Trending News Today: Deaths Linked to Vaping Continue to Climb

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

The CDC intensified its warnings about the risks of vaping, as the number of patients with vaping-related illness continues to climb, according to a report by NPR. The case count has reached 1080, the agency announced Thursday. There have been 18 deaths in 15 states and more deaths are being investigated, NPR reported. All patients had a history of vaping and the majority reported using THC-containing products. The agency is now warning people to avoid use of all vaping products, especially products containing THC, according to the article.

Patients with severe persistent asthma or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with additional inclinations toward anxiety or panic disorders exhibited an increased interest in using digital inhalers, based off 2 Health Union condition-specific surveys called “COPD In America 2019” and “Asthma In America 2019,” according to The American Journal Managed Care. The first digital inhaler was approved by the FDA late last year and provides patients with the ability to capture inspiratory data through a companion mobile app and identify trends in their treatment over time. The ability to feel a sense of control over their condition is an underlying theme in these reports, as these patients deal with increased exacerbations. Allowing patients to join physicians in tracking the accuracy of their inhaled medication integrates them into their health care treatment and heightens knowledge of their overall progress, according to the article.

One of the nation’s leading cancer centers, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, will no longer offer Zantac and its generics to patients, as it reviews the potential cancer risk from the discovery of a carcinogen in the popular antacid, according to Bloomberg. Separately, the center is researching whether Zantac and its generics, known as ranitidine, may increase users’ chance of getting cancer, according to the report. A number of pharmaceutical companies and retailers have taken steps to pull the drugs from shelves, though not all versions have been recalled. The FDA has advised patients that there are other medications available to treat the same symptoms that ranitidine is designed to soothe, Bloomberg reported.