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POSTED November 5, 2013 7:42 p.m.

TESTOSTERONE TREATMENTS LINKED WITH HEART RISKS: CHICAGO (AP) — Testosterone treatments may increase risks for heart attacks, strokes and death in older men with low hormone levels and other health problems, a big Veterans Affairs study suggests.

The results raise concerns about the widely used testosterone gels, patches or injections that are heavily marketed for low sex drive, fatigue and purported anti-aging benefits, the authors and other doctors said.

Men who used testosterone were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke or to die during a three-year period than men with low hormone levels who didn't take the supplements. Hormone users and nonusers were in their early 60s on average, and most had other health problems including high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol and diabetes.

The research doesn't prove that testosterone caused the heart attacks, strokes or death, but echoes a previous study in older men and should prompt doctors and patients to discuss potential risks and benefits of using the products, said study lead author Dr. Michael Ho, a cardiologist with the VA's Eastern Colorado Health System in Denver.

The nationwide study involved an analysis of health data on 8,700 veterans with low levels of testosterone, the main male sex hormone. All had undergone a heart imaging test and many had risk factors for heart problems, including blocked heart arteries. Risks linked with testosterone were similar in men with and without existing heart problems.

Nearly 26 percent of men using testosterone had one of the bad outcomes within three years of the heart test, compared with 20 percent of nonusers. It's unclear how the hormone might increase heart risks but possibilities include evidence that testosterone might make blood substances called platelets stick together, which could lead to blood clots, the study authors said.

AUTHORITIES: MISS. WOMAN OFFERED TO SELL HER BABY: NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Mississippi woman has been arrested for allegedly offering to sell her infant son to another woman she met through an online classified ad.

Bobbie Jo Stojic, 23, of Bay St. Louis was freed on $5,000 bond after her Oct. 29 arrest on a felony charge of offering to sell a child, authorities said.

Stojic allegedly offered to sell her 4-month-old son for $5,000 in a text message that she sent last month to a woman from Kenner, La., who had answered her Craigslist ad for baby clothes, according to a court filing.

MGM RESORTS, AEG RELEASE VEGAS STRIP ARENA IMAGES: LAS VEGAS (AP) — Casino giant MGM Resorts International and a development partner, entertainment company AEG, released renderings Tuesday of a gleaming new 20,000-seat indoor arena planned for the Las Vegas Strip.

Construction on the $350 million privately financed arena is expected to start next April or May, with a projected opening in spring 2016, said Tim Romani, president and chief executive of Denver-based ICON Venue Group, the project manager.

The facility designed by the Kansas City, Mo.-based firm Populous is expected to host concerts, boxing, mixed martial arts, awards shows and other events. Planners hope to lure professional basketball and hockey events, although no pro team commitments have been announced.

HOME PRICES RISE AT SLOWER PACE IN SEPTEMBER: WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of U.S. home prices rose only slightly in September from August, a sign that prices are leveling off after big gains earlier this year.

Real estate provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that home prices increased 0.2 percent in September from the previous month. That's sharply lower than the 0.9 percent month-over-month gain in August and well below the 1.8 percent increase in July.

Prices still rose 12 percent in September compared with a year ago.

Higher mortgage rates and steady price increases began to slow home sales in September. As a result, price gains have cooled off.

Mortgage rates are still very low. And the average rate on a 30-year fixed loan has fallen to 4.1 percent in the past month, down from a two-year high of nearly 4.6 percent over the summer.

CRUISE SAYS HE'S CLOSE TO DAUGHTER DESPITE WORK: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tom Cruise is telling a federal court he maintains a close relationship with his daughter Suri despite his divorce from her mother Katie Holmes and a hectic film schedule.

Cruise's declaration was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles in a defamation case against Bauer Publishing Co. The actor is suing over two 2012 tabloid stories that claimed he had "abandoned" his daughter.

He writes in the two-page declaration that despite filming back-to-back movies after the divorce, he spoke with Suri nearly every day and got frequent updates from Holmes about how she was doing.

Cruise's lawyers are asking a judge to order Bauer to declare it didn't have any sources to support its contentions about his parenting role.

GAY RIGHTS BILL MOVES FORWARD AS OPPOSITION SILENT: WASHINGTON (AP) — Invoking the Declaration of Independence, proponents of a bill that would outlaw discrimination against gays in the workplace argued on Tuesday that the measure is rooted in fundamental fairness for all Americans.

Republican opponents of the measure were largely silent, neither addressing the issue on the second day of Senate debate nor commenting unless asked. Written statements from some rendered their judgment that the bill would result in costly, frivolous lawsuits and mandate federal law based on sexuality.

The Senate moved closer to completing its work on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would prohibit workplace discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said a final vote in the Senate is possible by week's end.

Senate passage of the bill would represent a major victory for advocates of gay rights just months after the Supreme Court affirmed gay marriage and granted federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples and three years after Congress ended the ban on gays serving openly in the military.

Illinois was poised to become the 15th state to legalize gay marriage after the state's Legislature gave its final approval Tuesday, sending it to the governor, who has said he'll sign it.

 

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