Conditions

Killing lice is a growing health field

What’s one of the fastest growing health care fields?

A professional nitpicker. As in, the profession of picking lice out of hair.

In a recent New York Times story, it’s becoming apparent that parents will do anything to get rid of lice. Part of it is the stigma associated with it, part of it is the “ickiness” factor. As a parent myself, I certainly understand the sentiment.

This is …

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Colorectal cancer in blacks is affected by healthcare utilization

by Todd Neale

The greater burden of colorectal cancer in the black community appears to be related to healthcare utilization, and not biology, researchers found.

Similar proportions of black and white patients had polyps or masses detected by flexible sigmoidoscopy, but black patients were less likely than whites to have the recommended follow-up colonoscopy (62.6% versus 72.4%), according to Adeyinka Laiyemo, MD, MPH, of Howard University in Washington, and colleagues.

After adjustment for …

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Bret Michaels has a subarachnoid hemorrhage, and what that means

Bret Michaels is in critical condition from a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

bret michaelsI’ve been watching Celebrity Apprentice recently, and he comes across as a genuine person who, of course, has been raising awareness for Type 1 diabetes. As most people know, he has battled various diabetic complications on the show, and recently underwent an emergency appendectomy.

What’s his prognosis like?

Not good, I’m …

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Dementia affects the entire family

by Emily P. Walker

My grandfather recently died of pancreatic cancer.

My grandpa was a WWII veteran, a nature enthusiast, an animal-lover, a chiropractor until the 1980s, and a firm believer in natural medicine. He helped my grandmother give birth to five children in her bed, and neither of them had ever taken any drugs except when both were hospitalized one winter with pneumonia.

As someone with a major respect for medical doctors …

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Social networks affect alcohol drinking patterns

by Kristina Fiore

If you’re surrounded by heavy drinkers, you’re more likely to become one, new research shows.

An analysis of data on alcohol consumption and social networks found that people are 50% more likely to drink heavily if someone they’re directly connected to does so, Nicholas Christakis, MD, PhD, of Harvard University, and colleagues reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“We’ve found that the influence of your friends and people you …

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President Obama should have had colonoscopy without sedation

by Michael Kirsch, MD

Does anyone out there know why President Obama underwent a virtual  ‘colonscopy’ (VC) instead of a conventional colonoscopy earlier this year?

In my gastroenterology practice, we do not offer colon cancer screening to 48-year-old individuals, unless special risk factors are present. Of course, maintaining the president’s health is in the national interest, so I understand why professional screening guidelines might not apply to him. For …

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Flu may be associated with seasonal deficiency of vitamin D

by Michael Smith

If you look at the world map, the shapes of South America and Africa look as though they should fit together. Maybe they were once together and then drifted apart.

That theory was first put forward in the late 1500s by a Dutch map maker, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that the discovery of plate tectonics finally put the idea on a — well, …

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Cell phone use and driving requires attention that few have

by Crystal Phend

Only one person in 40 has an extraordinary ability to do safely what many take for granted in daily life — talk on a cell phone while driving.

These “supertaskers” excelled on a simulated driving exercise and a demanding, simultaneous test of memory and math skills conducted over the phone without any loss in performance on either, according to Jason M. Watson, PhD, and David L. Strayer, PhD, both …

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Children whose parents refuse vaccination may spread measles

by Todd Neale

Children whose parents refuse vaccinations for them provide fertile ground for the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases, an investigation of a 2008 measles outbreak in San Diego demonstrated.

Although the rate of two-dose immunization against measles was 95% in the area, a single case of measles from a 7-year-old child returning from overseas sparked an outbreak that exposed 839 people and sickened 11 other children, according to David Sugerman, …

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Cancer deaths are improving, but a cure remains distant

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Joyce Frieden, MedPage Today News Editor

Almost 40 years and 100 billion federal dollars have been invested in the “War On Cancer” since President Richard M. Nixon declared it, but the campaign is far from over, two researchers concluded this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“These funds have been more than matched by …

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Cancer side effects are being ignored by the media

Originally published in MedPage Today

by John Gever, MedPage Today Senior Editor

When the mainstream media report on cancer treatments, they seldom note that aggressive therapies may fail or cause severe side effects, researchers said.

Analyzing more than 400 articles about cancer in major newspapers and magazines, investigators at the University of Pennsylvania found that adverse outcomes or palliative care were hardly …

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