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Showing posts from February, 2007

Did You Know? Mindful Trivia

I see that Fox TV has a new way of dumbing down America with its new quiz show "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader". Hopefully, anyone who is smarter than a 5th grader will not be tuning in. Speaking of dumbing down, it is rather frightening that only 24% of Americans can name two Supreme Court Justices but 77% can name two of the seven dwarfs. (Time, 2006)

Here are some more trivia facts that you can use to dazzle your friends or make small talk at that next party. Most of these facts are even EverythingHealth.

32% - Percentage reduction in heart attack risk in men who take one aspirin a day. (Jama, 2006)

17% - Percentage reduction in stroke risk in women who take one aspirin a day. (Jama, 2006)

34% - Percentage of patients who request drugs that they read about on the Internet. (BusinessWeek, 2006)

20% - Percentage of American adults who smoke. (BusinessWeek, 2006)

90% - Estimated percentage of DVDs sold in China that are illegal copies. (BusinessWeek, 2006)

9.9% - Percentage of …

Stroke - What You Need to Know

While talking with some girlfriends about, what else...Health...I made the comment that the one condition I most feared for myself was a stroke. Just the idea of having a stroke and the disability that goes with it is something I think about often. My friends said, "You should write about it on your blog because there is a lot of confusion about what a stroke is". Always aiming to please, here is what you need to know about strokes (aka cerebral vascular accidents, aka "brain attack")

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US and it is the leading cause of severe, long-term disability. Despite this, the public awareness of stroke symptoms and the need for immediate treatment evaluation is poor. Strokes occur two ways. The most common is an embolic stroke where one of the arteries leading to the brain is blocked by a small piece of plaque that has broken off. A second type of stroke is a hemorrhagic stroke where the vessel leading to the brain bleeds.
Th…

What Are the Medical Journals Saying?

This weeks brief synopsis from the medical journals


Poverty and Heart Disease

It has been said that the best diagnostic predictor of a persons health status is their income. Unfortunately this concept was upheld by The Center for Disease Control (CDC). They found up to a 2 fold difference in heart disease (the #1 killer in America) between States. The highest incidence of heart disease was found where States clustered the lower Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys where there is more poverty and social isolation. If you live in West Virginia, you are twice as likely to have a heart attack than a resident of Colorado.
MMWR Weekly


Treat Lice With a Hair Dryer

Applying hot air for 30 minutes can eliminate head lice infestation. Investigators tested 6 different methods for delivering hot hair to the scalp in 169 persons with head lice (pediculosis). The most successful was the LouseBuster, a custom-built machine that delivered air that was slightly cooler than that of a standard blow dryer. Hot…

Many Questions - Limited Time

I received a call yesterday from a friend who wondered if I knew of any physicians who are offering "concierge" medical services. This is the new trend where a physician limits his/her practice to a few hundred patients and charges a membership fee ($1000 to $5000 per year)to those patients. The fee is in exchange for perks like same day visits, prompt return phone calls and more time with the physician at each visit. It doesn't cover the costs of the office visits or tests, but is a retainer for better service. Reports show that patients in these relationships are satisfied and the physicians enjoy having the "financially protected" time to spend with the patient.

A recent study reported in Health Services Research and referenced in TheNew York Times, studied videotapes of almost 400 primary care visits. They found the median time for visits was just under 16 minutes and patients tended to bring up 6 subjects. About five minutes was devoted to one major topic, …

Global Warming

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I'm not tired of hearing about Global Warming and other threats to Mother Earth and I am glad it is finally getting mainstream attention. If you haven't seen Al Gores's Oscar nominated, amazing film "An Inconvenient Truth", rent it today. We are blessed to live in a Country where we can educate ourselves and it is up to each of us to be informed and accountable in our own way. Check out this website for ongoing information about our environment, Franklygreen and learn more about protecting the land and what you can do, as an individual to help. I photographed this beautiful iceberg in Alaska. There is nothing more "everythinghealth" than protecting our earth, air and natural resources.

What Are the Medical Journals Saying?

Medical Update - This Weeks Brief Synopsis From the Medical Journals:

Obesity

Watch out for a slew of new marketing to appear on TV and in magazines this summer, advertising GlaxoSmithKline's weight loss product Xenical as it hits the shelf for over-the-counter use in the U.S. This drug, at twice the strength, was previously by prescription only. It will now be called alli (pronounced al-eye). Taken at meal time, alli works by blocking about 25% of the fat in the food a person eats. Unfortunately, it only works in conjunction with a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet containing about 15 grams of fat per meal. If more fat is eaten, the nasty side effect can be an urgent need to use the bathroom with diarrhea and fatty bowel movements. It is also important to take a multivitamin once a day at bedtime because alli can reduce the absorption of some vitamins. I wouldn't be surprised if it appears to be a miracle fat blocker. The real weight loss comes from the low fat,reduced calorie part…

Medication Errors

This Century is beginning with a new focus on patient safety within the medical community. One of the aspects that is receiving a lot of attention is "prescribing errors". While medications are lifesaving for millions of individuals, taking certain combinations of drugs can be a recipe for disaster. Over half of all older patients take 3 drugs a day and millions of patients take 8-10 drugs daily. Add that there may be several doctors prescribing pills for various conditions and it is no surprise there can be mistakes. Recent studies have shown that physicians need to pay close attention to potentially dangerous drug combinations when writing prescriptions and also provide patients with necessary information about the drugs. The 5 elements that you need to know whenever you receive a new prescription are:
medication namepurpose of the medicationhow to take it and what to do if you miss a dosehow long it should be taken (duration)possible side effectsThe one that gets left off…