Air dryers may spread more hand germs

By Janice Neumann

(Reuters Health) - What's better for limiting the spread of bacteria in washrooms: paper towels, or air dryers? New research funded by a trade organization of paper towel manufacturers suggests that towels spread less bacteria.

Previous studies have shown mixed results, some finding air dryers spread more bacteria and others showing they're as safe as towels. A review of past studies published in 2012 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggested that in healthcare settings, at least, "paper towels should be recommended."

Loop diuretics raise PTH levels in adults with normal kidneys too

By Megan Brooks

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Loop diuretics raise parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels in adults with preserved renal function, new observational data suggest.

PTH elevations have been linked to adverse clinical outcomes, including cardiovascular disease and premature death.

Loop diuretics have been linked to increased PTH levels in patients with chronic kidney disease, but whether this is true in the general population has been unclear, until now.

Add-on rasagiline eases nonmotor symptoms in early PD

By Megan Brooks

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - For patients with early Parkinson disease (PD), adding the MAO-B inhibitor rasagiline (Azilect) to antidepressant therapy reduced worsening of a range of nonmotor symptoms and was well tolerated in a post hoc analysis of the ADAGIO study.

"The non-motor symptoms of PD have an enormous impact on patients' quality of life," Dr. Kara Smith of University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, said in email to Reuters Health.

Only three in 10 Americans have HIV under control -government report

By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Just 30% of Americans living with HIV have the virus in check, putting others at risk of infection, U.S. health officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday.

According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report article, 840,000 of the 1.2 million people infected with HIV in 2011 were not consistently taking antiretroviral drugs that keep the virus suppressed at very low levels.

Amoxicillin-related diarrhea and candidiasis are under-reported

By Lorraine L. Janeczko

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Diarrhea and candidiasis seen with the most frequently prescribed antibiotic, amoxicillin, are under-reported, a new meta-analysis shows.

"Under-reporting of harms in trials remains wide-spread," the study authors reported online November 17 in the Canadian Medical Association journal CMAJ.

New data fuels doctors' demands to rewrite U.S. heart guidelines

By Julie Steenhuysen and Bill Berkrot

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Controversial heart disease prevention guidelines that abandoned specific targets for reducing LDL cholesterol are under fresh assault after a major study highlighted the benefits of taking LDL to very low levels.

Catheter-tip cultures not useful for diagnosing central line-associated infection

By Will Boggs MD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Catheter-tip cultures are not helpful for identifying central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI), researchers say.

Their letter, published online October 29 in Clinical Infectious Diseases, argues against guidelines from the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), which recommend the method when diagnosing CLABSI.

FDA approves Purdue's painkiller that can reduce abuse

By Toni Clarke

(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a long-acting narcotic painkiller with abuse-resistant properties made by Purdue Pharma L.P., the agency said on Thursday.

The FDA approved the once-daily drug, hydrocodone bitartrate (Hysingla ER), with the expectation that it will reduce, though not necessarily prevent, abuse through snorting or injecting.

It is the second extended-release single-entity hydrocodone drug approved by the FDA. The first, approved last October, was Zohydro ER, made by San Diego-based Zogenix Inc.

Bone marrow cells that contribute to bone loss in IBD identified

By Reuters Staff

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - French researchers say they have identified CD4+ T cell subsets that induce osteoclast differentiation and link bone destruction to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

These cells "represent a potential target for innovative immunotherapeutic strategies against chronic intestinal inflammation and bone loss," Dr. Thomas Ciucci of University of Nice Sophia Antipolis and colleagues say in a paper published in Gut.

Some forms of early-onset Crohn's disease linked to polymorphisms

By Lorraine L. Janeczko

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Some Mendelian forms of early-onset Crohn's disease with systemic autoimmunity may arise from mutations in the CTLA4 gene, new research suggests.

"Our results support the concept that variants in CTLA4 provide the basis for a novel Mendelian form of early-onset CD associated with systemic autoimmunity," the authors reported online November 3 in Gut.