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People who get less than 6 hours sleep per night have an increased risk of dying prematurely

Posted: October 11, 2010 at 10:14 am

People who get less than 6 hours sleep per night had an increased risk of dying prematurely in a recent study. Those who slept for less than that amount of time were 12% more likely to die early, though researchers also found a link between sleeping more than 9 hours and premature death.

The study aggregated decade-long studies from around the world involving more than 1.3 million people and found "unequivocal evidence of the direct link" between lack of sleep and premature death.

Just one sleepless night can hamper the body's ability to use insulin to process sugar in the bloodstream. Insulin sensitivity is not fixed in healthy people, but depends on the duration of sleep in the preceding night.

"Society pushes us to sleep less and less," one of the study investigators said, adding that about 20% of the population in the United States and Britain sleeps less than 5 hours.

Adults typically need between 7 and 9 hours sleep a night. If you sleep little, you can develop diabetes, obesity, hypertension and high cholesterol.

Image source: A halo around the Moon. Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License.

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Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 increases risk of coronary disease

Posted: October 11, 2010 at 10:14 am

Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2), an inflammatory enzyme expressed in atherosclerotic plaques, is a therapeutic target being assessed in trials of vascular disease prevention.

Lp-PLA2 activity and mass each show continuous associations with risk of coronary heart disease, similar in magnitude to that with non-HDL cholesterol or systolic blood pressure.


Lipoprotein structure (chylomicron). Image source: Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License.

References:

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Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Robot Doctors – Neurologist stays in Chicago but sees patients across the globe

Posted: October 11, 2010 at 10:14 am

From NBC Chicago:

Neurologist John Wapham lives in downtown Chicago, but he can see patients anywhere in the world ... from his apartment. And he does. He's an expert in treating strokes, and with the help of a robot and a broadband connection, he's able to be at a patient's bedside instantly.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com/video.

"This brings specialists to to the remotest parts of the country, and the world. I've popped open my laptop on Michigan avenue and treated patients in another state, " he says. And in the not too distant future, these robot doctors could be on the battlefield, or at the scene of a horrible car accident: instantly.

Some critics fear that telemedicine may not be accurate enough. For example, the accuracy of teledermatology was inferior to real-life clinic dermatology for melanoma diagnosis in a recent study: http://bit.ly/8A4oiu

References:
Robot Doctors: Future of Medicine? NBC Chicago.

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Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

How to identify medical students at risk of subsequent misconduct?

Posted: October 11, 2010 at 10:14 am

This small BMJ study suggests the following risk factors for subsequent professional misconduct:

- male sex
- lower socioeconomic background
- early academic difficulties at medical school

59 doctors who had graduated from 8 medical schools in the United Kingdom in 1958-97 and had a proved finding of serious professional misconduct in 1999-2004 (cases) and 236 controls (four for each case) were included in the study.
The findings are preliminary and should be interpreted with caution. Most doctors with risk factors will not come before disciplinary panels.
References:
Image source: OpenClipArt.org (public domain).

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Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Brain freeze, senior moment or just exhaustion – CNN video

Posted: October 11, 2010 at 10:14 am

From CBS News:

A 2006 study questioned the acceptability of minor episodic memory loss in older adults as normal. Episodic memory loss includes things such as forgetting the name of a new acquaintance, a recent conversation, or an upcoming appointment.

People commonly undergo an age-related slowing of the ability to retrieve information. They might forget where they put their keys, but they usually remember eventually. But when Alzheimer's is involved, new information is never properly stored, meaning the affected person never learned it well enough to be able to retrieve it.

Related:
Senior Moments: Signs Of Alzheimer's? CBS News.
Memory problems not a normal sign of aging: study http://goo.gl/xb9M

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Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Michael Douglas on Having Throat Cancer – Late Show with David Letterman (video)

Posted: October 11, 2010 at 10:14 am

Oropharyngeal cancer is increasing at a "dramatic" rate, particularly in the male population http://goo.gl/JAko

Related:
Michael Douglas Has Stage IV Throat Cancer; Experts Weigh In. WebMD.
Catherine Zeta-Jones's fury at the doctors who missed her husband Michael Douglas's throat cancer. Daily Mail.

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Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith


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