HEALTH

Obesity, diabetes greatly increase heart disease risk

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A study has indicated that obesity and diabetes combined increase the risk of heart disease.

The study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, examined 3,400 American adults and found that obese and diabetic women had an 80 percent chance of developing heart disease, while the men had a 90 percent chance. Meanwhile, women without diabetes had a 47 percent chance of developing heart disease, while men had a 49 percent risk.

The results mean that diabetes raises the risk of heart disease, while obesity makes the risk worse.

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Heritage Labs unveils home blood glucose monitoring kit

BY Michael Johnsen

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. Heritage Labs, a division of Hooper Holmes, last week introduced the Appraise Home A1c Kit, a new at-home consumer product that measures the average blood glucose level of diabetics and potential diabetics.

“The home testing market has significantly expanded in recent years as more consumers seek to control their health care costs,” stated Roy Bubbs, president and chief executive officer of Hooper Holmes. “This is a natural area of opportunity for us, as we operate one of the most efficient, high quality labs in the country that is also an FDA-approved manufacturer of collection kits. We believe that Wal-Mart’s decision to stock our product in their stores nationwide validates the kit as an accurate and affordable way to reduce the health risks associated with diabetes. In the weeks ahead, we will be expanding distribution to additional retail channels.”

At Wal-Mart, the kit is marketed as the Reli-On A1C Test. The test is also available under Heritage Labs’ Appraise brand in other retail locations nationwide, including Rite Aid.

Results are delivered online or in the mail within a few days.

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Kansas pharmacists, law enforcement team up to combat meth

BY Michael Johnsen

WICHITA, Kan. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas State Board of Pharmacy on Wednesday partnered with independent druggist Dandurand, among others, on a pilot program designed to help combat methamphetamine through MethShield, a real-time, web-based tool that enables pharmacists, retailers and law enforcement officials to track the sale of medications which can be diverted to create methamphetamine.

The pilot program begins this week at 128 pharmacies and drugstores across 62 counties and will run for one year.

Kansas currently uses a written logbook system to track pseudoephedrine sales, which doesn’t allow for the sharing of real time information between pharmacists and law enforcement officials. MethShield alerts law enforcement in real time if an individual is attempting to make an illegal purchase.

“Obviously, reducing criminal activity related to meth production and distribution is a key driver behind this program, but MethShield will also be good for consumers and local pharmacists,” stated Michael Coast, president of the Kansas State Board of Pharmacy. “MethShield will ensure that consumers have access to the medicines they need and that local pharmacies will be able to sell these essential over-the-counter medications.”

MethShield is the United States’ version of a highly successful nationwide electronic log system initially developed in Australia. The number of Meth labs in the Australian state of Queensland—which is twice the size of Texas and home to roughly 4.2 million people—decreased by 37 percent in the first year MethShield was deployed in the state.

“MethShield has a proven track record of success and that’s because it was developed by pharmacists for pharmacies,” stated MethShield president Shaun Singleton.

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