Health Advice



A Different Kind of Twindemic

Scott LaFee on

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 infertility treatments put such efforts on pause during the pandemic. Twins and other multiple births occur more often when infertility treatments are used.

Jargon Oblivion

A recent study investigated to what degree patients understand their doctors when discussing their case or condition. No surprise. Researchers found significant deficiencies, a phenomenon they dubbed "jargon oblivion."

In other words, physicians' penchant for using medical terminology that is unknown, unclear or confusing to patients.

Here are three statements used in the study. What is the message?


No. 1: You've just had surgery for cancer. Afterward, your doctor gives you your test results and says, "Your nodes are positive." What is the doctor is telling you?

No. 2: Your doctor says, "Your neuro exam is grossly intact." Is that good news or bad?

No. 3: Your doctor asks if you've been febrile.

Answers: 1. If a cancer test turns up "positive" results, the news is not. In this case, cancer has been detected in the nodes. 2. A "grossly intact" neuro exam is good news. It means nerves are functioning the way they're supposed to. 3. Febrile means having or showing signs of a fever.


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Copyright 2023 Creators Syndicate Inc.




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