Health

(Reuters Health) – Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy should have all their medications and herbal supplements reviewed by a pharmacist who specializes in cancer therapy, researchers say. More than half the patients in a recent study reported taking prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs or herbal supplements along with chemotherapy, and roughly one in six patients were using products that put them at risk for potentially harmful drug interactions. “Patients with cancer frequently use herbal supplements and other medications,” said lead study author Dr. Allan Ramos-Esquivel of the University of Costa Rica in San Jose. “These patients are at high risk of herb-drug interactions and drug-drug interactions,” he told Reuters Health. Ramos-Esquivel and colleagues surveyed 149 newly diagnosed cancer patients about prescription or over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements they were taking as they started on new anti-cancer therapies. Working with a clinical pharmacist, the researchers identified 36 potential interactions in 26 patients, or 17 percent. The researchers then …

(Reuters Health) – Breastfeeding at age 2 or older increases a child’s risk of severe dental caries by the time they’re 5, independently of how much sugar they get from foods, researchers say. To investigate the effect of prolonged breastfeeding on children’s teeth, Karen Glazer Peres of the University of Adelaide in Australia and colleagues analyzed data on 1,129 children born in 2004 in Pelotas, Brazil, a community with a public fluoridated water supply. Breastfeeding information was collected at birth and when children were 3 months, 1 year and 2 years old. Sugar consumption data was collected at ages 2, 4 and 5. By age 5, nearly 24 percent of children had severe early childhood caries, which researchers defined as six or more decayed, missing or filled tooth surfaces, according to the report in the journal Pediatrics. Close to half of children had at least one tooth surface affected. Children who had breastfed for at …

WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump urged Republican U.S. senators on Friday to repeal Obamacare immediately if they cannot agree on a new health care plan to take its place. Republican leaders have set Friday as the goal for working out changes to Senate legislation that would repeal extensive parts of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the law dubbed Obamacare that expanded health insurance coverage to 20 million people. Their efforts were complicated on Thursday by a Congressional Budget Office report that said the Senate proposal would cut spending on government Medicaid for the poor by 35 percent come 2036. “If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!” Trump wrote in an early morning Twitter post. U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican who has often clashed with Trump, welcomed the suggestion. Sasse said this week he was not satisfied with …

(Reuters Health) – – It’s been almost five years since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made emergency contraception available without a prescription for all consumers, but a new study suggests it may not be any easier for some teens to buy the drug at pharmacies. Researchers had women posing as 17-year-old girls in need of emergency contraception use a standard script to call 979 pharmacies in five U.S. cities. About 83 percent of the pharmacies said emergency contraception was available, but drugstores gave correct information about over-the-counter access only 52 percent of the time, and 8 percent said it wasn’t for sale under any circumstances. These results, from calls made in 2015, weren’t much different from responses researchers got using the same script in 2012 before the FDA eliminated age restrictions on over-the-counter access to emergency contraception. “It is surprising that access hasn’t improved despite the change in regulations that were intended to improve …

Cara Therapeutics Inc on Thursday reported mixed results from a pivotal trial testing the drug developer’s chronic pain treatment in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip. Shares of the company fell 21.6 percent to $20 after the bell. The drug developer was testing three dosages of the drug, CR845, against a placebo. Two dosages of the drug – 1 mg and 2.5 mg – failed to meet the main goal of reducing pain intensity in patients, while the 5 mg dose exhibited a statistically significant reduction in joint pain, the company said. (Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

(Reuters Health) – A positive parenting style might protect kids from the negative effect that growing up in poverty is thought to have on their brain development, Australian researchers say. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans and academic indicators, the study team found differences in the brains of kids growing up in the most disadvantaged environments. But those with supportive parents showed brain development more like that of peers who were less disadvantaged. “Society is struggling with righting equality, particularly economic equality,” said senior study author Nick Allen, a psychology professor at the University of Oregon in Eugene who is also affiliated with the University of Melbourne. “We know from social science that being raised in a socioeconomically disadvantaged environment is bad for development,” he told Reuters Health in a phone interview. “What we’re trying to understand now is how children are affected and what we can do about it.” The researchers analyzed data …

(Reuters Health) – Roughly half of breastfed newborns in New York State hospitals are also given formula, though there’s wide variation in feeding practices suggesting that differing hospital policies contribute to the problem, researchers say. Pediatricians recommend that mothers exclusively breastfeed infants until they’re at least 6 months of age because it can reduce babies’ risk of ear and respiratory infections, sudden infant death syndrome, allergies, childhood obesity and diabetes. Mothers can benefit too, with longer periods of breastfeeding linked to lower risks of depression, bone deterioration and certain cancers. For the new study, researchers examined birth certificate data on 160,911 infants born at 126 hospitals statewide in 2014. Overall, they found, 48.5 percent of infants who were fed breast milk were also given formula. Just 18.2 percent of breastfed newborns received formula at community hospitals that treat low-risk patients, compared to 50.6 percent to 57 percent at hospitals that handle more complex cases. But …

BENGHAZI, Libya A team of foreign doctors has arrived the war-torn Libyan city of Benghazi to carry out heart surgery on at least 30 young children during a month-long flying visit to a country where healthcare is in tatters. The treatment is almost impossible for Libyan families to obtain due to the collapse of the health system and an economic crisis that makes sending patients abroad unaffordable. The doctors have been visiting eastern Libya since 2012, but did not go to Benghazi for two years because of fighting that has destroyed parts of the city and is still raging in one downtown neighborhood. This time they hope to operate on 30-40 children, though the final number will depend on the complexity of children’s’ defects. Most are under three years old. Some could die within weeks without the treatment. Khaled al-Fellah’s 19-month old daughter Zahra was among the first to receive the surgery. “Her heart problem …

CLEVELAND Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature voted on Wednesday to freeze enrollment in the state’s Medicaid healthcare insurance for the poor, setting the stage for a showdown with Republican Governor John Kasich, who favors expanding the program. The proposed Medicaid freeze, which would deny coverage to hundreds of thousands of Ohio residents who lack job-related health insurance and cannot afford to purchase their own, was adopted as part of a $65 billion two-year budget plan. The measure, approved by mostly party-line votes in both chambers of the state Legislature, would prohibit enrollment of new Medicaid recipients, or re-enrollment of lapsed beneficiaries, after July 2018. Republicans, especially hard-line conservatives, say the Medicaid freeze is needed to help reduce costs. Democrats say halting the Medicaid expansion, begun in Ohio under the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act, would leave the state’s neediest residents without coverage and ultimately raise healthcare costs for everyone. Kasich, a moderate Republican who sought the 2016 …

(Reuters Health) – U.S. teens who report being bullied are three times more likely to say they have access to loaded guns than kids who weren’t bullied, a new study found. “Interventions, training and policies (are needed) to protect the wellbeing not only of these students, but their fellow students, their neighborhoods and their communities at large,” said lead author Maayan Simckes, of the University of Washington in Seattle. Access to guns is a risk factor for injury and death – and that risk may be exacerbated among youngsters already at high risk for these outcomes, such as bullied teens, Simckes and her colleagues write in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Past studies found bullied teens carry guns more often than those not bullied, but little is known about their access to those weapons, the researchers write. They used data collected from a nationally representative sample of 10,704 adolescents participating in the National Crime Victimization …

1 2 3 67