Play

Anchor lead: Should teenagers be able to access over the counter oral contraceptives? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Teenagers should be able to access over the counter oral contraceptives, based on the scientific literature relative to safety and efficacy, a Johns Hopkins study led by Krishna Upadhya and colleagues has shown.

Upadhya: We wanted to see what information we had about whether or not there should be an age restriction on a future over the counter oral contraceptive product. What we found is that birth control pills are very safe and effective and they’re very safe and effective for teenagers in particular because they tend to have few other health problems. So our findings really were that there’s no good scientific reason why birth control pills should be restricted for teenagers. :28

Upadhya says advocates for adolescent health are trying to get in front of the regulatory environment to make the case that when oral contraceptives are available over the counter, there is no defensible argument for restricting their sale to young women. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Play

Anchor lead: Why do some men with prostate cancer respond to high testosterone? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Injections of high amounts of the male hormone testosterone are able to slow down prostate cancer in some men with advanced disease, ongoing research by Sam Denmeade and colleagues at Johns Hopkins has shown. Denmeade says they’re trying to understand why only some men respond.

Denmeade: We’re studying to see is there a genetic signature in the tumor or in the man, an inherited signature, that might predict who responds. The other thing we’ve been very interested in is can we reset the cancer, after we give testosterone, does the cancer become sensitive again to low testosterone therapies. From the laboratory we see that can happen, and in some of the patients we also see that’s happening. So after a period of high testosterone when we give men back drugs that will lower the testosterone, when they started resistant they’re now sensitive again.   :30

Denmeade notes that high dose testosterone is used in this capacity, not the formulations used for low testosterone therapy. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Play

Anchor lead: Some men with advanced prostate cancer respond to high dose testosterone, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Many treatments for prostate cancer rely on reducing the male hormone testosterone, but research by Sam Denmeade and colleagues at Johns Hopkins has shown paradoxically that for some men with advanced prostate cancer, the hormone can actually have a beneficial effect.

Denmeade: What we’ve been learning is that there is a group of men that when you give them high dose testosterone their cancer shrinks, dies, and they feel better. We don’t know which men at the beginning that is but we find that we can give it safely, so there really is very few side effects, some of the men feel really good and some of the men restore their sexual function and sometimes that response can be very long, a year, two years. Our longest is three years.   :27

Denmeade says finding out the genetic signature or signatures that characterize the men who respond to high dose testosterone is an area of active research. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Play

Anchor lead: Too many adults aren’t up to date on immunizations, Elizabeth Tracey reports

While most children are up to date on many immunizations, a distressingly large number of adults are not, a recent study found. Patricia Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, describes the findings.

Davidson: Rates of immunization in older adults were much lower than what we would expect. That’s across a range of conditions, in particular whooping cough, tetanus. The other issue that article called into play was this responsibility of healthcare workers to be immunized. I do remember the phrase of healthcare workers as vectors of disease and so we have to take seriously our responsibility to make sure our immunization is up to date.  :31

Davidson notes that many so-called childhood diseases preventable by vaccines are much more severe and harder to diagnose when adults get them, and that those who are undergoing chemotherapy or are otherwise immunosuppressed are very susceptible, so everyone should be vaccinated. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Play

Portrait of a man relaxing on the sofa at home

This week’s topics include weight and mortality, normal BMI and cardiovascular risk factors, flu vaccination and mortality in kids, and an increased incidence of thyroid cancer.

Program notes:

0:35 Flu vaccination and death in children
1:35 About a fourth of the kids who died had been vaccinated
2:44 Mortality and body weight
3:45 Over 32,000 deaths and BMI longitudinally
4:52 Normal BMI and cardiometabolic risk factors
5:50 Nearly one in three have two or more risk factors
6:50  Personalized medicine
7:14 Increased incidence of thyroid cancer
8:15 Catching early or on the rise?
9:12 Obesity associated
10:06 End

Related blog:https://podblog.blogs.hopkinsmedicine.org/2017/04/10/your-ethnicity-and-risk/

 

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Play

Anchor lead: Testosterone use shoots up when consumers are exposed to advertisements for it, Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you watch television at all you know that pharmaceutical companies advertise drugs regularly directly to consumers. Now a new analysis shows what happens in the wake of such ads in use of the male hormone testosterone. Mike Klag, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, offers his opinion.

Klag: This study shows that direct to consumer ads change behavior. And that may be good if in fact the behavior you’re trying to change is one that’s reasonable and medically indicated. In this case that’s not true.  This study shows that marketing was associated with an increased risk of inappropriate testing, and use of testosterone replacement. What’s wrong with that? We know that testosterone replacement can have some harmful side effects. It appears to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease for example.  :27

Klag notes that very few men actually need to take testosterone supplements and some of the men in this study took it without even having their blood tested. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Play

Anchor lead: People with autism experience earlier and more accidental death than others, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Did you know that people on the autism spectrum die on average at age 36? A recent study from the American Journal of Public Health links that early death risk largely to accidents. Mike Klag describes the study looking at those with an autism diagnosis among thousands of medical records.

Klag: About 1367 had that who had died. When they looked at what they died from, an amazing 28% died of injury. And this is three times the proportion that you would see in the general population. The ratio of deaths from drowning was forty times higher than the general population. Asphyxiation 13 times higher. Suffocation 32 times higher.  :22

Klag says the public health implications of this findings are clear.

Klag: We have to incorporate these facts into how we can for young people with autism and how we start programs to make parents and caregivers aware of this risk.  :10

Klag notes that specific risks, especially that from drowning, should inform everyone of the need to be vigilant on behalf of those on the autism spectrum. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)