Over 50s should be taking statins

Over 50s should be taking statins

The risk of a heart attack or stroke is cut by a fifth in those who have no sign of heart disease, shows research by scientists at Oxford University. Treatment guidelines should be reviewed in light of the findings, the experts said, and the NHS should impose a blanket policy of prescribing up to 20  million people statins at a potential cost of £240 million a year. Currently, the only people considered at high risk, those with a one-in-five chance of…

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US warns drugs may have sexual side effects

US warns drugs may have sexual side effects

WASHINGTON (April 14, 2012): Two Merck drugs for treating male baldness and enlarged prostate will now carry extended labels to add more possible sexual side effects, US regulators said. The changes involve Propecia and Proscar, both of which contain the active ingredient finasteride, after patients reported additional adverse effects that were not apparent at the time of the drugs’ approval, the US Food and Drug Administration said Friday. The new Propecia label will include “libido disorders, ejaculation disorders, and orgasm…

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Men who drink sugary drink daily up risk of heart disease

Men who drink sugary drink daily up risk of heart disease

BOSTON, March 15 — A new study has found that men who drink about a can of full-calorie soda or sugar-sweetened juice a day could be increasing their risk of developing heart disease by about 20 per cent. Published in the journal Circulation, Harvard researchers followed 42,880 men over 22 years, measuring the different lipids and proteins in the participants’ bloodstream. After controlling for risk factors like smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption and family medical history, scientists found that those…

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Common sleeping pills linked with higher death risk

Common sleeping pills linked with higher death risk

PARIS, Feb 29 — Commonly-prescribed sleeping pills are linked to a more-than fourfold risk of premature death, according to an American study published in the journal BMJ Open on Monday. These medications were also associated at higher doses with a 35-per cent increased risk of cancer as compared with non-users, but the reason for this is unclear. Doctors led by Daniel Kripke of the Scripps Clinic Viterbi Family Sleep Center in La Jolla, California, looked at the medical records of…

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Can Lack of Sleep lead to High Blood Pressure?

Can Lack of Sleep lead to High Blood Pressure?

Answer: Possibly. It’s thought that sleeping less than six hours a night could be linked to increased blood pressure. People who sleep five hours or less a night may be at higher risk of developing high blood pressure or worsening already high blood pressure. There’s also an increased risk of high blood pressure for people who sleep between five and six hours a night, although that risk is not as high as it is for people who sleep five hours…

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Successful Human Tests for First Wirelessly Controlled Drug-Delivery Chip

Successful Human Tests for First Wirelessly Controlled Drug-Delivery Chip

About 15 years ago, MIT professors Robert Langer and Michael Cima had the idea to develop a programmable, wirelessly controlled microchip that would deliver drugs after implantation in a patient’s body. This week, the MIT researchers and scientists from MicroCHIPS Inc. reported that they have successfully used such a chip to administer daily doses of an osteoporosis drug normally given by injection. The results, published in the Feb. 16 online edition of Science Translational Medicine, represent the first successful test…

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New ‘Smart’ Nanotherapeutics Can Deliver Drugs Directly to the Pancreas

New ‘Smart’ Nanotherapeutics Can Deliver Drugs Directly to the Pancreas

ScienceDaily (Jan. 12, 2012) — A research collaboration between the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Children’s Hospital Boston has developed “smart” injectable nanotherapeutics that can be programmed to selectively deliver drugs to the cells of the pancreas. Although this nanotechnology will need significant additional testing and development before being ready for clinical use, it could potentially improve treatment for Type I diabetes by increasing therapeutic efficacy and reducing side effects. The approach was found to increase…

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For the Herd’s Sake, Vaccinate

For the Herd’s Sake, Vaccinate

West Hartford, Conn. I HAVE chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Three months ago, I underwent an allogeneic stem-cell transplant, in which my wise, 52-year-old white blood cells were replaced by bewildered, low-functioning cells from an anonymous European donor. For the next seven months or so, until those cells mature, I have a newborn’simmunity; I am prey to illnesses like chickenpox, the measles and the flu. These diseases are rarely fatal, unless you’re a newborn or someone with a suppressed immune system like me. My newborn buddies and…

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“Gold standard” stem cells created by British scientists

“Gold standard” stem cells created by British scientists

British scientists have created the first known batch of “gold standard” stem cells which could one day lead to a new wave of treatments for degenerative diseases. The stem cells, taken from human embryos and grown in the lab, are of unprecedented quality and could be offered to researchers before the end of next year for eventual use in clinical trials. Previous embryonic stem cell (ESC) trials in humans have used lower-quality “research grade” cells, which are manipulated and reclassified…

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Boys need the cervical cancer jab too

Boys need the cervical cancer jab too

Few politicians will ever admit they are wrong, so I salute health ministers who have finally capitulated to medical opinion and last month announced a U-turn on the cervical cancer vaccine that is given to 12- and 13-year-old girls. Until now, Cervarix, which protects against two strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV) that are a factor in at least 70 per cent of diagnoses, has been the NHS vaccine of choice. However, another vaccine, Gardasil, also protects against a…

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