A Different Kind of Twindemic
Twin births have been in decline in the U.S. for the last decade, falling roughly 3% per year, after previous decades of growth. The pandemic changed that. The CDC reports that after falling 7% from 2019 to 2020, twin births bounced back 2% from 2020 to 2021.
Researchers think part of the reason may be that many parents who were using ...Read more
The Affordable Care Act, originally passed in 2010 and sometimes called Obamacare, created access to health care for millions of Americans. In less than two months, states that had expanded Medicaid under new ACA provisions will be able to return to regular Medicaid renewal processes, as a part of the unwinding of COVID-19-related coverage ...Read more
At-home Flu Tests
By now, many (perhaps most) Americans have used and become comfortable with the idea of at-home tests for COVID-19. So why not at-home flu tests? The Food and Drug Administration and pharmaceutical companies have considered the idea in the past but rejected it because 1) at-home flu tests were deemed too inaccurate and 2) those who tested ...Read more
Losing Sleep Over Glaucoma
When glaucoma is undetected and untreated, it can lead to blindness from the progressive loss of retinal cells. A new study in BMJ Open suggests it also leads to sleep problems. Researchers found an association between the eye disease and sleep issues like snoring, daytime sleepiness, insomnia or sleeping too long or too little.
The study was...Read more
There's no underappreciating a physician who is content with their lot. A happy doctor means a much greater likelihood of a happy visit to the clinic. Or at least one not further burdened by the negative vibes of Dr. Grumpy.
In most surveys, most doctors say they are generally pleased with their lives and professions. But it turns out there ...Read more
Alcohol and Cancer
Now that Dry January is over, most participants who were "sober-curious" have resumed their familiar consumption patterns, no doubt feeling good about giving their bodies a break from the known risks and harms of alcohol.
Most folks, however, underappreciate the increased risk of several types of cancer caused by alcohol consumption. "All ...Read more
Drug Price Cap, but Not Hospital or Doctor Bills
More than 63 million Americans are covered by Medicare.
Here's the good news: By 2025, they'll pay no more than $2,000 per year for their drugs.
Here's the bad news: For those enrolled in traditional Medicare (about 35 million people) without supplemental coverage, there are no caps on hospital or doctor bills. That could mean catastrophic ...Read more
The 'M' in MD Doesn't Mean 'Man'
A recent study found that women physicians were more than twice as likely as their male colleagues to have patients omit their "doctor" titles when addressing them. The researchers used a natural language processing algorithm to comb through nearly 91,000 messages sent from patients in the Mayo Clinic electronic medical record, picking out the...Read more
The Scoop on Scoping
The first randomized trial of colonoscopy screening is out and, well, it's a complicated picture. The data showed that inviting people to get a colonoscopy didn't reduce colon cancer deaths, but it did reduce cancer incidence by 18%.
That's sort of disappointing news for advocates who believed screening would effectively render colon cancer ...Read more
Windows to the Heart
Using artificial intelligence tools, researchers studied retinal scans of 88,000 participants in a study and concluded the approach may be a viable way to detect cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke based on the health of the retina's network of blood vessels.
Doing so would mean no blood tests or blood ...Read more
Good Things Come to Those Who Weight
OK, it's a new year, so this probably means you're back at the gym reintroducing yourself to staff. Good for you. Hop on that treadmill or stationary bike and go for it. Then hit the weights.
A large observational study has found that adding weightlifting to aerobic exercise is good for older adults, lowering their risk from most deaths (but ...Read more
TB Effects TBD
This is one of those silver lining sorts of things: The COVID pandemic appears to have at least temporarily reduced the incidence of tuberculosis, a highly infectious disease spread by airborne droplets that can cause serious illness, primarily in the lungs.
Reported TB cases have been declining in recent years, from more than 16,000 in 2000 ...Read more
Noncommunicable Diseases Communicated
We tend to pay more attention to contagious diseases like COVID, tuberculosis and AIDS, which infect tens of millions of people annually and kill millions. But noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) take far more lives each year.
For example, cardiovascular diseases including heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases ...Read more