Public Health

The inclusion of experimenters who are unlikely to become habitual users in e-cigarette prevalence studies is of 'questionable' value for monitoring population public health trends, finds research published online in the journal Tobacco Control.

A more valid approach, setting the threshold at a minimum of use on 6 out of the past 30 days, would eliminate many of those who are motivated primarily by curiosity and unlikely to become regular users, and it would provide a more accurate picture of use, say the researchers.


It's not a surprise that doctors may believe people obsessed with food - be they nocebos or migrating from fad to fad - have a psychological condition rather than a gastrointestinal one. The gluten obsession, where 75 percent of people without celiac disease claim they have a reaction to gluten but do not, is an example.

A rigorous analysis of more than 20,000 medical records concludes that erectile dysfunction drugs, such as Viagra, are not a cause of melanoma, an often deadly form of skin cancer, despite the higher risk for the disease among users of these drugs. 

The analysis, led by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and its Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, of medical records for some 20,235 mostly white men suggests instead that the likely source of the observed uptick in malignant melanoma risk among users of erectile dysfunction drugs is socioeconomic and lifestyle based.


In 1984, I was a Freshman in high school and much more interested in making the soccer team, getting kicked out of my honors classes and that girl sitting over there, than I was into the medical literature of the day. Which would explain why I missed an article by Rudolph Leibel and Jules Hirsch examining why we can't keep lost weight from coming back.

This was pre-Oprah, if such a thing can be imagined, so it seems that the public mostly missed this article as well. It appeared in the February issue of Metabolism and was titled "Diminished Energy Requirements in Reduced-Obese Patients." 

Mortality from coronary heart disease declined in Sweden from 1986 to 2002. The improvement was due mainly to a reduction in risk factors among the healthy population (primary prevention) and, to a lesser extent, treatment of people who already had developed heart disease (secondary prevention). A study conducted at Sahlgrenska Academy explored the reasons for the trend.

Deaths from coronary heart disease fell by 53% among men and 52% among women in 1986-2002. The improvement was evident among all age groups.


A survey carried out earlier this year has found the first evidence of the 'superbug' bacteria Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in sausages and minced pork obtained from supermarkets in the UK. 

In February, a team of researchers bought and analyzed a total of 103 (52 pork and 51 chicken) pre-packaged fresh meat products, labeled as being of UK farm origin, from supermarkets in five different locations across England.


Let us start with nothing. A naive human has come to stay in your home. Perhaps it's a Tarzan type of character, just arrived from the wild, or, if you like a modern twist, it's a government agent who has been hit over the head and can't even remember his name. In any case, this naive human will, within a few hours of arrival, make his way to your kitchen and begin poking around, because he's hungry.

Put down that honey. Fructose, often in the form of table sugar, is not less harmful than glucose, according to Wilhelm Krek, professor for cell biology at ETH Zurich's Institute for Molecular Health Sciences. 


The recent craze for human breast milk amongst certain fitness communities and fetishists is ill advised.

A new study in Addiction finds that in England, children's exposure to second-hand smoke has declined by approximately 80% since 1998. 

Also, an emerging social norm in England has led to the adoption of smoke-free homes not only when parents are non-smokers but also when they smoke. The proportion of children living in a home reported to be smoke-free increased from 63% in 1998 to 87.3% in 2012.