Health Newsbrief
January 23, 2002
Vol. 3, No. 3
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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NEW QUESTIONS ABOUT KAVA'S SAFETY
When German scientists reported in November that the herbal
supplement kava may cause liver toxicity, Switzerland quickly
pulled it from the market, Britain asked for voluntary withdrawal
of the product, and France banned its sale. The U.S. Food and
Drug Administration is now examining kava, but it will likely be
at least a year before the agency takes any action.
Sources: New York Times - Jan. 16, 2002
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/16/dining/16WELL.html
Washington Post - Jan. 22, 2002
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6841-2002Jan19.html


MISUNDERSTOOD PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
AND NEEDLESS PAIN
Opioid drugs such as OxyContin can provide enormous relief to
people who suffer from chronic pain that can't be controlled by
other medications. However, many doctors and patients shy away
from the opioids because of misconceptions about the drugs,
leaving millions of Americans needlessly suffering from chronic
pain.
Source: New York Times - Jan. 22, 2002
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/22/health/anatomy/22BROD.html


IN STRUGGLE AGAINST ALZHEIMER'S,
HOPE MAY BE OVER THE COUNTER
Scientists are studying whether common anti-inflammatory drugs
such as aspirin, Advil, and Aleve can help prevent, delay, or at
least slow down diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, heart
disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. The early evidence is
intriguing, yet all of the drugs can cause serious side effects.
Source: New York Times - Jan. 22, 2002
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/22/health/22DRUG.html


DRUG FIRMS STILL LAVISH PRICEY GIFTS ON DOCTORS
Under ethics guidelines developed by the American Medical
Association, doctors are supposed to accept only very modest
gifts from pharmaceutical companies. But the guidelines have all
kinds of loopholes that enable the pharmaceutical industry to
spend $2 billion annually on gifts and events for doctors - all
of it tax deductible.
Source: Washington Post - Jan. 19, 2002
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/A5328-2002Jan18.html


BIPOLAR DISORDER
This article for physicians provides an overview of current
knowledge about bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive
disorder. It reports that even aggressive drug treatments are
less successful than previously believed.
Source: The Lancet - Jan. 19, 2002
http://www.thelancet.com/journal/vol359/iss9302/full/
llan.359.9302.editorial_and_review.19087.1



OPTIMAL MANAGEMENT OF CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
AND THE PREVENTION OF CORONARY HEART DISEASE
IN WOMEN
Although coronary heart disease is the leading killer of women,
it's commonly undertreated. This article for physicians
encourages more aggressive treatment, and includes treatment
guidelines. The accompanying patient handout explains how women
can lower their risk of heart disease.
Source: American Family Physician - Jan. 15, 2002
http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020115/217.html
Patient handout: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020115/howtph.html


TREATING OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA IMPROVES
ESSENTIAL HYPERTENSION AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Snoring may be the butt of many jokes, but it's often an
indication of a serious health condition called obstructive sleep
apnea. Evidence is growing that apnea is a major contributing
factor in the development of hypertension. Proper treatment can
lower blood pressure and greatly improve the patient's quality of
life. The article is written for physicians, but the accompanying
patient handout explains its findings in more accessible
language.
Source: American Family Physician - Jan. 15, 2002
http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020115/229.html
Patient handout: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020115/snorph.html
Editorial: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020115/editorials.html
(scroll down to find the editorial)


DIABETES: A GROWING PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN
Sixteen million Americans have diabetes, one of the top causes of
death and disability, yet five million of them don't know it. In
this article the U.S. Food and Drug Administration explains the
basics of diabetes and emphasizes the importance of an accurate
diagnosis.
Source: FDA Consumer - January-February 2002
http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2002/102_diab.html


Need a Freelance Writer or Researcher?
_____________________________________________________

The editor of this newsletter is a full-time freelance writer
and researcher who's available for a variety of assignments -
articles, brochures, books, Web consultations, or a nice e-mail
newsletter like this one - about health or other topics. He has
20 years of professional writing experience, and is the author
of the book "How to Find Health Information on the Internet." To
learn more, visit http://bmaxwell.home.mindspring.com, send an
e-mail to bmaxwell@mindspring.com, or call 703-532-6327.
______________________________________________________

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