Number needed to treat

Slate with a nice article on NNT - a statistic that is not advertised in many pharmaceutical studies:

In June, the New York Times ran an article headlined, "Breast-Feed or Else." It suggested that experts believe that "breast-fed babies are at lower risk for sudden infant death syndrome and serious chronic diseases later in life, including asthma, diabetes, leukemia and some forms of lymphoma." Yet, the article never mentions ...

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Yes, health care is expensive. But so is added life expectancy:

Instead, a baby born in the United States this year will live to age 78 on average, a decade longer than the average baby born in 1950. People who have already made it to their 40's can now expect to reach age 80. These gains are probably bigger than the ones the British experienced in the entire ...

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Find the wire

Dr. Schwab with a "mammorable" patient and a lost wire. Another great story.

The effect of malpractice caps on medical costs, one reason why medical tourism is so cost-efficient:

Malpractice expenses also are much lower. People can file claims in Costa Rican courts, he said, but they generally are encouraged to settle rather than go to trial.

The story in Bangkok is similar.

At Bumrungrad Hospital, Mr. Toral said, the lower cost of living is a major factor in the ...

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The uninsured tended to be prescribed more generic medications:

According to the survey, 88 percent of the doctors made at least one change in their patients' clinical management due to his or her insurance status. Overall, physicians changed management strategies for 99 of 409 patients. Nearly two-thirds (62.6 percent) of the time, doctors discussed insurance issues with patients and made changes based on insurance status.

Common changes in practice ...

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A study in Sweden wonders what would really happen if people ate 6,000 calories per day.

A view from across the pond.

Digg and del.icio.us

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Take this story from a small automotive company. The boss is really knowing more employee health information than he ought to:

Mr. Bond's experience suggests that although information about the price and quality of health care remains sketchy, the president's push to make the health-care market more like the market for other services can change consumers' behavior. However, some managers have to turn themselves into instant experts both ...

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More Canadian ER woes

It has become so desperate that Canadian community hospitals are contracting for-profit corporations to run their ERs.

Once again, by cutting reimbursement, patients lose and health care costs go up:

Current proposals before Congress could reduce those reimbursement rates, however, making home visits a less attractive option for doctors.

That would be a shame, because one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. population is those 85 and up. Many are, like Kurzweil's mother, frail and in need of multiple medications and frequent doctor's care. Since ...

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Only going to get worse as the population ages.

His work is being reviewed by an independent panel.

A case report in the NY Times no less. Scary complication of a fairly routine procedure.

Apparently, most doctors don't explain the medications they are describing.

More good information from Flea.

Enoch Choi hosts this week. Come get the weekly best of the medical blogosphere.

Sad, but not surprising - as doctors cram more patients they see during the day, staying on time is a must:

Some of Dr. Trent Dusang's patients have transferred their medical care over to him because their old doctors would set an egg timer at the beginning of their visit, then leave when the buzzer went. Time was up . . .

. . . While egg buzzers ...

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Shoddy prison medicine

Don't get sick while in jail. Or better yet, just stay out of jail.

There is no good cosmetic surgery for penis enlargement. Especially from this surgeon:

Burman, 80, was once a well-respected heart surgeon until a 1981 car accident limited his mobility and he began operating on penises.

He said he is self-taught in the procedure and has no formal background in urology or plastic surgery.

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