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Study: A1C test not a reliable predictor of heart disease

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — In a study that included nearly 300,000 adults without a known history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease, adding information about glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), a measure of longer-term blood sugar control, to conventional CVD risk factors like smoking and cholesterol was associated with little improvement in the prediction of CVD risk, according to a study in the March 26 issue of JAMA.

Because higher glucose levels have been associated with higher CVD incidence, it has been proposed that information on blood sugar control might improve doctors’ ability to predict who will develop CVD, according to background information in the article. 

Among the primary findings of the researchers, adding information on levels of HbA1c to conventional CVD risk factors was associated with only slight improvement in risk discrimination (how well a statistical model can separate individuals who do and do not go on to develop CVD). In addition, they found that adding information on HbA1c did not improve the accuracy of probability predictors for patients with and without CVD.

 

 

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GSK to consumers: Some bottles of Alli OTC weight loss medication have been tampered with

BY Michael Johnsen

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — GlaxoSmithKline on Wednesday began alerting consumers that some bottles of its Alli over-the-counter weight-loss medication have been tampered with. "Consumer safety is GSK’s primary concern," the company stated. "We have initiated an investigation and are working with the Food and Drug Administration."

The outer carton of any tampered product may look authentic, but there are several tell-tale signs that the product has been tampered with, GSK cautioned, including:  

  • The bottle may contain a range of tablets and capsules of various shapes and colors;
  • The bottle may not have a label;
  • The bottle’s tamper evident seal may not be intact, not be made of foil and/or not have the authentic Alli wording: "Sealed for your Protection."; and
  • The lot numbers and expiration dates on the bottle do not match the lot number and expiration date on the outer carton.

To date, some bottles bearing the following lot numbers and expiration dates on the carton have been reported to GSK by consumers as containing product other than Alli:

  • Carton Lot 14372, Expiration: 02/28/2016;
  • Carton Lot 14395, Expiration: 02/28/2016;
  • Carton Lot 14124, Expiration: 09/30/2015;
  • Carton Lot 14267, Expiration: 01/31/2016; and
  • Carton Lot 14442, Expiration: 04/30/2016.

Tampered products were reportedly purchased by consumers at retail stores in the following seven states:  Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York North Carolina and Texas.

Authentic Alli is a turquoise blue capsule with a dark blue band. It is packaged in a labeled bottle that has an inner foil seal imprinted with the words: "Sealed for your Protection." The same Lot and Expiration Date codes should be printed on both the bottle label and the outer carton. 

Consumers should not use the product if the authentic Alli features as described above are not present, or if they have any concerns, GSK cautioned. "If you have consumed any product which you think may not be Alli, you should contact your healthcare provider," GSK stated. 

GSK is seeking cooperation from consumers in this investigation. "If you suspect you have purchased any inauthentic Alli product, please promptly contact our Consumer Relations line at 800-671-2554 and a representative will provide you with further instructions. All product and packaging materials, including pamphlets, seals, etc. should be retained pending further instructions."

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Zarbee’s Naturals launches Seasonal Relief

BY Michael Johnsen

SALT LAKE CITY — Zarbee’s Naturals on Tuesday launched Seasonal Relief with Ze339, an extract from Butterbur that helps relieve congestion, the company reported. 

The use of natural Butterbur to combat congestion quickly and effectively is supported by numerous clinical studies, Zarbee’s Naturals noted. This spring, in a major initiative to introduce Americans to the benefits of Butterbur, Zarbee’s is sharing samples, educational information and natural wellness tips through the Seasonal Relief Project. Additionally, for every trial of Butterbur Ze339, the company is donating to three causes that support exposure to and the protection of fresh air, including the Fresh Air Fund, Children & Nature Network and Moms Clean Air Force. 

A three-step process at SeasonalRelief.com allows participants to sign up to receive free product samples while directing funds to organizations that will help send a kid to summer camp, get a child outdoors or clean up the air we breathe.

“Our partnership with the Seasonal Relief Project is a great fit,” stated Jenny Morgenthau, executive director of The Fresh Air Fund. “We understand that breathing easy is at the heart of Zarbee’s Seasonal Relief, and with their support our organization is able to create healthy outdoor experiences and lifelong memories for many more children from New York City’s low-income communities.”

Zarbee’s Seasonal Relief with Butterbur Ze339 is free from gluten and dyes and is not associated with side effects such as drowsiness or grogginess. Available nationwide at CVS.com and Target stores, a 10-tablet package has a suggested retail price of $8.99 and a 30-tablet package has an SRP of $18.99.

 

 

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