Consumer Health Digest #14-29
Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
August 10, 2014
Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., with help from William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making.
Mental health experts rate "discredited" treatments. The Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has published the results of a Delphi poll on treatment methods that have been significantly criticized in professional journals. [Koocher GP and others. Discredited assessment and treatment methods used with children and adolescents: A Delphi poll. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, April 25, 2014] For purposes of the poll, "discredited" was defined as treatments "unable to consistently generate treatment outcomes . . . beyond those obtained by the passage of time alone, expectancy, base rates, or credible placebo." The process involved 139 experts who independently rated more than 50 methods in the initial survey and 69 of the 139 experts who responded to a request to rate them again after seeing the results of the first survey. Mental Health Watch has listed the methods that were rated worst in the second round of the survey. The results of a similar poll published in 2006 can be accessed free of charge.
Anti-Doping Agency warns athletes about dietary supplements. The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) maintains a Web site that challenges myths about dietary supplements and discourages their use. Among other things, the site warns:
- Navigating the supplement marketplace and supplement issues is difficult. No one person or organization can provide all the answers.
- Many people have hastily jumped to the conclusion that supplements are safe, effective, and a necessary part of being an elite athlete.
- It is very unlikely that healthy people will be unable to get the nutrients they need from diet alone. There is simply no substitution for eating a proper diet.
- The majority of supplements have not been proven to improve performance.
- Certain dietary supplements contain exorbitant amounts of nutrients that are unnecessary, unusable by the body, or even potentially harmful.
- The best option may be to not take dietary supplements.
The site also contains the Supplement 411 High Risk List of products that have been found to contain substances that are banned in high-level athletic competition. The list is accessible free of charge but requires viewers to register.
AHA publishes statement on neck manipulation and stroke. The American Heart Association has published a comprehensive review of the problem of stroke due to chiropractic neck manipulation. [Biller J. and others. AHA/ASA scientific statement:
Cervical arterial dissections and association with cervical manipulative therapy
A statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Aug 7, 2014] The authors note:
- Cervical artery dissection is an important cause of ischemic stroke in young and middle-aged patients. It is most prevalent in the upper cervical spine and can involve the internal carotid artery or vertebral artery.
- Before undergoing neck manipulation, patients should be informed of the statistical association between neck manipulation and cervical artery dissection.
This page was posted on August 10, 2014.