medical research news

This week’s digest takes a look at Statin drug use for heart disease, the Zika virus and child obesity where we ask if a sugar tax will help.  

We Need to Better Understand the Impact of Statin Drug Use

This past weekend, SNJ tweeted about the research out of Japan concerning statin drug use. Additionally, we highlighted in a previous medical news digest on Jan. 11th that the US government was changing their recommendations concerning dietary cholesterol. Discussing both of these issues regarding heart disease is necessary as we come to understand that dietary cholesterol is not responsible for cardiac disease as we’ve been told for decades. Similarly, statin drugs are not the answer either.

Dr Okuyama, of Nagoya City University, Japan stated the results of the team’s review showed that the evidence is becoming very clear, statin drugs can lead to heart disease (and we will be covering other outcomes such as cancer coming up).

It is a large collection of literature and Dr Okuyama and the research team were able to explain that when all the outcomes of clinical trials were included for review, results showed statin drug interventions were not only ineffective in some trials but importantly associated with increased heart disease.

The concern is that we have not been told about all of the findings in the literature, rather the published literature has not included some research when it was not favorable to showing that Statins worked in aiding heart disease. Read more about Dr. Okuyama’s work here and  here

How can this happen in research? One way is outcome switching…read about Paxil and outcome switching.

zika virus

Zika Virus: An RNA Virus That Poses A Serious Risk to Pregnant Women

We’ve heard a lot about the Zika virus in the past few weeks. Zika is known as an RNA virus that is often spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. What has not been emphasized but is known according to the CDC is that the Zika virus has a sexually transmitted pathway. Concerningly, “Perinatal, in utero, and possible sexual and transfusion transmission events have also been reported”. [Jan 23, 2016 CDC]. There is no treatment for the Zika virus. Know the symptoms and what the travel alerts recommend.

Learn about this virus and if you’re traveling or in contact with people who live or have visited the areas listed by the CDC in their travel advisory, you need to know more [some of the locations: Carribean, Mexico, Cape South America, Puerto Rico].

The Ministry of Health in New Zealand provides an excellent information piece on the Zika virus

Since Posting Update

World Health Organization is suggesting Zika virus could spread across Americas, CNN


Child Obesity: Would A Sugar Tax Help?

The UK government is deeply concerned about childhood obesity and will release their strategy within the next few weeks to address this massive health problem. The number of children, particularly young children, who required medical attention because of a weight issue along with how many children are undergoing surgical procedures to tend to health problems as a result of childhood obesity is serious. The government is discussing a sugar-tax.

Will a sugar-tax Help the Problem?

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