Originally published in MedPage Today by Mike Himowitz When I read Michael Smith’s account of European politicians taking WHO to the woodshed for allegedly conspiring with vaccine makers to overinflate the danger from H1N1 pandemic flu, I was reminded of a similar -- and equally silly -- argument that occurred exactly a decade ago. In the early days of 2000, you ...

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In case you haven't read enough about the mammogram debate, here's one more post. Newsweek's Sharon Begley points to an study showing that a significant number of elderly women with dementia are still receiving mammograms to screen for breast cancer. These women have an average life-expectancy of 3.3 years; the American Cancer Society recommends those with life-expectancies less than 5 years not be screened. So, why is this happening? The ...

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Words have power. Language has power. The words we use may comfort or shock, allay or provoke, sooth or batter. Words often imply layers of meaning that are not explicitly articulated, yet rest beneath the surface: “I worry that time is short for you” (You are dying) (I care about you) “I wish we could have done more” (Nothing would have changed her death) (I am on your side) “I hope with you that ...

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Bill Davenhill asks, "Can your health depend on where you live?" From TEDMED 2009. width="425" height="349">

The common thought among health reformers is that we spend too much on care, and the additional care patients receive doesn't necessarily help them. What inevitably follows is a discussion on how to streamline care, yet maintain quality. To that end, most hospitals and emergency rooms are using algorithm-based care based on the best available evidence. Where doctors actually had to hand write admission orders, they are now checked off ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by John Gever, MedPage Today Senior Editor Another study has found that hypertension may contribute to increased risk of dementia, this time with evidence of actual brain abnormalities. Data from an offshoot of the Women's Health Initiative found that participants' baseline blood pressure was strongly correlated with volume of lesions in their brains' white matter, according to Lewis ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by John Gever, MedPage Today Senior Editor More than 85% of American military medical evacuations from the Middle East were not the direct result of enemy action, but the result of non-battle injuries and disease, researchers said. Of some 34,000 military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan who shipped out for medical reasons from 2004 to 2007, only ...

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Craig Venter talks genetics and bringing synthetic life to reality. From TEDMED 2009. width="425" height="349">

Originally published in MedPage Today by Kristina Fiore Physicians tend to prefer intellectual hobbies -- chess, reading, writing. Dr. Alfred Bove is no exception. His hobby often requires application of his expertise in physiology. You know him as the president of the American College of Cardiology. But you may not know that his heart belongs to the sea. Bove's interest in scuba diving ...

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by Michael Jaff, MD Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), a condition commonly correlated with diabetes, also known as a “silent killer,” affects at least one in every three diabetics over the age of 50 and approximately eight million Americans in total over the age of 40. Although PAD is prolific among diabetic and senior populations, current data show that public and physician knowledge of the disease is startlingly low, with only 25 ...

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