By jeremyc | October 23, 2014
A new study has found that bariatric surgery may be linked to a greater risk of severe side effects due to spontaneous intracranial hypotension. Bariatric surgery is performed for weight loss.
The study was led by Wouter I. Schievink, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and it found that patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension were more likely to have undergone bariatric surgery than patients with unruptured intracranial aneurysms.
Spontaneous intracranial hypotension is the leakage of spinal cord and brain fluid, which results in severe headaches. Unruptured intracranial aneurysm is a neurological condition where the brain’s blood vessels swell up and fill with flood.
For this study, the researchers looked at 338 patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension and 245 unruptured intracranial aneurysm patients. They found that 3.3% of the first group had undergone bariatric surgery, as compared to 0.8% of the second group’s patients.
The researchers called for further researchers to understand and confirm the findings of the study. They suggested that this potential look may be due to several factors, like the effect that weight loss has on brain pressure and the malnutrition that may occur after surgery.
By jeremyc | October 22, 2014
According to a new study, dopamine receptor agonists may be associated to pathological impulse control disorders like compulsive shopping, gambling and hyper-sexuality.
Dopamine agonists are a type of medication prescribed for treating Parkinson’s disease symptoms. This new study confirms several previous reports with similar conclusions. The authors called for warnings of these side effects on the medications.
The study was led by Thomas J. Moore, AB, of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in Alexandria, Virginia. A total of 2.7 million reports of adverse medication events within and outside the US was reviewed. Out of these reports, 1,580 events were indications of an impulse control disorder, with 628, 465 and 202 cases being that of pathological gambling, hyper-sexuality and compulsive shopping, respectively.
Of the events, around 45% were linked to dopamine receptor agonists. The patients were an average of 55 years of age and two-thirds of them were male. The study looked at six dopamine agonists in particular- pramipexole, apomorphine, ropinirole, cabergoline and rotigotine.
The researchers said, “Our findings confirm and extend the evidence that dopamine receptor agonist drugs are associated with serious impulse control disorders. The effects were seen for all six dopamine receptor agonist drugs.”
They added that none of the six FDA-approved medications had boxed warnings indicating a link with impulse control disorders. “Our data, and data from prior studies, show the need for these prominent warnings,” the researchers said.
The researchers recommended the FDA to make the boxed warnings a requirement for manufacturers and advised that doctors prescribing these medications monitor their patients for such disorders.
By jeremyc | October 21, 2014
Rapid weight loss diets have often been associated with an inability or difficulty in maintaining results, although the weight loss takes place faster. Gradual weight loss diets are considered more successful in this regard.
However, a new study suggests that both rapid and gradual weight loss diets may have equal weight loss maintenance rates.
The trial, led by Joseph Proietto, PhD, of the University of Melbourne in Australia, looked at obese adults who underwent a very low-calorie rapid weight loss plan or a gradual weight loss plan.
A total of 200 obese adults took part in this study, undergoing either a 36-week gradual weight loss or 12-week rapid weight loss program. The researchers found that 50% and 71% of the gradual and rapid weight loss group lost over 12.5% of their total body weight. These people were then given a three-year weight maintenance diet.
On analysis, it was found that participants in the two groups had regained around 71% of their body weight lost over this three-year period. The researchers concluded that both rapid and gradual weight loss may be equally effective for obese adults, and that the rate of weight loss may not impact whether a patient regains the lost weight later on.
According to researchers, a rapid weight loss plan promotes fullness and may suppress the appetite, but weight loss guidelines at present often warn against such diets because the results are considered harder to maintain.
By jeremyc | October 20, 2014
Infants are often allowed to lay on the sofa, but a new study suggests that this can raise the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
The study was led by Lauren R. Rechtman, MD, of George Washington University Medical School in Washington, DC. The researchers used data on infant deaths during 2004-2012 from the National Center for Review and Prevention of Child Deaths Case Reporting System. Over this time period, 1,024 infants were found to have died on sofa. This made up 12.9% of the cases, or around one in eight babies who died of SIDS.
Also, the researchers found that infants had a greater risk of SIDS when they were sharing the sofa with some other person, if the sofa was new or if the mother smoked during her pregnancy.
The researchers said, “ [People should understand] the dangers of placing infants for sleep on sofas and similar surfaces and sharing these surfaces with an infant.” The study suggested that some couch cushions slow downwards towards the back, resulting in a greater risk of the infant rolling and getting wedged between the bottom and back cushions.
According to the researchers, an infant sleeping on a sofa had a 40-67 times greater likelihood of dying due to SIDS than an infant sleeping on a crib or bed. Sleeping infants are recommended to be placed on a firm and flat surface, according to American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines.
By jeremyc | October 19, 2014
According to a new study, men with both low testosterone and diabetes may have a greater risk of clogged arteries (atherosclerosis) than men with normal testosterone and diabetes.
The study was led by Javier M. Farias, MD, of the Hospital Universitario Sanatorio Guemes in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A total of 115 male type 2 diabetes patients were part of this study; they had no heart disease history and were 56 years old on average. Almost a third ofthem had low levels of testosterone, the primary male sex hormone. On analysis, the researchers found that those patients who had low testosterone had a six times greater risk of increased carotid arteries thickness than those with normal levels off the hormone. The low testosterone patients also had a six times greater risk of an endothelium dysfunction, which can lead to artery blockage.
Farias said, “We still need to determine whether testosterone is directly involved in the development of atherosclerosis or if it is merely an indicator of advanced disease. This study is a stepping stone to better understanding the risks of cardiovascular events in men who have both low testosterone and type 2 diabetes.”
According to the Endocrine Society, the number of older men undergoing testosterone replacement treatment has increased sharply in the last decade. This treatment is usually recommended for erectile dysfunction or problems with libido, bone density, muscle mass or red blood cell production.
By jeremyc | October 18, 2014
Heart attacks are known to impact mental health, and a recent study suggests that this impact may be greater in women. The study found that women recovering from a heart attack had a greater chance of increased depression and anxiety levels than men.
The lead author for this study was Pranas Serpytis, PhD, MD, of Vilnius University Hospital in Lithuania. Depression symptoms are often found in heart patients and can impact their ability to heal.
The study involved 160 heart attack patients who were interviewed a month or more after their attack. Among these patients, 63.1% were men. The patients’ mental health was assessed and it was found that 24.4% of them had high depression levels. Also, high anxiety and depression levels were more common in the female patients. The depression score was 6.87 for men and 8.66 for women, and the anxiety score on average was 7.18 for men and 8.20 for women.
Also, smoking was found to have been linked to anxiety, but not to depression. The researchers called for further studies to confirm their findings and understand the link between heart attack and mental health.
By jeremyc | October 16, 2014
A new study has found that fried food consumption before pregnancy was linked to a higher risk of gestational diabetes. This is a form of diabetes that may occur during pregnancy.
The study was led by Cuilin Zhang, MD, of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development in Bethesda, MD. Data on 15,027 women who were part of the Nurse’s Health Study II and had a total of 21,079 pregnancies was assessed for this study. On conducting a 10-year followup, 47% of the pregnant women were diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
The surveyed women were asked about their fried food consumption rate and whether they took medications or smoked. On fried food consumption, the rates ranged from less than once in a week or seven or more a week.
On analysis, the researchers found that the risk of gestational diabetes rose with the frequency of fried food consumption. When body mass index was taken into consideration, those women who consumed seven or more times a week had a 88% greater gestational diabetes risk. Fried food outside was found to carry a greater risk than fried food at home.
The researchers said, “The potential detrimental effects of fried food consumption on GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus) risk may result from the modification of foods and frying medium and generation of harmful by-products during the frying process.” They added, “Our study indicates potential benefits of limiting fried food consumption in the prevention of GDM in women of reproductive age.”
By jeremyc | October 15, 2014
Weak bones caused by osteoporosis are known to lead to hip fractures and other kinds of fractures, but it is commonly though of a problem faced only by aging women. However, a recent study suggests that men may face a greater risk of death due to hip fracture because osteoporosis goes under-diagnosed in men.
The report was released as part of an awareness campaign ahead of 20 October 2014, which is World Osteoporosis Day. It was done by researchers associated with the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF).
The report called for increased awareness of osteoporosis as a threat to men. Osteoporosis leads to bone mass reduction with age, and with lower bone mass, breakage is more likely. Most osteoporosis-related fractures take place in the hip, wrists and vertebrae.
This new report was led by OF Board member Peter Ebeling, MBBS. The researchers said, “All too often, osteoporosis is perceived as a ‘woman’s disease’ that is not preventable or an urgent health concern to men. The primary purpose of this report is to debunk these myths and raise awareness of the threat that osteoporosis poses to older men throughout the world.”
The researchers said that one in five men over 50 years of age have osteoporosis fractures. Based on current trends, the number of men over 60 years of age would increase tenfold by 2050, and this means that the number of men with a risk of osteoporosis would grow to 90 million. In the European Union alone, osteoporosis fractures in men would increased 34% to 1.6 million a year by 2025. In the US, they would increased 51.8% by 2030, while fractures for women would actually decreased 3.5% by the same year.
The researchers noted that hip fractures are deadlier in men than in women, with a 37% rate of death in the first 12 months post-fracture. This is double the death rate for women.
To address the gap in care between women and men, the researchers recommended osteoporosis exams for men being treated for a broken bone and greater awareness and education campaigns.
By jeremyc | October 14, 2014
A new study has found that men who have raised levels of triglycerides or cholesterol in their blood may be more likely to have a recurrence of prostate cancer after surgery.
Prostate cancer is among the most common cancers in males, and cholesterol may likely promote its growth as suggested by this study.
The lead authors of this study were Stephen J. Freedland, MD and Emma H. Allott, PhD of the Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.
The study involved a review of data on 843 prostate cancer patients who undervent radical prostatectomies to treat the condition. On analysis, the researchers found that the men who had over 150 mm/dL triglycerides had a 35% greater risk of having a cancer recurrence than men with normal triglyceride levels. Also, the risk of cancer recurrence rose 9% for ever 10 mg/dL increase in total cholesterol levels over the 200 mg/dL level in the patients.
However, ‘good’ cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) was found to have a positive effect on cancer recurrence risk. The risk of recurrence fell 39% for every 10 mg/dL increase in HDL levels.
Allott said, “Our findings suggest that normalization, or even partial normalization, of [blood fat] levels among men with [raised blood fat levels] may reduce the risk of prostate cancer recurrence.”
By jeremyc | October 13, 2014
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Akynzeo, a new oral medication that can be used to treat nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy.
The drug has been approved for this purpose and is a combination of netiputant and palonosetron. The latter prevents nausea and vomiting in the first day of chemotherapy, and the former prevents them for a period of up to 120 hours.
FDA’s Office of Drug Evaluation III Director Julie Beitz, MD, said in a press release, “Supportive care products, such as Akynzeo, help ease the nausea and vomiting patients may experience as a side effect of cancer chemotherapy.”
Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of chemotherapy, which is a form of cancer treatment.
Akynzeo was approved a trial involved 1,720 chemotherapy patients took the medication. Out of these patients, 89.6% did not have nausea nor did they vomit. A second trial showed similar results, which were better the results of palonosetron, which is currently prescribed to treat chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting.
The side effects associated with Akynzeo included fatigue, digestive problems, headaches and weakness. The drug is marketed and distributed by Eisai.