Weight Watchers and Slim-Fast topped a Consumer Reports ranking of the most effective diets, taking into account ease-of-use and pounds lost, among other factors. Click here for a graphic comparing various diets.
In a marked departure from research practices of the past, an increasing number of studies are being reported about how drugs affect different racial groups, for better or for worse. It now is known, for example, that a widely used class of heart drugs does not work well for black patients, and lower doses of a popular cholesterol drug are recommended for Asians.
Arena Pharmaceuticals reports a midstage trial of its weight-loss drug found it was effective in helping obese people lose weight. The drug stimulates a receptor in the brain, the same mechanism of the now-abandoned fen-phen, but without the risk of side effects.
A pre-cancerous condition called ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, which affects only the milk ducts of women's breasts, can develop into breast cancer over time if left untreated, according to a new study. The condition is typically symptom-free, but can be easily detected with a routine mammogram, and it is highly curable through surgical removal of the affected tissue.
Pfizer chief Hank McKinnell says he expects the arthritis drug Bextra to return to the market because so many patients need it. "For many patients it is the best choice or the only choice," he said in an interview. Bextra was withdrawn in April because of the risk of serious side effects, and an FDA spokeswoman said the agency is open to discussions with Pfizer, but continues to believe the drug's risks outweigh its benefits.
Despite cervical cancer being highly preventable, the disease continues to occur, and common reasons are that women fail to get a Pap test or the Pap test fails, according to new research. A study of 833 women diagnosed with cervical cancer found 56% of cancers occurred in women who had not had a Pap test four months to 36 months before diagnosis, and of the remaining cases, 32% had Pap tests that failed to detect the cancer.