Health Highlights: June 28, 2008

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Saturday, June 28, 2008; 12:00 AM

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors ofHealthDay:

Doctor Who Was Target in U.S. Anthrax Probe, Wins Multimillion Dollar Settlement

The physician and bio-researcher who the U.S. Justice department identified as a "person of interest" in the bizarre series of anthrax incidents that killed 5 people beginning in 2001 has settled his lawsuit against the government.

TheNew York Timesreports that Dr. Steven Hatfill will receive almost $3 million in cash and an additional $150,000 annually for the next 20 years to settle a lawsuit he filed in 2003, charging the FBI and U.S. Justice Department with leaking information to the news media in order to link him to the mailing of letters that contained anthrax spores.

Hatfill has consistently denied having anything to do with the anthrax incidents, in which five people died after inhaling the spore particles and another 17 were hospitalized, in 2001 and 2002.

U.S. Justice Department officials have never explained why Hatfill was such a prominent figure in the investigation, and a government statement said only that the government admitted no liability but decided settlement was "in the best interest of the United States," the newspaper reported.

Mark Grannis one of Hatfill's attorneys, told theTimesthat the settlement "means that Steven Hatfill is finally an ex-person of interest."

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Working While Tired May Harm Heart

Doing mental or physical work while fatigued may lead to hypertension and heart disease, suggests a U.S. study.

It included 80 volunteers who were told they could win a prize by memorizing, in two minutes, a number of meaningless three-letter sequences. Their blood pressure and heart rate were monitored while they tried to memorize the information. Those with moderate fatigue showed stronger blood pressure increases than those with low fatigue,United Press Internationalreported.

The study appears in the July issue of theInternational Journal of Psychophysiology.


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