Medical Update


CDC: Suicide Rates Increased

The age-adjusted rate of suicide in the United States increased 24% from 1999 to 2014, and the pace of increase was greatest after 2006, according to a data brief from the National Center for Health Statistics, an arm of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.1

Suicide rates increased for men and women across all age groups. The percent increase was greatest for girls 10 to 14 years old and for men 45 to 64 years old. The age-adjusted suicide rate for men in 2014 was more than three times the rate for women.

The study also identified the most common methods of suicide for men and women: Approximately a third of women used poison, and more than half of men used guns. However, rates of women using poison for suicide fell slightly, and rates of men using guns for suicide fell by 6%. Suicide by suffocation or strangulation increased from 1999 to 2014, accounting for a quarter of both male and female suicides.

Although the rate decreased slightly compared with 1999 statistics, men older than 75 remained the demographic group most likely to commit suicide in 2014; for women, the demographic most likely to commit suicide was the group 45 to 64 years old. The data showed that women older than 75 had a decrease in suicide rate over the time period studied; men and women older than 75 years were the only demographic groups to show decreased suicide rates.


1. Curtin SC, Warner M, Hedegaard H; US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NCHS Data Brief No. 241. April 2016.


Infant Exposure to Peanuts Linked With Reduced Risk of Allergy at 72 Months

Children at high risk for peanut allergy who were exposed to peanuts for the first 5 years of life were significantly less likely to develop a peanut allergy by age 6, even after a 1-year period of peanut avoidance, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.1

In a previous trial, researchers had randomly assigned patients at high risk for peanut allergy to either peanut consumption or peanut avoidance for 12 months.2 In that trial, early introduction to peanuts decreased the frequency of developing peanut allergy.

In an extension study, participants from the primary trial were followed for an additional 12 months, during which all were instructed to avoid peanuts. Peanut allergy at 72 months was significantly more prevalent among participants in the original peanut-avoidance group (19%) than among those in the peanut-consumption group (5%).

Among children who had been introduced to peanuts in the first year of life and continued until age 5, the 12-month period of peanut avoidance was not associated with an increase in the prevalence of peanut allergy.


1. Du Toit GD, Sayre PH, Roberts G; Immune Tolerance Network LEAP-On Study Team. Effect of avoidance on peanut allergy after early peanut consumption. N Engl J Med. 2016;374(15):1435-1443.

2. Du Toit G, Roberts G, Sayre PH; LEAP Study Team. Randomized trial of peanut consumption in infants at risk for peanut allergy. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(9):803-813.


Anticholinergic Medication Use Linked With Brain Atrophy, Executive Function Decline

Use of anticholinergic (AC) medication was associated with increased brain atrophy and dysfunction and clinical decline, according to a study in JAMA Neurology.1

Researchers examined the cognitive scores and magnetic resonance imaging reports of 52 patients taking AC medication and 350 patients not taking AC medication.

Patients taking AC medication showed lower mean scores on memory and trail-making tests and lower executive function composite scores compared with those not taking AC medication. Reduced total cortical volume and temporal lobe cortical thickness and greater lateral ventricle and inferior lateral ventricle volumes were seen in patients taking AC medication compared with those not taking AC medication.

“The use of AC medication among older adults should likely be discouraged if alternative therapies are available,” the study authors wrote. n


1. Risacher SL, McDonald BC, Tallman E, et al. Association between anticholinergic mediation use and cognition, brain metabolism, and brain atrophy in cognitively normal older adults [published online ahead of print April 18, 2016]. JAMA Neurol.


Section Editor David S. Boyer, MD
• clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, department of ophthalmology, in Los Angeles, Calif.
• member of the Retina Today editorial advisory board
• +1-310-854-6201;



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Retina Today is a publication that delivers the latest research and clinical developments from areas such as medical retina, retinal surgery, vitreous, diabetes, retinal imaging, posterior segment oncology and ocular trauma. Each issue provides insight from well-respected specialists on cutting-edge therapies and surgical techniques that are currently in use and on the horizon.