Medicare patients who reach the annual gap in coverage for prescription drugs known as the "doughnut hole" are 57 percent more likely than those with continuous insurance coverage to stop taking drugs for heart-related conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease.
The HIV-1 virus cultivated with human lymphocytes.
Credit C. Goldsmith, P. Feorino, E. L. Palmer, W. R. McManus / CDC Public Health Image Library
<a href="http://carlzimmer.com/bio">Carl Zimmer</a> is the author of 12 books about science, including <em>A Planet of Viruses</em>. He has also appeared on <em>RadioLab </em>and <em>This American Life</em>.
Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 2:42 pm
If you've ever had a bacterial infection like staph or strep throat, your doctor may have prescribed penicillin. But if you've had the flu or a common cold virus, penicillin won't work. That's because antibacterials only kill bacteria, and both the flu and the common cold are viruses. So for illnesses like the flu, doctors prescribe antiviral drugs, which target the mechanisms that viruses use to reproduce.
By now it's hardly news that the U.S. spends more than every other industrialized country on health care. But a new study suggests that at least when it comes to cancer care, Americans may actually be getting decent value.
Originally published on Thu April 12, 2012 10:07 am
On one side of a wall inside the Truman Medical Center cafeteria in Kansas City, Missouri, the menu features low-calorie, low-fat and low-sodium meals. On the other side of the wall is a McDonald's, featuring hamburgers and french fries.
Scientists have found one more reason that pregnancy and obesity can be a bad combination.
A new study in the journal Pediatrics suggests that moms who are obese or have diabetes are more likely to have a child with autism or another developmental problem.
The finding is "worrisome in light of this rather striking epidemic of obesity" in the U.S., says Irva Hertz-Picciotto from the MIND Institute at the University of California, Davis, one of the study's authors.
In response to leaders of Miami County voting against drawing down federal funds for a program that has long provided birth control to low income families, a group of area residents has raised the money.
A schoolboy with a cochlear implant listens to his teacher during lessons at a school for the hearing impaired in Germany. The implants have dramatically changed the way deaf children learn and transition out of schools for the deaf and into classrooms with non-disabled students.
There was a time when a child born deaf had few choices. For more than a century, the only option for parents was to send their son or daughter away to a boarding school for the deaf. There, the children and the schools thrived in the shadows, embracing a distinct culture of silent communication.
Recent advances in medicine and technology are now reshaping what it means to be deaf in America. Children who could never hear a sound are now adults who can hear everything. That's having a dramatic impact on the nation's historic deaf schools as well as the lives of people.
For people with dyslexia, problems recognizing words can make life difficult. Children usually aren't diagnosed until elementary school, when it becomes clear they're struggling with reading. But scientists say it could be possible to diagnose and help kids much earlier by identifying problems with visual attention — long before they learn to read.
At the college of Dartmouth, in the year '24 There lived a young humorist named Theodor. Though boozing was banned as a crime and a sin, Theo hosted a party with plenty of gin. But then in through the door without even a knock Burst the grinch who stole gin-mas: Dean Craven Laycock.
The dean started shouting. His face turned bright red. "Put down your tumbler and listen up, Ted! I'm kicking you out of those clubs that you're in. Your work won't be published at Dartmouth again!"
The brains of people who grow up speaking two languages are wired differently, and those differences protect them from dementia as they age.
That's the news from two studies out this month from a scientist in Canada who has spent decades trying to figure out whether being bilingual is bad or good. "I've been doing this for 25 years," Ellen Bialystok, a distinguished research professor of psychology at York University in Toronto, tells Shots. "Suddenly people are interested. I figure it's because everybody's scared about dementia."
Another batch of phony cancer drugs has made its way into the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration says.
U.S.-based medical practices purchased vials of counterfeit medicine labeled as Altuzan from a foreign supplier, FDA spokesperson Shelly Burgess tells Shots. She said the agency doesn't have any reports of patients having received the counterfeit drugs.
Altuzan is the Turkish brand name for Avastin, the FDA-approved blockbuster cancer drug from Swiss drugmaker Roche's Genentech unit. Altuzan is approved for use in Turkey — but not in the U.S.
Nine national medical groups are launching a campaign called Choosing Wisely to get U.S. doctors to back off on 45 diagnostic tests, procedures and treatments that often may do patients no good.
Many involve imaging tests such as CT scans, MRIs and X-rays. Stop doing them, the groups say, for most cases of back pain, or on patients who come into the emergency room with a headache or after a fainting spell, or just because somebody's about to undergo surgery.
A nonprofit foundation set up to support scientific research of interest to the Food and Drug Administration is finally starting to take off after years of struggling financially — and it's about to get some long-promised funding from the FDA.
But some critics worry that this foundation, which will also raise money from private sources including industry, could provide a way for the food and medical industries to sway FDA decisions.