Public Health

Women who received a health scare in the form of a false positive result from a screening mammogram were more likely to delay or even forgo the next mammogram than women who had a correct negative result.

A false positive result from a screening mammogram often leads to emotional, physical, and economic stress, though false positives are an expected part of proper medical care. For this study, the authors obtained data for women who received mammography screening through a large health care organization with multiple facilities in the greater metropolitan Chicago area. Among the 741,150 screening mammograms from 261,767 women included in the analysis were 12.3 percent that yielded a false positive result; the remaining 87.7 percent yielded true negative results.
If you sip a beer when you are a teenager, are you going to become a raging alcoholic? You are according to the logic of anti-smoking activists who won the war on cigarettes and need a one place to use their army - and their funding.

Cigarette smoking has plummeted, which is what we have all wanted, and part of the reason for that is smoking cessation tools, like gums, patches, smokeless tobacco and things like e-cigarettes. Those are also used for harm reduction; smoking is as uncool as can be these days, so from a health point of view every cigarette not smoked is a win. They work because nicotine is addictive, like caffeine and alcohol, so providing that stimulus without the toxins is good.
Between 2012 and 2015, the number of chemical burns to the eye associated with laundry detergent pods increased more than 30-fold among preschool-aged children in the US, according to a new analysis, but don't fall prey to the scaremongering that will be done by CNN and PBS.

Detergent pods are dissolvable pouches containing enough laundry detergent for a single use - they lead to less waste because  the amount used is precise. That's good for the environment. But harried parents are being given one more thing to be terrified about, and academics are blaming "candy-like appearance."
A new analysis has found that if you are on Medicare, it's better to get a female internist than a male. Female internists have lower rates of 30-day mortality and hospital readmission than those patients treated by men.

Obviously it could be a variety of other factors - modern medicine, and its government control, has created a "teach to the protocol environment", and women are more likely to adhere to guidelines -but the authors postulate that female physicians more likely to adhere to clinical guidelines and provide preventive care more often, meaning that even if their careers are interrupted by child-bearing they should be paid more than men.

On November 29, an op-ed article, co-signed by 94 scientists, and entitled “Let’s Stop the Manipulation of Science” was published in Le Monde.  It makes numerous allegations, most prominent among them that industry is “manufacturing doubt” about the science on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).  But as anyone who has followed the issue of endocrine disruptors knows, it is highly controversial and polarized with serious questions

In the United States, legalization of marijuana is happening at a record pace, thanks to governments hoping for new tax streams and public health claims giving it a free pass that literally no other product has ever gotten. However, a few experts and some users agree that package warnings stating the health risks are needed, yet what marijuana smokers think is needed is different from what the medical community believes should be required. 

Given the craze, it is no surprise journal publishers are scrambling to push out new places to lend marijuana a veneer of scientific authenticity. One new one, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research

A recent study from French government researchers reported new results on the exposure of pregnant women to more than 100 substances that might be a concern for the health of a developing fetus.  The study examined exposure to various metals (e.g., lead, mercury, arsenic) and many common organic compounds that we might encounter in our daily lives.

The war on fat is back, thanks to an aggressive campaign by food pundits related to sugar, GMOs and corporations.

For a while, it looked like all thin people were going to be placed into mandatory body image counseling, the Kardashians had made plump the new natural, but doctors have overruled activists like Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle and their beliefs about nutrition and affirmed that it's calories that matter, not the scary story of the week.

It's no secret that smoking causes lung cancer, but lost in the more recent smoke and mirrors about the new war on tobacco is the fact cigarettes are also linked to many other diseases, and the risk is compounded in diabetics who smoke. Diabetes, the kind occurring naturally and the lifestyle type 2 version, is a chronic illness in which there are high levels of glucose in the blood. More than 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, up from the previous estimate of 26 million in 2010, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in four people with diabetes doesn't know he or she has it. Like smoking, having diabetes can also put people at risk for numerous other health complications.