Benefit to having been vaccinated against smallpox as a child

Adults who were vaccinated against smallpox as children can be successfully revaccinated by using diluted doses of the vaccine and with fewer side effects, according to research published by Saint Louis University this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “We saw fewer adverse reactions in the participants who had been vaccinated before,” said Sharon Frey, M.D., the lead author of the study and an associate professor at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. “Our study included healthy adult volunteers between the ages of 32 and 60 who previously had been vaccinated. Our comparison group consisted of individuals who were otherwise healthy and between the ages of 18 and 31, who had never received a smallpox vaccination.”

Millions of Americans extremely bummed, not getting treatment

Millions of Americans suffer from major depression each year, and most are not getting proper treatment for this debilitating disorder, according to a two-year nationwide study reported in the June 18 Journal of the American Medical Association. The study, led by researchers from Harvard Medical School, found high rates of major depressive episodes (MDE) in all segments of the U.S. population. The researchers measured the severity and duration of depression in more than 9,000 Americans 18 years or older and looked at MDE’s effect on daily activities and treatment received, if any.

Health illiteracy adds billions to health care costs

The cost of health care for some of the more health illiterate patients in the United States is almost 50 percent higher than necessary, according to research reported Wednesday.

Unnecessary hospitalizations, delays in treatment and problems with prescriptions are among the costly problems that crop up when people do not understand their care and doctors fail to reach out to their patients, the research showed. The numbers add up to between 3 percent and 5 percent of personal health care costs nationwide, said Robert B. Friedland, Ph.D., of Georgetown University, who estimated that $50 billion to $73 billion could be saved each year by improving health literacy.

New Tool To Help Consumers Reduce Medication Errors

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Council on Patient Information and Education today announced a new resource called Your Medicine: Play It Safe, to help consumers use prescription medicines safely. The 12-page brochure, available in English and Spanish, includes a detachable, pocket-sized medicine record form that can be personalized.

Antiepileptic Drug Useful for Weight Loss in Obese Adults

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have concluded, in a preliminary study published today, that the drug zonisamide (trade name Zonegran), an anticonvulsant used to treat some types of epileptic seizures, has appetite-reducing effects that could eventually offer hope to thousands of people as an effective therapy for weight loss.

Antiepileptic Drug Useful for Weight Loss in Obese Adults

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have concluded, in a preliminary study published today, that the drug zonisamide (trade name Zonegran), an anticonvulsant used to treat some types of epileptic seizures, has appetite-reducing effects that could eventually offer hope to thousands of people as an effective therapy for weight loss.

Efficacy and safety of low-carbohydrate diets

An analysis of hundreds of published studies on the safety and effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets found that there is not enough scientific evidence for or against the use of these diets. “This analysis is important because it clearly documents the lack of hard scientific data to support the use of low-carbohydrate diets, and identifies areas that need further research. Both the public and health-care professionals should pay close attention to this wealth of data, collected from many different research groups, because it is the most comprehensive review of published science on the subject to date,” says Robert H. Eckel, M.D., the chair of the American Heart Association’s Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism Council.

Major study: hydroxyurea reduces sickle cell mortality by 40 percent

In 1995, U.S. researchers published results of a major multi-center study showing that the compound hydroxyurea could cut in half the number of severe painful episodes patients with sickle cell anemia experience.
Now, an extension of that study shows that not only do patients on hydroxyurea have fewer crises, but they also have a significant survival advantage when compared to similarly affected patients who do not take the medication. Subjects treated with it overall showed 40 percent lower mortality than others.

Lead Levels Linked to Hypertension in Menopausal Women

Blood lead levels are associated with increased blood pressure and the risk of clinical hypertension in women aged 40 to 59 years, according to a team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Tulane University, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study found blood pressure increased by lead levels well below the exposure levels of concern for adults set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the levels for children set by the CDC. Blood lead levels can increase in women over the menopause, as lead is released from bone. The study is the first to document adverse health impacts as a consequence of bone lead release. It is published in the March 26, 2003, edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Hidden chlamydia epidemic found in China

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have helped identify a large, undetected epidemic of the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia in China. The new findings appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The collaboration involving UNC, the University of Chicago and researchers in China points to a chlamydia epidemic that developed in that country during the last 20 years ? and represents the first nationwide study of its kind to combine reported behavior with physical evidence of the consequences of sexual activity.

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

From anti-aging to the search for alien life, we promise to never bore.