death from cancer; birth control; and HIV and premature aging

Nearly 30% of cancer deaths in the United States are related to smoking

Nearly 30% of all cancer deaths in the United States – about 123,000 deaths – were related to smoking, new research shows.

Expensive death: Smoking-related deaths are responsible for more than 2 million person-years of life lost and nearly $21 billion in annual lost earnings.

Types of cancer: The researchers found that lung cancer was the biggest contributor to smoking-related cancer deaths, followed by esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer and liver cancer.

Tobacco country: Smoking-related deaths were highest in the 13 “tobacco nation” states that have weaker tobacco control policies and higher smoking rates.

Health care providers should “screen patients for tobacco use, document tobacco use status, counsel smokers to quit, and assist with quit attempts,” said lead researcher Farhad Islami. , MD.

Clinicians react to the possibility of over-the-counter contraception

Doctors may play less of a role in prescribing contraceptives, thanks to pharmaceutical company HRA Pharma seeking FDA approval to sell progestin-based birth control pills without a prescription in retail pharmacies.

Progestin-only birth control pills pose fewer potential risks for women with specific health conditions like heart problems compared to oral contraceptives that contain estrogen.

Game Changer: “Access to over-the-counter contraception could be a game-changer for people who face common barriers to accessing clinics,” said Melissa Kottke, MD, associate professor in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Emory University. .

Wider support: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Family Physicians have all expressed support for making birth control pills available without a prescription.

Other concerns: Physicians also expressed concerns about access and affordability. They also say the additional birth control option should not replace doctor-patient interactions on contraception.

Are people living with HIV aging prematurely?

According to a new study, people living with HIV seem to develop diseases earlier than those living without HIV.

On average, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and hypertension occurred about 2 years earlier in people living with HIV. Moreover, from the age of 40, the burden of chronic kidney disease increased more rapidly.

Important Drivers: “Premature aging identified by cardiovascular disease and hypertension diagnoses implies that either the underlying mechanisms of HIV infection and/or exposure to ART [antiretroviral therapy] are important drivers,” the study authors said.

Earlier screening“We may need to consider screening people with HIV for cardiovascular disease and hypertension at a younger age than current guidelines, which are generally geared toward people without HIV,” said Kara S. McGee, PA-C, DMS, MSPH, infectious disease physician assistant at Duke Health.

Kaitlin Edwards is a New York-based medical writer. You can follow her on Twitter @kaitmedwards. For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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