Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Study Says Smokers Often Quit Within Their Social Groups

Boston (ChattahBox) - A new study has shown that people who quit smoking usually do so in large social groups rather than on their own. When one person in a group quits smoking, it was found to create a ripple effect within the social group.

Research was carried out at the Harvard University Medical School in Massachusetts and looked at 12,000 people who quit smoking over a 30-year period.

They looked deeply into the lifestyle of all of those who tried to quit smoking, their habits, etc. What they found in the end was that people who were in social groups with smokers were more likely to quit together rathern tahon their own.

Lead author of the study, Nicholas Christakis confirmed that the results show that people who quit smoking cause a “flocking” effect where they cause their friends, spouses, etc. to quit as well.

The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

FAA Bans Anti-Smoking Drug Chantix Due To Side Effects

Washington (ChattahBox) - A report from the non-profit group the Institute for Safe Medication Practices has caused the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ban the use of Pfizer’s anti-smoking drug Chantix for pilots and air traffic controllers.

The report cites major physical side effects with the anti-smoking drug from Pfizer, Chantix including dizziness, seizures, spasms, and loss of consciousness. Over 170 accidental injuries were cited in the report.

The non-profit group cited major concerns in their report “about the use of Chantix among persons operating aircraft, trains, buses and other vehicles, or in other settings where a lapse in alertness or motor control could lead to massive, serious injury.”

The FAA put the ban on the use of the drug into effect immediately.
Pfizer has come to the defense of Chantix, stating “It is important to understand the limitations of spontaneous adverse event reporting. Often these reports lack sufficient medical information and/or have confounding factors that prevent a meaningful assessment of causality.”

Study Shows Increased Birth Defects Risk For Premature Babies

New York (ChattahBox) - A new study has shown that premature babies face an increased risk of developing birth control defects compared directly to babies who were born full-term.

The study was carried out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

They studied around 7 million babies who were born from 1995 to 2000, tracking their births, any defects, etc.

They found that premature babies born between 24 and 31 weeks were 5 times more likely than full-term infants to have birth defects.
The most common birth defects had to do with the central nervous system, and cardiovascular problems.

The cause of these birth defects and the risks is unknown.

First Human Case Of H5N1 Bird Flu Confirmed In Bangladesh

Boston (ChattahBox) - The Bangladesh Health Ministry has confirmed the first human H5N1 bird flu case in the nation..

The Directorate General of Health Services in Bangladesh put out a statement confirming the case of the bird flu on Thursday, but did not reveal anything beyond that it was a child that was infected.

The child was infected with the H5N1 bird flu in January, with the case diagnosed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. The child is now recovering after receiving treatment.

Bangladesh has been working to protect themselves from the H5N1 bird flu virus by slaughtering poultry as the virus spreads through Asia.

FDA Gets Tool To Track Safety Of Drugs, Medical Devices

New York (ChattahBox) - U.S. health officials have announced the launch of a new computer tracking system, which will help the U.S. Food and Drug Administration check the safety of prescription drugs and medical devices already on the market.

The FDA will be able to make full use of this new computer tracking system to check up on warnings and side effects which appear related to prescription drugs and medical devices on the market.

The databse will consist of all relevant and new possible side effects found in regards to these drugs and devices.

This comes as the FDA has been under scrutiny for problems with drugs such as the blood-thinner Heparin, and the painkiller Vioxx.

The FDA will be able to be far more pro-active with this new system in regards to the safety of drugs and medical devices.

Want To Avoid Jet Lag? Just Skip A Few Meals!

Boston (ChattahBox) - Researchers have found that the best way to avoid jet lag and adjust to changes in time zones is to starve yourself, skipping a few meals before your flight.
The study was conducted on mice and found that you can reduce the impact of jet lag by fasting for a period of 16 hours before a flight.

This allows your internal clock to better adjust to changes in time zones you experiencen while flying.

Researchers stated this could be a way to deal with jet lag for people who fly often. They did state though that it does not completely erase jet lag, it only helps control it.
The study was published in the May 23 issue of the journal Science.