The ratio of tuberculosis cases comparing immigrants to native-born Americans is more than 2:1. Standardizing these numbers paints an even starker picture. The incidence of tuberculosis is almost 15 per 100,000 immigrants, while it is only 1 per 100,000 native-born Americans. The good news is that tuberculosis is curable, and the disease is in decline all over the world.
Some parasites "turn down" the host's immune response, and evidence suggests that helminth infection can help patients suffering from allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes. Now, there is evidence that helminths could help treat obesity.
Twenty years ago, an expert panel at the National Institutes of Health lowered the BMI cutoff for being overweight from 27 to 25. But a recent report suggests that for one segment of the population — postmenopausal women – that might not be low enough. Also, to define obesity in this population the cutoff of 30 might be too high.
Some women who've been diagnosed with early early-stage breast cancer would be well advised to have genetic screening performed. But many are not, and they should be aware that genetic counseling could be crucial and to ask for it if it isn't offered — especially for those considered high risk of developing additional cancers.
Screening tests for colorectal cancer are generally underutilized, and thus chances to decrease deaths from the disease are missed. New research demonstrates that an app, which patients can use on an iPad, increases the use of these screening tests.
What turns a relatively minor skin injury into the life-threatening horror show? That would be necrotizing soft tissue infection, otherwise known as a flesh-eating bacterial infection. New research suggests that a lack of antibodies against Streptococcus bacteria is a likely risk factor.
Comorbidities are the other diseases a patient has, separate from the one of interest. The number of comorbidities for any given patient has increased, and their presence modifies how the "condition of interest" behaves clinically. Personalizing medicine means defining "disease" very differently.
New research into the 1918 and 2009 influenza pandemics reveal a potential warning sign: Mild cases of influenza that occur in the spring or summer may be a harbinger of a devastating pandemic to come in the autumn.
Oral bacteria attack teeth in more ways than we knew. Bacteria that sequester phosphate in the ocean also do so in the mouth. Since phosphate is an integral component of enamel, its removal can weaken the teeth and make decay more likely. So keep flossing, folks!
The allure of evidence-based medicine is that it sounds so objective: free of bias, and free of judgment. But at its core, the evidence-based recommendations from the American College of Physicians are a collective subjective judgment, or a balancing act of tradeoffs.
Pigs have their noses constantly in the mud, and they eat just about anything. It's not a surprise, therefore, that they carry potentially dangerous infections. And raising the pig yourself and naming it Oinker doesn't mean it will be more hygienic than any other pig.
Ensa Cosby died from renal disease, a condition that afflicts a disproportionate number of African Americans.