• Better Pain Relief after Knee Surgery: Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit note that the painful recovery process following knee replacement surgery is a persistent problem. However, the research team found that injecting a newer, long-acting numbing medicine, known as liposomal bupivacaine, into the area surrounding the knee helps patients recover more quickly and boosts their satisfaction with the procedure. "Patients had pain relief for up to two days after surgery and better knee function compared with the traditional method." American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons annual meeting
• Knee Arthritis Drugs Beat Placebos, But No Clear Winner: Using data from almost 140 studies, researchers found all of the widely used arthritis treatments -- from over-the-counter painkillers to pain-relieving injections -- brought more relief to aching knees over three months than did placebo pills. Overall, the biggest benefit came from injections of hyaluronic acid (HA) -- a treatment some professional medical groups consider only marginally effective. Annals of Internal Medicine
• First Evidence of Neuroinflammation in Brains of Chronic Pain Patients: A new study from Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has found, for the first time, evidence of neuroinflammation in key regions of the brains of patients with chronic pain. By showing that levels of an inflammation-linked protein are elevated in regions known to be involved in pain transmission, the study paves the way for the exploration of potential new treatment strategies and possibly for biomarkers reflecting pain conditions.
COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
• Osteoarthritisand Complementary Health Approaches from the National Center for Complementaryand Integrative Health
FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION ACTION
• Approved liraglutide injection as treatment option for chronic weight management.
• Approved a new antibacterial drug comprised of ceftolozane and tazobactam to treat adults with complicated intra-abdominal infections and complicated urinary tract infections (UTIs).
• Approved Opdivo for advanced Melanoma
• Approved Rapivab the first single dose IV treatment for flu
• Approved Viekira Pak to treat Hepatitis C
• Approved Savaysa, anti clotting medication
• Approved Maestro Rechrageable System, the device controls hunger and feelings of fullness to treat obesity.
• Weight Training Key to Battling Belly Fat: Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that combining aerobic activities with weight, or resistance, training is key to preserving muscle and avoiding weight gain, particularly age-related belly fat.
• Study Suggests Link Between E-Cigarettes, Respiratory Infections: Vapor from electronic cigarettes may increase young people's risk of respiratory infections, whether or not it contains nicotine, a new laboratory study has found. Lung tissue samples from deceased children appeared to suffer damage when exposed to e-cigarette vapor in the laboratory, researchers reported in a recent issue of the journal PLOS One.
• More Evidence that Healthy Living Works Wonders for Women’s Hearts: The study found that women who followed six healthy living recommendations -- not smoking, exercising at least 2.5 hours a week, having a normal weight, watching seven or fewer hours of television a week, eating a healthy diet, and drinking some alcohol but no more than about one drink per day -- dropped their odds of heart disease about 90 percent over 20 years, compared to women living the unhealthiest lifestyles. Journal of the American College of Cardiology
• Optimistic People Have Healthier Hearts: Using the American Heart Association's criteria, a study of 5,000 adults found that the most optimistic people had twice the odds of being in ideal cardiovascular health as their pessimistic counterparts. Health Behavior and Policy Review
• Statin Treatment Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Women: A large international study has shown conclusively that statin treatment reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in women. The research confirms that statins are beneficial not only to women who have already had a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke, but also in those who - whilst they have not yet developed cardiovascular disease -- are at an increased risk of such diseases. The Lancet
• Does Screening Asymptomatic Adults for Major Disease Save Lives?: New research shows that few currently available screening tests for major diseases where death is a common outcome have documented reductions in disease-specific mortality. Evidence was evaluated on 16 screening tests for 9 major diseases where mortality is a common outcome. International Journal of Epidemiology
• Lack of Exercise Responsible for Twice as Many Early Deaths as Obesity: A brisk 20 minute walk each day could be enough to reduce an individual's risk of early death, according to new research. The study of over 334,000 European men and women found that twice as many deaths may be attributable to lack of physical activity compared with the number of deaths attributable to obesity, but that just a modest increase in physical activity could have significant health benefits. Am J Clin Nutr.
• Six Reasons Not to Take Zinc for Colds: It won’t relieve your cold symptoms; has side effects; can be toxic; interact with other medications; cause health problems and can be very dangerous. The nasal form can make you lose your sense of smell. Consumer Reports
• Diet Rich in Whole Grains Might Extend Your Life: Over time, regularly eating whole wheat bread, oatmeal or other whole grains may add years to your lifespan, a new Harvard-led study concludes. Whole grains are so healthy that a person's risk of an early death drops with every serving added to a daily diet, according to findings published online Jan. 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Healthy eating habits reduce women's risk of type 2 diabetes, new research finds. A healthy diet featured lower intake of saturated and trans fats, sugar-sweetened drinks, and red and processed meats. It included higher intake of cereal fiber, polyunsaturated fats, coffee and nuts. Polyunsaturated fats include soybean, safflower, canola and corn oils. Diabetes Care
• An Avocado a Day May Help Keep Bad Cholesterol at Bay: Individuals on a moderate-fat diet who ate an avocado every day had lower bad cholesterol than those on a similar diet without an avocado a day or on a lower-fat diet, researchers report. Journal of the American Heart Association
• Potassium Salts Aid Bone Health, Limit Osteoporosis Risk: The potassium salts (bicarbonate and citrate) plentiful in fruit and vegetables, play an important part in improving bone health, researchers have found. For the first time, the results also showed that these potassium salts reduce bone resorption, the process by which bone is broken down, therefore increasing their strength. Osteoporosis International
• Little or No Benefit from Nutrient Additions to Vitamin Waters and Energy Drinks: The nutritional benefits of novel beverages (vitamin waters, energy drinks, and novel juices) sold in Canadian supermarkets have been assessed by scientists how reviewed their micronutrient compositions. Findings suggest little to no nutrient additions by drinking these beverages. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism
• Sulforaphane, found in Broccoli, Maybe Useful in Cancer Therapy: New research has identified one of the key cancer-fighting mechanisms for sulforaphane, and suggests that this much-studied phytochemical may be able to move beyond cancer prevention and toward therapeutic use for advanced prostate cancer. Scientists said that pharmacologic doses in the form of supplements would be needed for actual therapies, beyond the amount of sulforaphane that would ordinarily be obtained from dietary sources such as broccoli. Research also needs to verify the safety of this compound when used at such high levels.
• PreSleep Drinking Disrupts Sleep: For individuals who drink before sleeping, alcohol initially acts as a sedative - marked by the delta frequency electroencephalogram (EEG) activity of Slow Wave Sleep (SWS) - but is later associated with sleep disruption. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research
• Epinephrine Auto-Injectors, AsthmaInhalers are Being Used Incorrectly: Very few people are using their prescribed allergy medical devices properly -- even if they think they know how, according to a study published in the January 2015 issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
• Nearly All Diabetics Should be on Cholesterol Lowering Medications: New guidelines from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) call for giving the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins to all people with diabetes to help prevent heart disease. These new standards bring the association in line with the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association, which also recommend giving low- or high-dose statins to all people at risk for heart disease, including people with diabetes.
• Certain Antibiotic Statin Combinations are not safe: Seniors who take the antibiotic Biaxin (clarithromycin) along with certain types of cholesterol-lowering statins are at risk for drug interaction side effects that can lead to hospitalization or even death, a new study suggests. Canadian Medical Association Journal
• Weight Loss Surgery May Extend Lives: Among 2,500 obese adults who underwent so-called bariatric surgery, the death rate was about 14 percent after 10 years compared with almost 24 percent for obese patients who didn't have weight-loss surgery, researchers found. Journal of the American Medical Association
• After 8 years, Similar Outcomes with Surgical or Non Surgical Treatment for Spinal Stenosis: For patients with spinal stenosis, long-term outcomes are comparable with surgery or conservative treatment, reports a new study. While earlier reports suggested an advantage of surgery, the updated analysis finds no significant difference in pain, functioning, of disability at eight years' follow-up. Spine
• Only 23% Protection From This Year’sFlu Vaccine: A new study finds the vaccine reduces your risk of needing medical care because of flu by only 23 percent. MMWR
• Staying Safe in the Hospital: Increase your odds by getting staff to listen and to treat you with respect. A new national Consumer Reports’ survey of 1,200 recently hospitalized people found a striking link between respectful treatment and patient safety. Those who said they rarely received respect from the medical staff were two and a half times as likely to experience a medical error. Consumer Reports
• Avoid over paying for glasses: You can make the cost of glasses affordable by: not focusing on brand names; shop discount stores, such as LensCrafters, Pearle Vision and Costco; look on-line; for quality choose titanium; invest in lenses not frames; get two pairs. Consumer Reports
• Excess Weight May Help Heart Failure Patients: Researchers tracked nearly 1,500 heart failure patients, most of whom were overweight or obese before their diagnosis. They found that 38 percent of obese and 45 percent of overweight patients died over 10 years, compared with 51 percent of normal-weight patients. The difference held even if they also had other health issues such as diabetes or high blood pressure. "At this time the reasons for this beneficial association are not clear," said lead researcher Dr. Anita Deswal. Journal of the American College of Cardiology
• Tablets and E-Readers May Disrupt Sleep: People who read before bed using an iPad or similar "e-reader" device felt less sleepy and took longer to fall asleep than when they read a regular printed book, researchers found. The morning after reading an e-book, people found it harder to wake up and become fully alert than after reading a regular book -- even though they got the same amount of sleep. The bright light from these devices appears to suppress melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone that normally increases during the evening and reaches its highest levels as you sleep, said lead researcher Anne-Marie Chang. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
• Strong Neighborhood Bonds, Less Gun Violence: Strong bonds that tie people together can protect neighborhood residents from gun violence, a new study suggests. Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine found that exposure to gun violence declines as community participation rises. IOM
• Rotating Night Shift Work May Raise Risks of Heart Disease:Working rotating night shifts may pose a threat to your health, a new study suggests. The study defined rotating shift work as at least three nights spent working each month, in addition to days and evenings worked in the month. While the study couldn't prove cause-and-effect, it found that people who worked rotating night shifts for more than five years had an 11 percent increased risk of death from all causes. American Journal of Preventive Medicine
• Could Gut Microbes Help Treat Brain Disorders?: The community of microbes that inhabits the body, known as the microbiome, has a powerful influence on the brain and may offer a pathway to new therapies for psychiatric and neurological disorders, according to researchers. Kavli Foundation
• Environment Trumps Genes at Shaping Immune System: Environment plays a larger role than genes in shaping people's immune systems, a new study suggests. Researchers compared 78 pairs of identical twins -- who are nearly genetically the same -- and 27 pairs of nonidentical twins, who have about 50 percent of their genes in common. Three-quarters of the immune system differences between the twins were due to environmental influences such as previous exposure to microbes or toxins, vaccinations, diet and dental hygiene. Cell
• Many Cancer Survivors Have Unmet Needs: Even decades after being cured, many cancer survivors face physical and mental challenges resulting from their disease and its treatment. That's the conclusion of a new study published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.