Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Body and Mind

Taking care of your whole self


More tests: Family doctors aren't testing patients most vulnerable to the genital infection chlamydia, a British study finds.

A second study suggests routine emergency room screenings for chlamydia could help catch more cases.

The first study, printed in the June 10 issue of Sexually Transmitted Infections, found that two-thirds of the chlamydia tests ordered by physicians in Nottingham were for women over 25, even though women 15 to 24 are most likely to get the infection.

The study also found that patients were more likely to be tested in practices with a higher doctor to patient ratio, suggesting there might not be time for the tests in some clinics.

The second study found that patients visiting the emergency room were amenable to being tested for chlamydia, which is often asymptomatic in women.

Untreated, chlamydia can damage men's and women's fertility. Antibiotic treatment is usually effective.

Hot news

Fake drugs: The Food and Drug Administration has identified additional counterfeit lots of the cholesterol-lowering medication Lipitor.

Consumers should check their medicine cabinets for 90-tablet bottles of Lipitor labeled "Repackaged by: MED-PRO, INC., Lexington, NE 68850."

Return Med-Pro Lipitor with these lot numbers to the pharmacy where it was purchased:

• 20722V-90-tablet bottles, 10 mg., expiration 09-2004

• 04132V-90-tablet bottles, 10 mg., expiration 01-2004

• 16942V-90-tablet bottles, 10 mg., expiration 09-2004

• 20842V-90-tablet bottles, 10 mg., expiration 09-2004

• 16092V-90-tablet bottles, 10 mg., expiration 07-2004

• D270481-90-tablet bottles, 20 mg., expiration not available.


Ask smart: The Partnership for Clear Health Communication has some advice for consumers who can't always understand their doctor's instructions:

• Ask your doctor these questions: What is my main problem? What do I need to do about it? Why is it important for me to do this?

• Bring a friend or family member to your appointments. He or she can ask questions or take notes on the doctor's instructions.

• Bring a list of all the medications you take (including herbal supplements and vitamins) to your appointment.

• Ask the pharmacist for help if you have questions about your medications.

Shelf help

Cope: The Truth About Chronic Pain (Basic/Perseus; $26) by Arthur Rosenfeld outlines strategies to help patients combat chronic pain.


Click: Check out the CDC's travel health advisory site,, for updates on health alerts around the globe.

Contact Peggy O'Farrell by phone, 768-8510; fax, 768-8330, or e-mail,

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