Health Updates 7 December 2011

  • Being President may accelerate the aging process, but they tend to live longer than other men, their contemporaries: “Olshansky gave two explanations for his
  • findings: 1.  In order to live long enough to become president, all of the men in the study had already survived ‘the most perilous early years of life’.  2.  In addition, all but 10 of the presidents had three other things going for them – a college education, wealth and access to the best medical care at the time.  Studies have linked these three factors to longevity.” (Booster Shots/LA Times)
  • FDA yanks HCG weight-loss agents from market: “The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission said over-the-counter weight-loss products containing human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) are fraudulent and illegal, and the agencies have told seven manufacturers to stop selling them….’There is no substantial evidence HCG increases weight loss beyond that resulting from the recommended caloric restriction,’ said Elizabeth Miller, acting director of the FDA’s fraud unit for OTC products, during a conference call with reporters.  The recommended diets call for daily calorie intake as low as 500 calories, low enough to create a risk of malnutrition, electrolyte imbalance, cardiac arrhythmias, and gall stone formation, Miller said.” (John Gever, MedPage Today)
  • Shopping problems: “An estimated 6% of Americans are compulsive  shoppers, including more men and younger people…The holidays are a difficult time for those whose shopping habits cross into the pathological; experts say warning signs are persistent purchasing even when it feels out of control, causes financial difficulties, disrupts work, family or social life or involves deceit.” (Wall Street Journal)
  • Government considers whether teens should be allowed to purchase morning-after pill without a prescription: Teva Pharmaceuticals wants its Plan B morning-after pill to become the first truly over-the-counter form of emergency contraception.  The pill can prevent pregnancy if taken soon after unprotected sex.  Currently, women 17 and older can buy it without a prescription if they show a pharmacist proof of age.  Younger teens need a prescription.  Doctors’ and women’s health groups have long argued that the pill is safe even for younger teens and that lifting the age restriction would increase access for everyone.” (Associated Press)

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