January 6, 2013

World’s worst medical tradeoff

1 Pain-Med Opiates Kill 15,000 Users Yearly

The use and misuse of pain-killing opiate drugs in the United States may have reached epidemic levels. Since the beginning of this century the domestic sales of such medications have tripled, with a record 254 million prescriptions for opioids having been filled in 2010 alone, an amount sufficient to medicate every adult in America 24 hours a day for thirty days. Particularly striking is the fact that production of one of the most abused pain medications, Oxycodone, has skyrocketed from 8.3 tons in 1997 to 105 tons in 2011, an increase of 1200 percent. Deaths due to overdose from prescription painkillers have more than tripled in the past ten years and now total about 15,000 per year. The data was compiled by advocates of medicinal marijuana as a safe, alternative pain medication.

More at Alternet.org | Posted 5 years ago by Robert S. Wieder

Previously: Opioids Increase Risk of Fractures

Tags: Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Pain Medication Abuse, Opiate Dangers, Paid Medication Side Effects, Sales of Pain Killers, Deaths from Pain Medications, Growing Prescription Drug Abuse

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

No Sign of Peaking Yet

2 Early Flu Season Still Accelerating

Twenty-nine states reported high levels of flu, up from 16 the previous week, according to the Centers of Disease Control’s latest figures that indicate no sign of a peak. “I think we’re still accelerating,” says the CDC’s Tom Skinner. Forty-one states reported widespread activity, up from 31 in the last report. While the CDC’s numbers, based on doctor visits, can lag about two weeks behind real-time activity, Flu Near You, a new tracking tool, may offer more immediate data. It also indicates that a number of people who were vaccinated still developed confirmed strains of the flu. The CDC says it’s not yet possible to know whether that’s happening more regularly this season but it seems that this year’s vaccines are well matched for the strains of the virus that are circulating this year.

More at NBCnews.com | Posted 5 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: This Flu Season Could Be Bad

Tags: Centers of Disease Control, Flu, Flu Activity, Flu Vaccine, Influenza, Flu Near You

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

There May Be a Patent for That

3 At-Home Stomach Pump for Obesity

A patent application has been filed for an at-home stomach pump that may help obese patients lose weight without invasive bypass surgery. Aspiration Therapy, the brainchild of a Philadelphia company and Segway creator Dean Kamen, has been tested on 24 obese patients. Data from the trials indicates an average weight loss of 44 pounds/year. While the process of inserting the pump is fairly complicated, it’s performed under light sedation and supposedly has many fewer side effects than gastric bypass surgery, allowing patients to return home within hours. Effectively, a tube inserted through the mouth and out the stomach permits the patient to drain stomach contents into a bucket after eating. This is said to take about 20 minutes. The prototype has not yet been approved by the FDA.

More at Www.wired.co.uk | Posted 5 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Weight Loss Surgery Carries Unexpected Costs

Tags: FDA Approval, Fighting Obesity, Gastric Bypass Surgery, Obesity, Patent, Aspire Bariatrics, Aspiration Therapy, Alternative to Bypass Surgery, Dean Kamen, At-Home Stomach Pump

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

Study Adds to Reasons to Avoid

4 Saturated Fats Linked to Low Sperm Count

A new study from Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen finds that men whose diets are high in saturated fats have a 41 percent lower sperm count than men who consumed the least amount. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, included about 700 Danish men who had their fitness levels checked for military service between 2008 and 2010. Semen was analyzed as part of a physical examination. Saturated fats, found in meats, whole-fat dairy products, and certain oils, are also associated with a higher cholesterol level and increased levels of chronic disease. To lower saturated fat, choose leaner cuts of meat, remove skin from poultry before eating, opt for lower fat versions of milk and cheese, and cook with unsaturated oils such as canola oil.

More at Medical Daily | Posted 5 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Men's Semen Quality Linked to Diet, Saturated Fats Increase Diabetes Risk

Tags: Fertility, Men's Health, Nutrition, Saturated Fat, Saturated Fats, Sperm Count

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (40%) / No! (60%)

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