Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Reblog] Green House Homes News from Maryland

The  27 April blog post at  As Our Parents Age

(I’ve come across similar articles in the past year…however.. this is a great article with good informational links)

Green House Homes News from Maryland

Check out some of the specifics of the new Green House elder community in Baltimore.

A Kaiser Health News article, Maryland’s First Green House Project Nursing Home Aids Low-Income Seniors, described a new community on the site of the old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.

Associated Catholic Charities will run the Green House Residences at Stadium Place.

Am I mistaken or is does the headline contain an oxymoron?  Is it possible to have a Green House Project Nursing Home?  I think not, given that Dr. Bill Thomas calls himself a nursing home abolitionist. The two  concepts most definitely should not appear in the same place!

You can check out other Green House Homes locations using this handy map.

To learn more about the actual construction of Green House® Homes, please follow my series about Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community and the construction at Woodland Park.

My posts on the Woodland Park Green House® Homes construction include:

April 27, 2012 Posted by | health care | Leave a comment

Dietary Supplement Advisory Items: Cancer Prevention & Food Supplements

As many of you readers know, I continually advise to learn the facts before using dietary supplements.
They are not regulated by the FDA for efficacy(preventing or curing conditiions], just for safety.

Two recent items…

The “Crazy” World of Diet Supplements | FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Excerpt from the blog..

A popular herbal supplement, Aristolochia, commonly sold as birthwort has recently been linked to kidney failure and kidney and bladder cancer.  This herb is commonly prescribed in Taiwan as part of traditional medicine and it was recently observed that nearly 12% of that country’s population suffers from chronic kidney disease.  Now the herb has been conclusively associated with these diseases through gene analysis.

This herb is not marketed in the U.S. since 1994 following FDA warnings. Since cancer may take years to develop, it still may be a causative substance even since it’s ban. In the case of supplements, manufacturers must ensure safety, efficacy, and proper labeling but this regulation does not appear to be enforced. Due to the passage of a supplement…

Beware Of Dietary Supplements For Cancer Prevention

Excerpt from the 26 April Medical News Today article

Government regulators and the scientific community should work to ensure that they give clear guidance to the public about dietary supplements and cancer risk, according to a commentary published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Evidence from animal, in vitro and observational studies has suggested that taking dietary supplements may lower cancer risk. However, the small number of randomized controlled studies, the gold standard in evidence-based medicine, has not confirmed this – and some studies have actually shown that supplements may increase cancer risk. Still, the supplement industry is booming, with estimated annual sales at $30 billion in the U.S. …

Related Resources

 offers information about label ingredients in more than 6,000 selected brands of dietary supplements. It enables users to compare label ingredients in different brands. Information is also provided on the “structure/function” claims made by manufacturers. These claims by manufacturers have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Companies may not market as dietary supplements any products that are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent …

April 27, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Nutrition | , , , | Leave a comment

Millions of adolescents falling behind, especially in Africa – UNICEF report

Charles Taylor was found guilty by the Hague today…so many factors contribute to why adolescents are falling behind in Liberia and elsewhere in Africa…while wars and armed conflicts are some of the factors, there are others…still…the wages of war  (and preparing for ware) are death…in so many, many ways.

From the summary at Full Text Reports

Millions of adolescents falling behind, especially in Africa – UNICEF report
Source:  UNICEF

Over the past 20 years, adolescents have benefitted from progress in education and public health. Yet the needs of many adolescents are neglected with more than 1 million losing their lives each year and tens of millions more missing out on education, says a new UNICEF report today.
The report, for example, identifies sub-Saharan Africa as the most challenging place for an adolescent to live. The adolescent population of the region is still growing, and it is projected to have the greatest number of adolescents in the world by 2050. But only half the children in sub-Saharan Africa complete primary school and youth employment is low.
Progress for Children: A report card on adolescents highlights other alarming consequences of the benefits of progress not being equally shared among the total of 1.2 billion adolescents – defined by the United Nations as between the ages of 10 and 19 – now living in all the regions of the world.

April 27, 2012 Posted by | Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

Drug Database Dilemma

From the 26 April 2012 edition of StatelineDaily

No one disputes the need for more information about prescription drug abuse. But who should have access to the information is a divisive issue.
Dr. Shawn Jones, an ear, nose and throat surgeon in Paducah, Kentucky, was conducting a routine office appointment when he got a phone call from a worried pharmacist. The pharmacist had just received a prescription from Jones for 90 Percocet pain pills, an unusually large order for a doctor who rarely prescribes more than 20 pills at one time.

Jones asked the pharmacist to fax over the prescription, and he immediately recognized it as a forgery. It was for a female patient he hadn’t seen in five years. She had somehow gotten hold of one of his prescription pads. Jones asked the pharmacist to delay filling the prescription, went back to the exam room and talked with a policeman who happened to be in the office at the time. The policeman called in to the precinct to have the woman arrested.

Under Kentucky’s current prescription drug laws, only a vigilant pharmacist could have stopped these fraudulent prescriptions. The regulations don’t allow physicians to monitor their own prescribing habits to check for fraud, and the Kentucky board of medical licensure can look up a prescribing record only if a formal complaint against a physician is filed.

That will change under new legislation passed last week in a special session. To deal with the growing problem of prescription drug abuse, Kentucky legislators enacted tougher regulations on doctors and pain management clinics. The law mandates that all physicians and pharmacists who prescribe schedule II and III drugs, such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin), check the patient’s prescription record before writing or filling a prescription. They also have to register prescriptions for those drugs in a state database within 24 hours of writing or filling the prescription.

Currently, only about 25 percent of the states’ doctors use the database.  Now, all of them will be expected to.

Privacy issues
All of this may not sound very controversial. But it is. The database can also be a tool for law enforcement investigations, and these agencies want as much access to it as they can get. This has created a debate about how to balance patient privacy and law enforcement needs in fighting a serious criminal and public health problem….

April 27, 2012 Posted by | Public Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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