Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Many Medicare Patients Get Same Narcotics Prescription from Multiple Doctors

Hofstra Bioethics

A Harvard Medical School study revealed that one in three Medicare patients with narcotic prescriptions received the prescriptions for the same drug from multiple doctors. The doctors of these patients did not know the patients were receiving the prescriptions from other doctors already. It is likely that this trend contributes to the rise in prescription narcotics, as well as to the deaths from patients overdosing unintentionally on these drugs. Another study, published in the British Medical Journal, revealed that 35% of 1.2 million Medicare patients who received prescriptions for opioids received  prescriptions for the same drug from several doctors.

Read more here.

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March 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Escaping Death [in the Tropics]

Jeffrey R. Bloem

It started after one of those nice conversations you have with someone you’ll (probably) never see again. We both exchanged pleasantries sharing about our personal histories and goals for the future. After a brief discussion about malaria and the risk (or lack there of) of contracting malaria in Kitale, it happened.

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March 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Inequality Kills. Policy Drives Inequality. Elections Matter

The Inverse Square Blog

Annie Lowrey in The New York Times today:

Fairfax is a place of the haves, and McDowell of the have-nots. Just outside of Washington, fat government contracts and a growing technology sector buoy the median household income in Fairfax County up to $107,000, one of the highest in the nation. McDowell, with the decline of coal, has little in the way of industry. Unemployment is high. Drug abuse is rampant. Median household income is about one-fifth that of Fairfax.

One of the starkest consequences of that divide is seen in the life expectancies of the people there. Residents of Fairfax County are among the longest-lived in the country: Men have an average life expectancy of 82 years and women, 85, about the same as in Sweden. In McDowell, the averages are 64 and 73, about the same as in Iraq.

There have long been stark economic differences between Fairfax County…

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March 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

News: The Lancet’s manifesto “From Public to Planetary Health”

Library News

globeSource: The Lancet

The Lancet wants to see public health transformed and is asking health professionals to commit to their manifesto.

Our vision is for a planet that nourishes and sustains the diversity of life with which we co-exist and on which we depend. Our goal is to create a movement for planetary health.

Read and register your agreement with the manifesto.

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March 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Newtown Public Opinion on Gun Policy—the Disconnect with Political Action

Johns Hopkins University Press Blog

Guest Post by Beth McGinty and Colleen Barry

Fourteen months ago, the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school prompted a national dialogue about gun violence. The weeks and months following the shooting provided a rare window of opportunity for policymakers to garner the public support and political will needed to strengthen gun laws in the United States, and polls showed that the overwhelming majority of Americans supported many gun policy options. In January 2013, less than a month after the Sandy Hook shooting, our team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research conducted a national public opinion survey to gauge Americans’ support for gun policy options. We found that large majorities of Americans— including gun owners and Republicans—supported a wide range of gun policies, including policies to enhance the background check system for gun sales and prevent certain categories of dangerous persons—like those convicted of…

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March 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sexual violence and exploitation are public health issues

Public Health Emergency

Almost a year after public health responsibilities transferred back to local government, Birmingham City Council is getting to grips with sexual health…and that means tackling big issues like sexual violence and exploitation.

Ask most people what sexual health services meant to them and the most common answers will be contraception or family planning and of course sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

In truth, that is only part of the story.

In Birmingham we’re currently reviewing services to ensure we meet the needs of one of Europe’s youngest cities in 2014 and that means an increased focus on the less talked about issues of sexual coercion, sexual violence and exploitation.

Figures taken from the British Crime Survey show that 76,000 Birmingham women and 1,100 men have been subject to a sexual assault since the age of 16. In 2011 (the most recent figures we have), that amounted to 11,600 women and 1,100…

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March 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

E-cigarettes – We Need More Research

Drexel SPH Blog

E Cigarettes Become Popular Alternative E-cigarettes are a growing method of respiring nicotine and other hazardous chemicals into one’s body.  Recently I heard students across the country are using e-cigarettes on college campuses and in college buildings.  I think this was bound to happen soon seeing as tobacco products are heavily regulated and taxed.  E-cigarettes offer another method of delivery that is advertised as safer for others in the vicinity because it is a vaporizer.  I am still very hesitant about this, and after being near someone on the train using an e-cigarette, I decided to get some more information.

I came across a publication about secondary exposures to e-cigarette emission.  E-cigarettes contain volatile organic substances including, but not limited to, nicotine and propylene glycol, which is a known odorless and colorless toxin.  When released into the air as “vapor”, there are very small, 2.5 micrometer particulates.  These small particulates penetrate further into the respiratory…

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March 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is Violent Radicalisation Associated with Poverty, Migration, Poor Self-Reported Health and Common Mental Disorders?


Sympathies for violent protest and terrorism were uncommon among men and women, aged 18–45, of Muslim heritage living in two English cities. Youth, wealth, and being in education rather than employment were risk factors.

See the full paper:

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March 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Interactive USDA Food Environment Atlas

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 7.10.43 AM

The USDA has published online an interactive map including food security issues by county.

Topics include”store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and how community characteristics—interact to influence food choices and diet quality.”

Options for printouts and exports (JPG and NPG).

A little tricky to use. Found by trial and error (I have a MacBook Pro) that the arrows on the lower right  of my keyboard re-center the map.

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March 19, 2014 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College( | , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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