Top 10 Health News Stories of 2008
Salmonella, Vaccines, Belly Fat Were Hot Topics in 2008
3. Vitamins With a Capital "D"
The hottest vitamin of 2008 was vitamin D. People with vitamin D deficiency are prey to all kinds of ailments, from depression to cancer. But accumulating evidence suggests that even the currently recommended dose of vitamin D may not be enough. Here are links to WebMD's evolving coverage of the vitamin D story.
4. Tim Russert's Heart -- and Ours
The unexpected death of ABC newsman Tim Russert saddened millions and was a wake-up call for many people about heart disease, the No. 1 killer of U.S. men and women. The year also brought new CPR guidelines and new insights about finding clogged arteries.
5. Bisphenol A in Baby Bottles
Bisphenol A, a chemical found in polycarbonate plastic used to make some baby and water bottles, hit the big-time in 2008, with controversy about its health effects hotly debated by two government agencies, academics, and industry. The debate is still going, with the FDA's final word expected by February 2009. Meanwhile, some consumers and major companies, including Wal-Mart and Toys "R" Us, are already backing away from baby bottles with BPA.
6. Can Vaccines Cause Autism?
Medical experts say it can't happen. But a number of parents -- most notably celebrity Jenny McCarthy -- say vaccines triggered their children's autism. Adding fuel to the fire, the Department of Health and Human Services said Hannah Poling, a girl with a mitochondrial disorder, was allowed compensation from a vaccine injury compensation fund because the vaccine preservative thimerosal could theoretically have triggered her autistic symptoms. Is there a link between vaccines and autism? Throughout the year, WebMD readers kept up to date with the issue.