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bandu2 : menu_arrow.gif Artikel: inflame bowels - 01/09/2010 09:42

Acne is a difficult enough burden for a young person to bear. Now, there's evidence that antibiotics commonly prescribed to help control severe breakouts may, in a very small number of patients, lead to inflammatory bowel disease.

Bowel disorders linked to acne treatment are "a rare outcome", cautions Dr David Margolis, a dermatologist and lead author of a study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Nonetheless, previous studies have suggested that the acne drug isotretinoin, known commonly by the brand name Accutane, might be the cause of inflammatory bowel disease in a small number of patients being treated for severe acne.

Noting that most people given isotretinoin have already been taking antibiotics for months, if not years, Margolis and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania wanted to know if antibiotics might play a role in triggering the bowel condition.

Up to 90 percent of teenagers and young adults battle acne at some point. Drugs from the tetracycline family are the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for the treatment of severe acne.

"They limit scarring and the outbreak of pimples. They're exceedingly effective and have been used for years," Margolis says.

The researchers looked at the medical records of more than 94,000 British teenagers and young adults diagnosed with acne between 1998 and 2006.

They found that long-term use of antibiotics appeared to double the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease in these subjects.

Of the 207 cases of inflammatory bowel disease diagnosed among the 94,487 patients in the study, 152 (0.26 percent of all subjects) were taking one of three commonly prescribed tetracycline-based antibiotics and 55 (0.14 percent) were not.

Patients taking one of the three drugs, doxycycline, appeared to be at a slightly higher risk (0.21 percent) of developing an inflammatory bowel disease compared to patients taking minocycline (0.17 percent risk) or tetracycline (0.20 percent risk).

"The association was probably most pronounced in terms of Crohn's disease, a subgroup," Margolis says.

Crohn's disease is an inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea and malnutrition.

"This potential risk should be considered when prescribing this medication," the authors write, while also urging more studies of the connection between acne drugs and bowel disorders.

It is possible, for instance, that the risk of inflammatory bowel disease is related to the biology of severe acne itself and not to treatments for it, they note.

"This is a rare outcome, rare enough you need to be careful about making decisions to change clinical practice," Margolis says.

Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, can be life-altering conditions that restrict social interactions and increase depression.

Severe acne is also a "bad disease", Margolis says.

"These people have lots of concerns about their health, their appearance and how they function in society, and they are at an increased risk of depression," Margolis points out.

Margolis was prompted to conduct the study after being asked to review records by lawyers representing a generic manufacturer of isotretinoin. The legal case is still in the discovery phase.

"I'm not sure if isotretinoin (Accutane) is on or off the hook all by itself," he says.

"I think this research indicates that in a careful study one should probably consider antibiotic use," as well, he adds.

bandu2 : menu_arrow.gif Artikel: Foreign workers - 14/12/2010 09:55

Foreigners working in the European Union (EU) sent less money home last year due to the international financial crisis, showed official figures released Monday. Money sent by migrants to their countries of origin, usually referred to as workers' remittances, totaled 30.3 billion euros (40.1 billion U.S. dollars) in the 27-member bloc last year, down by 7 percent from 2008, according to the EU's statistics office Eurostat. Workers' remittances in the EU had registered a constant increase over recent years, but this trend was interrupted by the financial crisis and the ensuing economic downturn. The decrease was seen in both intra-EU and extra-EU flows. In 2009, the latter stood at 22 billion euros (29.1 billion dollars), or some 73 percent of the total, marking the same percentage as in 2008. The drop was recorded in most EU members, with the deepest falls observed in Spain and France, according to the data. Yet meanwhile, Spain remained the EU member state with the largest outflow of workers' remittances in 2009, which numbered 7.1 billion euros (9.4 billion dollars).

bandu2 : menu_arrow.gif Artikel: Longer Macao-Zhuhai border opening hours expected - 09/03/2011 07:59

THE daily opening hours of the Macao-Zhuhai Barrier Gate checkpoint are expected to be extended by two or three hours by the end of this year or early next year, the Macao Post Daily reported yesterday.

    The newspaper quoted Lao Pun Lap, head of Macao’s Policy Research Office, as saying that the proposal of extending the opening hours of the checkpoint would be discussed between Guangdong’s provincial government and the government of Macao Special Administrative Region before its submission to the Central Government for approval.

    Currently, the Barrier Gate is closed between midnight and 7 a.m. and Macao cars without a doubled registration plates (Macao and mainland) are still barred from being driven into the mainland.

    Lao said the first meeting between Guangdong and Macao will be held next month and both sides have already agreed to put the extension of the checkpoint’s opening hours and regulations for cars with Macao registration plates to be driven into Hengqin Island under the jurisdiction of Guangdong on this year’s agenda for bilateral meetings.

    According to Lao, there have been many suggestions about extending the border checkpoint opening hours by two to three hours over the years.

    Macao government officials have previously indicated that the ultimate goal is to have 24-hour border checkpoint operations.

    Lao said that since extending the checkpoint’s opening hours concerned the lifestyle and economic activities of residents on both sides of the border, a consensus on the matter was needed between Guangdong and Macao.

bandu2 : menu_arrow.gif Artikel: Longer Macao-Zhuhai border opening hours expected - 09/03/2011 08:02

THE daily opening hours of the Macao-Zhuhai Barrier Gate checkpoint are expected to be extended by two or three hours by the end of this year or early next year, the Macao Post Daily reported yesterday.

    The newspaper quoted Lao Pun Lap, head of Macao’s Policy Research Office, as saying that the proposal of extending the opening hours of the checkpoint would be discussed between Guangdong’s provincial government and the government of Macao Special Administrative Region before its submission to the Central Government for approval.

    Currently, the Barrier Gate is closed between midnight and 7 a.m. and Macao cars without a doubled registration plates (Macao and mainland) are still barred from being driven into the mainland.

    Lao said the first meeting between Guangdong and Macao will be held next month and both sides have already agreed to put the extension of the checkpoint’s opening hours and regulations for cars with Macao registration plates to be driven into Hengqin Island under the jurisdiction of Guangdong on this year’s agenda for bilateral meetings.

    According to Lao, there have been many suggestions about extending the border checkpoint opening hours by two to three hours over the years.

    Macao government officials have previously indicated that the ultimate goal is to have 24-hour border checkpoint operations.

    Lao said that since extending the checkpoint’s opening hours concerned the lifestyle and economic activities of residents on both sides of the border, a consensus on the matter was needed between Guangdong and Macao.