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  • September 07, 2017
    Statins used for the treatment of high cholesterol may have other beneficial effects, but there has been reluctance to prescribe them to patients with liver disease because of concerns that they may cause abnormal liver enzyme levels in the blood. In a new Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics analysis of data from the Danish National Patient Registry, patients with cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol had a 43% lower risk of dying prematurely than patients not on statins. The...
  • September 07, 2017
    The prevalence of prescription opioid use increased from 4.1% of US adults in 1999‐2000 to 6.8% in 2013‐2014, according to a recent Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety study. This trend was driven by a sharp increase in long‐term use which increased from 1.8% to 5.4%. Of all opioid users in 2013‐2014, 79.4% were long‐term users compared with 45.1% in 1999‐2000. Long‐term use was associated with poorer physical health, concurrent benzodiazepine use, and history of heroin use. The...
  • September 07, 2017
    Fewer than a quarter of new vertebral fractures are clinically diagnosed, yet they often cause symptoms. In a study of older men in the general population now published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, clinically undiagnosed vertebral fractures that were evident on x-rays were associated with higher likelihood of back pain and limited physical activity. The findings build on similar results previously reported in older women and point to the need for more effective...
  • September 07, 2017
    Researchers have examined the potential benefits of melatonin, a hormone made by a small gland in the brain, for treating blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. They point to evidence that melatonin boosts the immune response against cancer cells, inhibits cancer cell growth, and protects healthy cells from the toxic effects of chemotherapy. Because melatonin is also involved in regulating circadian rhythms, which help coordinate and synchronize internal body functions, timing of...
  • September 07, 2017
    A new study reveals that due to a lack of specific recommendations for medication use during pregnancy, many pregnant women search the Internet for information.  Among 284 women, more than a third were taking a medication at the time of conception, and three-quarters of the women had used the internet to search for information about the safety of a medication in pregnancy (with analgesics being the most commonly searched drug category). Health service sites were the most common online...
  • September 07, 2017
    In an analysis of published studies, lower levels of alcohol consumption were associated with a lower risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm until approximately 15 to 20 g/day, with an increasing risk thereafter. In the British Journal of Surgery analysis, the increase in risk beyond 2 units/day was stronger in men than in women. An abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when an area of the aorta—the main blood vessel that supplies blood to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs—becomes very large or...
  • September 07, 2017
    A new British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study indicates that certain markers can help predict which patients may experience problems after receiving an organ transplant.  The urinary markers, called miR-155-5p and CXCL10, can be measured after transplantation to predict the likelihood of acute rejection and organ dysfunction. “Large prospective randomised multicentre trials are warranted to refine our cut-off values and validate the clinical usefulness of these biomarkers,”...
  • September 07, 2017
    Research on birds in northern Europe reveals that there is an ongoing considerable species turnover due to climate change and due to land use and other direct human influences. The findings are published in Ecology and Evolution. When investigators analyzed bird species in a region of Finland covering 1100 km and examined bird atlas studies between 1974–1989 and 2006–2010, species turnover was very high, with considerable range shifts of species and numbers of species gaining range...
  • September 07, 2017
    A recent analysis of published studies suggests that self-generated and socially based pressures to be perfect may contribute to suicidal thoughts and attempts in individuals. The Journal of Personality analysis included 45 studies with 11,747 participants, composed of undergraduates, medical students, community adults, and psychiatric patients.Thirteen of 15 perfectionism dimensions had positive relationships with suicidal thoughts, with the most perniciousness form of perfectionism involving...
  • September 07, 2017
    A new Psycho-Oncology analysis of published studies indicates that there are various employer-related factors that can help or hinder cancer survivors as they attempt to go back to work. The analysis included five studies representing the employers’ perspectives and 47 studies representing the cancer survivors’ perspectives. The diversity of the perceived barriers and facilitators related to employer support highlighted in the study indicates the complexity of giving cancer survivors...