Kudos to creative scientists this week on PodMed, as Rick and I highlight a study in Science taking a look at the benefits of measles vaccination in preventing other infections and deaths! In a complex paper working with the knowledge that folks who've had measles infection experience a period of immunosupression, rendering them susceptible to a host of other infectious diseases, these investigators decided to examine death data for children aged 1 to 9 in Europe and 1 to 14 in the United States before and after mass measles vaccination campaigns were undertaken. Lo and behold, preventing the immunosuppression relative to measles infection did decrease deaths due to other infectious disease. The authors propose that the well-known fact that measles vaccination has reduced child mortality in resource-poor regions of the world by 30-50% can be explained by this mechanism. Rick and I take the stance that this is yet one more reason for parents to take a look at the facts and make sure their children are vaccinated, both for their own benefit and for all of us. We agree with the authors' sentiment that measles vaccination is one of the greatest public health triumphs ever undertaken.
Other topics this week include incentivizing smoking cessation in NEJM, and two from JAMA Internal Medicine: dangers of different forms of testosterone supplements, and sonography of the arm for blood clot detection. Until next week, y'all live well.