Heartburn Drugs May Boost Fracture Risk
Medicines that help tame acid reflux may hike the risk of bone fractures, Reuters reports. The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that products including Nexium and Prilosec, part of a drug class known as proton pump inhibitors, will carry a new label to indicate the risk. The agency's warning comes after research linked the drugs to an increase in fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine when taken for one year or longer or at high doses, according to Reuters.
Earlier this month, U.S. News's Deborah Kotz reported on a series of studies, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which found that daily use of PPI's increase the risk of infection with an intestinal bacteria and fractures in postmenopausal women. Previous research has shown that PPI's also increase the likelihood of contracting pneumonia, Kotz wrote. [Read more: Heartburn Drugs Pose Risks: 12 Natural Symptom Relievers.]
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Is Sunscreen Dangerous? 4 Sun Protection Do's and Don'ts
Be afraid, very afraid of that sunscreen you lather on. So suggests a new report from the Environmental Working Group. Most have dangerous chemicals that will accelerate the growth of skin tumors or disrupt the intricate workings of your hormonal systems, the nonprofit group reports. And these "modern-day snake oil" products don't work anyway, the group says, giving people a false sense of security so they stay out in the sun longer and get deadly skin cancer. Scary stuff, U.S. News's Deborah Kotz writes. But is it true?
The American Academy of Dermatology says no, adding in a statement released yesterday that "scientific evidence supports the beneficial effects of sunscreen" and that sunscreen is "an important tool in the fight against skin cancer." The EWG report, though, does make two legitimate points: First, we shouldn't assume that rubbing on some sunscreen in the morning will protect our bikini-clad bodies at the beach all day. Second, most of us use far too little sunscreen to get significant protection, Kotz writes. Henry W. Lim, chairman of dermatology at Henry Ford Hospital, says to trust that sunscreens work. They're not snake oil, says Lim, and are regulated as over-the-counter drugs by the Food and Drug Administration. [Read more: Is Sunscreen Dangerous? 4 Sun Protection Do's and Don'ts.]
Americans Good at Managing—Not Preventing—Hypertension
Over the last 20 years Americans have gotten much better at controlling high blood pressure, according to a new report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers found that half of people with hypertension have their condition under control, up from 27 percent in the late 1980s, HealthDay reports. However, Americans are not doing enough to evade high blood pressure, says lead author Brent Egan, of the Medical University of South Carolina. Reducing sodium intake can help, he says.
U.S. News's January Payne has written about lifestyle changes that can help lower blood pressure. The "DASH" diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, low-fat foods, and nonfat dairy items, is a widely recommended approach for lowering blood pressure. Studies show that the DASH diet can lower blood pressure in as little as 14 days, especially in people with moderately high blood pressure or prehypertension. [Read more: High Blood Pressure? 5 Key Ways to Bring It Down.]
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