Trending News Today: Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Shows Promise in Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Risk

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New findings suggest canakinumab (Ilaris) may reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and potentially lung cancer in patients who have already had a heart attack, according to The New York Times. For the study, 10,061 participants from 39 countries—–40% of whom had diabetes—were randomized to receive either a placebo or an injection of canakinumab every 3 months, in addition to their usual statins and other heart medications. The participants were treated for a median of 3.7 years, and 3 different doses of canakinumab were examined. The results of the study showed that for every 100 patients followed for 1 year in the placebo group, 4.5 had a heart attack or stroke, or died from cardiovascular disease. The rate was 3.86 among the canakinumab arm. The risk was reduced by 15% when the length of time patients were treated was considered. Dr Daniel J. Rader, an expert in preventive cardiology, told the NY Times that the findings offered “the first definitive clinical trial support for the concept that inflammation-targeted therapy reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. I think that’s extraordinarily important.”

Approximately 140 pounds of powdered fentanyl and nearly 30,000 fentanyl pills were seized by Mexican authorities, who say the drugs were headed to Tijuana and mostly likely into the United States. According to the Los Angeles Times, the illicit drugs were hidden inside a tractor trailer seemingly transporting grocery supplies from Mexico City to Tijuana. Officials said the seizure is the largest recorded by the country’s National Defense Secretariat. Furthermore, the findings only add to the US government’s growing concerns regarding the increase in fentanyl trafficking among international crime cartels.

New York City has postponed enforcement of a calorie posting rule until May in response to an industry lawsuit supported by the federal government, according to The New York Times. Both the city and federal rules require chain restaurants, convenience stores, and other establishments to post calorie counts for prepared food. Furthermore, they must post a notice informing customers of the federally recommended dietary intake of 2000 calories per day, reported the NY Times. In a statement on the FDA’s website, commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb said the agency would issue additional guidance on the labeling rule by the end of the year, and expects the industry to comply with the rule by the May deadline.

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