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Old June 7th, 2002, 18:06
sysadmin sysadmin is offline
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May 12 - May 18, 2002





Wednesday, May 15, 2002






Access to Healthcare Hardest in US



A five nation survey found that Americans report the most problems securing access to healthcare. In the US, 21% of people reported having a problem paying medical bills. However, all countries had their own unique problems. Adults in the UK reported the longest waiting times for elective surgery, 16% of Canadians had problems seeing a specialist, 19% of Australians said they did not fill a prescription over the last year due to cost, and New Zealanders had more income-related inequities in the care they received. The US, however, had the greatest number of problems according to the questions asked on this survey. Comment: I'm not sure if this measures *true* problems, or just the willingness of people to complain. Self-reported dissatisfaction rates would be naturally higher in nations where there is a high willingness to complain-- which certainly is very high in the US as evidenced by our outrageous number of lawsuits. [ article ]
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17:29 GMT

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African-Caribbeans Genetically at an Increased Risk for Stroke



The Stroke Association in Great Britain is launching a campaign to raise awareness among people of African-Caribbean descent that they are at an increased risk for stroke. There are many different possible reasons why, however, there is believed to be a stong genetic component predisposing them to strokes. [ article ]
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17:15 GMT

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Vegetable Intake Linked to Decreased Breast Cancer Risk



This study compared 240 women with breast cancer with 477 healthy control patients. All women were South Asian, and had immigrated to England. Those who adopted a Western diet were more likely to develop breast cancer than those who maintained their original vegetarian diet rich in vegetables and legumes. Comment: the study did not show that meat consumption was linked to an increased breast cancer risk, but rather that a diet rich in vegetables decreased the risk. [ article ]
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17:00 GMT

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Radiation Therapy Combined With Angioplasty Linked to Improved Outcomes



This study found that when radiation therapy was combined with angioplasty, there was a 74% decreased risk of vessel stenosis at 6 months and a 48% decreased risk at 5 years after the angioplasty procedure. [ article ]
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16:52 GMT

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Light Drinking Healthy



Women drinking one or two drinks a day were found to respond to insulin better than were nondrinkers. Comment: another benefit of light drinking. Moderation is the key. [ article ]
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03:03 GMT

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Walk Away From Your Chores



As Janice Billingsley so aptly puts it, "Your best bet for physical activity is to walk away from your chores, and the faster the better."

In a British study of 200 women from 60 to 79 years old, brisk walking was linked with less obesity and a lower resting heart rate-- but heavy housework offered no benefit. Comment: other studies have found housework beneficial in decreasing mortality. [ article ]
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02:34 GMT

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Thank Lawyers for Your High Medical Bills



Reprinted With Permission from NewsMax.com


Tuesday, May 7, 2002. LOS ANGELES Doctors who specialize in delivering babies and treating pregnant women are closing their offices, leaving states such as Florida and New York, or abandoning their profession because they can't get liability insurance, even at sky-high rates. "One New Jersey specialist, without a legal blemish on his practice record, was finally able to secure insurance at the cost of $300,000 a year," Dr. Thomas Purdon, president of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), told United Press International on Monday.


"We are in a crisis situation," Purdon said at the annual meeting of ACOG.


Organization leaders issued a "Red Alert" warning that without relief from state and federal legislation, many rural areas will be without obstetricians. Not only are doctors leaving the field, but hospitals are closing their maternity wards. Purdon said the "ripple effect" was reaching into academic institutions, where recruiting experts to teach obstetrics and gynecology could be hamstrung as well. ACOG leaders cited Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and West Virginia as being most in danger of losing obstetric care because of difficulty in getting insurance.


For example, in Florida obstetricians have an average cost that exceeds $200,000 a year for insurance premiums if they practice in populous Dade (Miami) and Broward (Fort Lauderdale) counties, said Purdon, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson. In Nevada, Purdon said, 70 obstetricians in the Las Vegas area are about to leave the state because of the withdrawal from the market of one of Nevada's largest liability insurers.


"In Mississippi, a pregnant woman in Yazoo City, which has a population of 14,000, has to travel 150 miles to get prenatal care," Purdon said. "When a woman has to travel that far to get care, she isn't going to get care."


Tort Reform Needed


One solution, Purdon said, would be creation of national legislation to establish legal reforms such as those in place in California. Those laws impose a cap on non-economic damage: "pain and suffering" or punitive. "Insurance rates in California have remained stable for years," he said.


Purdon said the "Red Alert" was issued to let the public and legislators know there is a crisis that is going to have a severe effect on obstetric care. He said similar crises exist for neurosurgeons and orthopedists and are evidence that "we need to have legal reform. We have to look for better solutions."


"Unlike previous crises in the 1970s and 1980s," said Dr. Albert Strunk, an administrative vice president for ACOG, "where cost was the issue, this time around there's the obstacle of finding any insurance coverage at all."


"When you enter the field of obstetrics and gynecology, you have to love what you do with a passion," said Dr. Charles Hammond, president-elect of ACOG and chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C., "because the liability threat will always be there, no matter how outstanding the care you provide."


Thank Lawyers for Your High Medical Bills


Purdon said the New Jersey doctor he cited had left eastern Pennsylvania because insurance was not available. Re-establishing his office in New Jersey, the doctor searched for 90 days before he could find insurance liability coverage, at $300,000 a year. That kind of liability insurance means the doctor "has to pay about $1,000 a day before he can even turn on the lights in his office and doesn't reflect what it costs for paying his nurses and rent," Purdon said. "A lot of doctors are finding that these types of expenses make it difficult to stay in business."


Hammond noted that 15 years have passed since Institute of Medicine warned that high liability costs were compromising delivery of obstetric care. "We still need reform at the federal and state levels," he said. "Band-Aid solutions won't work."


Copyright 2002 by United Press International. Reprinted with permission from NewsMax.Com All rights reserved.



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01:29 GMT

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Foot Care More Important Than Therapeutic Footwear



This study of 400 diabetic patients found that special footwear did not decrease the risk of a foot ulcer. Comment: this study reinforces the need for regular, objective foot examinations in diabetics. [ article ]
 posted by the
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01:11 GMT

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Tuesday, May 14, 2002






Bariatric Surgery Lecture



We have added another lecture to our archives. This one is a recording of a live lecture on bariatric surgery by Dr. John Pennings. Visit http://radio.medjournal.com to listen.
 posted by the
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18:56 GMT

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