Monday, June 23, 2014

Million Hearts and Eating-Well magazine launch heart-healthy nutrition resource

Press Release

For Immediate Release: Monday, June 23, 2014
Contact: CDC Media Relations 
(404) 639-3286

Million Hearts and Eating-Well magazine launch heart-healthy nutrition resource

The Million Hearts initiative announces the launch of a new Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Resource Center, developed in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Eating-Well magazine. The resource center features lower-sodium, heart-healthy recipes and family-friendly meal plans, with an emphasis on  managing sodium intake, a major contributor to high blood pressure and heart disease.

By helping individuals and families access content and recipes to promote consumption of healthier foods, this consumer-friendly addition to existing Million Hearts tools supports the initiative’s goal of preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes.

“Because sodium is a major contributor to high blood pressure, it is important to help people understand how they can manage sodium intake at home,” said Janet S. Wright, MD, FACC, Executive Director of Million Hearts. “This online resource offers practical, accessible eating and lifestyle-based solutions for people looking for ways to reduce sodium in their diet and create heart-healthy, tasty meals for themselves and their families.


Read More>>

FDA approves antibiotic to treat MRSA

Bloomberg News (6/21, Edney) reported Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. has received the green signal from the FDA to market its antibiotic Sivextro (tedizolid phosphate) “to treat acute bacterial skin infections, including potentially fatal MRSA.” The article noted that the FDA approved Sivextro “for use in both intravenous and oral forms,” citing an agency statement. The article noted that Sivestro is the second antibiotic “the FDA has approved in a month to treat MRSA.”

        The AP (6/23, Perrone) reported that the FDA gave Sivextro “an expedited review under a 2012 law designed to encourage drugmakers to invest in researching and development of new antibiotics.” The law also gives Cubist five more years of “exclusive marketing rights to the drug.”

        The Boston Globe (6/20) reported that with the latest approval, Cubist will now have four antibiotics on the market. “The others are its lead drug Cubicin, which also fights Gram-positive infections; Entereg, which speeds gastrointestinal recovery in patients who have had bowel surgery;” and Dificid (fidaxomicin), “a drug treating diarrhea caused by intestinal inflammation.”

Research advances show promise of adult stem cells.

On its website, USA Today (6/22) carries a 1,400-word Louisville Courier-Journal article reporting that advances “in stem-cell research show adult stem cells to be ever-more-promising, many scientists say, quelling the controversy steeped in faith and science that has long surrounded embryonic stem cells.” According to the article, “Human iPS cells...seem to offer all of the benefits of embryonic stem cells and none of the drawbacks.” Meanwhile, “in addition to these genetically reprogrammed adult cells,” researchers are coming closer to “being able to turn one type of cell into another in the body without” having to use any stem cells.

Approximately 70 million Americans suffer from sleep problems.

USA Today (6/23, Hellmich) reports on the health problems associated with a lack of sleep. Approximately “70 million Americans suffer from sleep problems, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, shift-work sleep disorder or narcolepsy, as well as sleep disturbances associated with many diseases, mental illnesses and addictions, according to the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, part of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.” Michael Twery, director of the center, said, “That’s a conservative estimate when it comes to the number of people with sleep disorders or those who have difficulty sleeping.” Twery added, “There are more than 70 sleep disorders.” USA Today adds, “Many people think taking the time to get sufficient sleep is being lazy and a waste of time, but they could be performing so much better if they were well-rested, she says” CDC epidemiologist Anne Wheaton.

FDA says testosterone products can cause blood clots.

NBC Nightly News (6/20, story 7, 2:30, Williams) reported that the FDA has “issued a new warning about the risk of life-threatening side effects from” prescription testosterone treatments.

        The Boston Globe (6/20, Kotz) reports that the agency “has told manufacturers of” these products “that they need to add a warning on their drug label about an increased risk of blood clots in the veins.” While “the FDA previously had warned that such clots could occur in certain patients who developed an abnormal increase in the number of red blood cells...the agency has recently received numerous reports of such clots” occurring in individuals who do not “have this complication.”

        Also covering the story are Reuters (6/21), the NBC News (6/21, Fox) website, Medscape (6/21, Lowes),MedPage Today (6/21), and HealthDay (6/21, Mundell).

FTC cracking down on “pay-for-delay” generic drug deals.

Bloomberg News (6/23, McLaughlin) reports that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), bolstered by a recent Supreme Court decision, has “opened new investigations into agreements between generic and brand-name drugmakers that may lead the agency to sue for disgorgement of revenues,” according to Markus Meier, head of the FTC’s healthcare division. Citing regulatory filings, Bloomberg News says that Forest Laboratories and Endo International are among the companies being probed. Citing the Supreme Court decision from last June, Meier said the FTC had opened new probes, but did not provide details.

Federal judge upholds New York City policy for unvaccinated children.

The New York Times (6/23, A19, Mueller, Subscription Publication) reports that Judge William F. Kuntz II of Federal District Court in Brooklyn upheld a New York City policy prohibiting unimmunized students from attending public school if another student carries a vaccine-preventable condition. He “ruled against three families who claimed that their right to free exercise of religion was violated when their children were kept from school, sometimes for a month at a time, because of the city’s immunization policies.” He also wrote in his ruling that the Supreme Court has “strongly suggested that religious objectors are not constitutionally exempt from vaccinations".

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Helmet Device Quickly Differentiates Bleeding Strokes from Clot-Induced Strokes

A newly developed helmet device called Strokefinder examines the wearer’s brain tissue by bouncing microwaves off of it to determine if a stroke has occurred due to bleeding or a blood clot. In a study of 45 patients, the technique could differentiate bleeding strokes from clot-induced strokes in patients with acute symptoms. Differentiating these types of stroke is crucial to provide appropriate care. The findings are published in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.


Mechanisms behind Kidney Regeneration Revealed

Researchers have discovered that kidney growth does not depend on a single stem cell, but that each part of the nephron is responsible for its own growth and development. Using a mouse model, the investigators found that once the Wnt signaling pathway is activated in specific precursor cells in each kidney segment, robust renal cellular growth and generation of long branches of cells results. The Cell Reports findings may help scientists develop novel therapies for kidney regeneration and eventually alleviate kidney transplant shortages.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Diet, exercise may be best for preventing diabetes in patients at risk for the disease.

Bloomberg News (6/17, Ostrow) reports that research presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting indicates that “diet and exercise remain the best bet for staving off diabetes in patients at risk for the disease.” Researchers found that “study participants who lost weight and increased physical activity had a 27 percent lower rate of developing Type 2 diabetes, compared with 17 percent of those given metformin, a first-line drug to lower blood sugar.” In a press briefing, Judy Fradkin, of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, said, “Diabetes is a disease that really develops across decades.” Fradkin added, “Although rates of diabetes have been increasing dramatically, outcomes for people with and at risk of diabetes have been improving dramatically.” The NIH funded the study.

Obesity May Affect Transplant Outcomes

Obese kidney transplant recipients had a 41% increased risk of delayed graft function and a twofold increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to non-obese recipients according to a new analysis. The findings come from a systematic review and meta-analysis of 21 studies with 9296 kidney transplant recipients. Graft loss and premature death were associated with obesity only in the analysis of studies that evaluated patients who received a kidney graft before year 2000. The Transplantation analysisrevealed no association between obesity and acute rejection.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Polyhexanide May Help Prevent Exit-Site Infections in Peritoneal Dialysis Patients

Among 46 peritoneal dialysis patients who were followed for 12 months and were randomized to receive either traditional care with saline serum and povidone-iodine or to receive polyhexanide solution, the average rate of exit-site infection was 1 episode/36.6 patient-months for the traditional care group and 1 episode/102.7 patient-months for the polyhexanide group. It also took fewer days for patients receiving traditional treatment to get infected than those receiving polyhexanide. Six patients undergoing traditional care and 2 receiving polyhexanide developed an exit-site infection. Nine infections occurred in patients following the traditional approach and 3 occurred in patients treated with polyhexanide. The study is published in Peritoneal Dialysis International.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Linked with Increased AKI Risk among Critically Ill Patients

Among 8029 patients with ICU stays >24 hours, AKI occurred in 44.3% of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) compared to 27.4% of patients without ARDS. After adjusting for confounders, mechanical ventilation without ARDS was linked with fourfold increased odds of AKI, while ARDS was linked with 11-fold increased odds of AKI. Hospital mortality was higher in patients with ARDS (27.9% vs. 10.0% in patients without ARDS) and patients with AKI (27.6% vs. 8.1% in those without AKI). AKI was associated with higher mortality in patients with ARDS (42.3% vs. 20.2%) in the CJASN study.

A Lesser Decline in eGFR May Be an Alternative End Point for CKD Progression

Declines in eGFR smaller than those thought to mark CKD progression are associated with ESRD and mortality, according to a JAMAmeta-analysis that included 1.7 million participants. A doubling of serum creatinine, corresponding to a 57% decline in eGFR, was associated with a ˃30-fold higher risk of ESRD. However, over a 1- to 3-year period, doubling of serum creatinine occurred in <1% of participants. A 30% decline in eGFR was nearly 10 times more common and was associated with a fivefold increased risk of ESRD. Although weaker than ESRD risk, associations with mortality were qualitatively similar.

New medicine to treat MRSA gets FDA approval.

The Washington Post (6/3, Bernstein) “To Your Health” blog reports that the FDA recently gave the green light to “a new drug to combat acute skin and soft tissue infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.” The drug, known as Dalvance, “is the first approved by the FDA under the government’s Generating Antibiotic Incentives program.”
        CNN (6/4, Christensen) reported that Dalavance, an intravenous medicine, is made by Durata Therapeutics and is approved for adults only. CNN noted that Dalvance received approval “after two clinical trials that included 1,289 adults with this kind of infection.” Participants in the study received either Dalvance or another antibacterial medicine. “Dalvance was as effective as that drug for the treatment of this infection,” CNN reported.