Saturday, August 14, 2010

Paracetamol (acetaminophen) taking doubles asthma risk for teenagers, study finds

I am pleased to see an admission towards the end of the article that there is no proof that paracetamol CAUSES asthma. The association reported is in fact completely unsurprising. Once again you have to ask WHY people do things. People who take more painkillers would almost certainly be in poorer health and it is the poorer health that leads to asthma, not the painkillers

There is however no doubt that paracetamol is much more dangerous than is generally realized. It can destroy your liver in some cicumstances. The side-effects of aspirin are much more manageable yet it is paracetamol that is in fashion and aspirin is "out"

Teenagers could double their risk of developing asthma by taking paracetamol even once a month. Adolescents who use the painkiller at least once a year have a 50 per cent increase in risk compared with those who don’t, a study found.

The international report, covering 300,000 teenagers in 50 countries, also found paracetamol users were more likely to suffer from eczema and allergic nasal conditions.

Charity Asthma UK, however, said while the research had found a link, there was no need for parents to stop their children using the drug at this stage.

Scientists believe paracetamol may cause changes in the body that leave children more vulnerable to inflammation and allergies.

The study adds to mounting evidence of a link between the painkiller and asthma, with previous research into adults and babies suggesting its use increased the risk of the disease.

A report in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine says paracetamol has not been proven to cause asthma, but there was a ‘significant association’. More exposure to the drug resulted in a greater chance of developing the condition.

The study headed by Dr Richard Beasley, of the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, sent written and video questionnaires to more than 300,000 children aged 13 and 14 asking them how often they used paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen. High use was at least once in the last month and medium at least once in the last year, compared with those who never used it.

Those using the drug monthly had double the risk of asthma, while those taking it at least once a year had a 50 per cent rise in risk. For medium users, the risk of eczema was 43 per cent higher than non-users while high users were two-and-a-half times more likely to suffer skin rashes. There were similarly higher risks of allergic nasal disorders among users.

Dr Beasley said if further research proved a link, limiting the use of paracetamol among teenagers could cut asthma cases by up to 40 per cent. He said ‘If the associations were causal, they would be of major public health significance.

‘Randomised controlled trials are urgently required to investigate this relationship further and to guide the use of antipyretics (fever reducing medication), not only in children but in pregnancy and adult life.’

One issue is that alternative painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin can cause problems for those with existing asthma. However, a review of new findings on ibuprofen found it provided faster and longer relief from headaches than paracetamol, and was as effective or more so than paracetamol in adults and children.

Leanne Metcalf, director of research at Asthma UK, said there was a long way to go before it could be determined that acetaminophen actually causes asthma. She added: ‘The results could be merely coincidental and it is just as likely that these teenagers are taking acetaminophen because their immune system is weaker, making them more susceptible to infections that trigger asthma.

‘At this stage, taking acetaminophen,or paracetamol for that matter, should not be a concern for parents or carers who are worried about the development of asthma in their children.’


Busy Bodies Push For Meatless Mondays

Yes, some nattering nabobs aren't content with living their own lives meat free on Mondays, they want you to do the same!
There's a movement afoot aimed at changing the way we eat one day a week.

The Meatless Monday campaign is backed by public health advocates, chefs and suburban moms who want to tackle the problems of cholesterol and heart disease. One risk factor for these chronic conditions is consuming too much saturated fat — the type of fat found in meat.

Have you ever noticed that these types of nannying noobs are never content with living their own lives, they have to push, sometimes with legislation, for everyone else to do the same?
Sid Lerner, 79, learned the art of persuasion during his 50-year advertising career on Madison Avenue. One of Lerner's most successful campaigns was the "Squeeze the Charmin" campaign. In the commercials, grocery shoppers can't keep their hands off the irresistibly soft Charmin toilet paper.

Lerner says the campaign uses the rhythm of the week to its advantage: Friday is payday, Saturday is play day, Sunday is pray day.

But Monday? It's ripe for change, he says. He wants people to cut back on saturated fat by eating three meatless meals on Mondays.

Mind your own business.
To help make the message exciting, he's trying to bring top chefs into the fold. Wolfgang Puck and Mario Batali have both endorsed the concept, offering some Meatless Monday options. And simultaneously, Paul McCartney has pushed Meat Free Monday in England.

McCartney pushes it because of his discredited belief that eating meat will kill us all with globull warming.
The last thing Lerner wants is for Meatless Monday to become a campaign of food elitists in New York City. So, through a partnership with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, he's reached out to institutional dining faculties — from hospitals to school cafeterias. This will be the second year that some 80,000 Baltimore school kids will dine meat-free in their cafeterias on Mondays. And it's moved beyond Baltimore.

"The movement is just spreading like wildfire," says Karen Campbell, who directs wellness programs at Northern Kentucky University. She's helped bring Meatless Monday to her school and several restaurants in her town.

Sounds great. You're lying in a hospital bed (been there twice for a week at a time with a broken ankle and broken leg), suffering, stuck, and some jackwagon tells you you can't have meat. Wait, how much are you paying for that room? You already feel like garbage, last thing you need is to be denied some real food. Why can't people just mind their own business?


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