Vidyya Medical News Servicesm
Vidyya, from the Sanskrit "vaidya," a practitioner who has come to understand the science of life.

Volume 1 Published - 14:00 UTC    08:00 EST    05-September-2000      
Issue 145 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST    06-September-2000      

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Newsletter Summary For 05-September-2000:

Alpine region Europeans will be surprised to learn that traffic pollution is responsible for about 3 percent of deaths across Austria, France and Switzerland. Traffic pollution kills 20,000 per year in the region--or about half of the 40,000 deaths due to all outdoor pollution in those countries.

In drug news, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved AstraZeneca's breast cancer treatment Arimidex® (anastrozole) as a new treatment option for postmenopausal women first diagnosed with advanced or locally advanced breast cancer whose cancers are hormone receptive. Arimidex performed well during clinical trials and joins tamoxifen as an available drug for postmenopausal breast cancer. Arimidex had previously been approved for use only after treatment with tamoxifen had failed.

Virus Alert! The New Zealand Ministry of Health has issued a warning to local doctors to be on the lookout for a new and potentially dangerous virus, which has infected at least 50 people in the country. The virus has caused meningitis-like symptoms and no fatalities so far.

American women have been deprived of a safe antiemitic, Bendectin, since 1983, when its manufacturer decided to discontinue its production because of the litigation cost resulting from unsubstantiated claims of birth defects allegedly associated with the drug. Although Diclectin ® (the generic version of Bendectin) is approved and available in Canada as the only first line pharmacological treatment specifically labelled for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, there is no commercial version of the compound currently available in the United States. The FDA has stated that the drug was not withdrawn from the market for safety reasons and that it is not a known teratogen.

Findings from Oxford University published in Monday's edition of Circulation found that cardiac patients with high levels of a form of "bad" cholesterol known as lipoprotein-a in their blood are 70 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those with lower concentrations. Lipoprotein-A is not controlled by diet, perhaps explaining why many non-obese and healthy individuals have heart attacks.

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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