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Tuesday, Sep 16th

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Ruling hands big tobacco big setback on state suits

A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that smokers can sue tobacco companies in state court for making fraudulent claims.

The surprising 5-4 ruling was a victory for the court's liberals, who in recent years have seen conservatives systematically curtail courtroom access. The ruling also drove down tobacco company stocks, on the prospect that multibillion-dollar lawsuits seeking class-action status may proliferate.

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FDA advisers weigh risks of asthma drugs

Experts from the Food and Drug Administration's safety office are recommending that medications like Advair and Symbicort no longer be used to treat children with asthma because of the risk of serious breathing problems. But the FDA office that oversees respiratory drugs says most patients benefit from the medications, and the risks can be addressed through warnings and educational materials for patients and doctors.

TVNL Editor's Personal Comment: Advair almost killed me. It made my asthma life threatening. It made so bad that rescue inhalers did not work.  I have been weened off of it since June 30th of 2008 and I have had chronic asthma, but rescue inhalers work and the severity of my ashma has reduced by approximately 70%.

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Sixty Percent of Doctors Refuse to Get Flu Shots

If flu shots are so good for you, then why do sixty percent of doctors and nurses refuse to get them? ABC News is reporting that only forty percent of health care professionals opted to be vaccinated against the flu last year.

It's yet another case of health professionals telling patients to do one thing while they do something entirely different themselves. For example, according to surveys published earlier this year, most oncologists would never undergo chemotherapy.

Many doctors take vitamins and nutritional supplements, but they won't tell their patients to do the same because state medical boards have made it illegal for doctors to recommend nutritional therapies.

Thus, much of what medical professionals tell patients stands in contradiction to what they actually believe is best for their health.

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Poor Families Pressed Into Vaccine Trials by Drug Companies; 12 Babies Die

Major pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline has been accused of pressuring poor Third World parents into enrolling their children in experimental drug trials that have led to the deaths of at least 12 infants.

"In most cases these are underprivileged individuals, many of them unable to read or write, who are pressured into including their children," said Juan Carlos Palomares of Fesprosa.

"This occurs without any type of state control [and] does not comply with minimum ethical requirements," the federation said.

At least 12 Argentinean babies enrolled in the study have died in the past year.

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Global Cancer Deaths to Double by 2030

Cancer deaths are projected to more than double worldwide over the next two decades, largely from a dramatic increase in cancer incidence in low- and middle-income countries driven by tobacco use and increasingly Westernized lifestyles.

A new report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) explores the global burden of cancer, which is poised to become the leading cause of death worldwide by 2010.

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Mediterranean Diet Enriched With Nuts Cuts Heart Risks

In older adults at risk for heart disease, a Mediterranean diet plus daily servings of mixed nuts may help manage metabolic syndrome, according to a Spanish study. Previous research suggests that a Mediterranean diet lowers the risk of abdominal obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high glucose levels -- all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

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Malaria Vaccine Effective in Latest Trials

Mosquito-borne disease kills nearly 1 million people, mostly African children, every year. Results from two phase II trials in Africa show that a new malaria vaccine is effective at preventing both infection and the mosquito-borne disease itself in infants and children.

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