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Health watch: Why thousands of heart patients are dying needlessly; and paying for blood?

MANY HEART PATIENTS NOT GETTING PROPER TREATMENTS

Many people who suffer from heart disease aren't getting the right treatments to prevent their condition from getting worse, according to a report in the National Post. As a result, thousands are dying needlessly.

The research team at McMaster University in Hamilton said some doctors are not following up on patients with major risk factors such as high blood pressure. As well, they are not doing enough to encourage patients to make lifestyle changes – such as getting regular exercise – that have been shown to make a difference. Even when patients are prescribed the correct medications, they don't always take them.

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Writing in the European Heart Journal, the researchers urged physicians to embrace new and innovative ways to communicate health messages to their heart patients, such as sending out text-message reminders.

PAYING FOR BLOOD

Two Canadian firms are willing to pay for plasma, breaking a long tradition of donors giving away their blood for free, reports CBC News.

Canadian Plasma Resources in Toronto and CanGene Plasma in Winnipeg are both promoting compensation for plasma donors on their websites. The exact amount being offered has not yet been disclosed.

The move is legal, but health observers worry about the consequences. There are fears some people might be tempted to lie on screening questionnaires to get access to cash.

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