Monthly Archives: August 2015

More effective shingles vaccine may be on market by 2017

NPR reports in its “Shots” blog that a new shingles vaccine “that offers nearly complete protection…may be on the market as early as 2017.”

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AMA to develop criteria for evaluating older doctors

Newsmax, in an article titled, “Is Your Doctor Too Old to Be Competent?,” reports, “With one out of four U.S. doctors older than 65, the American Medical Association adopted a plan to help decide when it’s time for aging senior … Continue reading

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Christian physicians group: Marriage mandate requires Congress to pass legislation protecting conscientious dissenters

The Christian Medical Association, the nation’s largest association of faith-based doctors, warned that the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage mandate requires the urgent passage of new legal protections for conscientious dissenters, including physicians.

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Experts debate GMO labeling requirement

The Wall Street Journal published two essays taking opposite positions on the debate over labeling genetically modified food products.

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Obama Administration seeks to boost public confidence in GMOs

National Journal reports that the Obama Administration’s announcement last Thursday that it will “will improve transparency, coordination and predictability surrounding GMO regulation” is designed to “bolster confidence in the regulatory system” and convince Americans that “there’s nothing dangerous about genetically-modified food … Continue reading

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Many people still confused about sunscreen labels

The Wall Street Journal reports that despite the fact that the FDA now has rules for sunscreen labeling, many people are still confused about the labels.

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Limiting rough play during soccer a better way of preventing concussions

The AP reports that “limiting rough play” during soccer games may “be a better way to prevent concussions and other injuries,” according to a “nine-year” study published in JAMA Pediatrics.

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FDA delays calorie count regulation until December 2016

The Washington Post reports that the Food and Drug Administration announced it “will push back the deadline for chain restaurants, grocery stories and other establishments to post calorie counts on their menus” until Dec. 1, 2016, “a year longer than the … Continue reading

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CDC: Most US adults still not eating nearly enough fruits and vegetables

The Huffington Post reports that the CDC released a study finding that “most US adults still aren’t eating nearly enough fruits and vegetables.”

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Study finds online symptom checkers often give wrong diagnoses

Kaiser Health News reports that a study from Harvard Medical School found that “symptom checkers,” in which users can enter information and receive a suggested diagnosis, “are accurate only about half of the time.”

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FDA strengthens warning of heart attack and stroke risk for NSAIDs

ABC World News reported that the Food and Drug Administration strengthened its warning about risks associated with popular pain medicines Advil (ibuprofen), Motrin (ibuprofen), and Aleve (naproxen).       

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Questions about Brittany Maynard’s suicide

When Brittany Maynard killed herself last year in an assisted suicide in Oregon, she had been discussing making such a decision for months leading up to her eventual suicide. But the day before she killed herself with the lethal cocktail, … Continue reading

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Asbestos fibers found in crayons and kids’ finger-printing kits

The San Francisco Chronicle reports a study released by the Environmental Working Group, an environmental health advocacy organization, found asbestos fibers in some Chinese-made crayons and crime-scene fingerprint kits in Bay Area stores and online.

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Study: Humans age at remarkably different rates

The Los Angeles Times reports in “Science Now” that “humans age at remarkably different rates, and that we start aging earlier than one might guess,” according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Tests of DHEA supplements warn of differences in dose and price

DHEA is a controversial hormone supplement touted for anti-aging effects. ConsumerLab.com reviewed the evidence and purchased many popular brands of DHEA to test their quality. The findings?

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Ethics of fetal tissue research

In a stunningly inaccurate and misleading article titled ”Why We Still Need Fetal-Tissue Research,” TIME magazine writes, “Sting videos that claim to implicate Planned Parenthood in the illegal practice to selling fetal tissue for a profit prompted a Congressional investigation of … Continue reading

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Virtual medical consultations growing for routine healthcare

The New York Times reported that telemedicine is growing as “health systems and insurers are rushing to offer video consultations for routine ailments.”

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Survey: Majority of Americans, including smokers, say age limit for tobacco sales should be 21

The Washington Post “To Your Health” blog reports the findings of an online survey of over 4,000 US adults published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found 75 percent of adults, including nearly 70 percent of smokers, favor putting the … Continue reading

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Poll shows more US parents support vaccines

TIME, in an article titled, “Why Science Is Winning the Vaccine Wars,” reports a recent nationwide poll by physicians at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital found a significant majority of parents now believe in the safety and efficacy … Continue reading

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Poll: More parents express positive views about vaccines following resurgence of some common childhood diseases

The CBS News website reports that according to “a new nationwide poll … more parents express positive views about vaccines following the resurgence of some common childhood diseases in the past year.”

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States step in to regulate “cutthroat” human breast milk industry

Business Insider reports that “human breast milk is a hot commodity that is emerging as a surprisingly cutthroat industry, one that states are now seeking to regulate amid a battle for control between nonprofit and for-profit banks that supply hospital neonatal … Continue reading

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Research shows use of medical marijuana not always beneficial

Reuters reports on medical marijuana, saying, “Moderate- or high-quality evidence supports the use of marijuana for some medical conditions, but not for others, according to a fresh review of past research.”

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Data indicate more than 90% of Americans consume too much sodium

TIME reported that “new federal data” indicate that “more than 90% of Americans eat too much” sodium.

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Study: Increased use of mammograms to screen for breast cancer has not saved lives

The Los Angeles Times “Science Now” blog reports that research published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that “the increased use of mammograms to screen for breast cancer has subjected more women to invasive medical treatments but has not saved lives.” Investigators … Continue reading

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Lawmakers move to ban same-sex alternatives counseling

The Hill reports, “House Democrats have introduced legislation to force a federal ban on gay conversion therapy. The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, unveiled by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and co-sponsored by Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), would amend the Federal Trade … Continue reading

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Study: Too many children with ADHD prescribed strong antipsychotic medications

The NBC News website reports that too many children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) “may be getting strong antipsychotic medications meant to treat diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder,” according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Marijuana: ACOG Encourages Abstinence While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

  Marijuana is the most common illicit substance used by pregnant women, with prevalence as high as 30% in some communities. With the advent of marijuana’s legalization in several U.S. states, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has … Continue reading

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What evidence supports marijuana use for medical indications? Not much!

More than 20 states have legalized marijuana use for various medical conditions. To explore the evidence for medical marijuana efficacy, researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 79 trials that involved 6462 patients. You may find their results astounding.

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A Lesson in Forgiveness from Charleston

I was asked to submit a column on the topic of forgiveness for a national publication. It was not accepted for publication, but I’m hoping it will be a blessing for you.

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Gastric bypass surgery better than diet or exercise for treating type-2 diabetes

The Wall Street Journal reports that according to a 61-patient study published July 1 in JAMA Surgery, gastric bypass surgery may be better than diet or exercise for treating type 2 diabetes (T2D) in obese patients.

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