Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Morning Drill: September 27, 2011

A collection of dentistry and health related links/comments for your day.

Bisphosphonates Cut Risk for Bone Metastasis
The use of bisphosphonates prior to a diagnosis of breast cancer appears to help prevent the development of bone metastases, which can result from the disease, according to research presented here at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2011 Annual Meeting.

Bisphosphonates, used widely for the treatment of osteoporosis, have antibone resorption effects that make them valuable in the treatment of osteolytic bone disease and osteolytic lesions of metastatic breast cancer, in particular.

Pamidronate, an aminobisphosphonate, has been approved for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer to bone since 1996, and the bisphosphonate clodronate has been shown in research to be effective in preventing skeletal metastasis in high-risk cancer patients when given immediately after tumor removal.

"Bisphosphonates can be useful in osteolytic bone disease, particularly in patients with breast cancer," said lead author Richard Kremer, MD, PhD, associate professor in the division of endocrinology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. "However, that benefit in the context of prevention has not been well established in clinical studies.
MOVES to regulate the use of over-the-counter teeth whitening products was hailed by dentists here yesterday.

The Irish Dental Association has backed the decision to limit the use of hydrogen peroxide.

A directive by the European Council bans toothwhitening products containing more than 6% of the chemical.

It also advises that the process should only be carried out under the supervision of a dentist.

Tom Feeney of the Council of European Dentists said: "Patient safety is the No1 priority.

"The new regulations ensure properly-qualified dentists are carrying it out, that safe products are being used and the treatment is restricted to those over 18."
For women, risk of depression falls as coffee intake rises
A few cups of coffee a day may help keep the blues at bay. According to a large new study, women who drink caffeinated coffee are less likely to become depressed -- and the more they drink, the more their risk of depression goes down.

The study, which was published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine, included more than 50,000 women between the ages of 30 and 55 who periodically filled out surveys about their coffee consumption and health. None of the women had depression symptoms (or a history of depression) at the start of the study, but during the next 10 years roughly 5% received a depression diagnosis or began taking antidepressant medication.

Compared with women who drank little or no caffeinated coffee, those who averaged two to three cups per day were 15% less likely to develop depression, even after the researchers took into account a wide range of potentially mitigating factors including marital status, church or community participation, and various health measures. Drinking four cups a day was associated with a 20% lower risk of depression.

The study doesn't prove cause and effect, so there's no reason to believe that drinking cup after cup will actually prevent depression, the researchers say.

"There's no need to start drinking coffee," says study co-author Alberto Ascherio, M.D., a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston. "The message is that coffee is safe to drink, with no adverse effects. That's really all that can be said."
More Aggressive Whooping Cough Vaccine Use Advised
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have revised their recommendations on the whooping cough vaccine to call for the administration of 1 vaccine at particular ages and with minimal intervals between vaccinations, according to a new policy statement published online September 26 in Pediatrics.

"There are a lot of places where we have opportunities to have a positive impact, and if we don't take advantage of all of them, we're not likely to be successful," said Michael Brady, MD, from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' infectious diseases committee. "We're finding that 7- to 10-year-olds are underimmunized, and that older adolescents, if immunized at age 11, by the time they get to age 17 or 20, they're probably not protected. Also, we're giving the vaccine to mothers during pregnancy, rather than after delivery, because that will protect the mothers, and the mothers will develop the antibodies that they will give to their babies."

The 2 groups removed their previous minimum interval between administering a tetanus or diphtheria vaccine and the tetanus toxoid, reduced-content diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap) based on a committee's review of clinical trials and other studies that cited no excess adverse reaction when Tdap is given shortly after tetanus and diphtheria toxoid vaccine (Td). To help to prevent pertussis, the 2 groups recommend a single dose of Tdap for children aged 7 to 10 years who may have been underimmunized with Tdap or whose immunization history is incomplete. Previously the preferred ages were 11 through 18 years.

At this time, the standard schedule for whooping cough vaccines lists shots at ages 2, 4, 6, and 15 to 18 months, as well as at ages 4 to 6 years and 11 to 12 years. Tdap is one of a group of pertussis vaccines used and was the first approved for ages 7 years and older.

The groups recommend extending the age for administering Tdap to people aged 65 years and older and to healthcare workers of all ages — anyone who may come in contact with infants too young for vaccination — because research has shown that grandparents are often caregivers for infants. The groups also recommend vaccination of adolescents, including pregnant adolescents, and pregnant women, whereas previously the recommendation was to wait until after pregnancy.
Enjoy your morning!

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