Health Newsbrief
April 19, 2000
Vol. 1, No. 1
ISSN pending
________________________________________________________________

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

Instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing are provided at
the end of this newsletter.


The News
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NO VERDICT YET ON VITAMIN C
Despite a new study showing that high doses of vitamin C could
worsen instead of prevent heart disease, doctors are advising
consumers not to abandon vitamin C and other antioxidants such as
vitamin E and beta carotene. Another report, this one by the
federal Institute of Medicine, found that most people get enough
vitamin C and E from their food and don't need supplements.
Source: Los Angeles Times - April 17, 2000
http://www.latimes.com/news/health/20000417/t000036118.html


SOCIAL LIFE HELPS PREVENT DEMENTIA
Elderly people who are socially isolated are 60 percent more
likely to develop dementia than those who are socially engaged
and have close relationships. That's the finding of a study of
1,200 people aged 75 or older who Swedish scientists tracked for
three years. The study was reported in The Lancet.
Source: Associated Press - April 14, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000414/hl/dementia_2.html


GROUPS WARN OF BREACHES IN PRIVACY LAWS FOR PATIENTS
New rules being developed by the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services would actually decrease consumers' medical privacy
rights rather than boosting them as intended, according to some
doctors and privacy advocates. The rules, which will likely be
issued in final form this fall, abolish the requirement for
patient consent in many cases where medical records would be
disclosed.
Source: Washington Post - April 16, 2000
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/
A21639-2000Apr15.html



ADMISSIONS TO HOSPITAL CAUSED BY ADVERSE DRUG REACTIONS: CROSS
SECTIONAL INCIDENCE STUDY
Researchers report that 3.19 percent of people admitted to French
hospitals were there because of bad reactions to prescription
drugs. Older people and women were more likely to suffer bad
reactions, the researchers reported in the British Medical
Journal.
Source: British Medical Journal - April 15, 2000
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/320/7241/1036


THE INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE REPORT ON MEDICAL ERRORS - COULD IT DO
HARM?
Last year, the Institute of Medicine grabbed headlines with a
report claiming that medical errors kill 44,000 to 98,000 people
annually in American hospitals. In this essay, the researcher who
conducted many of the original studies on which the IOM based its
conclusion questions the validity of its approach. He also says
that without changes in malpractice laws, silence and secrecy
will doom any efforts to reduce medical errors.
Source: New England Journal of Medicine - April 13, 2000
http://www.nejm.org/content/2000/0342/0015/1123.asp


NEW PATIENT FACT SHEET ON MEDICAL ERRORS AVAILABLE
Speaking of medical errors, the federal Agency for Healthcare
Research and Quality has released a fact sheet to help consumers
protect themselves from medical errors. The publication is titled
"20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors," and has tips about
preventing errors related to medicines, hospital stays, and
surgery.
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/20tips.htm


REPORT: MEDICAL BOARDS OVERWORKED
Local boards that oversee medical research involving humans are
overworked and undertrained, according to a report by the
inspector general at the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services. Federal regulators have made some improvements in their
oversight of human experiments, the report says, but there is
still little independent monitoring of patients on a day-to-day
basis once a clinical trial begins.
Source: Associated Press - April 13, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000413/hl/
medical_testing_1.html

The report: http://www.hhs.gov/progorg/oei/reports/a447.pdf


FDA APPROVES NEW ARTHRITIS DRUG
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved yet another
drug for arthritis pain - the third approved in the last two
years. The new drug, meloxicam, will be marketed under the name
Mobic by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and Abbott
Laboratories.
Source: Associated Press - April 14, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000414/pl/
arthritis_drug_1.html



NLM CREATES PAGE ABOUT CORONARY DISEASE
The National Library of Medicine has created a resource page
about coronary disease at its MEDLINEplus site. The page has
links to selected articles and publications from the Center for
Cardiovascular Education, National Institutes of Health, National
Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, American Heart
Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, among others.
Source: National Library of Medicine
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/coronarydisease.html


CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE: IDEA BRIEF NO. 6
The Century Foundation has released a proposal for providing
universal health care coverage to all children and pregnant
women. The proposal calls for the federal government to provide
an income-related subsidy to families with children or fully
subsidized insurance to all children and pregnant women.
Source: The Century Foundation
http://www.tcf.org/ideas2000/Issues/Health/
Children's_Insurance.pdf



U.S. APPROVES NEW ANTIBIOTIC
A drug touted as the first completely new type of antibiotic in
35 years has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration. Zyvox will largely be used to treat
drug-resistant bacteria that do not respond to vancomycin,
although it also can be used to treat routine pneumonia, skin
infections, and some drug-resistant staph infections.
Source: Associated Press - April 18, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000418/hl/
new_antibiotic_3.htm
l


ASPIRIN: SUPERHERO OR PROBLEM PILL?
Scientists still aren't entirely sure how aspirin works. Yet
they're excited about preliminary evidence that the drug may help
prevent dementia, stroke, and cancer. This lengthy article
explores aspirin's pluses and minuses - and how it may be used in
the future.
Source: New York Times - April 18, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/health/
041800hth-aspirin-roundup.html



A Quick Plug
________________________________________________________________

Congressional Quarterly has just published my book, "How to Track
Politics on the Internet," which describes more than 600 of the
best political Web sites, newsgroups, and mailing lists. The book
costs $29.95, and can be ordered from CQ (800-638-1710) or any
online bookstore. The table of contents and introduction are
available at http://bmaxwell.home.mindspring.com
________________________________________________________________

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Bruce Maxwell
Silver Hammer Publishing
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bmax@silverhammerpub.com

 

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