What are the Medical Journals Saying?
(Antidepressants and Fracture)
1. Adults over age 50 who take SSRI antidepressants (like Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor and others) had twice the risk of bone fracture as those not on antidepressants. These patients had lower bone mineral density in the hips and spine. It was not recommended that patients stop taking their antidepressants. (Archives of Internal Medicine)
(Falls in the Elderly)
2. Falls are common in people over the age of 65 and lead to severe injuries and death. If a patient has had a fall within the last year, the chance of a future fall within one year is 50%. Falls are a treatable geriatric syndrome. Screening for fall risk is as easy as asking "Have you had any falls in the past year?" and watching a patient's gait. In patients who have fallen, treating the patient's risk factors for falls reduces falling by 30-40%. Falls can be reduced by physical therapy for gait and balance problems, home evaluation of activities of daily living, eye exams, removing environmental hazards and doing medical work-ups for cognitive impairment. (Jama)
3. New research suggests that intestinal microbes may play a role in the regulation of body weight. Two types of beneficial bacteria - Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes - reside in the gut and the balance of the two seems to be important in determining an individuals propensity for obesity. In both genetically obese mice and their lean litter mates, as well as obese and lean human volunteers, the researchers found an association between obesity and an increased amount of Firmicutes compared with Bacteriodetes. Many questions remain. (Nature)
(Kids Eating Magnets)
4. Ingestion of non-food objects is common in toddlers. Building sets and toys with powerful magnets have been marketed for use by children as young as 3 years. Twenty cases of magnet ingestion injury were noted by the researchers and boys accounted for 80% of the patients. While most small objects will pass through the gastrointestinal tract without a problem, the magnets can hook together in the bowel and cause perforation, obstruction and peritonitis. One child died from volvulus (twisted bowel). Ten of the children swallowed magnets from their own toys, three swallowed magnets from an older sibling's toy, and three swallowed magnets from toys at day care or school. Caregivers should keep products with magnets away from children under age 6 and be aware of the unique risks when magnets are swallowed. Immediate medical attention is needed. (Jama)