Guns, Drugs and Cars

This week’s JAMA released a comparison of major causes of injury death and how they contribute to the gap in life expectancy between the US and other high-income countries. Here are their findings: Men in the comparison countries had a life expectancy advantage of 2.2 years over US men (78.6 years vs 76.4 years), asContinue reading “Guns, Drugs and Cars”

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Your Team Made the Super Bowl? Better Get a Flu Shot

As an emergency medicine physician, popular spectator events such as the Super Bowl usually mean little more than a temporary slowing in the rate of patient arrivals, especially among males, a phenomenon described in several countries in addition to the U.S. A recent Upshot post shows that the impact of widely popular spectator events extendsContinue reading “Your Team Made the Super Bowl? Better Get a Flu Shot”

Can U pls look @ this?

The pediatrician-author-mom Perri Klass wrote a piece in this week’s Well column that will bring knowing smiles to many providers and parents reading this post. She writes about how many unofficial telemedicine consults she fields involving photos of various rashes, injuries and other physical findings taken by parents and/or teens with their mobile devices. She usesContinue reading “Can U pls look @ this?”

Rising death rates in young white adults due to overdoses

A New York Times analysis of CDC data released this week showed that, in contrast to falling death rates among black and Hispanic adults, drug overdoses are driving up the death rate of young white adults in the United States to levels not seen since the end of the AIDS epidemic more than two decades agoContinue reading “Rising death rates in young white adults due to overdoses”

Personalized preventive medicine

Much research and media attention have focused on personalized medicine.  The National Cancer Institute defines personalized medicine as “a form of medicine that uses information about a person’s genes, proteins, and environment to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease.”  Although this definition includes prevention, much of the focus of personalized medicine has been on treatments, with aContinue reading “Personalized preventive medicine”

Will prevention ever be sexy?

As a pediatric emergency medicine provider, many of the reasons patients show up in the Emergency Department are related to symptoms–a fever, cough, rash, ache, nausea, runny nose, diarrhea, etc.  What is this causing it? What will make it go away as soon as possible? A commentary on NPR’s Shots series notes that, often, despiteContinue reading “Will prevention ever be sexy?”

Times Square and Influenza

On this New Year’s Eve, I wanted to share this factoid from the CDC on the benefits of influenza vaccination in the 2014-15 flu season.  As you see the nearly one million people counting down to 2016 in Times Square, remember that the flu vaccine prevents that many people from needing medical visits in oneContinue reading “Times Square and Influenza”

Vaccine-preventable illness

As a pediatric emergency medicine provider in a state with a high proportions of vaccine-refusers, I often treat vaccine-preventable infections. This week was no exception, with one of the cases particularly severe. A New York Times piece reminds us that vaccine refusal is most prevalent in white, higher income regions. The lowering of herd immunityContinue reading “Vaccine-preventable illness”

What are your top health stories of 2015?

Today’s post is a question: what is the most important health story of 2015?  What was the most important health news this year for the health of people in our country, or worldwide?  Closer to home, what was most important news for you in how you promote your own health, that of family members, or thatContinue reading “What are your top health stories of 2015?”

Public health approach to reducing firearms-related suicide

A New York Times opinion piece today gives another perspective on gun violence prevention.  In an earlier post, I had focused on the public health approach to reducing gun violence through targeting mass shootings.  Although mass shootings occur more than once daily in this country, the rate of gun-related suicide is far higher: about 20,000Continue reading “Public health approach to reducing firearms-related suicide”