Health Updates 15 February 2012

  • Antibiotics no help for sinusitis: “Antibiotics won’t chase away patients’ sniffles any faster than watchful waiting, researchers found.  In a randomized trial, patients with acute rhinosinusitis had no differences in symptoms or quality of life three days after starting on amoxicillin compared with patients who received a placebo instead.”  The doctors who followed the research were not surprised by the findings and were critical of physicians who prescribed antibiotics for sinusitis, which is almost always viral anyway.  “‘If anything, it’s less effective,'” said one doctor about the use of Zithromax Z-Pak for sinus infections.  “‘The prevalence of its prescribing represents sloppy practice.  It’s a fad’.” (Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today)
  • Mediterranean diet might be healthier for the brain: “Eating a Mediterranean-style diet appears to reduce damage to small blood vessels in the brain, a new study says.  Researchers tracked the brain health of almost a thousand people who completed a questionnaire that scored how closely they followed a Mediterranean-type regimen.  This diet emphasizes plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts, and using olive oil rather than fats like butter, according to the American Heart Association.  The diet discourages eating red meat more than  few times a month, if at all, and advises taking in moderate amounts of fish and poultry.  Red wine, in moderation, is optional….The people enrolled in the study also underwent brain MRI scans to measure ‘white matter hyperintensity‘ volume, which is a marker of small vessel damage in the brain.  The brain scans revealed a lower burden of white matter hyperintensities….even after researchers took other risk factors like smoking, high blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels into account.” (MedlinePlus)
  • Lost love often the biggest source of regret, study shows: “Researchers report that people have stronger feelings of regret about decisions involving romance and family than those involving work.  The findings underscore the importance of social relationships, according to Neal Roese, a marketing professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and his colleagues.  ‘Social relationships, we suggest, are the most pivotal component of life regrets.  Failed marriages, turbulent romances, and lost time with family may elicit regrets that last a lifetime’….Regrets about social relationships are intense because they threaten a person’s need to belong….’Belonging, a core human motive, powerfully connects to well-being and mental health’.” (HealthDay)
  • Hip implants US rejected sold overseas: “The health care products giant Johnson & Johnson continued to market an artificial hip in Europe and elsewhere overseas after the Food and Drug Administration rejected its sale in the United States based on a review of company safety studies….It is not known how many people overseas received the replacement hip after the agency decided in 2009 not to approve it, nor the number who received the closely linked implant sold in this country.  During some eight years on the market, the two implants were used in about 93,000 patients worldwide, about one-third of them in the United States.  Both models were based on the same component, an all-metal hip socket cup that experts say was faulty in design.” (NY Times)

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