You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Health

  • Artificial sweeteners linked with spikes in blood sugar
    Artificial sweeteners might be triggering higher blood sugar levels in some people and contributing to the problems they were designed to combat, such as diabetes and obesity, according to new findings published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
  • End-of-life care lagging, poll says, urging change
    Americans aren’t getting the support and services they need as death nears, according to a U.S. report calling for an overhaul to the nation’s expensive and inefficient approach to end-of-life care.
  • Study: Artificial Sweeteners may promote diabetes
    Using artificial sweeteners may set the stage for diabetes in some people by hampering the way their bodies handle sugar, suggests a preliminary study done mostly in mice.
Advertisement

Rx overdose deaths for women soar: CDC

– Overdose deaths in the U.S. are rising fastest among middle-aged women, and their drug of choice is usually prescription painkillers, the government reported Tuesday.

“Mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are dying at rates that we have never seen before,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which compiled the data.

The problem is one of the few health issues the CDC is working on that are clearly getting worse, he added.

For many decades, the overwhelming majority of U.S. overdose deaths were men killed by heroin or cocaine. But by 2010, 40 percent were women – most of them middle-aged women who took prescription painkillers.

Skyrocketing female overdose death rates are closely tied to a boom in the overall use of prescribed painkillers.

The CDC found that the number and rate of prescription painkiller overdose deaths among females increased about fivefold from 1999 to 2010.

Overall, more men still die from overdoses of painkillers and other drugs; there were about 23,000 such deaths in 2010, compared with about 15,300 for women. Men tend to take more risks with drugs than women, and often are more prone to the kind of workplace injuries that lead to their being prescribed painkillers, experts say.

But the gap has been narrowing dramatically.

Studies suggest that women are more likely to have chronic pain, to be prescribed higher doses, and to use pain drugs longer than men.

Advertisement