Health information

Serious illness not enough to get patients to change lifestyle

wellnesswomAfter a serious illness, lifestyle changes often have the potential to dramatically improve a person’s overall health and quality of life. In fact, lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet and physical activity strongly influence how rapidly many diseases will progress.  Amazingly, people who have already suffered heart trouble, diabetes or other lifestyle-related illnesses —people who intimately know the consequences of their behaviors — often have an especially hard time turning things around.  At least 40% of smokers who survive a heart attack are still puffing away a year later. Continue reading »

Health care professionals cannot stay out of the conversation anymore

93909491-300x300If you watched media reports you would think that we are winning the war against cancer and that soon treatment will be readily available for a whole range of cancers.  This is just not true and but this shallow reporting is now standard for the news industry and is leading to a lot of patient confusion.  Health care professionals cannot sit on the sideline any longer they have to get involved by helping patients sort through the hype and the reality.  It is quickly becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. Continue reading »

More confusion ? Now fish oil increases risk for cancer

6C8222290-130710-fish-oils-4x3-615p.blocks_desktop_mediumIf you are a healthy consumer and take supplements or prescription fish oil your head is probably spinning at the news that shows men who have the highest levels of fish oil compounds  have a higher risk of prostate cancer. Men with the very highest levels had a 71 percent higher risk of high-grade prostate cancer – the kind most likely to spread and kill, they report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Now that is alarming. Continue reading »

The cause of Type 2 diabetes revealed

imagesAccording to Mark Bittman, an Opinion columnist and the Times magazine’s food columnist, a study published in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal PLoS One links increased consumption of sugar with increased rates of diabetes by examining the data on sugar availability and the rate of diabetes in 175 countries over the past decade. And after accounting for many other factors, the researchers found that increased sugar in a population’s food supply was linked to higher diabetes rates independent of rates of obesity.  In other words, according to this study, obesity doesn’t cause diabetes: sugar does. Continue reading »

Drug side effects via social media

alzheimers-drugsMany women who are taking certain breast cancer medications post online about the drugs’ side effects, according to a study published in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, WHYY’s “NewsWorks” reports.  Of the women who posted on message boards about aromatase inhibitors, nearly 20% talked about the drugs’ side effects, the study found. Most of the comments about side effects related to severe joint pain. Researchers also found that about 40% of the women who posted about aromatase inhibitors discussed discontinuing the medication or switching to another drug. But do physicians really have the time to search social media for drug side effects ? Continue reading »

Dr Internet can benefit patients and doctors

Doctors call it the “Google stack” (the printouts listing all the potential and worrisome diagnoses) and it could be a benefit or a problem.  A Google stack is when patients visit their doctor with printouts of health information they they downloaded from the Internet.  Used correctly this information can benefit both patient and physician but used incorrectly can lead to more cyberchondria. Continue reading »

80% of internet users look for health information online

Eight in ten internet users look online for health information, making it the third most popular online activity among all those included in the Pew Internet Project’s surveys.  Women, non‐Hispanic whites, younger adults, and those with higher levels of education and income are more likely than other demographic groups to gather health information online. Continue reading »

Our lifestyles are killing us

Obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, according to Dr Lustig “seventy-five percent of it is preventable”.  Dr. Robert Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco and believes that sugar, combine with the way we live is slowly killing us and leading to higher costs within the healthcare system. Continue reading »

Some stats around healthcare…

There is a lot of information floating around on the Internet concerning healthcare and healthcare costs.  I thought I would summarize some of them with links to their references so we can all use them in meetings to get our points across.   Please share them within the industry… Continue reading »

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