In the contest to get a creative name, few pathogens have done worse than hepatitis C. In the 1970s there were two known viruses that caused hepatitis: liver inflammation. You might have already guessed that these two viruses were called hepatitis A and hepatitis B. It was known at that time that people sometimes developed hepatitis after blood transfusions and that the majority of those patients tested negative for hepatitis ...

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Why does is seem that so much information given to us comes with disclaimers? The weight loss product ads on TV that promise more than they will deliver, are always accompanied by 5 nanosecond disclaimers in a font size that can’t be discerned by the human retina stating that the results are not typical. It seems deceptive to be advertising a product by showcasing a performance that the vendor admits is ...

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May marks Celiac Disease Awareness Month, with the goals of raising awareness of the disease and its potential health complications, and also to help elucidate which patients warrant diagnostic testing for the disease. A few days ago on Twitter, I noticed that #glutenfree was trending (again). It is fascinating to observe how gluten-free businesses are beyond booming as diseases and conditions such as celiac disease, wheat allergy, and non-celiac gluten intolerance ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Medicaid Directors Question Need for $1,000 HCV Pill. The evidence base for one of the star hepatitis C drugs is poor and the guidelines for its use are flawed, according to a report prepared for the National Association of Medicaid Directors.
  2. YouTube Not Ideal for BP. Patients with hypertension might want to be careful about trusting health information from the Internet, ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Medicare Pays Billions for 'Low-Value Care'. The Medicare system spent at least $1.9 billion in 2009 and probably much more on "low-value" procedures and tests, such as cancer screening in patients with end-stage renal disease in patients 75 and older.
  2. New Antibody Promising in Severe Colitis. Patients with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis treated with the monoclonal antibody etrolizumab more often achieved clinical ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Nasogastric Tube May Be Obsolete for GI Bleeds. Placement of a nasogastric tube for determining treatment of patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding may be unnecessary since almost all these patients will eventually undergo an endoscopic procedure.
  2. ASCO Issues New Breast Cancer Tx Guidelines. The American Society of Clinical Oncology has released two new sets of clinical practice guidelines for the treatment ...

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Remember personal responsibility? There actually was an era of responsibility when folks admitted when they screwed up and didn’t blame others for their own mistakes. I know this may seem incredible to the younger generation who simply assume that when something goes wrong today, it must be someone else’s fault. In today’s culture, this is not scapegoating, but the pursuit of justice. Welcome to the era of big victim. In the ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Reaching Out to Smokers Boosts Quit Rates. Simply offering smoking cessation treatment proactively to all the smokers in a healthcare system meaningfully boosted the quit rate, a VA trial showed, while details emerged on provisions for coverage of such interventions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  2. Lung Cancer Screening Versus Smoking Cessation? When the Medicare advisory panel voted against covering lung ...

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The American Cancer Society recently released important new data showing that the rate at which people are diagnosed with colon cancer in the U.S. has dropped 30% in the last ten years for those aged 50 and older.  Much of this decline was attributed to the widespread uptake of colonoscopy screening.  Colonoscopy is the only screening test that examines the entire colon and allows removal of precancerous polyps in the ...

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Recently, we had a wonderful reception at the American College of Physician's Internal Medicine 2014. Sitting with leadership colleagues we had a wonderful conversation about how medicine changes. One colleague gave the example of ulcer disease. Those who trained in the 1960s and 1970s know most of this history, but it actually goes back to the early part of the 20th century. Consider the Sippy diet, the Bilroth II, highly selective ...

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