New statin concerns
THE US Food and Drug Administration has expanded its consumer safety advice on statins, including that users have an increased risk of diabetes and possibly cognitive impairment. The FDA said the new information should not scare people off statins, but it will be changing the drug labels of popular statin products to reflect these new concerns. The FDA also advised that routine monitoring of liver enzymes in the blood, once considered standard procedure for statin users, is no longer needed. The update was reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Sleeping pill risks
PEOPLE who take prescribed sleeping pills have a greater than threefold increased risk of death compared to those who don’t, even when prescribed 18 or fewer pills per year, according to research published in BMJ Open. The study compared 10 529 users of several common types of sleeping pills, including benzodiazepines, non-benzodiazepines, barbiturates and sedatives, with 23 676 non-users. The most regular users also had elevated cancer risks. The researchers said the results were robust, indicating that the death and cancer hazards were not attributable to pre-existing disease The research was reported in the Courier Mail.

Private “urgent” clinic
A GROUP of Melbourne doctors has established a private “urgent care” clinic to rival hospital emergency departments and GP clinics, The Age reports. For $150, the doctors claim that patients with non-life threatening injuries such as broken bones or infections could be treated within an hour without an appointment. Victorian chairman of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine Dr Simon Judkins told the newspaper the clinics would not take much pressure off public hospitals which were generally full of very sick patients, not people with minor injuries

Stand up for glucose
BREAKING up prolonged sitting with short bouts of light or moderate-intensity walking can reduce postprandial glucose and insulin responses in overweight adults, according to a small randomised trial published in Diabetes Care. The researchers, from the Australian Baker IDI Heart and Disease Institute, said this strategy may improve glucose metabolism and could be an important public health and clinical intervention strategy for reducing cardiovascular risk. The research was reported by ABC News.

Online chronic fatigue helper
AN online therapeutic program may improve outcomes for adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome, according to new research in The Lancet. The study of 135 people aged between 12 and 18 years with chronic fatigue found that those randomised to the online program had significantly improved outcomes (including for school attendance, fatigue severity and physical functioning) compared with those randomised to usual care. The study was reported by BBC News.

Posted 5 March 2012

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