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Old May 20th, 2002, 16:49
sysadmin sysadmin is offline
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Join Date: 2001
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April 28 - May 04, 2002








Saturday, May 04, 2002





ADV: the Fat Flush Plan

 

The keys to overweight are liver toxicity, waterlogged tissues, fear of eating fat, excess insulin, and stress, asserts nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman. Her Fat Flush Plan addresses these problems with a targeted diet. [ more... ]
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21:46 GMT

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Schools Urged to Decrease Kid's Midday Sun Exposure

 

The US CDC has released guidelines that urge schools to decrease midday sun exposure in an effort to decrease skin cancer. Also recommended is increased availability of shade by planting more trees around schools or similar measures. [ article ]
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21:06 GMT

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Bupropion More Effective Than Nicotine Patches

 

This study from the Oregon Health Sciences University suggests that bupropion works better than nicotine patches in helping women quit smoking. Comment: this study relies heavily on comparing different studies to another, which in this case is very problematic. The study was supported by GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical company that makes buproprion. I would call this study interesting, but not definitive at all. [ article ]
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03:52 GMT

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Friday, May 03, 2002





Social Ties Healthy for Men

 

This study from Harvard found that men with a larger social network lived longer. Comment: this confirms earlier findings and makes sense. [ article ]
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05:21 GMT

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Guggulsterone and Blood Cholesterol

 

The mode of action of guggulsterone, a compound used for more than 2000 years in India to treat a variety of diseases, has been discovered. It lowers cholesterol by increasing excretion of cholesterol from the body. In the US, the most common medications to lower cholesterol (statins) act in the opposite way- they decrease cholesterol production. Comment: guggulsterone is widely available in health food stores and is approved as a cholesterol lowering drug in India. The compound comes from the guggul tree. Side effects of the medication aren't widely known in the US. [ article ]
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05:19 GMT

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Computer Chip Analyzes Blood DNA in Minutes

 

A research team in Great Britain has announced the development of a computer chip that can analyze blood in just a few minutes in a doctor's office. A wide range of diagnostic tests can be performed with the chip, including testing for HIV. The test can be performed by a relatively unskilled staff. [ article ]
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05:18 GMT

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Most Kids Don't Wear Helmets When Bicycling

 

A new national survey has found that less than half of all US kids where helmets when riding their bikes, and only a third wear a helmet when using in-line skates or scooters. Comment: only 19 states and the District of Columbia currently have bike helmet laws. This needs to be changed. [ article ]
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05:17 GMT

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Folic Acid Intake Linked to Lower Stroke Risk

 

This study of nearly 10 000 adults found that increased dietary folate was linked to a lower stroke risk. Comment: in a way this study may do more harm than good. The message should be that dietary fruits and vegetables (the primary source of folate in the diet) are associated with a reduced risk of stroke. Taking folate in the form of supplements may cause people to overlook the primary finding that we see over and over again: a diet that emphasizes whole foods is associated with less disease. [ article ]
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05:16 GMT

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Chickenpox Vaccination Puts Elderly at Risk

 

Vaccinating children against chickenpox may actually increase the overall years of life lost due to the chickenpox (varicella) organism. There is concern that early vaccination may increase deaths from the complications associated with shingles. The team from Britain's Public Health Laboratory Service recommends a re-evaluation of the policy to mass vaccinate against chickenpox. Comment: I consciously decided not to vaccinate my children against chickenpox, although they have received all of the other recommended vaccinations. I believe that the rush to mass vaccinate the US population with the chickenpox vaccine was a hasty decision based upon poor science. [ article ]
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01:21 GMT

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Wednesday, May 01, 2002





Recommended Sports After Hip or Knee Replacement

 

A group of Mayo Clinic doctors was surveyed as to the best sports to participate in after knee or hip surgery. The recommendations are swimming, scuba diving, cycling, golf, and bowling. [ article ]
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20:11 GMT

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Australian Medical System in Chaos

 

Many doctors are closing their doors and doctors are cancelling operations after the nation's major medical malpractice insurer went bancrupt. The nation's prime minister notes that the crisis is due to the "litigious mentality of the Australian community" and also stated "We can't have an unlimited right to sue, yet complain if doctors are not available because they can't afford the premiums." Typical malpractice insurance costs are $100,000 a year for surgical specialists and obstetricians. The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons of Surgeons advised its members not to work until the situation was clarified. Comment: this is what happens with an out-of-control legal system. Isn't it time we enacted tort reform in the US? [ article ]
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05:00 GMT

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Brushing Your Teeth Can Help Your Heart

 

A University of Minnesota study suggests that bacteria that accumulate in the absence of regular brushing of your teeth can enter the bloodstream and increase the risk of blood clots and high blood pressure. Comment: this study was an animal study and indirectly makes the link between oral hygiene and cardiac disease. An earlier pearl discusses the link found between regular brushing and a reduced risk of pneumonia. [ article ]
 posted by the
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04:40 GMT

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Norway Proposes Nationwide Ban on Smoking

 

The government in Norway has proposed a nationwide ban on smoking in restaurants and bars. To date, no country has outlawed smokers in every restaurant and bar. [ article ]
 posted by the
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03:51 GMT

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Institute of Medicine Panel Gives Soccer Recommendations

 

A US Institute of Medicine expert panel released a report stating that soccer players experience concussions nearly as often as American football players. It supported recommendations that children 10 and under not use their head to redirect the soccer ball. Note was made of a study from the Netherlands that found evidence of learning disorders among soccer players as compared with a group of swimmers and track athletes. Comment: the panel stated that it was too early to recommend for or against head protection for soccer athletes. There's no doubt that the soccer athletes do suffer repeated blows (from the ball) to their head. They also suffer collisions with other players. It only makes sense that some form of head protection would help reduce the rate of concussions, and frequent concussions undoubtedly cause brain damage. I believe that eventually soccer players will wear soft helmets. Almost all other contact sports have made the transition to requiring head protection. Most likely soccer will as well, but it is likely to be in the distant future. [ article ]
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01:19 GMT

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Tuesday, April 30, 2002





Testosterone Linked to Improved Thinking in Elderly Men

 

This study of 310 men (average age 73 years) found that those with naturally higher levels of free testosterone performed better on tests of mental abilities. Comment: although somewhat controversial, many doctors recommend hormone replacement therapy for women. Should elderly men also receive hormone replacement therapy? [ article ]
 posted by the
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15:05 GMT

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Researchers Say Legislation Has Reduced Second-Hand Smoke Exposure

 

Researchers report in the American Journal of Public Health that the percentage of smoke-free workplaces has jumped from 35% in 1990 to 93% in 1999. Also, the percentage of smoke-free homes has jumped from 38% in 1992 to 74% in 1999. Comment: the researchers state that this change is due to legislation, and it probably is. However, these research findings only prove a strong association, and do not prove a causal relationship. It's possible, for example, that the jump in smoke-free workplaces is due to increases in the cost of cigarettes or a greater awareness by businesses that second hand smoke is dangerous. [ article ]
 posted by the
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15:02 GMT

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Mad Cow Disease Found in Colorado Deer Population

 

Chronic wasting disease (mad "deer" disease) has been identified in the Colorado wild deer population. About 1000 deer and elk have been killed in to curtail the disease. Colorado has a large hunting industry. Officials in the state say that there is no evidence the disease can spread to cattle or humans. The World Health Organization, however, advises against eating venison. Comment: is it possible that this relatively new, incurable viral infection (that started in livestock) could be the result of antibiotic abuse by livestock farmers? [ article ]
 posted by the
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14:55 GMT

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Ulcer Surgery Linked to Pancreatic Cancer

 

This study of 2663 patients who underwent a gastrectomy to remove a peptic ulcer were found to develop pancreatic cancer at double the rate of the general population. Comment: is the surgery the culprit, or the fact that these patients had peptic ulcers? By comparing the patients that underwent surgery with the general population (not a disease matched population) the significance of this study is greatly decreased. [ article ]
 posted by the
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14:46 GMT

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Monday, April 29, 2002





Parents' Behavior Linked to Childhood Obesity

 

According to a study of 77 children, those whose parents frequently made comments like "finish everything on your plate" or served seconds to their children without being asked, were more likely to develop weight problems. [ article ]
 posted by the
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01:26 GMT

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Avandia and Actos Get New FDA Warnings

 

The labels for two diabetes medications, Avandia and Actos, now carry warnings about heart and liver risks. A similar medication, Rezulin, was recalled in 2000 for similar concerns over liver problems. Comment: weight loss and exercise can usually control diabetes just as well as oral medications, and these activities have been convincingly shown to prolong life. [ article ]
 posted by the
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01:23 GMT

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Herbal Weight-Loss Treatments Dangerous & Ineffective

 

With over 60% of Americans overweight, interest in herbal weight loss pills has increased dramatically. Unfortunately, the pills can have dangerous effects upon blood pressure and only temporarily affect a person's weight according to this article. [ article ]
 posted by the
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01:18 GMT

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Altitude Linked to Shorter Lifespan in Women

 

A study in Peru comparing women living close to sea level with those living high up in the Andes found that the hormones DHEA and DHEAS increase at slower rates in the adolescent women living at high altitudes. This finding, according to the lead author, helps explain why "women living at high altitudes are more susceptible to disease and tend to die earlier." [ article ]
 posted by the
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01:12 GMT

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Cigarettes Cost $7 a Pack in Terms of Medical Care and Lost Productivity

 

According to the CDC, each pack of cigarettes sold in the US costs the nation approximately $7 in terms of medical care and lost productivity.The analysis was based on the year 1999, at which time a pack of cigarettes cost $2.92 on average. Thus, for each and every pack of cigarettes sold, the nation loses approximately $4.08 Comment: this is a good argument for increasing the excise tax on cigarettes. [ article ]
 posted by the
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01:06 GMT

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70% of American Adults Not Exercising

 

A government report states that 70% of American adults don't regularly exercise, and that 40% aren't physically active at all. This is in spite of strong links between exercise and good health. [ article ]
 posted by the
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00:52 GMT

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Baby Aspirin Reduces Colon Cancer Risk

 

A daily baby aspirin was found to be associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer by approximately 19% in this study of 1121 otherwise healthy people who had polyps removed during routine screening. The patients were randomly given either a placebo or a baby aspirin to take daily. After 3 years, when repeat screening was done, 38% of those taking the aspirin had new polyps versus 47% of those taking a daily placebo. Comment: this strengthens previous findings linking anti-inflammatory use to a decreased risk of colon cancer. [ article ]
 posted by the
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00:47 GMT

 © medjournal.com








Hormone Replacement Therapy Linked to Ovarian Cancer

 

This Swedish study found that certain types hormone replacement therapy were associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. The increased risk for estrogen alone was 43%, for estrogen with periodic progestins the risk was 54% increased, but for estrogen/progestin combination pills there was no increased risk for ovarian cancer found. Comment: although this is a preliminary finding, there continues to be more and more evidence that hormone replacement therapy may not be as beneficial as previously thought. It should no longer be considered routine care for postmenopausal women. [ article ]
 posted by the
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00:38 GMT

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TV Increases Adolescent Violence

 

This study from the University of Michigan found that adolescents who watched more television became more violent. Comment: see an earlier primary care pearl that discusses the complete irresponsibility of Hollywood when it comes to acknowledging that television and movies directly influence behavior. [ article ]
 posted by the
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00:21 GMT

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California to Pay For Morning After Pill

 

Calling it a "woman's right to choose," California's Governer Gray Davis ordered HMO's to pay for "morning after" contraceptive pills. Comment: it is thought that these pills prevent pregnancy by suppressing ovulation and fertilization if taken within 72 hours of intercourse. [ article ]
 posted by the
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00:13 GMT

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Sunday, April 28, 2002





H.Pylori Infection Linked to Migraines

 

At the 12th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, a study was presented linking H.Pylori with migraine headaces. In the study, 18% of chronic migraine sufferers had the infection, and improved after being treated with antibiotics. Adding the bacteria lactobacillus, a friendly bacteria, helped even more. Comment: this is a preliminary finding, but testing for H.Pylori is reasonable in migraine sufferers. [ article ]
 posted by the
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04:22 GMT

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Whooping Cough Increasing

 

Whooping cough is making a comeback in all age groups according to infectious disease experts. The bacteria Bordetella Pertussis seems to have learned to outsmart the current vaccine. According to Dr. Carl Heinz Wirsing von Konig of the University of Dusseldorf in Germany, between 20 and 30 percent of all coughing adults actually have pertussis. Comment: the primary concern is that adults will pass the disease to young children and infants, which can die from the infection. Treatment is usually with a macrolide such as erythromycin. [ article ]
 posted by the
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04:17 GMT

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