Saturday October 20, 2018

Common heartburn Drugs may lead to gradual yet “silent” Kidney Damage: Study

A recent evaluation has shown that a group of drugs which are widely prescribed for heartburn, ulcers may lead to gradual yet "silent" kidney damage

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New York, Feb 22, 2017: A group of drugs commonly prescribed for heartburn, ulcers and acid reflux may lead to gradual yet “silent” kidney damage, warns a study.

The study evaluated the use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are sold under the brand names Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium and Protonix, among others, in 125,000 patients.

More than half of patients who develop chronic kidney damage while taking the drugs do not experience acute kidney problems beforehand, meaning patients may not be aware of a decline in kidney function, the findings, published in the journal Kidney International, showed.

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The onset of acute kidney problems is not a reliable warning sign for clinicians to detect a decline in kidney function among patients taking proton pump inhibitors, said the study’s senior author Ziyad Al-Aly, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine.

“Our results indicate kidney problems can develop silently and gradually over time, eroding kidney function and leading to long-term kidney damage or even renal failure. Patients should be cautioned to tell their doctors if they’re taking PPIs and only use the drugs when necessary,” Al-Aly said.

The researchers analysed data from the Department of Veterans Affairs databases on 125,596 new users of PPIs and 18,436 new users of other heartburn drugs referred to as H2 blockers.

The latter are much less likely to cause kidney problems but often are not as effective.

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Over five years of follow up, the researchers found that more than 80 per cent of PPI users did not develop acute kidney problems, which often are reversible and are characterised by too little urine leaving the body, fatigue and swelling in the legs and ankles.

However, more than half of the cases of chronic kidney damage and end-stage renal disease associated with PPI use occurred in people without acute kidney problems.

End-stage renal disease occurs when the kidneys can no longer effectively remove waste from the body.

In such cases, dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed to keep patients alive.

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“Doctors must pay careful attention to kidney function in their patients who use PPIs, even when there are no signs of problems,” Al-Aly cautioned.(IANS)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)