• U.S.

Your Health: Aug. 27, 2001

2 minute read
Amanda Bower

GOOD NEWS

BABY SOY Infants fed formula made from soybeans grow up to be as healthy as those given the standard cow-derived product. A new study comparing the two groups also seems to alleviate concerns that soy’s high levels of phytoestrogens, which act like the female sex hormone, could affect development. Nonetheless, experts say, breast milk is still best.

ORAL ADVICE A study investigating HIV transmission from oral sex has run into a novel problem: no cases. So far, researchers have studied 198 people who have only oral sex, 20% of them with an infected partner. Unprotected oral sex is safer, they believe, than anal or vaginal sex with a condom. But protected oral sex is certainly safest.

BAD NEWS

OUT OF CONTROL Almost a third of the estimated 42 million Americans with high blood pressure don’t know they have the condition. Worse, 70% have seen a doctor three times on average in the past year–and 90% have insurance. Health system, heal thyself.

LUNG REDUX A highly promoted type of surgery for emphysema that removes up to 30% of the lung so that healthier parts can expand shows little benefit and a high risk of death for the sickest patients. Results were released early to keep similar patients out of the O.R. Still, proponents insist, the operation works. –By Amanda Bower

Sources: Good News–JAMA (8/15/01); National HIV Prevention Conference (8/14/01). Bad News–New England Journal of Medicine (8/16/01); NEJM Online (8/14/01)

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