Health Highlights: April 17, 2018

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

First Drug for Rare Form of Rickets Approved by FDA

The first drug to treat a rare, inherited form of rickets has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc.'s Crysvita (burosumab) is approved to treat adults and children ages 1 year and older with x-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH), which causes low levels of phosphorus in the blood, resulting in impaired bone growth and development in children and teens and lifelong problems with bone mineralization.

"XLH differs from other forms of rickets in that vitamin D therapy is not effective," Dr. Julie Beitz, director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release.

"This is the first FDA-approved medication for the treatment of XLH and a real breakthrough for those living with this serious disease," Beitz said.

XLH affects about 3,000 children and 12,000 adults in the U.S. In children, XLH typically causes bowed or bent legs, short stature, bone pain and severe dental pain. Some adults with XLH have chronic discomfort or complications such as joint pain, impaired mobility, tooth abscesses and hearing loss.

A clinical trial found that 94 percent of adults who took Crysvita once a month achieved normal phosphorus levels, compared with 8 percent of those who took a placebo, according to the FDA.

In children, 94 to 100 percent of those treated with Crysvita every two weeks achieved normal phosphorus levels.

The most common negative side effects of Crysvita in adults were back pain, headache, restless leg syndrome, decreased vitamin D, dizziness and constipation. The most common negative side effects in children were headache, injection site reaction, vomiting, decreased vitamin D and fever, the FDA said.

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Dirty Air a Problem for Most People Worldwide: Report

More than 95 percent of people worldwide breathe polluted air, which is linked with millions of deaths a year, a new report says.

It also said that most of the people exposed to dirty air are in the poorest nations, CNN reported.

Long-term exposure to air pollution contributed to an estimated 6.1 million deaths globally in 2016, according to the annual State of Global Air Report released Tuesday by the Health Effects Institute.

It said air pollution is the fourth-leading health risk-related cause of death worldwide, behind high blood pressure, diet and smoking, CNN reported.

Exposure to air pollution can cause strokes, heart attacks, lung cancer and chronic lung diseases.

"Air pollution takes a huge personal toll worldwide, making it difficult to breathe for those with respiratory disease, sending the young and old to hospital, missing school and work, and contributing to early death," Bob O'Keefe, institute vice president, said in a statement, CNN reported.

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Sen. John McCain Recovering After Intestinal Surgery

U.S. Sen. John McCain is in stable condition after undergoing intestinal surgery for an infection, his office said Monday.

His staff said the surgery McCain had Sunday at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix was related to a condition called diverticulitis, in which the colon develops small bulges that can become infected, the Associated Press reported.

Since December, the longtime Republican senator and 2008 GOP presidential candidate has been receiving physical therapy related to brain cancer treatment.

McCain previously said he planned to return to Washington in January but has remained at home in Arizona, the AP reported.

This is a story from HealthDay, a service of ScoutNews, LLC.