New drug to blame for 140,000 heart attacks
More than 140,000 extra heart attacks may have been brought about by Vioxx (Rofecoxib), the recently withdrawn painkiller, suggests a new study in Lancet. And millions of people might have been exposed unnecessarily to the risk of heart attack by taking drugs belonging to the class of Cox-2 inhibitors, including Vioxx, when they did not need the pills, according to a second study reported by the New Scientist. The studies found that aggressive marketing duped the doctors leading to a shift away from the older, inexpensive and safer drugs to newer, costly drugs with no real history. The misconception among doctors and patients that because a drug is new, it must be better than older drugs, should also be blamed.
Kids' burden much heavier
If you have been smoking when kids are around, watch out. Exposing children to secondhand tobacco smoke today may mean they'll end up with lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease tomorrow, says a report in the British Medical Journal. The researchers who studied the long-term effects of secondhand-smoke exposure in about 123,000 people in Europe, who had either never smoked themselves or had quit smoking for more than 10 years, showed people who had been exposed to cigarette smoke for many hours a day as children were more than three-times as likely to develop lung cancer in adulthood as those not exposed to it.
Chamomile tea beats colds
The latest take on tea research claims that chamomile tea can protect the body from a host of ills, including colds and menstrual cramps. During the study, researchers tested the urine of 14 healthy volunteers who drank five cups of chamomile tea every day for two weeks. They found that tea produced changes in the urine that suggested there was an increase in a substance that helps the body fight off colds. Tea-drinkers also produced higher levels of a substance called glycine, which can ease muscle spasms. This finding may help support claims that tea can relieve menstrual cramps, the researchers note. The study shows that chamomile tea produces changes in the body. What remains unknown, study author Dr Elaine Holmes told Reuters, is whether these changes are good or bad on the whole.
Brain waves measure libido
Monitoring the changes in specific electrical waves in the brain can quantify libido in people, says the New Scientist. People who have strong libido got aroused quite easily when erotic video clips were shown. The arousal showed up as a drop in some waves in the brain, conclude Israeli researchers.