New government statistics show about 50% of women and 40% of men in the U.S. recently used at least one prescription drug. The National Center for Health Statistics also counted nearly 44% of black women and 35% of black men using prescriptions, and 38% of Mexican-American women versus nearly 26% of men in that ethnic group.
Scientists say symptoms that may emerge hours before the classic signs of meningitis and blood poisoning can offer clues to help prevent deaths from the disease. The early symptoms include leg pain, cold hands and feet and abnormal skin color, and can appear about 12 hours after infection, well before the better-known symptoms of headache, rash, stiff neck, sensitivity to light and impaired consciousness.
New FDA guidelines call for drugmakers to conduct early-stage clinical trials using small doses of their products instead of the large, costly batches previously required. Agency officials now consider small doses useful because they avoid side effects in the early stage and allow scientists to see if the drugs behave as intended.
The study in the journal The Lancet said iron and folic acid supplements, which the United Nations recommends should be given to infants on a routine basis in populations with high anemia rates, should be given to infants in areas where malaria is widespread only if the child has been diagnosed as lacking in iron. The study found nonanemic children taking the supplements were 12% more likely to die or need hospital treatment.
Researchers conclude gene-based diagnosis and treatment, as well as more effective use of drugs and the adoption of disease management strategies, could be the key to curing childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 90% of the cases.