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Archive for the 'Medical Studies' Category

Does adherence information affect physician decisions?

According to a recent study of patients with hypertension, the answer is yes. The study by Kronish et al. (2016) used a cluster randomized trial design made up of 24 providers and 100 patients.  Half of the providers were randomized to receive received a report summarizing electronically measured patient adherence to their blood pressure regimen as well as and recommended clinical to […]

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Music therapy

When we think of medicine we think of pharmaceutical medications, surgery and other interventions.  But can music also be used to heal.  According to the American Music Therapy Association, the answer is yes.  A paper by Gold et al. (2006) finds this is the case for patients with schizophrenia: In people hospitalised with schizophrenia, adding […]

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Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

This month is Alzheimer’s awareness month. To draw attention to the burden of irreversible, progressive brain disorder, today the Healthcare Economist is providing some facts about the disease, courtesy of the CDC, the Mayo Clinic, NIH Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions. It’s the most common cause of dementia — a […]

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Does your mortality rate increase when your doctor is out of town?

According to a paper by Jena et al. (2014), the answer is no. The paper examines 30-day mortality rates for Medicare patients admitted to the hospital with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) or heart failure and compares “…mortality and treatment differences…during dates of national cardiology meetings compared with nonmeeting dates.mortality rates “during dates of national cardiology […]

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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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