Health Updates 3 May 2011

  • How DNA testing confirmed Osama Bin Laden‘s identity: NPR’s Tom Gjelten reports that an US intelligence official said a DNA match, using DNA from several family members, provided virtual certainty that it was Bin Laden’s body”. (NPR)
  • Record shortage of 211 drugs puts patients in danger: “The causes vary from drug to drug, but experts cite a confluence of factors: Consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry has left only a few manufacturers for many older, less profitable products, meaning that when raw material runs short, equipment breaks down or government regulators crack down, the snags can quickly spiral into shortages”. (Washington Post)
  • NFL player‘s brain full of CTE plaques: “Former pro football player Dave Duerson, who killed himself in February, had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), researchers at Boston University told reporters Monday”, and “no evidence of any other disease” according to Dr. Ann McKee.  Duerson had complained of headaches, depression and cognitive impairment prior to his death; his CTE was termed “moderately advanced”.  The NFL issued a statement expressing the hope that “these findings will contribute more to the understanding of CTE”. (John Gever, MedPage Today)
  • Quality, not quantity: “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will begin paying hospitals bonuses based on adherence to quality measures and on patient satisfaction under a final Medicare rule published” last Friday.  CMS administrator Dr. Donald Berwick told reporters that “for the first time, hospitals are going to be paid for inpatient hospital quality, not just the quantity of the care they provide” which should save major money in the Medicare system and improve  standards of care. (Emily P. Walker, MedPage Today)
  • Time to give chicken thighs a try: “Shoppers choose chicken breast because it’s low in fat – 129 calories, 0.6 gram saturated fat and 0.8 gram healthier monounsaturated fat in a 4-ounce serving.  The same size chicken thigh has 134 calories, 1.1 grams saturated fat and 1.3 grams monounsaturated fat.  The difference is negligible over the course of a day, and the extra fat in chicken thighs adds moistness and flavor”. (Miami Herald)
  • Obesity can negatively affect sex life: “‘Our findings contribute to a growing body of research that indicates obesity is associated with reduced sexual functioning and sexual quality of life,’ says study author Truls Ostbye, a professor in the department of community and family medicine at Duke University Medical Center, in a statement”. (USA Today)

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