Print

Print


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
             HEALTH-NEWS-ROUNDUP  (2/6/95)
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
            The health-related articles summarized below have been transmitted
recently to subscriber newspapers around the world by the Medical Tribune News
Service. If your newspapers didn't print them, it might be because the editors
were swamped with "more important" news items.
 
           But it doesn't make these stories less useful to individuals.
 
           In the interest of getting this information to the end-user -- you --
we're making it available online. If you'd like to see the articles below,
send a note to Patrick Vance at [log in to unmask] Indicate if you'd like to
get the roundup on a regular basis.
 
           At some point this might turn into a subscription service, but for now
it's free.
 
           The stories are not for republication except by special arrangement.
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
           GOOD BONES MAY RUN IN THE FAMILY. A new French study finds that children
of parents with thin bones may be more likely than normal to develop brittle
bones as adults, putting them at risk of osteoporosis later in life. The
study of 129 families suggests that genetics play a pivotal role in
determining who will develop osteoporosis. Children and grandchildren of
women with osteoporosis should be taught early how to prevent the disease,
such as maintaining proper calcium intake and exercising regularly to build
adequate bone mass. (400 words)
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
           COMPUTER PREDICTIONS FOR THE TERMINALLY ILL. The question that most
terminally ill patients struggle with _ ``How much time do I have left?'' _
may soon be answered with the help of a computer program, according to a new
study. Doctors can plug information into the program, such as a patient's
age, type of illness, number of days spent in the hospital and their
laboratory test data, and come up with a prediction that is as accurate as
the doctor would make alone, said Dr. William Knaus, author a study published
in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The advantage of the computer program,
according to researchers, is that it gives doctors more information to
reinforce their diagnosis of a patient's condition. With this information,
doctors can discuss with their patients which treatments may be best,
depending on their prognosis, and how soon end-of-life issues should be
addressed. (450 words)
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
           PUFFING ON A CIGARETTE CAN WRINKLE YOUR FACE. Attention smokers: if you
want to preserve your good looks, don't buy an anti-wrinkle cream, just kick
your habit. According to a new study, men who smoke are more than twice as
likely to have facial wrinkles as their non-smoking counterparts. For women
it's even worse: they are more than three times as likely to be wrinkly
compared to women who have never smoked. The aging effect may be due to the
drying and irritating action of the smoke, or smoking may damage the blood
vessels and connective tissue that are vital to maintain skin, the study
suggests. (300 words)
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
           DOCTOR `HOTLINE' IS A HIT IN CALIFORNIA. Sometimes all people want from
their doctor is a friendly ear _ even if the ear is long-distance. Doctors
who staffed a weekend toll-free patient hotline sponsored by the California
Academy of Family Physicians found this out recently when the hotline was
flooded with more than 600 calls from people seeking advice on everything
from high blood pressure to family violence. According to Dr. Stephen
Brunton, president-elect of the California academy, three times as many women
as men called in. And the majority of callers simply wanted a friendly
medical ear to listen to their problems. ``Many of them said this was the
first time they had a sympathetic physician to talk to, where they didn't
feel like they were being rushed,'' Brunton said. ``I think we're going to do
this in the future.'' (300 words)
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
           FOR WOMEN WITH AIDS, DOCTORS MAY BE PART OF THE PROBLEM. Ignorance,
callousness and insensitivity among doctors and other health-care providers
may be the biggest barriers to health care for women infected with the AIDS
virus, Georgia researchers reported at a scientific meeting in San Francisco.
In the Georgia study, of 117 interactions between the women and doctors,
nurses, dentists and medical technicians, eight were characterized as
positive by the women, five were neutral and 104 were negative. Many of the
women stopped seeking health care or taking their medication because of the
negative interactions. (400 words)
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
           STATES TRY TO STEM MEDICAID COSTS WITHOUT CUTTING SERVICES. The growth in
Medicaid spending _ at a time of economic slowdown in some areas _ has left
many states with the dilemma of how to slow the growth in spending without
sacrificing the health care of their low-income residents. But using a
combination of tax increases, cuts in payments to doctors and a little
creative financing, several states have been able to keep their Medicaid
programs afloat without cutting vital services to patients. A new study by
the Urban Institute discusses some strategies used by California, Florida,
New York and Connecticut. (550 words)
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
           NEW ANTI-AIDS DRUG BOOSTS POWER OF AZT. Research presented in Washington
last Wednesday described how a new anti-retroviral drug called 3TC boosts the
benefits of the anti-AIDS drug AZT when the two are used together. At the
Second National Conference on Human Retroviruses and Related Infections,
researchers from Europe and the United States said that combination therapy
with 3TC and AZT increased levels of immune-system cells in people infected
with the AIDS virus. The drugs also suppressed replication of the virus
better than AZT alone, according to the researchers. (400 words)
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
           RISE IN CANCER CASES ATTRIBUTED TO BETTER DETECTION METHODS. In the last
20 years, deaths from cancer declined for men and women under age 55,
according to a report published last Wednesday. Meanwhile, the overall
frequency of cancer increased, but that was due mostly to better detection
methods that spot more cancers, according to the study, published in the
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. (450 words)
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
           MENINGITIS OUTBREAKS ON THE RISE. Outbreaks of meningitis have increased
dramatically in the United States during the past several years,
disproportionately affecting school-aged children and young adults, according
to two new studies. The outbreaks are due largely to a strain known as group
C meningitis, which also was the culprit behind an increase in the infection
in some areas of Canada, according to the reports, published Wednesday in the
Journal of the American Medical Association. (450 words)
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
           MARGARINE MAY NOT BE SO BAD AFTER ALL. You may be able to spread
margarine on your toast with a clear conscience _ two new studies show that
it doesn't raise the risk of heart disease. Two studies published last week
in the medical journal The Lancet contradict an earlier report that found
that substances in margarine called trans fatty acids, formed when liquid
vegetable oils are processed, could raise the risk of developing heart
disease by up to 50 percent. (450 words)
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
           HIGH LEVELS OF AMINO ACID RAISE RISK OF HEART DISEASE. High levels of an
amino acid in the blood can increase a person's risk of stroke and heart
disease, according to a new study. But these harmful effects can be prevented
if the person takes enough folic acid and vitamin B, researchers reported
last Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine. (450 words)
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
           CHEMICALS IN YOUR FOOD NOT ALWAYS BAD. The thought of chemicals in food
usually brings to mind dangerous substances that may be added during
processing. But scientists are discovering that many chemicals occur
naturally in food _ chemicals that may offer a variety of health benefits,
according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. (200 words)
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
           TRADITIONAL MEXICAN DIET NOT AS FATTY AS YOU THINK. Mexican-born women
living in the United States are better nourished than the average American
woman, probably because their meals contain more beans, meats and vegetables,
according to a new study by California researchers. The study contradicts the
widely held belief that the traditional Mexican diet contains more fat than
the typical American diet. (250 words)
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
          To receive these stories, send a note to [log in to unmask]