The Health Behavior News Service (HBNS), a division of the Center for Advancing Health, brings you the latest health behavior and patient engagement research from selected peer-reviewed journals. HBNS original stories summarize research findings including '??Key Points'?? and are disseminated for free to the press and the public around the world. These stories were released 10/17/12-10/24/12.
The shingles vaccine really works'?¦
Older adults who get the shingles vaccine have a nearly 50 percent reduced risk of developing the often debilitating disease, finds a new evidence review from The Cochrane Library. This is important because shingles, which originates from the same virus as the childhood disease chickenpox, can severely impact quality of life for weeks or months. The review advises older adults seeking the vaccine to do so sooner than later, since it is more effective for those 60 to 69 years old compared with people 70 and older.
A one-two punch for smoking'?¦
Thinking of quitting smoking? If so, cessation programs that combine nicotine replacement therapy with behavioral therapy are 70 to 100 percent more effective than minimal or no treatment. '??Another option is referral to tobacco quit lines, such as 1-800-QUIT-NOW, where smokers can receive free medication, counseling, and other support to quit smoking,'?? said Stevens S. Smith, Ph.D. with the University of Wisconsin'??s Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention.' Quitting is important because few lifestyle changes deliver as many positive health benefits, including improved circulation, lowered blood pressure and a decreased risk of cancer and heart disease.
Danger in the medicine cabinet'?¦
Young people ages 15 to 24 are abusing prescription painkillers more than any other age group or any other youth in history. Availability of these drugs from their parents'?? medicine cabinets may be to blame, according to new research in the Journal of Adolescent Health. This is important because, as lead author Richard Miech said, '??I think many parents just don'??t realize how dangerous unsecured prescription drugs are to their children and their children'??s friends."
Generics: A prescription for concern for minorities'?¦
Discount drug programs that offer less-expensive, generic versions of popular drugs are widely used by people with chronic diseases. However, minorities might be using them with a degree of unease. A new study in Ethnicity & Disease finds that negative perceptions about generic drugs are more widespread among ethnic minorities than among whites. Compared to non-Hispanic whites, blacks and Hispanics were 10 times as likely to agree that generic drugs had more side effects than brand name ones. They were also 4 times as likely as whites to agree that generics were inferior to brand name drugs.
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