Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Air Pollution Tied to Stroke, Even at Typical Levels

From the 13 February 2012 MedPage Today article

Airborne pollution can have serious consequences for the brain and the heart even at typical levels of exposure, according to the results of two studies published in the Feb. 13 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

In one analysis, researchers led by Gregory Wellenius, ScD, of Brown University in Providence, R.I., found that short-term exposure to fine particulate matter – even at levels allowed by the EPA – can increase the risk of ischemic stroke.

In the other study, a team led by Jennifer Weuve, ScD, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues found that long-term exposure to particulate matter speeded up cognitive decline in older women….

February 15, 2012 Posted by | environmental health | 1 Comment

To Gauge Hospital Quality, Patients Deserve More Outcome Measures One Comment

From the 15 February 2012 Health Care Blog item

Patients, providers and the public have much to celebrate. This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Hospital Compare websiteadded central line-associated bloodstream infections in intensive care units to its list of publicly reported quality of care measures for individual hospitals.

Why is this so important? There is universal support for the idea that the U.S. health care system should pay for value rather than volume, for the results we achieve rather than efforts we make. Health care needs outcome measures for the thousands of procedures and diagnoses that patients encounter. Yet we have few such measures and instead must gauge quality by looking to other public data, such as process of care measures (whether patients received therapies shown to improve outcomes) and results of patient surveys rating their hospital experiences….

Related Resources

 

 

February 15, 2012 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, health care | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green spaces reduce stress levels of jobless, study shows

English: The Loch, Heriot-Watt University. The...

Image via Wikipedia

February 15, 2012 Posted by | environmental health | , , , | Leave a comment

Molecular Secrets of Ancient Chinese Herbal Remedy Discovered [& related Alternative Medicine Resources]

For roughly two thousand years, Chinese herbalists have treated Malaria using a root extract, commonly known as Chang Shan, from a type of hydrangea that grows in Tibet and Nepal. More recent studies suggest that halofuginone, a compound derived from this extract’s bioactive ingredient, could be used to treat many autoimmune disorders as well. Now, researchers from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine have discovered the molecular secrets behind this herbal extract’s power.

It turns out that halofuginone (HF) triggers a stress-response pathway that blocks the development of a harmful class of immune cells, called Th17 cells, which have been implicated in many autoimmune disorders.

“HF prevents the autoimmune response without dampening immunity altogether,” said Malcolm Whitman, a professor of developmental biology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine and senior author on the new study. “This compound could inspire novel therapeutic approaches to a variety of autoimmune disorders.”

“This study is an exciting example of how solving the molecular mechanism of traditional herbal medicine can lead both to new insights into physiological regulation and to novel approaches to the treatment of disease,” said Tracy Keller, an instructor in Whitman’s lab and the first author on the paper….

Related General Resources for Complementary/Alternative/Integrative Medicine

  • MEDLINE plus: Alternative Medicine Trusted health information links from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Includes basic information, news, organizations, specific conditions, multimedia, financial issues, and more
  • Bandolier: Evidenced Based Thinking about Healthcare - Alternative Medicine
    The site brings together the best evidence available about complementary and alternative therapies for consumers and professionals. It contains stories, systematic reviews and meta-analyses of complementary and alternative therapies with abstracts.
  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
    NCCAM is dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science, training complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) researchers, and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals.

 

 

 

February 15, 2012 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Using Twitter to deliver health improvement messages

Using Twitter to deliver health improvement messages

From KevinMD.com,  Mon Feb 13, 2012

Using Twitter to deliver health improvement messages

I have decided to spam for public health.

Phone calls, text messaging, and even apps have been shown to help improve health and sustain behavior change, even in people suffering from profound mental illness. But when it comes to using these tools for public health, there are two problems. The first is that each message (whether via phone call or text) costs money. The second is that it’s quite hard to use those platforms for blasting messages to a whole population.
Read the rest of Using Twitter to deliver health improvement messages on KevinMD.com.

February 15, 2012 Posted by | Health Education (General Public) | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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