Saturday, July 30, 2011

American Council on Science and Health, 2011: Week 29

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

Cancer

Science trumps emotion in a Federal 9/11 cancer report
ACSH staffers were surprised to read a New York Times piece reporting federal officials' conclusion that there is not enough evidence to link cancer to the dust and smoke originating from the World Trade Center attacks of September 11th.

Link between cell phones and childhood brain cancer gets no reception
The findings of the newest study on the link between childhood brain cancer and cell phone use will be a dropped call to those convinced that heavy cell phone users are a few minutes away from developing cancer.

Diabetes

More may not be better with glucose lowering efforts
A new study in the British Medical Journal should give pause to doctors considering intensive glucose lowering treatment for their type 2 diabetic patients.

Exercise

Exercise good for the body and mind
Two studies published in the Archives of Internal Medicine demonstrate that cardiovascular exercise may not only help skim inches off your waistline, but it may also stave off the onset of cognitive decline as you age.

Heart Disease

Heart disease patients: take your aspirin, toss your cigarettes
Two recent studies offer a strong incentive for patients at risk of a heart attack to quit smoking and keep taking their daily dose of aspirin.

New study brings heartache to physicians trying to diagnose an acute coronary event
It would seem that the chest pain many patients fear to be a heart attack in the making does not accurately predict one's risk of having acute coronary syndrome or a heart attack (acute myocardial infarction, AMI), says a new study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

An old test, but a new way to predict heart disease?
As a rule, diabetic patients have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Now, the results of a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine suggest that a patient's blood level of glyco-hemoglobin (HbA1c, an indicator of long-term blood glucose control) might be a more precise indicator of that risk.

Ideology and the EPA

More science over feelings: BPA is safe. Can we now find something real to worry about?
The 9/11 cancer report is not the only sound-science publication whose results have been met with knee-jerk dismissal.

Obesity

Dr. Kava gives Chicago Tribune some food for thought
In yesterday's Chicago Tribune, a reporter asked ACSH's Dr. Ruth Kava if government anti-obesity interventions, such as taxing "junk" food, effectively reduce the toll of obesity.

Happy — and healthier — meals?
Bowing to government scrutiny and public concerns fueled by advocacy groups, McDonald's took steps today to make children's Happy Meals happier by boosting nutritional content while reducing calorie and sodium content.

Food police or Keystone Kops?
The New York Times' Mark Bittman is in favor of taxing soda. He's also in favor of taxing French fries. And doughnuts. And all "hyperprocessed snacks." In his halcyon vision, the resulting funds would be channeled into programs that make healthful foods affordable and accessible to all. This, Bittman says, would solve the nation's high rates of obesity, heart disease, and cancer.

Nothing to report: School food bans have zero effect
We were disappointed to see media coverage of what amounts to the non-results of a poorly executed study that was, somehow, published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Activists’ hot dog warning is a real car wreck
USA Today reports that a group referring to themselves as "doctors" wants NASCAR fans to stop eating hot dogs and race to a vegan diet.

Tobacco

ACSH’s newest publication appears in Harm Reduction Journal
We'd like to note that ACSH's newest publication on tobacco harm reduction will be published in the current issue of Harm Reduction Journal.

Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals

A compelling editorial on mandatory vaccines for health care workers
We at ACSH are happy to promote Dr. Arthur's Caplan's recent Lancet article on the importance of mandating flu vaccines for health care workers.

Break me off a piece of that...Lipitor?
As health care costs steadily rise, some people try to cut corners by splitting pills or holding on to certain medications past their expiration date - but are such practices safe?

New Hepatitis C treatment shows remarkable efficacy
After 20 years of intense research, the first two antiviral drugs (protease inhibitors) to treat hepatitis C, bocepravir (Victrelis, Merck) and telaprevir (Incivek, Vertex) were approved by the FDA one week apart.

Part D: An Ounce of Prevention
Devoting more funds to prescription drugs for Medicare patients saves money in the long run, a study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found.

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?
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