HEALTH

New study finds pregnant women with glucose intolerance at risk of heart disease

BY Michael Johnsen

ONTARIO, Canada Mild glucose intolerance in pregnancy may be an early identifier of women who are at increased risk of heart disease in the future, found a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

In a large population-based cohort study, researchers from the University of Toronto and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences studied data on 435,696 women in Ontario, Canada, who gave birth between April, 1994 and March, 1998. All women were followed until March 31, 2008. The study excluded women with pre-existing diabetes.

“Women who had an abnormal glucose challenge test but then did not have gestational diabetes had an increased risk of future cardiovascular disease, compared to the general population, but a lower risk than women who actually did have gestational diabetes,” stated Baiju Shah, Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences and coauthor.

Therefore, current screening procedures for gestational diabetes might also provide a means for the early identification of women who are at risk for developing heart disease later in life.

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NPA criticizes remarks tying dietary supplements to tainted products

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Natural Products Association on Thursday released a statement criticizing the erroneous link between legitimate dietary supplements and tainted products. “Increased scrutiny by professional sports leagues on steroid usage, which the Natural Products Association commends, has unfortunately also led to increased and unsubstantiated allegations that a ‘tainted’ or mislabeled dietary supplement is to blame when an athlete tests positive for a banned substance,” said David Seckman, NPA executive director and CEO.

“As the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 mandates, all ingredients must be listed on product labels and product claims must be substantiated. If this is not the case, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—along with the Federal Trade Commission—have the authority under DSHEA to act promptly,” he said.

Seckman also noted that not all substances banned by professional sports organizations as performance enhancers are either bad or illegal. “Performance enhancers [that] are not necessarily dangerous or illegal … include caffeine, commonly used over-the-counter cold remedies and prescription medications,” he said. “Athletes have the right and responsibility to avoid their use. However, the consuming public who benefits from legitimate medications or dietary supplements – as well as a trip to the local coffee house – should not be denied their use if an athlete is unwilling or unable to follow the rules established by their sport.”

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FDA hosts women’s health meeting Feb. 9

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration will be hosting a meeting on women’s health in Washington on Feb.9, according to a document slated to be published in the Federal Register on Monday.

The three-hour meeting is intended for directors of national organizations interested in discussing women’s health research and educational out reach.

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