An apple a day keeps kidney stones away, study concludes
WASHINGTON Researchers revealed last week another reason to eat well: A healthy diet helps prevent kidney stones. Loading up on fruits, vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy products and whole grains, while limiting salt, red and processed meats, and sweetened beverages, is an effective way to ward off kidney stones, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.
Because kidney stones are linked to higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, increased body weight, and other risk factors for heart disease, the findings have considerable health implications, authors stated.
Investigators collected information from individuals enrolled in three clinical studies: the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (45,821 men followed for 18 years), the Nurses’ Health Study I (94,108 older women followed for 18 years), and the Nurses’ Health Study II (101,837 younger women followed for 14 years). Eric Taylor of Main Medical Center and lead researcher assigned a score to each participant based on eight components of a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) style diet: high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains and low intake of salt, sweetened beverages, and red and processed meats. Individuals with higher DASH scores consumed diets that were higher in calcium, potassium, magnesium, oxalate, and vitamin C and lower in sodium.
A total of 5,645 incident kidney stones developed in the participants in the three studies. In each study, participants with the highest DASH scores were between 40% and 45% less likely to develop kidney stones than participants with the lowest DASH scores. The reductions in kidney stone risk were independent of age, body size, fluid intake and other factors.
Medication adherence report reveals need for patient-specific interventions
NEW YORK Boehringer Ingelheim has done a major service to the industry with the release of this report. Closing the gap on patient compliance and adherence remains not only the best opportunity for retail pharmacy to grow the business at a time of waning big blockbuster drug introductions and continued pressure from generic competition, but also represents the best opportunity for this industry to “show what it’s got,” as the entire nation turn its attention to health reform.
Hundreds of billions of healthcare dollars are spent needlessly as a result of people not taking their medications as they are supposed to, to say nothing of the toll it’s taking on patient outcomes.
Reading between the lines here, one of the big reasons behind non-compliance could very well be the state of the economy. A public opinion poll of 1,025 adults conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in mid-July found that 49% of Americans are still taking cost-cutting measures when it comes to their healthcare: 33% are shifting to medicines available over-the-counter in favor of a doctor’s visit; 21% skipped a doctor-recommended medical test or treatment because of cost; and 15% cut prescription doses in half or skipped doses in an effort to stretch their medicines. And taking those kinds of cost-cutting measures — saving a co-pay today but risking an emergency room visit tomorrow — only helps to amplify the important role a pharmacist can play in helping their patients navigate cost-saving strategies in an effort to maintain/boost compliance.
“All of those things…are happening,” Ted Epperly, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, told Drug Store News in the fall following a similar Kaiser survey, and its cutting deeper than just the working poor, he said. Patients who would fall into lower- and middle-income status are making similar cost-cutting decisions.
Also already happening is that pharmacist interceding on the patient’s behalf to help mitigate prescription-drug costs. “We’ve found that physicians were particularly receptive to calling on a patient’s behalf and giving suggestions on how that patient could save money, especially if it was a matter of a patient either not taking that medication at all or taking something [else] to address their condition,” Douglas Hoey, SVP and COO for the National Community Pharmacy Association, told Drug Store News this past fall.
Study: Stomach bugs increase risk of IBD
NEW YORK Diarrheal disease may increase a person’s risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease, according to a study published in Gastroenterology.
IBD refers to a group of conditions, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, marked by chronic inflammation in the intestines, leading to such symptoms as abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Henrik Nielsen, M.D., from Aarhaus University Hospital in Aalborg, Denmark, and colleagues reported in the latest issue of the journal that over the course of 7.5 years, IBD was diagnosed for the first time in far more gastroenteritis patients 1.2% of patients were diagnosed with IBD, compared with 0.5% of healthy control subjects.
Nielsen and colleagues compared the risks of IBD between 13,148 patients with documented gastroenteritis caused by salmonella or campylobacter and 26,216 uninfected controls.
Stomach bug patients had nearly a threefold increased risk of developing IBD over the entire study period, and nearly a twofold increased risk in the first year after infection.