Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Consumer Health Videos on YouTube by AHRQ

The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)has a YouTube Channel

The growing list of video titles includes the following titles: Tips for Going Home from the Hospital, Asking Questions Before Surgery, Secondhand Smoke and Bring a Health Advocate to Appointments.

September 26, 2010 Posted by | Health Education (General Public) | , | Leave a comment

Booze Tax Hikes May Reduce Alcohol-Related Problems

Higher costs have even greater impact than drinking prevention programs, analysis finds

Excerpts from the Health Day news item

THURSDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) — Boosting taxes on alcohol leads to lower rates of alcohol-related disease, injury, death and crime, researchers say.

University of Florida investigators analyzed 50 published papers that estimated the health and social effects of alcohol taxes or prices. The study authors concluded that higher alcohol taxes have a greater impact than drinking prevention programs.

The findings “clearly show increasing the price of alcohol will result in significant reductions in many of the undesirable outcomes associated with drinking,” lead author Alexander C. Wagenaar, a professor of health outcomes and policy at the University of Florida College of Medicine, said in a news release from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

In a news release issued Thursday afternoon, Distilled Spirits Council Vice President Lisa Hawkins said: “Numerous studies, including research from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, show that alcohol abusers are the least sensitive to tax increases. It is the moderate responsible consumer who cuts back the most when prices rise.

“According to scientific studies, moderate alcohol consumption is associated with the lowest all-cause mortality compared to non-drinkers. It makes no sense to penalize moderate drinkers to pay for the abuse of a few, particularly when raising taxes will not reduce problems associated with abuse. For example, according to government statistics, there is no relationship between alcohol excise tax rates and alcohol-related traffic fatalities,” she said.

September 26, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , | Leave a comment

Military suicide prevention efforts fail: report & related items from a military health Web site

Excerpts from a Reuters news item

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Efforts to prevent suicides among U.S. war veterans are failing, in part because distressed troops do not trust the military to help them, top military officials said on Thursday.

Poor training, a lack of coördination and an overstretched military are also factors, but a new 76-point plan lays out ways to improve this, Colonel John Bradley, chief of psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, told a conference.

Each branch of the services — the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines — rushed to create a suicide prevention program, but there was no coördination. The report recommends that the defense secretary’s office take over coördination of suicide prevention efforts.

On-the-ground prevention training often failed because those running the sessions did not understand their importance, Bradley said.

“They are mocked and they are probably harmful,” he said.

According to the report, available at, 1,100 servicemen and women committed suicide in 2005 to 2009 — one suicide every day and a half. The Army’s suicide rate doubled in that time.


Librarian Karen Estrada publishes Milhealth’s Directory of Military Health Information
Her recent postings on military suicides

**Complex Puzzle of Military Suicides: Is it Really? (a personal observation)

**Shoulder to Shoulder: I Will Never Quit on Life posting at the site’s home page

SOURCES Army releases new video to combat suicides. 17 July 2010. By Alexandra Hemmerly-Brown. Available at: [Accessed 19JUL2010]. Shoulder to Shoulder: DA civilian training. July 15, 2010. Available at: [Accessed 19 July 2010].

National Institutes of Health. MedlinePlus, the Magazine. Winter 2010. Preventing Suicides in the Military. pp 5-6. Available at: [Accessed 19 July 2010].

Related News Items

Improved behavioral health needed to respond to rising number of suicides among US Armed Forces

February 17, 2011 12:00:00 AM EST

(RAND Corporation) Suicide rates in the US military have increased sharply since 2001 as the nation fights two wars. A new study sponsored by the Department of Defense finds that military officials should improve efforts to identify those at-risk and improve both the quality and access to behavioral health treatment to combat the problem. Needed changes include promoting the advantages of using behavioral health care and assuring that service members can receive help confidentially.

September 26, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories, Health News Items, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Talking to death: texts, phones kill 16,000: study

Excerpts from a Reuters Health Information news item

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Drivers distracted by talking or texting on cell phones killed an estimated 16,000 people from 2001 to 2007, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

The estimate, one of the first scientific attempts to quantify how many people have died in accidents caused specifically by mobile telephone distractions, also suggests a growing number of these drivers are under 30.

“Our results suggested that recent and rapid increases in texting volumes have resulted in thousands of additional road fatalities in the United States,” Fernando Wilson and Jim Stimpson of the University of North Texas Health Science Center wrote in the American Journal of Public Health.

September 26, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , | Leave a comment

1 in 5 men who have sex with men in 21 U.S. cities has HIV; nearly half unaware

Study highlights urgent HIV prevention needs for men who have sex with men, especially young men and men of color

Excerpts from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) news release

“This study’s message is clear:  HIV exacts a devastating toll on men who have sex with men in America’s major cities, and yet far too many of those who are infected don’t know it,”  said Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.  “We need to increase access to HIV testing so that more MSM know their status, and we all must bring new energy, new approaches, and new champions to the fight against HIV among men who have sex with men.”

The study’s results bolster key themes in the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States.  The recently released strategy states that “the United States cannot reduce the number of HIV infections nationally without better addressing HIV among gay and bisexual men,” and MSM are listed among a few priority populations to focus HIV prevention efforts.  The President’s strategy also sets targets for reducing the number of individuals living with HIV who are unaware of their HIV status.

Low awareness of HIV infection a major concern, particularly for younger men

The study provided additional insight into the populations of MSM most in need of HIV testing and prevention:

  • Among racial/ethnic groups, black MSM with HIV were least likely to be aware of their infection (59 percent unaware, vs. 46 percent for Hispanic MSM and 26 percent for white MSM).
  • While young MSM (under age 30) had lower HIV prevalence than older men, they were far more likely to be unaware of their HIV infection.  Among MSM aged 18-29 who had HIV, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) were unaware, versus 37 percent for men age 30 and older.
  • Among young MSM, young MSM of color were less likely than whites to know they were HIV-infected.  Among HIV-infected black MSM under age 30, 71 percent were unaware of their infection; among HIV-infected Hispanic MSM under age 30, 63 percent were unaware.  This compares to 40 percent of HIV-infected white MSM under age 30.

For more information, please visit or

September 26, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health | | Leave a comment

Biomaterials Network ” is aimed at linking the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering community worldwide. This site provides updated news in the field, delivered through a monthly newsletter, and also a collection of selected internet links related to Biomaterials Science and Tissue Engineering, as well as relevant links to biomedical engineering, biology, medicine and health sciences in general. facilities additionally include a glossary of related terms, a discussion forum, a job exchange section, and the Directory of members, where research expertise can be searched.”

September 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

FDA Asking Consumers to Weigh-In on Drug Information

Apologies for this late posting…

From a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) item

Right now, consumers may get as many as three types of written information with prescription medications—a Consumer Medication Information sheet developed by the private sector and voluntarily given to patients; a Patient Package Insert, labeling that’s developed by the drug maker or private vendor; and a Medication Guide, required labeling for some drugs that FDA believes pose a “serious and significant” public health concern.

FDA is proposing that medication information leaflets be streamlined into a single, FDA-approved Patient Medication Information sheet that would be given to the patient the first time a prescription is filled and for subsequent refills.

But before anything happens, FDA is asking consumers for feedback at a Sept. 27-28 hearing at FDA offices in Silver Spring, Md. Complete details about the hearing are posted at At the hearing, consumers and organizations will be able to weigh-in on more than a dozen questions related to prescription drug information for consumers, including

  • Should the medication information be given to patients if the medicine has been administered in a health facility?
  • How can the process be monitored to ensure patients are receiving the information?
  • What accommodations are needed for special populations, such as the elderly, vision impaired, low literacy, and limited or non-English proficient?
  • Should there be a process for monitoring distribution of the information?
  • What functions should FDA and drug makers perform?

To learn more about FDA’s effort to streamline prescription drug information, please see theFederal Register notice, which was posted Aug. 27.

Anyone interested in attending the hearing should see details posted at

For those unable to attend, the meeting can be viewed on the Internet using Adobe Connect Pro from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Webcast participants will not be able to ask questions.

Join the meeting by using the following links: on September 27 on September 28

If you have never attended an Adobe Connect Pro meeting before, test your

September 26, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , , | Leave a comment


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