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Archive for the 'Medical Studies' Category

Germs and Quality Improvement

Medicare has stopped paying for care related to surgical site infections. Further, it fines hospitals whenever too many patients need to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge. How is this affecting care at the physician and patient level? As Karen Sibert writes, some odd things are happening: An edict just came down in one […]

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What is hypertension?

What is hypertension?  How is it treated?  Below is a primer from a clinical guidelines paper from Weber et al. (2013). Classifying Hypertension Prehypertension: Systolic blood pressure between 120 mm Hg and 139 mm Hg, or diastolic pressures between 80 and 89 mm Hg.  Patients with this condition should not be treated with blood pressure […]

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Advanced Directives in Wisconsin

CBS discusses the use of advanced directives in Wisconsin. La Crosse, Wis., is a lively Mississippi River town that talks a lot about death. We came to La Crosse because, at last count, 96 percent of the people who passed away here had created advance directives. That’s the highest percentage of end-of-life planning in a […]

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I’d rather have HIV than diabetes

This is what a provocative article in the Spectator concludes. A recent large epidemiological study showed that, for those diagnosed with HIV now, life expectancy is similar to someone who does not have the virus. The medical profession now considers HIV a chronic disease; it’s regarded in public health terms in the same category as, […]

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Benefits of mammogram oversold?

That is what one new study finds. The Boston Globe reports that: Doctors may have oversold the benefits of mammography and underplayed its risks, which has left many women unable to make an informed decision about whether or not to have regular breast cancer screenings beginning at age 40. That troubling finding is based on […]

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The future of cancer therapy: Viruses?

The Economist has an interesting profile of Dr. Angela Belcher, who uses viruses to create batteries and new touchscreens is now moving into the medical field. Here is how she proposes to improve tumor detection–and potential treatment–in the future: The plan is to produce a medical probe which can be used to locate extremely small […]

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The Obesity Paradox: Do overweight people live longer?

According to a study by Flegal and co-authors, the answer is yes.  The study conducts a systematic review and meta-analysis and finds found that individuals who are overweight live longer than those who are healthy weighted.  On the other hand, severely obese individuals live less.  The hazard ratios (i.e., probability of death in period t […]

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Stroke Risk

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart beat). Although AFib may cause no symptoms,  it is often associated with symptoms such as palpitations, fainting, chest pain, or congestive heart failure.  In some people, however, Afib is caused by otherwise idiopathic or benign conditions.  AFib also increases the risk of stroke. If you […]

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Does your child have ADHD?

The share children diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADHD) is between 4.9 percent and 9 percent (depending on your selected source).  Non-Hispanic Whites are the most likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. Between 2009 period and 1998, the average number of children aged 5-17 ever diagnosed with ADHD increased from 6.9% to 9.0% of the […]

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Does the Optimal Medical Treatment of Hepatitis C depend on whether the Patient is Incarcerated?

Incarcerated individuals are more likely to have the hepatitis C virus (HCV) than those who live in the community.  The high prevalence of HCV infection in the prison population is largely due tot he fact that prisoners hare more likely to have a history of intravenous drug use.  “A history of intravenous drug use is […]

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