Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Information Overload in Drug Side Effect Labeling

From the 24 May 2011 ScienceDaily In the study, appearing in the May 23, 2011 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine

ScienceDaily (May 24, 2011) — The lists of potential side effects that accompany prescription drugs have ballooned in size, averaging 70 reactions per drug, a number that can overwhelm physicians trying to select suitable treatments for their patients, according to a new study of drug labels.

In the study, appearing in the May 23, 2011 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, the researchers found that the average label contains 70 different side effects, with more commonly prescribed drugs averaging around 100 side effects. The upper range was remarkably high, with a single label containing as many as 525 reactions. The study involved analysis of more than 5,600 drug labels and more than half a million labeled effects.

“Having a high number of side effects on a drug’s label should not suggest that the drug is unsafe. In fact, much of this labeling has less to do with true toxicity than with protecting manufacturers from potential lawsuits,” said lead author Jon Duke, M.D., Regenstrief Institute investigator and assistant professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine.

“But having all these labeled side effects can overwhelm doctors who must weigh the risks and benefits when prescribing a medication. The Food and Drug Administration has taken steps to discourage such ‘overwarning,’ but at present information overload is the rule rather than the exception,” Dr. Duke said….

Journal Reference:

  1. J. Duke, J. Friedlin, P. Ryan. A Quantitative Analysis of Adverse Events and ‘Overwarning’ in Drug Labeling.Archives of Internal Medicine, 2011; 171 (10): 944 DOI:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.182

May 25, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , | Leave a comment

Migration An Overlooked Health Policy Issue: New Series

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From the 24 May 2011 Medical News Today article

If internal and international migrants comprised a nation, it would be the third most populous country in the world, just after China and India. Thus, there can be little doubt that population mobility is among the leading policy issues of the 21st century. However, policies to protect migrants and global health have so far been hampered by inadequate policy attention and poor international coordination. This is the conclusion of a new article inPLoS Medicine arguing that current policy-making on migration and health has been conducted within sector silos, which frequently have different goals. Yet, population mobility is wholly compatible with health-promoting strategies for migrants if decision-makers coordinate across borders and policy sectors, say the authors, who are also serving as guest editors of a new series in PLoS Medicine on migration & health that launches this week. …

May 25, 2011 Posted by | Public Health | , , | 1 Comment

Wound Healing And The Power Of Hydrogen Peroxide

From the 24 May 2011 Medical News Today article

New information has come to light explaining how injured skin cells and touch-sensing nerve fibers coordinate their regeneration during wound healing. UCLA researchers Sandra Rieger and Alvaro Sagasti found that a chemical signal released by wounded skin cells promotes the regeneration of sensory fibers, thus helping to ensure that touch sensation is restored to healing skin. They discovered that the reactive oxygen species hydrogen peroxide, which is found at high concentrations at wounds, is a key component of this signal…..

…Citation: Rieger S, Sagasti A (2011) Hydrogen Peroxide Promotes Injury-Induced Peripheral Sensory Axon Regeneration in the Zebrafish Skin. PLoS Biol 9(5): e1000621. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000621. Link to published article.

May 25, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health | , | Leave a comment

Your Culture May Influence Your Perception Of Death

From the 24 May 2011 Medical News Today article

Contemplating mortality can be terrifying. But not everyone responds to that terror in the same way. Now, a new study which will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds cultural differences in how people respond to mortality. European-Americans get worried and try to protect their sense of self, while Asian-Americans are more likely to reach out to others.

Much of the research on what psychologists call “mortality salience” – thinking about death – has been done on people of European descent, and has found that it makes people act in dramatic ways. “Men become more wary of sexy women and they like wholesome women more. People like to stereotype more. You see all these strange and bizarre occurrences when people think about the fact that they aren’t going to live forever,” says Christine Ma-Kellams of the University of California Santa Barbara, who carried out the research with Jim Blascovich. Particularly, people try to protect their sense of self, by putting down people who aren’t like them or distancing themselves from innocent victims. …..

May 25, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , | Leave a comment

Pork, The Other White Meat Gets New USDA Cooking Guidelines

From the USDA Web Site, Safety of Fresh Pork…from Farm to Table

Safe Cooking
For safety, the USDA recommends cooking ground pork patties and ground pork mixtures such as meat loaf to 160 °F.

Cook all raw pork steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source.

For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.

For approximate cooking times for use in meal planning, see the attached chart compiled from various resources. Times are based on pork at refrigerator temperature (40 °F). Remember that appliances and outdoor grills can vary in heat. Use a meat thermometer to check for safe cooking and doneness of pork.

Can Safely Cooked Pork Be Pink?
Cooked muscle meats can be pink even when the meat has reached a safe internal temperature. If fresh pork has reached 145 °F throughout, even though it may still be pink in the center, it should be safe. The pink color can be due to the cooking method or added ingredients.

FRESH PORK: Safe Cooking Chart
Cook all raw pork steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.
Fresh Pork: Safe Cooking Chart
Cut Thickness or Weight Cooking Time Minimum Internal Temperature & Rest Time
ROASTING: Set oven at 350 °F. Roast in a shallow pan, uncovered.
Loin Roast, Bone-in or Boneless 2 to 5 pounds 20-30 minutes per pound 145° and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes
Crown Roast 4 to 6 pounds 20-30 minutes per pound
Leg, (Fresh Ham) Whole, Bone-in 12 to 16 pounds 22-26 minutes per pound
Leg, (Fresh Ham) Half, Bone-in 5 to 8 pounds 35-40 minutes per pound
Boston Butt 3 to 6 pounds 45 minutes per pound
Tenderloin (Roast at 425-450 °F) ½ to 1½ pounds 20 to 30 minutes total
Ribs (Back, Country-style or Spareribs) 2 to 4 pounds 1½ to 2 hours (or until fork tender)
BROILING 4 inches from heat or GRILLING
Loin Chops, Bone-in or Boneless ¾-inch or 1½ inches 6-8 minutes or 12-16 minutes 145° and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes
Tenderloin ½ to 1½ pounds 15 to 25 minutes
Ribs (indirect heat), all types 2 to 4 pounds 1½ to 2 hours
Ground Pork Patties (direct heat) ½ inch 8 to 10 minutes
IN SKILLET ON STOVE
Loin Chops or Cutlets ¼-inch or ¾-inch 3-4 minutes or 7-8 minutes 145° and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes
Tenderloin Medallions ¼ to ½-inch 4 to 8 minutes
Ground Pork Patties ½ inch 8 to 10 minutes
BRAISING: Cover and simmer with a liquid.
Chops, Cutlets, Cubes, Medallions ¼ to 1-inch 10 to 25 minutes 145° and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes
Boston Butt, Boneless 3 to 6 pounds 2 to 2½ hours
Ribs, all types 2 to 4 pounds 1½ to 2 hours
STEWING: Cover pan; simmer, covered with liquid.
Ribs, all types 2 to 4 pounds 2 to 2½ hours, or until tender 145° and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes
Cubes 1-inch 45 to 60 minutes
NOTE: Cooking times compiled from various resources.

Go to  the USDA Web Site, Safety of Fresh Pork…from Farm to Table for additional information on pork, as inspection, grading, dating, preparation, and storage.

May 25, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , | Leave a comment

   

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