Monday, October 20, 2014

Public Health: From the American Council on Science and Health

New study of a decade's worth of Florida births seems to show heavier newborns do better in school - up to 10 pounds - Think newborns should be slim and trim? Think again. A very large study evaluating children's health and intellectual status as a function of birth weight found that heavier babies do better in school, with 10 lbs. being optimal. Read more.

Chemo's dreaded side effects, and how miraculous drugs changed the entire landscape - Chemo induced nausea & vomiting (CINV) has two phases, acute and delayed. Zofran revolutionized the management of acute CINV but does not work well for delayed CINV. A new drug combination just approved by the FDA handles both quite well. Read more.

32 Shades of Ignorant - vaccine myths that perpetuate deadly misinformation - Vaccinations are universally recommended by legitimate medical professionals, yet many people fear these life-saving defenses. An NPR article counters 32 common flu vaccine myths - a must read for anyone on the fence about getting the shot this season. Read more.

Totally Wicked vs. the EU's tobacco directive - Read Dr. Ross's op-ed in The Parliament Magazine about UK-based e-cig and vapor product company Totally Wicked's case against the EU's tobacco directive. Their case will be heard in the EU Court of Justice next spring. Hopefully they will succeed. Read more.  

Vaccines in the news once again. With good reason. - A news story makes a compelling case for vaccines and the insanity of avoiding them. The visuals that go along with the story are horrifying and illustrate what's happening as a result of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children. Read more.

Life expectancy in the US continues to climb - Latest Federal report on Health Statistics finds that life expectancy in the US is increasing, and the variation between people of different races and ethnicities is decreasing. How does that jibe with the doom-and-gloom stories about our health status? Read more.

Mother knows best in epidural timing - Epidurals are a highly effective and extremely common method of labor pain relief. A recent study shows that mothers can receive an epidural at any time during labor - getting one early or late in labor does not make a difference. Read more.

New study links daily vaping with higher quit-smoking rate. But not so fast - A new study shows an association between "intense" e-cigarette users ("vapers") and quitting smoking. But there are several caveats that should lend perspective to this good news: quitting at one point in time only, and no cause-and-effect established. Read more.

A call for more attention to be paid to the benefits of nuclear energy - An op-ed in Forbes.com wonders why clean, safe, zero-carbon-footprint nuclear energy has so few friends in high places these days. ACSH advisor and co-author of our publication on nuclear energy has some thoughts, but no answers. Read more.

Preliminary studies find promising treatments for type 1 diabetes, vision loss from retinal disease and acute lymphoblastic leukemia - New studies show promise in using human embryonic cells to treat type 1 diabetes and vision loss from retinal disease. A related study shows promise in using T-cell therapy to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia. These are small but important pilot studies. Read more.

Pneumonia vaccine will make you breathe easier - Good news on the vaccine front: Additional evidence about the utility of vaccines against community acquired pneumonia - a common infection transmitted outside the hospital. This is especially important given the crisis of antibiotic resistance. Read more.

Oregon and Colorado debate potential GMO-labeling laws - Voters in Oregon and Colorado will soon head to polls to vote on GMO-labeling laws, Measure 92 and Initiative 105, respectively. Will these nonsensical laws fail just as they did in California and Washington? Read more.

Slow and steady may not always win the race when it comes to weight loss  - Current guidelines regarding weight loss suggest that losing weight too quickly will result in gaining it back as opposed to losing weight at a slower, steady pace. However, according to a new study, this may not be the case. Read more.

Researchers create "Alzheimer's in a dish" - Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, and currently there is no cure for the disease. Using stem cells, researchers were able to create a laboratory model for Alzheimer's - an achievement that could speed up the testing of Alzheimer's drugs. Read more.

Re-interpreting calorie counts using activity labels - NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has voiced his support for limiting the size of sugary drinks. If it's excess calories the administration is worried about, the results of a study looking at how activity labels influence choices may provide some answers. Read more.

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