||Last Updated: Nov 17th, 2006 - 22:35:04
Profiles of serial killers have limitations
Dennis Rader, the notorious BTK murderer who eluded capture for more than 30 years until his arrest in 2005, did not fit precisely into the FBI's method for profiling serial killers on the basis of crime scenes. And Aileen Wuornos, the Florida prostitute executed in 2002 for slaying seven men over a two-year period in the early 1990s, didn't fit at all because the database of convicted serial killers used by the FBI in developing their profiling method did not include women.
Oct 29, 2006, 21:28
Concerns over abortion law in the US state of South Dakota
In this week’s BMJ, a senior doctor raises serious concerns over abortion law in the US state of South Dakota. Earlier this year, South Dakota passed a bill which bans virtually all abortions in the state except for circumstances in which the procedure is necessary to “prevent the death of the mother.” Under this new legislation, doctors face prosecution for the termination of any pregnancy in which maternal death is not clearly averted by its performance.
Oct 29, 2006, 21:26
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Opens the National Center for X-ray Tomography (NCXT)
The National Center for X-ray Tomography (NCXT) has officially been dedicated at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Located at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), this new center features a first-of-its-kind x-ray microscope that will enable scientists to perform “CAT scans” on biological cells, just one of many unprecedented capabilities for cell and molecular biology studies.
Oct 13, 2006, 22:54
States That Easily Grant Immunization Exemptions Have Higher Incidence Of Whooping Cough
States that have personal belief exemptions for school immunization requirements, and exemptions that are easily obtained, have higher rates of new cases of pertussis (whooping cough) than states in which obtaining immunization exemptions is more difficult, according to a study in the October 11 issue of JAMA.
Oct 11, 2006, 05:14
Study calls for 39 percent more family physicians in USA
With an aging population and an increasing prevalence of chronic disease, now more than ever the United States is in dire need of family physicians. A study released this week on the U.S. physician workforce calls for a significant increase in the number of family physicians to meet the escalating health care needs of the American people. The study was conducted by consultants from the University of Utah School of Medicine and the Utah Medical Education Council.
Oct 1, 2006, 23:04
FDA safety alerts for automated external defibrillators occur frequently
The FDA frequently issues safety advisories for automated external defibrillators (portable electronic device used to restore regular heart beat in patients with cardiac arrest) and accessories, although the number of actual device malfunctions appears to be relatively small, according to a study in the August 9 issue of JAMA.
Aug 9, 2006, 17:34
Hospital Performance Results Do Not Always Reflect Patient Outcomes
Hospital quality measures do not fully account for the variation in hospital death rates for heart attack patients, according to a study in the July 5 issue of JAMA. As part of the national effort to improve hospital quality, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) monitor and publicly report hospital performance on acute myocardial infarction (AMI – heart attack) “core” process measures approved by the Hospital Quality Alliance, according to background information in the article. Although the CMS/JCAHO process measures are considered indicators of quality of AMI care, little is known about how these measures track with each other. And the degree to which process measure performance conveys meaningful information about short-term death rates remains unclear.
Jul 5, 2006, 19:07
US suicide rate drops as antidepressant prescriptions rise
A just published UCLA study suggests that the use of antidepressants to treat depression has saved thousands of lives, despite the concern about a possible link between suicide risk and the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).
Jun 14, 2006, 19:40
FDA Counterfeit Drug Task Force's recommendations adopted
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new steps to strengthen existing protections against the growing problem of counterfeit drugs. The measures, which were recommended in a report released today by the agency's Counterfeit Drug Task Force, emphasize certain regulatory actions and the use of new technologies for safeguarding the integrity of the U.S. drug supply.
Jun 10, 2006, 21:06
Rapid Approval of Gardasil Marks Major Advancement in Public Health
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced the approval of Gardasil, the first vaccine developed to prevent cervical cancer, precancerous genital lesions and genital warts due to human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6, 11, 16 and 18. The vaccine is approved for use in females 9-26 years of age. Gardasil was evaluated and approved in six months under FDA's priority review process--a process for products with potential to provide significant health benefits.
Jun 9, 2006, 02:00
Antiretroviral therapy saved three million life years
On the 25th anniversary of the first reported cases of AIDS in the United States, a new article in The Journal of Infectious Diseases estimates that antiretroviral therapy has saved nearly three million years of life among people with HIV infection.
Jun 3, 2006, 09:07
Society should support breastfeeding
Although the act of breastfeeding is not "illegal," women in various parts of the U.S. can be arrested for "public indecency" when breastfeeding their baby in public. As of November 2005, 12 states and Washington, DC had not enacted at least some kind of law regarding breastfeeding.
May 22, 2006, 03:16
Impact of state CON programs on heart attack treatment
People who have heart attacks are about 15 percent less likely to be treated with bypass surgery or angioplasty within the first few days of the incident in states with certificate of need (CON) regulatory programs. However, these patients are no more likely to experience adverse events, such as death, than patients who had heart attacks but were treated within the first days in states without CON.
May 10, 2006, 13:01
Indian American doctor pushes for healthcare reforms
An Indian American physician, who is president-elect of the Chicago Medical Society, has said that doctors should take the lead and work with lawmakers in the US on healthcare reforms that should include a reduction in fines to be paid in cases of medical negligence.
Apr 30, 2006, 23:00
Autism Costs $35 Billion Per Year to U.S.
It can cost about $3.2 million to take care of an autistic person over his or her lifetime. Caring for all people with autism over their lifetimes costs an estimated $35 billion per year. Those figures are part of the findings in the first study to comprehensively survey and document the costs of autism to U.S. society. Michael Ganz, Assistant Professor of Society, Human Development, and Health at Harvard School of Public Health, authored the study, which appears in a chapter titled, “The Costs of Autism,” in the newly published book, Understanding Autism: From Basic Neuroscience to Treatment (CRC Press, 2006). Ganz hopes his research will help policymakers allocate scarce resources to its treatment and prevention as well as provide a useful reference for policymakers and advocates to help them more fully understand the financial impact of autism on U.S. society.
Apr 26, 2006, 18:26
Mammography screenings for breast cancer show ethnic disparities
Inadequate use of screening mammography may be an important reason that African-American women are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer than members of other ethnic groups, according to a new study led by a University of California, San Francisco imaging specialist.
Apr 18, 2006, 14:14
Congenital rubella syndrome nearly eradicated in the US
Congenital rubella syndrome, a birth defect caused by the rubella virus (also known as German measles), has practically been eliminated in the U.S., according to a statement published in the April 2006 issue of Birth Defects Research Part A, the official journal of The Teratology Society.
Apr 10, 2006, 14:04
Indian American wants ayurveda practitioners in US licensed
An Indian American practitioner of ayurveda wants those who practice this ancient Indian medical system to get licences in the US.
Apr 7, 2006, 13:52
Donning uniform was my best move: US Army nursing chief
Gale Pollock was so impressed by the way the military treated her elder brother after he was wounded in Vietnam that she decided to become a nurse. Thirty years down the line, she's a major general and heads the US Army Nurse Corps.
Apr 3, 2006, 07:09
Media campaigns encourage parents to talk about sex
Media campaigns are an effective tool in encouraging parents to talk with their children about sex, said US scientists.
Mar 23, 2006, 17:28
South Dakota passes law banning abortions
In the biggest challenge in years to US women's right to abortion, the governor of South Dakota has signed a law banning most abortions that seems certain to inflame national debate on the highly charged issue.
Mar 8, 2006, 04:55
Immigrants to US change diet
Coming to the land of milk and honey can be hazardous to new immigrants' diet and health. So says Ilana Redstone Akresh, a visiting professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the author of a new analysis of dietary assimilation and immigrant health. In her study, Akresh considered the changes in immigrants' diets after coming to the United States and the subsequent relationship between those changes and Body Mass Index (BMI) and health status.
Feb 12, 2006, 18:13
Court upholds $79.5 mn ruling against tobacco giant
The Oregon Supreme Court Thursday upheld a $79.5-million punitive damages award given to the family of a smoker who died of cancer.
Feb 3, 2006, 15:38
Mass behavioral health plan is cost effective - study
A study released by the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Corporations of Massachusetts, Inc. (MHSACM), a statewide organization representing over 100 community-based mental health and substance abuse service providers, found that the MassHealth behavioral health carve-out provides efficient and effective mental health and substance abuse services and is of good taxpayer value to the Commonwealth.
Jan 31, 2006, 19:20
Second-hand tobacco smoke is toxic - California
California has classified second-hand tobacco smoke as a toxic air pollutant, becoming the first US state to make such a declaration.
Jan 27, 2006, 19:38
Trauma-Center Care Lowers Risk of Death
Care at a trauma center lowers by 25 percent the risk of death for injured patients compared to treatment received at non-trauma centers, according to the results of a nationwide study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Washington School of Medicine. “A National Evaluation of the Effect of Trauma Center Care on Mortality,” to be published in the January 26, 2006, edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, is among the first studies to provide strong evidence of the effectiveness of specialized trauma-care facilities.
Jan 26, 2006, 16:45
New Prescription Drug Information Format to Improve Patient Safety
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unveiled a major revision to the format of prescription drug information, commonly called the package insert, to give healthcare professionals clear and concise prescribing information. In an effort to manage the risks of medication use and reduce medical errors, the newly designed package insert will provide the most up-to-date information in an easy-to-read format that draws physician and patient attention to the most important pieces of drug information before a product is prescribed. The new format will also make prescription information more accessible for use with electronic prescribing tools and other electronic information resources.
Jan 20, 2006, 15:10
Slow Progress in Improving In-patient Safety Systems
While there has been some improvement in patient safety systems at hospitals, progress has been slow and the current systems are not close to meeting certain recommendations, according to a study in the December 14 issue of JAMA. The 1998 Institute of Medicine (IOM) National Roundtable on Health Care Quality and subsequent reports ushered in a period of extensive research about the quality of the U.S. health care system, according to background information in the article. The IOM report, To Err Is Human, provided in-depth analyses of a wide range of patient safety problems and underscored the need for improvement. Subsequently, the IOM has called for "fundamental change … to close the quality gap and save lives," and proposed a national initiative to "provide a strategic direction for redesigning the health care system of the 21st century." These documents indicate that successful implementation of change in the nation's overall health care system requires change in specific patient safety systems at the hospital level.
Dec 14, 2005, 16:59
US data on influenza death may be more PR than science
US data on influenza death may be more PR than science, argues a Harvard University graduate student in this week’s BMJ. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges a difference between flu death and flu-associated death yet uses the terms interchangeably, writes Peter Doshi. Statistical incompatibilities also exist between official estimates and national vital statistics data. For example, CDC states that the historic 1968-9 “Hong Kong flu” pandemic killed 34,000 Americans. At the same time, CDC claims 36,000 Americans annually die from flu. What is going on, asks Doshi?
Dec 12, 2005, 16:03
HIV Hospital Admissions Fell by More Than Half
The number of hospital admissions for HIV infection in the United States declined from a high of 149,000 in 1995—just before approval of life-prolonging protease inhibitor drugs known as the "AIDS cocktail"—to 70,000 admissions in 2003, according to statistics released by HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. During the same period, the percentage of AIDS patients who died in the hospital dropped by 32 percent—from a death rate of 12.5 percent in 1995 to 8.5 percent in 2003.
Dec 2, 2005, 20:09