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Everyone could benefit from taking cholesterol-lowering statins. Who wants gunk clogging up their arteries, right? And even if your cholesterol is already low, you may gain some wonderful side benefit.

That is the overwhelming message driven home by a combination of marketing campaigns and overly enthusiastic health reporting.

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Decades of anti-smoking public health campaigns have turned into background noise. We all know smoking is bad for us, but yet we allow ourselves to get caught up in the sexiness of it when a show like Mad Men comes along. Even our president has admitted to a regular habit.

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On Tuesday, I posted the first half of my “Top 10 list” of noteworthy health journalism. Here’s the second half. It bears repeating: this definitely isn’t a best-of list, and admittedly, it’s print-centric. There’s lots of excellent work out there that I didn’t have a chance to read or view or listen to. But the five stories below are worth reading, and learning from.

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Dr. Patrick Dean has pulled off a magic trick to make Houdini proud.

The founder and president of GI Pathology, a national testing laboratory based in Memphis, Dean has practiced medicine without a license in at least two states. Practicing without a license is often a career killer for a physician. Not so with Dean.

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This story talks about how agencies working on HIV and AIDS prevention efforts in Chicago have to rely on dated records on the disease's prevalence while the Chicago Department of Public Health labors to release the latest epidemiological data.

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A gravel pit near area homes has received a renewal of its permit although residents weren't given notice of the hearing.

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Winnie O. Willis is a California Endowment board member and professor emeritus of public health at SDSU's Graduate School of Public Health, with a specialization in maternal and child health services, development and evaluation. From 1994 to 2000, she was director of SDSU's Institute for Public Health, an organization working to bridge the gap between academics and practice in the public health arena. Prior to joining the GSPH faculty in 1984, she was an assistant professor of maternal and child health at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

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Dr. Kate Bundorf is a health economist interested in health care financing and delivery. Her research focuses on health insurance markets and examining the factors affecting both individual and purchaser decision-making. She also has studied the impact of insurance on health care cost, quality and outcomes. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, her M.B.A. and M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Ph.D. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Jeanne Bernhard Nichols is a professor of exercise and nutritional sciences at SDSU. Her research interests are in exercise, bone mineral density (BMD) and aging, bone health of master athletes, and falls prevention programs for older adults, with an emphasis on balance, strength and functional exercise training. She received her B.S. from Northeastern University in 1969, her M.S. from the University of New Hampshire in 1981 and her Ph.D. in exercise physiology from the University of Michigan in 1985.

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Erika Franklin Fowler, Ph.D, is an assistant professor of government at Wesleyan University.  She previously was a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan. Professor Fowler specializes in political communication, especially broadcast news and campaign advertising, and her work on local television has been published in communication, law/policy, and medical journals. Professor Fowler earned her Ph.D.

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