Newsbriefs: Fracture Risk; Ibuprofen; Butter; Psoriasis

Prescription Drugs Associated With Fracture Risk.

A new study of more than 168,000 Medicare consumers, 84.2 percent of whom were women, and who had suffered a fragility fracture, showed that about 75 percent of patients were using at least  one nonopiate drug linked to increased fracture risk in the four months before their fracture. In all, 21 drugs were singled out and divided into three categories associated with increased risk of fall, decreased bone density, or “unclear primary mechanism” for increasing fracture risk. The study showed that about seven percent of patients discontinued the drug after the fracture. Health care providers should review patients’ drugs and try to reduce or eliminate medications associated with falls and bone loss if possible, said a related commentary. The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine, Oct. 1, 2016.

New Ibuprofen Formula Bests Existing Product.

A new formula for ibuprofen, ibuprofen arginate, is said to provide better and faster pain relief than the existing product by releasing into the bloodstream more quickly, according to new research at Imperial College, London. “Whilst remarkably simple, our findings are potentially game-changing in the pain medication arena,” said one of the researchers. Another benefit is that it may keep some patients from moving to opioid painkillers. (The FASEB Journal, the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, October 2016.)

Is Butter Bad For You?

Butter evokes fond memories of warm croissants, steaming baked potatoes and crispy, pan-fried fish. But in the interest of cardiovascular health, should we avoid this tasty food, which is 50 percent saturated fat? A meta-analysis of nine studies (PLoS One, June 29, 2016) found that eating butter had no significant impact on cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease or stroke and only a small impact on all-cause mortality. Regular consumption of butter was associated with a lower risk of diabetes. The researchers concluded there was no evidence to promote or discourage the use of butter.

Psoriasis Joins the List of Major Cardiovascular Risk Factors.

People with type 2 diabetes have a significantly increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Now a study indicates that moderate-to-severe psoriasis may be just as dangerous. Researchers using coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring to evaluate the health of arteries found severe calcifications were five times more common in patients with psoriasis or diabetes than in a healthy population. The presence of other traditional cardiovascular risk factors further raised the risk in both groups, but appeared to have a stronger impact in patients with psoriasis than in those with diabetes (JAMA Dermatology, online Aug. 24, 2016).

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