Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - July 5, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
FRIDAY, JULY 5. 2002That’s Life!
Doctors worry study will encourage couch potatoes to stay put
By Helen Branswell they do. of the huge Heart Protection Study— Five years of follow-up showed a these drugs to elderly people? ... Shoulc
Canadian Press “I’m not arguing that these (drugs) known as HPS — which are being pub- dramatic reduction in heart events we be recommending them to women
By Helen Branswell
TORONTO — A newly published study suggests deaths from heart disease and stroke would be reduced dramatically if more .seemingly healthy people used cholesterol-lowering drugs.
A Toronto dietary expert worries those findings may encourage couch potatoes to stay put.
Dr. David Jenkins, who has shown through his own research that dietary changes can significantly cut blood cholesterol levels, is concerned an increasing reliance on pills will give people an excuse not to improve their diets or increase the amount of physical activity
“I’m not arguing that these (drugs) don’t work or that for some people they may not be appropriate,” said Jenkins, director of the clinical nutrition and risk factor modification clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
“(But) I would rather that we pursued the diet and lifestyle changes wholeheartedly as fully as we can. Because my belief is there may come a time when we’re couch potatoes, eating too much, taking no exercise and where we have to have amounts and a range of drugs where truly the (negative) side-effects may become something more significant for our population.”
Jenkins was commenting on results
of the huge Heart Protection Study known as HPS — which are being published for the first time this weekend in the British medical journal The Lancet.
Study investigators, led by Dr. Rory Collins of Oxford University, had earlier released their findings at a medical conference in the United States late last year.
They studied 20,536 British adults ranging in age from 40 to 80, half of whom received the statin simvastatin and half of whom were given a placebo.
Study participants were at high risk of developing heart disease — because they had conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and the like — but did not necessarily have elevated cholesterol.
Five years of follow-up showed a dramatic reduction in heart events among the participants in the statin arm of the trial, even among those with normal cholesterol levels at the start.
Not only were they less likely to have a heart attack or stroke, they were also less likely to need bypass surgery, or angioplasty.
The benefits were seen in men and women, middle-aged participants and the elderly.
“It’s a massive study,” commented Dr. Stephen Fort, a cardiologist at Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.
“It tidies up a lot of controversial areas like — Should we recommend
these drugs to elderly people? ... Should we be recommending them to women, for instance? Should we be recommending them to people with so-called normal cholesterol levels?”
The answer to all those questions would appear to be “Yes.”
“Cholesterol-lowering with a statin is of value in much broader populations than currently recognized, including those with “low” and “normal” lipid values,” wrote Salim Yusef, from the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University in Hamilton, wrote in a commentary in the journal.
“Thus, practically all patients with vascular disease today in western countries will benefit from statins.”
Our Lady Peace flying high with the release of Gravity
By Angela Pacienza
TORONTO — After winning over thousands of fans with four albums, touring Canada extensively and having their songs played over and over again on the radio, Toronto-bred rockers Our Lady Peace felt a numbness they could only escape by fleeing the country.
“We decided to consciously take a break. If you’re up here and playing every week people aren’t going to care,” drummer Jeremy Taggart said during an interview.
Singer Raine Maida added that the band felt its songs were being overplayed on the radio and television.
“It sucks to hear an Our Lady Peace song on the radio every 40 minutes. It’s not supposed to be like that," he said.
So last winter the quartet fled to the Maui home of legendary Canadian-born producer Bob Rock, who has worked with David Lee Roth, Metallica and Aerosmith, to take a break and find a new focus.
The band originally set out to produce a live record but Rock had time to spare (Metallica was to work with him but singer James Hetfield went to rehab for alcohol and substance abuse), so Our Lady Peace seized the opportunity.
Taggart said he knew things were going well after Maida returned home one night (the four lived together during the IO weeks of recording) from a session with Rock feeling angry and frustrated.
“That’s the environment you have to be in to get the best out,” Taggart said, adding that he felt the same way at times. “Every musician or singer needs somebody to kick them in the butt.”
“This is the first time I’ve really been challenged,” Maida admitted The singer, who’s married to Winnipeg singer Chamal Kreviazuk, said he felt anxious and nervous standing in front of the microphone in Maui, a feeling that had been lost to him in recent years.
Order of Canada appointees include several entertainers
OTTAWA — Singer-songwriters Joni Mitchell and Bruce Cockburn were among 99 appointees to the Order of Canada announced yesterday by Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson.
Mitchell, who wrote and performed songs such as Big Yellow Taxi, The Circle Game and Both Sides Now, was made a companion of the order, the highest designation.
The Saskatchewan native was appointed a companion along with former Supreme Court justice Peter Cory, Toronto social activist and feminist author Doris Anderson and Roger Blais, a renowned engineer, scientist, teacher and entrepreneur from Montreal.
Cockburn, known as much for his outspoken social activism as his folksy music in recent years, was promoted to an officer of the order after previously being made a member.
Other officers among the 28 appointed yesterday included Jon Grant, the former Canada Lands chairman who blew the whistle late last year on then-public works minister Alfonso Gagliano for exerting political interference on the Crown corporation.
Longtime political journalist and author Richard Gwyn was also appointed an officer, as was retired General Paul Manson.
Appointments ranged from a comedy king to an anti-doping crusader and a university football coach.
Lome Michaels, founder of TV comedies Saturday Night Live and Kids in the Hall and a nine-time Emmy Award winner, was appointed a member of the order. So was Marion Dewar, a former Ottawa mayor, Ontario New Democrat MPP and president of the federal NDP.
Our Lady Peace’s Raine Maida, right, speaks during a recent interview in Toronto. Band members Steve Mazur, left, and Jeremy Taggart look on. After earning thousands of fans in Canada, touring extensively and having their songs played over and over again on the radio, the Toronto-bred rockers felt a numbness they could only escape by fleeing the country.
Another change came when guitarist Mike Turner, who founded the band more than a decade ago after placing an ad for musicians in a local newspaper, left the band.
He was replaced with Detroit-born Steve Mazur after a two-month public search during which the band received thousands of demo tapes, videos and CDs from all over the world, including Australia and Japan.
“The last two records we’ve been yearning for a guitar player that can really stand up and have strong voice and Mike just wasn’t that kind of guitar player,” Maida explained. “He was going in a dif
ferent direction than what the three of us needed.”
With a new guitarist in hand, the band — rounded out with bassist Duncan Courts — felt like a cohesive unit, Maida said.
“It just felt incredible. It felt like a new band, totally fresh.”
The IO tracks on Gravity, the band’s fifth album, are stripped of the heavy layers of sound found on 2000’s Spiritual Machine, the band’s last album. Simplified beats, lyrics and guitar hooks define Gravity, which debuted in second place on the Canadian sales charts and No. 9 in the U.S.
“This record is very grounded,” Maida said. “What are the issues
we have to deal with in the present? Because really, that’s the only thing that’s relevant.”
And after four albums the band decided it was time to finally show their faces on a CD cover. They had previously used photographs of Sol Fox, an elderly Canadian actor.
“We wanted to represent that it is something different for us and it finally feels cohesive with Steve,” Maida said.
The band will flee Canada again this summer as they crisscross the United States performing. They’ll return to Canada in the fall for a
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Harrison attacker released
LONDON — A paranoid schizophrenic who stabbed George Harrison on whai he thought was a “mission from God” was conditionally released from a secure hospital yesterday.
I he family of the late ex-Beatle called the decision “upsetting and insulting.”
An independent panel, including a judge, psychiatrist and a member of the public, said Michael Abram, 35, was fit to be released from the Scott Clinic, a psychiatric facility in Liverpool, England. Abram, who has a history of mental illness, told psychiatrists he stabbed Harrison on Dec. 30, 1999, because he believed he was possessed by the former Beatle. — AP
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