US Pharm. 2007;32(5):14.
Drink Up, You May Live
have linked alcohol consumption to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease,
especially among wine drinkers. Now a study conducted in The Netherlands
suggests that wine itself may be beneficial to overall survival.
Martinette T. Streppel, PhD, a
student at Wageningen University in Bilhoven, The Netherlands, compared men
who consumed wine, beer, or spirits to nondrinkers. They discovered that the
drinkers had a 36% lower risk of all-cause mortality and a 34% lower risk of
cardiovascular mortality. She presented her findings at the American Medical
Association-sponsored Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and
And, according to Daan
Kromhout, PhD, a professor of public health at Wageningen University and vice
president of the Health Council of The Netherlands, "men who drank about a
half a glass of wine a day had a 40% reduction in all-cause mortality and a
48% lower incidence of cardiovascular death." The researchers concluded that
compared with men who did not consume alcoholic beverages, wine drinkers lived
3.8 years longer.
Statins Recommended in
The presence of
high cholesterol is often not something most individuals think about in
children, and yet it can be a problem, particularly in overweight and obese
youths. For this reason, parents of overweight children should have them
screened for lipid abnormalities and encourage diet and exercise to reduce LDL
cholesterol levels and increase HDL cholesterol levels. When that does not
work, statins may be used.
The guidelines issued a decade
ago by the National Cholesterol Education Program did not address the use of
statins in children. According to an article published online in
Circulation, Journal of the American Heart Association by Brian W.
McCrindle, MD, MPH, a pediatrician at the University of Toronto and a
cardiologist at the Hospital for Sick Children, in the years following those
guidelines several trials in children showing a family history of high
cholesterol have shown that the use of statins in children had similar safety
and effectiveness as in adults.
The American Heart Association
said there is definitive evidence that the atherosclerotic disease process
begins in childhood, and the rate of progression is greatly increased by lipid
abnormalities and their severity. Drug therapy should be considered in
children with an LDL cholesterol level of 190 mg/dL or higher or an LDL
cholesterol level of is 160 mg/dL or higher accompanied by a positive
family history of premature cardiovascular disease or two risk factors for
cardiovascular disease. The minimum treatment target for statin therapy in
children is an LDL cholesterol level of less than 130 mg/dL, but lower is
Eating Cured Meats May Be
Tied to COPD
A study published
in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
revealed that frequent consumption of cured meats lowers lung function test
scores and increases the odds for developing chronic obstructive pulmonary
According to researcher Rui
Jiang, MD, DrPH, of Columbia Medical Center in New York and colleagues, the
odds ratio for developing COPD among individuals who consumed cured meat
products 14 times or more per month was 1.93, as compared with those who did
not consume cured meats. Dr. Jiang said, "cured meats such as bacon, sausage,
luncheon meats, and cured hams, are high in nitrates." The nitrates "generate
reactive nitrogen species that may cause damage to the lungs, producing
structural changes resembling emphysema," she said.
Strep Vaccine Helps Reduce
Recurring Ear Infections in Children
study conducted by researchers at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has
found that children prone to frequent ear infections may benefit from a new
pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. The study showed that as use increased, the
occurrence of ear infections in children under the age of two decreased
significantly. The vaccine was licensed in 2000.
To comment on this article, contact