Public Health

The cover of Time magazine 3/2/15 features an Anglo baby (so remarkably cute one wonders whether he isn't a computer generated composite of everything we like about babies) with the statement (not question, statement) THIS BABY COULD LIVE TO BE 142 YEARS OLD.

Smoking cigarettes dramatically increases a person's risk for a host of diseases. The nicotines is addiction but it's the hundred other chemicals in cigarette smoke that are toxic. 

Because e-cigarettes are simply diluted nicotine vapor, no cigarette smoke, they should be less harmful. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies many liquid flavorings in e-cigarettes as "Generally Recognized as Safe," for oral consumption. Though it sounds like waffling, that is the default categorization. 

In an unprecedented decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has sort-of overruled a lower Circuit Court's decision to allow the "Clean Power Plan" to proceed pending final adjudication. The Supreme Court had never before granted a request to halt a regulation before review by a federal appeals court.

Though smoking has declined dramatically in America, it is still quite high in Asia. Yet there is hope, in that younger Chinese teenage boys are less likely to start smoking than those in previous generations.

The trend is significant because nearly one third of the world's smokers live in China. Two-thirds of Chinese men become daily smokers before they turn 25, with the vast majority starting the habit when they were between 15 and 20. By contrast, fewer than 4 percent of females in China smoke, which is why females were not included in the study.

When it comes to health and nutrition, academia goes through fads, they make their way to government panels, and then popular culture is stuck with them.

Unless you are seeing a homeopath, or a naturopath or anything else that ends in "path", you probably believe your treatment is evidence-based. 

That may not be true. Hospitals are not under even more pressure to contain costs, but they may need to look at the staff to find out why expenses are high and results don't always match.  Use of evidence-based practice among chief nurses and their hospitals is relatively low, according to a survey led by Bernadette Melnyk, dean of the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University.

And many of the hospitals in the study reported poor scores on key performance measures, such as falls and pressure ulcers.

Historically called the disease of kings, gout was common among wealthy gents who could afford to eat and drink to excess. These days it doesn’t just affect the rich: rates of gout have been increasing globally since the 1960s. It now affects around 70,000 Australians a year and is more common in men aged over 70.

Worldwide, the prevalence is highest in Taiwan (2.6% of the population and 10.4% of Indigenous Taiwanese) and among the New Zealand Maori (6.1%).

Some patients are in desperate need of a liver transplant, so why do many livers go unused by centers across the nation?

Patients on the liver transplant wait list are ranked according to their Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, an objective measure used to predict the risk of death on the wait list and used to prioritize patients and allocate organs. Even with the MELD system in place, there remains geographic differences in the number of patients who die waiting for a transplant, thought to be associated with variations in organ supply by region. 

Bo Nash is 38. He lives in Arlington, Texas, where he’s a technology director for a textbook publisher. He has a wife and child. And he’s 5’10” and 245 lbs – which means he is classed as obese.

In an effort to lose weight, Nash uses an app to record the calories he consumes and a Fitbit band to track the energy he expends. These tools bring an apparent precision: Nash can quantify the calories in each cracker crunched and stair climbed. But when it comes to weight gain, he finds that not all calories are equal. How much weight he gains or loses seems to depend less on the total number of calories, and more on where the calories come from and how he consumes them. The unit, he says, has a “nebulous quality to it”.

Urban dwellers may think urban living is better than rural life, and penthouse dwellers may believe living at the top of the city is better than living in a townhouse, but a new study found that survival rates from cardiac arrest decrease the higher up the building a person lives.