The week's roundup: bone scam, bariatric surgery, medical debts
In the late 1990s, National Geographic fell for a big bone scam. A fossil they declared was a missing link between dinosaurs and birds turned out to be a glued-together combo of bone bits from various species. The use of QCT (quantitative computed tomography) for bone scans, instead of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) screening technology, may be another bone scam. MedPage Today reports that although QCT is increasingly used these days, it delivers 1,000 to 3,000 times more radiation than DXA and exaggerates fracture risks. Find out what technology your scan center uses and opt for DXA.
A study that looked at over 94,000 severely obese Medicare patients who got bariatric surgery found that the procedure slashed their risk for new-onset heart failure, heart attack, stroke and all-cause death significantly. So don't let age dissuade you from discussing this option with your doc.
Are you saddled with medical debt? It's an economic burden for one-third of American adults and a health issue since it keeps folks from seeking additional -- and needed -- medical attention. Now the government is expanding its "No Surprises Act" mandate to make sure that debt collectors follow the law and providers' billing practices are legit. All important steps, because, as I point out in the "Great Age Reboot," economic inequality is a public health issue, and regulations that foster economic equality will improve the health of the nation.
Bottom line: By assuming responsibility for your own health and establishing policies that improve everyone's health care, we can all live younger, longer.
Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email questions@GreatAgeReboot.com.
(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.