The CRP, or C-reactive protein, is a test that many doctors use to screen for heart disease. And indeed, studies have associated an elevated level with an increased risk of coronary artery disease. But there is little data showing that reducing the CRP level saves lives. That hasn't stopped both doctors and patients from inappropriately ordering the test. Although not expensive by itself, it serves as a gateway to more ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Emily P. Walker, MedPage Today Washington Correspondent If parents refuse to vaccinate their children, it's ethical and legal to dismiss the child as a patient, a pediatrician told attendees of the American Academy of Pediatrics meeting here. "In the middle of treatment, you can't just say, I'm done," Gary Marshall, MD, of the University of Louisville ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Crystal Phend, MedPage Today Senior Staff Writer Reports of stroke patients who were accidentally exposed to eight times the normal radiation dose during diagnostic CT scans at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles are prompting safety warnings and soul searching among radiologists nationwide. Over an 18-month period, 206 patients at the center received 3 to 4 ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Todd Neale, MedPage Today Staff Writer Just over half -- 54% -- of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) cases in southwest England occurred when the baby was co-sleeping in the same bed as a parent, a case-control study showed. That compares with 20% of infants among randomly selected families and controls deemed to be at high ...

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Originally published in Insidermedicine Young, otherwise healthy people who contract H1N1 flu can rapidly deteriorate into a critically ill state in a manner that is eerily reminiscent of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, according to research published in the November 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association and presented at the annual meeting of the European ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Peggy Peck, MedPage Today Executive Editor Men who opt for minimally invasive prostate surgery -- often with a helping hand from a robot -- are twice as likely to have genitorurinary complications as men who have a traditional prostatectomy. That finding is especially troubling because the use of robotic-assisted minimally invasive prostatectomy has increased exponentially in ...

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CNN's Sanjay Gupta went to Afghanistan to cover a story, and got infected with H1N1 influenza. His blog post on the experience is quite eye-opening, and consistent with the cases that I've seen here. Much has been made on how the virus attacks younger patients with healthy immune systems. Dr. Gupta was previously healthy, but being sick from H1N1 was a miserable experience. Writing in his blog, ...

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The United States has almost 60,000 patients with end-stage renal disease who need a kidney transplant. Every year, almost 4,000 people will die waiting for that transplant. How can we increase the supply of donor kidneys? Though some economists suggest a legal organ donation "marketplace," where kidneys can be legally bought and sold, opponents envision the wealthy buying their way to the front of the line, and the poor resorting to selling ...

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The following op-ed was published on October 5th, 2009 in The New York Times’ Room for Debate blog. Not only are patients asking me whether they should receive the H1N1 influenza vaccine, but it’s a question doctors are asking themselves. Recent polls say doctors and nurses may be more resistant to getting vaccinated than most Americans. The British Medical Journal published a survey showing that less than half of health care ...

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Originally published in Insidermedicine Implanting a cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is no better at saving lives than simply providing optimal medical therapy for individuals who suffer damage to the heart from a heart attack, according to research published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. id="play_continuous_flvs" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="385" height="239" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0">
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