Saturday, July 23, 2011

American Council on Science and Health, 2011: Week 28

The presence of linked articles here are merely a way of showing what is going on, whether I agree or disagree with the positions presented. Rich Kozlovich

Link of the Week

Child-proof playgrounds are worse than no fun
Adults nostalgic for the monkey bars and tall slides of their childhood may have trouble finding them when they take their own children to a nearby playground.

Alzheimer’s/Dementia

Can healthy living reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s?
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, have just pinpointed what they say are seven risk factors for dementia, which, if reduced by even 10 to 25 percent, could prevent nearly 500,000 cases of Alzheimer's each year in the U.S.

Heads up: Even minor brain injuries may increase dementia risk
A new study appears to headbutt the notion that only moderate or severe brain injuries can predispose people to dementia.

Antidepressants: Another failed treatment option for dementia patients
Sadly, another study presented at Monday's Alzheimer's Association International Conference has found that antidepressants are ineffective for Alzheimer's patients.

Cancer

Statins safe and sans cancer risk
A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology analyzed the medical records of almost 92,000 U.S. adults and concluded that taking cholesterol-controlling statins is not associated with a higher risk of cancer.

A viable treatment option for some breast cancers, even after spread
A study just published in Clinical Cancer Research has confirmed that treating HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer with the drug trastuzumab (Herceptin) is as effective as chemotherapy or surgery.

Diet

Kids are (not) what they (won’t) eat
Efforts to improve the healthfulness of school lunches are increasingly evident, from upping kids' portions of fruits and vegetables to (rather unfathomably) removing chocolate milk from the cafeteria. Still, a news story from Colorado reminds us that there is still a ways to go.

Talking diet and exercise with teenage patients
Pediatricians may be missing out on opportunities to discuss diet and exercise with their overweight teenage patients, suggests new research published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Campbell’s soups back to being Mmm...Mmm Salty!
We've said it before, and we'll say it again: consumers, not the government, will ultimately dictate the recipes used by food manufacturers, and in this case, the public has spoken.

Reproduction

Contraception is a preventive health service, IOM report says
Commissioned by the Obama administration to recommend which preventive medical services should be covered under the nation's health care overhaul, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) - an independent, nonprofit organization - reportedyesterday that all U.S.-approved birth control contraceptives be included as part of that list.

Early induced deliveries may give birth to adverse outcomes
In today's hectic times, moms-to-be - and their OBGYN's - may not think twice about scheduling an artificially-induced early childbirth for the sake of convenience.

This and That

Never too old to listen to heat advisories
Resistance to acknowledging one's age may be what's keeping many elderly folk from heeding heat warnings meant for older populations.

Tobacco

NEJM editorial: e-cigarette users should resume smoking for their own good
A New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) perspective piece on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) would have you believe that FDA-approved cessation methods like the patch are a superior means of quitting smoking compared to e-cigarettes and, therefore, smokers should not rely on these relatively new electronic devices to kick the habit.

New dissolvable tobacco products discussed at FDA hearing
This week, ACSH's Jody Manley and Dr. Gilbert Ross sat in on the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee's (TPSAC) preliminary hearing on the safety of dissolvable tobacco products such as RJ Reynold's Camel Orbs lozenges and Altria's dissolvable tobacco sticks.

Good news, and bad, about substance use and abuse
A large government study has found that fewer teens and young adults view heavy smoking as a high-risk activity. This same study also found that nearly one in four Americans binge drink.

Two strikes against TPSAC menthol “recommendation”
On his TobaccoAnalysis blog, Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the department of community health sciences at Boston University's School of Public Health, criticizes the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) for failing once again to make a recommendation to the FDA regarding a possible ban on menthol cigarettes.

The best use for tobacco plants yet: HIV meds of the future?
In a drug trial that would prove an advance for both HIV prevention and biotech, European scientists are testing the efficacy of an anti-HIV antibody that was cultivated via a genetically modified tobacco plant.

Prescriptions for cigarettes in Iceland? Hippocrates would be rolling in his grave
The parliament in Reykjavik, Iceland is considering some radical tobacco legislation: banning the sale of cigarettes from the usual retail outlets and allowing only pharmacies to sell them.

An “R” rating for smoking in movies: public health or censorship?
A new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) commends three major movie studios (Comcast/Universal, Disney, and Time Warner/Warner Bros.) for eliminating the depiction of smoking in youth-rated films by 96 percent since 2005.

Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Bloom takes a shot at CDC’s public hearings on vaccine approval
In a new National Review Online op-ed, ACSH's Dr. Josh Bloom takes issue with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) unprecedented decision to conduct a national four-city "listening tour" to garner the public's opinion on whether the agency should include a recently FDA-approved bacterial meningitis vaccine for infants as young as nine months as part of their schedule of recommended vaccines.

TB tests under WHO fire
Tuberculosis (TB) test-kit manufacturers were castigated by the World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday, while their sales in developing countries were placed under immediate ban due to "unacceptable levels of wrong results" and "perverse financial incentives" to boost sales, according to a WHO statement.

If there is a health scare today, the American Council on Science and Health will most likely have the answer by tomorrow; and for members it will appear in your e-mail. No effort on your part, except to read the answer. All that the ACSH is interested in are the facts and they are prepared to follow them wherever they lead. Who can ask for more?  Please Donate Now!

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