Kate Murphy writing for the New Yor k times reportedeEvery person exudes a personal “odorprint” concocted from thousands of organic molecular compounds. This unique scent can broadcast our age, genetic makeup, and even disease — which researchers believe will soon lead to earlier detection of illnesses. Several groups of researchers across the globe race to leverage the human “odorprints” for disease detection through computer assistance. One company borrows technology from bomb detection, while another sniffs for patterns of smells rather than individual molecules.
Some of the contenders closest to the finish line have begun enrolling thousands of patients into clinical studies in lung and colon cancer diagnosis.
More Rural Americans Signing Up For Disability As Jobs Disappear
Terrence McCoy writing for the Washington Post reported how disability is shaping the culture, economy and politics of” small, rural communities as “between 1996 and 2015, the number of working-age adults receiving federal disability payments increased dramatically across the country – but nowhere more so than in rural America.” The Post says that “between 1996 and 2015, the number of working-age adults receiving disability climbed from 7.7 million to 13 million.” In addition, “across large swaths of the country, disability has become a force that has reshaped scores of mostly white, almost exclusively rural communities, where as many as one-third of working-age adults live on monthly disability checks, according to a Washington Post analysis of Social Security Administration statistics.”
Comment: This is an alarming trend that may overwhelm us if it continues.
Early Treatment Equals Better Results for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Alan Mozes writing for Healthday reported treating rheumatoid arthritis early may make for better outcomes, a new study suggests.
Patients who were treated within six months of developing the first signs of the autoimmune disease did better in the long run and were less likely to suffer early death, British researchers found.
The findings stem from an analysis of more than 600 patients who were initially diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) between 1990 and 1994. They were tracked for over 20 years.
Over the study time frame, investigators assessed key symptoms of RA, such as swollen and/or tender joints, and indications of disability. All deaths were also noted.
The research team found that patients who started treatment for RA within the first half-year after the first symptoms surfaced tended to have no greater levels of disability over a 20-year period than patients who required no treatment.
Comment: It is critical to be aggressive with this disease.
Protein Found In Human Umbilical Cord Blood May Improve Learning And Memory In Older Mice, Study Suggests
In “To Your Health,” Lenny Bernstein writing for the Washington Post reported an infusion of human umbilical cord blood improved the functioning of the hippocampus in mice, according to a study published in Nature. The researchers found that the protein TIMP2 was responsible for the improvements in memory and cognition.
Comment: Human blood improved cognition in mice. I wonder what mouse umbilical cord blood would do for humans?
Dr. Jack Cush writing in RheumNow reported The NY Times points out “there is is an out-of-control epidemic in the United States that costs more and affects more people than any disease Americans currently worry about. It’s called nonadherence to prescribed medications, and it is — potentially, at least — 100 percent preventable by the very individuals it afflicts.
Studies show at least 20% up to 50% percent of prescriptions are never filled. Nearly 50% of medications for chronic disease are not taken as prescribed.
A recent Annals of Internal Medicine article estimated that nonadherence resulted in approximately 125,000 deaths and at least 10 percent of hospitalizations; costing US health care system $100 – 289 billion a year.
Comment: Totally controllable by the individual. At some point people need to take responsibility for their health.
Rates Of Hospitalizations For Heart Attacks, Strokes Lower Where Trans Fats Are Banned
Nicholas Bakalar writing for the New York Times reported that research published in JAMA Cardiology suggests “laws that restrict adding trans fats to foods have had immediate beneficial effects on heart health.”
Comment: The more we get rid of the poisons around us, the better.
Diabetes May Be Responsible For More US Deaths Than Previously Believed
Arlene Karidis writing for the Washington Post reported, “Nearly four times as many Americans may die of diabetes as indicated on death certificates, a rate that would bump the disease up from the seventh-leading cause of death to No. 3, according to estimates in a study” published in PLOS One. The study’s lead author said, “We argue diabetes is responsible for 12 percent of deaths in the US, rather than 3.3 percent that death certificates indicate.” The Post added that last year, “diabetes accounted for about $1.04 billion in National Institutes of Health funding, compared with about $5.65 billion spent on cancer research.”
Comment: And I expect it will become even more of a problem in the future.
Simple as tapping on your phone… a ride to the hospital… huh?
Some People Using Uber For Transportation To The Emergency Room
Leah Samuel writing for STAT reports there is a growing trend of people using Uber, rather than calling an ambulance, for transportation to the emergency room. The article reports that some people prefer Uber to transport themselves to the hospital, because it can be cheaper and more predictable than taking an ambulance.
Comment: Not sure I would recommend this. If you have to go to the hospital, you need an ambulance.
Physicians Spend Roughly As Many Hours On Computer Work As They Do Meeting With Patients, Researchers Find
Randy Dotinga writing for Healthday reported, “Physicians spend roughly as many hours on computer work as they do meeting with patients,” investigators found after researching “the daily habits of nearly 500 US” physicians. According to HealthDay, “the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians and other organizations have complained about the administrative burden physicians face.” The findings were published in Health Affairs.
Comment: Man… I get so frustrated with these electronic medical records.