In health news today: Bad birth control pills and the difficulties of growing up gay

June 7, 2012, 10:28 a.m.

The manufacturer of birth control pill Introvale voluntarily recalled some of its products on Tuesday after a consumer reported a packaging flaw. (Credit: Monik Markus/Flickr Creative Commons)

Here are the latest health headlines folks in South Los Angeles ought to know about:

Some birth control pills recalled for label flaws: The manufacturer of birth control pill Introvale has voluntarily recalled some of its products after a consumer reported a packaging flaw, which involved white placebo tablets being placed in the wrong row of a 13-row packet. The company says it has not heard of any negative outcomes stemming from the mistake, but is recalling lot numbers LF00478C, LF00479C, LF00551C, LF00552C, LF00687C, LF00688C, LF00763C, LF00764C, LF00765C and LF01261C, all of which were distributed in the U.S. between January 2011 and May 2012. If a patient who uses Introvale finds a white placebo pill in any position other than the 13th and final row, she should switch to a non-hormonal form of birth control, said the Food and Drug Administration. | MSN

Gay teens less likely to be happy, nationwide survey finds: Gay teens are less happy than straight teens, more likely to have experimented with alcohol and drugs and more likely to have been verbally and physically assaulted at school within the past year than straight teenagers, says a new study by the Human Rights Campaign, which indicates that even though the country is gradually becoming more accepting, it's not easy growing up gay or lesbian. As of 2009, 97.2 percent of people in South L.A. identified as heterosexual, while 2.2 percent said they were gay, lesbian or bisexual. | L.A. Times

Black, white life expectancy gap closing in: The difference in lifespans for black and white men declined from 6.5 years to 5.4 years, according to new data from the U.S. National Vital Statistics System, something researchers attribute to improvements in quality of life for black people like lower rates of unintentional injury deaths, HIV deaths and heart disease. White folks, on the other hand, had a higher rate of poisoning mortalities – overdoses of prescription medication. The life expectancy gap between white and black people was 14 years back in 1900. | CBS News

Phone therapy sessions might help depressed people: A form of telemedicine could be beneficial for people who suffer from depression, says a new study – more precisely, calling in to their therapists could be as effective as an in-person visit, especially since it's so convenient to make a phone call. While there is some disagreement over whether phone calls are an adequate substitute for in-person contact, others are emphasizing the importance of people's simply completing their sessions. | CBS News

Caffeine In Coffee Linked With Delayed Alzheimer's Onset: Study: Coffee-lovers rejoice: Researchers have found that higher caffeine consumption is linked with delayed onset of Alzheimer's, even in those who have mild memory impairment, which is thought to be an early sign of Alzheimer's or dementia. The results suggest, according to researchers, that about three cups of coffee a day for older adults with mild memory impairment will help them avoid converting to Alzheimer's, or at least delay the disease's onset. | Huffington Post

Health care reform trajectory won't be stopped by Supreme Court ruling: With the Supreme Court's decision on President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA) looming, the question of what will happen if all or part of the law is struck down remains. One former federal health official says no matter what happens to the ACA, the American health care industry is already undergoing changes, reforms and shifts that are unstoppable. | KPCC

Depressed Teens Who Respond to Treatment Less Likely to Abuse Drugs: Getting treated for and responding to treatment for depression makes teenagers less likely to get caught up in drugs, says a new study. Researchers attribute that to medicine that improves a patient's mood control or skills learned in behavioral therapy, in addition to education and support. | MSN

Stress may delay brain development in early years: Stress could affect a specific piece of the brain and the abilities that are associated with it for children, says a new study. Kids who experienced intense, lasting and/or traumatic events in their lives performed worse on tests of spatial working memory, and had more trouble navigating tests of short-term memory. Researchers so far are unsure if this is a delay in development or a lasting, permanent difference, and say it's quite possible that kids can later "catch up" after this happens to their brains. | EurekAlert

Photo by Monik Markus via Flickr Creative Commons.

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