- New Drug May Prevent Fibrosis
- Australian Doctors Call for Gardasil Review
- Barracks for Wounded Soldiers Full of Mold
- High Incidence of Suicidal Thinking Among College Students: Survey
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
New Drug May Prevent Fibrosis
Australian scientists say they've developed a drug that may prevent fibrosis, a potentially fatal build-up of scarring on internal organs that's caused by diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses. Currently, there are no treatments on the market for fibrosis.
The researchers said the drug, called FT-11, prevented fibrosis in rats, and human clinical trials could begin within 12 months, Agence France Presse reported.
The drug wouldn't prevent diabetes, but could prevent diabetes-related complications such as kidney disease and heart disease.
"We are hoping to delay or prevent those complications which would basically keep those patients off dialysis -- which would have a huge benefit for their lifestyle," Professor Darren Kelly, of the University of Melbourne, told AFP.
He said about 45 percent of diseases in the developed world are associated with some form of pathological fibrosis.
Australian Doctors Call for Gardasil Review
A major review of the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil needs to be conducted, a group of Australian doctors urged after three women developed pancreatitis soon after receiving the vaccine, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Two of the women are well and the third remains under the care of a gastroenterologist.
"We suggest that pancreatitis be considered in cases of abdominal pain following HPV vaccination," the doctors wrote in the Medical Journal of Australia.
Their concerns prompted Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to investigate if the vaccine does pose a threat to patients.
Gardasil maker CSL is confident the vaccine is safe and effective but will investigate the reported cases of pancreatitis, said company spokeswoman Rachel David, the Morning Herald reported.
Barracks for Wounded Soldiers Full of Mold
Barracks set up a year ago at Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla., to improve treatment of wounded soldiers are infested with mold, a group of soldiers told USA Today. They said their complaints about mold and other problems were ignored for months.
The 20 soldiers also said they'd been ordered not to speak about the conditions in the barracks, which were established after poor conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center prompted a wide-ranging overhaul of the U.S. Army's wounded-care system. As part of that effort, Warrior Transition Units were created to expedite the care and treatment of soldiers.
Last week, officers at Fort Still ordered the replacement of ventilation ducts in two barracks and said soldiers should be surveyed about any concerns, USA Today reported.
It was "inappropriate" for soldiers to be ordered not to talk about the mold, said commanding officer Gen. Peter Vangjel.
High Incidence of Suicidal Thinking Among College Students: Survey
More than half of 26,000 college students who completed a Web survey said they had thought about committing suicide at least once in their lives, University of Texas at Austin researchers say.
Fifteen percent of respondents said they had seriously considered suicide, and more than 5 percent said they had actually attempted to kill themselves at least once, psychologist David J. Drum and co-authors reported Sunday in a news release to coincide with their planned presentation at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Boston.
The survey of students at 70 colleges and universities was administered in the spring of 2006. It also found:
- Six percent of undergraduates and 4 percent of graduate students said they had seriously considered suicide at least once in the prior year.
- The most common reasons for suicidal thinking were: wanting relief from emotional or physical pain, problems with romantic relationships, and problems with school or academics.
- Fourteen percent of undergraduates and 8 percent of graduate students who seriously contemplated suicide in the prior year actually made a suicide attempt.
- Nineteen percent of undergraduates who attempted suicide and 28 percent of graduate students needed medical attention.
- Half of those who attempted suicide tried overdosing on drugs.