It’s Labour Day weekend, which is a long weekend for many of you. Here’s some articles of interest:
How Many People Were Killed by Love Canal? The surprising statistics of environmental cancers:
As the years have passed, no epidemic has appeared. Adjusted for the aging of the population, the statistics amassed by SEER show that death rates from cancer did rise gradually by half a percentage point a year from 1975 to 1984—smoking no doubt was a factor—and at a slower pace until 1991, but then they began decreasing modestly and have been doing so ever since.
This looks like an excellent read: ‘The Cancer Chronicles’ Wanders Through the Disease’s World
Despite the FDAAA, results for nearly half the trials of cancer drugs in the United States were not publicly available 3 years after completion of the trials.
Why is this a problem? See my post on the issue of transparency of clinical trials.
When we call patients and families “good,” or at least spare them the “difficult” label, we are noting and rewarding acquiescence. Too often, this “good” means you agree with me and you don’t bother me and you let me be in charge of what happens and when. Such a definition runs counter to what we know about truly good care as a collaborative process. From the history that so often generates the diagnosis to the treatment that is the basis of care or cure, active participation of patients and families is essential to optimal outcomes.
“Caregiver-fabricated illness” replaces “Munchausen syndrome by proxy”: A rare, but serious form of child abuse.
Alternatives to Medicine
Lots of people rely on homeopathy. Can they all be wrong? Yes: Joe Schwarcz calls out the nonsense of homeopathy that is Mozi-Q, a homeopathic product (i.e., sugar pill) that is marketed to prevent insect bites. There is no convincing evidence that Mozi-Q will do anything to prevent insect bites. Also see Edzard Ernst’s take on Mozi-Q. Frankly I find it unbelievable that Health Canada permits the sale of this product, especially given the risk of insect-borne diseases like West Nile Virus and Lyme disease.
The text that you’re reading on your chiropractor’s website is probably boilerplate messaging, purchased from a company to drive business and repeat customers.
One million cockroaches escape farm in China, where they were being raised for Traditional Chinese Medicine. Don’t miss my post on TCM, “Integrative Medicine” and the University of Toronto. 98 comments so far over at Science-Based Medicine.
Yet another “natural health product” adulterated with prescriptions drugs. This tea is actually Viagra.
Nutrition and Diet
Why anecdotes and hypotheses are not data: Probiotics for Mental Health?
This is excellent: High fructose corn syrup causes diabetes: myth vs science:
An RCT for parents of young kids: A Variety of Vegetables Helps Kids Eat More:
In the study, researchers offered snacks to 61 children, aged 3-5, in their preschool classrooms over four weeks. On three days, one vegetable (grape tomatoes, cucumber slices or sweet pepper strips) was served. Single fruits (slices of apple, peach or pineapple) were also served on three separate days. Then the children were offered a platter with all three vegetables, and finally a platter with all three fruits. Kids were allowed to select as much as they wanted each time.
The children chose and ate about one-quarter cup more of the vegetables and fruit when offered the variety compared to when they were offered just one type. That’s about one-sixth of what they need each day.
As the obesity epidemic persists, the time has come to end the pursuit of the “ideal” diet for weight loss and disease prevention. The dietary debate in the scientific community and reported in the media about the optimal macronutrient-focused weight loss diet sheds little light on the treatment of obesity and may mislead the public regarding proper weight management.
This rhetoric looks familiar: How to Slim Down in Fourteen Days, 1595 edition
An entire issue of Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies just for Pharmacists. (Subscription Required) Topics include:
- Commentary: the law, unproven CAM and the two-hats fallacy
- Why homeopathy is unethical
- Factors affecting the pharmacokinetics of herbal preparations and their impact on the outcome of clinical trials
Medication non-adherence costs billions & compromises outcomes: Improving Adherence in the Accountability Era.
Pharmacies have a role to play in the oversight of prescriptions for controlled substances, and opioid analgesics in particular. Under the Controlled Substances Act, pharmacists must evaluate patients to ensure the appropriateness of any controlled-substance prescription. In addition, state boards of pharmacy regulate the distribution of opioid analgesics and other controlled substances through the discretion of pharmacists. Yet in the majority of cases of potential abuse, pharmacists face a patient who has a legal prescription from a licensed physician, and they have access to very little other background information. That makes it difficult for individual pharmacists to use their own partially informed judgment to identify prescriptions that have come from a pill-mill doctor.
Boots pharmacies among others cited for making exaggerated and misleading supplement claims.
Most drugs can be given safely to breastfeeding women: The Transfer of Drugs and Therapeutics Into Human Breast Milk: An Update on Selected Topics from the American Academy of Pediatrics
In running news, Pearl Izumi is sorry they said their shoes will run your dog to death.
How to Make Perfect Coffee: The science of what makes coffee great
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