Tag Archive | "health authorities"

High Blood Pressure Drugs Not Linked to Cancer

Contrary to what a recent analysis has suggested, a class of medications well-known for the cure of high blood pressure does not increase the risk of cancer, United States health authorities said Thursday.

The class of drugs the announcement was referring to are the ARBs or the angiotensing-receptor blockers. Among the medicines in this classification are Iosartan (Cozaar, telmisartan (Micardis), candesartan (Atacand), and the very popular valsartan (Diovan).

The announcement came from the United States Food and Drug Administration declaring the drugs safe to use and will not, in any way, increase anyone’s risk of having cancer. Dr. Joseph Diamond of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, said that the data released by the FDA ease their minds because the data support what they already felt was true.

FDA started reviewing data following the appearance of a meta-analysis in the July 2010 issue of “The Lancet.” The meta-analysis suggested that patients who take ARBs have 10% more likelihood to acquire cancer.

Until the report was published July last year, there had been very minimal concern regarding the safety of the drugs. Diamond said that they have full confidence on the drugs as they have been around for many years. He added that a lot of doctors were sceptical when they first heard about the study.

Dr. Cheryl Laffer of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, said that she and her colleagues were not a bit least concerned when the study was published; she, however, said that their patients were.

Diamond explained that ARBs are one of the most widely used drugs for high blood pressure patients. They may be used for patients with general hypertension, or those with other diseases like diabetes and kidney problems.

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Suspected Cholera Outbreak in Haiti Kills Nearly 140 People

An outbreak of suspected cholera had killed nearly 140 people in central Haiti according to the Haitian health officials on Thursday. Since the January 12 earthquake, this is the country’s biggest medical crisis.

The Haitian health authorities had already informed the World Health Organization regarding their 138 deaths and about 1,526 cases so far in the outbreak that is centered on Lower Artibonite region, north of the Port-au-Prince capital. Some cases were also listed in the area of Central Plateau.

Local hospitals in Haiti were overwhelmed with the tremendous  number of patients admitted, most of which are suffering from acute diarrhea. The Haitian officials informed that the victims are rapidly dying from dehydration in just a matter of hours.

Medical teams that have been giving assistance to Haiti since the disaster that occurred on January 12 have set out to the outbreak area.

However, the World Health Organization, as well as the United Nations could not confirm yet if the cause of the outbreak is cholera. They are still waiting for the final results of the laboratory tests that were taken from the samples of the dead and sick victim.

But, Dr. Gabriel Thimote, the Haitian Health Department Director General and Alex Larsen, the Health Minister said that the initial testing suggested cholera even though Haiti does not have any history of recent cholera outbreaks.

Cholera is a disease transmitted through contaminated water and food. This causes watery diarrhea and severe dehydration, which can kill in few hours when not immediately treated.

Yet, experts say that there are about 80 percent of cholera cases that can be successfully treated through oral rehydration salts. However, safe water and good sanitation are still important to help reduce the cases of cholera and other waterborne diseases.

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