Study explores link between rheumatoid arthritis widespread pain and smoking

A vast majority of patients with rheumatoid arthritis reports widespread pain or severe pain regardless of smoking status, a new study found.

A team of researchers at the Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge in Stockholm, Sweden wanted to investigate if smoking status at the time of rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis was linked with pain spread or intensity.

Published in the journal Nursing Open, the study shows that a large number of patients with rheumatoid arthritis report widespread pain or severe pain, regardless if they smoke or not. The study highlights that smoking has no effect on pain intensity among rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Longtime Crusader Against OxyContin Begins To See The Fruits Of Her Struggle

In the 15 years since she lost her son to a single OxyContin pill, Barbara Van Rooyan has had but one up-close look at the people representing the company that made it.

It was in a small courthouse in Abingdon, Va., where Van Rooyan and other relatives of OxyContin victims gathered for a sentencing hearing in 2007. Three executives of Purdue Pharma had pleaded guilty to federal charges related to their misbranding and marketing of the powerful opioid. The company had pleaded guilty as well.

Potentially harmful carbon pollution reaches fetal side of placenta: study

(Reuters Health) – Airborne carbon particles that can cause health problems in adults and children are getting into the placenta as it nourishes a developing fetus, a new study has found.

Tissue samples from 5 pre-term and 23 full-term births found that the more airborne soot the mother was exposed to during pregnancy, the higher the number of so-called black carbon particles found in the placenta, researchers report in Nature Communications.

In addition to transferring oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the fetus, the placenta is supposed to be a barrier — albeit not a perfect one — that protects the fetus from substances that might harm it.

France to give iodine to more people living close to nuclear plants

PARIS (Reuters) – France will offer free iodine tablets to around 2.2 million people living close to nuclear plants to help protect them from radiation in case of an accident.

FILE PHOTO: Cooling towers are seen near the Golfech nuclear plant on the border of the Garonne River between Agen and Toulouse, France, August 29, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

Nuclear regulator ASN said on Tuesday people living within 10-20 km of one of utility EDF’s 19 nuclear plants, as well as some 200,000 institutions such as schools, will receive a letter in coming days informing them that they can pick up free iodine tablets from pharmacies.

Survey says half of people with rheumatoid disease struggle to pay for treatment

Rheumatoid disease encompasses inflammatory conditions that affect the joints, muscle, bones, and organs. A new study found that despite 90 of patients have health insurance, nearly 60 percent said that they are struggling to afford medication or treatment in the last year.

In celebration of the Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month, the American College of Rheumatology performed a national survey to determine how many patients have access to affordable healthcare and what are the challenges the patients face. The team asked the participants if they have access to rheumatology care, afford their treatment, and if they can perform their tasks.

U.S. records no new measles cases for first week since January

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Health officials recorded no new cases of measles in the United States last week, marking the first week without new cases of the disease since January, amid an outbreak largely linked to parents who declined to vaccinate their children.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday it had recorded 1,241 cases of the highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease in 31 states as of last Thursday. (

The current outbreak of measles is the worst to hit the country since 1992, when 2,126 cases were reported, and threatens to end the nation’s measles-free status.

U.S. CDC activates emergency operations center for vaping-related illnesses

FILE PHOTO: A man uses a vape as he walks on Broadway in New York City, U.S., September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday it had activated the agency’s emergency operations center to help the current investigation into the cases of lung illnesses linked to e-cigarette use.

The activation of the emergency operation center (EOC) provides additional support to CDC staff, and agency experts will continue to lead the CDC response with support from additional CDC and EOC staff, the agency said.

Purveyors of black-market pharmaceuticals target immigrants

The bootleg medications were smuggled across the border and sold to mostly Latino immigrants in public spaces throughout Los Angeles — at swap meets, parks, beauty salons and makeshift stands outside mom-and-pop grocery stores.

The drugs were cheap, and the customers — mostly from Mexico and Central America — did not need prescriptions to buy them. Some of the products featured brand names and colorful packaging that immigrants knew well from their home countries — including Ciprofloxacina, a potent antibiotic, and Dolo Nervi Doce — translated as “Pain Nerve 12” — an injectable B-complex vitamin taken for fatigue.

New York to ban flavored e-cigarettes after illnesses, deaths

FILE PHOTO – A man uses a vape as he walks on Broadway in New York City, U.S., September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday announced a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes besides tobacco and menthol in response to a recent nationwide spate of sometimes deadly lung illnesses that U.S. health officials have linked to vaping.

Cuomo said vaping was dangerous and that he was concerned fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarettes were leading young people to get hooked on nicotine.