ON GOOD HEALTH

More About Collagen

Regarding the issue of "fuller and poutier" lips {Good Health, Oct. 7}, the FDA has not restricted use of injectable collagen for lip augmentation. Collagen Corp. has agreed to refrain from advocating the use of inject- able collagen in the main red area of the lip, but the company will continue to train physicians who give us written requests in the proper use of its product in the lip area. Use of injectable collagen around the lips and at the lip line is within the approved labeling and is mentioned in marketing programs.

Moreover, there is extensive scientific evidence that injectable collagen is not associated with any disease, let alone auto-immune disease, as the article indicated. In addition, the statement that "anyone with an MD degree can legally perform any (injectable collagen) procedure on any patient" is not true. Collagen Corp. requires that physicians participate in a thorough enrollment process before we sell them the product. We also maintain contact with these physicians to keep them abreast of new techniques and developments.

In the U.S., more than 500,000 people have used injectable collagen since its introduction in 1981, with an additional 200,000 patients treated overseas. Inject- able collagen is safe and effective when administered in compliance with company guidelines by a properly trained physician. Rees M. Orland President Collagen Biomedical Palo Alto

Daily Vegetables and Fruits

The excellent discussion on the importance of vegetables in the daily diet in "Going for the Green" {Good Health, Oct. 7} stated that fewer than 10 percent of U.S. adults eat three or more servings of vegetables a day. According to data from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 10 percent eat three or more servings of vegetables plus two or more servings of fruit, including juice, on any given day.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends five servings of vegetables and fruits a day. Our "snapshot" of the American diet indicated that 27 percent ate three or more vegetables on the day we studied. The important point is that these figures are still very low, particularly in view of the possible health benefits so well presented in this article.

Blossom H. Patterson

National Cancer Institute

Bethesda

Red Sox 'Syndrome'

As a member of the "Fenway faithful," I feel qualified to respond to your commentary on the Red Sox syndrome {Second Opinion, Oct. 16}.

When the Sox lose, I'm upset. Nothing else. No savoring of another flirtation with the edge of euphoria. No co-dependency with another "sick" entity. Just simple frustration. Why try to complicate it? My explanation for the fascination so many have for the Sox is this: People in our society need to point to something that symbolizes failure. They need a loser with which to compare their own less-than-satisfying lives. The Red Sox fit this bill.

My question is: What will happen when the Sox finally win the Series? Will there be some kind of cathartic reaction in our society? Or will Americans have to resort to cheering for some Japanese team that never wins in Japan? Peter N. Schmalz Washington

Your article on Boston's star-crossed baseball team touched a nostalgic nerve. The Red Sox first broke my heart in 1946; it was the last game of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, the game when Johnny Pesky held the throw from the outfield a split second too long and the Cards won the game and the Series. Now, that upset me, and the Red Sox have been doing it to me ever since.

But each season brings renewed optimism that this might be the year. Can my psyche take it again? Since rooting for the Soxs spans the generations, did you ever consider that it might be in the genes? Every year until his death last year at 80, my father lamented the play of the Red Sox, and we would commiserate over the phone about it. Could it be that Red Sox fans are born, not made? If such is the case, perhaps we should consider genetic engineering. Richard R. Harlow Great Falls

That was a cheap shot, printing the Red Sox syndrome story on the same page with an an advertisement for a research study on mental depression! You neglected to mention that the revered Boston Braves did not stay in Milwaukee very long, but finally settled down in Atlanta, where a successful season seems to be anything under 100 defeats. Sawks sufferers, meanwhile, savored the season later in October in three of the last five years, while fans in other baseball towns were looking for other pastimes. Don Knight Kensington

Communicating Mammogram Results

A story on the growing number of lawsuits filed for failure to diagnose breast cancer {Trends, Oct. 23} reported that radiologists should make sure that all mammogram results were communicated to patients.

The recommendation of the American College of Radiology is that radiologists communicate with patients who have not been referred for mammograms by their primary-care physicians and who are essentially non-referred, screening patients. Direct communication has not been recommended by the ACR for patients whose own physicians have referred them for mammograms. In those instances, communi- cation continues through the traditional reporting of findings to the patient's physician.

Thomas W. Greeson, JD

Internal Legal Counsel

American College of Radiology

Reston

Letters intended for publication must be signed and include a home address and home and business telephone numbers. Letters may be edited. Write: Health Section, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.