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Daily Rounds: Women's Heart Guidelines; Zinc Helps Colds; Faster Flu Vaccines; 'Orgasm, Inc.'

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New Women's Heart Disease Guidelines- latimes.com "Awareness of women's heart health has improved over the last 30 years, but cardiovascular disease still causes a woman to die every minute, reports an article in the journal Circulation  detailing the American Heart Assn.'s new cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines for women.  Many of the guidelines, which were released on Tuesday, are familiar.  To minimize risk, women should avoid smoking; should exercise regularly; should eat a diet packed with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish; should keep to a healthy body weight and should treat their heart disease once they know they have it. Doctors are also urged to screen patients for depression, because people who are receiving treatment for depression are more likely to follow medical advice than those who aren't."   (Los Angeles Times)

For Cold Virus, Zinc May Edge Out Even Chicken Soup - NYTimes.com "Scientists still haven’t discovered a cure for the common cold, but researchers now say zinc may be the next best thing. A sweeping new review of the medical research on zinc shows that sniffing, sneezing, coughing and stuffy-headed cold sufferers finally have a better option than just tissue and chicken soup. When taken within 24 hours of the first runny nose or sore throat, zinc lozenges, tablets or syrups can cut colds short by an average of a day or more and sharply reduce the severity of symptoms, according to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, a respected medical clearinghouse." (ell.blogs.nytimes.com)

And a slightly contrary view:

The cure for the common cold? There is none - USATODAY.com

Flu Vaccine Made by New, Faster Method Is Successful, Researchers Say - NYTimes.com "A flu vaccine made by a new, faster method works just as well as existing products, researchers reported Tuesday. The finding clears a hurdle in the government’s effort to move toward a manufacturing process that could allow for a more reliable supply of seasonal flu shots and quicker responses to pandemics." (nytimes.com)

"Orgasm Inc.": The flawed quest for a "female Viagra" - Our Picks: Movies - Salon.com "Ostensibly, "Orgasm Inc." is a film about the pharmaceutical industry's recent race to cook up a "female Viagra," meaning some kind of pill or cream or patch or whatsit that will deliver better sex for women (whatever that means) and, oh, just incidentally, generate enormous profits and soaring stock prices. But Canner correctly observes that what's really at stake is more complicated. First of all, to sell medicine you need a disease to treat, and "Orgasm Inc." argues that the medical-industrial complex has concocted the catchall diagnosis of "female sexual dysfunction" at least partly for this reason." (Salon)

Medical News: Arizona Mulls Checking Hospital Patients' Citizenship - in Public Health & Policy, Health Policy from MedPage Today "Arizona's state government is considering new legislation that would prevent hospitals from giving nonemergency treatment to suspected illegal immigrants. Under Arizona Senate Bill 1405, nonemergency patients would have to show proof of citizenship or legal immigrant status before they could be admitted to hospitals in the state. Patients without adequate documentation who need emergency care could still be treated, but hospital officials would be required to notify federal immigration officials after treatment was provided." (medpagetoday.com)

Should FDA Hold 'Me-Too' Drugs To A Higher Standard? : Shots - Health Blog : NPR "An editorial by a doctor and pharmacist at Brigham & Women's Hospital in the latest issue of JAMA says that after a few drugs in a category are approved, the later "me-too" medicines don't offer all that much benefit and come at a steep societal cost. The authors lead with the example of pitavastatin.
(npr.org)

This program aired on February 16, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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