Health Updates 18 April 2011

  • Study shows that combining energy drinks and alcohol riskier than alcohol alone: “All of the students who drank alcohol showed impaired impulse control.  But those who drank the alcoholic energy drink perceived themselves to be less impaired than those who drank the same dose of alcohol alone, the study authors said, which could make them more likely to take risks such as driving while intoxicated”. (Businessweek)
  • Nature or nurture? Who is to blame for your baby’s sleep patterns?  “For the most part, the fault probably lies with you and the choices you make about your child’s sleeping environment, according to a study published online Monday in the Journal Pediatrics”. (LA Times)
  • About half of the meat and poultry samples nationwide had evidence of S. aureus contamination, study finds: “They took samples of meat and poultry from around the country and found that 47% had evidence of Staphlyococcus aureus contamination.  More than half of the bacteria they found were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics” according to a study published 15 April 2011 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. S. aureus causes most staph infections in people, including food poisoning and skin infections.  Most Staph found in meat can be eliminated by thorough cooking, but cross-contamination remains a threat.  The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has said that “there is strong scientific evidence of a link between antibiotic use in food animals and antibiotic resistance in humans”. (NPR)
  • Medication-Related injuries on the rise: “The number of people treated in hospitals in the United States for problems related to medication errors has surged more than 50% in recent years”.  The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports data than shows “the among patients who were admitted to the hospital after taking the wrong type or dose of a drug, the most common medications to cause side effects or injuries were corticosteriods.  The drugs typically are used to treat asthma, ulcerative colitis or arthritis”.  (Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times)

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