Health Newsbrief
August 9, 2000
Vol. 1, No. 16
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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SURGEON GENERAL REITERATES NEED FOR TOBACCO
CONTROL POLICIES
Within a decade, the United States could cut in half the number
of people who smoke if legislators and other policymakers
implemented proven tobacco control strategies, according to U.S.
Surgeon General David Satcher. In a new report about smoking,
Satcher also criticized states that are failing to use part of
the money from the multi-billion dollar tobacco settlements on
smoking control efforts.
Source: Reuters Health - Aug. 9, 2000
http://www.reutershealth.com/archive/2000/08/09/eline/links/
20000809elin012.html

Surgeon General's report:
http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/sgr_tobacco_use.htm


STUDENTS CONTINUE TO SMOKE IN WORRISOME
NUMBERS
About one third of U.S. college students have used a tobacco
product in the past month, according to a study published in the
Journal of the American Medical Association. A second JAMA study
looks at the effectiveness of home and workplace smoking
restrictions in curbing adolescent smoking, and two editorials
discuss efforts to control tobacco.
Source: Reuters - Aug. 8, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000808/hl/students_3.html
JAMA study:
http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n6/abs/joc00488.html
JAMA smoking restrictions study:
http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n6/full/joc00094.html
Editorial: Achieving Worldwide Tobacco Control
http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n6/full/jed00054.html
Editorial: Tobacco Control in the 21st Century
http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n6/full/jed00053.html


SMOKING BANS PROTECT CHILDREN FROM
SECONDHAND SMOKE
Bans on smoking at home, public places and school help protect
children from secondhand cigarette smoke, according to a study
published in the British Medical Journal. More surprisingly,
though, the bans also seem to reduce the chance that teens will
start smoking. Two other studies in the same issue also examine
kids and secondhand smoke, and an editorial examines the
effectiveness of various approaches to protecting kids from
secondhand smoke.
Source: Reuters Health - Aug. 4, 2000
http://www.reutershealth.com/archive/2000/08/04/eline/links/
20000804elin008.html

British Medical Journal study:
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7257/333
Two related British Medical Journal studies:
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7257/337
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7257/343
British Medical Journal editorial:
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7257/310


SMOKERS' LUNG CANCER RISK RESTATED
It's long been known that the earlier smokers quit, the better
chance they have of avoiding lung cancer. But a new study
published in the British Medical Journal reports that those who
quit as late as middle age sharply decrease their risk of lung
cancer, and those who quit before middle age can cut their risk
by more than 90 percent.
Source: Washington Post - Aug. 3, 2000
http://washingtonpost.com/cgi-bin/gx.cgi/AppLogic+FTContent
Server?articleid=A24893-2000Aug2&pagename=article

British Medical Journal study:
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7257/323


ALZHEIMER'S CARE CRISIS
Nursing aides provide the bulk of the care that Alzheimer's
patients receive in nursing homes, but they're frequently treated
with little respect and can make more money flipping burgers. Not
surprisingly, the turnover rate for aides is tremendous. Now some
nursing homes and health organizations are trying to make the
jobs more appealing with higher pay, more training, and other
benefits.
Source: Los Angeles Times - Aug. 7, 2000
http://www.latimes.com/news/health/20000807/t000073795.html


A SPOONFUL OF DICKENS
Starting next month in one British town, doctors who see patients
suffering from depression, stress, or anxiety will refer them to
a "bibliotherapist" at the local library. The librarian will
compile a customized list of fiction books for each patient
designed to help with healing.
Source: Salon - Aug. 8, 2000
http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2000/08/08/bibliotherapy


A COMMON SYNDROME SELDOM DISCUSSED
Up to 20 percent of the population may suffer from irritable
bowel syndrome, a condition that can affect every aspect of a
sufferer's daily life. In this article, New York Times columnist
Jane Brody looks at the syndrome's causes and some ways to cope.
Source: New York Times - Aug. 8, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/health/
080800hth-brody.html



DRUG SAMPLES SWAY PHYSICIANS' PRESCRIBING HABITS
Pharmaceutical companies shower doctors with drug samples, and
many doctors give the samples to patients to help them save
money. However, a study in the Journal of General Internal
Medicine found that some doctors prescribe sample drugs even if
they're not the best choice for a particular patient.
Source: Reuters Health - Aug. 8, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000808/hl/samples_1.html


SUCCESSFUL ANIMAL-TO-HUMAN TRANSPLANTS
FEASIBLE
Researchers have taken another step forward in the effort to
transplant animal tissue into humans. The London-based
researchers successfully transplanted pig pancreas cells into
mice. The key was that by immunizing the mice before the
transplant, they were able to block them from rejecting the new
cells.
Source: Reuters Health - Aug. 3, 2000
http://www.reutershealth.com/archive/2000/08/03/eline/links/
20000803elin012.html



20,000 PROBLEM DOCS BROUGHT TO LIGHT
The nonprofit Public Citizen Health Research Group has released a
four-volume set of books listing more than 20,000 doctors who
have been disciplined by state medical boards for everything from
sex-related crimes to negligence. By the end of the year, the
Federation of State Boards of Medical Examiners hopes to post
similar data at a new Web site it's creating. The goal is to
provide biographical, educational, and disciplinary data on every
licensed physician in the United States.
Source: USA Today - Aug. 9, 2000
http://www.usatoday.com/life/health/hcare/lhhca118.htm


A DIAGNOSIS EXCESS?
The number of children diagnosed with attention deficit disorder
is steadily rising in the United States, as is the number who
take drugs such as Ritalin for the disorder. A class-action suit
filed in Texas claims the reason for the increases is collusion
between Ritalin manufacturer Novartis, the American Psychiatric
Association, and a group called Children and Adults with
Attention Deficit Disorder.
Source: ABCNEWS.com - Aug. 9, 2000
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/living/DailyNews/
ritalin_lawsuit0808.html

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Silver Hammer Publishing
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