Health Newsbrief
August 2, 2000
Vol. 1, No. 15
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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A HEALTH CARE MUDDLE
Health care is the most important issue in this year's election,
according to a poll by the Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser
Family Foundation, and Harvard University. At the same time,
voters aren't keen on major government intervention in health
care, and they also don't agree on which health issues are most
important.
Source: Washington Post - July 28, 2000
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58552-2000Jul27.html


JOURNALS OVERLOOK PREVENTION MESSAGE
The two most important medical journals in the United States -
the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New
England Journal of Medicine - rarely publish articles about how a
healthy lifestyle can help prevent disease, according to a review
published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The
researchers suggested that Americans aren't getting the
prevention message because much of the nation's health news
originates with the two journals.
Source: Reuters Health - July 27, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000727/hl/prevention_1.html


PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS TIED TO RISKY SEXUAL BEHAVIOR
A study of 21-year-olds has found that those who suffered from
psychiatric problems such as depression, schizophrenia, and
substance dependence were much more likely to engage in risky
sexual behaviors than those without the problems. The study,
which was published in the British Medical Journal, found that
the sexual behaviors were consistent among both sexes and across
all socioeconomic groups.
Source: Reuters Health - July 28, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000728/hl/psychiatric_1.html
British Medical Journal study:
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7256/263
British Medical Journal editorial:
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7256/251


FIGHTING 'CHEECH & CHONG' MEDICINE
In 1996, voters in California and Arizona approved ballot
initiatives that legalized medicinal marijuana. Court documents
released in a lawsuit reveal that shortly thereafter, the Office
of National Drug Control Policy sought to stamp out any similar
initiative efforts in other states - and to counteract the will
of the voters in California and Arizona.
Source: Salon - July 27, 2000
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2000/07/27/ondcp


MEDICAL ETHICS
This review article in the British Medical Journal examines
recent advances in five areas of medical ethics: end-of-life
care, medical mistakes, priority setting, biotechnology, and
medical ethics education. It also looks at two emerging ethical
topics: "eHealth" and global bioethics.
Source: British Medical Journal - July 29, 2000
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7256/282


'HERBAL' SUPPLEMENTS CAN CONTAIN ANIMAL PARTS
And now for the gross-out story of the week: Some herbal
supplements contain raw animal parts - which is the polite way of
saying a wide range of cow organs, ranging from lungs to brain
matter. A letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine
said some manufacturers openly list the animal ingredients on
their labels, but that others hide behind technical terms that
the public is unlikely to understand.
Source: Reuters Health - July 26, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000726/hl/herbal_2.html


HEART DISEASE BEGINS IN CHILDHOOD
Yet more evidence that kids need to eat balanced diets and get
lots of exercise comes from a study conducted at the Cleveland
Clinic Foundation. The researchers studied the hearts of 181
people aged 13 to 55 who died in car accidents or from gunshots.
Among the teenagers, about 17 percent of the hearts had
significant blockages in at least one coronary artery. The
researchers said this indicates that children as young as five
should be eating a heart-healthy diet to help ward off heart
disease.
Source: HealthSCOUT - July 29, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/hsn/20000729/hl/
heart_disease_begins_in_childhood_1.html



TRYING LIFE WITHOUT INSULIN SHOTS
Canadian researchers may have refined a technique for
transplanting insulin-producing cells into diabetics that allows
the patients to stop taking insulin. In a study conducted over
the past 16 months, 11 out of 12 patients who received the
transplants are no longer taking insulin. Experts caution that
the transplants have risks, but say they're a major step forward
in the effort to find a cure for diabetes.
Source: Washington Post - July 31, 2000
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7270-2000Jul30.html


PUBLIC HEALTH VS. PRIVATE MEDICINE
This article is an interesting interview with Laurie Garrett,
author of the new book "Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global
Public Health." While some of the most pressing public health
problems affect foreign countries, Garrett says the United States
has many problems of its own.
Source: Salon - July 31, 2000
http://www.salon.com/health/feature/2000/07/31/betrayaloftrust


CANCER DRUG, GENE THERAPY PROMISING
In a study of head and neck cancer patients at the M.D. Anderson
Cancer Clinic in Houston, a combination of gene therapy and drugs
caused tumors to shrink in 25 out of 30 people tested. The
cancerous tumors, some more than two inches in size, entirely
disappeared in eight patients, and shrank by up to half in other
patients.
Source: Associated Press - Aug. 1, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000801/hl/
cancer_therapy_1.html


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Silver Hammer Publishing
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