Medication Health News

Poor Diabetes Control Found In Older Americans.

ID-10090006The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) followed a group of middle age adults from various states – a subgroup of ARIC participants (1,574 of older adults) with diabetes between 2011 and 2013 was evaluated by the team of researchers in terms of the following three measures: hemoglobin A1c, LDL levels and blood pressures. Only 35% of participants previously met their A1C, LDL and blood pressure goals from the American Diabetes Association (ADA). With a recent change to less stringent goals for older adults from the ADA, the data looks better now, however, only 68% of the participants met the new goals. The researchers assume that people at this age get sick more often which make it a challenge to keep their blood glucose levels at goal. Over-treating this population can put them at higher risk for adverse effects as well. What are some strategies you take with older patients who have diabetes?


For more information please see Public health news for John Hopkins.

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Pioglitazone and cancer risk

ID-100294763The Journal of the American Medical association, recently published findings of a new cohort study aimed to examine the risk of pioglitazone and baldder cancer risk as well as additional cancer risks. The study focused on the usage, duration, cumulative dose and time of starting of pioglitazone therapy. Previously, pioglitazone studies suggested increased risk for bladder cancer. At the end of this observational analysis the researchers concluded that pioglitazone is not associated with a statistically significant increase risk of bladder cancer. The study also concluded that there was an increased risk for prostate and pancreatic cancer. However, more studies should be done to support findings. How often do you see pioglitazone prescribed and dispensed?

For more information please see JAMA


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Hormone Linked to Social Difficulties With Autism.

ID-10054907Vasopressin is a hormone that maintains blood pressure. According to a new study conducted in the Stanford School of Medicine, this hormone may play a role in social behavior in children with autism.  The researchers evaluated levels of vasopressin in the blood and compared them with those in the cerebrospinal fluid of 28 children and adults. Participants were divided into three groups (children with autism, children with siblings with autism and children with no siblings with autism). Children were tested for cognitive, emotional and social skills. The study found that low levels of vasopressin affected only those children who suffered from autism. What are some of your favorite resources for counseling/educating parents and/or patients with autism?

For more information please see Webmed.

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Coffee drinking may lower inflammation, reduce diabetes risk


In a new study conducted by the department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Harokopio University in Athens, Greece and published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers evaluated coffee drinking habits of more than 1,300 men and women age 18 years and older. 385 of the participants drank more than 1.5 cups of coffee per day thus were considered ‘habitual’ drinkers, while 816 drank less than 1.5 cups of coffee par day and were considered ‘casual’ drinkers; the rest of the participants didn’t consume coffee at all. Levels of inflammatory protein markers and anti-oxidant levels were measured as an indication of the body’s ability to minimize free radicals effect that causes cell damage.  Previous studies suggest that oxidative stress accelerates the dysfunction of pancreatic beta-cells. Scientists  confirmed in this research that blood levels of the anti-inflammatory marker, amyloid, were lower in the habitual coffee drinkers group. After ten years, 191 study participants developed type two diabetes. Habitual coffee drinkers were 54% less likely to develop diabetes compared to non-coffee drinkers. What are some of your main reasons (other than the stimulant effects) why you consume coffee?

For additional information please visit Reuters.

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Could Antibiotics Up Juvenile Arthritis Risk?

ID-100321659Juvenile arthritis is a disease that can be attributed to genetic factors as well as environmental factors. Researchers examined data from a British electronic record system, discovering 152 juvenile arthritis diagnoses made between 1994-2013 among children in the UK between age 1 and 15 years old. The study team suggests that antibiotics use can double the risk and a five prescriptions of antibiotics can triple the risk. Although this study can not conclude a cause and effect relationship, this study also suggests that those kids with juvenile arthritis may be already prone to developing more infections due to their lower immune system. What are your thoughts about the link between antibiotics and juvenile arthritis?

For more information please see  Webmed

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Judging a Pill by Its Color

A recent stuID-100232382dy that included people from the US, China and Colombia looked at how patients perceive the usefulness of medications based on their colors and shapes. Each of the 97 US participants rated the pill’s taste, effectiveness and swallowing difficulty solely from its look. showed identical findings. Based on patients’ feedback – white pills were the most effective, red ones were most mentally stimulating, light blue pills were less bitter and the diamond shaped ones were the hardest to swallow. Researches confirmed that the way patients predict how their medications work from their appearance could highly affect their behavior toward them. What have you discovered in terms of patients’ compliance when you counsel them, especially when their pills have changed in color or shape?

For additional information please read WSJ

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Regular Yoga Practice Improves Antioxidant Status, Immune Function, and Stress Hormone Releases in Young Healthy People.

ID-100219503The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine just published a randomized double-blind study evaluating the effects of yoga on immune function, antioxidant levels and stress hormones. The study recruited 25 healthy university students in Korea. 13 of them were randomized to ‘no yoga’ intervention while the other 12 practiced yoga with an instructor for 90 minutes once a week. Participants were also advised to practice yoga with a DVD sample for 40 minutes daily. Blood samples were collected at the beginning and 12 weeks later. After study completion researchers concluded that yoga had a positive impact toward all end points (antioxidant status, immune function and stress hormone release). What is your favorite yoga class/style/teacher?

For more information please see  The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

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Lower Is Better — LDL Cholesterol and IMPROVE-IT

The Imheartproved Reduction of Outcomes: Vytorin Efficacy International Trial (IMPROVE-IT) by Cannon et al. is the first clinical trial to show a benefit of adding a non statin lipid-modifying agent to statin therapy. The trial included 18,144 patients with an acute coronary syndrome who were randomly assigned to either simvastatin (40 mg) plus ezetimibe (10 mg) or to simvastatin (40 mg) plus placebo. After 7 years cardiovascular death, major coronary event or nonfatal stroke were 2 % significantly lower in the simvastatin-plus-ezetimibe group than in the simvastatin-monotherapy group (32.7% vs. 34.7%). The IMPROV-IT trial supported that excess low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is a causal factor in the development of atherosclerotic vascular disease; suggesting that reducing LDL cholesterol levels, regardless of the mechanism, should produce a corresponding reduction in cardiovascular events. What are your thoughts about the results of this research? How will this change your practice?

For additional information please read NEJM

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High blood pressure danger equal for slim and obese alike.

ID-10038425Studies in the past have shown normal weight or lean individuals with hypertension had a worse chance of developing stroke and heart failure. However, a new study of 3,657 men and women with no cardiovascular disease, cancer or diabetes prior to the study showed different results. The participants were divided into categories based on their weight circumference and BMI (underweight, healthy, overweight, obese and very obese). During the 10 years of the study participants were monitored for hospital admissions, procedures, cardiovascular disease or death every 9-12 month. At the end, researchers concluded those with healthy weight and no blood pressure problems were at low risk, while obese individuals with normal blood pressure were at greater risk. However, the presence of high blood pressure equally increased the risk for obese and healthy weight individuals. What are some of your favorite lifestyle recommendations for preventing/controlling high blood pressure?

For more information please see  Reuters

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