Monday January 20, 2020

Injecting Drugs May up Bacterial Heart Infections: Study

increase in the risk of infective endocarditis is consistent with the findings of other studies, but the observed timing of the increase was novel, the team said

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Heart rate
Heart rate, Flickr

People who inject drugs may have a significant increase in the risk of infective endocarditis, a serious infection of the lining of the heart, possibly linked to increasing use of the opioid hydromorphone, a new study suggests.

“We observed a substantial increase in the risk of infective endocarditis among people who inject drugs, which is associated with hydromorphone’s increasing share of the prescription opioid market,” said researchers, including first author Matthew Weir from Western University, London, Ontario.

For the study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers looked at Ontario data on drug users from linked health administrative databases between April 2006 and September 2015.

There were 60,529 admissions to hospital of people who inject drugs and, of these, 733 had infective endocarditis linked to injecting drugs.

Although admission rates for people who inject drugs were stable over the study period, the risk of infective endocarditis increased from 13.4 admissions every three months (fourth quarter 2011) to 35.1 admissions every three months in the period afterwards.

Heart Disease
Even low exposure to arsenic, lead may up heart disease risk. Pixabay

Whereas the percentage of opioid prescriptions attributed to controlled-release oxycodone declined rapidly when it was removed from the market by its manufacturer in the fourth quarter of 2011, hydromorphone prescriptions increased from 16 per cent at the start of the study to 53 per cent by the end, the researcher said.

The team expected that an increase in risk of infective endocarditis would occur when controlled-release oxycodone was removed from the Canadian market; however, they found that the rise began before removal.

“Although our observations do not support our hypothesis that the loss of controlled-release oxycodone increased the use of hydromorphone, they do support our suspicion that hydromorphone may be playing a role in the increasing risk of infective endocarditis,” said co-author Michael Silverman from the varsity.

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The increase in the risk of infective endocarditis is consistent with the findings of other studies, but the observed timing of the increase was novel, the team said.

“Both the rise in this severe complication of injection drug use and the possible association with hydromorphone require further study,” the authors noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Cancer Drugs Can Be Used To Treat Pulmonary Diseases: Study

Studies have been investigating the effect of drugs used to treat a variety of cancers on this inflammatory response

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Cancer
The research discovered that specific cancer drugs inhibit a cell signalling process controlling the death-rate of the harmful neutrophils. Pixabay

Certain class of cancer drugs could be used in the future to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), say researchers, adding that the drugs could be developed to stop the progression of the disease and promote healing within the lungs.

COPD makes breathing progressively more difficult for millions of people around the world, and the study, published in the journal eLIFE has shown the potential for clinically available cancer treatments to treat it.

“COPD is usually treated with steroids and airway muscle relaxants which ease symptoms, but there is currently no effective treatment clinically available to counteract the damage it does to the lungs,” said study researcher Lynne Prince from the University of Sheffield in UK.

“Our research now shows that inhibitors of these cell signalling processes, or ErbB kinases, could have therapeutic potential in neutrophilic inflammatory disease,” Prince added. According to the researchers, the hope of these drugs is that they can clear the damaging cells from the lungs of people living with COPD, preventing any further damage and therefore the progression of the disease for the first time.

They have been investigating the effect of drugs used to treat a variety of cancers on this inflammatory response; the main driver of lung damage in people living with COPD.

People living with COPD experience a wide range of symptoms that have an increasing impact on their quality of life, including breathlessness, coughing and frequent chest infections. The damage to the lungs is driven by inflammation caused by immune cells called neutrophils.

For the results, the research team screened a library of cancer drugs and identified a number of compounds which accelerate the death of the neutrophil cells and promote healing in the lungs.

The research discovered that specific cancer drugs inhibit a cell signalling process controlling the death-rate of the harmful neutrophils. The team also discovered that editing the genes that encode the cell signalling in the first place, further decreased inflammation.

Cancer
Certain class of cancer drugs could be used in the future to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), say researchers, adding that the drugs could be developed to stop the progression of the disease and promote healing within the lungs. Pixabay

“As neutrophilic inflammation is also central to the progression of other chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, the research has the potential to impact not only people living with COPD,” said study researcher Stephen Renshaw from the University of Sheffield in UK.

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“Our next step is to find a way to test these drugs in people with COPD to understand how the ErbB kinase signalling process has an effect on lung inflammation and to address any potential side effects,” Renshaw added. (IANS)