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Latest News Around the Web

Prescription Medication Abuse In US College Students Associated With Mental Health Issues.

HealthDay (6/20, Preidt) reports that prescription medication abuse in US college students is associated with suicidal thoughts and depression, according to a study published in the August issue of Addictive Behaviors: An International Journal. After analyzing “data from more than 26,000 college students at 40 campuses who took part in the 2008 American College Health Association National College Assessment survey,” researchers found that “about 13 percent of the college students reported nonmedical use of prescription” medications. “Those who said they had felt hopeless, sad, depressed or had considered suicide were much more likely to abuse prescription” medicines.
Related Links:

— “More Mental Health Woes in College Kids Who Abuse Prescription Drugs,”Robert Preidt, HealthDay, June 19, 2012.

Hospital Stays May Be Hazardous For Alzheimer’s Patients.

NBC Nightly News (6/18, story 9, 0:15, Williams) reported “new stats showing the hospital can be a dangerous place for Alzheimer’s patients as many families know too well already death rates and nursing home admissions both spike after hospital stays.”

The AP (6/19, Neergaard) reports, “People with dementia are far more likely to be hospitalized than other older adults, often for preventable reasons like an infection that wasn’t noticed early enough. Hospitals can be upsetting to anyone, but consider the added fear factor if you can’t remember where you are or why strangers keep poking you.” The AP notes that a new study appearing in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that “being hospitalized seems to increase the chances of Alzheimer’s patients moving into a nursing home — or even dying — within the next year.”

Related Links:

— “With Alzheimer’s, Hospital Stays Can Be a Hazard,”AP , The New York Times, June 18, 2012.

Psychological Distress Associated With Stroke Mortality.

HealthDay (6/19, Dallas) reports, “People suffering from anxiety, depression, sleeplessness or other forms of psychological distress are at greater risk of death from a stroke,” according to a study published online June 18 in CMAJ. After examining data on “68,652 adults who participated in the Health Survey for England,” then following those adults for approximately eight years, researchers “found 2,367 deaths from ischemic heart disease (blocked artery), stroke and other cardiovascular problems.”

“Psychological distress predicted a significant 66% elevated risk of death from cerebrovascular disease,” MedPage Today (6/19, Phend). “The impact on ischemic heart disease-related death risk was similar at a hazard ratio of 1.59,” researchers reported. “The associations with psychological distress were similar for cerebrovascular and ischemic heart disease but may not stem from the same mechanism in both cases, the researchers noted, pointing to the differences in pathogenesis of atherosclerotic lesions in coronary and cerebral arteries.”

Related Links:

— “Anxiety, Depression May Raise Stroke Risk,”Mary Elizabeth Dallas , HealthDay, June 18, 2012.

Too Much Stress May Result In Anxiety, Depression.

On the front of its Personal Journal section, the Wall Street Journal (6/19, D1, Beck, Subscription Publication) reports that while a little bit of stress may help people perform better, too much stress may result in anxiety and depression, as well as contribute to hypertension, migraine headaches, chronic pain, digestive troubles, and even cardiovascular disease, experts say and research has found. The article goes on to list ways people can deal with stress and anxiety, including cognitive behavioral therapy, deep breathing exercises, and meditation.

Related Links:

— “Anxiety Can Bring Out the Best,”Melinda Beck , Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2012.

Study: More Children Are Taking Medications For ADHD.

Reuters (6/18, Joelving) reports that, in a study published in the journal Pediatrics, Food and Drug Administration researchers found that while antibiotic usage has decreased among youths in the US, more children are taking medications for ADHD. Dr. Scott Benson, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and a spokesperson for the American Psychiatric Association, is quoted as saying, “What the article is suggesting is that the number of children that we are treating for attention deficit disorder has gone up.” According to Dr. Benson, “For the most part I think the overall increase reflects a reduction in the stigma,” as “it used to be, ‘You’re a bad parent if you can’t get your child to behave, and you’re a doubly bad parent if you put them on medicine.'”

MedPage Today (6/18, Phend) reports that researchers found that “outpatient contraceptive prescriptions jumped 93% from 2002 to 2010 among kids 17 and younger.” Meanwhile, “ADHD drug scripts rose 46% over the same period in the national analysis of prescription databases.” Altogether, “an estimated 263 million prescriptions were dispensed for the under 18 crowd in 2010, which was down 9% from 2002 after accounting for the shifting population size over that period.”

Related Links:

— “U.S. kids getting more ADHD drugs, fewer antibiotics,”Frederik Joelving , Reuters, June 18, 2012.

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