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May 3, 2008, 7:45 PM CT

1 in 10 children using cough, cold medications

1 in 10 children using cough, cold medications
Image courtesy of http://www.smh.com.au/
Scientists from Boston Universitys Slone Epidemiology Center have observed that approximately one in ten U.S. children uses one or more cough and cold medications during a given week. These findings will be presented today at the 2008 Pediatric Academic Societies & Asian Society for Pediatric Research Joint Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Pediatric cough and cold medications are widely marketed in the U.S. but surprisingly little is known about just how often they are used in children. This information is particularly important in light of recent revelations that cough and cold medications are responsible for serious adverse events and even deaths among children.

To define the frequency and patterns of use, the scientists analyzed data between 1999 and 2006 from the Slone Survey, a national telephone survey of medicine use in a representative sample of the U.S. population. The authors considered all oral medicines that are approved by the FDA to treat childrens coughs and colds.

The scientists observed that in a given week, at least one cough and cold medicine was used by 10.1 percent of U.S. children. In terms of active ingredients contained in these medications, exposure was highest to decongestants and antihistamines (6.3 percent each), followed by anti-cough ingredients (4.1 percent) and expectorants (1.5 percent).........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 3, 2008, 7:36 PM CT

Unemployment having impact on kids' health-care

Unemployment having impact on kids' health-care
Two new studies conducted by scientists at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center point to the negative impact of parental job loss on childrens healthcare and the importance of having continuous health insurance coverage to meet childrens healthcare needs and reduce healthcare disparities.

The studies will be presented Saturday May 3 at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Honolulu.

These studies describe a situation that should be of grave concern to parents, health care providers and policymakers, says Gerry Fairbrother, Ph.D., a researcher in the division of health policy and clinical effectiveness at Cincinnati Childrens who was an author of both studies. The impact of not having insurance coverage in place year-round hurts children in a number of ways, including not being able to get the prescribed medications they need, and not having a regular source of health care and that puts their health at risk.

The first study shows that children whose parents lose or change jobs were twice as likely to lose their health care coverage as children whose parents did not lose or change jobs. In addition, children with private insurance were more than three times as likely to lose coverage.

This is a especially disturbing finding, coming at a time when job loss is becoming more common due to the economy, says Dr. Fairbrother, Ph.D., the studys lead author. As unemployment rises, more and more children are likely to experience a break in coverage that affects their health care. Our study showed that most of these children are eligible for public coverage but are not getting the coverage to which they are entitled. Much more needs to be done to reach out to children with private coverage when their parents experience job loss or change.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 3, 2008, 7:33 PM CT

Treatment advances for fibroids

Treatment advances for fibroids
Women with fibroids and endometriosis facing the possibility of hysterectomy may now choose less invasive therapy options to preserve fertility, as per Yale professor Aydin Arici, M.D., who will direct a scientific session exploring these alternatives at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Annual Clinical Meeting May 3-7 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Arici will chair the two-day postgraduate ACOG course Current Topics in Reproductive Endocrinology for the Clinician. He joins colleagues in the Yale Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences as they lead other ACOG courses on menopause, managing post-term pregnancy, and managing patients with bleeding disorders during pregnancy.

In his course, Arici will present therapy options for endometriosis and share novel conservative approaches for treating fibroids, the most common non-malignant tumor seen in reproductive-age women and the leading cause of hysterectomy in the United States.

Our goal is to educate general obstetricians on ways to tailor new therapy techniques to the needs of individual patients, said Arici. For women in their 30s and 40s, preserving reproductive potential while treating fibroids is often desired. In the past, ovarian function was suppressed by inducing sudden menopause to shrink fibroids. Novel medications that were unavailable a few years back are now able to do so without unpleasant side effects.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


May 2, 2008, 8:17 AM CT

Blood pressure killing the world's workers

Blood pressure killing the world's workers
In a todays issue of The Lancet, international health experts call for urgent action from international development banks and pharmaceutical companies to stem the epidemic of blood pressure-related diseases affecting developing countries worldwide.

New findings reveal that each year 8 million people die from heart disease and stroke, the two leading blood pressure-related diseases. The majority of these deaths occur in the developing world where victims are often workers, whose deaths directly result in poverty for families and other dependents. As per the authors these deaths are largely avoidable, but no substantive effort to address this issue has been made by the international development banks or the major drug companies.

Author and Principal Director of The George Institute for International Health in Sydney, Professor Stephen MacMahon said today, Ten years ago, The Global Burden of Disease Project predicted this epidemic, yet none of the key players who determine priorities for international health investment have made any real effort to address the problem. As a consequence in the last decade, blood pressure related diseases have killed more than 50 million people, disabled a number of more and taken billions of dollars from the already fragile economies of the developing world.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


April 30, 2008, 6:02 PM CT

Better-educated women are a healthier weight

Better-educated women are a healthier weight
A new comparison of multi-national data, released this month, reveals that highly educated women have a healthier average weight than less educated women, but that the meaning of healthier changes as per a nations relative wealth. In countries where malnutrition is prevalent, better-educated women weigh more. But in wealthier countries with rapidly growing rates of obesity better-educated women weigh less.

As a population moves through the nutrition transition, it is the most educated, and highest income, who are the first to exit under-nutrition. They are also the first to adjust their diet and physical activity to avoid the deleterious effects of being overweight, explained John Strauss, professor of economics at the University of Southern California.

It appears that it is women who tend to lead this transition, he added.

More than half of the adult population is underweight in Bangladesh, the poorest country analyzed by Strauss and Duncan Thomas (Duke University). In Bangladesh, average female body mass increased with every additional year of schooling.

In contrast, only 1 percent of people in the United States are underweight. Better-educated women in the United States, the wealthiest country in the study, had a lower average body mass index the more education theyd received, the scientists found.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 30, 2008, 5:55 PM CT

Salk study links diabetes and Alzheimer's disease

Salk study links diabetes and Alzheimer's disease
Diabetic individuals have a significantly higher risk of developing Alzheimers disease but the molecular correlation between the two remains unexplained. Now, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies identified the probable molecular basis for the diabetes Alzheimers interaction.

As per a research findings reported in the current online issue of Neurobiology of Aging, researchers led by David R. Schubert, Ph.D., professor in the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, report that the blood vessels in the brain of young diabetic mice are damaged by the interaction of elevated blood glucose levels characteristic of diabetes and low levels of beta amyloid, a peptide that clumps to form the senile plaques that riddle the brains of Alzheimers patients.

Eventhough the damage took place long before the first plaques appeared, the mice suffered from significant memory loss and an increase in inflammation in the brain. Eventhough the toxic beta amyloid peptide was first isolated from the brain blood vessels of Alzheimers patients, the contribution of pathological changes in brain vascular tissue to the disease has not been well studied, says Dave R. Schubert, Ph.D., professor and head of the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory. Our data clearly describe a biochemical mechanism to explain the epidemiology, and identify targets for drug development.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 30, 2008, 5:32 PM CT

How some bacteria survive antibiotics

How some bacteria survive antibiotics
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered how some bacteria can survive antibiotic therapy by turning on resistance mechanisms when exposed to the drugs. The findings, reported in the April 24 issue of the journal Molecular Cell, could lead to more effective antibiotics to treat a variety of infections.

"When patients are treated with antibiotics some pathogenic microbes can turn on the genes that protect them from the action of the drug," said Alexander Mankin, professor and associate director of the University of Illinois at Chicago's Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and lead investigator of the study. "We studied how bacteria can feel the presence of erythromycin and activate production of the resistance genes".

Erythromycin and newer macrolide antibiotics azithromycin and clarithromycin are often used to treat respiratory tract infections, as well as outbreaks of syphilis, acne and gonorrhea. The drugs can be used by patients allergic to penicillin.

Macrolide antibiotics act upon the ribosomes, the protein-synthesizing factories of the cell. A newly-made protein exits the ribosome through a tunnel that spans the ribosome body. Antibiotics can ward off an infection by attaching to the ribosome and preventing proteins the bacterium needs from moving through the tunnel.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


April 30, 2008, 5:26 PM CT

Elderly heart patients with ICD devices live longer

Elderly heart patients with ICD devices live longer
Elderly patients diagnosed with congestive heart failure who receive implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) for primary prevention of sudden cardiac death live longer than those that do not, as per scientists at the University of Pennsylvanias School of Medicine. Further, the health care costs linked to ICDs, while substantial at the time of implantation, do not greatly increase downstream health care costs in this population. The study is among the first to analyze the health outcomes and costs linked to primary prevention ICDs for patients outside of a clinical trial setting.

Scientists examined health care data from a nationally representative sample of 14,250 Medicare beneficiaries over age 66 who were treated for congestive heart failure at over 2,000 academic and community hospitals nationwide. Peter Groeneveld, M.D., M.S., Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine, and his co-authors reported their findings in the May 2008 issue of the journal Heart Rhythm.

Scientists observed that, on average, patients receiving ICDselectric monitoring devices that deliver a lifesaving shock to the heartfor primary prevention had a 38 percent lower mortality rate than patients who did not. Thirteen percent of patients who received ICDs died in the first year after implantation, compared with 23 percent of patients who did not receive ICDs. During the second year, the gap widened, as 17 percent of ICD recipients died, compared with 29 percent who did not receive the device.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


April 30, 2008, 5:16 PM CT

Childbirth training change improves safety

Childbirth training change improves safety
Relatively inexpensive interventions were effective in helping health care providers in Latin America improve the way they treat mothers during labor and delivery, reducing bleeding and sometimes saving lives of women during childbirth, as per a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health study released recently in the New England Journal (NEJM).

Using teaching techniques that employed behavioral change strategies aimed at modifying practices, scientists were able to reduce the number and severity of episiotomies, a surgical procedure in which a doctor or midwife makes an incision in the tissue between the mothers vagina and rectum during childbirth.

They were also able to increase the use of the hormone oxytocin which is given to mothers to make their uterus shrink and bleed less to manage the third stage of labor, when the placenta detaches and passes from the uterus and hemorrhaging may occur.

At the start of the study, public hospitals in Argentina and Uruguay had very high rates of routine episiotomy and low rates of actively managing the third stage of labor. In the randomized trial of 20 hospitals, 10 received the intervention and the rest received clinical practice guidelines via seminars.

The intervention included identifying and training small teams of respected medical opinion leaders at several hospitals. These teams then trained their peers, and provided their colleagues with ongoing reminders and feedback regarding progress.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


April 29, 2008, 8:29 PM CT

Benefits of drug therapy for diabetic eye disease

Benefits of drug therapy for diabetic eye disease
Diabetes retina
A JDRF collaboration between Johns Hopkins scientists and Genentech has shown that a drug for the therapy of diabetic eye disease haccording toformed better in clinical trials than the current standard therapy using laser surgery.

These findings, representing the six-month end-point evaluation of the READ-2 clinical trial coordinated by The Johns Hopkins University, were presented Monday at the 2008 Annual Meeting of The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

As per Barbara Araneo, Ph.D., director of the complications program at JDRF, These are very encouraging results, showing that drugs we have been testing in human clinical trials can be effective in slowing or stopping the effects of eye disease brought on by diabetes.

The multi-center READ-2 Study (Ranibizumab for Edema of the mAcula in Diabetes), which began in December 2006, was designed to test the long-term safety and effectiveness of injections of the drug ranibizumab in patients with diabetic macular edema, a condition characterized by swelling of the central portion of the retina, or macula, at the back of the eye. In addition, the trial sought to determine the comparative efficacy of ranibizumab versus conventional therapy laser photocoagulation treatment or both together.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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