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How Effective Are Antidepressants?

Antidepressant drugs have been getting a bad rap in the media. I’ll just give 3 examples:

  • On the Today show, prominent medical expert :-) Tom Cruise told us Brooke Shields shouldn’t have taken these drugs for her postpartum depression.
  • In Natural News, “Health Ranger” Mike Adams accused pharmaceutical companies and the FDA of covering up negative information about antidepressants, saying it would be considered criminal activity in any other industry.
  • And an article in Newsweek said  “Studies suggest that the popular drugs are no more effective than a placebo. In fact, they may be worse.”

Yet psychiatrists are convinced that antidepressants work and are still routinely prescribing them for their patients. Is it all a Big Pharma plot? Who ya gonna believe? Inquiring minds want to know:

  • Are antidepressants more effective than placebo?
  • Has the efficacy of antidepressants been exaggerated?
  • Is psychotherapy a better treatment choice?

The science-based answers to the first two questions are Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*

Women’s Health In The U.S. Gets An “F”

The Oregon Health and Science University has published its fifth report card since 2000. It grades and ranks the United States on 26 health-status indicators for women. In 2010, not one state received an overall “satisfactory” grade for women’s health, and just two states — Vermont and Massachusetts — received a “satisfactory-minus” grade. Overall, the nation is so far from meeting the goals set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that it receives an overall grade of “unsatisfactory.”

The national report card uses status indicators to assess women’s health:

  • Women’s access to healthcare services (medically under-served area, no abortion provider, no health insurance and first trimester prenatal care)
  • Wellness  (screening mammograms, colorectal cancer, pap smears, cholesterol)
  • Prevention (leisure time physical activity, obesity, eating five fruits and veggies/day, binge drinking, annual dental visits, smoking)
  • Key conditions (coronary heart disease death rate, lung cancer death, stroke death, breast cancer death)
  • Chronic conditions (high blood pressure, diabetes, AIDS, arthritis, osteoporosis)
  • Reproductive health (chlamydia, maternal mortality, unintended pregnancies)
  • Mental health
  • Violence against women 
  • Infant mortality rate
  • Life expectancy
  • Poverty
  • High school completion
  • Wage gap
  • The score on these varied status indicators fluctuated depending upon which state a woman lives. California and New Jersey ranked highest on state health policies, while Idaho and South Dakota ranked last on policies. Read more »

    *This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

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