Health Updates 5 August 2011

  • Study finds eating healthy strains wallet: “An update of what used to be known as the food pyramid in 2010 had called on Americans to eat more foods containing potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin D and calcium.  But if they did that, the journal Health Affairs said, they would add hundreds more dollars to their annual grocery bill.” (Associated Press)
  • Heart tests and procedures are being overdone: “It also found that angioplasty, an invasive procedure used to identify and clear blockages in coronary arteries, is too often used for patients who don’t have symptoms such as worsening chest pain or shortness of breath.  In such nonemergencies, patients should first change their diet and exercise habits and start medication, all of which could be just as effective and safer than angioplasty, Consumer Reports said.” (Marketwatch)
  • Football and heat, a deadly combination: “Within the past week, there have been four football-related deaths – two teenage football players from Georgia, a high school player in South Carolina, and a 55-year-old football coach in Texas.  The combination of bigger bodies and record-breaking temperatures have placed football players at especially high risk of heat-related illness and death….The rate of heat-related illness and death among football players has increased since the mid-1990s….Most deaths occurred in August, when fall practice typically begins, and most occurred within the first two weeks of practice.  Surprisingly, a majority of the deaths occurred during morning practices.”  It is recommended, at least for high school players, that twice-daily practices be limited or eliminated, that practicing in full uniforms be limited until players are fully acclimatized and that there be no scrimmaging for the first two weeks of training. (Charles Bankhead, MedPage Today)
  • 36 million pounds of turkey recalled over salmonella: “The Agriculture Department and the Minnesota-based company announced Wednesday evening that Cargill is recalling fresh and frozen ground turkey products produced at the company’s Springdale, Ark., plant from Feb. 20 through Aug. 2 due to possible contamination from the strain of salmonella linked to 76 illnesses and one death.” (Associated Press)

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