Protecting girls from cervical cancer might be possible with just one dose of the HPV vaccine rather than the three now recommended, a new analysis suggests.

The authors of the study acknowledged it isn’t convincing enough to change vaccination strategies immediately. But if their results are confirmed, requiring just one dose of the vaccine could have a big impact on how many girls get immunized.

Cervical cancer is the fourth-most common cause of cancer death in women worldwide and is estimated to kill more than 260,000 every year.

Researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute and elsewhere looked at data from previous trials covering more than 24,000 young women to see how much protection they got from one, two or three doses of the HPV vaccine, Cervarix. They estimated vaccine effectiveness after about four years to be 77 percent to 86 percent for all the young women, regardless of how many shots they received.

The study was paid for by the U.S. National Cancer Institute and others including the vaccine’s maker, GlaxoSmithKline PLC. It was published online in the journal Lancet Oncology.

 

For seniors, older anticoagulant

If you are older than 75, and taking an anticoagulant, the old standard may be the gold standard, Mayo Clinic researchers and collaborators have determined.

In a study released online in the BMJ medical journal, a team of researchers from Mayo Clinic, and other collaborators, showed that for older patients, particularly individuals older than 75, the risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is 3 to 5 times higher when taking newer anticoagulant medications dabigatran or rivaroxaban compared to when using warfarin.

Use of anticoagulants lessens the likelihood of stroke and other clotting complications, but brings a different set of risks, one of which is excessive bleeding due to reduced ability to form blood clots. Excessive GI bleeding in particular can itself be life threatening.

 

Gastric reflux drug, heart risk

The widely used drugs known as proton pump inhibitors — gastric reflux preventives like Prilosec and Prevacid — may increase the risk for heart attack, said data involving almost 3 million people.

Previous studies have found that PPIs are associated with poor outcomes for people with heart disease, probably because of an interaction with clopidogrel, a drug commonly prescribed after a heart attack. This study examines the heart attack risk in otherwise healthy people.

The Stanford University researchers used data-mining, a mathematical method of looking at trends in large amounts of data, to analyze the use of the drugs over time. Evidence that they were increasing the risk for heart attack was clear as early as 2000. There was no association of heart attack with another class of drugs used to treat gastric reflux, H2 blockers like Zantac, Tagamet and Pepcid.

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