What does a TIA feel like? A Stroke Diaries excerpt

An excerpt from Stroke Diaries.

by Olajide Williams, MD

The man who did not take his medicine

Pedro was lying on the bathroom floor next to the toilet bowl. Water was still running from rusty faucet, overflowing the sink, and pooling around his body as he lay limp on wet porcelain tiles. Lucy was standing over him and whining. The young black Labrador retriever had not left …

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How healthcare reform affects women

by Joyce Frieden

An estimated 30 million women will be helped by the new health reform law over the next 10 years, according to a report from The Commonwealth Fund.

“While women are just as likely as men to be uninsured, they are more likely [than men] to have trouble buying coverage on the individual market,” Karen Davis, PhD, president of the fund, said in a teleconference announcing the report’s release. “This …

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Medical blog posts of the week, ending July 30, 2010

Here are the top posts from this past week, based on the number of times they were viewed:

1. The way we practice primary care doesn’t make sense

2. Paying cash to doctors affects the treatment plan

3. Best Doc in a magazine, the inside story

4. The Apple Genius Bar could learn some bedside manner

5. Talking with patients about their impending death

How adult smoking affects behavior in children

by Nancy Walsh

Both maternal and paternal cigarette smoking can contribute to adverse chronic conditions — physical and psychological — in children, two large studies found.

Writing in the July issue of Pediatrics, Marie-Jo Brion, PhD, of the University of Bristol in England, and colleagues reported that children in two cohorts whose mothers smoked were more likely to have conduct/externalizing behavior problems than were those who had no prenatal tobacco exposure:

* British …

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Early dialysis may not improve kidney failure outcomes

by Nancy Walsh

Planned early initiation of dialysis in patients with chronic kidney disease did not improve survival or other clinical outcomes, a multicenter randomized trial conducted in Australia and New Zealand found.

The hazard ratio for death among patients who had an early start of dialysis, when the estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was 10 to 14 mL/min, was 1.04 (95% CI 0.83 to 1.30, P=0.75), according to Bruce A. Cooper, …

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Decision support can help doctors order scans

by Scott Cowsill

A third or more of scans may be unnecessary or repetitive, studies show, and in scans that are medically appropriate, radiation doses could be dramatically reduced without hurting the quality of images.

As pointed out by Robert Centor, MD, “one cannot easily develop rules for testing because the presentations that we see vary so greatly.”  That being said, guidelines for diagnostic …

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Diabetes is responsible for many heart disease deaths

by Kristina Fiore

More than one in 10 heart disease deaths may be attributable to diabetes, researchers say.

In a meta-analysis of more than 100 studies, diabetes was associated with a twofold increased risk of the disease and was estimated to be accountable for 11% of vascular deaths, according to Nadeem Sarwar, MD, of the University of Cambridge in England, and colleagues.

They reported their findings online in The Lancet and will present …

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Homocysteine lowering does not reduce heart attack risk

by Crystal Phend

Homocysteine-lowering supplements do not help prevent further cardiovascular events in heart attack survivors, a large randomized trial affirmed.

The trial, which followed more than 12,000 heart attack survivors over nearly seven years, found that folic acid plus vitamin B12 effectively reduced homocysteine levels, but did not reduce major vascular events overall nor any other individual endpoint compared with placebo, reported Jane M. Armitage, BM BChBSc, MBBS, of the University …

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