April 2000 Issue

United State Department of Defense Report on Chiropractic Shows Benefits

A report of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) on the Chiropractic Health Care Demonstration Project was finalized by DOD consultants Birch and Davis and was submitted to the U.S. Congress. The report authors, were cautious at best with their recommendations but the results of the study speak for themselves. The following are some of the statistics of patient responses to chiropractic care verses medical care.

No matter what spin is placed on the DOD report, these results speak for themselves.

Study Shows Vaccinated Children Twice as Likely to Get Asthma and Allergies

In a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics were findings that supported three previous studies on the same subject. This study reviewed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which was conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics from 1988 to 1994.  Parents of 13,944 infants, children and adolescents  from 2 months through 16 years old, were interviewed to check their history of asthma and allergies in relationship to the children receiving the DPT (diphteria-tetanus-pertussis) vaccine.
The results showed a significant increase in the likelihood of children to get allergies and asthma after having received the DPT shot.  The following numbers are the increase in chance that a child will have these problems if they are vaccinated with DPT.  Asthma - 2.0 times more likely.  Severe allergic reaction - 1.5 times more likely.  Sinus problems - 1.81 times more likely.  Wheezing - 1.23 times more likely.  Nose and eye problems - 2.22 times more likely.  Respiratory problems -  1.68 times more likely.
The authors of the study were quick to point out that their findings were not unique, and did in fact reproduce findings of other studies. "Six studies have recently addressed the association between pertussis or DTP immunizations and allergy-related disease. Our results are similar to findings reported from three retrospective cohort studies."

Asthma Study on Benefits of Chiropractic

Asthma has become a large health concern for children in recent years. Over the past 20 years the incidence of asthma has doubled. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that in 1998, approximately 17,299,000 people in the United States, or 6.4% of the population, with cases among very young children up 160%. As reported in the June 16, 1999 issue of JAMA, the CDC also noted that between 1980 and 1994, the number of people self-reporting asthma grew 75%.
In a study conducted in 1996 by the Michigan Chiropractic Council (MCC), a panel of doctors performed an out-come assessment study to test the qualitative and quantitative effectiveness of chiropractic care on children with asthma. The high demand of parents seeking alternative care for pediatric asthma was shown by the overwhelming interest in the study. More than 500 parents called the MCC seeking to get their child involved in the chiropractic study.
The study, which took place during May and June of 1996, examined the chiropractic effectiveness in correcting the cause of asthma in patients from birth to age 17. The average age of the participant was 10 years.  "After 30 days of chiropractic health care, patients averaged only one attack, whereas prior to the study they were experiencing more than four attacks," said MCC Dr. Bob Graham, who directed the study.  "Medications, which can be costly, were decreased by nearly 70 percent. Finally, patient satisfaction was rated 8.5 on a scale of 10."  More than 70 chiropractors from 62 cities in Michigan studied more than 80 children suffering from asthma.

Diabetes Drug Pulled Off the Market

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on March 22, 2000 pulled the diabetes drug Rezulin off the market.  The drug had been used by more than 700,000 patients and been responsible for more than 61 deaths.  Dr. Sidney Wolfe, a critic of the FDA for being too slow, said the drug should have been taken off the market long ago.  He characterized the drug as, "one of the most dangerous drugs."  The problem with the drug was toxicity to the liver.  In an interesting response, Warner Lambert, the maker of Rezulin, has voluntarily agreed to stop selling the drug, but they did comment that they felt the benefits of the drug outweighed the risks.  I am sure that is of little consolation to the families of the 61 people who died.

Elderly Spend 19% of Income on Medical Care

In the April 2000 issue of Journal of Gerontology, comes an article showing that the elderly spend a large portion of their income for medical services.  The study showed these expenses to include out-of-pocket expenses such as health insurance premiums, medical co-payments, and prescriptions, with more than half of these payments going toward prescription drugs and dental care. 
The lead author, Stephen Crystal, chairman of the Division on Aging of the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University summed up the findings with a comment, "Nineteen percent is fairly burdensome for the average elderly person, but the figures are even worse for those in the lowest income levels, for those with chronic health problems and for the oldest of the old." 
Probably the largest portion of that expense is prescription drugs. According to the study, prescribed medication costs have grown to account for 33.9%, more than one-third, of the overall-all out-of-pocket expenses for the elderly.  Presently, there is a push for coverage of prescription drugs by various programs that cover the elderly.  The fears are that if coverage is obtained both the price and amount of drugs prescriptions will increase.

Smoking During Pregnancy Damages Unborn Lungs

From Reuters News March 22, 2000, is a report on a new study that shows that mothers who smoke during pregnancy are not only damaging their own lungs but also the lungs of the unborn. The lead author, Dr. Frank D. Gilliland and colleagues at the University of Southern California School of Medicine in Los Angeles write in the April issue of the medical journal Thorax commented, "Exposure to maternal smoking (in the womb) is independently associated with decreased lung function in children of school age,"  
Results of the study show that children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy have signs of impaired lung function that is not caused by exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.  The study also suggested that these children may have a higher than average risk of lung cancer and heart disease in adulthood.
In case additional incentive was needed, Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that a recent study shows that smokers are four times more likely than nonsmokers to get life-threatening blood infections or meningitis from a type of bacteria that usually causes pneumonia.  The researchers found that smokers were 4.1 times more likely than nonsmokers to get these infections, and nonsmokers who were often exposed to cigarette smoke were 2 times more likely than people who did not have such exposure.

Who Is More Dangerous?

An interesting bit of information comes from a story reported by Reuters News dated March 10, 2000.  In that article they reported, "Recent studies showing that three times as many people died last year as a result of physician mistakes than by gunshot.  This information has Americans split over whether there is a greater need for laws disciplining negligent doctors or careless gun owners.  In the February Zogby American Values survey of 1,028 respondents nationwide, 43.1% of those surveyed thought that it was more important to pass legislation holding doctors accountable for their mistakes than the owners of guns used in a crime.

So what did you think of this newsletter?  Please let us know.  Just send a reply email to our address at the top.  We would also like to know if you forward this on to others.  Hope you enjoyed this issue.