Health Newsbrief
May 16, 2001
Vol. 2, No. 18
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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PANEL RECOMMENDS AGGRESSIVE CHOLESTEROL
TREATMENTS
To reduce deaths from heart disease, new guidelines from the
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute increase by millions
the number of Americans who should take cholesterol-lowering
drugs and alter their diets to reduce cholesterol levels. Under
the new recommendations, 36 million Americans should be
considered for cholesterol-lowering drugs, up from 13 million
under previous guidelines, and 65 million should adopt
cholesterol-lowering diets, up from 52 million.
Source: New York Times - May 15, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/15/health/15CND-HEART.html
Executive summary of report:
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol/atp_iii.htm
Patient handout about how to lower cholesterol levels:
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/hbc_what.htm


FLIGHT BLOOD CLOTS 'HIT ONE IN TEN'
Ten percent of people who travel on flights of eight hours or
more develop blood clots, according to a study published in The
Lancet. However, the study found that most of the clots do not
cause any symptoms, and only in rare cases do they grow into
large clots that are potentially fatal.
Source: British Broadcasting Corp. - May 11, 2001
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_1322000/
1322107.stm



NEW DRUG FIGHTS SECOND KIND OF CANCER
Only one week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
approved the drug Gleevec for treatment of one type of leukemia,
researchers have announced the drug also is remarkably successful
in treating a previously incurable intestinal cancer that strikes
at least 10,000 Americans each year. In clinical trials, the drug
caused complete remissions among more than 180 people with the
intestinal cancer known as gastrointestinal stromal tumor, or
GIST.
Source: New York Times - May 14, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/14/health/14CANC.html


ALZHEIMER'S DRUG HAS STAYING POWER
A new drug for treating Alzheimer's disease should hit pharmacies
this month. The drug, Reminyl, is made from the bulbs of
daffodils. A study has found that the drug helps slow the decline
of memory and cognitive skills in people with mild to moderate
cases of Alzheimer's disease. Meanwhile, the Reuters Health story
reports on a new study which found no relationship between
lifetime cholesterol levels and the risk of Alzheimer's, and the
New York Times story reports on a possible link between a folic
acid deficiency and Alzheimer's.
Sources: HealthScout - May 11, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/hsn/20010511/hl/
alzheimer_s_drug_has_staying_power_1.html

Reuters Health - May 11, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010511/hl/cholesterol_2.html
New York Times - May 16, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/16/living/16WELL.html


RAND: U.S. FACES HEALTHCARE 'QUALITY DEFICIT'
The United States has a substandard healthcare system and
policymakers are doing little to make it better, according to a
study by researchers at RAND Health, a healthcare think tank. The
study's conclusion: "Medicine as practiced in the United States
today is dangerous."
Source: Reuters Health - May 14, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010509/hl/deficit_1.html
RAND study:
http://ramiro.catchword.com/vl=37838585/cl=11/nw=1/rpsv/
cgi-bin/fulltext?/catchword/phope/02782715/v20n3/s11/p82.idx



HRT NOT HARMFUL TO BREAST CANCER
PATIENTS: STUDY
Hormone replacement therapy may lower the risk of recurrence in
breast cancer patients, according to a study published in the
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The authors caution
that their study is not definitive, especially in light of
previous studies linking hormone replacement therapy to the
development of some cases of breast cancer.
Source: Reuters Health - May 15, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010515/hl/hrt_1.html


BRAIN STILL DEVELOPING IN MIDDLE AGE,
SCANS SHOW
Research published in the Archives of General Psychiatry
indicates that critical parts of the human brain continue growing
into the mid- to late-40s. This is twice as long as previously
believed, and may have implications for preventing diseases such
as Alzheimer's.
Source: Reuters Health - May 15, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010515/hl/brain_1.html


HARVARD CREATES NEW MEDICAL PROGRAM
Harvard Medical School is launching a new institute that will
study the integration of alternative and traditional medical
treatments. Researchers will study everything from acupuncture to
herbs, and will examine the interactions of alternative and
traditional medicines.
Source: Associated Press - May 14, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010514/hl/
harvard_alternative_medicine_1.html



F.D.A. CAUTIONS AGAINST EATING CERTAIN FISH
DURING PREGNANCY
Earlier this year, for the first time the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration warned pregnant women to avoid eating four species
of fish. But some health advocates and scientific organizations,
including the National Academy of Sciences, say the FDA's warning
doesn't go far enough.
Source: New York Times - May 9, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/09/living/09WELL.html


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