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Today in medicine ...

Metro takes a look at recent scientific studies and how they might impact the future of medicine.

Birth control pills linked to blood clots

Study subjects: Women taking oral contraceptives
Location of study: U.S./U.K.
Results: Oral contraceptive users who chose Bayer’s Yasmin showed a two- to threefold higher risk of venous thromboembolism, or blood clots, than did users of older, established pills.
Significance: The data could help the 6,850 lawsuits pending in the United States naming Bayer’s Yasmin and Yaz pills or generic copies sold by Teva’s Barr Laboratories as causing users injury.

Carbohydrates and weight loss

Study subjects
: 100 obese male and female Israeli police officers age 25 to 55
Location of study: Israel
Results: Researchers randomly assigned study subjects to one of two diets for six months. Both diets contained about 1,300 to 1,500 calories per day, but assigned more carbohydrates to be eaten at dinner. After six months, those who ate carb-heavy dinners had greater weight loss and body fat reduction, and also felt more satisfied.
Significance: The study throws doubt on the theory that taking in less calories at night results in greater fat burning, particularly calories from carbohydrates rather than sugar or fat.

Prenatal exposure to pesticides

Study subjects: Various children under age 7
Location of study: U.S.
Results: Organophosphates, which are used in farm and garden pesticides, as well as insect repellants, were found in significant levels in newborns’ cord blood. These pesticides are known neurotoxicants already found to harm young children.
Significance: Three separate studies showed that children with prenatal exposure to the pesticides had a lower intelligence score at age 7.

Botox use and social interaction

Study subjects: 126 men and women
Location of study: U.S.
Results: Researchers com-paring data from two experiments determined that users of Botox, which is used in a cosmetic procedure to paralyze facial muscles and deter wrinkles, were less able to read others’ emotions.
Significance: If this is the case, Botox users’ dulled emotional perception may decrease their ability to empathize and understand people’s emotions.

 
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