July 5 Pharmacy Week in Review: Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Elevated Blood Pressure in Children, Chronic Pain is the Most Common Long-Term Effect of Cancer Treatment
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Nicole Grassano, Host: Hello and welcome to the Pharmacy Times News Network. I’m Nicole Grassano your host for our Pharmacy Week in Review.
The Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded about $1 million in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program grants from to 10 Part A jurisdiction metropolitan areas, Pharmacy Times reported. This federal funding is part of an effort to provide technical assistance to enhance efforts to end the HIV epidemic, including HIV primary care, medication, and support services to more than half a million patients with the virus in the United States.
Currently, 52 metropolitan areas provide core medical and support services to patients living with HIV through Part A of the program. Eight of the 10 grant recipients are also among the 48 priority counties identified as part of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America initiative.
The funding was announced Thursday on National HIV Testing Day, an initiative first observed on June 27, 1995, to encourage people to get tested for HIV, know their status, and get linked to care and treatment.
Vitamin D deficiency from birth to early childhood is associated with an increased risk of elevated blood pressure in later childhood and adolescence, Contemporary Clinic reported.
In the study, investigators followed 775 children from birth to age 18 at the Boston Medical Center, most of whom lived in a low-income, urban area and 68% of whom were African-American. The investigators found that children born with low levels of vitamin D had an approximately 60% higher risk of elevated systolic blood pressure between ages 6 and 18. Furthermore, children who had persistently low levels of vitamin D through early childhood had double the risk of elevated systolic blood pressure, or the pressure exerted against the artery walls, between ages 3 and 18.
The study authors added that what constitutes optimal circulating vitamin D levels during pregnancy and early childhood remains an active research question, and that their study results need to be replicated in other large populations.
More than 5 million patients with a history of cancer in the United States experience chronic pain, almost twice the rate of the general population, Specialty Pharmacy Times reported. Chronic pain is 1 of the most common long-term effects of cancer treatment, leading to lower quality of life and lower adherence to treatment. However, there is not much information on the prevalence of chronic pain in more than 15.5 million patients with a history of cancer.
Using the National Health Interview Survey from the CDC, investigators found that about 35% of those with a history of cancer have chronic pain, which represents 5.39 million individuals in the United States. The authors noted that the study will inform a better understanding of the epidemiology of pain in patients with a history of cancer to help guide health care educational priorities and policies.
Pharmacists may get more questions about Latuda, if patients have seen a recent commercial for the prescription medication. In the spot, called “Maya’s Story,” the narrator says that bipolar depression can make a patient feel empty and sad. According to the commercial, Latuda was found in clinical studies to be effective for patients struggling with bipolar depression.
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Thanks for watching our Pharmacy Week in Review. I’m Nicole Grassano at the Pharmacy Times News Network.