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March 31, 2008 Health Headlines

Health Headlines
Cholesterol Drug Controversy Continues Cholesterol Testing Not Enough for Some You May Be the Key to Cancer Prevention Managing Stress Can Lower Heart Death Risk A Little Haggling Could Mean Big Savings on Med Bills Gov't Launches Hospital Comparisons Site Online ratings irk doctors Personal pyramid planner builds menus to your design
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Cholesterol Testing Not Enough for Some

Heart Health
This story is important for readers that plan to have their cholesterol level checked this year. Not only should you get an entire lipid profile (which should include [1] TC [total cholesterol], [2] HDL [what I call “healthy” cholesterol], [3] LDL [what I call “lethal” cholesterol,” and [4] TG [triglyceride]), but also, an additional and fairly inexpensive lab test, called the ApoB. I’ve been doing this test for my patients for over a decade and it’s good to see recommendations supporting my practice. This story explains why you should consider requesting this test from your doctor. Who should have a lipid profile? According to the U.S. Preventive Services Taskforce, it is strongly recommended “that clinicians routinely screen (1) men aged 35 years and older, and (2) women aged 45 years…
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MEDIA ALERT

General Health
Dr. Walt and Barb will appear as guests on the Thursday, April 3rd broadcast of "Living the Life" at 930 am on your local ABC Family Network. They will be discussing their newest book, His Brain, Her Brain: How divinely designed differences can strengthen your marriage. You can find where to view the program here. If you cannot watch it live, you can view the broadcast, after it is initially shown on TV, here. You can order a copy, and several for friends, at www.DrWalt.com.
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Cholesterol Drug Controversy Continues

Heart Health
The controversy about Vytorin and Zetia continues. As I’ve been saying since this story began to break, the group of patients studied was one that had a genetic disease leading to very high levels of cholesterol. This study was not done on normal patients. Further, in this type of patient, it is not unusual to need three drugs to control their cholesterol levels. So, the fact that two drugs (Vytorin [ezetimibe & simvastatin] and Zetia [ezetimibe]), did not work to reduce plaque in the neck arteries should not be terribly surprising. The real question is whether a drug like Vytorin, which dramatically lowers LDL(“bad” or “lethal” cholesterol), can reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes. Studies looking at that are now in progress. And, my guess is that they…
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