Archive for May 3rd, 2012
Only about 36% of all prescriptions in the U.S. are electronic, according to Surescripts, despite numerous studies showing that illegible handwriting can cause serious medication errors or waste time when pharmacists have to clarify prescribers' intent.
Americans average fewer doctor visits and shorter hospital stays than residents of other industrialized nations but spend the most on health care, according to a Commonwealth Fund report. Expensive drugs, medical services and technologies drive costs higher, the researchers say. The U.S. also "[fails] to effectively manage these chronic conditions that make up an increasing share of the disease burden," senior study author David Squires said.
A small study showed that the electric shock to the chest from a taser can lead to sudden cardiac arrest and even death. Lead researcher Douglas P. Zipes examined eight taser-related cases and found that not all deaths from taser shocks can be tied to the shock itself. However, with the loss of consciousness during or after shock "and the subsequent rhythm is [ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation] … it becomes difficult to exonerate the effects of the shock," he wrote.
A study in the journal Sleep found that participants who slept longer at night had a lower body mass index than those who slept less. The researchers also found genes contribute less to how much a person weighs when he or she gets more sleep.
Combining curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, with black pepper and onion skin showed efficacy in regulating body weight, blood glucose and cholesterol in rats, a study in ISRN Pharmacology revealed. Researchers said the combination might trigger a biochemical mechanism that prevents glucose uptake in the small intestine.
Neither aspirin nor warfarin is superior for preventing a combined risk of death, stroke, and cerebral hemorrhage in heart failure patients with normal heart rhythm, according to a landmark clinical trial published in the May 3, 2012, New England Journal of Medicine.
Eli Lilly and Abbott Laboratories are offering help to the 13.8 million American men who have low levels of testosterone. Doctors warn that demand for the treatments could lead to overuse with deadly side effects.