HealthWise at 5 From 11.5 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/5/03

HealthWise at 5 From 11.5

  • Artery Draino

Results of a small study may mean big news for the millions of Americans fighting heart disease. Researchers are testing a form of HDL, the good cholesterol, to unclog arteries. Dr. Steven Nissen, from the Cleveland Clinic, says that the surprising result was that in a relatively short length of time, raising this good cholesterol by infusing it into patients could actually reverse the disease.

The study found almost all who got the synthetic HDL, showed a decrease in plaque build-up in the arteries in just six weeks. While the patients who got a placebo showed no change, researchers stress this treatment is not a cure, but it may someday provide routine treatment for high risk patients.

Researchers say if the larger studies confirm these early findings, the HDL treatment would be the first non invasive therapy that could actually remove plaque from arteries. A number of studies have shown people with high levels of HDL have a lower risk of heart disease, but this component of HDL was discovered from research in people in Italy who had healthy hearts even though they had very low levels of the good cholesterol.

The study is published in the Journal of The American Medical Association. It was funded by Esperion Therapeutics, which makes the synthetic HDL.

  • Ipecac Syrup

Parents have been using Ipecac Syrup in emergencies for 50 years, but now the American Academy of Pediatrics says no more. Syrup of Ipecac is no longer recommended to prevent poisoning. You probably know that when you give that stuff to a child it makes them throw up whatever they've eaten. That's the whole idea, to bring back up any poison they might have swallowed. The problem is some poisons are as dangerous coming back up as they were going down. So, the academy has decided it's best to let emergency rooms decide the most effective treatment.

The group adds that poisoning deaths have dropped dramatically over the last 50 years because most parents understand today that the best defense is prevention and that means keeping poisonous substances locked up and out of reach.

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