Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

New Data Show Bicycling and Walking Up by 25 Percent

The U.S. Department of Transportation today released new data from the Federal Highway Administration’s 2009 National Household Travel Survey which shows that both bicycling and walking trips have increased by 25 percent since 2001. The FHWA funded Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center included this data in The National Bicycling and Walking Study: A 15-Year Status Report. The report details trends and changes in bicycling and walking since 1994.

Full report here.

June 30, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , | Leave a comment

Challenges to FDA’s Ability To Monitor and Inspect Foreign Clinical Trials

In fiscal year 2008,  80 percent of approved marketing applications for drugs and biologics contained data from foreign clinical trials. Over half of clinical trial subjects and sites were located outside the United States. 

This poses major challenges to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in monitoring and inspecting clinical trials worldwide.
Report’s findings include the following:

  •  FDA should require standardized electronic clinical trial data and create an internal database
  • FDA should monitor trends in foreign clinical trials not conducted under INDs.
  • FDA should continue to explore ways to expand its oversight of clinical foreign trials.

A related news item may be found here

The complete report may be found here.

June 30, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | | Leave a comment

FDA Urges Limiting Antibiotics in Meat

The continued use of antimicrobial drugs to promote growth in chickens, cattle and other livestock is tied to antibiotic resistance and should be phased out for that purpose, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday.

News item may be found here.

June 30, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health | , | Leave a comment

US government agency finds school-based pandemic vaccine clinics effective

Health and Human Services (HHS)  officials have recently looked at a  new model of school-based immunization clinics. They believe it is an efficient way to deliver the pandemic vaccine to children. However, most schools would need more resources to hold future clinics.

The news report includes the following:

“They found that sites vaccinated an average of 28% of enrolled students during 1-day programs, which federal officials said compares favorably with state and national vaccination rates. For example, the average vaccination rate for the six states included in the study is 37%, which reflects a child vaccination period of about 3 months at multiple sites such as doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and community clinics. Most of the 38 locations said the school-based clinics were a useful vaccination method but said they would not hold them in the future without additional resources.

About 42% of the children vaccinated at the sites received the nasal mist form of the vaccine, and 59% received the injection. Reviewers noted that three of the six localities reported decreased demand for the nasal mist version, due to parent and staff misconceptions about its safety, which were driven by incorrect media messages that the nasal mist was riskier because it contained a live attenuated virus.”

More news on swine flu (H1N1) may be found here.

June 30, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , | Leave a comment

Sexual Health Information from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social wellbeing in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. (WHO working definition, 2002External Web Site Icon)

The CDC has a Web site devoted to sexual health information and issues

Topics include HIV/AIDS prevention, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual violence prevention, and reproductive health.

June 30, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health | | Leave a comment

Medicare Changes Could Shortchange Vulnerable Hospitals

The U.S. government’s plan to base Medicare payments to hospitals on certain quality-of-care measures could end up transferring funds away from hospitals in the nation’s poorest, underserved areas, an analysis published Tuesday suggests.

The news item may be found here.

June 30, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , | Leave a comment

Study Finds Body’s Potential Universal Flu Defense

The human body makes rare antibodies effective against all flu viruses and these might be boosted to design a better universal flu treatment, researchers reported on Monday.

June 30, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , | Leave a comment


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