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Briefs: Success of in vitro fertilization levels off on third try

diminishing returns for IVF treatments

About one in three U.S. women had a baby the first time they tried in vitro fertilization, and that rose to nearly one in two with a second try, according to a new study. But a third cycle boosted success rates very little and leveled off with subsequent attempts. Lead researcher Barbara Luke of Michigan State University said, "If you haven't gotten pregnant by the third, the chances are slim to continue." The average cost for an IVF cycle is about $12,400 and often isn't covered by insurance. The study presented Wednesday at a reproductive medicine meeting in Denver is the first to examine success rates nationally. Advocates say it will help infertile couples decide whether to keep trying IVF or explore adoption, donor eggs or a surrogate.

Teens need to roll up their sleeves

A federal advisory panel recommends teens get a booster dose of the vaccine against bacterial meningitis because it doesn't work as long as expected. Three years ago, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said the vaccine typically aimed at college freshman should be offered to kids ages 11 and 12. They thought it was effective for at least 10 years. But data presented at a medical meeting Wednesday shows it is effective for less than five years, so a booster dose should be given at age 16. The panel advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which usually adopts its recommendations.

FDA: No marketing proposed diet drug

The Food and Drug Administration told makers of the proposed weight-loss drug Lorcaserin that it would not approve its marketing, citing concerns about its effectiveness and about cancers in lab mice during clinical trials. With the results of a new clinical trial on Lorcaserin for obese patients with type-2 diabetes due to be unveiled in the coming weeks, officials from drugmaker Arena Pharmaceuticals said they will meet with FDA officials to address the concerns.

Awareness of high blood pressure up

More American adults are aware they have high blood pressure, and more are taking medicine to try to control it, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Wednesday. Yet the proportion of adults with high blood pressure has stayed about 30 percent for a decade, the report found. Dr. Nanette Wenger, an Emory University cardiologist, said that despite rising obesity, perhaps more people are exercising, drinking less alcohol or taking other steps to prevent high blood pressure, which raises the chance of heart disease, stroke and other serious problems.

Using HRT? Share your story with us

If you use hormone therapy for menopause symptoms and are willing to share your experiences, please contact Times staff writer Letitia Stein at or (813) 226-3322.

Times wires

The price of cancer

"It got to the point where I had to stop opening bills because I was getting one every day, sometimes two."

Valerie Berry, 45, a Chicago woman who has insurance but went into debt due to breast cancer treatment. One in seven Americans say they fear cancer because of the cost.

Briefs: Success of in vitro fertilization levels off on third try 10/27/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 6:04pm]
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