SEARCH SITE

 MAIN PAGE

  LATEST UNDERNEWS

ABOUT THE REVIEW

  EMAIL US

The Progressive Review

  
SINCE 1964, THE NEWS WHILE THERE'S STILL TIME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT

HEALTH & SCIENCE
UNDERNEWS

 Medicare

 Obamacare

 Single payer

TOPICS
Death & Life Expectancy
Essays
Films
Food
Health databases
Health stats
Just the facts
Links
Mental health
National healthcare
Page for big people
Pharma industry
Pocket paradigms
Reading
Science
Statistics
Words
 

JUST THE FACTS

BACK TO TOP
 
Find out how much your doctor has taken from Big Pharma
 
How physicians want to die
 
How your county ranks in health
 
HEALTH FACTS BY STATE
HEALTH STATS
NUTRIENT DATA BASE
LIFE EXPECTANCY

RACE, ETHNICITY & MEDICAL CARE
GLOBAL HIV FACT SHEET
WORST PILLS
 

LINKS

BACK TO TOP

DRUGS

WORST PILLS

HEALTH PLANS

MEDICARE RIGHTS CENTER
PHYSICIANS FOR NAT HEALTH PRGRM
UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE
WORLD HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS
WOMEN'S HEALTH INSURANCE BY STATE

PATIENT RIGHTS

PATIENT PRIVACY RIGHTS

SCIENCE

PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS

FILMS

BACK TO TOP

How to Die in Oregon. Under Oregon’s Death with Dignity law, terminally ill people can get prescriptions for lethal medications so they control the timing and circumstances of their death. This documentary tells the intimate stories of several people who have used this law, including a 54-year-old woman with incurable liver cancer. The film raises the question of why most states do not allow individuals to decide how much pain and indignity they choose to endure. Work Site

READING

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America.

Over Diagnosis: Making People Sick in Pursuit of Health - Today, people don't just have diseases, they have pre-diseases: pre-diabetes, pre-hypertension, pre-obesity. In the face of pre-disease, otherwise healthy people seek treatment for potential ailments that show no symptoms, and maybe never will. We are all becoming the worried well, spurred on by doctors, patient advocacy groups, pharmaceutical companies and the media. "Is informing the well about their risks for disease really the road map to a healthy society?" the authors wonder. -New Scientist

STATISTICS

BACK TO TOP

2014

10,000 small children being overdosed

Syphilis has reached its highest level since 1995.

How America compares with other top countries in healthcare

By 2020, 43% of Americans will be enrolled in either Medicare or Medicaid

@Harpers - Percentage increase in the rate of alcohol abuse for every percent by which U.S. unemployment increases: 17

America's healthiest and least healthy states

States' refusal to expand Medicaid leaves 5.8 milion uninsured

Heart attack deaths in decline

Consumer Reports ranks hospitals for safety

Obesity in 2-5 year olds has dropped 43% in past decade

The combined cancer death rate (deaths per 100,000 population) has been continuously declining for 2 decades, from a peak of 215.1 in 1991 to 171.8 in 2010. This 20% decline translates to the avoidance of approximately 1,340,400 cancer deaths (952,700 among men and 387,700 among women) during this time period.

2013

Percentage change in the past decade in the suicide rate of U.S. men in their fifties: +49

The combined cancer death rate (deaths per 100,000 population) has been continuously declining for 2 decades, from a peak of 215.1 in 1991 to 171.8 in 2010. This 20% decline translates to the avoidance of approximately 1,340,400 cancer deaths (952,700 among men and 387,700 among women) during this time period.

@Harpers - Chance a middle-aged American woman takes antidepressants: 1 in 4

Major increase in middle aged suicides

Smoking cigarettes is down about 50% over the past 60 years

Nearly 45,000 people die a year because they do not have health insurance -Bernie Sanders

Two studies find women's life expectancy had retreated

Strokes decline over past ten years
 
America's hospitals are the most expensive part of the world’s most expensive medical system. Health care consumes nearly a fifth of economic output; 31% of that goes towards hospital care alone, some $850 billion in 2011. Considered on a cost per patient per day basis, Americans spend more than four times as much on hospital care as many other countries. Yet the costs are highly variable: 10% of hospital patients paid more than $12,000 a day while 25% pay less than $2,000.
 
70% of Americans on prescription drugs

@Harpers - Estimated number of planets in the galaxy hospitable enough to support life as intelligent as humans: 37,963

President Obama has signed 14 laws that amend, rescind or otherwise change parts of his health care law, and he’s taken five independent steps to delay the Affordable Care Act on his own, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

Vast differences in healthcare costs by locale

80 million Americans didn't go to doctor last year because of cost

Harvard study says 25,000 Americans may die because of sodas and sugary drinks

HIV survival rate soars

Up to 45,000 die annually for lack of decent healthcare

2012

@Harpers - Rank of preventable medical errors among the leading causes of death in the United States: 3

Global child mortality has nearly halved in the past two decades thanks to a mixture of better aid and economic growth in poorer countries, according to a UN report. Research showed fewer than seven million children under the age of five died last year compared with nearly 12 million in 1990.

Press Watch UK - The life expectancy of those living in England's most deprived areas is up to twenty years lower than those in affluent Southern parishes. Research by the Church Urban Fund show a significant north/south divide. Women from Toxteth and Everton in Liverpool can expect to live to 74, while their counterparts in Comberton, Cambridgeshire, have an average life expectancy of 94.

CNN - The estimated number of U.S. autistic kids has skyrocketed by 78% since 2000, according to a report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in 88 American kids has autism, according to the new figures. Among boys, it's one in 54.

Web MD - Researchers found the risk of dying has dropped by 60% over the last 75 years. The CDC report on trends on death rates in the U.S. shows the risk of death has decreased for all age groups, but the biggest improvement has been among young people. The death rate among children aged 1-4 declined 94% from 1935 to 2010, compared with a 38% decline among adults aged 85 or more. The biggest reduction was among the young, but declining death rates were also seen among the elderly. For example, death rates dropped by 62% among people aged 65-74, 58% among those 75-84, and 38% for people 85 and older.

Years by which the average life span of a homeless person is shorter than the overall average: 30

To hear that the average U.S. life expectancy was 47 years in 1900 and 78 years as of 2007, you might conclude that there weren’t a lot of old people in the old days — and that modern medicine invented old age. But average life expectancy is heavily skewed by childhood deaths, and infant mortality rates were high back then. In 1900, the U.S. infant mortality rate was approximately 100 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. In 2000, the rate was 6.89 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. - Craig Bowron, Washington Post

2011

5% of patients account for half of health care spending

Nation’s worst hospitals treat twice the percentage of poor patients and service is likely to get worse

Only 21% of Americans believe fully in evolution

Nine percent of American kids labelled ADHD

Disease clusters found in 13 states

Hunger at highest level in 15 years

90,000 Americans die annually from infections that have become resistant to antibiotics

The stats are for Britain but a fine infographic will show generally one's chances of dying of everything from heart disease to opiates and swine flu.

County health rankings

Life expectancy map by county

BBC

 

HIV infections fall by a third

BBC - The rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the United States has fallen by a third over the past decade, researchers say.

However, there was a rise in new cases of HIV among gay and bisexual men aged under 24 and over 45.

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, a disease which destroys the immune system.

The World Health Organization estimates 35 million people globally have the virus. More than 1 million people in the US are thought to be infected, with 18% unaware of their infections.

Hospital medical errors third leading cause of death in U.S.

Senator Bernie Sanders - Preventable medical errors in hospitals are the third leading cause of death in the United States, a Senate panel was told. Only heart disease and cancer kill more Americans. “Medical harm is a major cause of suffering, disability, and death – as well as a huge financial cost to our nation,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said at the outset of the hearing by the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging. “This is a problem that has not received anywhere near the attention that it deserves and today I hope that we can focus a spotlight on this matter of such grave consequence,” added Sanders, the panel’s chairman.

The Journal of Patient Safety recently published a study which concluded that as many as 440,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors in hospitals.Tens of thousands also die from preventable mistakes outside hospitals, such as deaths from missed diagnoses or because of injuries from medications.

The new research followed up on a landmark study, To Err is Human, conducted by the Institute of Medicine 15 years ago, when researchers reported that as many as 98,000 people die in hospitals each year due to preventable medical errors. Experts now say that figure was too low and hospitals have been too slow to make improvements.

There has been some progress, Dr. Peter Pronovost of Johns Hopkins University testified. Yet thousands of patients still are dying unnecessarily from infections, preventable blood clots, adverse drug events, falls, overexposure to medical radiation and diagnostic errors. “We need to declare right now that preventable harm is unacceptable and work to prevent all types of harm,” Pronovost said.

Colorado teen pregnancies plummet thanks to contraceptives

Daily Kos - Colorado's teen birth rate dropped 40 percent in five years—years during which a donor-funded initiative provided 30,000 free or low-cost contraceptive devices to low-income women:

The decline in births among girls 15 to 19 years old served by the program accounted for three-quarters of the overall decline in the Colorado teen birth rate, the state said in a news release.

That rate has fallen from 37 births per 1,000 girls in 2009 to 22 in 2013, officials said.

The teen abortion rate dropped 35 percent from 2009 to 2012 in those counties where the initiative is in place, Hickenlooper said.

Colorado is saving money thanks to the drop in teen pregnancy: Medicaid costs are lowered by $5.68 for every dollar spent on the contraception program. Because pregnancy, childbirth, and pediatric care are more expensive than IUDs.

Percent of children in single-mother Scandinavian families who are living in poverty: 11. . .In single-mother U.S. families: 55

US running out of primary care doctors

USA Today - Federally funded programs will add at least 2,300 new primary care practitioners by the end of 2015, but the funding for at least one of those programs is set to expire at the same time, contributing to a massive shortage of doctors available to treat patients — including those newly insured through the Affordable Care Act and Medicare.

The U.S. is expected to need 52,000 more primary care physicians by 2025, according to a study by the Robert Graham Center, which does family medicine policy research. But funding for teaching hospitals that could train thousands more of these doctors expires in late 2015.

Population growth will drive most of the need for family care doctors, accounting for 33,000 additional physicians, the study says. The aging population will require about 10,000 more. The Affordable Care Act is expected to increase the number of family doctors needed by more than 8,000, the study says.

More mentally ill in prison than in hospitals

Another danger for health info privacy

Red wine and chocolate may not be the answer

Study: Vegetarians less healthy than others

Study: Gen X has health problems sooner than Boomers

The French way of cancer treatment

A cheap way to deal with radiation

How dirt can be healthy

Over two million Americans given drug Soviets used on dissidents

NFL players have collectively sustained 1,300+ injuries this season.

2013

Massive raw data from old scientific studies can't be found

Congress required publicly funded research to be publicly available

Why we should talk more about suicide

Rural areas may run out of doctors

Health official: antibiotic era is over

Two studies find women's life expectancy has retreated
 
Study: New generation of cellphones not good for brain

Americans overwhelmingly trust their doctors

Bookshelf: The price that football players pay

Study: New generation of cellphones not good for brain

Are sports the real drug harming America?

Your medical records are for sale

Prisons becoming geriatric nursing homes

The royal birth cost $15,000. The average American birth is billed at $30,000.

Judge orders mediation in case of over 4000 NFL players suing over head injuries

How Obama's secret trade deal will hurt housing and healthcare

The AMA's poor definition of obesity as a disease

Research finds link between air pollution & autism

American medical costs outstrips rest of world

We spend far more on killing people than on healing them

Southerners aren't the fattest Americans; they just lie less about it

Study finds patients cutting back on meds to save money

How your Ipod can affect your heart

More docs say they'll retire early

Antibiotic resistance a huge time bomb

3D printing used to replace 75 percent of man's skull

Florida running out of doctors

Nine Football Players Killed By Brain Trauma

Well, at least our health policies are better than Albania's

Bernie Sanders: Only 7% of the nation's medical school graduates now choose a primary care career.

Top British medical adviser warns of antibiotic crisis

Your dentist may want the right to turn your information over to the federal government

A reporter's view of chemotherapy

2012

RxISK.org, the first free independent website for researching and reporting prescription drug side effects, has added a Violence Zone to demonstrate and collect data on the links between prescription drugs and violent thoughts and behavior — from mild to suicidal or homicidal. - Activist Post

Let's Talk About America's Dangerously Gutted Mental Healthcare System

Sperm count plummets by a third

Secret chemical used in fracking can cause kidney and liver damage

@Harpers - Portion of the National Institutes of Health's research-chimp population going into retirement in the next year: 1/5

Best, worst states in math and science

Study finds multiple pollutants in women, can be passed on to babies

Employer health deductibles have soared

CDC prudes work against themselves

Court decision links cell phones to cancer

Some Wall Street advisors use astrology

Another reason for eating chocolate

Are germs good for your kids?

Suit charges organ donor network pressured hospitals to declare patients brain dead

Life span of least educated whites is shrinking

The rise of the medical bureaucracy

Global child deaths plummet

How the way we die has changed in past century

Helicopter doctors causing harm and costs through unnecessary treatments

Pennsylvania law requires son to pay mother's $93k nursing home bill

How the federal government may play a role in mad cow disease

It's a crime in North Carolina to offer nutritional advice without a license

Remains of largest feathered creature found

Doctor panels recommend fewer patient tests

Medical implants rarely tested for safety

Why Americans are fatter than the French

Study: Helping poor with healthcare lowers overall costs

5% of patients account for half of health care spending

A leading cause of breast cancer is supposed to be part of the cure

SIX CHARTS ILLUSTRATING WHY CORRELATION IS NOT NECESSARILY CAUSATION

Sebelius first health secretary to overrule FDA... putting teen age girls at risk to please the right

Four common meds send tens of thousands of seniors to hospitals annually

British Medical Journal - People with HIV have a 15 years longer life expectancy thanks to improved treatments over the past 13 years, according to a new . HIV infection has become a chronic disease with a good prognosis if treatment begins sufficiently early in the course of the disease and the patient sticks to antiretroviral treatment. However life expectancy for people with the disease is lower than that of the general population.

Harvard researchers want fat kids taken away from their parents

The facts behind medical ghost writing

Study: Danger of prostate cancer underrated

Pharmas pushing adult drugs on little kids

And why a single checkout line in a store is best

Nearly a third of advanced cancer patients receive more aggressive treatment than they may want

Garlic may be useful for hypertension

Exercise reduces chance of some two dozen diseases and health problems

Study: Evidence of statin benefit for low risk not found

Federal study finds natural supplements safe

Cellphone companies conceal serious health warning

Expert warns about banning foods to which some are allergic

Mental health
TOP

2014

Much higher depression in industrialized nations

A 2013 report by the National Sheriffs’ Association found that half of all people k¡lled by police are mentally ill,

Study finds worse side effects with anti-depressants

Loneliness twice as unhealthy as obesity for older people

2013

Study; Cooperation works better than selfishness

Word: The role of coercion in mental illness

How life in America is driving us mad

Later retirement slows dementia

A dehumanized society and emotional suffering

Suicide rates for middle aged Americans leap

Report: Depression overdiagnosed

Boomer suicides climb

The real roots of schizophrenia

2012

How 7 historic figures overcame depression without doctors

Study finds links between sports head injuries and brain deterioration

Did head injuries play role in Belcher murder-suicide?

Psychiatric patients' radio show

How psychologists subvert democratic movements

Loneliness major health problem for aged

Critical thinking about depression and its treatment

Why being nice works better

Why anti-authoritarians are diagnosed as mentally ill

How psychologists subvert democratic movements

Why Bruce Levine became a dissident psychologist

Therapists rebel against psychiatry's bible

One in five Americans on mental meds

Antidepressant use up 400 percent over last two decades

Psychologists object to new overdiagnoses

Death & life expectancy

Doctors choose different end of life strategies for themselves and for patients

Swiss suicide assisters extend services to those not terminally ill

Court rules that encouraging suicide (but not assisting) is legal

New Mexico judge rules terminally ill have right to doctor's help in dying

Major increase in middle aged suicides

Pyschological society defends physician aid in dying

How doctors prefer to die

A doctor tells what dying is often really about

Boomers pushing for doctor-assisted death

Redesigning the treatment of the dying

U.S. Infant Mortality Rate Nearly Double That of Japan and Sweden

Americans less healthy and die sooner than those in other wealthy countries

America lags in life expectancy in many locales

Taking responsibility for death

Death rates drop for all ages

How doctors die differently than their patients

Science
TO TOP

Major change in sun's behavior

Great moments in science: Retraction of a retraction

Scientists find way to extract hydrogen in quantity from any plant

The science of de-extinction

Mathematicians plan open access research journal

Who said scientists aren't fun


Dedication page of
Introduction to Algebraic Topology

My boyfriend of 7 years and I are both physicists.
Here's how he proposed to me.
(Click for full size)

Obamadmin opens up government funded research

Company plans to mine asteroids

2012

Milky Way contains 100 billion planets

NASA AIMS AT ALIEN WORLDS

OBAMA'S MED RECORDS ACT A MAJOR THREAT TO PRIVACY

THE DARK SIDE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

SEARCH FOR DANGEROUS ASTEROIDS AND COMETS BEING SHORT CHANGED

2009

ASTEROID COMES CLOSE TO EARTH; COULD HAVE HAD IMPACT OF THREE HIROSHIMA BOMBS

WHY DO FLAMINGOS STAND ON ONE LEG

WHERE THOSE HIGH TIDES CAME FROM

THE MYTH OF JUST TWO SEXES

Electronic health databases

Your medical records are for sale

Your medical records are for sale

The medical health records problem

2012

Access to your health information is greater than you think

Breaches of electronic health records increasing

Security experts warn about electronic health databases

Another mass electronic health data theft

A laptop holding the medical records of eight million patients has gone missing.

Australian precautions confirm electronic health records aren’t safe

WHY THE NEW MEDICAL RECORDS ACT IS A MAJOR PRIVACY THREAT

Food

Sugar sues high fuctose corn syrup

The math behind the red meat study

Chocolate cuts heart risk by as much as one third

Study: high fructose corn syrup does make you gain more weight

2010

NUTRITIONIST TRIES TWINKIE DIET AND IT WORKS

BPA FOUND TO REDUCE SPERM COUNT

WHAT BEING SUICIDAL FEELS LIKE

CHEST COMPRESSION STACKS UP WELL VS. DIFIBRILATORS

ANTIBIOTICS MAY STOP WORKING

AMERICANS' OBESITY RATING TO BE IN SEARCHABLE NATIONAL DATA FILE

JULY 2010

HEALTH SYSTEM CONTINUES TO FRAY

WHAT'S IT LIKE BEING A DOCTOR IN CANADA?

WHY ACUPUNCTURE MAY WORK

THE IDEA MILL: SCHOOL BASED HEALTH CLINICS

STUDY FINDS DIRT MAKES US SMARTER

STUDY: YOUNGER PEOPLE'S WEIGHT DOES NOT AFFECT THEIR HEALTH

ANESTHESIOLOGISTS CAN'T PARTICIPATE IN CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AND BE CERTIFIED

DC YOUTH WANT BIGGER AND BETTER CONDOMS

NIH FINALLY GETING SERIOUS ABOUT CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

CONGRESS APPROVES SINGLE PAYER. . . BUT ONLY FOR STUDENT LOANS

PRINCETON STUDY FINDS HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP CAUSES MORE WEIGHT GAIN THAN OTHER SWEETENERS

THE HEALTH FACTOR THE HEALTHY FORGET TO WORRY ABOUT: POVERTY

THE UNEXAMINED RISK OF TSA BODY SCANNERS

AMERICANS SAY NO TO NATIONAL ELECTRONIC PATIENT DATABASE

DANGERS OF CELLPHONES & WHY AMERICA DOESN'T SEEM TO CARE

HOW WALL STREET IS HURTING HEALTHCARE

AIRPORT SCANNERS NOT FULLY TESTED FOR HEALTH HAZARDS; MIGHT DAMAGE DNA

THE UNDERRATED IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS

MONTANA COURT UPHOLDS DOCTOR ASSISTED SUICIDE

DECEMBER 2009

POOR CHILDREN LIKELIER TO GET ANTIPSYCHOTICS

ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS AREN’T EVEN EFFICIENT

YAWNING IS GREAT FOR YOU

NOVEMBER 2009

NURSING HOME PATIENTS GIVEN DRUGS WITHOUT CAUSE

WILL THE REAL THEORY OF EVOLUTION PLEASE STAND UP?

DANISH STUDY FINDS TWO YEAR OLDS AT RISK FROM WIDELY USED GENDER-BENDING CHEMICALS

STUDY FINDS CELLPHONE TUMOR LINK

OCTOBER 2009

OUR NEW SWINE FLU PAGE

WORKING AFTER RETIREMENT GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

WHEN AMERICANS ARE HAPPIEST

THE DANGERS OF POSITIVE THINKING

GREAT NEWS FOR KIDS: LETTUCE AND SPINACH TOP RISKY FOOD LIST

CANADIAN STUDY RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT SWINE FLU VACCINE

NON-FOOD CAUSES OF WEIGHT GAIN

SOME REALLY AWFUL NEWS

STUDY: LONGTERM CONSEQUENCES OF THOSE FOOTBALL CONCUSSIONS

SEPTEMBER 2009

BRITISH ISSUE NEW GUIDELINES ON ASSISTED SUICIDE

THE SWINE FLU CONUNDRUM

TEEN BIRTH RATES HIGHEST IN MOST RELIGIOUS STATES

PROZAC PRESS IGNORES FLU QUARANTINE LAWS IN WAITING

AUGUST 2009

THE UPSIDE OF DEPRESSION

PHARMAS FACING COMPETITION FROM PLACEBOS

NASA LACKS MONEY TO TRACK DANGEROUS ASTEROIDS

CANCER MORTALITY HAVE STEADILY DROPPED OVER PAST THREE DECADES. . .AND WHY WE DON'T KNOW IT

EARTH MAY HAVE ONLY A HALF BILLION MORE YEARS TO LIVE

MEDICAL MISTAKES ARE LEADING CAUSE OF ACCIDENTAL DEATH

INSURANCE COMPANY DENIES LIFE SAVING AID BECAUSE PATIENT HAD USE POT

PHARMAS HIKING DRUG PRICES TO PAY FOR FREE SAMPLES

AMERICANS SPEND $34 BILLION ON ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

THE FAT-FATALITY MYTH

JULY 2009

THREE QUARTERS OF BRITS SUPPORT RIGHT TO DIE

BUSH REGIME WITHHELD INFO ON CELLPHONE DANGER IN CARS

IRAQ & AFGHAN WARS DRIVING TROOPS CRAZY

FISH OIL MAY REDUCE DEMENTIA PROBABILITY

TRAVEL INCREASES RISK OF BLOOD CLOTTING

CAFFEINE FOUND TO STAVE OFF - AND TREAT - ALZHEIMER'S

PEANUT BUTTER GOOD FOR HEART

JUNE 2009

HEALTH INDUSTRY IS PATENTING YOUR GENES

WHY DOCTORS DON'T WORK FOR YOU ANYMORE

NEW TWIST IN THE MEDICAL RECORDS SCAM

MAY 2009

WHY OBAMA'S MEDICAL RECORDS LAW IS SO DANGEROUS

MONTHLY INJECTION BLOCKS SPERM

PIG FLU: MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT FACTORY FARMS

AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION NEEDS THERAPY, QUICK

13,000 HAVE ALREADY DIED OF SEASONAL FLU

COULD IT BE FACTORY FARM FLU?

TEN TOP OPPONENTS OF SINGLEPAYER

FLOTSAM& JETSAM: FINDING FUN FLU FACTS

APRIL 2009

NEW QUESTIONS RAISED ABOUT STATINS

BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL PUBLISHES WARNING
OF "STAGGERING" CONSEQUENCES OF SHARING MEDICAL RECORDS

MARCH 2009

WHY OBAMA'S MEDICAL RECORDS PLAN THREATENS PATIENTS PRIVACY

MAJOR SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY: WHERE BELLY BUTTON FLUFF COMES FROM

NEW WORRIES ABOUT GARDASIL SAFETY

FEBRUARY 2009

SYNTHETIC CHEMICALS TIED TO INFERTILITY

DIRT IS GOOD FOR YOU

THE SENATOR WHO WANTS TO KILL GOOD HEALTHCARE POLICY

HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES SPYING ON PRESCRIPTION RECORDS

AVOIDING SEX ON FIRST DATE GIVES WOMEN BETTER MATES

JANUARY 2009

CHEMICALS SERIOUSLY ENDANGERING MALES OF ALL SPECIES

THE BITTER STRUGGLE FOR DECENT HEALTHCARE

51 PHARMACEUTICALS & OTHER COMPOUNDS FOUND IN DRINKING WATER

NEW LEAD LAW MAY CAUSE CHAOS IN CHILDREN'S LIBRARIES

HOW SERIOUS IS NUT POISONING?

TOP RESEARCH CENTER CALLS FOR REVIEW OF PHTHALATES

STUDY FINDS LOW INCOME YOUNG HAVE DIFFERENT BRAIN FUNCTIONS

DECEMBER 2008

SCIENTISTS ADMIT SELF-CENSORING CONTROVERSIAL RESEARCH

WHERE HAVE ALL THE BOYS GONE?

MOBILE PHONE USE 'RAISES CHILDREN'S RISK OF BRAIN CANCER FIVEFOLD'

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: ONE IN SEVEN WOMEN PATIENTS REPORT SEXUAL TRAUMA

NOVEMBER 2008

IT'S OKAY TO HAVE ONLY TWO AND A HALF STAGES OF GRIEF

NON PROFIT HOSPITALS BEING SHUT DOWN

OCTOBER 2008

THE IMMEDIATE CAUSE OF DEATH

NON PROFIT HOSPITALS BEING SHUT DOWN

Wall Steet Journal - Ascension Health, the country's largest nonprofit hospital system, says its mission is to serve all, "with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable." But in this city, where one in four people don't have health insurance, it's become harder for the poor and vulnerable to find Ascension. Last year, Ascension's local subsidiary closed [Detroit's] Riverview Hospital, the third hospital it has shut down in Detroit in the past 10 years and the only hospital that remained on the city's blighted east side. Meanwhile, 30 miles away, in a suburb of multimillion-dollar homes, Ascension is opening a new $224 million hospital. Of the 42 hospitals in the city in 1960, fewer than 10 are left. .

Net income at Ascension, which owns 67 hospitals located mostly in the Midwest, South and Northeast, nearly tripled to $1.2 billion between 2004 and 2007 thanks largely to investment gains.
. . Nonprofit hospital systems have shuttered facilities from Los Angeles to Chicago to Newark, N.J., while spending billions on suburban expansions. This all comes as large nonprofit chains have been enjoying some of their most prosperous times ever.

PUBLIC HEALTH BECOMES A RESPECTABLE MAJOR

VEGETARIANS FACE BRAIN SHRINKAGE

WHAT THE MUSIC YOU LIKE SAYS ABOUT YOU

STUDIES LEND SUPPORT TO DANGERS OF CELLPHONES

CHEWING GUM LINKED TO LOWERED STRESS LEVELS

MORE THAN HALF OF COLLEGE STUDENTS REPORT SUICIDAL THOUGHTS

PHARMAS & BIOTECH FIRMS THREATEN TO LEAVE MASSACHUSETTS IF DOCTOR BRIBES ARE BANNED

STUDY FINDS NOSELESS BIKE SADDLES IMPROVE MALE RIDERS' SEX LIVES

COLD FUSION UPDATE

TRANS-FATS BANNED IN CALIFORNIA

SEPTEMBER 2008

GERMS & PUBLIC TOILETS

 

Since the Review is better known for its political scoops rather than its scientific ones, excuse us for bragging that the latest issue of the highly regarded Nature Magazine has a cover article about the important but hidden Altenberg meeting on post-Darwinian research and new thoughts about evolution. We ran a piece of Suzan Mazur's ground breaking work on this topic back in March and followed up with another in July. Nature even borrows from Mazur's term "evolutionary Woodstock" to describe the critical meeting. Mazur's work is also found regularly in the great New Zealand journal, Scoop. The scientific establishment has been somewhat scared of dealing rationally and openly with new evolutionary ideas because of its fear of the powerful creationist movement. So for the topic to make the cover of Nature is a notable development.

SCIENCE ON THE STREET

A Nobel Prize winner takes to the street to answer questions about scienc

WHERE HAVE ALL THE BOYS GONE?

Tree Hugger - Martin Mittelstaedt of the Globe and Mail writes about how "Researchers tracking childhood behavioural disorders, sperm counts, testicular cancer and even the shrinking size of male gonads are convinced that something is amiss. The University of Pittsburgh's Devra Davis, in a study issued last year, found that the U.S. and Japan combined had a staggering tally of 262,000 "missing boys" from 1970 to about 2000 because of a decline in the sex ratio at birth. Although it could be a statistical anomaly, she says the figure is "very worrisome." Some think it might be due to endocrine disruptors in the environment. He lists "science's top five worries over the fate of the human male."

1. Lost boys: Studies on births from the U.S., Japan, and Canada have found a drop in the percentage of boys born compared with girls. The reason isn't known.

2. Declining harvest: Men in farm country can be half as prolific when it comes to making sperm as their city counterparts, raising the possibility that pesticides undermine male fertility.

3. Downsizing: It's disputed by chemical companies, but some researchers say they have found an everyday plastic compound - phthalates - that feminizes baby boys, causing penises and other reproductive organs to be smaller.

4. Hormones not so raging: If you're a middle-aged man, you're likely to be less virile than your father because you make less testosterone. In recent decades, the decline has averaged about 1 per cent a year. If it continues over another generation or two, the consequences could be dire.

5. Equipment failure: Rates of testicular cancer, hypospadias and other genital abnormalities have soared over recent decades, rising by more than 50 per cent each.

Mittelstaedt then lists the four chemicals that are causing the biggest concern: Bisphenol A, Phthalates, Polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDE). Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)

HEAD OF LEADING CANCER INSTITUTE WARNS STAFF ON CELL PHONES

ROCK DRUMMING AS GOOD FOR HEART AS SOCCER

HAS AMERICA GONE MAD?

Bruce E, Levine, Alternet - In The Sane Society, [Erich] Fromm wrote, "Many psychiatrists and psychologists refuse to entertain the idea that society as a whole may be lacking in sanity. They hold that the problem of mental health in a society is only that of the number of 'unadjusted' individuals, and not of a possible unadjustment of the culture itself."

Is American society a healthy one, and are those having difficulties adjusting to it mentally ill? Or is American society an unhealthy one, and are many Americans with emotional difficulties simply alienated rather than ill? For Fromm, "An unhealthy society is one which creates mutual hostility (and) distrust, which transforms man into an instrument of use and exploitation for others, which deprives him of a sense of self, except inasmuch as he submits to others or becomes an automaton." Fromm viewed American society as an increasingly unhealthy one, in which people routinely experience painful alienation that fuels emotional and behavioral difficulties. . .

The essential confrontation for Fromm is not about psychiatric drugs per se (though he would be sad that so many Americans nowadays, especially children, are prescribed psychotropic drugs in order to fit into inhospitable environments). His essential confrontation was directed at all mental health professionals -- including non-prescribers such as psychologists, social workers and counselors -- who merely assist their patients to adjust but neglect to validate their patients' alienation from society.

Those comfortably atop societal hierarchies have difficulty recognizing that many American institutions promote helplessness, passivity, boredom, fear, isolation, alienation and dehumanization for those not at the top. One-size-fits-all schools, the corporate workplace, government bureaucracies and other giant, impersonal institutions routinely promote manipulative relationships rather than respectful ones, machine efficiency rather than human pride, authoritarian hierarchies rather than participatory democracy, disconnectedness rather than community, and helplessness rather than empowerment.

In The Sane Society, Fromm warned, "Today the function of psychiatry, psychology and psychoanalysis threatens to become the tool in the manipulation of man. The specialists in this field tell you what the 'normal' person is, and, correspondingly, what is wrong with you; they devise the methods to help you adjust, be happy, be normal.". . .

It is my experience that psychiatry, Scientology and fundamentalist religions are turnoffs for genuinely critical thinkers. Critical thinkers are not so desperate to adjust and be happy that they ignore adverse affects -- be they physical, psychological, spiritual or societal. Critical thinkers listen to what others have to say while considering their motives, especially financial ones; and they discern how one's motivation may distort one's assumptions.

A critical thinker would certainly not merely accept without analysis Fromm's and my conclusion that American society is insane in terms of healthy human development. . .

A critical thinker would most certainly point out that there have been societies far less sane than the United States -- and Erich Fromm made himself absolutely clear on this point. In the barbaric German society that Fromm fled, disruptive children who couldn't fit into one-size-fits-all schools were not forced to take Adderall and other amphetamines, but instead their parents handed them over to psychiatrists to be euthanized. Fromm, however, knew that just because one could point to societies less sane than the United States, this did not make the United States a sane, humanistic society.

Bruce E. Levine, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and author of Surviving America's Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy (Chelsea Green, 2007

EUROPEAN DOCTORS TO INCLUDE WARNINGS WITH STATINS; STUDIES KEPT SECRET

WHEN SCIENCE, POLITICS, RELIGION & JOURNALISM MEET

AUGUST 2008

CHEWING GUM LINKED TO LOWERED STRESS LEVELS

Scientific Blogging - Andrew Scholey, Ph.D., professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia has led a research study on the effects of chewing gum on stress relief and focus and concentration. The study found that chewing gum helped relieve anxiety, improve alertness and reduce stress among individuals in a laboratory setting. . .

The study noted:

- When chewing gum, participants reported lower levels of anxiety.

- Gum chewers showed a reduction in anxiety as compared to non-gum chewers by nearly 17 percent during mild stress and nearly 10 percent in moderate stress.

- Increased Alertness: Participants experienced greater levels of alertness when they chewed gum.

- Gum chewers showed improvement in alertness over non-gum chewers by nearly 19 percent during mild stress and 8 percent in moderate stress.

- Reduced Stress: Stress levels were lower in participants who chewed gum.

- Levels of salivary cortisol (a physiological stress marker) in gum chewers were lower than those of non-gum chewers by 16 percent during mild stress and nearly 12 percent in moderate stress.

- Improved Performance: Chewing gum resulted in a significant improvement in overall performance on multi-tasking activities.

Both gum-chewers and non-chewers showed improvement from their baseline scores; however, chewing gum improved mean performance scores over non-gum chewers by 67 percent during moderate stress and 109 percent in mild stress.

JULY 2008

TOO MUCH TOFU OR SOY MAY CAUSE MEMORY LOSS

HUNGER IN CITIES GROWING

HOW DO YOU GO TO THE BATHROOM IN SPACE?

JUNE 2008

HOSPITAL PROFITS SOARED LAST YEAR

WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL The country's hospital systems reported robust revenue and profit growth in the survey, a news release said. Hospital system revenue from patient care grew 8.4 percent in 2007 compared to 2006 and revenue from all sources, including patient care, climbed 8.9 percent. Hospital system profits jumped 23.8 percent, according to the survey results.

 CELLPHONE USE SUBJECT OF HEALTH DEBATE

MAY 2008

WHY MOZART RELIEVES THE PAIN OF INTENSIVE CARE PATIENTS

WEIGHT DISCRIMINATION FOUND AS PREVALENT AS ETHNIC & GENDER BIAS

CELL PHONES A RISK DURING PREGNANCY

LOW SALT DIETS ASSOCIATED WITH HEART DISEASE

INCENSE SEEMS TO HAVE ANTI-DEPRESSANT EFFECT

SCIENCE DAILY Religious leaders have contended for millennia that burning incense is good for the soul. Now, biologists have learned that it is good for our brains too. An international team of scientists, including researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, describe how burning frankincense (resin from the Boswellia plant) activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression. This suggests that an entirely new class of depression and anxiety drugs might be right under our noses.

"In spite of information stemming from ancient texts, constituents of Bosweilla had not been investigated for psychoactivity," said Raphael Mechoulam, one of the research study's co-authors. "We found that incensole acetate, a Boswellia resin constituent, when tested in mice lowers anxiety and causes antidepressive-like behavior. Apparently, most present day worshipers assume that incense burning has only a symbolic meaning.". . .

"Perhaps Marx wasn't too wrong when he called religion the opium of the people: morphine comes from poppies, cannabinoids from marijuana, and LSD from mushrooms; each of these has been used in one or another religious ceremony." said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Studies of how those psychoactive drugs work have helped us understand modern neurobiology. The discovery of how incensole acetate, purified from frankincense, works on specific targets in the brain should also help us understand diseases of the nervous system. This study also provides a biological explanation for millennia-old spiritual practices that have persisted across time, distance, culture, language, and religion--burning incense really does make you feel warm and tingly all over!"

TEENAGER'S SCIENCE FAIR PROJECT MAY DELIVER US FROM PLASTIC

MOTHER JONES Daniel Burd - [a] 16-year-old from Waterloo, Ontario, as part of a science fair project, figured out a way to break down the polymers in plastic bags-compounds that can last for over 1,000 years-in about three months. Essentially, Burd hypothesized that since the bags eventually do degrade, it must be possible to isolate and augment the degrading agents. . .

Burd combined ground polyethylene plastic bags, sodium chloride, dirt from a landfill (which theoretically contains the microorganisms that ultimately degrade the plastic) and a yeast mixture in shakers for four weeks at a consistent temperature of about 86 degrees. At the end of the month, he took a sample of that mixture and combined it with a new one, with the goal of increasing the overall concentration of microbes. After one more repetition, he put fresh plastic bags in his solution for six weeks. In the end, the plastic degraded nearly 20%. A little more filtering to figure out exactly which microbes were the most effective, and he upped the degradation rate to 32%. He concludes, "The process of polyethylene degradation developed in this project can be used on an industrial scale for biodegradation of plastic bags. As a result, this would save the lives of millions of wildlife species and save space in landfills.". . . Judges at the Canada-Wide Science Fair apparently agree that it's worth pursuing. They sent Burd home with $30,000 in awards and scholarships. You can read his final report here

STUDIES FIND DOCTORS REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW TO WRITE

BRAIN EXPERT SAYS MOBILE PHONES MORE DANGEROUS THAN SMOKING

WE ONLY HAVE A BILLION YEARS TO GET IT RIGHT

WHY SCRATCHING FEELS GOOD

USING CELLPHONE BEFORE BEDTIME DELAYS AND REDUCES SLEEP

U.S. RANKS LAST AMONG INDUSTRIALIZED NATIONS IN DEALING WITH PREVENTABLE DEATHS

AMERICAN STYLE HEALTHCARE: HOSPICES FORCED TO REPAY MEDICARE FOR PATIENTS WHO LIVE TOO LONG

REVISED U.N. FIGURES FIND AIDS DECLINING OVER PAST TEN YEARS

THREE BOOKS ON HOW THE PHARMA INDUSTRY PUSHES PILLS FOR SHYNESS AND SORROW

BRAZIL 'REMARKABLE' SUCCESS WITH AIDS REFLECTS TOUGH STAND WITH PHARMA CORPS

CALORIE CREEP FOUND IN POPULAR FOODS

A DOCTOR TALKS ABOUT THE GOOGLER AS PATIENT

AVERAGE CHILD EXPOSED DAILY TO 27 CHEMICALS NOT FOUND SAFE FOR THEM

CDC STUDY BLOWS HOLES IN WEIGHT MYTH

STUDY: INTERNET PORN MAY HAVE AIDED BIG DROP IN RAPES

WATCHING TV MAY RAISE KIDS' BLOOD PRESSURE, WEIGHT

OREGON'S DEATH WITH DIGNITY POLICY PASSES TEN YEAR MARK

THE HIGH COST OF NOT ENOUGH YOUNG SLEEP

AUSTRALIAN COAL MINERS GIVEN INSTRUCTION IN FOREPLAY AND MENOPAUSE

SCIENCE OF DESIGNATED HITTERS

STUDY: BREAST FEEDING DOESN'T CAUSE SAGGING

CANCER GROWTH UNAFFECTED BY MENTAL ATTITUDE

MINNESOTA SLASHES PHARMA PAYOLA

INSURANCE COMPANIES FOUND TO BE ALREADY RIPPING OFF MEDICARE DRUG PATIENTS

PRIVATIZED MEDICAL INSURANCE SYSTEM RESULTS IN UP TO 18,000 DEATHS A YEAR

STUDY FINDS HEAVIER OLDER PEOPLE ARE HEALTHIER

MATHEMATICAL PROOF OF WHY HANGING OUT IS A GOOD IDEA

WHY PRIVATE INSURANCE BASED HEALTH CARE WON'T WORK

HALF OF AMERICANS, TWO-THIRDS OF DEMOCRATS
TO THE LEFT OF DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES ON HEALTH CARE

WHY BOOMERS AREN'T THE MAJOR PROBLEM OF MEDICARE

COST OF HEALTH CARE RISING FASTER THAN WAGES

SAVING ON MALPRACTICE INSURANCE MEANS SOMETIMES SAYING YOU'RE SORRY

MYTHS ABOUT GIRLS AND SCIENCE

FEBRUARY 2008

NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE IGNORES NATURAL OPTIONS

NATURAL NEWS In an article included in the latest edition of Cancer Monthly's free newsletter CancerWire, researchers analyzed statistics obtained through the National Cancer Institute in order to gain a clearer perspective on what type of cancer research is being undertaken in the country. . .

The authors found that of the 7,080 clinical trials for cancer currently ongoing, over 3,000 are focused on chemotherapy -- a treatment that already has over 50 years of research to its credit with relatively little practical return on investment. Of the remaining trials, over 2,000 were focused on more advanced biological treatments such as anti-angiogenesis drugs, which work to cut off the blood supply to tumors.

In all, only 123 of the trials deal with any type of alternative or complementary treatment. "These 123 represent only 1.7% of the total and included trials of various foods, herbs and modalities such as: soy, ginger, Valerian, Curcumin, acupuncture, Reiki, meditation, garlic, Green tea, and Tai Chi," the authors state.. . .

"The overwhelming majority of these trials examined questions that did not focus on whether these approaches alone improved survivability from cancer," the authors report. What this means is that the treatments were actually being evaluated not as treatments, but as adjunctive therapies to improve the rate and intensity of symptoms among those patients already undergoing conventional therapy.

Of the 7,080 clinical trials for cancer currently underway in the U.S., only three focus on natural alternative methods of treating the disease.

PSYCHIATRIST SAYS WE'RE TOO DOWN ON DEPRESSION

BBC - A leading psychiatrist says that depression is not a human defect at all, but a defense mechanism that in its mild and moderate forms can force a healthy reassessment of personal circumstances.

Dr Paul Keedwell, an expert on mood disorders at the Institute of Psychiatry, argues all people are vulnerable to depression in the face of stress to varying degrees, and always have been.

The fact it has survived so long - and not been eradicated by evolution - indicates it has helped the human race become stronger. . .

WE ONLY HAVE A BILLION YEARS TO GET IT RIGHT

SCIENTIFIC BLOGGING - University of Sussex astronomers predict that the Earth will be swallowed up by the Sun unless the Earth's orbit can be altered - but we have about 7.6 billion years to do it. Dr Robert Smith, Emeritus Reader in Astronomy, said his team previously calculated that the Earth would escape ultimate destruction, although be battered and burnt to a cinder, but they did not take into account the effect of the drag caused by the outer atmosphere of the dying Sun. . .

Life on Earth will have disappeared long before 7.6 billion years, however. Scientists have shown that the Sun's slow expansion will cause the temperature at the surface of the Earth to rise. Oceans will evaporate, and the atmosphere will become laden with water vapor, which (like carbon dioxide) is a very effective greenhouse gas. Eventually, the oceans will boil dry and the water vapor will escape into space. In a billion years from now the Earth will be a very hot, dry and uninhabitable ball.

Can anything be done to prevent this fate? Professor Smith points to a remarkable scheme proposed by a team at Santa Cruz University, who suggest harnessing the gravitational effects of a close passage by a large asteroid to "nudge" the Earth's orbit gradually outwards away from the encroaching Sun. A suitable passage every 6000 years or so would be enough to keep the Earth out of trouble and allow life to survive for at least 5 billion years, and possibly even to survive the Sun's red giant phase.

OF MEDICATIONS AND MASSACRES

SAM SMITH - Once again, in the case of the North Illinois University killings, there is a possible link to medications - reportedly anti-depressants. And, once again, media and officials are downplaying it. In this case, the reported situation is that the killer stopped using his meds a few weeks before the massacre, but this statement by a police official does not qualify as serious inquiry. For example, if there was actually some connection, it could have been because:

- Some people have extremely violent reactions when they stop using the drugs. If so, what steps need to be taken to avoid this?

- The drugs had altered the killer's brain in some way that not only contributed to the violence but got him to give up taking the drugs.

Of course, there may be no connection at all, but - as pointed out here in the past - the use of anti-depressants and similar drugs is so prevalent that one need not have more than a miniscule chance of violent reactions to have major consequences.

While there are no answers at present, we do know this: neither medicine nor the media seems to care much.

Medicine is part science and part gambling. That's what all the small print on your prescriptions is about. We need to look at the odds more closely.

ABOUT A QUARTER OF WOMEN, 11% OF MEN REPORT SUFFERING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

MSNBC - About a quarter of U.S. women suffer domestic violence, U.S. health officials reported, with ongoing health problems that one activist likened to the effects of living in a war zone. Some men also experience domestic violence, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey found.

The CDC said 23.6 percent of women and 11.5 percent of men reported being a victim of what it called "intimate partner violence" at some time in their lives.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23056009

JANUARY 2008

STUDY: NEARLY A QUARTER OF GENES CONTRIBUTE TO BODY WEIGHT

SCIENTIFIC BLOGGING - Genetics Researchers from the Monell Chemical Senses Center have attempted to count the number of genes that contribute to obesity and body weight - and it isn't a pretty number.

The findings suggest that over 6,000 genes, almost 25 percent of the genome, could help determine an individual's body weight.

"Reports describing the discovery of a new 'obesity gene' have become common in the scientific literature and also the popular press," notes Monell behavioral geneticist Michael G. Tordoff, PhD, an author on the study. "Our results suggest that each newly discovered gene is just one of the many thousands that influence body weight, so a quick fix to the obesity problem is unlikely.". . .

Tordoff comments, "It is interesting that there are 10 times more genes that increase body weight than decrease it, which might help explain why it is easier to gain weight than lose it."

HEALTH NEWS 2007 & EARLIER