Entries in Lancet (3)


Study: American Teens Live Fast and Die Harder than Worldwide Peers

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new study of teenage behavior in developed, higher income countries published in the British medical Journal Lancet indicates that U.S. teens tend to live faster and die harder than kids of the same age in other countries.

Americans between the ages of 10 and 24, smoke more pot, drink nearly as much alcohol and are more likely to die violent deaths, compared to young people in the same age group around the globe.

This is the second in Lancet’s “Adolescent Health Series,” which examines challenges and problems faced by 1.8 billion young people in the world. The medical journal says time has come to “put the young person, not the specific issue, center stage.”  The Series editors say adolescent health is still a “marginalized sub-specialty” that must be elevated into “mainstream global health agendas.”

Binge drinking among young people, according to the study, is most prevalent in Austria and Ireland, with the U.S. not far behind.

“The drinking patterns of USA adolescents are catching up” with those in other countries, according to the paper, written by George C. Patton, professor at the Centre for Adolescent Health, Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, and Claudia Cappa, of UNICEF, in New York.

Most of those American binge drinkers are too young to drink legally and the study finds that more girls in the U.S., ages 13-15 years old, drink excessively than their peers anywhere else in the world. Having five or more alcoholic drinks in a single day is considered binge drinking.

Violent death also stalks U.S. teenagers far more often than teens elsewhere, data from the Lancet suggests. According to the study, 17 out of every 100,000 teenage boys between the ages of 15 and 19 are killed by violence in the U.S. Israel and Switzerland have the next highest rate: 4 per 100,000 each.

Doctors and nurses in trauma centers and emergency rooms say many teen deaths are alcohol related. One trauma nurse tells ABC News, when “alcohol (is) on board…we got knives pulled. We got guns pulled. And then we have violence.”

Despite all those statistics, and despite wide-spread obesity in the U.S., the Lancet study finds, somewhat curiously, that American teens exercise as much, or more, than young people in any other country in the study.

Lancet, a British medical journal, included 16 counties in the study, but not Great Britain.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Study Finds Three Times-a-week Insulin Improves Glucose Levels

Jeffrey Hamilton/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If Vicki Taniwaki eats three meals in a day, she will have "stuck" herself with insulin at least five times by the time she goes to bed at night.

Taniwaki has been diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. She must take two basal injections, or background insulin, and three bolus injections, an insulin to control her glucose levels after meals, every single day of her life.

But, as normal as this routine has become for Taniwaki, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in August 2007, she said there is certainly room for error with all those sticks and pricks.

"Anything you do that much becomes routine, but the opportunity to screw it up also goes up as you become more lax and comfortable with it," said the 50-year-old.

When Taniwaki heard about a study that found the background shot of insulin could be lowered from one or two times a day to three times a week, she said it could be a positive change to her day.

"Anything that would diminish or curtail that maintenance routine would be good," said Taniwaki. "Some people could argue that then you would have to worry about trying to remember when you did that background injection, but if I could do roughly half of what I'm doing now I would be very happy."

While the new type of insulin is not available on the market right now, Taniwaki could be cutting back on stick and pricks in the future.

A new study, published in the Lancet, found that a longer acting form of insulin, known as degludec, is just as effective as the existing long-lasting insulin, glargine.

One injection of glargine lasts 18 to 26 hours, but study participants who used degludec had the same amount of blood sugar control as glargine while only getting injected three times a week instead of daily.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


BMJ Declares MMR Study 'Elaborate Fraud'

Photo Courtesy -- ABC News(LONDON) – An article in the British Medical Journal has declared that a study that linked the MMR vaccine to autism was “an elaborate fraud” that may have led to the preventable disease and death of children.

In an editorial, the BMJ has charged that a 1998 study in Lancet by Andrew Wakefield was not just bad science, but rather a deliberate falsification of data. The journal’s editor-in-chief, Fiona Godlee, has called for an investigation into Wakefield’s other studies to determine if they too should be retracted. Lancet itself retracted the article a year ago, saying it contained elements that were “incorrect.”

Godlee has likened the scare caused by the article to the Piltdown man, the paleontological hoax that convinced people for 40 years that the missing link between man and ape had been found.

In a series of three articles, Godlee, along with deputy BMJ editor Jane Smith and leading pediatrician and associate BMJ editor Harvey Marcovitch, conclude that there is “no doubt” that it was Wakefield who perpetrated the fraud. Meanwhile, they say he has denied any wrongdoing.

“Instead, although now disgraced and stripped of his clinical and academic credentials, he continues to push his views. Meanwhile the damage to public health continues,” they said.

Medical experts have declared outrage over the article, questioning how many parents may have kept their children from vaccines based on Wakefield’s study.

 “We can only wonder how many children may have died or suffered debilitating illnesses because of this slander against a powerful medical tool that could have saved them, and how many still will before the autism scare is finally put to rest,” said Robert Field, professor of Law at Drexel University.

Some also question the study’s effect on the public’s trust in science.

“Andrew Wakefield has done inestimable damage to the public health both in the U.S. and Europe,” said Bill Schaffner, chairman of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt. “Bad enough when his work was thought to be a combination of inept science and misguided hucksterism – now there are allegations of premeditated fraud!”

And if those allegations are correct, could Wakefield be charged criminally or civilly in England or the U.S.? According to British and American legal experts, prosecutors would have to prove that Wakefield deliberately and knowingly published false information for personal gain. Furthermore, they would have to prove the study was a "substantial factor" in parents' decision to forego vaccination and that Wakefield could have "reasonably foreseen" kids getting sick because of his fraudulent study.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio