I recently told you of my admiration for Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Michigan pediatrician and epidemiologist whose strong research and advocacy was able to finally bring a shining light to the problem of lead in the water supply of Flint. Continuing with a theme, I now bring you the story of Dr. Adriana Melo of Campina Grande, Brazil. Dr. Melo is an OB-GYN who subspecializes in maternal-fetal medicine (MFM), the branch ...

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February is American Heart Month, and the Go Red For Women campaign reminds us to bring awareness to cardiovascular disease in women all month long.  Today in the U.S., nearly 44 million women are living with heart disease.  Even though heart disease is quite prevalent in women, only 1 in 5 women are aware that they are at risk for developing a cardiovascular problem in their lifetime. Cardiovascular disease is the #1 ...

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With the Supreme Court in the balance, every aspect of the unexpected demise of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has received intense scrutiny, from the cause of his recent death to the politically charged choice of his successor. An autopsy was not performed on the 79-year-old jurist, who was found dead in his room in a West Texas hunting resort, and that too has become a lightning rod for ...

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Your primary care doctor has been nagging you for years. Your wife and brother seem to be in on the scheme too. Every once and a while one of your coworkers even says (with a chuckle) “C’mon Bob, you’re fifty-seven, you really need to get it done!” “OK, enough,” you finally say, “I’ll go for a colonoscopy!” So at your next visit you ask your primary doctor how to set it ...

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1. Zika is an infectious disease caused by a virus and transmitted by mosquitoes. It is one of four worrisome viral infections that have spread rapidly across the world recently including dengue, chikungunya, and West Nile virus, all of which are transmitted by mosquitoes or ticks. The most dangerous mosquito type is the one that spreads yellow fever (Aedes). 2. Though Zika is mostly spread by mosquito bites, there is emerging ...

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It’s hard to eat less when there is too much on your plate. That’s the major reason why America is in the throes of an obesity epidemic, abetted by the aggressive marketing of all things edible. More esoteric-sounding reasons for this epidemic -- such as fat-favoring microbes in your body or hormone-laden foods -- shouldn’t even be part of the discussion, because how much we consume largely explains why we’ve put on ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 72-year-old man is evaluated in the emergency department for acute swelling, severe pain, and warmth of the right knee that woke him from sleep. He does not recall any inciting injury to the knee. Three months ago, he had an acutely swollen great toe that improved within 3 days, for which ...

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If you’re like most parents, you want your kids to be healthy. And if your kids are like most kids, that isn’t always the case. The most frequent illness of childhood is the common cold, and children -- especially those in daycare -- can get several of these infections per year. While cold viruses rarely result in significant complications, they certainly cause their share of discomfort, lost sleep, ...

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77-year-old Edward Tripp had been to the emergency room with chest pain last Friday night. It was relentless, aching, and involved the upper part of his left chest. He had no cough, fever or shortness of breath. He was not sweaty or nauseous, and his blood work, EKG and chest x-ray were normal. He was distinctly tender over the part of his rib cage where bone and cartilage join each other ...

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Recently, two states in India halted all use of Avastin for the treatment of eye disease following the report of 15 patients who underwent emergency surgery for potentially blinding infections at the C.H. Nagri Municipal Eye Hospital in Ahmedabad.  Though further investigations are ongoing, there is worry that the cluster of infections centered around a tainted lot of compounded Avastin. This most recent event serves as a reminder of ...

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