February 8, 2010

Dangers of Laparoscopic Surgery

1 Surgeons at Risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery has been a boon to patients, with increased safety, quicker recovery times, and less disfiguring scars. But the surgeons who perform the surgeries are subject to injuries caused by the unique demands of the technique, injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle spasms, spinal disc problems, and eyestrain, according to the results of a recent survey of 2,000 North American surgeons by the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. The movements and postures required during the surgery are to blame, and the field of surgical ergonomics aims to address these issues. "It is easier for a surgeon to obtain an ergonomic assessment to improve his golf swing than his posture during surgery," says Adrian E. Park, M.D.

More at ScienceDaily | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (53%) / No! (47%)

A Dozen Articles on One Day

2 The Los Angeles Times Tackles Blood Pressure

The Los Angeles Times today published over a dozen articles on the subject on blood pressure: what it is, what makes it increase, how it can be treated, the roles of weight, alcohol, smoking and caffeine, and recent research. Lowering blood pressure significanty decreases your risk of stroke and heart and kidney disease, so it might be worth a few minutes of your time to take at look at this comprehensive bundle of articles. Some of the major take-aways are: the DASH diet is as effective as taking a blood pressure drug; Americans consume too much salt; exercise helps, as long as you keep it up; and it pays to try to control stress.

More at Los Angeles Times | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (52%) / No! (48%)

Bipartisan Meeting Planned

3 Obama Wants Health Care Summit

President Obama says he wants to have a half-day, bipartisan summit on health care reform that would be televised live from the White House. He challenged Republicans to bring their own ideas to the meeting, which he called for during an interview before the Super Bowl. While Republican leaders said they welcome the opportunity to debate the issue, Democrats say they won't go completely back to the drawing board on a bill that aims to lower health care costs while insuring millions of Americans who lack health insurance today. The meeting, planned for February 25, is the administration's first big step on health care since the Senate seat formerly held by Democrat Ted Kennedy went to a Republican, eliminating the Democrats' supermajority.

More at New York Times | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (51%) / No! (49%)

What Pills Would Jesus Take?

4 Biblical Diet Includes Pricey Supplements

"I feel better now about the slipshod cleaning I do on our garden's vegetables: we get the 'soil probiotics' for free"
- Mark in the comments

There are several different diets out there that aim directly at overweight Christians, telling them what to eat based on rules laid out in the Bible. But helping their fellow man become healthier isn't the only motivation for many of the diet founders. Take Jordan S. Rubin, author of The Maker's Diet, who says he was cured of Crohn's Disease by eating whole foods like yogurt and organic produce. That's all well and good, but he also markets supplements like a goat milk-based protein powder and a pill said to burn fat, neither of which were available in the time of Jesus. He even sells "soil-based probiotics" (that's bacteria from dirt) for $49.95 for 90 capsules, saying these substances helped keep people healthy when they couldn't wash their produce well.

More at AlterNet | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (43%) / No! (57%)

Snacks May Get a Makeover

5 Government to Push Junk Food Out of Schools

Legislation is expected to be introduced soon that would push unhealthy junk foods out of school cafeterias and vending machines in an effort to lower the nation's childhood obesity rate. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was set to tell the National Press Club later today that vending machines in schools must be "filled with nutritious offerings," and Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln, chair of the Senate agriculture committee, which oversees the school lunch program, said she'll introduce legislation soon that would mandate healthier offerings in schools. But Republicans aren't gung ho about the measure, which would cost schools more money when they replace cheap junk with more expensive, healthier options. The bill would exempt bake sales, class parties and other special occasions.

More at New York Times | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (53%) / No! (47%)

Father's Age De-Emphasized

6 Babies of Older Mothers at Greater Risk for Autism

Older mothers are more likely to have babies with autism, according to a decade-long study undertaken at the University of California, Davis Health System. The study, published online in the journal Autism Research, found that, for every five year increase in the mother’s age at the time of the birth of her child, the risk of autism increased by 18 percent. The father’s age was found by researchers to be a contributing factor only when the mother was under the age of 30. This defies current wisdom that emphasizes the father’s age as being a major contributing factor in the diagnosis of autism.

More at EurekAlert.org | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Lancet Retracts Autism Study

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

Nicotine Replacement Over-Hyped

7 Cold Turkey Best for Kicking the Habit

Smokers who want to quit the habit are likely to have the best success if they go cold turkey, say Simon Chapman and Ross MacKenzie, of the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, and authors of a study published in a current issue of PLoS Medicine. More than 500 studies were reviewed by the authors who concluded that two-thirds to three-quarters of smokers were able to quit without the assistance of nicotine replacement therapy and it was easier than they expected. The authors, citing the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on quitting, found a significant discrepancy between statistics reported by industry-funded studies as compared to independent studies where nicotine replacement was used in all cases and say there should be equal emphasis on quitting cold turkey.

More at EurekAlert.org | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

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