Health Newsbrief
March 14, 2001
Vol. 2, No. 10
ISSN 1530-3616
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Bruce Maxwell, Editor - bmax@silverhammerpub.com
Silver Hammer Publishing - http://silverhammerpub.com

Instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing are provided at
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Editor's Note
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Some readers have experienced problems with article URLs
splitting across multiple lines. To read the articles, they must
cut and paste the individual lines into their Web browsers.

Needless to say, that's a major pain. To get around this problem,
I'm now posting each issue on the Web simultaneously with its
publication by e-mail. Reading the Web version will guarantee you
experience no link problems. This issue is available online at
http://silverhammerpub.com/hn/hn3_14_2001.html


The News
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MAMMOGRAPHY: STILL BREAST CANCER
'GOLD STANDARD'
Traditional mammography remains the best way to detect breast
cancer, according to a 227-page report by the Institute of
Medicine. The institute, which is chartered by Congress, also
urged the Food and Drug Administration to speed up its approval
process for new breast cancer detection devices currently being
developed.
Source: Reuters Health - March 8, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010308/hl/mammogram_1.html
Institute of Medicine report:
http://www.nap.edu/books/0309072832/html


UNVEILING A NEW ARSENAL FOR EYE HEALTH
Eating carrots to help protect your eyesight is a good idea. But
for maximum protection, researchers now believe you should eat
some other specific foods as well. The bad news is that the foods
they're championing include kale, collard greens, spinach, and
turnip greens.
Source: New York Times - March 13, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/13/health/13BROD.html


STUDY SUGGESTS ASPIRIN MAY HELP PREVENT
OVARIAN CANCER
A small study funded by the National Cancer Institute has found
that women who take aspirin three or more times a week can
significantly reduce their risk for ovarian cancer. Although it's
the fourth study to link aspirin to a reduced risk for ovarian
cancer, scientists say it's too early to recommend that women
start taking aspirin regularly.
Source: Los Angeles Times - March 12, 2001
http://www.latimes.com/health/20010312/t000021676.html


CLARITIN AND SCHERING-PLOUGH: A PRESCRIPTION
FOR PROFIT
This lengthy article explores how the drug manufacturer
Schering-Plough made a blockbuster out of Claritan, an allergy
medication that fails to relieve symptoms in many people who try
it. The article, which is partially based on documents obtained
under the Freedom of Information Act, attributes Claritan's
success to "an enormous expenditure of money, a highly
sophisticated understanding of food and drug laws, daring
marketing, [and] a great deal of luck."
Source: New York Times Magazine - March 11, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/11/magazine/11CLARITIN.html


RISK WAS KNOWN AS FDA OKd FATAL DRUG
Documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times reveal an extremely
cozy relationship between the Warner-Lambert Co., developer of
the diabetes drug Rezulin, and the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration, the agency that's supposed to protect Americans
from harmful drugs. The FDA approved Rezulin four years ago, but
it was withdrawn from the market last year after 391 deaths were
linked to the drug.
Source: Los Angeles Times - March 11, 2001
http://latimes.com/news/nation/reports/rezulin/lat_rez010311.htm


PATIENT ORDERS: WHEN PATIENTS ASK FOR
SPECIFIC DRUGS
Pharmaceutical companies spent about $2 billion last year
directly advertising prescription drugs to consumers. While some
doctors say the ads help inform consumers, others say the ads
should educate more and sell less.
Source: American Medical News - March 19, 2001
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_01/hlsa0319.htm


OSTEOPOROSIS: PART 1 - EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT
Physicians are the primary audience for this article, which looks
at the risk factors for osteoporosis and how doctors should
diagnose and assess it. The accompanying patient handout presents
much of the information in a simplified form.
Source: American Family Physician - March 1, 2001
http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010301/897.html
Patient handout: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010301/908ph.html


ERGOGENIC AIDS: COUNSELING THE ATHLETE
This article looks at the safety and effectiveness of the
numerous dietary supplements marketed to amateur and professional
athletes to improve performance. The editorial urges doctors to
ask their athletic patients about supplement use and to discuss
its potential risks and benefits.
Source: American Family Physician - March 1, 2001
http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010301/913.html
Editorial: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010301/editorials.html


EATING WELL: THE TRUTH BEHIND THE
FEEL-GOOD LABELS
If you choose your chicken based on label claims that it was
grown in an eco-friendly manner, you may be getting the bird.
Food companies can make all kinds of claims on their labels about
using planet-friendly production methods, but there's often
little or no evidence to support their claims.
Source: New York Times - March 14, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/14/living/14WELL.html


DRUG DOSES FREQUENTLY CHANGE AFTER APPROVAL
Twenty percent of prescription drugs that hit the market with FDA
approval later have their recommended dosages changed, according
to a study by an FDA official that was presented at a meeting of
the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
The message for patients is to carefully watch for any side
effects from new drugs and report them to physicians.
Source: Reuters Health - March 9, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010309/hl/doses_1.html


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