Medical Notes 18-32

 

Medical Notes this week…

Colonoscopies might cause more complications than we thought. A new study in the journal “Gut” shows that colonoscopies and upper GI endoscopies performed at outpatient specialty centers cause bacterial infections at a much higher rate than expected. Experts had thought that post-endoscopic infection rates with bacteria such as E. coli were one in a million. The new study shows the rate of infection is actually closer to one in a thousand. but experts say colonoscopies are still a good idea, the best bet to detect and even prevent colon cancer.

A glass of wine for dinner may increase a woman’s chance of developing PMS and several glasses each day may increase it by quite a bit. A study in the journal “BMJ” shows that women who drink alcohol at all are at a 45 percent higher risk of pre-menstrual syndrome, and those who consume more than one drink a day have a 79 percent higher risk. Overall, scientists say alcohol may be responsible for about one in 10 cases of pms.

And finally, if you think the day ahead is going to be stressful your mind and body will be stressed all day long, even if the actual stresses never come. A study in the “Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences” shows that waking up anticipating a bad day impacts working memory, which helps people learn and retain information even when they’re distracted. Researchers say that can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy—a bad day of mistakes at work or even while driving.

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Medical Notes 18-31

 

Medical Notes this week…

If excessive sweating is taking a toll on your social life, you’re not alone. An estimated 15 million Americans have some form of this condition and only one in four get treatment, often with Botox. But that could all change this fall. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Qbrexza, a drug-infused cloth meant to be wiped over the skin each day to block sweat glands from activating. Researchers say 53 percent of patients report the drug reduces sweat production by roughly half.

Regulators know marijuana for its abuse potential and safety questions but now there’s an FDA-approved drug derived from marijuana. The drug Epidiolex has been approved to treat two rare, severe forms of childhood epilepsy which can prompt uncontrolled daily seizures. The disorder puts patients at high risk for other physical and intellectual disabilities, injury and early death. The oral pot solution contains cannabidiol, a chemical in the cannabis plant containing only trace amounts of the psychoactive element thc, the drug does not induce euphoria.

And finally, having the same doctor for awhile can extend your life. A study published in the journal BMJ Open shows that contact with the same physician over an average of two years results in fewer deaths as a result of better communication. Researchers continuity of care should be given a higher priority in healthcare planning because it benefits everyone, not just patients with chronic illnesses, complex needs, or long-term mental health issues.

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Medical Notes 18-30

 

Medical Notes this week…

If you’ve ever wanted to find out more about your doctor and his license now there’s an app for that. The Medical Board of California is releasing an app called “Med Board CA” for users in the state who will have access to information on their doctors with a click of a button. The medical board says it wants to help California consumers make informed health care decisions and they’re hoping other states will follow suit.

The human body contains billions of bacteria so it may not be surprising to hear that surgical implants, such as knee replacements, can harbor bacteria of their own. A study in the journal APMIS finds that bacteria, fungi or both may colonize surgical implants, including hip replacements and the screws that fix broken bones but not to worry no patients with implants have shown ill effects from infection.  

Doctors have long known that after menopause, obesity leads to a higher risk of breast cancer. But before menopause, it may be the opposite. new research in the journal Jama Oncology shows that younger women with a higher body mass index have a lower breast cancer risk than those who are thinner. Factors such as hormones, growth factors and breast density all play a role in the apparent link between higher BMI and lower cancer risk. So researchers say gaining weight is no way to prevent breast cancer.

Diabetics may soon be able to say goodbye to painful finger pricks, thanks to a new non-invasive blood glucose monitoring that combines radar and artificial intelligence. The device developed at Waterloo University uses high frequency radio waves to detect the amount of glucose in a liquid. Initial tests with volunteers show the device is about 85 percent as accurate as traditional invasive blood analysis.

And finally, if you’re thinking about what foods are good for you, how about a cup of coffee…or four. A new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine followed a large group of people over 10 years and found that coffee drinkers are about 10 to 15 percent less likely to die than non-coffee drinkers. Researchers suspect coffee contains several bioactive compounds with potential beneficial properties. So go ahead, pour yourself another cup.

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Medical Notes 18-29

 

Medical Notes this week…

Suicide rates are rising sharply across the United States. A new report finds that nearly 45,000 suicides occurred in the U.S. in 2016, more than twice the number of homicides. Experts say suicide is not only a mental health problem but also a public health issue. In the 27 states that use the National Violent Death Reporting System, 54 percent of suicides were by people without a known mental illness.  

Pediatricians are coming down hard on spanking. A survey published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics finds three out of four pediatricians disapprove of spanking. The survey of doctors shows 78 percent of pediatricians thinks spanking never or hardly ever improves children’s behavior. Parents, however, may disagree. a survey in the journal Child Trends shows that 76 percent of men and 65 percent of women think spanking is a necessary form of discipline.  

And finally, is your favorite restaurant playing “mind games” with you? A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences finds diners who are exposed to loud music order foods that are significantly higher in calories. High volume sounds are proven to impact heart rate and arousal, so louder music ignites excitement, stimulation and stress. That means restaurants can manipulate customers and contribute to their unhealthy eating habits.

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Medical Notes 18-28

 

Medical Notes this week…

When it comes to cancer are you better off safe than sorry? Despite cancer screening’s potential risks, many Americans still want it. A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology finds that more than a third of participants want to receive a hypothetical cancer screening, even when the possibility of serious harm is described in detail. Clinicians say screenings can produce false positives that could lead to unnecessary worry and follow up tests. They can also over-diagnose, resulting in costly and unnecessary treatment of cancers that will never spread.

Men who take low dose aspirin to ward off heart attacks have more reason to stay out of the sun. A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology finds those who take aspirin have nearly double the risk of developing melanoma compared to men who don’t take it. However, scientists say that’s no reason to stop taking aspirin, which not only reduces heart attacks but also helps prevent a variety of cancers. Women taking aspirin showed no increased melanoma risk.

And finally, want to get more done at work? Scoot on over to a window. A study from Cornell University finds that natural light produces health benefits and increased productivity. Lack of daylight and access to views decrease the ability of the eye to relax and recover from fatigue, but natural light cuts eyestrain is by 51 percent and reduces computer vision syndrome which impacts 70 million workers worldwide.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

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Medical Notes 18-27

 

Medical Notes this week…

The number of children’s flu deaths this past season has experts concerned. Between October and May, 172 children were killed by the flu in the United States, according to a new government report. About half of the deaths occurred in otherwise healthy children, but less than one fourth of them had been fully vaccinated. The alarming H3N2 strain takes the blame for the high toll. Experts say next year’s vaccine should protect better against that form of flu.

Feel free to hit snooze this weekend, it can prolong your life…because apparently, you can catch up on the sleep you lost during the week. A study in the Journal of Sleep Research tracked more than 38,000 people in Sweden over 13 years, focusing on their weekday vs. weekend sleeping habits. The study shows that people under the age of 65 who sleep for five hours or less every single night don’t live as long as those who consistently sleep seven hours at night. But weekend snoozers, who catch up on Saturday and Sunday? They live just as long as the well-slept.

And finally, even doctors have to dress to impress. A study in the journal BMJ Open shows that a doctor’s attire can impact how patients feel toward them. According to the survey performed in clinics and hospitals of 10 major medical centers, what a doctor wears influences a patient’s satisfaction with their care. Forty-four percent of patients surveyed say they prefer their doctor to wear a white coat and tie, while 26 percent prefer scrubs with a white coat.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

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Medical Notes 18-26

 

Medical Notes this week…

Colorectal cancer rates have increased among people under the age of 50 and that’s why the American Cancer Society is now recommending adults undergo screening starting at age 45, rather than 50. The rate of colorectal cancer among people younger than 50 has risen 51 percent since 1994 yet doctors are struggling to pinpoint the reason. Colorectal cancer is the fourth-most-common cancer among adults, and about 50,000 americans are expected to die of the disease in 2018.

For years, public health experts have been encouraging women to take folic acid supplements to prevent birth defects but a study in the American Journal of Public Health shows many women still don’t take them. The study shows fewer than five percent of low-income urban mothers take daily folic acid supplements before getting pregnant. Previous studies prove that use of these prenatal vitamins can prevent 50 to 70 percent of neural tube defects in newborns. Experts suggest all women of reproductive age take folic acid since many pregnancies are unintended.

The belief that exercise can slow cognitive decline in older people with dementia has gained popularity. Yet new research shows that’s not true. A study in the journal BMJ says moderate to high intensity exercise can improve physical fitness but experts say it does not improve cognitive impairment, daily activities, behavior, or health-related quality of life.

And finally, everyone knows soda isn’t good for you. But it may be even worse than you think. A study in the journal Obesity Reviews shows that “a calorie isn’t just a calorie” but that some are worse than others, and soda may be one of the worst. Even if soda doesn’t make you gain weight, it can markedly increase the risk of other health-related issues.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

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