Conditions

Treat cluster headaches by inhaling pure oxygen

Originally published in Insidermedicine

Inhaling pure oxygen at a fast rate can reduce or even eliminate the pain of cluster headaches, according to a study published in the December 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Why juvenile delinquency may lead to poor adult health

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Michael Smith, MedPage Today North American Correspondent

Bad boys grow up to be sick men, researchers say.

In a long-running British study of juvenile delinquency in boys, death and disability at age 48 were strongly linked to antisocial behavior in youth, according to Jonathan Shepherd, PhD, of Cardiff University in Wales, and colleagues.

The imbalances in mortality and disability …

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Some patients won’t accept a conservative approach to medical treatment

by Michael Kirsch, MD

Who says one person can’t make a difference? This past week, I personally set back health care reform. No, I wasn’t attending a ‘tea party’ or decrying Obamacare in a venomous letter to the editor. I single-handedly bent the health care cost curve in the wrong direction. I performed an unnecessary medical test on a hospitalized patient, which exposed her to risk and cost the system money. …

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Is constipation a sign of early Parkinson’s disease?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Charles Bankhead, MedPage Today Staff Writer

Constipation may represent one of the earliest signs of Parkinson’s disease, preceding the onset of motor symptoms by two decades or more, data from a case-control study suggest.

Patients with Parkinson’s disease were more than twice as likely to report a history of constipation compared with a control population. The …

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How well can doctors diagnose child abuse from bone fractures?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Chris Emery, MedPage Today Contributing Writer

Physicians often misdiagnose bone fractures caused by child abuse as accidental breaks, particularly if the child is male and the doctor is not a pediatrician, a new study found.

Of children who suffered fractures from abuse, about 20% had at least one previous medical visit during which a doctor missed …

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How the Tiger Woods scandal may emotionally affect his golf game

Here’s the obligatory Tiger Woods post on the blog.

Whenever Tiger gets back to the course, some are wondering how his current travails will impact his golf game. NPR’s Shots interviewed a sports psychologist about the issue.

Gregg Steinberg, author of Mental Rules for Golf, cites the so-called “triad of toughness,” – physical, mental and emotional:

For a golfer, says Steinberg, physical toughness means you have components like a great swing and …

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Does smoking or obesity affect life expectancy more?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Crystal Phend, MedPage Today Senior Staff Writer

Gains in life expectancy from lower smoking rates over the next decade will be offset, to some degree, by reductions in life expectancy based on the rise in obesity, researchers estimated.

If obesity and smoking rates had held steady, the average 18-year-old would have seen a 2.98-year increase in …

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NFL football players with concussions may need independent neurologists to clear them

Originally published in MedPage Today

by John Gever, MedPage Today Senior Editor

Responding to growing concern over concussions suffered by professional football players, the National Football League may soon require teams to seek opinions from independent neurologists before allowing head-injured players back on the field.

League officials have not confirmed the plan, but reports in The New York Times, the Associated Press, FOXSports.com, …

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Radiologists don’t agree with the USPSTF breast cancer mammogram screening guidelines

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today Staff Writer

Radiologists have rejected revised mammography guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), arguing that they are not backed by scientific evidence and will lead to unnecessary deaths.

Under the revised guidelines, “screening will begin too late and its effects will be too little,” said Stephen A. Feig, MD, of …

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Do chest x-rays and mammograms increase the risk of breast cancer in young women?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today Staff Writer

Some women already at high risk of breast cancer should be cautious about having mammography or chest x-rays before the age of 30 because the imaging may increase the risk of developing the disease, researchers here said.

Five or more x-rays, or any exposure to ionizing radiation before age 20, …

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Previous influenza exposure can protect against the H1N1 flu

by Bruce Goldman

People of a certain age have been known to complain that, while they lucidly recall the details of childhood events, they can’t remember what they ate for breakfast.

As it is with brains, so it may be with immune systems. Older people’s immune responses, while generally somewhat sluggish in revving up after, say, a vaccine against seasonal influenza, seem to retain a knack for fending off the current H1N1 …

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Low pay for diabetes care harms patients

Originally posted in MedPage Today

by John Gever, MedPage Today Senior Editor

Almost one-third of doctors in an industry-sponsored survey said they didn’t spend enough time with their diabetic patients and blamed low reimbursement rates for diabetes care, researchers said.

In a survey of 200 primary care physicians and 100 endocrinologists, 32% reported an inability to provide comprehensive diabetes care, Alyssa Pozniak, …

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Seeing floaters or flashing lights can be caused by posterior vitreous or retinal detachment

Originally posted in Insidermedicine

The eye is very similar to a camera. Both are optical systems that have lenses in the front to focus light rays onto a film. The retina is the eye’s film. It is a tissue that consists of 10 layers and is about 500 microns thick—or, half a millimeter. The main function of the retina is to trap light rays, convert them into electrical impulses, and send …

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ACP: Teasing out science, politics, and emotion about the mammography guidelines

The following is part of a series of original guest columns by the American College of Physicians.

by Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP

It is difficult to find a medical guideline that has garnered so much press and controversy as the recent recommendations about breast cancer screening developed by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and published in Annals …

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How salt is associated with stroke and heart disease risk

Originally published in Insidermedicine

Sodium intake has a direct and independent impact on the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, according to a meta-analysis published online ahead of print in the British Medical Journal.

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Will the H1N1 flu virus mutate?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Michael Smith, MedPage Today North American Correspondent

The CDC is keeping a careful eye on a mutation in some strains of the pandemic H1N1 flu that Norwegian researchers isolated from three patients with severe disease.

The mutation has been seen “sporadically” in the U.S., according to Anne Schuchat, MD, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization …

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