Health Newsbrief
February 21, 2001
Vol. 2, No. 7
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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ADULT TETANUS SHOTS BEING RATIONED
Better watch out for rusty nails, because if you step on one you
may not be able to get a tetanus shot. A huge shortage of the
tetanus vaccine nationwide is causing hospitals to reserve it
only for patients with severe injuries. And it's only one of
numerous critical drugs that are in short supply.
Source: Associated Press - Feb. 19, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010219/us/drug_shortages_1.html


DRUG COMPANY FINED FOR EXCESSIVE HOSPITALITY
A Dutch court has found the pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp
and Dohme guilty of putting lots more entertainment than
education in its events for doctors. The events, which were held
to promote a new migraine drug, included skiing contests, weekend
island getaways, and concert outings. The Dutch court found that
the emphasis on entertainment violated the nation's marketing
code for prescription drugs.
Source: British Medical Journal - Feb. 17, 2001
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/322/7283/382/b


STUDY: MILLIONS HAVE SILENT STROKES
About 4 percent of Americans have undetected "silent" strokes
each year, according to the Associated Press article. The
HealthScout story reports that new technology is helping
scientists discover how the brain tries to repair itself -
sometimes successfully - after a stroke.
Sources: Associated Press - Feb. 16, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010216/hl/silent_strokes_1.html
HealthScout - Feb. 20, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/hsn/20010220/hl/
strokes_may_not_be_forever_anymore_1.html



EUROPE APPROVES NEW GENETICALLY MODIFIED
FOOD CONTROL
For the last several years, European countries have had an
unofficial moratorium on sales of genetically modified food.
However, a bill just approved by the European Union Parliament is
expected to replace the moratorium with tough new rules. The
rules will cover every stage of testing and developing
bioengineered food.
Source: New York Times - Feb. 15, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/15/health/15FOOD.html


PALLIATIVE CARE: MAINSTREAM MODEL
Hospitals have traditionally focused on saving lives, something
they do very well. Now, though, some are also starting to focus
on their other traditional role of providing support and comfort
at the end of life.
Source: American Medical News - Feb. 26, 2001
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_01/prsa0226.htm


SHOULD DEPRESSION BE MANAGED AS A
CHRONIC DISEASE?
According to this article in the British Medical Journal, many
physicians do not explain the full ramifications of clinical
depression to their patients with the illness - especially the
fact that acute episodes are likely to recur. The reason is they
don't want to worsen the patient's current depression. However,
the author argues that patients should be fully informed so that
depression can be properly treated as a chronic condition.
Source: British Medical Journal - Feb. 17, 2001
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/322/7283/419


OBESITY SAID TO CAUSE 6% OF ALL DEATHS IN ENGLAND
Obesity kills six times more people in England than automobile
accidents, according to a report by Britain's National Audit
Office. The report urges the government to promote improvement of
the nation's diet and participation in physical activity, warning
that without changes more than 25 percent of all British adults
are likely to be obese by 2010.
Source: Reuters Health - Feb. 15, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010215/hl/obesity_6.html
British report: http://www.nao.gov.uk/pn/00-01/0001220.htm


100-YEAR LIFE EXPECTANCY MAY BE 500 YEARS OFF
Rapid scientific advances have raised the hope that life
expectancy could be significantly lengthened, making it common
for Americans to live to at least 100. But a new report indicates
that such progress is still five centuries away.
Source: Chicago Tribune - Feb. 19, 2001
http://chicagotribune.com/news/metro/chicago/article/
1,,ART-50005,00.html



STUDY SUGGESTS NEW OPTION FOR WOMEN WITH
ABNORMAL PAP TESTS
Until now, physicians have pursued several different options when
following up with women who get ambiguous results from a Pap
test, which is used to look for cervical cancer. A new study
published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute says
the best approach is to follow up with a test for the human
papilloma virus, or H.P.V. When combined, the Pap and H.P.V.
tests identify 96.3 percent of women who need treatment for
cancerous or precancerous conditions, according to the study.
Source: New York Times - Feb. 21, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/21/health/21CANC.html


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