Health Highlights: March 2, 201103/02/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Long-term Use of Popular Heartburn Drugs May Lower Magnesium
Popular stomach acid reducing drugs called proton pump
inhibitors, which include Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec, will have
to carry a new warning that they may cause low magnesium levels,
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.
Low serum magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia) can result in muscle
spasms, irregular heartbeat and seizures, according to the notice
posted on the FDA website,
Dow Jones Newswires reported.
Proton pump inhibitors include prescription drugs such as Nexium
that are used to treat certain types of stomach ulcers and other
conditions that affect the esophagus.
Over-the-counter proton pump inhibitor medicines such as
Prevacid and Prilosec are widely used to treat frequent heartburn,
Serena Williams Undergoes Emergency Treatment
U.S. tennis star Serena Williams received emergency treatment
Monday for a hematoma, a few days after a blood clot was found in
her lungs, according to her spokeswoman.
Spokeswoman Nicole Chabot told
People magazine that the 29-year-old Williams "underwent
emergency treatment for a hematoma suffered as a result of
treatment for a more critical situation," the
Associated Press reported.
Williams is being treated at a Los Angeles hospital.
"Doctors are continuing to monitor her situation closely to avoid additional complications," Chabot told the magazine, the AP reported.
Williams has undergone two operations on her right foot after
being cut by glass at a restaurant. The blood clot was found after
she returned to Los Angeles from New York "for doctor appointments
for the ongoing issues with her foot," Chabot said.
Happiness Boosts Health and Lifespan: Study
Being happy may improve your health and help you live longer,
suggests a new study.
Researchers reviewed more than 160 studies and found that
positive moods increase immune function, reduce stress-related
hormones and promote fast recovery of the heart after exertion. On
the other hand, anxiety, depression, pessimism and a lack of
enjoyment of daily activities are associated with higher rates of
disease and a shorter lifespan,
United Press International reported.
"We reviewed eight different types of studies. And the general conclusion from each type of study is that your subjective well-being -- that is, feeling positive about your life, not stressed out, not depressed -- contributes to both longevity and better health among healthy populations," Ed Diener, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said in a news release.
The study was published in the journal
Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being.
"Happiness is no magic bullet, but the evidence is clear and compelling that it changes your odds of getting disease or dying young," said Diener, UPI reported.
Unethical Medical Studies Could Still Occur: Experts
Despite numerous rules and regulations meant to prevent
unethical medical studies, there is no guarantee that such research
won't occur, experts told the Presidential Commission for the Study
of Bioethical Issues on Tuesday.
Last fall, the U.S. government apologized for federal doctors
infecting prisoners and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis
65 years ago. President Barack Obama asked the commission to
determine whether this kind of unethical study could ever happen
Associated Press reported.
In recent decades, as many as 1,000 rules, regulations and
guidelines to ensure the ethical conduct of medical research have
been enacted worldwide. But unethical studies can still occur,
experts told the commission.
"It's night and day" between now and "what you could do in the 'good old days' with no one knowing about it," said Dr. Robert Califf, vice chancellor for clinical research at Duke University, the AP reported.
"But there's no 100 percent guarantee. There still will be bad things that will happen," he added.
E. Coli on Many Shopping Cart Handles: Study
About 50 percent of shopping cart handles have
E. coli on them, along with a number of other types of
bacteria, say U.S. researchers who tested shopping cart handles in
"That's more than you find in a supermarket's restroom," said lead researcher Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, msnbc.com reported. "That's because they use disinfecting
cleaners in the restrooms. Nobody routinely cleans and disinfects
He said the findings may explain previous findings that children
who ride in shopping carts are at increased risk for infections
caused by bacteria such as salmonella and campylobacter.
Gerba said parents should wipe shopping cart handles with a
disinfecting wipe before they place their children in the shopping
Painkillers Like Aspirin May Hike Impotence Risk: Study
Regular use of pain relievers such as aspirin and ibuprofen may
increase men's risk for erectile dysfunction, a new study says.
Researchers looked at more than 80,000 men, ages 45 to 69, and
found that those who used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
(NSAIDs) three times a day for more than three months have a 22
percent increased risk of erectile dysfunction,
USA Today reported.
Men who regularly used NSAIDs were about 2.4 times more likely
to have erectile dysfunction than those who didn't use the drugs
regularly or at all.
"Regular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use is associated with erectile dysfunction beyond what would be expected due to age and other conditions," said Steve Jacobsen, director of research for Kaiser Permanente Southern California, USA Today reported.
He added that further research is needed and it's premature for
men to avoid NSAIDs based solely on these findings, which appear in
Journal of Urology.
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