Top stories in health and medicine, October 1, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Targeted Drugs Build on Efficacy Record in Melanoma. Targeted therapy solidified and clarified its role in the treatment of advanced melanoma, as studies showed superiority over chemotherapy, and that two targeted drugs outperform one.
  2. Fish Oil Flops Again in Afib Study. High-dose fish oil failed to reduce atrial fibrillation ...

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Searching for health and fitness apps on the iTunes app store turns up approximately 2,200 results. There are calorie counters, activity trackers, heart rate monitors, virtual fitness coaches and every other conceivable permutation. The quantity should grow even larger thanks to Apple’s latest product release, the Apple Watch, a wrist wearable computer that tracks health and fitness information. One question, though: Are the users of these apps any healthier as a ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, September 24, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Key Updates for Angina, NSTEMI. The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology released an update of their guidelines for unstable angina and non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI).
  2. Metformin and TSH: Is There a Link? Metformin seemed to further diminish levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in diabetic ...

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As a recently retired physician, I still maintain an interest in medical research, though I have to ask myself: Why? Surely not just from the point of view of a potential future patient. But not from the point of view of a practicing physician either. Perhaps I keep up just from a lifetime of habit?  Or is there something I miss about my old job? These thoughts came to mind as ...

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Doctors need more quiet time After you've written on a blog for a long time, you begin to ask yourself why.  Oh sure, there are the great opportunities for a single person to make a point, to act as a tiny tugboat trying to push a corporate mothership in a slightly different direction, but you begin to realize that there are very few times that actually ...

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

  1. Ebola Response: Fighting the Last Outbreak? The dramatic U.S. commitment of 3,000 military personnel is arguably the biggest contribution yet to the fight against the West Africa Ebola outbreak.
  2. Microbleeds May Up Afib Mortality. The presence of cerebral microbleeds was associated with an increased risk of death from both ...

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“He’d feel okay about not replacing the pacemaker’s battery when it ran down, he said. But turning it off, he said, would be 'too active.' Later he would tell me that it would have been “like putting a pillow over your father’s head.” These are the words of Katy Butler in her book Knocking on Heaven’s Door – The Path to a Better Way of Death in which she writes about her ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, September 17, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Exercise Keeps BP Steady Despite Age. A progressively rising blood pressure trajectory is not an inevitable part of aging in men who remain active and maintain high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness.
  2. AAFP Wants GME $$ Decoupled From Hospitals. Graduate medical education (GME) should mostly take place in the community ...

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“Doctor, what do you think of alternative medicine?” a patient with chronic fatigue syndrome asked me the other day. She was interested in doing something more for her severe fatigue. “Would acupuncture help me?” I paused and, as I have done many times before, answered that my training and most of my clinical experience has been in Western, allopathic medicine. (Ironically, the word “allopathic” was first used as a derogatory term ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, September 16, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. GLP-1 Plus Insulin Betters Glycemic Control. The combination of GLP-1 agonists and basal insulin beat other type 2 diabetes treatments at lowering HbA1c and improving glycemic control.
  2. Obamacare Does Little to Cut Kids' Uninsured Rate. The uninsured rate for kids under age 18 hasn't budged under the health law, ...

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