Surveys show that fewer Americans have a primary care doctor, especially among younger people. Experts discuss the ramifications of this trend both medically and economically, reasons behind it, and how primary care practitioners are changing the way they work to answer objections.
Dr. Ana Maria Lopez, President, American College of Physicians
Dr. John Cullen, President, American Academy of Family Physicians
Folate, or vitamin b-9, is an essential nutrient, especially for pregnant women. Folic acid is often added to bread, flour, cereal, and pasta to help eliminate deficiencies. Now new research shows supplementation is more important than we thought, because once somebody is short on folate, the damage can’t be fixed. The study in the journal PNAS shows that folate deficiency triggers errors in chromosomes that are passed on as the cell divides. Once those changes occur, they’re permanent.
If you’ve ever fibbed to your doctor, you’re not alone. In fact, a study in the journal JAMA Network Open finds that between 60 and 80 percent of people are less than forthcoming to their doctors about things that could affect their health. People apparently want to avoid being judged or lectured by doctors… or sometimes, they’re simply too embarrassed to tell the truth.
Various forms of dementia are increasing… and now scientists have found that a single specific mutation in one gene can cause one of them. “Frontotemporal dementia” accounts for about 20 percent of all early-onset forms of the disease…. which can affect people as young as their 40’s. A study in the journal Translational Psychiatry has tracked down a single mutation as the cause… and researchers say the finding could be important for both treatment and in research on Alzheimer’s disease.
And finally… a new study shows that forcing kids to apologize usually backfires. The study in the journal Merrill-Palmer Quarterly finds that children who receive an insincere apology dislike the apologizing kid even more than they did before. Transgressors feel worse, too… and don’t learn to have empathy for their victim.
During the holidays, leftovers from gatherings and parties may threaten to take over the refrigerator. An expert discusses consumer-friendly how-to’s, including how to read labels, that can lengthen food life and help avoid food waste.
Karen Bakies, registered dietitian and Vice President of Nutrition Affairs, American Dairy Association Mideast
During the holidays, party foods are a prime source of food-borne illness. Two food scientists discuss common ways foods become contaminated, some of the myths of food contamination, and ways to keep foods safe when you have guests to protect.
Dr. Brian Sheldon, Professor Emeritus of Food Microbiology, North Carolina State University and co-author, Did You Just Eat That?
Dr. Paul Dawson, Professor of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences, Clemson University and co-author, Did You Just Eat That?
The drug Naloxone has been hailed as a lifesaver, as it can reverse the effects of what would otherwise be fatal opioid overdoses. Expert panels recommend that more average citizens carry it, especially those likely to be in contact with drug users. However, obstacles including cost prevent even some first responders from having access. A new study also shows Naloxone may have unintended consequences, such as more drug use. Experts discuss.
Dr. Patrice Harris, Chair, Opioid Task Force and President-Elect, American Medical Association
Dr. Carl Latkin, Professor of Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Dr. Jennifer Doleac, Associate Professor of Economics, Texas A&M University
Approximately 14% of Americans live in a rural area and require access to local hospitals, but many rural hospitals struggle to keep their doors open, citing such financial pressures as the upkeep of equipment and technology.
Dr. Carrie Henning-Smith, a Research Associate at the University of Minnesota, says rural hospitals rely on government funding from programs like Medicare and Medicaid, however neither program cannot fully support the upkeep of buildings and the care of the patients. Although Medicare and Medicaid provide funding, 40% of rural hospitals still operate with a large loss.
Michael Topchik, Director of the Chartis Center for Rural Health, projects that if the current administration cuts Medicaid funding, 15 million recipients will lose health benefits. In addition, Medicaid cuts will drastically affect rural hospitals. Eighty rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and many more could be at risk in the years to come. Closing these rural hospitals would lead to a loss of 35,000 jobs and a $4 billion drag on domestic product. In addition, the residents of rural areas would have to travel long distances to get access to basic health care when they might need it most.
Dr. Carrie Henning-Smith, Research Associate, University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Michael Topchik, Director, Chartis Center for Rural Health
Dr. Daniel Derksen, Director, University of Arizona Center for Rural Health