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CDC Reports Overdose Deaths From Fake Prescription Pills Has More Than Doubled in Recent Years

   Data reported by the CDC concluded that from mid-2019 and the end of 2021, overdose deaths from counterfeit prescription drugs more than doubled, going from a paltry 2% to a still negligible 4.7%. That’s not a huge problem, but it is getting worse instead of better. Illicit fentanyl was detected in 93% of the deaths and 57.1% of deaths were in people underage 35. There were 54,000 overdose deaths where counterfeit pills were the causative factor. More than half of the deaths were related to counterfeit oxycodone or Xanax. Methamphetamine was found in 25% of counterfeit pills. Cocaine and benzodiazepines were seen about 16% of the time. 

Vasectomies Are Becoming More Common in the U.S.

   A report in Urology stated that according to data from insurance claims, vasectomies in the U.S. increased by 26% between 2014 and 2021.

HbA1c May Overestimate Blood Glucose Values in Black Patients With Diabetes

   Kaiser Permanente of Northern California reported that HbA1c measurement may overestimate blood glucose levels in Black patients with diabetes. A retrospective study of 1788 diabetic patients who had at least one HbA1c test between 2016 and 2021 concluded that in Black patients’ HbA1c’s were higher than they should have been based on blood glucose results. No reason was given for this.

Women Fall More, But Men Have Higher Death Rate From Falls

   The CDC’s Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report stated that women are more likely to fall, but men are more likely to die from a fall.

More Than 50% Of Cases of CVD Can Be Attributed To Five Modifiable Risk Factors

   Body Mass Index (BMI), systolic blood pressure, non-HDL Cholesterol, smoking, and diabetes are the disorders most frequently associated with the development of cardiovascular disease. Of those, the systolic BP was the factor most involved in causing CVD.

Pfizer, Moderna Say Updated mRNA COVID-19 Booster Shots Generate Strong Response to BA.2.86 Subvariant

   Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna both now claim their newest vaccine iterations elicited a strong antibody response to BA.2.86, the mutated subvariant anticipated to be this year’s virus du jour. EG.5 is also out there and accounts for 22% of all new COVID -19 cases in the U.S. According to the CDC, a subvariant (FL.1.5.1) makes up 15% of new cases. One thing is certain: COVID-19 continues to adapt to any adversary to maintain it presence in man.

CV Deaths Related to Obesity Increased by 200% Across All Race Groups From 1999-2020

   The Journal of the American Heart Association reports that in the 20 years between 1999 and 2020 Cardiovascular Disease related to obesity increased by 200%. A further analysis found that Black Women had the highest rates of obesity-related CVD.

Globally, New Cancer Cases Among People Younger Than 50 Increased by Nearly 80% from 1990 to 2019.

   The fastest rising cancers were trachea, prostate, breast, lung, colon, stomach. Deaths were greatest from breast, kidney, ovarian, lung, trachea, and GI cancers. North America, Western Europe, and Australasia had highest rates of early onset cancers according to BMJ Oncology.

Change in Medicare Policy Might Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening

   According to the American Journal of Roentgenology, Medicare’s lack of coverage for CT colonography might be linked to low adherence to screening guidelines. Colonoscopy is the “gold standard” for colorectal cancer screening. It is expensive, requires anesthesia, and often unavailable to low-income patients. CT colonography is non-invasive, requires no anesthesia, and sidesteps the anxiety many feel about colonoscopy. It is thus thought and proposed that Medicare cover CT colonography to increase rates of colorectal cancer screening and detection, especially for lower income communities.

FDA Says OTC Decongestants Don’t Work

    FDA researchers reported the results of a long-running evaluation of OTC decongestants. When pseudoephedrine was moved behind the counter, it left only phenylephrine as the only oral nasal decongestant. The FDA study found phenylephrine does not work. Patients will have to ask the pharmacist to dispense pseudoephedrine if they want an effective decongestant.

New Test Detects Type of Cervical Cancer Often Missed by Standard Pap Test

   The Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported on a new test that detects adenocarcinoma of the cervix. This type makes up 25% of cervical cancers with the other 75% being squamous cell carcinomas. Standard PAP tests often miss adeno CA so this test is a significant advance.


AAFP Family Medicine Today: CDC reports Overdose Deaths from Fake Prescription Pills has a ore than Doubled in Recent Years 2023 September 1.

     Vasectomies Are Becoming More Common in the U.S., study finds 2023 September 1.

     HbA1c May overestimate Blood Glucose Values Among Black patients with Diabetes 2023

     September 1.

     Women Fall More, but Men Have Higher Death Rate from Falls, Data Indicates 2023

     September 1.

     More than 50% of cases of CVD can be attributed to five modifiable risk factors. 2023

     September 1.

     Pfizer, Moderna say updated mRNA COVID-19 booster shots generate strong response to

     BA.2.86 subvariant: 2023 September 7. 

     CV deaths related to obesity increased by 200% across all race groups from 1999-2020. 

     2023 September 7.

     Globally, new cancer cases among people younger than 50 increased by nearly 80% from

     1999 to 2019. 2923 September 7.

Medical News in Brief: Change in Medicare Policy Might Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening JAMA 2023 August 22/29;330(8):686.

AAFP Family Medicine Today: FDA says OTC decongestants don’t work. 2023 September 7.

      New Test Detects Type of Cervical Cancer Often Missed by Standard PAP test 2023 Sept. 7

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