There has been a lot of activity on ACP Internist's blog, which launched last May and now attracts more than 1,000 visits a day. The staff of ACP Internist and ACP Hospitalist update the blog daily with news about medical research and practice management, as well as onsite coverage of major medical conferences. On the lighter side, our “Medical news of the obvious” each Monday points out studies that fail to pass the “so what?” test. Here's a sampling of posts that appeared on the blog over the past month. To read the latest postings, go online.
Attack of the Cuban chickens Despite the hassle we've given the Indonesians over their refusal to share bird flu samples, the U.S. actually has a law on the books that would prevent (or at least delay) the sharing of vaccines …
Is JAMA psychic? Just two days after JAMA ran an article that found long-term psychotherapy works better than short-term for the complex mentally ill, Congress passed (and Pres. Bush signed) a bill that would effectively require many insurers to cover longer-term treatments …
Conference Coverage Excerpts
- A new study expands the evidence against tobacco by finding that RA patients who quit smoking had significantly less disease activity than patients who continued to smoke.
- Hydroxychloroquine, an antimalaria medication, appears to be an effective treatment for both lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Transfusions with blood that is 29+ days old are twice as likely to lead to nosocomial infections—including pneumonia, upper respiratory infections and sepsis—as transfusions with newer blood.
- Doctors don't know that nearly 75% of people seeking tobacco-dependent treatment are categorized as “highly” dependent—meaning standard, OTC therapies won't work on them.
“Episodic, expensive, high-tech, specialty services have created a monetary health crisis that looms larger than the banking meltdown. It is time we look at the primary care crisis and begin finding solutions that will allow health care reform to succeed. Without considering the primary care piece, it is doomed to failure.”
—From “Primary care shortage dooms universal health care,” by Toni J. Brayer, FACP, Oct. 30.
The Lighter Side
- College students drink beer and it makes them fat, researchers at Tufts and Indiana universities discovered after extensive research. (Couldn't they just have looked around campus on a Saturday night?)
- Adults who eat rapidly or until they're full are more likely to be overweight, a study in BMJ reports. Just tell your heavier patients to slow down and chew. Problem solved.
- It took a team of nine European specialists on the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks to conclude “Listening to personal music players at a high volume over a sustained period can lead to permanent hearing damage.” Could you repeat that?