Health Advice



Windows to the Heart

Scott LaFee on

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 pressure measurements necessary.

The software "potentially has greater community reach to identify individuals at medium-high risk requiring further clinical assessment," the authors wrote.

Why Docs Don't Text

ICYMI and FYI: A 1991 law designed to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing blocks health plans from texting patients without their prior consent, but some public health advocates say one adverse effect is that doctors can't send reminders about services, such as mammograms or well-child visits, unless they've contacted the patient first by phone.

They're arguing for a change in the law as a health equity issue because the rule tends to affect low-income and underserved patients who are more likely to see and respond to texts about their health than they are to answer calls from unknown numbers or to receive mailed notices, especially if they're at work or move frequently, according to STAT News.


Body of Knowledge

When race car driver David Purley (1945-1985) crashed during qualifying laps at the 1977 British Grand Prix, he experienced deceleration from 108 miles per hour to zero in 26 inches. The result: 29 fractures, three dislocations and six heart stoppages. The measured 180 Gs (gravitational force) is among the highest known in which the person survived. One G is the force of gravity that keeps our feet firmly planted on the ground.

Purley retired from racing in 1985 and took up aerobatics. He died in a plane crash that same year.

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