More than 42 percent of never-married adolescents ages 15-19 say they have had sex at least once. Researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics report that from 2011-2015, 42.4 percent of never-married girls and 44.2 percent of never-married boys had sexual intercourse. Among the majority who had not had sex, the reasons varied. More than 35 percent of girls and almost 28 percent of boys said that it was against their religion or moral code. A fifth of both boys and girls cited fear of pregnancy as the reason for abstaining.

New cholesterol drug worked in big study

A new type of cholesterol drug reduced heart attacks, deaths and other complications of heart disease in a huge, late-stage study, according to Merck & Co. Merck’s pill, anacetrapib, works by blocking a protein called CETP. That’s a different way to control cholesterol than that of widely used statins such as Lipitor and Crestor, and the newer injected drugs Repatha and Praluent.

Antibiotics usually ineffective for pinkeye

Doctors often prescribe antibiotic eye drops to people with conjunctivitis, or pinkeye, even though they are almost always ineffective. About 80 percent of cases of pinkeye are caused by a virus, and there is no treatment for viral conjunctivitis. In a retrospective study of 340,372 people with conjunctivitis, 58 percent received prescriptions for antibiotic eye drops. Unnecessary treatment with antibiotics disrupts the normal bacterial flora of the eye and can lead to the development of resistant strains of harmful bacteria.

Yoga as good for back pain as therapy

Yoga works as well as physical therapy for relieving back pain, a randomized trial found. Researchers assigned 320 people with moderate and persistent low back pain to either 12 weekly sessions with a yoga instructor, 15 sessions of physical therapy over 12 weeks, or education with a book and periodic newsletters about back pain therapy. In both the yoga and physical therapy groups, about half the participants achieved reduced pain and disability. In the education group, about one-fifth showed improved physical function and 14 percent found pain relief.

News services