MedDay – April 29, 2021

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NEW YORK, NY. — New evidence about the dangers of air pollution. And a warning for dentists about prescribing opioids. Michael George has some of the day’s top health stories.

When dentists prescribe opioids to treat pain, they could be putting their patients at risk. A study from the University of Michigan finds overdose rates were two and a half times higher among patients who filled an opioid prescription after a dental procedure. Researchers say painkillers like ibuprofen are usually an effective alternative.

For patients with respiratory tract infections, research finds it’s safe and effective to delay antibiotic treatment. A study in the BMJ tracked more than 55,000 patients. For those who delayed filling their prescriptions, symptoms were no more severe than for those who took antibiotics immediately.

And children exposed to higher levels of air pollution may be more likely to show signs of mental illness by the time they’re 18. A study at Duke University tracked thousands of young adults in the UK. Those with higher exposure to traffic-related air pollution had higher rates of mental health symptoms, including depression and anxiety.

Those are some of the day’s top health stories. Michael George, CBS News, New York.

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