Health Newsbrief
January 9, 2002
Vol. 3, No. 1
ISSN 1530-3616
______________________________________________________


Bruce Maxwell, Editor - bmax@silverhammerpub.com
Silver Hammer Publishing - http://silverhammerpub.com

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The News
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HEART MAY BE ABLE TO REPAIR ITSELF
Doctors have long assumed that damage to the heart from a heart
attack or similar event was permanent. But a new study published
in the New England Journal of Medicine provides intriguing
evidence that at least to some degree, the human heart can repair
itself. The discovery could lead to new treatments for heart
patients.
Source: Associated Press - Jan. 3, 2002
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20020103/hl/heart_repair_2.html


SOME HERBS DON'T DELIVER ON PROMISES
An exhaustive look at medical studies about the effectiveness of
the six best-selling herbal supplements has found that some are
useful - although not always for the ailments they're touted most
prominently to cure. For example, the study found that gingko
biloba is of questionable value in treating memory loss, but may
be helpful for dementia or leg problems caused by low blood flow.
Source: HealthScoutNews - Jan. 5, 2002
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/hsn/20020104/hl/
some_herbs_don_t_deliver_on_promises_1.html



BETTER MEMORY: IT DOESN'T COME IN A PILL
And speaking of memory, New York Times columnist Jane Brody
provides tips to retain your cognitive functioning as you age.
She doesn't provide a magic bullet - just good, sound advice
about staying active, exercising, eating right, and other
practices that help keep the brain sharp.
Source: New York Times - Jan. 8, 2002
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/08/health/aging/08BROD.html


STUDY: WOMEN NOT FOLLOWING MAMMOGRAM GUIDELINES
A study of 60,000 women who got mammograms found that only 20
percent had undergone the screenings annually starting at age 40,
as the American Cancer Society recommends. The authors concluded
that the lack of screenings resulted in fewer cancers being
diagnosed in their earliest stages, when they're easiest to
treat.
Source: Reuters Health - Jan. 7, 2002
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20020107/hl/breast_3.html


SURVIVAL TRADE-OFF
For most women with breast cancer, the gold standard for
treatment has been surgery to remove the tumor, followed by
chemotherapy and doses of the anti-cancer drug tamoxifen. But a
new study suggests that the so-called adjuvant therapies only
slightly boost the chances of remaining cancer-free in most
women. It also found that both treatments have side effects that
can significantly lower a patient's quality of life.
Source: Washington Post - Jan. 8, 2002
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A8484-2002Jan7.html


SEVERELY MENTALLY ILL RARELY GET ENOUGH TREATMENT
Only 15 percent of Americans who have serious mental illnesses
are receiving minimally adequate treatment, according to a study
by Harvard researchers. That leaves 8 million Americans with
serious mental illnesses who are receiving either no treatment or
such basic help that it's unlikely to do them much good.
Source: Reuters Health - Jan. 4, 2002
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20020104/hl/mental_1.html


PATIENTS FLEX THEIR MUSCLE
If your health insurance company improperly refuses to pay a
medical bill, you don't need to turn to your banker for a hefty
loan. Instead, you can fight back, usually without a lawyer. This
article provides great tips for how to do it.
Source: Kiplinger's Personal Finance - January 2002
http://www.kiplinger.com/magazine/archives/2002/January/
managing/hmo.html



BREAKING BAD NEWS
Giving a patient bad news is one of a physician's toughest
duties, yet medical schools provide little training in this
critical area. This article provides thoughtful advice for
physicians about how to break bad news.
Source: American Family Physician - Dec. 15, 2001
http://www.aafp.org/afp/20011215/1975.html
Accompanying editorial:
http://www.aafp.org/afp/20011215/editorials.html#breaking


AN OVERVIEW OF CLINICAL RESEARCH:
THE LAY OF THE LAND
Just about every day, it seems like a newspaper or television
story reports on a new medical study that's found a miracle cure
of one sort or another. But all medical studies are not equal, as
this article makes clear. Although it's aimed at physicians, the
article also should be useful to consumers who want some basis on
which to judge a study's validity.
Source: The Lancet - Jan. 5, 2002
http://www.thelancet.com/journal/vol359/iss9300/full/
llan.359.9300.editorial_and_review.18917.1



IT'S ON THE LABEL, BUT IN THE TABLET?
In the absence of government regulation and standards for the
dietary supplement industry, three companies have stepped in to
certify that supplements contain the ingredients they claim. But
each company has a different testing method, and none determines
whether the supplement is safe and effective.
Source: New York Times - Jan. 2, 2002
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/02/dining/02WELL.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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