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Daily Rounds: T Cuts Affect Health; Contrarian On Colonoscopies; Worrisome Household Chemicals; Antipsychotics For All

This article is more than 7 years old.

T belt-tightening would hurt health, study says - The Boston Globe - "Proposals to cut MBTA service and raise fares could cost Boston area commuters hundreds of millions of additional dollars and produce potentially dire health consequences, according to a report being released Tuesday by a regional planning group. The 20-page report from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council found that proposed fare increases and service cuts to plug the T’s $161 million deficit would result in a surge of cars on the road, increasing pollution, crashes, and obesity, among other harsh impacts on residents’ quality of life." (The Boston Globe)

Why I won't get a colonoscopy - Scientific American - "A New York Times editorial proclaimed that the study “ought to goad millions who are still ducking [colonoscopies] to get over their squeamishness.” The study ought to do no such thing. First of all, it was not a randomized clinical trial. The screened group might have been healthier to begin with than the non-screened group. Second, the study looked only at death from colon cancer and not from all causes. The physician James Penston, a consultant to England’s National Health Service, argued in the British Medical Journal last October that all-cause mortality is a better measure of the value of screening, both because attributing cause of death can be unreliable and because screening itself can be harmful." (Scientific American)

Study finds worrisome chemicals in wide range of consumer products - Consumer Reports - "A new study has found potentially harmful chemicals, such as asthma-related compounds and endocrine disruptors, in common consumer products including cosmetics, household cleaners, and personal care products, and many of the detected chemicals are not listed on product labels. The study, which tested 213 commercial products representing 50 product types, was conducted by the Silent Spring Institute and published this week in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The tested products included diapers, cat litter, dryer sheets, hand soap, laundry detergent, lipstick, perfume, shampoo, shaving cream, and sunscreen, among many others." (Consumer Reports)

Antipsychotic drugs grow more popular for patients without mental illness - The Washington Post - "But these days atypical antipsychotics — the most popular are Seroquel, Zyprexa and Abilify — are being prescribed by psychiatrists and primary-care doctors to treat a panoply of conditions for which they have not been approved, including anxiety, attention-deficit disorder, sleep difficulties, behavioral problems in toddlers and dementia. These new drugs account for more than 90 percent of the market and have eclipsed an older generation of antipsychotics. Two recent reports have found that youths in foster care, some less than a year old, are taking more psychotropic drugs than other children, including those with the severest forms of mental illness." (The Washington Post)

This program aired on March 13, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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