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Showing posts from January, 2011

Common sleep medicine puts older adults at risk for night time falls, confusion

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A popular medicine that helps older adults sleep can cause harm warn researchers.The commonly prescribed medication, zolpidem, sold under the brand names Ambien, Zolpimist, Edluar, Hypogen, Somidem and Iveda, was found in a study to increase the chances of falls and cognitive decline in elders.Researchers found that 58 percent of older adults and 27 percent of the young adults studied experienced loss of balance after awakening, 2 hours after falling asleep.


The study included 25 healthy adults who were assessed using a technique known as the “tandem walk” that involves placing one foot in front of the other on a 16-foot-long, six-inch-wide beam on the floor using normal step length.

When the participants were not given any medication, none of them fell off the six-inch wide beam.


Kenneth Wright, lead study author at University of Colorado, Boulder says,
"The balance impairments of older adults taking zolpidem were clinically significant and the cognitive impairments were more than t…

Consumers willing to pay for predictive health risk tests

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A national study shows consumers are willing to pay for  genetic tests to predict disease.Researchers at Tufts Medical Center conducted a study showing that most consumers are willing to pay out of pocket to find out if they are at risk for diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's disease, or arthritis.

The findings, published the in journal Health Economics, found 76 percent of people surveyed would be willing to spend $300 to $600 for predictive health tests.

Peter J. Neumann, ScD, director of the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health at the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center says:

"This study brings us a step closer to understanding people's preferences and motivations for wanting a diagnostic test, even if it has no bearing on subsequent medical treatment. While we have to proceed cautiously in this area, given that tests have costs and risks as well as benefits, our study suggests that many people value informati…