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Anti-Depressants and Bone Risk During Menopause

Author Lauren Fernandez

According to a new study, anti-depressants leave women in menopause with a greater risk of bone fractures.

About the Bone Risk of Anti-Depressants

New research is indicating that women who take anti-depressants during menopause may have a higher risk of broken bones, reports and The New Zealand Herald.

Studies have shown that the risk lasts several years after the women take the drugs, leading to pressure on physicians to cut down on the length of time the medications should be prescribed.

Physicians frequently prescribe a type of anti-depressant, an SSRI- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor- such as Prozac, to women experiencing mood swings and depression because of menopause. Other symptoms like irritable bowel syndrome, hot flashes, and night sweats can also be aided with SSRIs.

New research suggests that SSRIs may weaken bones. Studies have indicated that anti-depressants may alter the way bones grow, making them thinner and weaker. Injury prevention expert Professor Matthew Miller wrote in Injury Prevention, part of the British Medical Journal group:"SSRIs appear to increase fracture risk among middle-aged women without psychiatric disorders, an effect sustained over time, suggesting that shorter duration of treatment may decrease this… Future efforts should examine whether this association pertains at lower doses.”

Although hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk of heart problems, it may be a better option for some women in menopause seeking treatment for problematic symptoms.

Scientific Studies: Effects of Anti-Depressants on Menopausal Women

A study conducted by Northeastern University of 370,000 women over 12 years found that among the 137,000 women who took SSRI medications, the rate of fractures was 76% higher after one year of treatment. These rates lessened to 73% after 2 years and 67% after 5 years.

The researchers stated that the study was based purely on statistics and they could not draw any definitive conclusions about cause and effect.

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Man Turns Himself in for Killing 4 Softball Players

Author Victoria Burguess

In Murray County, Oklahoma, the man who had been driving a semi that slammed into a college softball bus, killing four of the players in 2014 has turned himself in.

Truck Driver Charged with Homicide

KFOR reports 53-year-old Russell Staley has been charged with four counts of homicide. The collision happened on I-35 in Murray County back in September.

The bus was on its way back from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma and was carrying NCTC softball players. Three of the softball players were pronounced dead on the scene, and the fourth died in a hospital in Sulphur.

Staley’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 28th.

Trucking Accident Statistics

The following information was provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • 3,921 people were killed in trucking accidents in 2012, marking a 4-percent increase from the 3,781 deaths recorded in 2011.
  • Of those killed in trucking accidents in 2012:
    • 697 were occupants of large trucks
    • 2,843 were occupants of other vehicles
    • 381 were non-occupants, including bicyclists and pedestrians
  • An additional 104,000 people were injured in trucking accidents in 2012, up from 88,000 in 2011.

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Critical Elements to Recognize Child Abuse

Author Morgan Crider

Recently, a panel of child abuse experts released critical elements that can be used to identify physical child abuse medically.

Details about the Elements to Recognize Child Abuse

On June 22nd, child abuse experts published findings on child abuse protocols in “Pediatrics”, according to MedScape.

Often times diagnosing child abuse deals with a lot of uncertainty. It is usually a method of excluding alternative diagnoses, which is a loosely defined process with little resolution. The study claimed that without guidelines health professionals would have to “pick and choose” among options, developing a bias and lowering chance of diagnosis credibility.

The child abuse panel consisted of 28 child abuse pediatricians (CAP), all of who were asked to participate in the Delphi Process, with intention of defining key elements for child abuse in various medical cases. These cases include intracranial hemorrhage, long bone fracture, and skull fracture among children aged 0 to 60 months.

At the end of the study, the product was that the diagnosis could be built on the following aspects; need for an extended medical history including the source of said history, the caregiver being present at the time of injury as well as their response to the symptoms, and any changes or discrepancies in the history provided.

Exclusions to the Elements to Recognize Child Abuse

While this research identifies signs that indicate child abuse, it also acknowledges that its defined diagnosis method may be limiting.

The authors of the published research study wrote, “…CAPs recognize the potential misalignment of caregiver and physician goals in reaching the ‘correct’ diagnosis for a child. Broad inclusion of elements from the medical, developmental, and family history reflect the wide differential diagnosis entertained in cases of suspected abuse”.

Psychological elements required in the evaluation are what make the study considerably different from other published guidelines. A description of child care setting, related to intracranial hemorrhage or skull fracture, and a prior history of abuse, skull fracture, were deemed “required” or most “highly recommended” elements of abuse or violence in home.

However, these elements exclude the mental health of the caregiver, substance abuse, pregnancy planning, and perceptions of the child’s temperament by the parents.

The authors of this report acknowledge that their findings do not represent the CAP community as a whole and the opinion of the scientific truth behind these findings may alter over time.

In conclusion the authors state, “Additional research is required to determine whether these consensus guidelines can reduce previously described variability, decrease potential bias, and/or improve reliability in the evaluation and diagnosis of child physical abuse”.

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