Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Painkillers in pregnancy may increase risk of children's reproductive problems (?)

The usual rubbishy attack on anything popular:

1). Women who take a lot of painkillers are obviously less healthy so they are more likely to have less healthy children in various ways. So if there is anything real in the results reported, the prior health of the mother rather than what they take for it could well be the causative factor

2). The journal article is "Intrauterine exposure to mild analgesics is a risk factor for development of male reproductive disorders in human and rat" by Kristensen et al. The ailment studied is a rare one (3%) so out of the 2297 births studied there would have been just over 60 cases, of which not all would have been painkiller users. So we are looking at very small numbers here on which to base any conclusions. And what about the vast majority of painkiller users who did NOT have abnormal babies? How do we explain them if painkillers are so bad?

3). And here's the funny bit: The study was of Danish and Finnish mothers but the effect was found only in the Danish mothers! Finns have better balls? What a lot of nonsense!

THE use of mild painkillers such as paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen during pregnancy could cause health problems in baby boys, scientists have warned.

Women who took more than one painkiller simultaneously or who took them during the second trimester had an increased risk of giving birth to sons with undescended testicles, or cryptorchidism - a condition known to be a risk factor for poor semen quality and testicular cancer in later life, a study found.

The researchers, from Denmark, Finland and France, said mild painkillers might be partly to blame for the increase in male reproductive disorders in recent decades.

In the study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, scientists looked at more than 2000 pregnant women and their newborns.

Of the individual painkillers, ibuprofen and aspirin quadrupled the risk of cryptorchidism, while simultaneous use of more than one painkiller during the second trimester increased the risk 16-fold.

Dr Henrik Leffers, senior scientist at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, who led the research, said: "If exposure to endocrine disruptors is the mechanism behind the increasing reproductive problems among young men in the Western world, this research suggests that particular attention should be paid to the use of mild analgesics during pregnancy, as this could be a major reason for the problems."

Women who took the drugs for more than a two-week period were found to have the highest risks during the study.

"Scientists have been concerned for some time about chemicals that the mother may be exposed to during pregnancy having the potential to cause reproductive problems in male babies," said Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield.

"However, there are relatively few concrete examples, and much of the work to date has been theoretical. That makes these studies somewhat alarming, as I doubt that anyone would have suspected that common painkillers would have these effects."


Aggressive statins use cuts risk of heart attack and stroke (?)

What a ludicrous report! Statins have such severe side effects that only people who were unusually robust in the first place would have been able tolerate high doses. The effects are tiny in absolute terms anyway and the most important outcome -- death -- was not affected!

HIGHER doses of statins cut the risk of heart attacks and stroke by one-seventh compared with regular statin treatment.
The study looked at five trials in which around 40,000 patients, advised to lower their levels of blood cholesterol, received either regular statin treatment or intensive treatment, according to a review published by The Lancet.

At the one-year point, intensive statins produced a "highly significant" additional reduction of 15 per cent in cases of heart attack, coronary bypass and stroke compared with regular doses.

The analysis found no increase in cancer or mortality from non-cardiovascular disease.

The research was carried out by the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists' Collaboration, led by Colin Baigent, an Oxford University professor.

Statins, the biggest-selling prescription drugs in the world, work by reducing blood levels of artery-clogging "bad" cholesterol.

In a second study, also carried by The Lancet, British scientists found that, among high-risk patients, higher doses of statins reduced the risk of cardiac arrest, blockage or stroke by six per cent compared to lower doses.

There was no difference in cardiovascular fatalities

The trial was conducted among 12,000 men and women who had previously had a heart attack. They received either 80 milligrams or 20mg of simvastatin daily.


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