Saturday, November 15, 2014

Journal Watch November 2014

• Almost 1 in 5 Americans Plagued by Constant Pain: Almost one-fifth of Americans do daily battle with crippling, chronic pain, a large new survey reveals, with the elderly and women struggling the most. The bottom line: Significant and debilitating pain that endures for three months or more is now a common feature in the lives of an estimated 39 million Americans. Journal of Pain Oct. 

• Smoking and Back Pain: Smokers are three times more likely than nonsmokers to develop chronic back pain, and dropping the habit may cut their chances of developing this often debilitating condition, researchers report. Human Brain Mapping 

• A Purpose in Life May Extend Yours: A study, involving more than 9,000 British people averaging 65 years of age, found that those who professed to feeling worthwhile and having a sense of purpose in life were less likely to die during the more than eight years the researchers tracked them. The Lancet 

• Integrative Medicine Relieves Pain, Anxiety for Cancer Inpatients: Researchers found that integrative medicine therapies (massage, acupuncture, guided imagery, relaxation response)  can substantially decrease pain and anxiety for hospitalized cancer patients. Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs 

 Marijuana’s Long Term Effects on the Brain: The effects of chronic marijuana use on the brain may depend on age of first use and duration of use, according to new research. Researchers for the first time comprehensively describe existing abnormalities in brain function and structure of long-term marijuana users with multiple magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS 

• Mushroom extract,AHCC, helpful in Treating HPV: A Japanese mushroom extract appears to be effective for the eradication of human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a pilot clinical trial. Ten HPV-positive women were treated orally with the extract, AHCC (active hexose correlated compound) once daily for up to six months. Five achieved a negative HPV test result -- three with confirmed eradication after stopping AHCC -- with the remaining two responders continuing on the study. U of Texas Health Science Center

 New Evidence that Exercise Therapy, Acupuncture Benefit Breast Cancer Survivors There is hope for breast cancer survivors struggling with cancer-related pain and swelling. Researchers point to ways to enhance muscular strength and body image in new articles that focus on integrative oncology, which combines a variety of therapies, some non-traditional, for maximum benefit to cancer patients. Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs 

• Approves New Vaccine to Protect against Meningitis
• Cautions against “undeclared” food allergens as some food labels may not reliably list all possible food allergens.
• Approves new treatment for rare form of hemophilia

Long-Term PPI TherapyWith Rabeprazole Prevents Peptic Ulcer Recurrence: Long-term use of rabeprazole prevents the recurrence of peptic ulcers in patients on low-dose aspirin (LDA) therapy, according to a study presented here at United European Gastroenterology Week (UEGW). 

Regular Doctor Visits Help Control Blood Pressure: Researchers analyzed data from 37,000 American adults who had their blood pressure checked between 1999 and 2012. Those who saw their doctor at least twice a year were 3.2 times more likely to keep their blood pressure under control than those who saw their doctor once a year or less. Circulation 

• Easy-To-Walk Communities Linked to SharperSenior Minds: Living in easy-to-walk communities may slow mental decline in older adults, according to a small study. Gerontological Society of America 

• Use Chia Seeds with Caution: Despite potential health benefits, chia seeds may pose a risk if they are not consumed properly, according to new research. The tiny, oval seeds -- a rich source of fiber, protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids -- should not be eaten in their dry, raw form, experts cautioned. This is particularly true for people with a history of swallowing problems or a constricted esophagus, the researchers said. American College of Gastroenterology 

High-Fat, Low-Carb Diet May Help with Tough to treat Epilepsy: A review of five studies found that a ketogenic, or modified Atkins diet, that focuses on foods like bacon, eggs, heavy cream, butter, fish and green vegetables, could help reduce seizures in adults whose condition doesn't improve with medication. Neurology 

Is Milk Your Friend or Foe?: Women who drank three glasses of milk or more every day had a nearly doubled risk of death and cardiovascular disease, and a 44 percent increased risk of cancer compared to women who drank less than one glass per day, the researchers found. Men's overall risk of death increased about 10 percent when they drank three or more glasses of milk daily. BMJ 

• Stroke Prevention Guidelines Emphasize Healthy Lifestyle: The new guidelines advise people to exercise, control blood pressure, don’t smoke, and eat what's known as Mediterranean or DASH-style (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) diets that emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains and seeds, plus poultry and fish. Stroke 

 Big Name Diets All Work for a While: Looking at a dozen clinical trials, researchers found that three big-name diets -- Atkins, Weight Watchers and the Zone -- were all "modestly" effective over the course of a year. In studies that compared the plans head-to-head, people lost anywhere from 4 to 10 pounds, on average. And in the few trials that lasted two years -- all looking at Atkins or Weight Watchers -- people often regained some of the pounds they lost. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes 

• Lactose Intolerant Less Likely to Develop Certain Cancers: A study of nearly 23,000 people in Sweden with lactose intolerance, as well as members of their families, found those who had trouble digesting dairy had lower rates of lung, breast and ovarian cancers than those without lactose intolerance. However, siblings and parents of people with lactose intolerance had the same risk for these cancers as people in the general population, which suggests that the lower cancer risk in people with lactose intolerance may have something to do with their diets. British Journal 

• Live Longer? Save the Planet? Better Diet Could Do Both? A new study shows how a shift away from this trajectory and toward healthier traditional Mediterranean, pescatarian or vegetarian diets could not only boost human lifespan and quality of life, but also slash greenhouse gas emissions and save habitat for endangered species. Nature 

• B Vitamins May Not Boost Memory or Thinking: Taking vitamin B12 or folic acid supplements may not reduce seniors' risk of memory loss, according to a new study of nearly 3,000 people with an average age of 74. Neurology 

• Parkinson’s Drugs May Spur Compulsive Behaviors: Drugs commonly used to treat Parkinson's disease may raise the risk of so-called impulse control disorders, according to a new review. These disorders include compulsive gambling, compulsive shopping and/or hypersexuality. That increased risk was seen in a fresh review of a decade's worth of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) records. JAMA Internal Medicine 

Hormone Therapy May Up Heart-Related Deaths in Some Prostate Cancer Patients: Giving androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) was linked to triple the risk of heart-related death in men with heart failure or in those who had a previous heart attack. "ADT is a mainstay of prostate cancer therapy, but may not be the best option for all men," said lead researcher BJU International, online 

• Common Blood Pressure Drug May Lower Risk for Lou Gehrig’s: Those who took particular doses of ACE inhibitors  for more than four years appeared to reduce their risk of ALS by 57 percent.  National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) 

• New Drug for Non Alcoholic Steatohepatitis: The FLINT study found that people with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) who took obeticholic acid (OCA) had improved liver health during that period, including decreased inflammation and fat in the liver and decreased body weight versus people receiving a placebo. OCA was also associated with increases in itching and total cholesterol. NIH 

• Nearly all Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease Should Take Statins: A comparison of two different cholesterol management guidelines indicates that the vast majority of patients with chronic kidney disease are recommended to receive statins. 50% of people with chronic kidney disease who are recommended to receive statins are not taking them, the study shows. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) 

• MoreEvidence Arthritis/Pain Relieving Drugs May Contribute to Stroke Death: Commonly prescribed, older drugs (COX-2 inhibitors) for arthritis and pain may increase the risk of death from stroke, according to a study. "Our study supports stepping up efforts to make sure people with a higher risk of stroke are not prescribed these medications when other options are available," authors concluded. Neurology® 

• No Link between vaccinations, risk for MS: A new study finds no link between vaccines and increased risk of multiple sclerosis or similar nervous system diseases. JAMA Neurology 

• 8 Ways to Save Big on Medications from Consumer Reports: Chances are you’re paying more than you need to for prescription drugs. But thanks to discounts offered at Costco, CVS, Target, Walgreen, Walmart and others, hundreds of common generic drugs can be purchased for pennies per pill.

 • Informal Care for Older Americans Tops $500 B: Each year, people across the United States spend an estimated 30 billion hours caring for older relatives and friends, which costs $522 billion, according to new research. RAND Corp 

Anxiety Can Damage Brain: People with mild cognitive impairment are at increased risk of converting to Alzheimer's disease within a few years, but a new study warns the risk increases significantly if they suffer from anxiety. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 

• Medical Bills Pricey for Americans, Even with Private Insurance: Many Americans may believe that private insurance can keep major medical bills at bay. But a new survey finds that one-fifth of people with private plans still spend at least 5 percent of their income on out-of-pocket health care costs. The Commonwealth Fund

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