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Briefs: Pediatricians cry foul over Michele Bachmann linking HPV virus, retardation

Rep. Michele Bachmann said this week that the human papillomavirus vaccine may cause mental retardation.

Associated Press

Rep. Michele Bachmann said this week that the human papillomavirus vaccine may cause mental retardation.

Pediatricians cry foul over HPV vaccine slam

Hours after the vaccine to protect girls from cervical cancer came up in Monday's Republican presidential candidate debate, the American Academy of Pediatrics waded in. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas took heat over his one-time support of mandatory vaccinations. But what got the pediatricians riled was Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's later claim that the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine might cause mental retardation. "There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement,'' the group said. "Since the vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have been administered, and it has an excellent safety record. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all recommend that girls receive the HPV vaccine around age 11 or 12. That's because this is the age at which the vaccine produces the best immune response in the body, and because it's important to protect girls well before the onset of sexual activity . . . This is a life-saving vaccine that can protect girls from cervical cancer."

Trial: Adenoid removal no panacea for kids

Children with recurrent upper respiratory infections often undergo surgery to remove their adenoids, but new research suggests that watchful waiting might be just as effective. In a randomized trial, published online last week in the medical journal BMJ, Dutch researchers studied 111 children ages 1 to 6 with chronic infections, assigning half of them to surgery and half to watchful waiting. Parents kept a diary recording specific symptoms of infection and took temperatures daily. Children in the group who had surgery averaged 7.9 upper respiratory infections per year, compared with 7.8 infections in the watchful waiting group — an insignificant difference. The researchers did not find any difference in duration of infections or number of middle-ear complaints. Over time, infections declined in both groups.

Best over-the-counter pain relief is a pairing

For relief after surgery, some commonly used pain relievers work well for a large proportion of people, but some barely work at all, according to a new report. Scientists reviewed about 350 randomized trials of oral pain medications involving about 45,000 patients. They defined a drug or combination as effective if it provided 50 percent pain relief for four to six hours after a single dose, compared with placebos. "Of the analgesics you can get over the counter, the best combination is ibuprofen and Tylenol — 200 milligrams of ibuprofen and 500 of Tylenol has a 74 percent success rate," said the lead author, Andrew Moore of the University of Oxford, adding, "Nothing works for everyone." The least effective: codeine alone. The analysis appeared in the September issue of the Cochrane Library.

Times staff, wires

A BUG WITHOUT BIAS

"There was a delay in my diagnosis because I was a white, middle-class person and doctors didn't think to test for it.''

Anna Watterson, a London barrister who had drug-resistant tuberculosis, which is on the rise across Europe.

Briefs: Pediatricians cry foul over Michele Bachmann linking HPV virus, retardation 09/14/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 9:13pm]
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