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Few US adults use nicotine pouches; Many US citizens live in “cardiology deserts”; 14 tampon brands contained arsenic, lead – Morning Medical Update

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Morning Medical Update : © Studio KIVI - stock.adobe.com

Morning Medical Update : © Studio KIVI - stock.adobe.com

Few US adults use nicotine pouches

In a new study co-led by the Keck School of Medicine at USC, results showed that the prevalence of nicotine pouch use was low in US adults. Researchers said the results raise questions about who is using nicotine pouches sold in the US and why, as there has been a 641% increase in sales of the products between 2019 and 2022.

Co-author Adam Matthew Leventhal said, “The low prevalence of nicotine pouch use in adults surprised us, given the rapid increase in sales. But it’s also possible that the sales are being diverted to adolescents, who were not represented in this survey.”

The study is part of the USC Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science. Researchers are also looking at how pouch use relates to shifting teen usage patterns of other nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes. Read more about the results of the study here.

Many US citizens live in “cardiology deserts”

Currently, around 22 million people live in counties that are considered “cardiology deserts,” areas of the country without a single heart specialist. New research from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that nearly half of all counties in the US lack a practicing cardiologist. Most of the counties were rural, containing residents who tended to be sicker with complex medical problems.

Haider Warraich, the study’s senior author, said people living in these counties “have a much higher prevalence of the entire spectrum of cardiovascular factors, including obesity, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.”

The study also found that people in counties without a cardiologist drive an 87-mile round trip on average, compared to a 16-mile round trip for those with access to a cardiologist.

14 tampon brands contained arsenic, lead

30 tampons from 14 tampons brand were recently measured by Environmental International, containing measurable levels of metals such as arsenic, barium, calcium, and lead. The study stated, "Our findings point towards the need for regulations requiring the testing of metals in tampons by manufacturers.”

These findings come with worrisome consequences, as around 50% to 80% of people who menstruate use tampons. Further research is now needed to determine whether the metals could affect a person’s health and measure the presence of other chemicals in tampons.

Kathrin Schilling, co-author of the study, said, “Although toxic metals are ubiquitous and we are exposed to low levels at any given time, our study clearly shows that metals are also present in menstrual products and that women might be at higher risk for exposure using these products.”

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