[ {"id":"338dc602-ba55-5c1f-92a4-c3f2f6d819fc","type":"article","starttime":"1488024000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-25T06:00:00-06:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"}],"flags":{"ap":"true","wire":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Atrial fibrillation can lead to stroke","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/article_338dc602-ba55-5c1f-92a4-c3f2f6d819fc.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/atrial-fibrillation-can-lead-to-stroke/article_338dc602-ba55-5c1f-92a4-c3f2f6d819fc.html","canonical":"http://www.newspressnow.com/news/atrial-fibrillation-can-lead-to-stroke/article_72f4637d-5e17-5809-ade0-df0bdeb34aaa.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Jena Sauber\nNews-Press Now","prologue":"What can seem like a little flutter in the chest can be a sign of a serious health condition that can lead to stroke, and one local physician is hoping to encourage the elderly to be proactive.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","atrial fibrillation","medicine","cardiology","anatomy","ricardo ramos","patient","symptom","coronary artery disease","obstructive sleep apnea","stroke"],"internalKeywords":["#lee","#tncx","#tncen"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"2928984d-a8fa-5391-843a-ca70cbc9319a","description":"Dr. Ricardo Ramos, cardiologist with Mosaic Life Care, talks about atrial fibrillation Thursday at a Southside Lunch and Learn gathering. Atrial fibrillation can lead to stroke and heart failure if not properly managed, and is most common in people 65 years and older.","byline":"Jena Sauber | News-Press Now","hireswidth":1200,"hiresheight":900,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/92/2928984d-a8fa-5391-843a-ca70cbc9319a/58b05eb9f2ee8.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1200","height":"900","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/92/2928984d-a8fa-5391-843a-ca70cbc9319a/58b05eb9f0f23.image.jpg?resize=1200%2C900"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/92/2928984d-a8fa-5391-843a-ca70cbc9319a/58b05eb9f0f23.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/92/2928984d-a8fa-5391-843a-ca70cbc9319a/58b05eb9f0f23.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/92/2928984d-a8fa-5391-843a-ca70cbc9319a/58b05eb9f0f23.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"338dc602-ba55-5c1f-92a4-c3f2f6d819fc","body":"

What can seem like a little flutter in the chest can be a sign of a serious health condition that can lead to stroke, and one local physician is hoping to encourage the elderly to be proactive.

\"If you have those symptoms \u2014 palpitations, fluttering in your chest, dizziness, or even if you have had a small stroke in the past \u2014 you definitely want to be evaluated and make sure you don't have atrial fibrillation,\" said Dr. Ricardo Ramos,\u00a0cardiologist at Mosaic Life Care. \"If you do, start the treatment as soon as possible.\"

Ramos presented \u201cHeart Disease, Pacemakers and Cardiac Ablations,\u201d a presentation focusing on atrial fibrillation, Thursday to the Southside Lunch and Learn group. February is American Heart Month.

\"(Atrial fibrillation) is the most common abnormal heart rhythm. It's present in about 9 percent of the patients 65 and older. It's an irregular heart beat that can cause heart failure, and it can cause a stroke,\" Ramos said. \"In fact, it's one of the most common causes of a stroke.\"

Risk factors for atrial fibrillation include hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, coronary artery disease, age and obesity. Symptoms include heart palpitations that can come and go, especially early on.

\"They describe it almost as a fish flopping in the chest,\" Ramos said. \"There is shortness of breath, dizziness and even loss of consciousness. ... it's not always there. If you have the symptoms and go to the emergency room, it can be recorded and you make the diagnosis with an EKG.\"

For less severe symptoms, Ramos encouraged patients to see their primary care doctor. Early diagnosis and intervention can help reduce the risk for complications, including stroke.

Treatments for atrial fibrillation, which is a life-long condition, can include medication, surgery and lifestyle changes. The ultimate goals are to reduce the initial risk of developing atrial fibrillation, and then reduce the risk of a stroke if atrial fibrillation occurs, Ramos said.

\"It can sneak up on patients,\" he said. \"It can be a devastating disease if not controlled or treated.\"

The February Southside Lunch and Learn program was sponsored by Rupp Funeral Home, Stevenson Family Pharmacy and Mosaic Life Care.

"}, {"id":"4b86f7c4-4f7a-55b2-a2d8-13076703a55a","type":"article","starttime":"1487959200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-24T12:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1488004211","priority":0,"sections":[{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Do You Need an Antibiotic?","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/article_4b86f7c4-4f7a-55b2-a2d8-13076703a55a.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/do-you-need-an-antibiotic/article_4b86f7c4-4f7a-55b2-a2d8-13076703a55a.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/health-med-fit/do-you-need-an-antibiotic/article_52d353c9-29b5-5022-92fc-9b8033128c7b.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Hoping to lessen their misery, most people would like to know whether the respiratory illness they've got could be helped by an antibiotic.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["flu","infections: misc.","medical technology: misc.","infection","medicine","anatomy","illness","geoffrey ginsburg","antibiotic","cold","virus","wire"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"97b7c58e-12be-52f4-85e5-003aaae8ae8c","description":"4.1.1","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"800","height":"600","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/7b/97b7c58e-12be-52f4-85e5-003aaae8ae8c/58b121d65ca40.image.jpg?resize=800%2C600"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/7b/97b7c58e-12be-52f4-85e5-003aaae8ae8c/58b121d65ca40.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/7b/97b7c58e-12be-52f4-85e5-003aaae8ae8c/58b121d65ca40.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/7b/97b7c58e-12be-52f4-85e5-003aaae8ae8c/58b121d65ca40.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"4b86f7c4-4f7a-55b2-a2d8-13076703a55a","body":"

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Hoping to lessen their misery, most people would like to know whether the respiratory illness they've got could be helped by an antibiotic.

The key to finding out may lie in your nose. Or, more specifically, the mucus in your nose.

Researchers from Duke Health in Durham, N.C., said they've identified a group of proteins that could be used to tell if an infection is caused by a virus, which triggers cold or flu.

Antibiotics can only fight bacterial infections, not viral illnesses.

When detected in specific quantities in the mucus of runny noses and inflamed throats, the proteins targeted in the new study were 86 percent accurate in confirming a viral infection, the scientists said.

\"In the past, science has focused on identifying the pathogen someone is infected with in the blood or other sample,\" said study lead author Thomas Burke. He's director of technology advancement and diagnostics at Duke.

\"Our approach flips the paradigm of how we look for infection. Instead of looking for the pathogen, we study the individual's response to that pathogen,\" Burke said in a health system news release.

For the trial, the researchers infected 88 healthy adults with a common strain of cold or flu virus. They also collected fluid samples from the volunteers' nasal passages.

Some participants didn't get sick, but those who did had a distinct set of 25 proteins in their noses, the study showed.

The researchers said their findings could lead to quick, noninvasive tests for upper respiratory infections that could be easily done in a doctor's office.

Senior author Dr. Geoffrey Ginsburg is director of the Duke Center for Applied Genomics & Precision Medicine. \"Every day, people are taking time off from work, going to emergency rooms, urgent care or their primary care doctors with symptoms of an upper respiratory infection,\" he said.

\"Looking for these proteins could be a relatively easy and inexpensive way of learning if a person has a viral infection, and if not, whether the use of antibiotics is appropriate,\" Ginsburg said.

Being able to quickly diagnose a viral infection could help limit the unnecessary use of antibiotics, helping to prevent the rise of antibiotic resistance, the researchers said.

Easier, cheaper tools to diagnose viral infections could also benefit those people with reduced access to health care, the researchers added.

\"The protein targets offer a faster, more cost-effective model for rapid screening and diagnoses of viral infections,\" said Dr. Christopher Woods, a senior author of the study. He's associate director of applied genomics.

\"If the data are verified, the model could be valuable in many circumstances, such as rural settings or developing countries with less convenient access to health care, or even as an airport screening tool during an outbreak of a particularly threatening strain of flu,\" Woods said.

The study was published recently in EBioMedicine.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine provides more information on viral infections.

"}, {"id":"7334b4ac-2381-5884-9059-a0aae7ebc70c","type":"article","starttime":"1487959200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-24T12:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1488004212","priority":0,"sections":[{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Live Healthy, Live Longer","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/article_7334b4ac-2381-5884-9059-a0aae7ebc70c.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/live-healthy-live-longer/article_7334b4ac-2381-5884-9059-a0aae7ebc70c.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/health-med-fit/live-healthy-live-longer/article_950b5340-a9cc-5f3f-ae48-9a1073b5a500.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Want to live a longer, healthier life?","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["aging: misc.","colonoscopy","dieting to increase fiber","dieting to lose weight","dieting to lower fat intake","exercise: misc.","mammography","smoking cessation","paul erwin","gardening","anatomy","immunology","exercise","medicine","public health","screening","recommendation","tobacco","lifestyle","wire"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"86075752-0488-50ff-b7fe-ee7530b76b31","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"800","height":"600","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/60/86075752-0488-50ff-b7fe-ee7530b76b31/58ad2ca900e12.image.jpg?resize=800%2C600"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/60/86075752-0488-50ff-b7fe-ee7530b76b31/58ad2ca900e12.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/60/86075752-0488-50ff-b7fe-ee7530b76b31/58ad2ca900e12.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/60/86075752-0488-50ff-b7fe-ee7530b76b31/58ad2ca900e12.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"7334b4ac-2381-5884-9059-a0aae7ebc70c","body":"

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Want to live a longer, healthier life?

Try five simple lifestyle recommendations, a public health expert says.

\"Stay up to date on immunizations, screening exams for specific types of cancer [e.g., colorectal cancer screening for men and women, and breast and cervical cancer screening for women], and screening blood tests for conditions such as diabetes and HIV,\" said Dr. Paul Erwin, head of the department of public health at the University of Tennessee.

Regular exercise is also important, he added.

\"Current recommendations call for 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise [or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity],\" Erwin said.

\"If you are not into running, swimming or yoga, try mowing the lawn with a push mower rather than a riding lawn mower,\" he added. \"Park at the far end of the parking lot rather than the spot closest to the door. Take the stairs up to the second floor rather than riding the elevator,\" Erwin said in a university news release.

Don't use tobacco, which is the most important preventable cause of early disease and death. If you currently use tobacco, try to quit, he stressed.

Good nutrition also plays a major role in a long and healthy life: \"What we eat is much more important than how much we eat. Be mindful about what you eat,\" Erwin said.

\"Pursue balance,\" he advised. \"Practice and pursue harmony and balance in life -- between work and play, between rest [sleep is important!] and activity, and across the spectrum of mind, body and spirit.\"

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on healthy living.

"}, {"id":"7c855c8b-7b2d-591e-b803-eaeb9b3d4965","type":"article","starttime":"1487958728","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-24T11:52:08-06:00","lastupdated":"1487960536","priority":0,"sections":[{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"},{"featured":"video/featured"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Stop trafficking of synthetic heroin through the mail","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/article_7c855c8b-7b2d-591e-b803-eaeb9b3d4965.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/stop-trafficking-of-synthetic-heroin-through-the-mail/article_7c855c8b-7b2d-591e-b803-eaeb9b3d4965.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/health-med-fit/stop-trafficking-of-synthetic-heroin-through-the-mail/article_e66e2243-a4ea-5a23-8f7b-e9cf2bcab574.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Rob Portman and Amy Klobuchar","prologue":"Addiction to heroin and prescription drugs is an epidemic spreading across our country. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death, taking one American life every 12 minutes.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire"],"internalKeywords":["#lee","#cnn"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":3,"commentID":"7c855c8b-7b2d-591e-b803-eaeb9b3d4965","body":"

Addiction to heroin and prescription drugs is an epidemic spreading across our country. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death, taking one American life every 12 minutes.

We have strong reasons to believe that this epidemic is getting worse, not better.

This month, the US-China Commission issued a disturbing new report on the influx of Chinese fentanyl -- a synthetic form of heroin that can be up to 50 times more powerful than heroin and even 100 times more powerful than morphine.

China has recently banned the synthetic drug carfentanil, and we are encouraged by that. But we still have serious reasons for concern. The commission report says that \"the majority of fentanyl products found in the United States originate in China. ...Chinese law enforcement officials have struggled to adequately regulate the thousands of chemical and pharmaceutical facilities operating legally and illegally in the country, leading to increased production and export of illicit chemicals and drugs. Chinese chemical exporters ...covertly ship drugs to the Western hemisphere.\"

As troubling as this report is, it's not surprising. It just confirms what we have seen in our communities in Minnesota and Ohio firsthand. Synthetic forms of heroin are tearing apart families, devastating communities and taking lives.

For example, just two days after the commission's report came out, police in Butler County, Ohio seized $180,000 in fentanyl-laced heroin after suspected fentanyl overdoses killed five Ohioans in just one 26-hour period.

Minnesotans -- including Prince, who died last year of a fentanyl overdose -- have been similarly affected. In Duluth, Minnesota, the owner of a head shop called The Last Place on Earth was selling synthetic drugs, causing an uptick in police calls, emergency room visits, and even deaths in the area. Luckily, law enforcement got him, and he was sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison.

But other dealers are still out there. And because of fentanyl and other synthetic forms of heroin, the drugs on the streets are getting stronger, more addictive and more dangerous.

Heroin is already extremely addictive and cheap. But now it is increasingly laced with synthetic drugs like fentanyl, carfentanil, or U-47700 to make it even more potent. How powerful are these drugs? According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, it only takes about two milligrams of fentanyl -- about the same amount as a pinch of salt -- to kill you.

As the report states, a large majority of these synthetic drugs are made in labs in China and then shipped to traffickers in the Western Hemisphere. Typically, synthetic forms of heroin are shipped to traffickers in our country through the postal system.

Unlike UPS or FedEx, the US Postal Service does not require electronic customs data for packages entering the country. That makes it easier on the traffickers and harder for our law enforcement to scan these packages for drugs like fentanyl or other smuggled products. And that leaves us more vulnerable to these international drug traffickers.

In the United States Senate, we have made progress in the fight against the addiction epidemic. Last year, President Obama signed into law the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA, with our strong support. It's the first comprehensive reform of federal addiction policy in two decades, and it will help bring down the demand for drugs in our communities, support treatment and long-term recovery for those struggling with addiction, and increase the availability of naloxone -- a life-saving overdose-reversal drug -- so that our first responders can save more lives.

But we've got to build on this progress by stopping these dangerous synthetic drugs from crossing our borders and poisoning our communities.

That's why we introduced new, bipartisan legislation -- the Synthetic Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act, or the STOP Act -- to simply close the loophole and require the postal service to obtain advance electronic data on packages before they cross our borders.

Based on expert testimony at hearings at the Senate Homeland Security Committee, this simple policy change would make it easier for our customs agents and the DEA to detect packages containing fentanyl or synthetic drugs to help keep this poison out of our country.

Our bill would take away a key tool of drug traffickers and restrict the supply of these drugs, raising their price and making them harder to get.

It's a simple, common sense next step we ought to take. And with the threat of synthetic heroin getting worse and worse, the urgency to act grows by the day.

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FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Depression in people with the chronic inflammatory skin disease psoriasis increases the risk of getting the joint condition known as psoriatic arthritis by about 37 percent, new research indicates.

The finding raises concerns because depression is not uncommon in people with psoriasis, according to the authors of the study in the Feb. 22 issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

\"For many years, the rheumatology and dermatology communities have been trying to understand which patients with psoriasis go on to develop psoriatic arthritis, and how we might detect it earlier in the disease course,\" senior investigator Dr. Cheryl Barnabe said in a journal news release. She is from the McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health and the O'Brien Institute for Public Health at the University of Calgary in Alberta.

While the study found a connection between depression and the development of psoriatic arthritis, it wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Psoriasis is a condition characterized by red, itchy and scaly skin patches. These patches can sometimes be disfiguring. Psoriatic arthritis generally occurs in people with psoriasis, though it can occur on its own, according to the American College of Rheumatology. The condition causes joint pain and swelling, typically in the large joints and fingers and toes. It can cause joint damage, too.

The study authors noted that prior work has linked having a major depressive disorder with a high risk for systemic inflammation. This could explain why depression would bump up the risk for psoriatic arthritis.

To explore the link, the investigators analyzed information on more than 70,000 psoriasis patients in the United Kingdom that had been collected by a primary care database.

Patients were tracked for upwards of 25 years.

The researchers adjusted the data to account for other factors, such as age and drinking habits. Ultimately, they determined that people who had been depressed faced a much higher risk for psoriatic arthritis than those who hadn't been depressed.

\"There is a tendency to think of depression as a purely 'psychological' or 'emotional' issue, but it also has physical effects and changes in inflammatory and immune markers have been reported in depressed people,\" said Dr. Scott Patten, from the O'Brien Institute.

\"Depression may be a risk factor for a variety of chronic conditions, and this research is an example of how big data approaches can identify these associations,\" he said.

More information

There's more on psoriatic arthritis at the National Psoriasis Foundation.

"}, {"id":"3358040b-3535-5748-9775-96982b21e59e","type":"article","starttime":"1487952000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-24T10:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1488004212","priority":0,"sections":[{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"More Booze Won't Beat Back That Hangover","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/article_3358040b-3535-5748-9775-96982b21e59e.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/more-booze-won-t-beat-back-that-hangover/article_3358040b-3535-5748-9775-96982b21e59e.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/health-med-fit/more-booze-won-t-beat-back-that-hangover/article_424e636e-9872-53b8-a50b-3a0aa203935c.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to what you might want to believe, a hair of the dog isn't the best remedy after a night of heavy drinking, a substance abuse expert warns.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["alcohol abuse","alcohol: misc.","laura veach","cure","hangover","anatomy","medicine","wire"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"3b1d2684-dd04-5054-848d-c55f950e4c39","description":"4.1.1","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"800","height":"600","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/b1/3b1d2684-dd04-5054-848d-c55f950e4c39/58b121d8f19a2.image.jpg?resize=800%2C600"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/b1/3b1d2684-dd04-5054-848d-c55f950e4c39/58b121d8f19a2.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/b1/3b1d2684-dd04-5054-848d-c55f950e4c39/58b121d8f19a2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/b1/3b1d2684-dd04-5054-848d-c55f950e4c39/58b121d8f19a2.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"3358040b-3535-5748-9775-96982b21e59e","body":"

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to what you might want to believe, a hair of the dog isn't the best remedy after a night of heavy drinking, a substance abuse expert warns.

\"There's no scientific evidence that having an alcoholic drink will cure a hangover,\" said Laura Veach. \"It will, at best, postpone one.\"

Veach is director of screening and counseling intervention services and training at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.

People develop hangovers because the concentration of alcohol in their blood falls dramatically once they stop drinking. This can lead to headache, thirst, fatigue, dizziness, nausea and irritability.

\"Taking a drink the morning after may temporarily make you feel better because you're putting alcohol back into the system,\" Veach said in a center news release.

\"But it doesn't cure the hangover; it just sort of tricks you by masking the symptoms. They're going to show up eventually.\"

The liver helps the body get rid of alcohol, and this occurs at a rate of about one drink per hour, Veach explained.

Coffee doesn't help either, she added.

\"No, all that does is give you a wide-awake drunk,\" Veach said. \"There's nothing we know of that can speed up that process. Not drinking coffee, taking a shower, standing on your head, getting slapped, walking around outside in the cold. Nothing. The only real cure is time.\"

There's no way to get rid of hangover but there are some things people can do to help ease their discomfort, including resting, staying hydrated and taking aspirin, Veach said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism provides more information on alcohol's effects and hangovers.

"}, {"id":"a238c941-b734-53b8-905b-c2456fce834b","type":"article","starttime":"1487941200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-24T07:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1488004213","priority":0,"sections":[{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Drug OD Deaths Have Nearly Tripled Since 1999: CDC","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/article_a238c941-b734-53b8-905b-c2456fce834b.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/drug-od-deaths-have-nearly-tripled-since-cdc/article_a238c941-b734-53b8-905b-c2456fce834b.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/health-med-fit/drug-od-deaths-have-nearly-tripled-since-cdc/article_1aeefe1d-780d-580f-9194-6ce69e3fccf7.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Dennis ThompsonHealthDay Reporter","prologue":"FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Drug overdose deaths have nearly tripled in the United States since 1999, with whites and middle-aged Americans bearing much of the brunt, a new government report shows.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["drug abuse","drug abuse: effects","drugs: illicit","heroin","oxycontin","overdose","pharmacology","medicine","opioid","death rate","report","edwin salsitz","lindsey vuolo","centers for disease control and prevention","wire"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"b87bd0ff-d391-5acd-88de-695d2ced91b3","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"800","height":"600","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/87/b87bd0ff-d391-5acd-88de-695d2ced91b3/58b121d98f147.image.jpg?resize=800%2C600"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/87/b87bd0ff-d391-5acd-88de-695d2ced91b3/58b121d98f147.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/87/b87bd0ff-d391-5acd-88de-695d2ced91b3/58b121d98f147.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/87/b87bd0ff-d391-5acd-88de-695d2ced91b3/58b121d98f147.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"a238c941-b734-53b8-905b-c2456fce834b","body":"

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Drug overdose deaths have nearly tripled in the United States since 1999, with whites and middle-aged Americans bearing much of the brunt, a new government report shows.

More than 16 out of every 100,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2015, compared to just over 6 in 1999, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

Heroin and other opioids accounted for about half of these deaths, a reflection of the damage wrought by the prescription painkiller epidemic this decade, said Dr. Edwin Salsitz, an addiction medicine specialist.

Overdose deaths are so common that they're driving down the average life expectancy for white Americans, said Salsitz, who is with Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.

The CDC report, released Feb. 24, found that drug overdose deaths have risen among whites at a rate of about 7 percent each year, compared with 2 percent a year for blacks and Hispanics. The overdose death rate among whites in 2015 was nearly 3.5 times the rate it was in 1999.

\"Life expectancy of whites in America is going down, whereas it's not going down for other racial or ethnic groups,\" Salsitz said. \"Accounting for that lower life expectancy is the increased number of overdose deaths from opioids.\"

Drug overdose deaths increased from 1999 to 2015 in all age groups, but adults aged 45 to 54 had the highest death rate -- about 30 fatalities for every 100,000 people.

The report confirms what has been widely suspected about the progression of the prescription opioid crisis in the United States, said Salsitz and Lindsey Vuolo, an associate director at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.

Prescription drug abuse reached epidemic levels earlier this decade, prompting a crackdown by regulators, drug makers, pharmacists and physicians.

Closer prescription tracking made it harder for addicts to \"doctor shop\" for prescription opioids like morphine, oxycodone and codeine. Pharmaceutical companies also introduced tamper-resistant forms of the medications that couldn't be crushed or altered in ways that provided a stronger, quicker hit for drug abusers, Salsitz explained.

But the success of those efforts prompted prescription drug addicts to switch to heroin, which is cheaper and more available on the street, Salsitz and Vuolo said. To make matters worse, drug dealers started cutting heroin with even cheaper and more potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl, further increasing the risk of overdose and death.

\"Because heroin and synthetic opioids are cheaper than prescription opioids and more widely available in certain areas hit hard by the epidemic, a singular focus on reducing accessibility to prescription opioids misses the mark,\" Vuolo said.

Heroin accounted for one-quarter of overdose deaths in 2015 -- triple the rate in 2010, said report author Dr. Holly Hedegaard, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

Other opioids -- both synthetic and natural -- such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin) accounted for another 24 percent of overdose deaths in 2015, down from 29 percent in 2010.

Four states -- West Virginia, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio -- lead the nation with the highest overdose death rates, the CDC said.

Those states also have been identified as having high rates of death from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, Vuolo added.

\"This suggests that there is greater supply of synthetic opioids in certain areas and because they are more lethal than heroin or prescription opioids, they are contributing to the increases in overdose death rates,\" Vuolo said.

To try to stop overdose deaths, access has been increased to naloxone (Narcan), a drug used to reverse an opioid overdose, Vuolo said.

But doctors are releasing people saved by naloxone directly from the hospital rather than steering them into drug treatment, leaving them vulnerable to another overdose, she said.

\"There is a very high risk of overdose recurrence when an overdose is reversed but the individual is then released from medical care,\" Vuolo said. By comparison, she noted, someone who has a heart attack receives extensive medical care to prevent it from happening again.

Vuolo and Salsitz said policy makers also need to take steps to make addiction-fighting medications like buprenorphine more easily available, so health professionals can treat the underlying drug habit.

Recently approved federal legislation will allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe buprenorphine. \"That's going to really open up drug treatment, particularly in underserved areas,\" Salsitz said.

More information

For more on the prescription drug epidemic, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Male stroke patients are more than twice as likely as female patients to receive clot-busting stroke treatment within 30 minutes of hospital arrival, a new study reports.

This means men who suffer a stroke are less likely to face long-term disability, since every minute counts when it comes to treatment with the clot-buster known as tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, said lead researcher Dr. Archit Bhatt. He's a neurologist with the Providence Brain and Spine Institute in Portland, Ore.

To have any effect, tPA must be administered within 4.5 hours of the onset of stroke. The drug works by dissolving blood clots that have blocked the flow of blood to the brain, causing what's called an ischemic stroke.

Standard treatment protocols call for administration of tPA within 60 minutes of arrival at the hospital, but Bhatt and his colleagues decided to evaluate the chances of receiving \"ultrafast\" treatment within a half hour of arrival.

\"Studies have shown that 60 minutes is good, but for every 15-minute reduction in treatment time, the patient's health outcomes improve,\" Bhatt said.

To evaluate how often ultrafast treatment is occurring, the researchers evaluated nearly 2,700 stroke patients treated at one of 26 hospitals in the Pacific Northwest between 2009 and 2015.

Only about 4 percent of patients had tPA treatment times under a half hour, Bhatt said.

Three factors appeared to make a difference in whether or not stroke patients received ultrafast treatment:

The advantages of arrival by ambulance are obvious, Bhatt said. Medics treating stroke patients are communicating with the hospital during the ambulance ride, making sure that resources and specialists are available by the time they hit the door.

\"When you arrive by ambulance, the biggest advantage is that your assessment starts before you are even in the hospital,\" Bhatt said.

It also makes sense that stroke victims would receive more prompt treatment during weekdays, when hospitals are fully staffed and more nimble, Bhatt added.

But the disparity between men and women proved to be a head-scratcher, Bhatt said.

Stroke patients must receive a brain scan before getting tPA, to make sure their stroke is caused by a blood clot, but women are undergoing these scans about as promptly at men, Bhatt said.

Men also aren't more likely to arrive by ambulance than women, and aren't more likely to arrive on a weekday, he added.

\"We could not find a reason for the disparity,\" Bhatt said. \"At least, there was nothing measurable in the database.\"

Daniel Lackland, a professor of neurology with the Medical University of South Carolina, said he believes there is a real disparity between men and women when it comes to quick stroke care.

Lackland suspects that wives might be better at detecting stroke symptoms in their husbands and pushing them to get prompt care.

\"I think that may play a major role,\" Lackland said. \"It's not the male stroke victim -- it's the others doing what they're supposed to do and bringing the man in for treatment.\"

The fact that women tend to suffer strokes later in life than men might be another factor, although it could not be assessed using the data available in this study, Bhatt said.

Women are also more likely to live alone, he said.

\"If you are in the emergency department and you don't have anybody with you, it takes longer to identify the next of kin and try to get the history of the patient and why the patient is here,\" Bhatt said.

Steps could be taken to better prepare emergency response for older women living alone, Bhatt said. For example, these women could be provided better 911 alert systems that are easy to activate during a medical emergency.

\"Calling an ambulance has to be a first priority when you are experiencing stroke-like symptoms,\" Bhatt said.

The study was scheduled to be presented Thursday at the International Stroke Conference in Houston. Findings presented at meetings are generally viewed as preliminary until they've been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

For more about ischemic stroke, visit the American Stroke Association.

"} ]