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Tag Archives: Chicago

Cancer medicine: New, improved, expensive and exploited?

Cancer medicine: New, improved, expensive and exploited?

Two studies published in the October 2014 issue of Health Affairs by a University of Chicago health economist examine spending on oral anti-cancer drugs as well as a federal program designed to help the poor, which researchers say instead helps hospitals boost profits. The first study, by Rena M. Continue reading

Decreased ability to identify odors can predict death: Olfactory dysfunction is a harbinger of mortality

Decreased ability to identify odors can predict death: Olfactory dysfunction is a harbinger of mortality

For older adults, being unable to identify scents is a strong predictor of death within five years, according to a study published October 1, 2014, in the journal PLOS ONE . Thirty-nine percent of study subjects who failed a simple smelling test died during that period, compared to 19 percent of those with moderate smell loss and just 10 percent of those with a healthy sense of smell. The hazards of smell loss were “strikingly robust,” the researchers note, above and beyond most chronic diseases. Continue reading

New tool assesses skill development in robotic microsurgery

New tool assesses skill development in robotic microsurgery

A new standardized assessment provides a useful tool for tracking surgeons’ progress as they develop the skills needed to perform robot-assisted microsurgery, reports a study in the October issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® , the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). “The Structured Assessment of Robotic Microsurgical Skills (SARMS) is the first validated instrument for assessing robotic microsurgical skills,” according to the report by ASPS Member Surgeon Dr Jesse C Continue reading

Critically ill ICU patients lose almost all of their gut microbes and the ones left aren’t good

Critically ill ICU patients lose almost all of their gut microbes and the ones left aren’t good

Researchers at the University of Chicago have shown that after a long stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) only a handful of pathogenic microbe species remain behind in patients’ intestines. Continue reading

Proactive office ergonomics can increase job satisfaction, employee retention

Proactive office ergonomics can increase job satisfaction, employee retention

As the amount of time employees spend at their desks increases, so does musculoskeletal discomfort and other health issues associated with the office environment. Although office ergonomics training programs have been shown to improve employee well-being and productivity, in many cases training occurs only after complaints are logged Continue reading

Comparison of named diet programs finds little difference in weight loss outcomes

Comparison of named diet programs finds little difference in weight loss outcomes

In an analysis of data from nearly 50 trials including about 7,300 individuals, significant weight loss was observed with any low-carbohydrate or low-fat diet, with weight loss differences between diet programs small, findings that support the practice of recommending any diet that a patient will adhere to in order to lose weight, according to a study in the September 3 issue of JAMA . Named or branded (trade-marked) weight loss programs provide structured dietary and lifestyle recommendations via popular books and in-person or online behavioral support and represent a multibillion dollar industry. Debate regarding the relative merit of the diets is accompanied by advertising claiming which macronutrient composition is superior, such as a low-carbohydrate or low-fat diet. Continue reading

Home is where the microbes are

Home is where the microbes are

A person’s home is their castle, and they populate it with their own subjects: millions and millions of bacteria. A study published tomorrow in Science provides a detailed analysis of the microbes that live in houses and apartments. Continue reading

Electric current to brain boosts memory: May help treat memory disorders from stroke, Alzheimer’s, brain injury

Electric current to brain boosts memory: May help treat memory disorders from stroke, Alzheimer’s, brain injury

Stimulating a particular region in the brain via non-invasive delivery of electrical current using magnetic pulses, called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, improves memory, reports a new Northwestern Medicine® study. The discovery opens a new field of possibilities for treating memory impairments caused by conditions such as stroke, early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, cardiac arrest and the memory problems that occur in healthy aging Continue reading

Gang life brings deep health risks for girls

Gang life brings deep health risks for girls

Being involved in a gang poses considerable health-related risks for adolescent African American girls, including more casual sex partners and substance abuse combined with less testing for HIV and less knowledge about preventing sexually transmitted diseases, according to a new study. Continue reading

Impact of race, ethnicity in motor complete spinal cord injury

Impact of race, ethnicity in motor complete spinal cord injury

Researchers have published a study examining racial and ethnic influences in the outcomes of patients with motor complete spinal cord injury (SCI). The article, “Racial and ethnic disparities in functioning at discharge and follow-up among patients with motor complete SCI,” was published online ahead of print on August 2 by the Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation . Findings included small but significant differences in self-care and mobility at discharge; no differences were apparent at 1-year followup. Continue reading