath of fresh air for asthmatics if an Australian trial of the toxin launched Tuesday is successful.

Botox, or botulinum toxin type A, is usually used to smooth wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing the muscles around the eyes and brow, but researchers at Melbourne's Monash University believe it could also be used to ease asthma.

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'Do Life' Urges Americans to Turn Things Around

Can a blog by an overweight, depressed American introvert who reinvented himself as an Ironman and public speaker start a grassroots campaign that leads to lasting lifestyle changes in a country known for excess?

The latest test, on June 22, gathered nearly 75 strangers in Washington, D.C. who finished an unofficial 5K (five-kilometer) race around the U.S. capital's National Mall park.

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Too Many Blood Transfusions? New Standards Urged

Check into the hospital and you may get a blood transfusion you didn't really need.

There's a lot of variation around the country in how quick doctors are to order up a few pints — not in cases of trauma or hemorrhage where infusing blood fast can be life-saving, but for a range of other reasons.

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