Tremendous controversy surrounds the screening for cardiac disease. The USPSTF does not recommend heart screening tests for the general population, like a routine EKG or exercise stress test. Texas, however, takes the opposite approach. They recently passed the Texas Heart Attack Prevention Bill (via Schwitzer), "mandating health-benefit plans to provide coverage for certain screening tests for early coronary artery disease." Indeed, some of the wording of the bill endorses tests ...

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E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, have been largely unregulated, and there have been many doctors questioning its safety. MedPage Today recently reported on the FDA's analysis of such products, and now we have some guidance as to how dangerous they can be. E-cigarettes are battery operated, and contain nicotine and other flavors that the user can inhale. Advertisements claim they are safer since they don't burn tobacco. But according to the FDA, they ...

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Breast cancer screening has lead to an over-diagnosis of breast cancer. Ramona Bates talks about a recent study in the BMJ, showing that there was a "52% over diagnosis of breast cancer in a populations of women who are offered organized mammography screening," amounting to, "one in three breast cancers being over diagnosed." When it comes to cancer screening, it's hard to accept the consequences of over-diagnosis. But that risk ...

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A lot of time and effort needs to be spent finding the right patient-physician match. And no where is that more relevant than a diabetic looking for an endocrinologist. Diabetes blogger Amy Tenderich gives some great tips, most of which I hadn't thought of. Of course, it goes without saying that if the match isn't right, a second or third opinion is always within a patient's right. But, how do you know ...

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With entries dating back to 2004, here are 5 classic blog posts on diabetes: 1. Does Avandia cause heart attacks, and why the RECORD study is important 2. Will diabetes derail Sonia Sotomayor’s chance to become a Supreme Court justice? 3. Prescribing insulin for diabetes, do endocrinologists have a financial incentive to do so? 4. Are Actos and Avandia to blame for rising diabetes costs? 5. Prescription medication pay for ...

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And should you assume that no news is good news? The answer is no. According to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 7 percent of abnormal test results from primary care offices were never reported to the patient. And in a large, unnamed, academic medical center, that number ballooned to 23 percent. That's almost a quarter of abnormal test results from that center that patients were never ...

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Prostate cancer screening continues to be a controversial issue. Regular readers of this blog know about the risks of cancer screening, especially prostate cancer, which can lead to unnecessary biopsies necessitating invasive procedures that can lead to life-altering side effects. All for a slow-growing cancer that may not have led to death. The problem with prostate cancer is that the current detection methods, like the prostate specific antigen, are not ...

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When it comes to procedures, experience counts. In a recent op-ed in the WSJ, maternal-fetal medicine fellow Adam Wolfberg talks about the potential complications of chorionic villus sampling (CVS) (via Suture for a Living). Used to assess the risk of Down Syndrome in the fetus, it involves inserting a 3 1/2 inch needle into the mother's uterus to obtain cells from the placenta. The rate of miscarriage is ...

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As you have read here and elsewhere, Apple's Steve Jobs recently underwent a liver transplant for a rare form of pancreatic cancer. He, however, is not talking publicly about his case, and Apple is tightly controlling the information surrounding Mr. Jobs' health. Certainly, he is entitled to his medical privacy, but there are some who believe he should use his stature and celebrity to raise the awareness of pancreatic cancer. ...

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Michael Jackson suffered a cardiac arrest. And still, that's really all we know for sure. Medical websites continue to speculate on the possible causes. Over at theheart.org, doctors who were interviewed continue to speculate on Jackson's narcotic use, including Demerol, which I wrote about a few days ago. Indeed, a spokesperson for the American College of Cardiology, cardiologist ...

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