Health Happenings

Irregular Menstrual Periods May Indicate Later Osteoporosis

Irregular menstrual periods in young women may be a warning sign of a hormonal shortage that could lead to osteoporosis, according to a preliminary study by researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Read our last article on medicaid trusts, you can’t trust your future to just anyone.

The study involved 48 women with a condition known as premature ovarian failure, in which the ovaries stop producing eggs and reproductive hormones well in advance of natural menopause. Most women who experience the symptoms of premature ovarian failure—absence of a menstrual period for three months or more—typically do not view them as a serious health problem. This makes diagnosis of the condition problematic.

“These findings suggest that women and their physicians may want to err on the side of caution and evaluate menstrual irregularities early,” said Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the NICHD.

Heart Attack Sufferers at High Risk of Stroke

Recent studies show that seniors who suffer heart attacks face a high risk of stroke within 6 months, especially if they have certain other medical conditions. Previous reports estimated that about 1% of heart attack patients might have a stroke within a year, but the new study, conducted by researchers of Yale University School of Medicine, found the number was closer to 5%.

The study also revealed that elderly heart attack patients had an even higher risk of stroke if they met any of the following criteria:

Being older than 75,

Being black,

Being frail,

Having not been prescribed aspirin therapy,

Having diabetes,

Having high blood pressure,

Having blood vessel disease,

Having had a previous stroke.

Vioxx Linked to Meningitis

Vioxx, the popular painkiller used to ease symptoms of arthritis and other acute pain, has been linked to five cases of a nonbacterial form of meningitis. This possible side effect of the drug is serious, but apparently quite rare.

The five cases were reported to the FDA between May 1999 and February 2001—along with two other cases that lacked enough evidence to determine a cause. Since June 1999, over 52 million prescriptions have been written for Vioxx. And none of the seven patients with meningitis have died.

So, before you decide to toss out your Vioxx, remember too that other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have also been linked similarly to meningitis—including Celebrex and even ibuprofen.

Leave a Reply