Top stories in health and medicine, June 19, 2014

Top stories in health and medicine, June 19, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Do Thiazides Trigger Metabolic Side Effects in Older Adults? Metabolic adverse events were relatively common among older, predominantly male veterans who started taking a thiazide diuretic for hypertension.
  2. Insurers Push Back Against Growing Cost of Cancer Tx. Some cancer patients and their insurers are seeing their bills for chemotherapy jump sharply, reflecting increased drug prices and hospitals’ push to buy oncologists’ practices and then bill at higher rates.
  3. Hypoglycemia, Imaging a Silent Symptom. Patients with type 1 diabetes who can’t sense when their blood sugar levels drop too low have less activation of brain regions involved in the stress response, autonomic activation, and emotional salience.
  4. LDL Doesn’t Predict Heart Risk in Diabetes. LDL cholesterol wasn’t a good predictor of cardiovascular disease in type 1 diabetes, but the total cholesterol-to-HDL ratio appeared more reliable.

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  • Patient Kit

    Chemotherapy drugs jumping from $5,000 to $16,000 as health insurance companies and corporate hospital systems battle it out over money. Meanwhile, patients — real people suffering with cancer — are caught in the middle of that power struggle. This is a perfect example of what is obscene about the profit-driven, big business model of healthcare in the US. As insurance, corporate hospital systems and Big Pharma continue to push back against each other, patients and doctors better find a way to push back against all of them — Big Health — soon. >:-(