home
RSS
5 studies you may have missed
If you have fewer copies of the AMY1 gene , carbs may be your weight-loss nemesis.
April 4th, 2014
08:46 AM ET

5 studies you may have missed

Here's a roundup of five medical studies published this week that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a link between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

Missing this gene? Carbs may be your weight-loss nemesis
Journal: Nature Genetics

Depending on who you ask (and the diet trend of the week), carbohydrates can be your best friend or worst enemy when it comes to losing weight. New research suggests the truth may lie in our genes.

Scientists looked at the DNA of more than 6,000 people and found that individuals with fewer copies of the AMY1 gene had a higher risk of obesity. This gene is responsible for producing a carb-digesting enzyme, so people with fewer copies may have difficulty breaking down carbohydrates.

The discovery of this genetic link may lead to more personalized dietary recommendations for people struggling to lose or gain weight, says study author Tim Spector.

“It might mean that some people are better off taking a mainly high-carb diet – they’re better suited genetically," he says. "Others are better suited for having a more high-fat, high-protein diet.”

Read more from The Guardian

1 in 3 prescriptions go unfilled
Journal: Annals of Internal Medicine

Close to one-third of prescriptions written by doctors go unfilled, according to researchers at McGill University in Canada who looked at the prescription history of more than 15,000 patients between 2006 and 2009.

The researchers found that antibiotic prescriptions - especially those for urinary tract infections - were most likely to be filled while prescriptions written for chronic conditions such as heart disease or depression tended not to make it to the pharmacy. More expensive drugs were also more likely to go unfilled.

Doctors need to keep the study results in mind, study author Robyn Tamblyn told CBC News, as they may assume a patient's medication isn't working when in fact the patient isn't taking it.

Read more from CBC News

Fertility drugs likely don't increase your breast cancer risk
Journal: Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention

Much has been written about the link between fertility drugs and breast cancer. Scientists currently believe not having a baby - or infertility itself - is more likely to increase your risk than IVF drugs.

A new 30-year follow-up study of more than 9,800 women supports that belief. Patients who took the fertility drugs clomiphene citrate (brand name Clomid) and/or gonadotropins between 1965 and 1988 did not have an increased risk of breast cancer compared to those who didn't take IVF drugs, the researchers found.

However, they also saw an elevated risk for invasive breast cancer in women who underwent 12 or more cycles of clomiphene, and in women who were unable to become pregnant after taking the drugs.

"Women previously exposed to such drugs should be reassured by these findings," Louise Brinton, chief of the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch at the National Cancer Institute, said in a statement. "However, the women in our study who developed breast cancer were on average only 53 years old, which is still young in terms of when we usually expect breast cancers to develop."

Brinton said the women in the study should continue to be monitored to further assess the long-term effects of fertility drugs.

Read more from Medical News Today

Fitter today, smarter tomorrow
Journal: Neurology

In 1985, scientists recruited 2,747 people aged 18 to 30 to participate in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study. They gave them a physical fitness test and a cognitive test to assess their memory, reasoning speed and executive function (how well you can focus on a specific task).

Twenty-five years later researchers gave the same group another cognitive test. Those who had been physically fit at a younger age scored significantly higher on the second test than their weaker counterparts.

“This is one more important study that should remind young adults of the brain health benefits of cardio fitness activities such as running, swimming, biking or cardio fitness classes," study author David Jacobs told NBC.

Read more from NBC

Military caregivers need help
Published by RAND Corporation

There are more than 1.1 million spouses, parents and friend caring for injured and disabled veterans who have served in the military since September 11, 2001, according to a new study released by the nonprofit research organization RAND Corporation.

Many of these people are younger than you may expect, are also working a job outside the home and are caring for someone with a behavioral or mental health problem, the researchers say.

"After more than a decade of war, the toll faced by the nation's caregivers who aid veterans and military members is large and can be expected to grow in the decades ahead," Terri Tanielian, a senior social research analyst at RAND, said in a statement.

The organization is advocating for more support and resources for these caregivers. "Playing this role can impose a substantial physical, emotional, and financial toll," the authors write.

Read more about the toll war takes on military families in CNN's The Uncounted


soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Badly-Bent

    1 in 3 prescriptions not filled? Sounds like a new economic indicator to me.

    April 4, 2014 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Keith

      I know you are right at my house, some of the medication my wife is supposed to take is over 400 per month, sometimes we just can't do it.

      April 4, 2014 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
    • uberwicvcncn

      Are you still single? If you think black and white is a beautiful combination. JOIN
      -–>♥ BlackWhitëHub.COM ♥ site is for you. This is a serious Interracial dating services and mixed race dating site dedicated to those seeking real love. For black men dating white women,white men looking for black women. Millions of singles have joined it. What are you waiting for?nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnncvbvb

      April 9, 2014 at 20:03 | Report abuse |
  2. My Too Senseworth

    I became healther when I gave up those drugs. Don't do drugs!

    April 4, 2014 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Din

    For people with Obama care plan can afford medicines but people with Jobs can't. If we collect some data here in USA the number of unfilled prescription would be very high due to the cost. I have GHP (God Help Patients) insurance and really can't afford prescription medicines therefore I will look for generic or sample.

    April 4, 2014 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Amie

    Yes, makes sense to me–I've done it, myself. It's hard to afford all the drugs I'm "supposed" to take. I'm insured and employed, by the way. I will feed my child before filling the Rx. Reality.

    April 4, 2014 at 17:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Betsy

    Every time I have even minor surgery or dental work, the doctors insist on giving me a Rx for narcotic painkillers, "just in case." I hate taking them and they upset my stomach, so I don't take them. Now I don't even fill the prescription, because it's just giving money to Big Pharma and then it's difficult to find a good way to get rid of them. (I know I could sell them on the street, but that's not the kind of person I am.) I am very skeptical of drugs, as I've too often seen significant side effects and then they want to give you more drugs for those. I'll take a drug that I'm really convinced will be worthwhile, but not just because some doctor hands me a piece of paper.

    April 4, 2014 at 17:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pattysboi

      Nothing is stoppjng you from tearing up the prescription once you leave the office if you feel that you can do without painkillers.

      April 4, 2014 at 17:47 | Report abuse |
  6. Amanda

    Few years of sports medicine experience but I went in to have my knee checked out, told my doctor I was not in pain (nothing an Advil couldn't sort out) and he wrote me a Vicodin prescription anyway. I did not fill it and switched my PCP. My mother had been prescribed 4 different medications for her blood pressure, and not once did her doctor talk to her about her diet. We immediately sought out a better doctor who reduced her medication to a patch she replaced one a month. New life style and healthy eating and no pills. An RX should be your last/only option.

    April 4, 2014 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. VegasSmitty

    Doctors must get kickbacks for drugs, they always write me scripts that I hardly ever fill.

    April 4, 2014 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob Hansen

      I ordered my cialis online without a prescription at the best place I've found yet. Anyone else thinking of trying it should look into the site. http://bit.ly/1q0pvj1

      September 1, 2014 at 02:44 | Report abuse |
  8. Timmy Suckle

    I kissed my way up to CEO at a health insurance company. Now I take over $1,000,000 of your health care dollars for NO VALUE ADDED to your health care. And that’s just me. Now think about how many other CEOs, VPs, Directors, Managers, etc. are at my company alone. Now multiply that by thousands of others at hundreds of other health insurance companies. From 10 to 25% of your health care dollars go towards administration that adds NO VALUE to your health care. But my company’s PAC dollars will continue to fool you little people into thinking that a single payer system will be bad. Little people like you are so easy to fool. Little people also don’t realize that a single payer system is the ONLY system that would allow little people (as an entire country) to negotiate better health care prices. Little people don’t realize that the Medical Cartels already know that. And that is the reason why the Medical Cartels spend so much PAC money from the hospitals and doctors lobbying against a single payer system. Some little people say that a single payer system would cost you little people more. But if that were true, then wouldn’t the hospitals and doctors WANT that extra money? Yes they would. So why do the Medical Cartels lobby against a single payer system? It’s because the Medical Cartels know it would allow little people to negotiate better health care prices. And that’s what the Medical Cartels are afraid of. Period.
    But us big wigs at insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacy companies don’t ever need to worry about health care no matter what it costs. We get our health care paid for one way or another by you little people. And we get the little people that work at our companies to contribute to our PACs. And us big wigs say it’s to protect the little peoples’ jobs. But in reality it would be in the little peoples’ best interest to NOT contribute to the PAC. Again, little people are so easily fooled. I won’t ever have to worry about losing my job with so many little people being brain washed by the Medical Cartels’ PAC money. Not only that, the Medical Cartels’ PAC money is used to elect so many republicans that will never allow a single payer system. Republicans have always fought against any meaningful health care reform. But that’s what our Medical Cartels’ PACs pay them for. Politicians can be bought so easily.
    Pretty soon the only people that will be able to afford health care is us big wigs. And that’s the way it should be. We don’t want you little people using up the resources when we need them. And once again, I thank you little people for capping my SS tax at the $117,000 level. Now I only pay 1.17% SS tax and you little people pay 6.2%. Also, thank you for extending my tax breaks. I’m using the extra money on my vacation houses.

    April 4, 2014 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. The GOP Solution

    The GOP Solution: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. And don't forget the GOP all time favorites........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!

    April 4, 2014 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.