Public Health

When educating medical students or residents, there is always a need to balance quality results and optimal patient care with the educational mission - and when it comes to cardiac surgery residents, it works just fine.

A new study found no differences in patient outcomes or graft patency between the residents and attending surgeons when it came to coronary artery bypass grafting. 

The analysis of prospective data from a study of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) found no differences in short-term or one-year patient outcomes and patency of grafts between properly-supervised residents and attending surgeons. G. Hossein Almassi, MD, presented the results of the research earlier this week at the 95th AATS Annual Meeting in Seattle.


The big concern about the latest Vitamin D fad is the potential for toxicity. 

Some people have low vitamin D levels and we have been told to avoid the sun so vitamin D supplement use has climbed in recent years and some articles and even books are claiming that Vitamin D is the cause and cure for many things, making potential harm even greater.  But Vitamin D is important because it has been shown to boost bone health, that's why some foods are fortified with it. 
Coffee has been enjoying a health resurgence. It was once considered a bad thing because of caffeine but now it is lauded for its antioxidants

A new paper details how free radicals and antioxidants behave during every stage of the coffee brewing process, from intact bean to coffee brew.
Top image: Chandler Collins, CC BY-SAAlcoholic drinks should all carry calorie counts according to a leading UK public health doctor writing in the BMJ today, because of their contribution to obesity. Fiona Sim, Chair of the UK Royal Society for Public Health, writes that while adults who drink may be getting as much as 10% of their daily calories from alcohol, most people are unaware drinking contributes to their energy intake.

Scientists have discovered a way to prevent the development of multiple sclerosis in mice. Using a drug that blocks the production of a certain type of immune cell linked to inflammation and autoimmunity, the researchers successfully protected against the onset of MS in an animal model of the disease. 

In the immune system, two kinds of T cells strike a delicate balance--T helper cells (Th17) activate the immune system, protecting against infections and cancers, while regulatory T cells (Tregs) suppress the system, keeping it in check. A disparity between these cell types, where there are too many Th17 and not enough Tregs, can lead to a hyperactive immune system, resulting in inflammation, tissue damage, and autoimmune disease. 


Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes have difficulty regulating their glucose - blood sugar - levels, particularly after meals but a new study has found that Type 2 diabetics can eat more protein at breakfast to help reduce glucose spikes at both breakfast and lunch.

Researchers monitored Type 2 diabetics' levels of glucose, insulin and several gut hormones -- which help regulate the insulin response -- after breakfast and lunch. The participants ate either high-protein or high-carbohydrate breakfasts, and the lunch included a standard amount of protein and carbohydrates.


Weight loss is never easy but obesity is the big risk factor Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, so clearly people who have it aren't likely to just diet and for that reason gastric band surgery has become more popular.

Yet it may not be necessary. A small pilot programl led by Joslin Diabetes Center and Brigham and Women's Hospital researchers found that an intensive group-based medical diabetes and weight management program achieved similar improvements in controlling blood sugar levels after one year. 


A study has shown a new way that brown fat, a potential obesity-fighting target, is regulated in the body. 

In an upcoming Cell Metabolism article,  researchers examined long non-coding RNA (Ribonucleic acid) in adipose (fat) tissue in mice. Long non-coding RNAs have recently become appreciated as important control elements for different biological functions in the body.

The team created a catalog of 1,500 long non-coding RNA in mouse adipose tissues - which is the most comprehensive catalog ever created of its type. Using the catalog they were then able to identify a specific long non-coding RNA without which the brown fat cell cannot develop properly.


The world's population is getting healthier and part of that reason for that is sanitation - but a larger population and a still limited infrastructure means a complex and multi-dimensional approach is needed to manage a rising tide of solid waste

There is no magic bullet solution like importing modern trucks or technologies or to improve roads. The challenges are daunting - the World Bank’s Urban Development department estimates that the amount of municipal solid waste will reach 2.2 billion tons per year over the next decade. 

A new study found that alternative providers of primary care in the UK's NHS do not perform as well as traditional GP practices.