An experimental hemophilia drug helped control bleeding among hard-to-treat patients in an early-stage trial, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals said. Fifty-six percent of patients on Alnylam’s drug, called fitusiran, haven’t bled since starting therapy, according to interim data. The 16 patients in the study had inhibitors, immune proteins that interfere with the most common type of drug used to treat the bleeding disorder. Hemophilia drugs are evaluated according to median bleed rate, the midpoint number of bleeding events per patient in a given group. Before entering Alnylam’s study, the median bleed rate over a year for the group was 31; in the early results from the trial, it was zero.

There’s no safe level of smoking, study says

There’s bad news for people who think it’s safe to smoke a few cigarettes a day or even a week: They face a substantially higher risk of earlier death compared with people who don’t smoke, according to a new study. The National Cancer Institute study found that people who consistently smoked an average of less than one cigarette per day over their lifetimes had a 64 percent higher risk of earlier death. Those who smoked one to 10 cigarettes a day had an 87 percent greater risk.

Stroke rates are increasing in young

Stroke rates have been declining in older people during the past 20 years — but have sharply increased in those under 55. Researchers at Rutgers University used data from the New Jersey Department of Health on more than 227,000 hospitalizations for stroke from 1995 through 2014, calculating incidence by age over five-year periods. Compared with the 1995-99 period, the rate of stroke in 2010-14 increased by 147 percent in people ages 35-39, by 101 percent in people 40-44, by 68 percent in those 45-49, and by 23 percent in the 50-54 group. Stroke is still far more common in older people. But the rate decreased by 11 percent in those 55-59, by 22 percent in the 60-64 group, and by 18 percent in people 65-69.

Exposure to sunlight may be good for eyes

Exposure to sunlight may reduce the risk for nearsightedness, a new study reports. Researchers recruited 371 men and women with nearsightedness, or myopia, and 2,797 without. Their average age was 72. They gave them eye examinations, took blood samples and interviewed them about their health and behavior over the years, estimating exposure to ultraviolet B rays. The study, in JAMA Ophthalmology, found that those with the highest UVB exposure, especially as teenagers and young adults, had about a 30 percent lower risk for myopia than those with the lowest exposure. Exposure to sunlight increases vitamin D levels, but those did not correlate with nearsightedness.

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