Archive | July, 2007

Low Literacy Equals Early Death Sentence

July 31, 2007

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One more reason to stay in school. A new study from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine shows that older people with inadequate health literacy had a 50 percent higher mortality rate over five years than people with adequate reading skills. Inadequate or low health literacy is defined as the inability to read and comprehend […]

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Educate Before You Medicate

July 31, 2007

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Most newspapers today carried a story about the failure of patients to follow prescription directions, or to continue medications until told to stop. This results in thousands of people who fail to respond to efforts to prevent progress or develpment of chronic diseases. Those who want more information should go to the web page of […]

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Gallup Update Shows Cigarette Smoking Near Historical Lows

July 30, 2007

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Gallup’s annual update on Americans’ smoking habits finds the rate of cigarette smoking among the adult population near the low point in the more than 60-year history of this question. Additionally, the poll shows a continuing decline in the amount of cigarettes U.S. smokers smoke each day. Only one in four smokers say they began […]

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The future of medicine: Insert chip, cure disease?

July 30, 2007

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It may sound like science fiction, but University of Florida researchers are developing devices that can interpret signals in the brain and stimulate neurons to perform correctly, advances that might someday make it possible for a tiny computer to fix diseases or even allow a paralyzed person to control a prosthetic device with his thoughts.

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Malnutrition in Elderly a Major Concern, Needs Attention

July 30, 2007

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Rearchers from Oregon State University said in a recent report in Pharmacological Research, that due to lifestyle, diet, loss of appetite and other factors associated with aging, millions of American citizens over age 65 are facing malnutrition at a time of their life when adequate, appropriate food and micronutrient intake is critical, leading to increased […]

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WHO report tackles children’s environmental health

July 28, 2007

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is today releasing the first ever report highlighting children’s special susceptibility to harmful chemical exposures at different periods of their growth. Air and water contaminants, pesticides in food, lead in soil, as well many other environmental threats which alter the delicate organism of a growing child may cause or worsen […]

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Only general practice can save the NHS

July 27, 2007

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While today’s BMJ carries an analysis of problems within the NHS, Dr. Heath’s recommendations apply equally well to the US Health System, whatever permutations are developed over the next two years. The current enthusiasm for market forces seems to be making changes politically unacceptable and so nothing is being done about the expansionist health technology […]

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Immunisation without needles

July 27, 2007

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A fascinating report in today’s BMJ on deveopment of oral vaccines from plants is well worth reading. Professor Arntzen and his team at Arizona State University are getting closer with an oral vaccine against Norwalk virus grown in a type of wild tobacco. “Exhaustive laboratory experiments show that this vaccine induces a powerful immune response […]

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Misplaced Beliefs Could Lead to Risky Behavior

July 27, 2007

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From the American Cancer Society is a study of false beliefs about cancer which should be available on all health department web sites. The findings, published in the ACS journal Cancer, are based on a survey conducted in 2002 of nearly 1,000 US adults who had never had cancer. Participants were asked to respond to […]

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Primary Care Doctor Shortage Hurts

July 26, 2007

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From the Wall Street Journal “The dearth of primary-care providers threatens to undermine the Massachusetts health-care initiative, which passed amid much fanfare last year. Newly insured patients are expected to avail themselves of primary care because the insurance covers it. And with the primary-care system already straining, some providers say they have no idea how […]

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