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Clinical Trends for May 2017

Ryan Syrek

May 26, 2017

Each week, we identify one top search term, speculate as to what caused its popularity, and provide an infographic on a related condition. If you have thoughts about what's trending and why, feel free to share them with us on Twitter or Facebook!

Clinical Trend of the Week (May 20-26): NSAIDs

Some troubling news about a popular class of drugs resulted in this week's top search term. According to a new patient-level meta-analysis, the use of all nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction. This was even true for naproxen, which has been considered one of the safest drugs in this class. The study examined 61,460 cases of MI and 385,303 controls and found that the increase in risk for MI among current NSAID users was 20% to 50%, compared with those not using the drugs. The onset of MI risk was rapid in the first week of NSAID use. However, experts advise caution in interpreting the results, as cofounding factors may not have been completely considered, and the fact that MI risk did not continue to increase after 30 days of use in all cases was a confusing finding. The potential significance of this study combined with the popularity of NSAIDs resulted in a dramatic increase in searches for this term.

For more information on MI, read here.

Clinical Trend of the Week (May 13-19): Radicava

The first drug approval for a serious condition in many years resulted in this week’s top search term. Edaravone (Radicava, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The drug is a pyrazolone free-radical scavenger that is believed to lessen the effects of oxidative stress and is intended to slow down functional decline in patients with ALS. Edaravone represents the first new option in quite some time for doctors to offer patients with this degenerative condition. As this medication is incorporated into practice, and more information about its use is available, searches will remain popular.

For more information on ALS, read here.

Clinical Trend of the Week (May 6 - 12): Blood Sex

This week's top search term surged in popularity due to a new study that contradicted a previous study. A study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine found that blood donor sex and age are not associated with recipient survival. Thus, sex and age are not relevant to donated blood allocation. The Scandinavian study examined almost 1 million transfusions, and the findings contradicted a 2016 Canadian study, which had concluded that blood from young or female donors was significantly associated with an increased risk for death among transfusion recipients. The Scandinavian researchers were unable to replicate the findings of the Canadian study, instead finding the association was eliminated. The disparate results of these studies prompted searches on the connection between blood donations and donor sex and age, a subject likely to receive continued scrutiny.

For more information on transfusions, read here.

Clinical Trend of the Week (April 29 – May 5): Diet Soda Dementia

A study that found a potentially troubling association resulted in this week's top search term. A new study published online in Stroke found that daily consumption of one can or more of diet soda each day was associated with a three-fold increase in risk for stroke and dementia over a 10-year follow-up period. Although the study was observational in design, and thus does not demonstrate a clear cause and effect, the implications may be significant. This is on the heels of another study by the same group, which found a link between consumption of both sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages and reduction in brain volume among middle-aged individuals. Given the popularity of these drinks, this association is one that caught the attention of many users, leading to a surge of related searches.

For more information on Alzheimer disease, read here.

 

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