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Helpful information on the world of beauty and aesthetics supplies.
Treating metabolic disorders may aid neurologic health
Researchers are investigating previously noted connections between metabolic and neurologic disorders. By doing so, they are identifying possible ways to delay the onset of such diseases as Alzheimer's and other dementias, or at least slow their progress. For instance, because evidence suggests diabetes increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, good blood glucose control could serve to hold off the serious neurologic conditions, according to research in the March Archives of Neurology. The theme issue on neurological disorders related to metabolic diseases contains several studies that cover links between cognitive decline and metabolic syndrome in women, extra pounds in older men, and an accumulation of heart disease risk factors and insulin resistance in older men and women. The nation's aging population virtually guarantees the number of people with Alzheimer's will climb. During the next 50 years, the disease's incidence and prevalence, as well as ot [Read more]
Growth spurt in spending on disease-management technology
Use of home monitoring systems is increasing, and expected to fuel an upswing in the personal health technology sector. Forecasts suggest the number of patients using disease-management technologies will grow exponentially over the next few years. A recent study by the market research firm Parks Associates projects that revenue will rise from about $100 million in 2008 to more than $460 million in 2013. The original and full article can be found at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/03/23/bicb0323.htm [Read more]
The challenge and opportunity for health system reform
Four times in recent weeks, I've been in the White House on your behalf. This unprecedented access will cause some of you to rejoice and others to worry about why and what's the goal of your AMA leadership. The first trip to the East Room was for the signing of the CHIP reauthorization, ensuring continuation of health coverage for 7 million children, and its expansion to 4 million more. It was, as President Obama said, "a down payment on the promise of health insurance for all Americans." This should be viewed as a real victory. It will enable states to extend health coverage to more children whose parents cannot afford it, but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. We are particularly pleased that the law will provide more flexibility to states to allow better coordination and partnership with existing employer-provided private health insurance. Enhanced premium assistance provisions should also help ease budgetary pressures on the CHIP program. The second trip, to the "fisca [Read more]
When patients declare bankruptcy: What happens to your unpaid bills?
The number of individuals filing for bankruptcy protection is rising, and so is the likelihood that one or more of those filers is a patient of yours. There were 679,982 Chapter 7 filings in fiscal year 2008, a 40% increase over the 484,164 filings in fiscal 2007, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court reported. Chapter 13 filings rose from 310,802 in 2007 to 353,828 in 2008, a 14% hike. With Chapter 7 liquidation, most unsecured debt, including medical bills, usually are discharged. With Chapter 13 reorganization, you might get a portion of what is owed, but it could take years. Receiving notice of a bankruptcy filing may make you want to aggressively pursue any money you can get, set stricter payment rules for that patient, or even fire him or her from your practice. Experts warn, however, that there are rules protecting debtors. Failing to know and follow those rules could leave you facing fines or other court sanctions. Experts also call for some compassion. While you have the right to [Read more]
Simpler drug packaging doesn't increase patient compliance
Clear communication about a medication's pluses and minuses leads more patients to comprehend what a pharmaceutical can do for them, but this greater understanding may not translate into better compliance, according to a pair of recently published studies. "It's disappointing, but not that surprising. There's probably a lot of work to do systematically to really improve adherence," said Ruth Parker, MD, professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. She also is a member of the Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Health Literacy. Advocates for improving the ability of patients to understand their health care needs have long complained that prescription drug labels are written at too high a reading level and lack consistency. Retailer Target's "ClearRx" prescription bottle with color-coded rings and easy-to-read instructions received much praise when it was launched in May 2005. But a study published online Feb. 27 in the Journal of General Internal M [Read more]
New findings add to complexity of asthma treatment: coverage from AAAAI clinical meeting
Washington -- With each new insight about asthma, it becomes increasingly clear how much remains unknown. That message was one of the themes at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology's annual meeting. "Asthma is a diverse, complicated disease with many presentations, outcomes and variability in responses to treatment. It's not just one disease," said William Busse, MD, chair of the Dept. of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin's School of Medicine and Public Health. He was speaking at a news briefing during the meeting held in Washington, D.C., March 13-17. Coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath are all common factors, but the interplay of allergens and responses to medications varies dramatically. With triggers including cats, cockroaches, stress and obesity, treatments often must be tailored for each patient. The difficulties doctors and patients face in striking this chord are demonstrated by statistics. For instance, asthma continues to be one of the m [Read more]
The newest doctors in the House: Physicians become legislators
Reps. John Fleming, MD (R, La.), and Parker Griffith, MD (D, Ala.), at first seem to have little in common other than their medical degrees and the fact that they were both sworn in as first-time congressmen in January. Dr. Fleming's solidly conservative platform, lack of political experience and reserved manner set him apart from Dr. Griffith, a high-energy former state senator looking for the right patch of moderate political ground. But there are similarities. Both Dr. Griffith, a retired radiation oncologist, and Dr. Fleming, a family physician, ran for Congress largely because they believe the U.S. health system is failing to deliver enough preventive care. Both run small businesses in their districts, and both have similar advice for physicians: Become more politically active and sharpen your business skills. Dr. Griffith and Dr. Fleming are two of the four new physicians who took seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in January. Voters also elected Bill Cassidy, MD [Read more]
Studies Struggle to Gauge Glucosamine's Worth
FRIDAY, Jan. 30 -- Eager to relieve joint pain and repair the cushioning between bones, millions of arthritis sufferers reach for glucosamine, an over-the-counter dietary supplement. Despite its popularity, studies examining the effectiveness of this natural therapy have yielded mixed results. "There is still a lot of uncertainty about glucosamine," said Dr. Steven C. Vlad, a fellow in clinical epidemiology and rheumatology at Boston University School of Medicine. So what is glucosamine, anyway? It's a type of sugar that the body produces and distributes in cartilage and other connective tissue. Chondroitin sulfate, often taken in combination with glucosamine, is a complex carbohydrate that helps cartilage retain water, according to the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. These substances are derived from animal tissues, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Glucosamine is extracted from crab, lobster or shrimp shells, and chondroitin sulfate c [Read more]
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