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Health Updates 26 April 2011

  • Four reasons to have a companion dog: “If you don’t share your home with a companion animal, and especially if you live alone, you’re missing out on all the health benefits they offer – caring for companion animals can: 1) help lower blood pressure 2) instill a sense of well-being 3)decrease the likelihood of depression particularly in older adults and 4)promote higher self-esteem in older people compared to those who don’t care for companion animals”.  (Weil Heart Health Newsletter)
  • Supreme Court reviews case calling for limits on data collection: “At issue is whether a state may bar the buying, selling and profiling of doctors’ prescription records for use by  pharmaceutical sales representatives.  Under federal and state law, pharmacies are required to keep records of every doctor’s prescription, and while patient privacy is protected by federal law, doctor privacy is not”. (NPR)
  • Nation’s pediatricians call on Congress to protect kids from toxic chemicals: “US pediatricians are putting their considerable muscle behind the calls for Congress to overhaul a failed federal law that has exposed millions of children, beginning in the womb, to an untold number of toxic chemicals.  In its statement, Chemical Management Policy: Prioritizing Children’s Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act be ‘substantially revised’ as it has ‘been ineffective in protecting children, pregnant women and the general population from hazardous chemicals in the marketplace’.” (EWG)
  • Hypertension death risk down, but gaps persist: “The mortality risk among hypertensive adults has declined – but the mortality gap between those with  and without high blood pressure has remained relatively constant – according to data from two national health surveys conducted about 20 years apart”.  Earl S. Ford, MD, of the CDC noted that hypertensive women had a smaller decrease in mortality risk compared with hypertensive men, and that blacks had less improvement than whites did.  Further, ‘the results of the present study suggest that increased focus on reducing mortality among hypertensive women is needed and that continued efforts to reduce the mortality gap between hypertensive men and women and between hypertensive whites and blacks are needed’ Dr. Ford concluded. (Charles Bankhead, MedPage Today)
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