image359Cardiorespiratory Fitness Declines With Age, No Matter What

Here's the bad news: no matter what you do, what exercise regimen you adopt, how carefully you eat, the capacity of your heart and lungs, so-called cardiorespiratory fitness, will decline as you age. And the point of no return, when the decline happens much more sharply, is 45 years of age. That's in this issue of Archives of Internal Medicine: Role of Lifestyle and Aging on the Longitudinal Change in Cardiorespiratory Fitness.

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ED Can be Managed in Primary Care

Men with erectile dysfunction, (ED), known also as impotence, don't need to undergo lots of evaluation or testing to identify a specific cause, they can simply be given a trial of a class of medications known as PDE5 inhibitors, the American College of Physicians has stated. That's according to a review of many studies published on the subject and analyzed by the college in this issue of Annals of Internal Medicine: Hormonal Testing and Pharmacologic Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians.

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Chronic Fatigue Patients Vindicated?

Imagine developing fatigue so profound you're almost unable to get out of bed, much less participate in activities requiring any physical effort. Now add to that muscle aches and pains and cognitive difficulties. To complete the picture, let's say these symptoms persist for months and are unrelieved by rest, no matter how much you get. The cause? Chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS, a much maligned syndrome even or especially largely disparaged by the medical establishment.

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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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