Urges To Gamble? Purple Sweat? Some Medications Carry Rare But ‘Scary’ Side Effects
Other public health developments related to hepatitis mortality rates, a possible new treatment for a neurological disorder, cutting sugar from yogurt, tainted flour and the link between earlier death and weight also make today's headlines.
The Washington Post:
Here Are Some Scary Side Effects Of Common Medications
The Men’s Health article starts with a cautionary tale: A Michigan man named Bernard Zeitler was doing well at quelling his lottery addiction when suddenly he started to get renewed urges to buy a scratchable lottery ticket. What had changed? His doctor had prescribed a new antidepressant — one that the Food and Drug Administration has linked, in rare cases, to an uncontrollable urge to gamble. Reporter Cindy Kuzma quotes medical experts and FDA warnings to describe five drugs whose “scary side effects,” even though usually rare, are worth noting. (Szokan, 7/14)
Wyoming Public Radio:
What Kills More People Each Year: TB, HIV-AIDS Or Viral Hepatitis?
Viral hepatitis is a sneaky killer, accounting for nearly 1.5 million deaths in 2013 — equal to or greater than the number of yearly deaths caused by malaria, tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS. That's just one unexpected finding from the first study to systematically assess the scope of the disease around the world. Also surprising: Deaths from viral hepatitis are evenly distributed between rich and poor countries. (Sohn, 7/14)
Testing A Genetic 'Ad-Blocker' To Treat A Rare Neurological Disease
Researchers at the University of Chicago are using a novel approach to try to halt a rare neurological disorder: a sort of genetic "ad-blocker" that appears to be effective — at least in baby mice. The disorder, Spinocerebellar ataxia type 6, or SCA6 for short, is a rare neurological disease, as are ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and Parkinson’s. Researchers identified the gene that codes for the disease-causing protein in SCA6, but there was one problem. The gene that controlled the disease-causing protein also coded for a second protein that is essential for life. (Michaels, 7/13)
Yogurt Maker Dannon Considers Ways To Cut More Sugar
U.S. yogurt maker Dannon, a unit of France's Danone, is looking at ways to make its products less sweet, in the latest industry response to rising concerns about excessive sugar consumption. The company, whose brands include Dannon, Oikos and Activia, is working with the American Heart Association and other health groups to find ways to reduce sugar after having cut the sweetener in most of its products to 23 grams or less per six-ounce serving, executives said at press conference on Thursday. (Prentice, 7/14)
Tainted Flour Recall Expands To Biscuits, Cake Mix, Jalapeno Poppers
First cookie dough, now cheddar biscuits — even more foods are getting dusted up in the flour recall that’s burning baked good lovers everywhere. Federal officials on Thursday announced a recall of Marie Callender’s Cheese Biscuit Mix, the latest in a string of recalls tied to flour tainted by E. coli bacteria. The contaminated flour — produced at a General Mills facility in Missouri — is behind at least 42 cases of food-borne illness across 21 states, leading to 11 hospitalizations. (Theilking, 7/14)
Harvard Researcher: Data From Over 10M People Links Excess Weight To Earlier Death
A huge new four-continent study led by Harvard and University of Cambridge researchers looks at data on over 10 million people and concludes that no, if you control correctly for factors like smoking and chronic illness, heavier people do not live longer. Quite the opposite: The more overweight you are, it found, the higher your risk for premature death. (Being underweight also heightens risk.) WBUR intern Annika Leybold spoke with Shilpa Bhupathiraju, research scientist in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and co-lead author of the study. (Leybold with Alexander, 7/13)