shutterstock_105328079 No one wants to hear that they have a disease. And yet everyone will develop some degree of degenerative disc disease (DDD) -- or degenerative spine disease -- over the course of a lifetime. DDD refers to a combination of age-related and wear-and-tear-related changes that occur within the spine over time. It is very common and a natural part of aging. Most ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 53-year-old woman is evaluated for a 3-month history of swelling of the face, hands, and feet. She has untreated hepatitis C virus infection. She takes lithium for bipolar disorder. She has no additional symptoms. On physical examination, temperature is normal, blood pressure is 134/93 mm Hg, pulse rate is 71/min, and respiration ...

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shutterstock_250129084 As adolescent medicine physicians based in the Bronx, which has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation, we frequently see how young patients become pregnant before they are ready to be parents. While U.S. pregnancy rates among girls aged 15 to 19 years have been declining over the past two decades, still nearly 600,000 girls younger than 20 years ...

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Draping a shroud of 30's Depression on any dust bowl child can thicken the skin, so my 88-year-old patient learned to be fiercely independent with a “talk to the hand” attitude, and “don’t get in my way” personality.  Even after her husband passed away, she remained autonomous traveling and golfing in her social circuit. Living life as a smoker was always a threat to her health, and this year became a ...

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shutterstock_195635468 I was driving to work the other day, and there was a story on the radio about the Congressional reaction to the latest recommendations for breast cancer screening from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Here’s the background. USPSTF published recommendations in late 2009 for the use of screening mammography in different age groups. For women between 40 and ...

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A new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics is a rare beacon of coherent thought about lice and children. Rather than humiliating children and driving them away like lepers, the AAP recommends common-sense steps to identify and treat lice. Some facts really shouldn’t be in dispute:

  • Lice is not a serious illness or a significant hazard to health. They don’t make anyone sick, and they do not spread any ...

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Thankfully, many medical conditions that once were never discussed in public, such as cancer, AIDS, and even infertility, have largely shed their stigma and sense of secrecy. Miscarriage holds an unusual place in medicine in being both common and something that many in society thinks is rare. One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, and there are 1,000,000 miscarriages each year in the U.S. -- yet miscarriage remains shrouded in privacy ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 25-year-old woman is evaluated for redness that developed over her right leg at the site of a mosquito bite. She is otherwise healthy and takes no medications. On physical examination, temperature is 37.2 °C (99.0 °F), blood pressure is 120/70 mm Hg, pulse rate is 70/min, and respiration rate is 14/min. There ...

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shutterstock_227904523 We physicians have long labored under the belief that if we provide objective data about the safety and efficacy of vaccines we can change anti-vaxxers’ minds. But political scientist Brendan Nyhan, Ph.D. has shown that directly addressing patients’ concerns about vaccines does little to change their decision to immunize. And he’s probably right. Other research examining the effects of education ...

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As I have been known to say on this blog once or twice before, one of my favorite things about being a developmental pediatrician is the opportunity to follow the children I see for initial diagnostic evaluation over the long term. New research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies conference makes me especially hopeful. When our clinical ...

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