Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL. 13     ISSUE:  July 2015 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management





Dear Doctor:

Welcome to 'e-SQUARE' !

Our current issue focused on some features like

"Calcium Scan !", "Childhood Trauma Risk !", "Cholera Vaccine !", "High Soda Risk !", "CT Scan Alert !", "Weather & Salmonella !".

In our regular feature, we have some new products information of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd. as well.

Please send us your feedback !

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Yours sincerely,


Editorial Team

Reply Mode      : e-square@squaregroup.com

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of its editor or SQUARE PHARMACEUTICALS LTD.

Calcium Scan !

Calcium Scan Can Predict Premature Death Risk,Study Says

A scan of calcium deposits inside the arteries can help doctors deduce how long the patients likely to live, a new study has found. The test, called a coronary calcium scan, uses a regular CT scan to look for calcium deposits in the three major arteries that carry blood away from the heart, lead author said. People with the largest amounts of calcium in their arteries carry an early death risk that's six times greater than those with no calcium deposits, researchers found in a 15-year study of nearly 10,000 patients. "If people had no calcium or very small amounts, we were able to track over a very long time that they actually had a very outstanding survival," she said. Calcium deposits develop as a response to plaque formation along the artery walls, she added. These plaques, which are caused by blood cholesterol, build up over time and cause arteries to narrow, leading to heart disease as the heart works harder to pump blood through the body. If a plaque bursts, a blood clot can form on its surface, blocking blood flow and causing a heart attack. If the clot breaks free, it can flow into the brain and cause a stroke. To prevent plaques from bursting, the body tries to harden them by depositing calcium salts over and around them, lead author said. Doctors learned in the 1990s that these calcified plaques show up on CT scans, and can be used to determine whether a person is suffering from hardening of the arteries, she said. Up to now, however, there's been little evidence showing that a calcium scan can provide a solid assessment of a person's long-term health risk, the study authors said. Most studies involving these scans have a follow-up of five years or less. In this new study, doctors referred 9,715 healthy patients in the Nashville area between 1996 and 1999 to a cardiology outreach screening program provided by the military's Tricare Healthcare System. The patients underwent a calcium scan, and also provided a detailed history of their heart risk factors. Researchers then tracked the participants for roughly 15 years, taking special note of the 936 patients who died. Analysis revealed that the risk of premature death steadily increased with the amount of calcium deposits found in a person's major arteries. Patients with small levels of arterial calcium had a 68 percent increased overall risk of death, compared to those with no calcium deposits at all. But people with the largest calcium deposits in their arteries had a death risk six times greater than those with no calcium. The results of a calcium scan can be reassuring for people with few or no calcium deposits, and can provide people with high calcium levels with added impetus to take better care of themselves, lead author added. "It can be a very potent motivator," she said. People with many calcium deposits can improve their long-term prospects by eating right, exercising, and taking medication to treat heart risk factors such as high blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol and type 2 diabetes, she said. Lead author thinks calcium scans ultimately could become part of a person's regular physical exam, as common as blood cholesterol tests.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, July 2015

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Childhood Trauma Risk !

Childhood Trauma Tied To Migraine Risk As Adult

Experiencing a traumatic event during childhood may raise the risk for migraines as an adult, new Canadian research suggests. "We found the more types of violence the individual had been exposed to during their childhood, the greater the odds of migraine," study author said. "For those who reported all three types of adversities -- [witnessing] parental domestic violence, childhood physical and sexual abuse -- the odds of migraine were a little over three times higher for men and just under three times higher for women," study author added. The findings were reported online recently in the journal Headache. To reach their conclusions, researchers looked at data from a mental health survey involving nearly 23,000 men and women over the age of 18. "The most surprising finding was the link between exposure to parental domestic violence and migraines," study co-author said. Girls who had witnessed parental domestic violence grew up to be women with a 64 percent greater risk for migraine, compared with those with no such history. For men, the bump in risk amounted to 52 percent, the investigators found. And the team noted this association held up even after taking into account a wide range of influential factors, such as age, race, a history of depression or anxiety, and any history of childhood physical and/or sexual abuse. However, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between childhood trauma and migraine risk. 

SOURCE: HealthDay News, July 2015

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 Cholera Vaccine !

Cholera Vaccine Helps Prevent Serious Illness

A vaccine in a pill protects children and adults against severe cholera, a new study shows. Cholera is an infectious disease spread through contaminated water and food. It is typically found in hot, tropical climates, the researchers explained. The results of the first real-life trial of the vaccine support its use in routine mass vaccination programs to help control cholera in more than 50 countries. In countries where the infection is common, more than 1 billion people are at risk of contracting the infectious disease, the researchers noted. Each year, there are about 2.8 million cholera cases and 91,000 deaths in regions where the disease is common, they added. The study included nearly 270,000 people living in a slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the researchers said. All were over the age of 1. They were at high risk of cholera due to overcrowding and poor sanitation. The study volunteers were randomly selected to receive either the oral cholera vaccine Shanchol, the vaccine along with improved hand-washing and clean drinking water, or no intervention. The vaccine was given in two doses 14 days apart. Sixty-five percent of the vaccine-only group and 66 percent of the vaccine/hand washing/clean drinking water group received two complete doses. Vaccination with two doses reduced the incidence of severely dehydrating cholera by 37 percent after two years in the vaccine-only group, the study found. In the vaccine/hand washing/clean drinking water group, the rate of severely dehydrating cholera dropped by 45 percent. Further analysis showed that vaccination reduced the risk of cholera by 53 percent over two years, according to the study. "Our findings show that a routine oral cholera vaccination program in cholera-endemic countries could substantially reduce the burden of disease and greatly contribute to cholera control efforts. The vaccine is cheap, two doses cost U.S. $3.70, around a third of the price of the other licensed vaccine Dukoral," study author said. No serious side effects were reported. The most common problems associated with the vaccine were vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and acute watery diarrhea. "Ultimately, the key to controlling cholera is clean water and adequate sanitation, which half the developing world [around 2.5 billion people] lack, but this remains a rather difficult reality for the world's poorest nations as well as those affected by climate change, war and natural disasters," she added.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, July 2015

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High Soda Risk !

High Soda Intake May Boost Diabetes Risk, Even Without Obesity

Whether slim or obese, if somebody drink lots of sugary soda or other sweetened drinks are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, a new analysis reveals. Until now, health experts have thought that sugary drinks and type 2 diabetes were linked because sugar promotes weight gain, and body fat contributes to insulin resistance, which precedes diabetes. But this new study removed weight as a factor, and still found that every daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages increases any person's risk of type 2 diabetes by 13 percent over 10 years. If this is correct, sugary drinks could lead to 2 million new cases of type 2 diabetes in the United States between 2010 and 2020, the researchers reported. A 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola contains 39 grams of sugar, the equivalent of 9.75 teaspoons of sugar. That much refined sugar consumed at once causes a spike in blood sugar, which over time can increase insulin resistance even in people who are at normal weight, lead author said. "Our body is able to handle it, but cumulative effects over time exhaust the body's functions and lead to the onset of diabetes," lead author added. These conclusions are based on data from 17 previous observational studies, which researchers combined to create a pool of just over 38,200 people. In the study, researchers found that a daily serving of sugary beverage increased type 2 diabetes risk by 18 percent over a decade, without taking weight into account. However, after accounting for weight, type 2 diabetes risk associated with sugary drinks only dropped to 13 percent. The new study also found an association between type 2 diabetes and artificially sweetened beverages or fruit juices. But the associations with diet sodas and fruit juices appeared to be based on shakier evidence, and because of that the study authors decided to avoid drawing any firm conclusions regarding those beverages. Nonetheless, the researchers said they could not recommend diet drinks or fruit juices as healthier options than sugary sodas.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, July 2015

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CT Scan Alert !

Cell Damage Occurs When People Have CT Scans: Study

Cellular damage occurs when people undergo CT scans, but whether or not this causes cancer or any other health problems is unclear, a new study finds. "The use of medical imaging for heart disease has exploded in the past decade," study senior author said. "These tests expose patients to a non-trivial amount of low-dose radiation," study senior author added. "But nobody really knows exactly what this low-dose radiation does to the patient. We now have the technology that allows us to look at very subtle, cell-level changes." In the study, research team examined the blood of 67 people before and after they had undergone a heart CT scan. After the scans, the research did show an increase in DNA damage in cells, as well as cell death. There was also increased expression of genes involved in the repair or death of cells, the study found. Most cells damaged by the CT scan were repaired, the researchers said, but a small percentage of them died. The bottom line: "We now know that even exposure to small amounts of radiation from [CT] scanning is associated with cellular damage," study co-lead author said. However, she added that it's still not clear from this study whether or not this causes cancer or any negative effect to the patient. The findings should encourage physicians to use CT scan dose-reduction strategies, co-lead author added. The study didn't find any DNA damage in healthy people who were of average weight who had the lowest doses of radiation during their CT scans. Still, the research team noted that a CT scan exposes patients to at least 150 times the amount of radiation from a single chest X-ray. And in 2007, the U.S. National Cancer Institute predicted that 29,000 future cancer cases could be linked to the 72 million CT scans performed in the country that year alone. "We need to learn more because it's not a benign effect, even at these low dosages," she said. "Our research supports the idea that maybe physicians shouldn't just use the best image quality [requiring higher doses] in all cases. "We shouldn't eliminate CT scans," she said, "because they're obviously important. But, one can make it safer by reducing the doses, by getting better machines and technology, and by giving patients something to protect them."

SOURCE: HealthDay News, July 2015

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 Weather & Salmonella !

Extreme Weather May Raise Risk Of Salmonella Infection, Study Says

Extreme heat and rainfall are associated with rising rates of salmonella infections, a new study says. Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Public Health suggest the risk for these infections is likely to grow as climate change increases the number of extreme weather events. They said coastal communities are particularly vulnerable to these food-borne bacterial infections. "We found that extremely hot days and periods of extreme rainfall are contributing to salmonella infections in Maryland, with the most dramatic impacts being seen in the coastal communities," researcher said. "As we prepare for the future, we need to take this differential burden into account." Salmonella is a group of food- and waterborne bacteria. The germ is often found in uncooked poultry, eggs, beef and unwashed produce. In the United States, salmonella causes an estimated 1.2 million cases each year of severe gastroenteritis, commonly known as the "stomach flu." Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, vomiting and stomach cramps. In Maryland alone, more than 9,500 cases of salmonella were reported and confirmed between 2002 and 2012. Previous studies have suggested that weather, particularly temperature and rainfall, plays a role in salmonella infections, the researchers said. Using three decades of weather data as a baseline, the study's authors identified extreme heat and rain events from 2002 to 2012. These events were linked to health department data on salmonella infections. The team of researchers, which included environmental epidemiologists, microbiologists, earth system scientists and officials from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, found there was a higher rate of salmonella infections during summer months than at any other time of year. The observed risk for this bacterial infection during heat waves was 5.1 percent for people living on the coast, compared to 1.5 percent for people living inland. The risk for these infections during extreme rain was 7.1 percent for coastal residents, compared to 3.6 percent for those in non-coastal areas, the study found. The study's authors said their findings suggest public health officials should improve preparedness and response to the health effects of climate change at local, state and national levels.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, July 2015

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New Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Paloset
  Generic Name Palonosetron
  Strength 0.5 mg
  Dosage form Tablet
  Therapeutic Category Antiemetic
  Product Luraprex
Generic Name Lurasidone HCl
Strength 40 mg
Dosage form Tablet
Therapeutic Category Antipsychotic
  Product Calborate
  Generic Name Calcium Orotate
  Strength 740 mg
  Dosage form Tablet
  Therapeutic Category Calcium Supplement

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