Health Newsbrief
May 23, 2001
Vol. 2, No. 19
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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LANCET: FDA FAR TOO COZY WITH DRUG INDUSTRY
A stinging editorial in The Lancet, a leading British medical
journal, blasts the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for
becoming a "servant" of the drug industry. The editorial harshly
criticizes the FDA for its actions involving Lotronex, a drug for
irritable bowel syndrome that the manufacturer voluntarily
withdrew after it was linked to the deaths of five patients. The
FDA is now considering allowing the drug back onto the market.
Sources: Reuters Health - May 18, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010518/hl/lancet_1.html


LAWMAKERS PUSH FOR CELL PHONE INFO
There's not enough evidence yet to determine whether cell phones
are safe or harmful, according to a report by the U.S. General
Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress. The GAO
said it will probably be "many more years" before a definitive
conclusion can be reached about whether radio waves from cell
phones harm health.
Source: Associated Press - May 22, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010522/tc/
cell_phone_safety_6.html

GAO report: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d01545.pdf


CANCER DOCTORS SEE NEW ERA OF OPTIMISM
More than 400 experimental cancer drugs are currently being
tested in clinical trials with humans. Yet despite great optimism
about recent advances in fighting cancer, major breakthroughs are
probably at least a decade away.
Source: New York Times - May 22, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/22/health/22DOCS.html


THE INSIDE SKINNY
Some doctors claim that full-body CT scans of healthy people are
an excellent way to detect any disease that may be developing and
to stop it before it becomes deadly. But plenty of naysayers
chronicle a whole list of problems with the tests, which they
contend are a waste in most cases.
Source: Kiplinger's Magazine - June 2001
http://www.kiplinger.com/magazine/archives/2001/June/spending/
CATSCANS.html



THE WAR ON BREAST CANCER
The fight against breast cancer has been influenced as much by
politics, economics, and culture as by medical science, according
to this article - and not always in a positive way. The article
is based on a new book from Oxford University Press titled "The
Breast Cancer Wars."
Source: Washington Post - May 22, 2001
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/health/A56228-2001May21.html


DOUBTS ARE RAISED ON THE SAFETY OF 2 POPULAR
ARTHRITIS DRUGS
The drug giants Pharmacia and Merck & Company have heavily
advertised their respective arthritis drugs - Celebrex and Vioxx
- to patients, leading to billions of dollars in sales. But
questions are being raised about whether the drugs might increase
a patient's risk of heart attack.
Source: New York Times - May 22, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/22/business/22VIOX.html


THE NEW CHOLESTEROL GUIDELINES EXPLAINED
As reported in last week's Health Newsbrief
(http://silverhammerpub.com/hn/hn5_16_2001.html), the National
Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has released new, tougher
guidelines for treating high cholesterol. This article explains
what they mean for individuals in practical terms.
Source: Washington Post - May 22, 2001
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/health/print/
A58083-2001May21.html



WHEN MOM'S 'BABY BLUES' DEEPEN TO
SERIOUS DEPRESSION
About 60 percent to 80 percent of all women who give birth
experience the "baby blues" after their child is born. These
feelings are usually temporary, but in some women the feelings
develop into clinical depression that needs medical treatment.
Source: Newsday - May 22, 2001
http://www.newsday.com/columnists/stories/tuesday/nd7916.htm


FIRST RULE: DON'T HESITATE TO GET SECOND OPINION
Getting a second medical opinion can be a critical step to
obtaining proper health care. This article explains when you
should get a second opinion and how you should get it.
Source: Boston Globe - May 22, 2001
http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/142/science/
First_rule_Don_t_hesitate_to_get_second_opinion+.shtml



TEASING OUT THE GENETICS OF BIPOLAR DISORDER
Various scientists have identified five chromosomal regions that
may be linked to bipolar disorder, which is characterized by wild
swings between depression and mania. That's progress, but it's
still a long way from figuring out which chromosomes are actually
involved and how they affect development of the illness.
Source: The Lancet - May 19, 2001
http://www.thelancet.com/journal/vol357/iss9268/full/
llan.357.9268.news.16341.1



BICYCLE-RELATED INJURIES
This article reviews the most common types of injuries suffered
by bicycle riders. The patient handout provides tips on bike
safety.
Source: American Family Physician - May 15, 2001
http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010515/2007.html
Patient handout: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010515/2017ph.html


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