• U.S.

Your Health: Aug. 19, 2002

1 minute read
David Bjerklie

SAY WHEN… “Drink at least eight glasses of water a day!” It may have the ring of authority, but when physiologist Dr. Heinz Valtin searched for scientific evidence behind the dictum, he found the glass empty. Hot weather and exercise raise our H2O demands, but for most folks, says Valtin, eight is unnecessary, and excessive water intake can increase exposure to pollutants and in rare cases cause health problems.

FUNGAL FEVER Lethal fungus infections, once rare in the developed world, are spreading because of the rise of AIDS, chemotherapy and organ transplants. Antifungal drugs, however, often have terrible side effects. A new study shows that the drug voriconazole is more effective and results in fewer complications than standard treatments.

CANCER CLUSTER Women on New York’s Long Island face a breast-cancer risk 30% higher than the national average. Activists blamed pesticides that farmers used to spray on potatoes and other crops, but a seven-year, $8 million government-ordered study found no link–at least to DDT (banned in 1972). The jury is still out on the pesticides now in use. –By David Bjerklie

Sources: American Journal of Physiology; New England Journal of Medicine; National Cancer Institute

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