lettuceHealthy Foods May Make You Sick

A watchdog organization called the Center for Science in the Public Interest has released a list of the top ten foods regulated by the FDA that cause food borne illness. Far and away, the winner is leafy green vegetables, causing more than 13,000 diagnosed cases of what is frequently called 'food poisoning' since 1990. And since most cases of food borne illness aren't ever diagnosed or reported, the actual number is likely much, much higher.

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fat_personMore Benefits Seen With Weight Loss

For folks carrying around a few too many extra pounds, the benefits of losing weight can hardly be overestimated from a medical standpoint, even for those who are only modestly overweight. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and arthritis all improve when extra poundage is shed, and now sleep apnea-that condition where people stop breathing during sleep-has joined the list.

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amazing_zoomNo Help for Women with Congestive Heart Failure

Most studies of cardiovascular disease and its manifestations have been done in men. That's an undisputed truth. In view of this fact, much of the clinical management of heart disease in women is extrapolated from data gleaned studying men. Unfortunately, just like calculating medicine dosages for children based on studies in adults, it doesn't work. Children are not little adults, and women are not men with different anatomy.

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br_041027_minuteclinicRetail Medical Clinics

'Doc in a box' is the tongue in cheek, and admittedly somewhat disparaging term many medical insiders call retail medical clinics, such as those found in Target or Wal Mart stores. These clinics purport to offer quick, accessible care for common medical problems, and as Rick points out in this week's podcast, they really should be called 'nurse in a box' since the majority are staffed by nurse practitioners.

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arterymay96Benefits of Statins Before Vascular Surgery

Rick and I have quipped frequently in the four years we've been doing PodMed that soon statins, that class of drugs used to lower cholesterol, will be added to drinking water, a lot like fluoride. That's because in many reports and studies, the benefits of statins seem legion. Now comes a study in NEJM showing another benefit. When people have vascular surgery, or surgery on their blood vessels, those who receive statins experience fewer cardiovascular events than those who don't: Fluvastatin and Perioperative Events in Patients Undergoing Vascular Surgery.

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CT-Computed-Tomography2There's a long term health consequence from exposure to the type of radiation used for many medical imaging studies. That fact emerges clearly from the burgeoning literature on the subject. Questions that remain unanswered are just how significant is the risk? Are certain types of studies most problematic? And how big is the problem anyway? This week's NEJM attempts to get a handle on this last, with some rather astonishing results.

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melanomaHow is Melanoma Most Often Detected?

Statistics surrounding melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer, are grim. The World Health Organization reports about 48,000 deaths due to melanoma each year, with approximately 160,000 new cases diagnosed yearly. A study in this week's Archives of Dermatology: Routine Dermatologist-Performed Full-Body Skin Examination and Early Melanoma Detection sheds new light on diagnosis.

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aspirinAnyone who's watched the excruciating process by which a new drug gains FDA approval knows that if garden variety aspirin, that mainstay of medicine cabinets everywhere, was up for review today, it would never make the cut. That's because aspirin is known to have a number of negative side effects, especially gastrointestinal bleeding. But now another study in JAMA is extolling the benefits of aspirin: Aspirin Use and Survival After Diagnosis of Colorectal Cancer.

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fluH1N1 Infection in Pregnancy

H1N1 infection in pregnant women seems to be associated with a much higher rate of mortality than any other group reported so far. That's according to a Lancet Infectious Disease study: H1N1 2009 influenza virus infection during pregnancy in the USA. In this relatively small number of women (34), 11 were admitted to the hospital and 6 of them died. So mortality was approximately 50% among those hospitalized with the flu.

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1-osteoporosisOsteoporosis is an increasing problem worldwide, largely as a consequence of many more people living long enough to develop the bone-thinning condition. Most concerning is the trajectory from the development of osteoporosis to bone fractures to nursing home care to death, delineated in many studies.

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