AMA adopts new public health guidelines

CHICAGO The American Medical Association last week adopted several new public health policies during the association’s annual meeting, including educating doctors on the value of supplementing with vitamin D or advocating a daily regimen of low-dose aspirin to help prevent a heart attack.

On vitamin D supplementation, the AMA called on the Food and Drug Administration to re-examine the current daily reference intake value for Vitamin D in light of new scientific findings. “The health benefits of Vitamin D are plentiful, such as strong bones and a reduced risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease,” stated AMA board member Steven Stack. “It’s time to take a good look at the current daily recommended level of vitamin D and ensure that Americans know the appropriate levels so they can reap the full health benefits.”

And according to AMA, there are six trials, involving more than 95,000 adult men and women, that have now found aspirin to be effective in reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. The AMA last week passed policy to increase education among physicians on the importance of appropriate aspirin counseling for the prevention of heart disease and stroke.

“Heart disease continues to be the number one cause of death in the United States, and the treatment of cardiovascular disease costs the health care system $403 billion a year,” stated board member William Hazel. “Encouraging physicians to incorporate aspirin counseling into patient care when appropriate, may help reduce the prevalence of heart disease and stroke among Americans.”

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