Certain birth control pills may get new warning labels

Federal health regulators are leaning toward adding new information about the risk of blood clots to the labels of widely prescribed birth control pills such as Yaz, in light of growing evidence that the newer contraceptive drugs may be riskier than older drugs.

In documents released Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration said there is conflicting evidence about the risk, but that the information should appear in labeling used by doctors and patients.

On Thursday, the FDA will ask a panel of outside experts to weigh in on the issue and consider whether some women should not take the drugs. The agency is not required to follow the panel’s advice, but it often does.


Firefighters let home burn because fee wasn’t paid

A Tennessee couple has lost everything after their home burned to the ground as firefighters watched and did nothing.

Vicky Bell told WPSD-TV that she called 911 when her mobile home in Obion County caught fire.

Firefighters responded but did not put out the blaze because she does not subscribe to the local fire service. Bell says she could “look out my mom’s trailer and see the trucks sitting at a distance.”

Rural residents who want fire protection can get service from the nearby town of South Fulton, but they must pay a $75-a-year fee. South Fulton Mayor David Crocker said that if the city’s firefighters responded to people who didn’t pay there would be no incentive for anyone to subscribe. He said firefighters will help when people are in danger, regardless of whether they have paid.


Alleged victims of Sandusky expected to testify next week

A lawyer for a young man who accuses former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse expects his client and at least five other alleged victims to testify at a preliminary hearing next week.

Sandusky is charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse involving eight young boys over a 15-year span. The preliminary hearing, at which a judge would determine if prosecutors have enough evidence to take the case to trial, could last a day or more, since the defense has the right to cross-examine the state’s witnesses.

Sandusky, 67, denies being a pedophile and vows to fight the charges.


Study: Former presidents live longer than their peers

White House wannabes take note: Contrary to the idea that being president speeds up aging, a study shows that many U.S. commanders in chief have actually lived longer than their peers.

Using life expectancy data for men the same age as presidents on their inauguration days, the study found that 23 of 34 presidents who died of natural causes lived several years longer than expected.

The four former presidents still alive have already lived longer than predicted, or likely will because they’re in good health, the study said.

“The graying of hair and wrinkling of the skin seen in presidents while they’re in office are normal elements of human aging,” said study author S. Jay Olshansky, a researcher on aging at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Stress can speed up those two outward signs of aging, and it’s possible that job stress has made some presidents appear to age quickly. But the study shows that doesn’t mean being doomed to an early grave.