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Briefs: Study finds over-the-counter painkillers best for kids' broken arms

study: simple painkillers best for broken arm

Kids with a broken arm do better on a simple over-the-counter painkiller than on a more powerful prescription combination that includes a narcotic, a surprising study finds. It tested ibuprofen, sold as Advil, Motrin and other brands, against acetaminophen plus codeine — a combo called Tylenol No. 3 that is also sold in generic form. The children on ibuprofen did better, said the study leader, Dr. Amy Drendel of the Medical College of Wisconsin in suburban Milwaukee. "They were more likely to play, they ate better and they had fewer adverse effects," she said. Results were published online Tuesday by the Annals of Emergency Medicine. The results do not mean that ibuprofen beats acetaminophen for everyday pain relief in children or anyone else. Still, it shows the best way to treat a very common problem: As many as one out of five kids will break a bone before age 10, often an arm.

Binge-drinking boomers a concern

A significant percentage of people older than 50 are binge drinking, and experts fear the trend could cause severe health problems for baby boomers who continue their heavy drinking habits, according to a new study by Duke University Medical Center researchers. Twenty-two percent of men and 9 percent of women 50 to 64 reported drinking five or more drinks at one time during the past month, according to the survey, published in the online edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry this week. In the 65-and-older age group, 14 percent of men and 3 percent of women engaged in binge drinking, researchers found. Drinking is more likely to compound health problems among older people as the body's natural immunities are weakened, said Dr. Dan Blazer, the study's lead author and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke Medical Center. "They might be at risk when driving, or it could affect anxiety or blood pressure medication."

Macho men skip preventive care

Men who think the ideal man is the strong, silent type who does not complain about pain were only half as likely as other men to seek preventive health care, like an annual physical, a study has found. Even men with a high level of education, strongly associated with better health, were less likely to seek preventive health care if they strongly adhered to the ideal of the macho man, said Kristen W. Springer, the study's primary investigator and an assistant professor of sociology at Rutgers. The study may help explain the gender longevity gap, with women outliving men by about five years, Springer said. The findings, from a large longitudinal study of about 1,000 middle-age men who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957, were presented at a meeting of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco.

Compiled from Times wires

Briefs: Study finds over-the-counter painkillers best for kids' broken arms 08/19/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 5:20pm]
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