Healthwrap Blood Pressure Drug

Posted by Admin on March 15, 2007

There’s an old phrase—fat and happy—and it may bear some truth. New research in the archives of internal medicine showed that among men, the risk of death from suicide is inversely related to one’s body mass index--a marker of overweight and obesity. Men with lower BMIs---those with less fat were at a higher risk for suicide compared to men with a higher BMI.

The researchers aren’t saying they’re endorsing obesity, but they do say they want to figure out why obesity produces a lower risk for suicide in men. The FDA has approved the blood-pressure drug tekturna. It’s the first new antihypertensive medication to be approved in more than 10 years. The drug is the first in a new class of agents known as oral renin inhibitors.

 It’s approved for the treatment of high blood pressure as monotherapy –meaning, used by itself--or it can be used in combination with other antihypertensive medications. The question is where it will fit in the blood pressure regimen of most Americans; guidelines call for inexpensive generic drugs to be tried first, like the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide.

The Novartis drug is expected to be available in pharmacies this month. And the FDA has also approved the antidepressant Cymbalta for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. It’s believed most of the newer antidepressants can work for anxiety problems, which affect around one in five Americans.

 Cymbalta has been marketed as an antidepressant that can help relieve the physical pain symptoms associated with depression. There is more evidence out showing cell phones are safe when used in the hospital. Research out of the prestigious mayo clinic found normal use of cell phones caused no noticeable interference with patient care equipment. But get this: a portable CD player caused an abnormal electrocardiograph reading when a patient used it near the device.

And, at least two reports suggest that anti theft devices set up near the doors of retail stores can cause implantable rhythm devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators to malfunction. Most hospitals forbid the use of cell phones. But the researchers said their tests suggest the ban is unmerited. They tested cell phones using two different technologies from different carriers, switching them on near 192 different medical devices.

 The anti theft devices issue is perhaps cause for concern for patients with pacemakers and implanted cardiac defibrillators. More than 1 million systems are installed worldwide. The authors urge stores to be aware of the issue. They say simply moving the person away from the anti theft device may save their life.


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