April 14, 2010

Ozone Layer Protection

1 FDA Phasing Out CFC Asthma Inhalers

The FDA has announced that seven asthma inhalers that contain CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) must be phased out and replaced with versions that do not use the ozone-layer destroying chemicals. Depending on the particular inhaler the deadline ranges from next June through the year 2013. International climate treaties require the phasing out of CFCs, although the main targets of the ban are refrigerants and solvents. Arthur Abramson of SaveCFCinhalers.org says that the replacements are often less effective, untested and possibly dangerous, more expensive, and of trivial help to the environment. The affected inhalers are Tilade (nedocromil), Alupent (metaproterenol), Azmacort (triamcinolone), Intal (cromolyn), Aerobid (flunisolide), Combivent (alberterol and ipratropium), and Maxair (pirbuterol).

More at FDA | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

Previously: FDA Cautions on 4 LABA Asthma Inhalers, Asthma News

Tags: FDA, Global Warming, Ozone Depletion, Asthma Inhalers, CFCs, Chlorofluorocarbons, Arthur Abramson, SaveCFCinhalers.org

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

Octopuses Dismembered Alive

2 PETA Targets Live Seafood Restaurants

PETA has written letters to the district attorneys of Manhattan and Queens, accusing two restaurants that serve live octopus of violating New York's anti-cruelty statute. The animal rights group says that in restaurants like Sushi Uo and East Seafood Restaurant "the chef uses scissors to cut off an octopus's tentacles and then serves them on a dish; the octopus's heart keeps beating as the animal writhes and slowly dies." The restaurants wonder why oyster raw bars and lobster boils are not being hassled. And we wonder how PETA wants the chefs to kill the octopuses? Lethal injection? Pithing? We suspect that the only difference between live sashimi octopus and supermarket octopus is that the supermarket stuff has had time to stop wriggling.

More at Gothamist | Hat tip to Grub Street New York | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

Tags: Sushi, PETA, Live Seafood, Sashimi, Sushi Uo, East Seafood Restaurant, ASPCA, Octopus

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

YMCA to Help People Lose

3 Insurer to Pay to Help Control Diabetes

Insurer UnitedHealth has decided that it wants to do something to help prevent the costly disease of diabetes among its members. The company is teaming up with the YMCA and pharmacists in seven cities to help people who are at risk of developing diabetes to lose weight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also set to start a similar program in 10 cities across the country. The YMCA has a weight-loss program that also teaches people to eat better and has been clinically proven to provide good results. It's estimated that 25 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, and as many as 60 million are prediabetic, putting them at high risk of developing the disease in the future. The health problems cost about $200 billion combined per year.

More at New York Times | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

Tags: Diabetes, Diet, Exercise, Health Insurance, Weight Loss, UnitedHealth, Insurance, YMCA, Pre-Diabetes

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Dependable and Affectionate

4 Many Abused Women See Partners’ Best Sides

A new study of women in psychologically abusive relationships reveals that many of them focus on the positive traits of their abusers, which may explain why they don’t leave. Of roughly 42 percent of women surveyed who said they’d been in an abusive relationship, 54 percent saw their partners as highly dependable while 21 percent felt their men had significant positive traits, including being affectionate. Co-author Patricia O'Campo, social epidemiologist and director of the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, said it’s important to study the perceptions of abused women to learn about male violence. "This is just one step toward potentially increasing our understanding of how to find additional ways to improve women's safety."

More at ScienceDaily | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Self-Esteem Is Related to Age

Tags: Abusive Relationships, Physical Abuse, Psychological Abuse, Spousal Abuse, Domestic Violence, Patricia O’Campopo, Centre for Research on Inner City Health, St. Michael’Hospitalal, Male Violence, Women’sSafetyety

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Avoid the Dentist’s Drill

5 Fluoridated Drinking Water Helps Stop Tooth Decay

"16 European countries have rejected fluoridation. Most of the world caught on to this fluoridation hoax years ago. Fluoridation is ineffective & dangerous to health"
- JWillie6 in the comments

Fluoridated drinking water may be the best defense against tooth decay, according to a study published in a recent issue of General Dentistry. Tooth decay affects US children more than any other chronic infectious disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, if left unchecked, can lead to pain and infection and could affect a child’s ability to eat, speak and learn. “Fluoride makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before damage is even visible," said C.H. Chu, BDS, PhD, MAGD, ABGD, lead author of the study. "Studies have confirmed the most effective source of fluoride to be water fluoridation." Today, more than 144 million US residents have access to fluoridated tap water.

More at EurekAlert.org | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

Tags: Fluoride, Fluoridated Tap Water, Oral Hygiene, Tooth Decay, General Dentistry, Oral Health, Children’s, Chronic Infectious Disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. C.H. Chu

Read the Comments (2) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Smoking Can Be Quite Depressing

6 Smokers with Depression Smoke More and Quit Less

Individuals with depression share a link to the cigarettes they smoke. According to a government report, people 20 years and older with depression are twice as likely to be cigarette smokers. That same study found that the more severe the smoker's depression, the higher the likelihood that they would increasing their smoking frequency. According to the study 43 percent of adults males 20 years and older who have depression are smokers, while only 22 percent of non-depressed men in the same group smoke. Women with depression had similar numbers, however women without depression smoked less than males without depression. The study also found that depressed smokers are less likely to quit. What the study failed to address is why depressed people tend to smoke more and quite less.

More at Business Week | Posted 8 years ago by James Johnson

Previously: Study Links Smoking with Lower IQ Scores

Tags: Depression, Smoking, Smoking and Depression, Depression Side Effects, Smoking Studies

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Got the Flu? Go to Your Kitchen

7 Common Foods That Treat Cold and Flu

There isn't a cure for the common cold but the kitchen is usually stocked with items that can help treat both colds and flu. Lemonade - Add juice from half a lemon and a tablespoon of maple syrup to a glass of warm water to soothe a sore throat. Ginger - 
Boil two tablespoons of grated fresh ginger in two cups of water for fifteen minutes, remove from the heat and steep for ten minutes. 
This helps kill germs and soothe an upset stomach. Oranges - Drink orange juice on a daily basis. Vitamin C can shorten the duration of the flu. Honey - A spoon of honey and a bit of fresh lemon juice can be used to relieve coughs. Salt - Gargle with warm water and salt to soothe a sore throat. Everyday items can ease the discomfort of cold and flu but go the doctor if symptoms persist.

More at Health News | Posted 8 years ago by Marty Shaw

Tags: Flu, Cold, Treatment, Home Remedy

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

Great News for Mums-to-Be

8 Sharp Decline in Maternal Deaths Globally

Maternal mortality rates sees a sharp decline for the first time in decades. Findings published in the medical journal The Lancet reveal that deaths relating to childbirth and pregnancy have decreased from 526,300 in 1980 to about 342,900 in 2008. The figures were pulled from death records, censuses, surveys and published studies from 181 countries. Factors that might have contributed to the improvement are: lower pregnancy rates in some countries; improved nutrition and access to health care; more education for women; and better medical training. The journal's editor, Dr. Richard Horton, stated that the newly released figures would help the cause in raising awareness of maternal health, rather than hinder it.

More at New York Times | Posted 8 years ago by Yi Chen

Tags: Pregnancy, Maternity, Death, Richard Horton, Maternal, Statistic, New York Times

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Weight Surgery Before Pregnancy

9 Weight-Loss Surgery Reduces Pregnancy Disorders

Having weight-loss surgery prior to pregnancy can help obese women avoid hypertensive disorders like preeclampsia during pregnancy. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that obese women who had the bariatric surgery prior to pregnancy were less likely to have other dangerous hypertensive disorders during pregnancy, such as gestational hypertension and eclampsia. Research, published in in the British Medical Journal, revealed that the weight-loss surgery provided for an 80 percent reduction in risk of eclampsia and preeclampsia, and a 74 percent reduction in risk of gestational hypertension. The conditions complicate around 7 percent of pregnancies in the United States, and obese women are most often affected.

More at EurekAlert | Posted 8 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Weight Loss Surgery

Tags: Bariatric Surgery, Weight Loss Surgery, Weight Surgery, Hypertension, Preeclampsia, Preventing Pregnancy Problems, Hypertensive Disorders During Pregnancy

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

Hospital Bugs a Problem

10 Hospital Infection Rates on the Rise

Hospital-acquired infections contribute to an estimated 100,000 deaths each year, and the numbers are continuing to rise. The report, released April 13 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that post-operative bloodstream infections, also called sepsis, increased by 8 percent and catheter-associated urinary tract infections rose 3.6 percent since the previous year of the study. There was, however, a reduction in the rate of post-operative pneumonia cases; these decreased 12 percent. Under the new health care law, hospitals with high infection rates will be penalized beginning in 2015. The AHRQ has also announced increased funding for the implementation of a nationwide program to reduce the rate of some hospital-related infections.

More at New York Times | Posted 8 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Antibiotics Not Always Best for Ear Infections

Tags: Hospital Infections, MRSA, Sepsis, Healthcare Law

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Epilepsy Drugs Risky

11 Anti-Seizure Medication May Lead to Suicide

Steven Reinberg, HealthDay News, reported that a recent study suggests that some anticonvulsants used in epilepsy treatments may increase risk of suicide, attempted suicide or even violent death. The study, by Dr. Elizabeth Patorno et al, was published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Patorno and her group found that anticonvulsants gabapentin (Neurontin), lamotrigine (Lamictal), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), tiagabine (Gabitril) and valproate led to an increased risk of suicidal behavior. However, these drugs in question are also prescribed for bipolar disorder, mania, migraine and chronic nerve pain. An expert, Dr. Orrin Nevinsky, said that he "did not think the results should influence physician behavior at this time."

More at US News HealthDay | Posted 8 years ago by Zaher Karp

Tags: Suicide, Epilepsy

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

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