Rare Disease Day: 28th February 2019

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Rare Disease Day: 28th February 2019

28th February 2019

Rare Disease Day: 28th February 2019

Rare Disease Day raises awareness of rare diseases and how patients’ lives are affected. Many rare diseases remain incurable and many go undiagnosed. 1 in 20 people will live with a rare disease at some point in their life and this is why it is so important to raise awareness.1

What is a rare disease?

There is no single definition for a rare disease, as many countries identify them differently. In the United States, the Rare Diseases Act of 2002 defines a rare disease by its prevalence: “any disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States”. However, the EU defines a rare disease as a condition that affects less than 5 in 10,000 of the population. There are approximately 7000 rare diseases and disorders and 50% of people affected by rare diseases are children.2,3

Hyperlipoproteinemia type III

This rare disease day, Randox will be raising awareness of hyperlipoproteinemia type III.  Hyperlipoproteinemia type III, also known as dysbetalipoproteinemia or broad beta disease, is a rare genetic disorder characterised by improper breakdown of lipids, specifically cholesterol and triglycerides.  The condition is caused by mutations in the Apo-E gene, however the inheritance of this condition is complicated due to the development of symptoms having to be triggered by a secondary factor to raise lipid levels. These factors include diabetes, obesity or hypothyroidism.

It is unknown exactly what the prevalence of the condition is, but it is estimated to affect approximately 1 in 5,000 – 10,000 of the general population and it has been found that it affects males more often than females, with women rarely being affected until after menopause.4,5

Figure A. Example of cholesterol and lipid build-up [6] 

Symptoms

Symptoms for hyperlipoproteinemia type III will vary for each individual and some people may even be asymptomatic. The most common symptom is the development of xanthomas which are deposits of fatty material, the lipids, in the skin and underlying tissue. Xanthomas may appear on the palms of the hands, eyelids, soles of the feet or on the tendons of the knees and elbows.

> Chest pain or other signs of coronary artery disease

> Cramps in the calves when walking

> Sores on toes

> Stroke-like symptoms such as trouble speaking, dropping on one side of the face, weakness in an arm or a leg and a loss of balance6

Complications can arise if the condition is left untreated and these can include: myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, peripheral vascular disease, intermittent claudication and gangrene of the lower extremities.7

Diagnosis

Although there is no specific diagnostic test for hyperlipoproteinemia type III, diagnosis is based on clinical evaluation and identification of symptoms. Research has indicated that an algorithm comprising a number of dysbetalipoproteinemia indices may be helpful in the diagnosis of the disease.  These include:

> Low apolipoprotein B to total cholesterol ratio

> Elevated levels of triglycerides

> Elevated levels of total cholesterol8

Managing the condition

The condition cannot be cured but treatment is to control conditions such as obesity, hypothyroidism and diabetes. Most patients will go through dietary therapy to control their intake of cholesterol and saturated fat. This prevents xanthomas, high levels of lipids in the blood, exercise will also help to lower lipid levels. However, dietary changes may not be effective for some individuals and this is where drugs may be used to lower lipid levels instead.

How Randox can Help

Randox offer a range of routine and niche assays within the lipid testing panel to monitor lipid levels and to identify associated complications.  Some of these tests include:

Apolipoprotein B

The Randox Apolipoprotein B tests utilises an immunoturbidimetric method, offers a wide measuring range and is available liquid ready-to-use for convenience and ease of use.

Learn more about the Randox Apolipoprotein B Test

Total Cholesterol

The Randox Total Cholesterol test utilises the CHOD-PAP method and offers an extensive measuring range with a wide range of kits available to suit a wide range of laboratory sizes.

Learn more about the Randox Total Cholesterol test

Triglycerides

The Randox Triglycerides test utilises the GPO-PAP method while offering an extensive measuring range with both liquid and lyophilised formats available offering choice and flexibility.

Want to know more?

Contact us or download our Cardiology and Lipid Testing brochure to learn more.




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  • References

    [1] Rare Disease Day. What is Rare Disease Day? Rare Disease Day. [Online] 2019. [Cited: February 21, 2019.] https://www.rarediseaseday.org/article/what-is-rare-disease-day

    [2] Genetic Alliance UK. What is a Rare Disease? Rare Disease UK. [Online] 2018. [Cited: February 21, 2019.] https://www.raredisease.org.uk/what-is-a-rare-disease/

    [3] NZORD. Rare Disease Facts and Figures. NZORD. [Online] 2019. [Cited: February 21, 2019.] https://www.nzord.org.nz/helpful-information/rare-disease-facts-and-figures.

    [4] NORD. Hyperlipoproteinemia Type III. NORD. [Online] 2019. [Cited: February 21, 2019.] https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/hyperlipoproteinemia-type-iii/

    [5] GARD. Hyperlipidemia Type 3. National Centre for Advanciing Translational Sciences. [Online] December 29, 2016. [Cited: February 21, 2019.] https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/6703/hyperlipidemia-type-3

    [6] Falck, Suzanne. Everything you need to know about hyperlipidemia. Medical News Today. [Online] December 21, 2017. [Cited: February 21, 2019.] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295385.php

    [7] Medline Plus. Familial Dysbetalipoproteinemia. Medline Plus. [Online] May 16, 2018. [Cited: February 21, 2019.] https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000402.htm.

    [8] Dysbetalipoproteinemia: Two cases report and a diagnostic algorithm. Kei, Anastazia, et al. 4, s.l. : World Journal of Clinical Cases, 2015, Vol. 3.


Northern Irish farmers encouraged to reduce farm antibiotic use

As part of a wider government initiative to tackle Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR), Northern Ireland farmers are being given the opportunity to attend a range of training events aimed at educating them more about potential risks to their businesses.

The new training course titled ‘Responsible Use of Antibiotics in the Dairy Herd’ will be delivered by Animal Health & Welfare Northern Ireland (AHWNI), as part of Farm Family Key Skills (FFKS), an initiative within the Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS). The training will equip farmers on how to reduce and optimise their use of antibiotics. It will also give key tips on the best use of antibiotics and how to avoid the risk of residues by following suitable withdrawal guidelines.

Ulster Farmers Union president, Ivor Ferguson said; “As a farming industry, we are committed to playing our part in reducing antibiotic usage and resistance. Significant progress has already been made in the pig and poultry sectors, which have seen their usage fall by over 50% and 80% respectively.”

The initiative is also supported by Dairy UK and many dairy companies to complement the MilkSure program ensuring that Northern Ireland milk is produced to the highest standards.

Randox Food Diagnostics are continuously investing in innovative multiplexing screening technology to enable the agriculture and food industries to implement effective drug residue screening. Our patented Biochip Array Technology (BAT) can detect multiple toxins, residues & contaminants (up to 44) from a single sample. The Infiniplex Array for milk ensures dairy processors are compliant with 98% of EU regulations for antibiotics and can also detect anti- parasitic, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic drug residues from a single neat sample of milk!

Our extensive test menu is also available across a range of matrices including Meat and Feed. For more information on the screening arrays available, contact info@randoxfooddiagnostics.com to find out how Randox Food can help protect your industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Randox Evidence Series highlights National Heart Month in February

National Heart Month is held every February to raise awareness and remind the public of the importance of taking care of your heart. Every day, your heart will beat approximately 100,000 times and it is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body via the circulatory system, supplying oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and removing carbon dioxide and other wastes. 1

British Health Foundation (BFH) states that over 7 million people are living with heart and circulatory disease in the UK: 3.5 million men and 3.5 million women. 2

There are many different heart conditions and problems that can arise which include angina, heart attack, heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms, congenital heart disease and inherited heart conditions which are highlighted further below:

Angina is a chest pain which is often caused when the coronary arties become partially blocked. It causes an uncomfortable feeling of heaviness or tightness which is often mistaken to indigestion. 3

Whereas a heart attack is when the arteries are completely blocked which can cause permanent damage to the heart muscle therefore, it is essential to be aware of the symptoms. The signs are similar to angina although it is more severe. This may include feeling pain in the arms, jaw, neck and back, lightheadness, sweating, nausea and breathlessness. 3

Heart failure is the most dangerous condition. It often occurs when the individuals heart is too weak to pump blood around the body making it difficult for the person to breathe. There are two types of heart failure. Acute heart failure which can occur suddenly or chronic heart failure which develops over time. 3

Being aware of the different types of heart disease and the symptoms can save a person’s life in the long-run. There are many ways to avoid developing heart disease. One of the simple changes could include having a healthier diet to reduce your risk of developing heart disease and maintaining a healthy weight. A healthy diet could include plenty of fruit and vegetables, starchy food, choosing whole grain varieties, including some dairy products and a small amount of fat and sugar in your diet. Exercising regularly can benefit your heart and its health, making small changes to your lifestyle can make a difference for example, walking to work or school instead of driving or taking public transport, taking the stairs instead of using the lift or even taking on a hobby! Quitting smoking, decreasing your alcohol intake, eating healthier and exercising more will make a huge impact to your health!

Randox offer the Cardiac Risk Prediction Array on their Evidence Investigator.  We developed a rapid array which will allow all 19 SNPs to be genotyped simultaneously on one single sample. The genotype information is then put into an algorithm which weights each SNP and calculates a CHD genetic risk score. This score is combined with common risk factors and an overall CHD risk score is calculated. A SNP which can predict response to statin therapies is also included. The results are easy to interpret using our Evidence Investigator which allows for more accurate classification and prevention actions to be taken.

For further information about the Randox Cardiac Risk Prediction Array or our Evidence Investigator, please email: info@randoxbiosciences.com or visit our newly improved website: https://goo.gl/8qkYkg

 

 

 

 


DUID in Scotland: Randox Toxicology

Scotland is set to introduce a new “zero tolerance” policy to those caught driving under the influence of drugs. Ministers in Scotland want to make it easier for police officers to target people driving with illegal drugs in their bloodstream. The policy will supersede the current need to prove that someone was driving in an impaired manner as a result of drug consumption. The law in Scotland currently states that it is illegal to drive if impaired by drugs, be it prescription or illegal drugs.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said “The introduction of drug driving limits will strengthen the power of Scotland’s police and prosecutors to tackle the minority of drivers who irresponsibly put themselves and other road-users at risk. Drug driving is completely unacceptable, and we will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to prevent the avoidable deaths and damage caused by those who drive under the influence of drugs. Together with our stringent drink-driving limits, these new laws will ensure that Scotland have the UK’s most robust laws against impaired and unsafe driving.”

Under the new plan, eight of the most commonly abuse illegal drugs – including heroin, ketamine and ecstasy – will have limits set very close to zero to rule out claims of accidental exposure. A further eight drugs, which can have medicinal purposes – such as diazepam and methadone – will have higher limits based on their ability to impair drivers. These proposals would mean just having drugs in your system that breach the limits, this is sufficient evidence to prosecute.

Utilising our patented Biochip Array Technology, our Evidence MultiSTAT screening panels cover a broad range of classical, prescription and common DUID drugs of abuse.

For more information about our products for driving under the influence screening, email mailto:info@randoxtoxicology.com or visit http://www.randoxtoxicology.com/

 

 

 

 


Overcoming the burden of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

The Prevalence 

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death globally with more people dying annually from CVD than any other disease state. In 2018, according to the American Heart Association, CVD accounted for nearly 836,546 deaths in the USA (1) with over 17 million known deaths recorded worldwide. It is also proclaimed that around 1.5 million people globally die each year because of diabetes and diabetes related complications. (2) Is there a common link? Can this issue be controlled?

Studies have suggested that diabetes is one of the leading related conditions associated with increased risk of CVD death. A recent study undertaken in 2018 examined the association of many risk factors associated with CVD, the study was broken down by disease state with over 17,000 participants involved. The findings highlighted that 17.9% of these patients suffered from diabetes mellitus and death from a cardiovascular event. (3) Many other pilot and research studies discovered similar findings considering further risk factors such as high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and high triglycerides, obesity, lack of exercise and lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol and drug abuse. All of which are common with patients who suffer from diabetes, placing them at an increased risk of CVD.

Findings highlighted that over 68% of people aged over 65 living with diabetes die from some form of heart disease with 16% of individuals dying from an ischemic stroke. (4)   The ability to tackle the prevalence of increased death from CVD and diagnosis of diabetes has become a global burden with the international diabetes federation projecting that 592 million people worldwide will have diabetes by 2035. (5)

Worldwide, the increase of diabetes is becoming an economic burden on the patient and healthcare systems mainly due to the direct costs of medical care and the indirect costs of moderated productivity, tied to diabetes and CVD related morbidity and mortality. Many scholars have highlighted economic burden as a primary attribute to both macrovascular and microvascular complications such as coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, retinopathy, end-stage renal disease and neuropathy. (6)

DID YOU KNOW?

The RX Series offers the worlds largest clinical chemistry test menu

Overcoming the Burden

As CVD is the most prevalent cause of mortality and morbidity in patients with diabetes, effective treatment and analysis is required to control and decrease the number of CVD deaths across the globe. Tackling this issue head on, the Randox RX series introduce Direct HbA1c which refers to glycated haemoglobin which is a product of haemoglobin (a protein which can be found in red blood cells) and glucose from the blood making it glycated.

Testing for HbA1c provides an indication of what an individual’s average blood sugar level has been over recent weeks/months and is generally considered as an indicator of how well the patient is managing and controlling their diabetes. This is significant for those who suffer from diabetes because the higher the levels of HbA1c, the higher the chance of an individual suffering from further diabetes related issues, therefore testing for HbA1c improves the predictions of a CVD event occurring.

The Randox RX series have Direct HbA1c testing capabilities on the RX Daytona +, RX imola and RX modena. Our latex enhanced immunoturbidimetric method which the RX series utilises makes the test simple and quick to perform. The removal of the pre-dilution step removes the risk of human error compromising your results without the need for a separate HbA1c analyser.

Offering the world’s largest test menu, the RX series has an extensive range of cardiac, diabetes and lipid tests with excellent correlation to gold standard methodologies designed to allow laboratories to expand their testing capabilities onto one single platform, providing cost savings through consolidation.

References:

  1. American Heart Association. (2018). Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2018 At-a-Glance.Available: https://www.heart.org/-/media/data-import/downloadables/heart-disease-and-stroke-statistics-2018—at-a-glance-ucm_498848.pdf. Last accessed 7th Feb 2019.
  2. World Heart Federation. (2017). Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) – Global facts and figures.Available: https://www.world-heart-federation.org/resources/cardiovascular-diseases-cvds-global-facts-figures/. Last accessed 7th Feb 2019.
  3. Gomadam, P et al, (2018). Blood pressure indices and cardiovascular disease mortality in persons with or without diabetes mellitus. Journal of Hypertension. 36 (1), 1-5.
  4. Heart attack and stroke symptoms. (2018). Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes.Available: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/diabetes/why-diabetes-matters/cardiovascular-disease–diabetes. Last accessed 7th Feb 2019.
  5. Aguiree F, Brown A, Cho NH, Dahlquist G, Dodd S, Dunning T, Hirst M, Hwang C, Magliano D, Patterson C. (2013) IDF Diabetes Atlas.
  6. Bahia LR, Araujo DV, Schaan BD, Dib SA, Negrato CA, Leão MP, Ramos AJ, Forti AC, Gomes MB, Foss MC, Monteiro RA, Sartorelli D, Franco LJ, Value Health. (2011), 137-40.

Randox Health: Looking After Your Heart

This February, Randox Health are focusing on Heart HealthHeart health is becoming a much greater talked about subject because of health trends and figures. There are around 7 million people living with heart and circulatory disease in the UK. Heart and circulatory disease causes more than a quarter (26%) of all deaths in the UK; that’s nearly 160,000 deaths each year – an average of 435 people each day or one death every three minutes. Facts like these from BHF show us how how important our hearts are! Maintaining and having a healthy heart is essential to cut down your risk of heart disease.

 

Ways to Improve your Health

There are a number of things you can do to lower your risk of getting heart disease, and at the same time improve overall health. Lets look at three ways to lower your risk and help you become healthier:

  • Managing a healthy weight
  • Eating healthier
  • Getting active

 

What You Can Do

All three of the above will lower your risk of heart disease and all are linked so by improving one it will help the others. To manage a healthy weight, first you need to work out what a healthy weight is for you. There are two main ways to tell whether you need to lose weight: your Body Mass Index (BMI), and your waist measurement. the risk of heart disease begins to increase at a BMI of 23, and people with a BMI of 27.5 will be at high risk.

Men with a waist of over 94 cm are at an increased risk of heart diseases and over 102 cm are at a severe risk. Women with a waist over 80 cm are at an increased risk and at 88 cm are at a severe risk. If you fall in these risk areas, eating well and being more physically active can help you reduce your weight.

 

Healthy Eating

A healthy diet can help reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease and stop you gaining weight. This also reduces your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. A well-balanced diet should include at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day. Try to vary the types of fruit and veg you eat.

You should try to replace saturated fats with small amounts of mono and polyunsaturated fats. Try and cut down on foods that contain trans fats as it can raise your cholesterol levels. Lowering your salt intake can improve your blood pressure and lower your chance of coronary heart disease. Eating a healthy well-balanced diet can make it a lot easier to control and maintain your weight.

Get Active! The BHF say that physical activity can help reduce your risk of heart and circulatory disease. It also links in and helps you control your weight! Being active reduces blood pressure and cholesterol and can even improve your mental health. If you do all three of these points not only will it lower your risks of heart disease but will improve your overall health!

 

Randox Health: What We Do and How We Can Help

This month we are focusing on heart heart, so make sure to check out our blogs with information about how to keep a healthy heart. If you’re worried about your heart health or have a family history of heart disease, contact a member of our team today for more information on how we could help you! We are determined to help you get to the heart of the matter and see what’s really going on with your heart. This Valentines day give a gift to the one you love that really matters, the gift of health.

Find out more here: https://www.randoxhealth.com/our-packages/

 

 

 


NHS rolls out electronic prescription in the fight against antibiotic resistance

The NHS are rolling out electronic prescribing in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

A recent article in the Telegraph newspaper reports that;

“Health chiefs have drawn up the plans amid warnings that antibiotic resistance now poses as great a threat as climate change.”

Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care UK will be informing attendees of the World Economic Forum in Davos that “we are on the cusp of a world where a simple graze could be deadly”. He has stated that it needs to be treated as a “global health emergency” and wants to cut the use of drugs across the country by 15% by setting targets.

The head of the NHS Mr Simon Stevens, said that; “much of the change would be achieved by the rollout electronic prescribing across the health service.” This would allow health officials to detect areas that are prescribing the most antibiotics so that they can try and persuade medics to cut down.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The increase in antibiotic resistance is a threat we cannot afford to ignore.

“Government data shows that, since 2014, the UK has cut the amount of antibiotics it uses by more than 7 per cent and sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals has dropped by 40 per cent.”

The NHS antimicrobial resistance (AMR) report 2015 stated:

“The amount of antimicrobials used in food production internationally is at least the same as that in humans, and in some places is higher. For example, in the US more than 70% of antibiotics that are medically important for humans are used in animals.

“When properly used, antibiotics are essential for treating infections in animals, but excessive and inappropriate use of the drugs is a problem.

A considerable amount of antibiotics are used in healthy animals to prevent infection or speed up their growth. This is particularly the case in intensive farming, where animals are kept in confined conditions.”

In order to help the fight against AMR Randox Food Diagnostics are constantly researching and developing new ways to screen for antibiotics across wine, honey, meat, seafood, dairy, feed and cereals.

Randox Food Diagnostics have developed Biochip Array Technology a multiplexing platform which allows the screening of up to 54 food/feed samples for a large range of antibiotics in under 3 hours on the Randox Evidence Investigator analyser.

To find out more information on how Biochip Array Technology works visit our website at: www.randoxfood.com

Or contact us directly at: info@randoxfooddiagnostics.com

 

 

 

 

 

 


Obesity and Kidney Disease: What is the Connection?

30th January 2019

Obesity and Kidney Disease: What is the Connection?

The month of January has forever been the month of resolutions with many choosing to ditch the sweets and join the gym. However, for many these efforts are limited to January and bad habits are quick to remerge. Obesity has been a burden on the health service for many years with the problem, like many people’s waist lines, only continuing to expand.

Recent findings have shown that this problem is no longer just increasing in developed countries but also in developing countries. In fact, worldwide obesity has tripled since 1975. In 2016, more than 1.9 million adults were classed as overweight, of which over 650 million were obese.1 These are shocking statistics for a condition that is preventable. As a global concern, it is important to assess all the potential risks of this problem.

The most common diseases associated with obesity are cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes. However, the associated risks are much greater than this. Being overweight may also increase the risk of certain types of cancer, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, fatty liver disease and kidney disease.2

Obesity is now recognised as a potent risk factor for the development of renal disease.3 Excess weight has a direct impact on the development and progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Globally, the prevalence of diabetic kidney disease rose by 39.5% between 2005 and 2015, coinciding with the increased CKD prevalence.4 In obese individuals, the kidneys have to work harder, filtering more blood than normal to meet the metabolic demands of increased body weight, increasing the risk of kidney disease.

The traditional diagnostic test for renal impairment is creatinine. This test is carried out through the measurement of creatinine levels in the blood to assess the kidneys ability to clear creatinine from the body. This is called the creatinine clearance rate which helps to estimate the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which is the rate of blood flow through the kidneys.5

Problems arise when using creatinine for CKD testing as a number of factors need to be taken into consideration including age, gender, ethnicity and muscle mass. For this reason, black men and women exhibit higher creatinine levels than white men and women, raising concern over the accuracy of this test for certain patient groups.6 In addition, serum creatinine is not an adequate screening test for renal impairment in the elderly due to their decreased muscle mass.7

The main disadvantage of using creatinine to screen for renal impairment is that up to 50% of renal function can be lost before significant creatinine levels become detectable as creatinine is insensitive to small changes in GFR. Consequently, treatment is not provided at the appropriate time which can be fatal, therefore, an earlier and more sensitive marker for renal function is vital.8

These disadvantages have not only been highlighted in research but also by the national institute for health and care excellence (NICE).  NICE updated the classification of CKD in 2004 to include the albumin: creatinine ratio (ACR). They split chronic kidney disease patients into categories based on GFR and ACR. Figure 1 highlights the different categories and risk of adverse outcomes. NICE recommend using eGFR Cystatin C for people in the CKD G3aA1 and higher.9

Figure 1 Classification of Chronic Kidney Disease using GFR and ACR categories.9

Despite these suggestions, Creatinine is still being used for G3a1 and increasing risk levels.

The utility of cystatin C as a diagnostic biomarker for kidney disease has been documented to show superiority of traditional CKD tests. There is no ‘blind area’ making it very sensitive to small changes in GFR and capable of detecting early reductions.  Furthermore, this marker is less influenced by diet or muscle mass and has proven to be a beneficial test in patients who are overweight.8

A number of studies support the statement: ‘Cystatin C levels are higher in overweight and obese patients’. This is important because when cystatin c levels are too high, it may suggest that the kidneys are not functioning properly. One study conducted, using a nationally representative sample of participants, found that overweight and obesity maintained a strong association with elevated serum cystatin C. This suggests that weight can affect the levels of cystatin C and therefore the likelihood of developing kidney disease.10

How Randox can Help

The Randox automated Latex Enhanced Immunoturbidimetric Cystatin C tests offers an improved method for assessing CKD risk, combined with a convenient format for routine clinical use, for the early assessment of at risk patients. Randox is currently one of the only diagnostic manufacturers who offer an automated biochemistry test for Cystatin C measurement, worldwide.

Want to know more?

Contact us or visit our featured reagent page to learn more.




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Randox Toxicology: Global drug use trends going into 2019

In the turn of the new year, we look at the current trends in drug abuse in 3 key continents and what their key 2018 figures say about drug use in their countries.

The Americas

New psychoactive substances have been an emerging drug market in the Americas, with a total of 130 different new psychoactive substances being reported in seven South American countries in August 2017. This was more than a 50% increase within the year, as over 60 different substances had been reported in 2016 alone, according to the OAS and CICAD Report on Drug Use in The Americas 2019. Latin America have experienced a surge in LSD, synthetic cannabinoid, plant substance and ketamine use among the general population as well.

Meanwhile, opioids and prescription opioids have been a major cause for concern in the Americas, with opioid analgesics involved in more overdose fatalities than any type of illicit drug, exceeding cocaine and heroin-related fatalities in Canada and USA combined. Users are increasingly turning to street opioids as well, which are often mixed with heroin and other drugs. The major challenge noted in the same report is the complexity of the appearance of NPS and the counterfeit substances it contains.

Europe

Cannabis has had the highest use among males, with most cases being regular patterns of use. Around 1% of European adults are considered daily users according to the European Drug Report 2018. Regarding opioids, heroin is the most common drug of abuse in this category, and prevalence of high risk opioid use among adults is estimated to be at 0.4% of the EU population.

Synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, are growing in use in Europe. In 2016, over 18 European countries reported more than 10% of all opioid clients entering specialised services suffering from opioid addiction other than heroin.

Asia

Opioids present the largest drug problem in Asia, having the highest proportion of causes of drug users going to treatment centres, followed by amphetamine-type stimulants and cannabis. Production of drug substances in Asia have been significant in the last 3 years, with cocaine and opium production hitting record highs. Methamphetamine is also an emerging threat to Asia, with production of the synthetic drug overtaking heroin.

Our testing solution

Randox Toxicology are first to market when it comes to testing for the latest drugs of abuse and new psychoactive substances in the market.  Our revolutionary Biochip Array Technology provides state-of-the-art drug detection, utilizing simultaneous drug detection from a single sample across multiple matrices.

Our ELISA kits provide a comprehensive test menu, covering a broad range of drugs of abuse, stimulants, analgesics and sedatives. Randox Toxicology develop the highest quality 96-well microtitre plates available to the market, with results providing excellent correlation with confirmatory methods.

To find out more email us at: info@randoxtoxicology.com or visit our website: www.randoxtoxicology.com

 

 

 

 


Getting tested for Genetic Haemochromatosis

“When I reached my mid-fifties, a suffered a lot of fatigue and general body weakness. I worried that I had inherited genetic hemochromatosis from my mum. Randox Health gave me peace of mind that my symptoms were not down to an inherited condition, but dietary issues which were easily corrected.”

Hereditary haemochromatosis, which was discussed this morning on BBC Radio 4, causes your body to absorb too much iron from the food you eat. The BBC News report today said that Exeter University has found the condition could affect up to 20 times more people than earlier figures suggested.

It was believed to seriously affect about one in 100 carriers. But the new research has suggested the true level could be closer to one in 10 among female carriers, and one in five for men. This would make the genetic condition the UK’s most common genetic disorder.

Lead researcher Prof David Melzer commented;

“We’ve shown that hereditary haemochromatosis is actually a much more common and stealth disease, including in older people.”

Excess iron within those suffering from genetic heamochromatosis is stored in the organs, especially the liver, heart and pancreas. Too much iron can lead to life-threatening conditions, such as liver disease, heart problems and diabetes.

Prof Melzer said haemochromatosis was easy to treat if caught early enough, but was “difficult to spot,” with the main reason being that diagnosis is quite often made at a stage when much of the damage from the condition has already been done.

It is clear therefore that early diagnosis is key in successful management of genetic haemochromatosis.

If you are found to have excess levels of iron as a result of genetic haemochromatosis, treatment is relatively simple and consists of venesection (bloodletting.) The body makes more blood to replace that taken, and therefore uses up the excess stored iron.

Randox Health offers a specialised test for detecting genetic hemochromatosis so if you’re worried about developing symptoms, or already think you have developed symptoms – including fatigue, joint disease, skin problems, and sexual health issues – get in touch today.

Early diagnosis and treatment of GH can seriously improve the outcome for individuals with the condition, by preventing any further organ damage. Randox Health not only offers a test to screen for the genetic mutations most commonly associated with GH, we can also check at the same time for damage to other parts of the body as a result of high iron levels (e.g. diabetes, liver damage and heart damage).

Furthermore, if you do have GH, your close family members should also be screened for the condition.

Get in touch today to book your appointment. Phone 0800 2545 130 or email info@randoxhealth.com

 

 

 


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