Health Newsbrief
July 25, 2001
Vol. 2, No. 25
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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DEATHS FROM MED ERRORS MAY BE FEWER
Medical errors in hospitals may kill 5,000 to 15,000 Americans
each year, according to a study published in the Journal of the
American Medical Association. These numbers sharply conflict with
those compiled by the Institute of Medicine. Two years ago, the
institute estimated that up to 98,000 Americans die in hospitals
each year from medical mistakes.
Source: Associated Press - July 24, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010724/hl/
medical_errors_1.html

JAMA study:
http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v286n4/rfull/joc02235.html


STATE ERROR LEGISLATION GETS MIXED REVIEWS
On the state level, legislatures around the country are
responding to the Institute of Medicine's report on medical
errors by passing laws designed to reduce mistakes in hospitals.
The laws take a variety of approaches, and it remains to be seen
whether they'll be effective.
Source: American Medical News - July 30, 2001
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_01/prsb0730.htm


AHA REVISES ADVICE ON ESTROGEN
Millions of American women take estrogen expressly to lower their
risk of heart disease and stroke. However, new guidelines from
the American Heart Association say they should stop because the
supplements may actually be harmful. The AHA added that women
who take estrogen to treat symptoms of menopause and to prevent
bone loss should continue with the medication despite the potential
for harm.
Source: Associated Press - July 23, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010723/hl/
women_s_hearts_hormones_2.html



STUDY DEFENDS PREVENTIVE MASTECTOMIES
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has
found that the controversial practice of removing the healthy
breasts of women who have a strong genetic risk for breast cancer
is extremely effective in preventing the disease. In the study,
none of the high-risk women who chose preventive mastectomies
developed breast cancer.
Source: Associated Press - July 18, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010718/hl/
preventive_mastectomies_1.html



ARTIFICIAL HEART STILL YEARS AWAY
FOR MOST
The artificial heart recently implanted in a heart patient in a
Kentucky hospital has drawn headlines around the world. However,
the artificial heart is still years away from widespread use, and
faces many hurdles on the path to regulatory approval.
Source: American Medical News - July 30, 2001
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_01/hlsa0730.htm


GOP FUND-RAISING STRATEGY TARGETS PHYSICIANS
Physicians around the country are getting phone calls inviting
them to join a select group who make up the "Physician's Advisory
Board," which they're told advises Republican congressional
leaders about health policy. In reality, the calls appear to be
nothing more than a ploy by the Republican National Congressional
Committee to raise money.
Source: American Medical News - July 30, 2001
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_01/gvl20730.htm


U.S. RESEARCHERS LAUNCH
BIG PROSTATE CANCER STUDY
A new federal study will examine whether vitamin E and selenium
help prevent prostate cancer. The effort, billed as the world's
largest prostate cancer prevention study, will involve more than
34,000 men and take more than a decade to complete.
Source: Reuters - July 25, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010725/hl/prostate_1.html


BIG STEPS FOR VACCINE INDUSTRY
About 100 vaccines are currently being developed in the United
States to prevent everything from the flu to traveler's diarrhea
to cancer to Alzheimer's disease. They represent a rebirth in
vaccine development, which was sharply curtailed by liability
lawsuits in the 1970s and 1980s.
Source: New York Times - July 25, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/25/business/25VACC.html


LONGTIME DRUG'S NEW TROUBLES
More than 8 million Americans with thyroid problems take the drug
Synthroid, which has been on the market for decades. But the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration is taking a new look at the drug in
light of repeated manufacturing problems that have the potential
to threaten patient safety.
Source: Los Angeles Times - July 23, 2001
http://www.latimes.com/features/health/
la-000060072jul23.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dhealth



A Shameless Plug
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The editor of this newsletter is a full-time freelance writer
who's available for a variety of assignments - articles, brochures,
books, Web consultations, or a nice e-mail newsletter like this one -
about health or other topics. He has 20 years of professional writing
experience and top-flight credentials, yet his fees are surprisingly
reasonable. If you'd like to learn more, visit
http://bmaxwell.home.mindspring.com, send an e-mail to
bmaxwell@mindspring.com, or call 703-532-6327.
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