HEALTHNET NEWS VOL. XV, NO. 1 SPRING 1999

HEALTHNET NEWS VOL. XV, NO. 1 SPRING 1999
Lyman Maynard Stowe Library
University of Connecticut Health Center

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

UPDATE
- New feature on Healthnet web site
- Internet resources on nutrition, diet and fitness
NETNEWS
- Important information on dietary supplements
- More on dietary supplements
- Resources on children and violence
- Book reviews - cancer and other health related topics
- New resource guides available on CancerTrials web site
- Current information on medical and scientific research
- Answers to your personal health questions
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
-Recently published books:
   * American Medical Association complete guide to your child's health
   * Johns Hopkins family health book
-Brochures and books on brain injury in children and adolescents.
UCHC RECENT ACQUISITIONS
   * Merck manual of diagnosis and therapy, 17th ed.
   * The new Sjogren's syndrome handbook
   * A woman's guide to menopause and hormone replacement therapy

UPDATE

NEW FEATURE ON HEALTHNET WEB SITE

"Navigating the health care system; a resource guide for consumers" is now available on the Healthnet web site. It is intended to assist consumers gathering information on health care services and insurance. Its focus is on Connecticut resources when they are available. National resources are included as well.

The Resource Guide includes information on books that may be purchased or borrowed from area libraries, brochures that may be requested or downloaded from the Internet, and direct Internet links to government and organization web sites.

Among the topics included are Evaluating Hospitals, Communicating with Your Doctor, Comparing Managed Care Plans, Understanding the Medicare System, Obtaining Health Insurance, and Long Term Care Options. The resource guide was compiled by Judith Kronick, Healthnet Librarian.

INTERNET RESOURCES ON NUTRITION, DIET AND FITNESS

If you were unable to attend the Healthnet program on nutrition, diet and fitness resources on the Internet at the CLA annual conference, visit the Healthnet web site . We've updated the list of recommended Internet resources to include the sites discussed at the conference. Select "Internet Resources" from the Healthnet homepage and then select "Nutrition, diet and fitness" in the Contents list.

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NETNEWS

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS

The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) recently launched a new database called IBIDS, International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements. IBIDS is a database of published, international, scientific literature on dietary supplements and is available free of charge to the public.

Dietary supplements can influence the prevention and management of disease and the maintenance of health. These supplements are defined as comprising plant extracts, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and hormonal products that are available without prescription and are consumed in addition to a regular diet. The overwhelming majority of supplements have not been studied scientifically, although considerable research has been conducted in Asia and Europe where plant products have a long tradition of use.

Recognizing the need for objective research to study the benefits and risks of dietary supplements, Congress in November 1994 passed the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (Public Law 103-417) which created the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). ODS's mission is to explore the role of dietary supplements to improve health care, promote scientific study of supplements, and conduct and coordinate research.

A keyword index helps the user focus on the specific topic of interest. Journal articles cover the following topics: use and function of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals;, the role of nutrient supplementation in metabolism in normal nutrition and disease states; the chemical composition, biochemical roles, and antioxidant activity of supplements; fortification of foods with supplemental nutrients and health-related effects; nutrient composition of herbal and botanical products; and the growth and production of herbal and botanical products used as dietary supplements. Users can search the entire database or a subset of peer-reviewed journal articles. A keyword index helps the user focus on the specific topic of interest.

IBIDS includes citations and abstracts from MEDLINE, so there is some overlap. Other food and nutrition databases are also incorporated. This is a bibliographic database, not full-text. Users can either obtain information they need from journal article abstracts, when available, or try to obtain the complete article from a medical or science library. The "Journal List" contains a complete list of publications indexed and links are provided to the journal's web site, if available. Some journals offer free full-text of selected articles on their web site.

MORE ON DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS

If you're interested in reading more about dietary supplements, visit the web site of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and read "An FDA Guide to Dietary Supplements. This highly readable guide defines the term "dietary supplements" and examines claims made by the manufacturers of these supplements. The guide also discusses the new federal requirements for dietary supplement labeling.

RESOURCES ON CHILDREN AND VIOLENCE

In the wake of the tragedy in Littleton, Colorado, parents concerned about children and violence may want to visit the web site of the American Psychological Association(APA). The APA has added several new features which can answer questions concerned parents may have about violence, children, and trauma.

A fact sheet offers helpful information and advice for parents on children's exposure to violence on television. The fact sheet cites several studies on children and television violence, outlines what the television industry is attempting to do to address the problem, and provides simple steps parents can take to limit their child's exposure to television violence. Other fact sheets include: Potential Warning Signs for Violence in Children; Managing Traumatic Stress; and Coping With the Aftermath of a Disaster.

The APA's web site also has other valuable information to help individual's cope with the stresses of everyday life. A discussion of how the mind and body can work together to improve one's health and how to know when you or someone you know may need the help of a professional counselor are just two other features. Also included is "Warning signs - a violence prevention guide for youth" specifically targeted to teens.

The APA has launched a public education campaign called "Talk To Someone Who Can Help" to inform people about when it is appropriate to seek psychological services and how a psychologist can help with everyday life problems. For information about this campaign select "Spread the Word" on the homepage. You'll also find information here on what the APA is doing to address the problem of restricted access to psychological services under a managed care system.

BOOK REVIEWS - CANCER AND OTHER HEALTH RELATED TOPICS

Are you planning to update your book collection on cancer? You may want to visit Oncolink, the premier web-based resource on cancer, at cancer.med.upenn.edu/. Oncolink offers reviews of books, videos, and CD-ROM programs on various topics related to cancer (select "Book Reviews" from the menu on the left of their homepage).The reviews are arranged according to subject area, including children and cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, end of life issues, sexuality, nutrition, women's issues, and other topics. Medical doctors, nutritionists, cancer patients, and family members of cancer patients all contribute to the reviews.

You probably already know about Amazon.com,, but it bears repeating. Amazon does a nice job of describing the books they have for sale. Some titles include reviews from Booklist, Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews. Many have a brief synopsis of the book plus reviews by Amazon.com users who have read the book. Try browsing the titles by subject under the categories Health, Mind, and Body, Parenting and Families, and Science and Nature (subcategory Medicine). In spite of the recent revelation that Amazon accepts money from publishers to review certain titles, this is still a useful site for up-to-date descriptions of popular consumer health books.

NEW RESOURCE GUIDES AVAILABLE ON CANCERTRIALS WEB SITE

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently added two new resource guides to their CancerTrials site. Under the topic "Finding Specific Trials", a new guide "Searching Cancer Web Sites" has been added. This feature provides annotated links to NCI-designated cancer center web sites, highlighting clinical trials listings and contact information for each site.

In "Deciding Whether to Participate In Clinical Trials", they have expanded the "Informed Consent Resources" with the addition of "A Guide to Informed Consent". The Guide offers a history of the informed consent process, a look at the broader system of protections in place for clinical trials participants, and a detailed section on what to expect should one decide to go through the informed consent process.

CURRENT INFORMATION ON MEDICAL AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

EurekAlert bills itself as a comprehensive web site on the latest research advances in science, medicine, health, and technology. The site is produced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) with technical support from Stanford University.

EurekAlert posts material from scientific journals, research institutions, government agencies, companies, and non-profit organizations, thus offering "one-stop shopping" for up-to-date research information. The site was created to serve three key groups: journalists who report regularly on science news and research; scientific journals, research institutions, and other organizations that disseminate the results of current research; and the public who are interested in tracking down the latest research advances in medicine and science.

Each day, EurekAlert posts news items submitted by publications, agencies, and organizations. In addition to reports on current research advances, the site also posts releases relating to grant announcements, prizes awarded to scientists or journalists, press conferences, scientific meetings and newly published books.

There are two separate areas of information: one with information available to the public and a second area containing exclusive prepublication information available only to qualified journalists. The exclusive information is often made available to the public at a later date. Releases may be searched by either key word or by selecting from lists of types of releases or by topical keywords. Searches may also be limited by date, broad geographical region, institution type, or institution name.

This site is an important resource for consumers seeking the most current information on research activities and medical breakthroughs in a particular area of interest.

ANSWERS TO YOUR PERSONAL HEALTH QUESTIONS

Allexperts.com is a site run entirely by volunteers who have agreed to answer questions on subjects such as what to consider when buying a computer, how to invest in real estate, how to overhaul the brakes on your BMW, and how to make garden compost. The site also has several medical "experts" who will answer your personal health questions. Some of the experts fielding questions in the 'Health' category include medical doctors, nurse practitioners, substance abuse counselors, social workers, chiropractors, dentists, and a professional radiation safety officer.

Each expert is listed under their specific area of expertise. Credentials, such as degrees held, years of experience in a specialty, current professional position, and general background, are given for each expert. Users can send a specific question to an individual and expect to receive an answer within 1-3 days.

We haven't tried sending in any questions, but if you're so inclined, give it a try. This is an intriguing concept, but I'm not sure I'd want to depend on this as my only source for medical advice or legal assistance.

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FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

The following publications may be of interest to public libraries and health sciences libraries with consumer health collections. These books are not part of the Health Center Library collection.

RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOKS

American Medical Association complete guide to your children's health. Edward S. Traisman, ed. Random House, 1999. 710 p. $39.95. (ISBN 0-679-45776-3).

The useful guide from the AMA addresses the health needs of children from infancy through adolescence. Part 1 deals with the physical, emotional, social and intellectual growth of children, covering such topics as language development, discipline, nutrition, toilet training, preparation for school, and sexuality. Part 2: Caring for your child's health discusses important topics such as finding quality day care, routine medical and dental care, caring for the sick or injured child, safety, emotional health, and caring for children with special health needs.

Part 3 is an encyclopedia of childhood diseases and disorders. Each brief essay discusses the causes, signs and symptoms, and treatment of common childhood illnesses as well as serious and chronic diseases. A special illustrated section on first aid and emergencies includes important information parents need to know about choking, rescue breathing, CPR and other first aid measures for burns, bites, and shock and other life-threatening situations.

Highly recommended for consumer health collections.

Johns Hopkins family health book. Michael J. Klag, editor. HarperCollins, 1999. 1657 p. $49.95. (ISBN 0-06-270149-5).

This book lives up to its promise as a comprehensive, authoritative and empowering health guide. Packed with useful facts and advice on many different health topics and concerns, it is virtually a one-stop shopping guide for information on everything from adopting a more healthful lifestyle to understanding the complex world of medical care.
Chapters on wellness cover nutrition, exercise, self-care, smoking cessation, and alcohol and drug use. The section on "Health over the life course" covers topics from infant growth and development to common health concerns of the elderly. A first aid and emergency section explains how to evaluate and address a broad range of injuries and medical emergencies. The "Body systems and disorders" section consists of 17 chapters which explain common and serious medical conditions affecting various systems of the body. A section on health care offers advice on choosing a doctor, preparing for surgery, understanding and getting the most from the health care system, and home care and long term care issues.

Appendices include a medication directory, a glossary, growth charts, information on living wills and advance directives, measurement conversions, and laboratory tests. Highly recommended for the reference collections of all libraries offering consumer health information services.

BROCHURES AND BOOKS ON BRAIN INJURY IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

The L&A Publishing Companypublishes books, brochures and training materials on brain injury and other disabilities in children and adolescents. A recent publication "When your child is technology assisted : a home care guide for families" was written to help families who are caring for children in the home who need a machine or device to perform some life-sustaining activity. Ventilators to support breathing, feeding tubes to supply nourishment, and dialysis machines to remove waste are examples of technological assistance.

The booklet describes factors to consider when setting up the home to care for the child and family issues such as marital adjustment to home care and helping siblings adjust to the necessary changes in the home. Other topics covered include working with nurses in the home and meeting the challenges of parenting in this unique situation.

Other publications of L&A include "Resource guide: children and adolescents with brain injury", "When your teenager is injured: preparing for work and adulthood", and "Bing, bang, bong: when your child has a concussion". A storybook for young children "Elvin the elephant who forgets", tells about a baby elephant who falls from a tree and suffers a brain injury. Brochures cost $1.50 each and books and manuals range is price from $3.50 to $25.00.

For a free brochure describing their publications, contact L&A Publishing at 22 Keewaydin Road, Wolfeboro, NH 03894; telephone: 603/569-3826. You can also visit L&A's web site.

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RECENT ACQUISITIONS

The following titles were recently added to the UCHC Library and may be of interest to public and health sciences librarians.

Merck manual of diagnosis and therapy. 17th ed. Mark H. Beers and Robert Berkow, eds. Merck Research Laboratories, 1999. 2833 p. (ISBN 0-911910-10-7), $35.00.

This trusted medical handbook celebrates its 100th birthday with the publication of a seventeenth edition. Every topic has been updated and many have been completely rewritten to reflect advances in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Topics in the new edition include hand disorders, death and dying, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivity, rehabilitation, smoking cessation and drug therapy in the elderly, among others.

To celebrate its 100 anniversary, this new edition is accompanied by a copy of the first edition of the manual. This 192 page compendium describes some very unusual treatments for common diseases and conditions. Did you know, for instance, that in 1899 smoking cigarettes was an accepted treatment for asthma or that inhaling formaldehyde was recommended as a treatment for the common cold?

This popular medical text is recommended for consumer health collections.

The new Sjogren's syndrome handbook. 2nd. ed. Steven Carsons and Elaine K. Harris, 1998. 230 p. (ISBN 0-19-511724-7). (UCHC Library Call #: WE/346/S625/1998)

The Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation, founded originally as a local patient support group by a recently diagnosed patient, is responsible for gathering the expert physicians and scientists who contributed chapters to this comprehensive, helpful publication. A detailed guide to background information and recommendations for the patient and family, it is an excellent resource for a newly diagnosed patient.

Sjogren's syndrome is an inflammatory, autoimmune disorder with symptoms similar to those of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Its distinct symptoms are extreme dryness of the mouth, eyes, and skin. It may also affect the lungs, digestive system, and the kidneys. Since the publication of the first edition of The Sjogren's Syndrome Handbook almost ten years ago, there have been many advances in treatment and public awareness of this disorder.

This handbook presents an extensive, clearly written overview of the symptoms, possible causes, diagnosis, and treatment of Sjogren's syndrome.

The contributors, whose credentials and backgrounds are detailed at the beginning of the book, present information on the psychological as well as the medical aspects of the syndrome. Chapters on living with Sjogren's syndrome recommend relaxation techniques, methods of lubricating the mouth and mucous membranes, ways of dealing with nosebleeds, and making travel more comfortable. (JK)

A woman's guide to menopause and hormone replacement therapy. Lorraine Dennerstein and Julia Shelley, editors. American Psychiatric Press, 1998. 136 p. (ISBN 0-88048-782-8). (UCHC Library Call WP/522/W872c1998)

A compilation of chapters by American and Australian physicians based on research studies , this readable, realistic overview focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women. The book emphasizes that women's experiences with menopause and hormone replacement therapy vary. One solution is not appropriate for all women.

In clear language, the text explains menopausal symptoms, hormones and their role in menopause, as well as the protective effects, risks, and adverse effects of hormone replacement therapy. The role of exercise and diet in women's health and the potential of natural remedies are discussed. Supported by references for each chapter, this brief book is a compact, helpful overview. (JK)

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Healthnet News is written by Alberta L. Richetelle with the assistance of Judith Kronick. If you have questions about anything in the newsletter or about Healthnet services for Connecticut public libraries, please call 860/679-4055; e-mail address: richetelle@nso.uchc.edu.

1999 University of Connecticut Health Center. All rights reserved.