News and Views

Medical care for our country's veterans should be nothing short of the best. However, Veterans Hospitals are known for falling short of this goal.

A multi-institutional research group headed out of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania wanted to look specifically at the role that race may play in the care that our Veterans receive. Their article, Comparative Outcomes after Percutaneous Coronary Intervention among Black and White Patients treated at US Veterans Affairs Hospitals, is published in this week's JAMA Cardiology.

The study searched for differences in the care and outcomes of treating coronary artery disease to our veterans based upon race. More specifically, they looked at...

"What do you do?" It is a question that we have either asked or been asked before. Most of the time, when asking it, we have some idea of the profession in question.

But, science is a bit different - more enigmatic than most professions. Although most people have been in a classroom, hospital, courtroom, etc., almost no one has been in a laboratory where research is actively going on. So, how is anyone supposed to understand how science is done or who is doing it? 

But, one program run out of the University of Connecticut is looking to change that. It is called "Skype a Scientist" and is the brainchild of Sarah McAnulty, a graduate student in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. "Skype a Scientist"...

I am of an age when my ability to not “hear” my wife is becoming less a spontaneous reaction and more a physiologic one. I just don’t hear as well as I did 10 or 15 years ago and I have been known to spend more than a few moments looking for my cell phone. So I was particularly entranced by a headline that said that hearing loss, among other “modifiable factors,” might be involved in the development of dementia. I was particularly interested because the Lancet report was entitled, Dementia prevention, intervention, and care – so perhaps there was some evidence that I might improve both my hearing and reduce my risk of Alzheimer's. It is with a heavy heart that I report that the hype far exceeded the knowledge.

First...

As a native Midwesterner who made the move across the country to Seattle for graduate school, I have grown accustomed to very pleasant summers. Apparently, I have grown soft as well. When I got on the plane at SeaTac, it was about 75 degrees. When the plane landed on Venus in Kansas City, it was nearly 100 degrees. I guess I just never noticed how miserably hot Midwestern summers are. And the cicadas? Goodness. Shut up already.

Coming back to the Midwest -- which I don't do often since most of my family has left -- creates in me a weird mix of nostalgia and déjà vu. But it's definitely not as weird as these stories from the past week:

1. Mice fall from the ceiling of Chipotle. The PR team at Chipotle just can't catch a break. In 2015, you were...

David Everette was simply walking to a store when making the absolute wrong decision during a fierce thunderstorm cost him his life.

Two nights ago, with thunder and lightning bearing down and the rain intensifying, the resident of Sanford, NC realized he would not make it to his destination in time, so he reportedly took shelter under a large tree. 

Soon after the 39-year old father of two was found face down and unresponsive, shortly before being declared dead at the scene. 

Had Everette known that it would have been far better to get soaked while racing to a building, rather than duck under a tree, this terrible tragedy might have been averted. And unfortunately, the incident serves to further underscore the importance of knowing what to do – and what not to...

The Alzheimers Association’s International Conference is underway in London which might explain an uptick in reports on Alzheimer's in the popular media. There are reports in the Washington Post, NPR, BBC, Medscape, even Yahoo food. These reports all share a salient quality; the reporting is based on clinical abstracts [1] rather than the actual papers or datasets. Do these media reports clarify or confuse? Consider two abstracts.

Kaiser Permanente, a large California based health system, looked at records for 6,284 patients, including their health data at mid-life. They compared the findings of dementia with the infant mortality of the patient’s birth state. High infant mortality (...

Senator John McCain’s office just released a statement from the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix detailing his newly diagnosed Glioblastoma brain tumor. It had been disclosed he was recovering from a surgical excision of a blood clot performed on Friday, July 14, 2017 that was discovered at a routine annual physical. 

The blood clot was removed through an opening made above his left eye, described as a “minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision.” Craniotomies come in multiple forms— some large while others are small, which is what ...

Americans like to say, "When you're in Mexico, don't drink the water." Mexicans will soon have a maxim of their own: "When you're in America, don't eat the Chipotle."

They would be right, too. It's difficult to think of any other food establishment that has been hit by E. coli, Salmonella, and Norovirus outbreaks, all within the span of a few months. The latest Norovirus outbreak at a Chipotle restaurant in Virginia sickened at least 13 people.

How likely are you to get sick from eating at a Chipotle restaurant? We can answer that...

The initiative began in earnest more than a decade ago when baseball's top executive was diagnosed with a severe case of melanoma. It gained momentum in recent years when a pair of Hall of Famers disclosed that they developed skin cancer after playing sunscreen-free for decades, unaware – like nearly all of their fellow ballplayers – of the danger in doing so.

Today, sun-protection messaging is accelerating, with major league teams making it a point to raise awareness among their fans, many of whom often sit for hours exposed to the strong summer sun. And now the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves are spreading the word (and the sunblock) with the recent installations of free sunscreen dispensers throughout their ballparks, constituting the latest advances in MLB's Play...

It appears new legislation in Oregon might be the key to bringing opposing political parties together. The state penalizes drivers — bicycle commuters cheered that —  but now they have created a special tax on cyclists too, and that has united the left and right in outrage.

Given that Oregon now boasts new or increased taxes on marriage, divorce, cars, and “sin taxes” like cigarettes, e-cigarettes, microbrews, cider and wine, a first in the nation tariff on bikes has stoked frustration — from small business owners, from the cycling community as well as those who feel there is no limit to what the government can tax in support of the so-called “nanny state.”

Originally...