Health Updates 24 May 2011

  • Some heart screenings may do more harm than good: “Patients found to have evidence of plaque buildup in their arteries after being screened with a test known as a coronary CT angiogram received more medication, follow-up tests and heart procedures than people who hadn’t been screened or those who had a normal test result.  Yet more treatment and tests didn’t significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular incidents for these patients after 18 months, researchers reported online Monday in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine”. (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • COPD drugs linked to risky urinary condition: “Men with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who used inhaled anticholinergics  were significantly more likely to suffer acute urinary retention than those who did not, analysis of a large database showed.  The risk was almost twice as large if men also had benign prostatic hyperplasia, Anne Stephenson, MD, PhD, of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and colleagues reported in the May 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.”  It was further suggested that both physicians and patients need to be aware of the potential for this significant adverse event so that preventive measures and therapy can be considered. (Michael Smith, MedPage Today)
  • Guidelines for promoting the full benefits of dietary supplements: If you take dietary supplements, vitamins or herbs, here are some suggestions to help prevent or lessen and side effects and still obtain the benefits the supplements may provide: 1). take the supplements during or right after a meal, unless otherwise directed, and drink plenty of fluids; 2). take consistently as it usually takes two to three months before you feel the full positive effects of adding nutritional supplements; and 3). take as indicated on the packaging.  And always keep your doctor informed about your supplement usage. (
  • Study shows weight gain between pregnancies poses higher risk for gestational diabetes: “Women who lost more than six pounds between their first and second pregnancies reduced their risk of developing gestational diabetes by more than 50 percent.  Women who gained between 12 and 17 pounds between their first and second pregnancies were more than twice as likely to develop gestational diabetes than women whose weight remained stable.” (Orlando Sentinel; K. Vlach

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