Sunday, August 28, 2011

American Council on Science and Health, 2011: Week 34

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


Too much of a good thing? Pap tests over-used
A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that doctors are screening women for cervical cancer far more frequently than guidelines recommend.

Hormone replacement study’s unintended consequences: Fewer mammograms
Fewer women had mammograms done in 2005, and a recent study published in the journal Cancer suggests that the decline is linked to a decreased use of hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms.


Docs and diabetic kids need to stick to guidelines
Eye exams and tests of long-term blood sugar control are routine methods of managing diabetes: hemoglobin A1C tests offer a picture of a diabetic person's blood sugar levels over the course of several months, while regular eye exams can spot and allow for early treatment of the damaged retinal blood vessels associated with diabetes.


If you can stick to certain diets, they may lower your cholesterol
People on the verge of having high cholesterol were able to significantly lower their low-density lipoprotein (or, "bad" cholesterol) levels after changing their diets to include such foods as nuts, oats, soy milk, tofu, and beans.

You can have your chocolate milk and drink it too
Flavored milk hasn't soured after all: This September, parents and kids will find that the chocolate- and strawberry-infused varieties will contain fewer calories and less sugar.

Vitamins reduce incidence of pre-term and underweight babies
Pregnant women of normal weight who were taking a multivitamin four weeks prior to and eight weeks after their last menstrual cycle had a 20 percent lower risk of delivering a preterm or small-for-age baby.


Cooking up a foodborne illness
When it comes to following food safety guidelines, master chef Michael Ruhlman is a bit of a culinary maverick.


Over-regulation of genetically-modified crops will worsen food shortages"
Civilization depends on our expanding ability to produce food efficiently, which has markedly accelerated thanks to science and technology," writes biologist Nina V. Fedoroff in her recent New York Times op-ed.


Silver lining for heart attack patients
Good news for heart attack patients who wind up in the emergency room and require an artery-opening procedure called an angioplasty: nearly all of the procedures are now performed within the recommended 90 minutes from hospital arrival.


A big stink about nothing
There is an odor wafting from the University of Washington - very like the one we discussed last October - and once again, the source is Dr. Anne Steinemann's claims that commercial fragrances are hazardous to our health.

One way to reduce COPD flare-ups
There is an odor wafting from the University of Washington - very like the one we discussed last October - and once again, the source is Dr. Anne Steinemann's claims that commercial fragrances are hazardous to our health.

Another chemical witch-hunt: Triclosan
Dr. Oz is urging fans across the country to publicly dump soaps and toothpastes containing it; the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has filed a lawsuit to hasten FDA regulation of it; Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) has proposed to ban it; but there remains no scientific evidence that the antibacterial chemical triclosan is harmful to humans.


Pediatrics publishes some suspect studies
We've previously questioned some of the studies that have been accepted for publication in the journal Pediatrics, and now Dr. Sara B. DeMauro of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has done the same in her study - which appears in that very journal.


Working on regulating tobacco harm reduction
ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross and Jody Manley have just returned from an FDA workshop on modified risk tobacco products (MRTP), which was convened as directed in the 2009 law granting regulatory authority over tobacco products to the FDA.

More myth-busting: Dissolvable tobacco and scary labels
An article in the current issue of TIME magazine poses the question, "How Safe is Tobacco that Melts in Your Mouth?"

Average readings over time make for better BP control
A U.K. study just published in The Lancet suggests that ambulatory blood pressure monitoring could soon become standard practice for patients thought to have high blood pressure.


Hurricanes — and quakes
As Hurricane Irene approaches the Eastern Seaboard, a little commonsense advice:


Another benefit of the HPV vaccine
Cervarix, one of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines used in innoculations against cervical cancer in girls, also appears to protect against the HPV infection responsible for most anal cancers.

Shooting for higher flu vaccination rates
Vaccine for the 2011-12 flu season is now available, and health experts recommend that all of us get immunized for the fall and winter months that lie ahead.

It was a mostly good week for vaccines
Once again, the alleged link between autism and vaccines has been thoroughly and publicly denounced by an esteemed panel of scientists, this time from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

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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