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January 21, 2002


Crunch Fitness Tries Its Hand at Publishing

How, exactly, does one become a fur-wearing poseur in Aspen? For that matter, what has actor Christopher Walken been cooking lately?

The answers to these questions appear in the recently released Crunch magazine, a twice-yearly catalog brought to you by ... a fitness club. That's right, Crunch gyms are now in the publishing business. And it's clear from the ads that the magazine will not waste much time on tired topics like, well, fitness.

The "almost-nothing-to-do-with-fitness" magazine will cover the latest on "movies, gadgets, gurus, gossip and more." Although other gyms have promoted themselves through newsletters and other freebies, this is the first glossy magazine of its kind, and testament to what social critics say many fitness clubs have become--public squares, of a kind, in which everyone from busboys to bankers may come together to gossip, pose, network and sweat.

Benedict Carey



Happiness With Stay Is Linked to Recovery

When it comes to helping people get well, a little TLC can be just as important as the right medications and proper medical procedures, a Harvard Medical School study has found.

After their discharge, 1,300 heart attack patients were polled about their hospital stay.

Researchers asked if their preferences were respected, if their friends and families were kept up to speed about their condition, and if they received emotional support, adequate pain control, sufficient information about their illness and coordinated care from the hospital staff.

One month later, patients who had a worse hospital experience were in poorer health than those who said their experience was positive. This same observation held true even a year later.

The bright spot is that negative consequences of an unpleasant hospital stay could be offset by good quality follow-up care. Patients who had a bad experience in the hospital but satisfactory care afterward enjoyed the same good health as those who were happy with their care all along.

Linda Marsa



Product Targets Heart Disease, Osteoporosis

As women age, they're often advised to take a daily dose of aspirin, especially if they're at high risk for heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women. They also need to make sure they get enough calcium to avoid osteoporosis. Now it may be easier to do both.

Bayer Women's Aspirin Plus Calcium, targeted to postmenopausal women, provides 81 milligrams of aspirin, the lowest dose considered effective for prevention of heart attacks. It combines that with 300 milligrams of calcium, about one-quarter to one-fifth of the calcium an older woman needs each day to keep her bones strong--equivalent to what she'd get from a glass of milk.

Dr. Debra R. Judelson, a Beverly Hills cardiologist, has been speaking out for years about the need for such a product and welcomed it. It's the first of its kind.

"I don't see women responding to the need to take aspirin to reduce their risk for heart disease," said Judelson, who is among the authors of the American Heart Assn. and American College of Cardiology guide to preventive cardiology for women.

"It enables me to roll my messages together and hit home with people. This is something they need to be using."

Jane E. Allen

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