Getting a total knee replacement may seem like an appealing option for someone suffering from sore and creaky knees, but these devices may not be as beneficial as one would hope, according to Well, the New York Times health blog. In 2012, more than 600,000 knee replacement surgeries were performed compared to about 250,000 just 15 years ago.
Manufacturers of knee replacements often claim that the devices have a wide variety of benefits, offering increased mobility, less pain and overall a more youthful lifestyle. However, a growing body of evidence shows that many patients should try other methods to improve their knees first. Research suggests that many people are undergoing the procedures prematurely and gaining limited benefit. Figures from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons shows that in between the ages of 45 and 64, the number of knee replacements increased drastically by 205 percent between 2000 and 2012. The increase was only 95 percent in people 65 and older. Continue reading
New research shows that children face serious and possibly deadly side effects from the consumption of energy drinks.
Between 2010 and 2013, poison control centers received more than 5,000 reports of people who got sick from energy drinks, NBC News reports. Many of the cases involved serious side effects, such as seizures, irregular heart rhythmor dangerously high blood pressure, the researchers told a meeting of the American Heart Association. Children under age 6 often consumed energy drinks without knowing what they were drinking. Dr. Steven Lipshultz, co-author of the study and head of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, said, “They . . . found it in the refrigerator, or left by a parent or an older sibling.” Continue reading
Preliminary data from a clinical trial has prompted safety regulators to review the safety of using duel antiplatelet therapy long-term. On Sunday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety announcement stating that it was evaluating this data.
The data stemmed from The Dual Antiplatelet Therapy (DAPT) trial; findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on November 16th. Although the study found a decreased risk of heart attacks and clot formation in stents with 30 months of dual antiplatelet therapy, there was an overall higher risk of death compared to 12 months of treatment. Researchers looked at patients who underwent dual treatment with the aspirin plus either clopidogrel (Plavix) or prasugrel (Effient) after undergoing stent implantation. Stents are often used in patients with narrowed arteries; they are essentially tubes that are intended to maintain blood flow and keep the vessels open.
“We are communicating this safety information while we continue to evaluate the results from this trial and other available data. We will communicate our final conclusions and recommendations when our evaluation is complete.” the FDA stated. Continue reading
Health care giant Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries will pay more than $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil cases arising from allegations relating to the drugs Risperdal (risperidone), Invega (paliperidone) and Natrecor (nesiritide). The allegations include promotion for uses not approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and payment of kickbacks to physicians and to Omnicare Inc., the largest pharmacy provider to nursing homes.
The global resolution is one of the largest health care fraud settlements in U.S. history, with criminal fines and forfeiture totaling $485 million and civil settlements with the federal government and states totaling $1.72 billion, according to a news release from the Department of Justice. Continue reading
The deadline to file an injury or death claim related to General Motors Co.’s ignition switch defect has been extended by one month. Wall Street Journal reports that the GM compensation expert extended the deadline as a result of pressure from safety advocates, politicians and attorneys. Continue reading
Long-term overtreatment with the anti-clotting drug warfarin, combined with antiplatelet therapy with aspirin or clopidigrel (Plavix) to prevent stroke, may raise the risk of dementia in people with atrial fibrillation.
The research was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014, MedicalXpress reports. Continue reading
Walgreens, the largest drug retailer in the United States, allegedly overcharged some customers for medical records. At least one lawsuit has been filed alleging that the firm violated state laws by charging overly high fees. The man suing Walgreens alleges he was charged a flat fee of $55 for his medical records.
The suit argues that state law puts a cap on the maximum amount a company is allowed to charge. In this case, the legal limit is $24.81 in handling charges, $0.93 per page for the first 25 pages, $0.62 per page for the next 25 pages and $0.31 for any more than 50 pages. By intentionally exceesing these limits, Walgreens perpetrated the “common scheme of fraud” and violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the lawsuit alleges. The company is also accused of trying to cover-up the scheme by describing fees in an ambiguous, unclear way. Walgreens is also accuse of common fraud law and unjust enrichment in the suit. Continue reading
A report to appear today in the journal Pediatrics says there has been a significant increase in the number of children suffering adverse effects from exposure to the popular laundry detergent “pods” sold across the country.
The pods have become popular because of their convenience – the user does not have to measure the detergent or fabric softener. But many of the pods are colorful and attractive to young children, who eat the pods or inhale the ingredients when they break the outer shell of the pod. If ingested, the highly concentrated detergent in the pods can cause excessive vomiting, lethargy, and gasping, according to Consumer Reports magazine. In some reported cases, victims stopped breathing and required ventilation support. A summary on the Pediatrics web site reports that “17,230 children younger than 6 years [were] exposed to laundry detergent pods in 2012–2013. From March 2012 to April 2013, the monthly number of exposures increased by 645.3%, followed by a 25.1% decrease from April to December 2013” Fox News reports (fox17online.com). Continue reading
A study suggests that heavy mobile phone use is linked to glioma, a deadly type of brain cancer. Researchers found that the rate of glioma development is related to the the number of hours of use.
The study, which was published in the journal Pathophysiology, was led by researcher Dr. Lennart Hardell, an oncologist from University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden. He and his colleagues compared the hours of mobile phone use between a group of 1,380 patients with malignant brain tumors and a matched group without tumors. Continue reading
A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not perform enough pesticide residue tests on either imported or domestic foods to say whether the American food supply is safe.
According to the GAO report, the FDA is testing less than one-tenth of 1 percent of imported fruits and vegetables and less than 1 percent of domestic fruits and vegetables, the Washington Post reports. This makes it impossible for the FDA to meet its mandate to “determine the national incidence and level of pesticide residues in the foods it regulates.” Continue reading