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A new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
finds that U.S. military culture perpetuates the notion that using tobacco provides stress relief. Previous studies of tobacco use for stress relief among soldiers have produced no evidence supporting the theory.
New research in the journal Cancer
finds that Medicaid recipients are more likely to undergo cancer screening tests when their doctors receive higher reimbursements for routine office visits rather than for the tests themselves.
Young sexual minority women, including those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), were found to have higher elevated odds of adverse health conditions than heterosexual young women. They also have lower odds of receiving a physical or dental examination, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
About 18 million Americans age 65 and older require help with routine daily activities like bathing, handling medications or meals, finds a new study in Milbank Quarterly. The research shows a growing need for improved services and support for older Americans, their spouses, their children and other "informal caregivers."
A new study in Health Services Research
reveals that expanding Medicaid to cover more adults boosts health care access and use in rural populations.
A new cross-sectional study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine
finds that only half of adults in the U.S. were screened for diabetes within the last three years, less than what is recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
The use of social networking sites like Facebook may have implications for accessing online health information, finds a new longitudinal study from the Journal of Health Communication
My 77-year-old parents were recently impacted by a medical error. The good news is that the story ends happily. The bad news is that it could have been averted simply by checking the date on lab tests...
"Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it," Lily Tomlin once quipped. So it's no surprise, then, that one-half of the people in the U.S. have had a major stressful event or experience in the last year. And health tops the list...
Financial hardship, or feeling that one can’t make ends meet, may be more predictive of health risk behaviors than actual income levels for people with low-incomes, finds a recent study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
I am writing this post while seated comfortably in a motorized leather recliner with a window view and lots of other perks. What a legacy we would leave Saskatchewan citizens if we could figure out how to extend this first-class patient care to all patients and their families wrestling with chronic disease...
Receiving bad health news can spark great upheaval. It is a time when nothing is certain and the future looks dark. The new, free app 'AfterShock: Facing a Serious Diagnosis' offers a basic roadmap through the first few days and weeks, providing concise information and trusted resources to help you regain a bit of control during this turbulent time...
You need a refill for a prescription that's about to run out. You've taken the medication for years without any problems and can't think of any reason why the prescription can't just be automatically continued. But the doctor won't order a refill unless you make an appointment and come in to be seen. Is this an unfair burden on the patient or due diligence by the doctor?...
I'm impressed by how much we struggle with seemingly simple health decisions when faced with sorting through too much information. Every week we view diverse arrays of products with health, convenience and cosmetic claims competing for our attention. Think yogurt, Gatorade, running shoes, breakfast cereal...Given the ubiquity of such products and the swirl of marketing and science- or non-science-based information surrounding each, I'm wondering three things...
A new study in the American Journal of Health Behavior
finds that women are more likely than men to use tobacco products after experiencing severe psychological distress.
A national survey of patients reveals that physicians don’t always fully discuss the risks and benefits of cancer screening, reports a new study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Media-fueled flip-flops and research breakthroughs on lifestyle and health behaviors are wearing down my usual patience with the provisional nature of science. Even simple dietary recommendations like lower fat/salt recommendations have become complicated as old truisms are overturned by new evidence. So I'm asking: To whom should I turn for meaningful guidance about modifying my risk for illness and boosting my health?
Adults tend to engage in less leisure-time physical activity after changes in both lifestyle and physical status, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
I have offered before a few reasons for eligible patients to consider not getting screened for lung cancer. I concede, however, that reasonable people might conclude that the potential harms are outweighed by the benefit of reducing one's risk of dying by one-fifth. The next critical question that needs to be asked is: one-fifth of what?
For seniors over the age of 65, taking a daily supplement of vitamin D with calcium—but not vitamin D alone—can offer some protection against the risk of common bone fractures, according to an updated review from The Cochrane Library
When I was discharged from the intensive care unit in cardiology, not one of the nurses, residents or cardiologists asked if I'd be able to afford the fistful of expensive new cardiac meds I'd been prescribed. Not one asked if there was anybody at home to help take care of me there, or if there was anybody at home who needed me to take care of them. Not one asked if I'd be returning to a high-stress job, or even if I had enough banked sick time or vacation days to take sufficient time off. Such real-life issues are simply not the concern of most of our health care providers...
Poorer people of all ages are less likely than wealthier ones to follow recommended strategies for weight loss, finds a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Having a good social support system may help prevent the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in patients with heart disease, finds a study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion
A new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
finds that, on average, a morbidly obese employee costs an employer over $4,000 more per year in health care and related costs than an employee who is of normal weight.
If something is medically useless, does it still have value if it gives the patient (and perhaps the clinician as well) some peace of mind? To many patients, this is no small thing. Unfortunately, it's also often abetted by consumer marketing that plays up the peace-of-mind aspect of certain tests while remaining silent about the limited benefit, the possible risk and the clinical complexity that may be part of the larger picture...
Learning you have an obesity-related disease motivates many to start a weight loss program, but troubling health news is often not enough to sustain weight loss efforts, finds new research in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
"I walked in a person, and out a cancer patient," my dad said as we filed home. Crossing this threshold, we found ourselves on the other side of medicine – the side on the exam table or gurney, as opposed to the one standing over it. In time, it became clear we were running out of money...
I recently had breakfast with an aging cousin, Walter, who has become infirm in his senior years. I knew he had several doctors and took medicine. It wasn't until breakfast time, however, that I realized how many medicines Walter took – and I was bowled over...
Expanded smoking cessation benefits offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) should give more people the opportunity to quit, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
People over age 65 who have been hospitalized are at significantly greater risk for dementia or depression, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry
Depression affects nearly one in ten Americans yet many people often go untreated. In fact, a recent study found that 70 percent of people surveyed with symptoms of depression received no treatment of any kind. Here's advice on how to get help...
People who identify as homosexual have several health disparities relative to their heterosexual peers, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Depression rates are increasing in the U.S. and under-treatment is widespread, especially among certain groups including men, the poor, the elderly and ethnic minorities, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry
During my senior year in college, with medical school acceptance letter in hand, I was diagnosed with metastatic testicular cancer. Early in my treatment I received a letter that my health insurance had been exhausted and I would no longer receive any health benefits. Needless to say, this was a problem...
Exposure to conflicting news about nutrition often results in confusion and backlash against nutrition recommendations, finds a recent study in the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives
Relevant research and conventional wisdom alike suggest that, despite their irresistible perennial tug on our collective conscience, New Year's resolutions generally have about the staying power of Champagne bubbles. In contrast, the science of sustainable behavior change tips convincingly toward "don't go until ready."
A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
finds that rural residents have experienced smaller gains in life expectancy than their urban counterparts and the gap continues to grow.
When we talk about a consistently clear pattern of news stories that exaggerate or emphasize benefits while minimizing or ignoring harms, we are talking about stories exactly like this one...
Lately, the public's faith in the safety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs has been making me uneasy. Why do so many of us continue to purchase pills that are not effective in causing weight loss, swallow syrups that promise to cure diabetes, and fiddle with our medication-taking regimens?...
Only a quarter of U.S. primary care physicians surveyed are doing a thorough job of helping patients achieve and maintain a healthy weight, finds a study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
In the eighth and final part of our series, we explain who the various people are in your doctor's office, from nurse practitioners to lab technicians. Knowing their different roles can make your visit go more smoothly...
In part six of our series, you'll find out what key pieces of information you need to know about your new doctor's office. Keep it handy with your personal health records or household files...
In part five of our series, we look at the yearly check-up and offer resources for people who are trying to decide which preventive care services are right for them...
Medical offices have a lot of staff but one common goal—helping you, the patient. Here are some of the people you may meet during your doctor’s appointment.
The poor and minorities tend to suffer from poor sleep and chronic disease more often, but sleep does not appear to be a root cause of disease disparity, finds a new study in Ethnicity & Disease
Residents of Massachusetts saw small gains in health status following the enactment of a state-wide health insurance mandate in 2006, finds a new study in the Milbank Quarterly
Let's stop telling the public that exercising and eating blueberries are guarantees for avoiding frailty and disability. Let's start talking about how to maintain our quality of life as we age and inevitably encounter health problems.
Veterans who suffer from anxiety may not get appropriate treatment for want of a specific diagnosis, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry
Is your company one of the many that are now offering "wellness programs"? Our latest Be a Prepared Patient article, Staying Well at Work, looks at a few of these programs in action and offers tips for maintaining a healthy work/life balance...
It is challenging, in the years following a cancer diagnosis, to assemble health care that protects us from the lingering effects of the disease and its treatment and that alerts us to a recurrence or new cancer. I hope these reflections will help those who've been diagnosed with cancer live as long and as well as they can...
Coast-to-coast, stress is the norm for most Americans: 55 percent of people feel stressed in everyday life, and far more women feel the stress than men do. It will take a village to help manage stress, including but not limited to our doctors.
It isn't breaking news that exercising and eating a healthy diet can help improve your overall health and fitness, but that doesn't make it any easier for most of us to follow suit. These resources from CFAH's 'Be a Prepared Patient' can help...
Disorders related to the abuse of alcohol contribute significantly to the burden of disease in the U.S., finds a new study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
More and more employers are offering workplace wellness programs-but do they work?
Quick tips for integrating healthy habits into your work day
Final scores, rankings and rivalries aren't the only fall football traditions getting news coverage this season. Rates, effects and what to do about concussions are in the spotlight too.
Blacks, Hispanics and Asians are less likely than non-Hispanic Whites to visit a health care professional, even with health insurance, finds a recent study in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
A new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
finds that the lifestyle of veterans both pre- and post-deployment influences their post-deployment wellness.
Websites targeting veterans fail to provide information about the risks of tobacco products despite high rates of smoking in the military, finds a new report in the American Journal of Health Promotion
In this weeks health news: Group exercise alleviates college stress | Maintain your weight in a matter of minutes | Education may be the key to fighting obesity | Men who binge at risk for cardiovascular disease.
Don’t have health insurance? Here’s advice on how to find the right insurance for your needs.
It can be hard to figure out how much your health care will cost ahead of time. Here are some tips for preparing for the cost of your procedures.
Binge eating is a problem affecting both men and women however, obese men who binge are more likely than their female counterparts to have elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry
Robotic surgery systems are spreading so quickly across the U.S. and across the globe that trying to keep up with the news could become a fulltime beat. Here are just a few nuggets in an attempt to catch up on things you may have missed...
A survey of older rural adults found a high degree of medical skepticism, the belief that one knows and can control their own health better than a medical professional can, reports a recent study in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Back when I was a medical student (in the Cretaceous Period) we were taught that someone once did a study comparing folic acid levels in the blood of cancer patients compared to the blood of healthy patients. The cancer patients had, on average, significantly lower folic acid levels. And the ones with the largest, fastest growing tumors tended to have the lowest folic acid levels. “Aha,” they thought. “Something about folic acid deficiency predisposes them to cancer. We should give folic acid to cancer patients.” Bad idea.
This week in health news: Men opt for PSA test, despite guidelines | Obesity an added burden for people with disabilities | Minorities not getting mental health care | Economic downturns affect preventive care
Fluctuations in the unemployment rate affect people’s health care choices, finds a new study in Health Services Research
A survey of men age 40 to 74 found that 54 percent said that they would still opt for a popular prostate cancer screening test despite recent recommendations that the test not be performed, finds a new study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine
The more an older man walks, the better his physical and mental health and his quality of life are likely to be, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
Checkups are good for establishing a relationship with your primary care clinician and for screening tests. Here are resources with more on what tests you might need to stay healthy.
Better health is more likely when we agree on a plan of action with our doctor and follow it.
We must understand what our treatment choices are and their risks and benefits.
You and your doctor need accurate information from each other. Open communication with your doctor is one of the most important factors in getting and staying healthy.
Even with access to health care, male military veterans are in poorer health than both men in the National Guard and Reserves and civilian men, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
We've all heard about well-baby visits, but if you're a healthy adult, you probably have no plan to see a doctor. When there's nothing to complain about, many of us go years without a comprehensive medical check-up.
Single, middle-aged people who live alone spend more time sitting. A new study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine discovered that men tended to sit for longer periods watching TV on the weekends while women sat for longer periods doing activities such as reading or dining out.
We often give a chilly reception to the idea of going "cold turkey" when it comes to anything that has to do with changing behaviors and habits, even those that may be important for our health.
There are a few things a man should think about seriously before rolling up his sleeve for the supposedly "simple" blood test. 'But here, prostate cancer screening is hawked in the same setting as the modern-day carnies pitching their slice-'em-and-dice-'em devices and inventions you only see at the state fair - "only at this price today!"
The harassment, discrimination and negative feelings about homosexuality that black gay and bisexual men often experience can contribute significantly to mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, a small new study finds.
A new review finds little reliable research to support treating premature ejaculation by teaching men how to control their bodies with their minds.
Jobless African-American men might be at a greater risk of suffering from depression—as are African-American men making $80,000 and upward.