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Sat, 11 Jul 2020
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Question

China denies epidemic killing children

Chinese authorities are denying reports that at least 26 children have died from a mysterious illness in the east of the country while local media accuses the Government of covering up an epidemic.

Newspaper and internet reports from Shandong province say that "many" children are dead and hundreds of others have fallen ill from a mysterious illness that has swept through Linyi city since late April.

Attention

Britain becomes a Prozac nation

The number of Britons prescribed antidepressants is at a record high, despite official warnings that many patients may not need them.

More than 31 million prescriptions were written by doctors for antidepressant drugs last year, figures published today reveal, with the use of drugs such as Seroxat and Prozac increasing by 10 per cent. The findings, which show a big increase on previous years, come despite growing concerns over the country's excessive reliance on chemical treatments and over their possible side-effects.

The exact number of people taking pills for depression is not known but is thought to be several million, with many taking the medications over long periods on repeat prescriptions.

Vader

Depleted uranium weapons linked to lung cancer

Governments deny it, but many people have long suspected that depleted uranium weapons may cause cancer. It looks as if the suspicions were right.

Depleted uranium (DU) is a dense, weakly radioactive metal used in armour-piercing shells. Hundreds of tonnes of them were fired by US and UK forces in Iraq in 2003. Previous research at the US government's Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico found that people exposed to DU dust were at little extra risk of developing cancers (New Scientist, 30 July 2005, p 5).


Magic Wand

Cognitive Therapy Can Reduce Post-traumatic Stress In Survivors Of Terrorist Attacks

Cognitive therapy is an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder related to acts of terrorism and other civil conflict, finds a study published on bmj.com.

Recent NICE guidelines recommend cognitive behaviour therapy as a treatment of choice (alone or in conjunction with drugs) for post-traumatic stress disorder. However, this recommendation is largely based on trials focusing on non-terrorism related traumatic events, such as road traffic crashes and rape. Little is known about how to best treat those traumatised by terrorist incidents.

So researchers at the Northern Ireland Centre for Trauma and Transformation undertook the first controlled trial aimed at assessing the effectiveness of cognitive therapy for people affected by terrorism and other civil conflict.

The trial involved 58 people with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, mostly resulting from multiple traumas linked to terrorism and other civil conflict.

Attention

Ex-nuclear weapons workers file claims

Walter McKenzie's assignment toward the end of the Cold War was to mop up after mishaps at a nuclear weapons factory. With a crew of other laborers from rural Georgia, he swabbed away leaks and spills inside the secret buildings, until one day his body became so contaminated with radiation that alarms at the factory went off as he passed.

"They couldn't scrub the radiation off my skin -- even after four showers," McKenzie, 52, recalled of his most terrifying day at the Savannah River nuclear weapons plant near Aiken, S.C. "They took my clothes, my watch, and even my ring, and sent me home in rubber slippers and a jumpsuit."

Later, when doctors discovered the first of 19 malignant tumors on his bladder, McKenzie followed the same torturous path as thousands of nuclear weapons workers with cancer: He filed a claim for federal compensation. It was denied.

Unable to access secret government files, or even some of his own personnel records, McKenzie could not sufficiently prove that he was exposed to something that might have made him sick. Nor can most of the 104,000 other workers, retirees, and family members who have sought help from a federal program intended to atone for decades of hazardous working conditions at scores of nuclear weapons facilities around the country.

Magic Wand

The face, not the body, attracts a mate

Body builders and gym buffs, look away now. It appears that the opposite sex is much more interested in your face than your bulging biceps or elegant figure, especially if you're a man. At least that's the upshot of the first study to assess how much faces and bodies contribute to someone's overall attractiveness.

Twelve women and 12 men took part in a trial to assess the attractiveness of people in photographs, on a scale of 1 to 7. Some participants saw the entire person, some saw faces on their own, and some just bodies. Marianne Peters from the University of Western Australia in Crawley and colleagues assessed the face-only and body-only ratings to see how well they predicted the "entire person" ratings.

Heart

Most Young Women Don't Recognize Heart Attack Warning Signs

Most women 55 years and younger who have heart attacks don't recognize warning signs, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's 8th Scientific Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke.

Women younger than 55 years represent less than 5 percent of all hospitalized heart disease patients, but because so many heart attacks occur in the United State each year, even this small percentage affects a large number of people. Young women with heart disease account for about 40,000 hospitalizations each year. Diseases of the heart in young women account for about 16,000 deaths annually, ranking it among the leading causes of death in this group, according to authors.

"The number of young women who die from coronary heart disease each year is roughly comparable to the number of women who die of breast cancer in this age group," said Judith Lichtman, Ph.D., lead author of the study. "Studies have shown that young women with heart disease are twice as likely to die in the hospital as similarly aged men. While these statistics are startling, relatively little is known about the clinical presentation, care or outcomes of young women with heart disease."

Attention

Fluoridation Doing More Harm Than Good, Studies Show - New York State Coalition Opposed To Fluoridation, Inc

Contrary to belief, fluoridation is damaging teeth with little cavity reduction, according to a review of recent studies reported in Clinical Oral Investigations.(1)

Pizzo and colleagues reviewed English-language fluoridation studies published from January 2001 to June 2006 and write, "Several epidemiological studies conducted in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities suggest that [fluoridation] may be unnecessary for caries prevention..."

They also report that fluoride-damaged teeth spiked upwards to 51% from the 10-12% found over 60 years ago in "optimally" fluoridated communities. Dental fluorosis is white-spotted, yellow, brown-stained and/or pitted teeth.

Fluoridation began in 1945 when dentists thought that ingested fluoride incorporated into children's developing tooth enamel to prevent cavities. However, Pizzo's group reports that fluoride ingestion confers little, if any, benefit and fails to reduce oral health disparities in low-income Americans.

Health

Fluoride Accumulates in Pineal Gland

Fluoride, added to the water supply of many cities and counties and sold by WalMart in its nursery water, has a tendency to accumulate not only in developing teeth causing discoloration, and in bones making them brittle. The mineral is associated with cancer and it also accumulates in the pineal gland, an important hormone control center, where it wreaks considerable havoc. Paul Connett of Fluoride Action Network comments on Jennifer Luke's research which was part of her PhD thesis and had just been published in Caries Research under the title: Fluoride Deposition in the Aged Human Pineal Gland.


Comment: For further research see:

Fluorine Compounds Make you Stupid.
Why is the Government not merely allowing, but promoting them?



Red Flag

Mysterious Fatal Swine Disease in Guangdong

Hong Kong media were full of lurid accounts Monday of pigs staggering around with blood pouring from their bodies in Gaoyao and neighboring Yunfu, both in Guangdong Province. Apple, a daily newspaper here, said that up to 80 percent of the pigs had died in the area, that peasants were engaged in panic selling of ailing animals at deep discounts and that pig carcasses were floating down the river.