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Jul 01, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- DRINKS, DRUGS MAKE DANGEROUS MIX
Researchers have found patients with HIV who drink alcohol while taking antiretroviral drugs may be speeding up their infection. The study showed patients who drank moderate to high amounts of alcohol while they were on antiretroviral medications had higher levels of HIV and lower levels of the virus-fighting immune cells, Dr. Jeffrey Samet of Boston Medical Center reports in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. The researchers found no connection between alcohol consumption and the progression of HIV in patients who were not taking antiretroviral medications.
CHECKLIST FOR MEN'S HEALTH
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has come up with a men's checklist for staying healthy. The checklist includes the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations on seven key medical screening tests for men and offers other tips on staying well, including proper diet and exercise. "The myriad of health tips and information available today can be confusing for patients. This new health checklist distills the best science into an understandable and convenient reference that tells men which medical screenings they need and when," said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. "Hopefully, the health checklist will make the road to good health a bit smoother for many men." "The Checklist for Your Next Checkup," a pocket-size brochure, includes recommendations about tests for cholesterol, high blood pressure, colorectal cancer, diabetes, depression, sexually transmitted diseases and prostate cancer. Ask your doctor for a copy.
CHOLESTEROL DRUG MAY BENEFIT DIABETICS
A study in the journal The Lancet suggests the cholesterol-lowering drug Zocor may benefit patients with diabetes. The study of 5,963 patients showed treatment with Zocor (simvastatin) 40 mg lowered the rate of heart attacks and stroke in individuals with diabetes Type 1 and 2. The large trial indicated taking the drug daily reduced the risk of first major coronary events by 27 percent.
NITROGEN OVERUSE POSES HEALTH RISK
Using nitrogen as fertilizer has increased food production in poor nations, but at the price of human health, scientists say. Study leader Alan Townsend of the University of Colorado, Boulder, says changes in the global nitrogen cycle, while beneficial in increasing crop growth, appear to pose a growing health risk. Some half of all inorganic nitrogen use has occurred in the past 15 years, he says. Although nitrogen is the most abundant of Earth's atmospheric gases, it must be converted to such chemically usable forms as nitrate or ammonium. In nature, the process occurs with the help of microbes or, less often, during lightning strikes. "The major global changes in the nitrogen cycle have occurred because humans now convert more nitrogen to such usable forms than all natural processes combined," Townsend said. "The synthesis of nitrogen fertilizers accounts for most of this change. But the overuse of nitrogen fertilizers can lead to a number of problems, including air and water pollution."
(Editors: For more information about DRINKING, contact Barbara Najar at 301-427-1399 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For MEN'S, Tracy Bischoff, at 205-934-3884 or email@example.com. For CHOLESTEROL, Denise Ulrich at 267-305-7485. For HEALTH, Alan Townsend at 303-492-6865)
Copyright 2003 by United Press International.