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In The News

November 6, 2007


Sale of Anti-Bleeding Drug Halted

The Food and Drug Administration has asked the makers of Trasylol, a drug used to prevent excessive bleeding during heart by-pass surgery, to withdraw the medication pending further analysis of a Canadian study which linked the drug to an increased

mortality risk. The suspension may be only temporary as the FDA is exploring whether to make the drug available on a restricted basis for use by physicians in certain patients.

High Blood Pressure May Vary by Season

A study presented at the American Heart Association’s 2007 Scientific Sessions finds that the blood pressure of people with hypertension is more likely to return to normal levels in summer than in the winter. Researchers found that blood pressure was nearly 8% less likely to return to normal in the winter than in the summer, suggesting that some people with high blood pressure may need higher doses or different medications during the winter months. A lack of exercise and a tendency to gain weight during the winter may play a role in the seasonal variation of blood pressure, researchers concluded.

HPV Vaccine Protects Older Women, Too

New research finds that the Gardasil vaccine prevented 91% of cases of persistent infection, minor cervical abnormalities, pre-cancers, and genital warts caused by 4 strains of human papillomavirus, or HPV, in women aged 24 to 45. The vaccine is currently approved for use in girls and women ages 9 to 26, but the drug’s manufacturer is seeking to expand its use to older women through age 45.

Breast Feeding: Good for Adult Heart

New research suggests that breast-fed babies have better HDL cholesterol levels and a healthier BMI in adulthood than those who were not breast-fed as infants. Infants who nursed were 55% more likely to have high average levels of high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, in adulthood than those who were not breast-fed. Those who were breast-fed also had lower BMI, or body mass index, as adults – 26.1 compared to 26.9 for the bottle-fed counterparts. These cholesterol and BMI differences were modest, but significant, according to Dr. Nisha Parikh of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who led the study.

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