Health Newsbrief
December 6, 2000
Vol. 1, No. 27
ISSN 1530-3616
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Bruce Maxwell, Editor - bmax@silverhammerpub.com
Silver Hammer Publishing - http://silverhammerpub.com

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The News
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DOCTORS, TERMINALLY ILL PATIENTS CONSPIRE
IN DENIAL
In a Dutch study of patients with incurable lung cancer, the vast
majority of patients had false optimism about their recovery. The
study, which was published in the British Medical Journal,
reported there were two main reasons for the false hope: patients
didn't ask about their prognosis and doctors didn't volunteer the
grim news that death was near. The authors suggested that the
false optimism prevented patients and their families from
properly preparing for death.
Source: Reuters Health - Dec. 2, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20001202/hl/doctors_2.html
British Medical Journal study:
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7273/1376


GENE ALTERED FOODS: A CASE AGAINST PANIC
Genetically altered foods promise huge benefits for everyone from
farmers to consumers, according to this column by Jane Brody in
the New York Times. But Brody cautions that federal regulations
are lagging behind, risking a host of health and environmental
problems.
Source: New York Times - Dec. 5, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/05/science/05BROD.html


U.S. REPORT TACKLES YOUTH OBESITY EPIDEMIC
In response to the obesity epidemic among America's youth, a
federal report urges schools and parents to increase physical
activity among children. It particularly emphasizes the
importance of children participating in physical education
classes at school every day.
Source: Reuters Health - Nov. 30, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20001130/hl/obesity_youth_1.html
HHS/Education Report:
http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dash/presphysactrpt


HOSPITAL ACQUIRED INFECTIONS KILL 5,000 PATIENTS
A YEAR IN ENGLAND
A study published by a legislative committee in the House of
Commons reports that 5,000 British citizens die each year from
infections acquired while they were hospitalized. The report also
said that 100,000 patients acquire infections while in hospitals
each year.
Source: British Medical Journal - Dec. 2, 2000
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7273/1370/a
Committee report: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199900/
cmselect/cmpubacc/306/30602.htm



BETTER ACCESS TO MORNING PILL URGED
The American Medical Association is pushing the federal
government to make the "morning-after" contraceptive pill
available over-the-counter. The American Medical News article
quotes experts as saying that widespread use of emergency
contraceptives could prevent up to 1.5 million unplanned
pregnancies annually, including thousands that end in abortion.
Sources: Associated Press - Dec. 5, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20001205/hl/
ama_morning_after_pill_2.html

American Medical News - Dec. 11, 2000
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_00/hlsa1211.htm


A GENE DETECTIVE HOT ON THE TRAIL OF ALZHEIMER'S
Dr. Rudolph Emile Tanzi, one of the leading Alzheimer's
researchers in the world, predicts that an effective treatment
for the disease will be available within five years. Ironically,
during his research his own grandmother developed the disease.
Source: New York Times - Dec. 5, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/05/science/05CONV.html


DOCTORS EXPLORE MAMMOGRAM CRISIS
Women today often have to wait months before undergoing a
mammogram, according to a panel of doctors at the Radiology
Society of North America's annual meeting. The reason is that
many facilities that offer mammograms are scaling back or closing
altogether because of low reimbursement rates and fears of
malpractice suits.
Source: Associated Press - Nov. 29, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20001129/hl/
mammogram_crisis_1.html



CAUTION URGED BEFORE EYE SURGERY
The ads sure look enticing: just undergo simple laser vision
correction surgery and your sight is restored. But experts
caution that consumers should do lots of research before going
under the knife.
Source: Associated Press - Dec. 3, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20001203/hl/
exp_laser_vision_1.html



STUDY: BACK BELTS FOUND INEFFECTIVE
Back belts are popular among people who work in warehouses or
other facilities where they frequently lift heavy objects. But a
study of more than 9,000 Wal-Mart employees has found that the
belts don't prevent lifting injuries. The study was conducted by
the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and
published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Source: Associated Press - Dec. 5, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20001205/hl/back_belts_2.html


FDA OKAYS LIMITED HEART DISEASE CLAIM FOR B VITAMINS
Foods and dietary supplements that contain vitamins B6, B12, and
folic acid will be able to make limited claims that they reduce
the risk of heart disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
made the decision in response to a lawsuit by doctors,
scientists, and a dietary supplement company.
Source: Reuters Health - Nov. 29, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20001129/hl/vitamins_2.html


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Bruce Maxwell
Silver Hammer Publishing
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