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Broad New TAU Study Finds Statins Cut Cataract Risk

Statins, a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels, have been successfully fighting heart disease for years. A new study from Tel Aviv University has now found that the same drugs cut the risks of cataracts in men by almost 40%. "Doctors have known for some time that there is some sort of preventative effect that statins have against cataracts, " says Dr. Gabriel Chodick of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, who led the study. "It seems that they protect the eye from inflammation and ocular nerve cells from a process of oxidization. But ours is the first study to show such a strong association in such a large population.

Elevator-Related Injuries And Older Adults

In the first large-scale epidemiological study of elevator-related injuries in older adults in the United States, researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine and an Ohio State University colleague report in the January 2010 issue of The Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection, and Critical Care on the frequency, nature and opportunities for prevention of these injuries. Nearly 120 billion riders enter an estimated 750, 000 elevators annually in the U.S. Older adults are more likely to use elevators than stairs or escalators. While elevators are one of the safest forms of transportation, they can pose a real danger for the aging population.

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G7 Forgives Haiti's Bilateral Loans To Support Aid Effort

At a press conference on Saturday, "Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said he and his G-7 colleagues would forgive bilateral loans extended to poverty-stricken Haiti, which estimates it could have lost 200, 000 residents in the major earthquake that hit last month, " Dow Jones Newswires reports. Flaherty also said Haiti's multilateral debt should be nullified as soon as possible (Thiruvengadam, 2/6). Ahead of the G7 announcement, the Obama administration on Friday declared its support for "international debt relief for Haiti to aid rebuilding efforts, " The Hill's "Blog Briefing Room" reports. "The earthquake in Haiti was a catastrophic setback to the Haitian people who are now facing tremendous emergency humanitarian and reconstruction needs, and meeting Haiti's financing needs will require a massive multilateral effort, " said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in a statement.

NICE Welcomes Topic Suggestions For QOF

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has opened the second and final phase of topic suggestion for the 2012/13 Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). An online topic suggestion facility will allow stakeholders to submit suggestions for new indicators for QOF based on NICE guidance or other NHS Evidence accredited sources. Anyone with an interest in health, including health professionals, patients, community groups and voluntary organisations are encouraged to contribute to the development of the 2012/13 framework via the NICE website. The second phase of topic suggestion is open from Monday 8 February until Monday 8 March.

Access To Private Drugs In Public Hospitals

Governments are under increasing pressure to provide access to expensive new drugs. Canadian patients who want access to drugs that are not publicly insured are seeking to pay for these drugs within public hospitals, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) This analysis by Colleen M. Flood, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, University of Toronto and Lorian Hardcastle, University of Toronto, discusses the debate over whether this policy should change. It looks at the current legislation, policy implications, and a possible Charter challenge. Every Canadian province has legislation limiting the private sector, which may affect a public hospital's ability to sell drugs.

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New Zealand Medical Association Welcomes Election Of New Medical Council Chair

The election of Dr John Adams, the Dean of the Dunedin School of Medicine, as Chair of the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) has been welcomed by the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA). "Dr Adams has extensive experience in practice, academia and advocacy. He has consistently demonstrated strong leadership qualities, particularly in his role as a previous NZMA Chair, " says NZMA Chair Dr Peter Foley. "This included a balanced and inclusive approach to managing issues, which earned him the respect of both his professional colleagues and those he worked with in the wider health sector." A long term interest in professionalism and ethics led to him becoming Chair of the NZMA Ethics Committee, a position he held until last year, in which he oversaw the revision of the Code of Ethics in 2008.

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