Deaths from Painkiller Overdoses Triple Over a Decade

And more in our health news roundup.

By: Melissa Romero

Are You Sure You Didn’t Gain Weight?: As freshmen head back home for Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks, don’t expect them to resemble a Butterball. A study of data collected from 7,418 US students found that freshmen are more likely to gain just 2.5 pounds (females) to 3.5 pounds (males) during their first year of college. Only 10 percent of freshmen actually gained 15 pounds or more. In fact, more freshmen were more likely to lose weight their first year—we’re guessing because they avoided the crappy cafeteria food. [Science Daily]

And You Thought Mammograms Were Painful: Results from a John Hopkins University study have found a potentially more effective treatment to fight early breast cancer: the nipple approach. In the clinical trial, patients were injected with the treatment through a catheter placed in the nipple. This treatment is said to both eliminate cancers and prevent tumors, and is an alternative to having the breasts surgically removed. Preliminary human tests found no major side effects besides breast fullness and nipple pain. (But still, ow!) [Futurity]

It’s Not Just in Your Head: If you’ve experienced major psychological trauma, you may be more likely to develop Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a disease that causes stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and other discomforts. The adults surveyed who reported experiencing more trauma, such as divorce, abuse, or the death of a loved one, were more likely to have IBS. The ailment is twice as common in women as in men. [Time Healthland]

World Welcomes the Seven Billionth Person—Kind Of: A Filipina baby named Danica May Camacho has been named the planet’s seven billionth person by the United Nations. Of course, the title is merely symbolic—the world’s actual population is almost impossible to know, since multiple babies are born every second. Still, it’ll make an interesting line on her résumé someday. [CBS News]

Easy on the Meds: The number of deaths caused by painkiller overdose has tripled in the past decade, according to a report released by the CDC. Nearly 15,000 people died in 2008, compared with 4,000 in 1999. Men and middle-aged adults were more likely to die from overdosing, and almost 5 percent of Americans 12 years or older say they’ve abused prescription painkillers. [CDC]